Venture Photography marks a decade in the frame

Shortly to celebrate a decade of operations, Venture Photography is marking the milestone with a strong national and international franchise expansion programme

Venture Photography is preparing to celebrate its 10th anniversary in March with an exclusive one-off event in a top London gallery - the Louise Blouin Foundation. "The gallery event is the first of its kind we've held and we are looking forward to welcoming our franchise owners and their studio teams in joining us to celebrate 10 years of Venture," says CEO Mark Wilson.

"We'll be formally exhibiting the strongest and most exciting work produced by our studios over the last 12 months and holding our annual awards at the gallery, celebrating photographic excellence across all the key areas of the business. It's the ideal setting to celebrate the quality, innovation and creativity which is demonstrated every day throughout our network of studios.

"We look forward to being joined by Venture's studio teams from across the network as well as representatives from the external organisations that we work with to officially mark the last decade and recognise all of the hard work that has gone into making the business the success it is today."

Revolutionising the portrait photography market with its groundbreaking new approach since its launch in 2000, Venture Photography currently operates 55 studios in the UK and a further seven studios in Dublin, Hong Kong and the USA. "Following more than 160 years of the same dull, tired and formal family portraiture, Venture took inspiration from the cutting-edge styles found in fashion and advertising photography, to develop our vision of how portrait photography should look," reveals Mark.

"We believe that portrait photography should be a fun and relaxed experience for customers, producing inspiring images designed to stand the test of time, complimented by modern, bespoke hand-made frames. We made high quality and stylish photography accessible to everyday people looking for a piece of personal art for their home. It's easy to take pictures of how people look, but it takes a completely different approach to produce powerful images that capture a family's personality and tell people's stories, which is what we do at Venture."

Venture Photography is beginning 2010 with the launch of its third studio in the USA, in New Jersey. The company, which is looking forward to another eventful year of growth, is undertaking a programme of further expansion in the south of England and abroad this year.

Lou Saydraouten, a previous UK Divisional Manager for Venture, has been relocated to Hong Kong this year to focus on further growth within Asia following the success of the brand's three corporately owned studios in Hong Kong. Lou will initially focus on the three Hong Kong studios but will then be seeking opportunities to expand the brand into other Asian markets including Singapore, Malaysia and China.

Mark Witter, Franchise Development Director at Venture Photography, is responsible for identifying new UK franchise owners in addition to securing further international expansion opportunities, particularly across the US and Asian markets. Mark aims to recruit a further seven UK-based franchise owners in 2010 to complete the company's estate at home while new opportunities are explored abroad.

He explains that the skills and attributes required to be a successful Venture Photography franchise owner often contradict initial expectations. This is reflected in the fact that around half of Venture Photography franchise owners are qualified photographers whereas the other half come from a variety of business backgrounds. Mark adds: "It often comes as a surprise to people enquiring about becoming a Venture franchise owner that they don't have to be a qualified photographer to do so.

"A passion for groundbreaking, creative and quality photography is essential but, first and foremost, we are looking for individuals who have the necessary drive, enthusiasm and business acumen to make their studio or studios a success."

Reported by Stuart Anderson