Case Study: Fearnley Photography

Ian Fearnley – Fearnley Photography

Ian Fearnley joined GotPhoto in spring 2017. The experienced photographer and owner of Fearnley Photography was frustrated with his outdated system and credits switching to GotPhoto’s as the reason he was able to turn his business around. We caught up with Ian to find out more…

Having been involved in the photography industry for more than 30 years, Ian was always looking for opportunities to develop his company. However, he was sceptical of moving his business online after a bad experience – one which led him to stop offering an online option for a year.

Impressed but sceptical of costs

But frustration with his ‘labour intensive’ methods led to discovering GotPhoto. However, despite being impressed with the online sales solution he was not immediately convinced to sign up.

“My initial thoughts were giving away 7% of the business would be tricky,” Ian said. “My past online experience had been too expensive and parents were too confused by it. I was very sceptical initially. It did look very different to what I used before. It was sleek, stylish and had lots of options.”

Together with the GotPhoto team, Ian was able to find an approach that worked. With a little bit of guidance and advice, he was ready to try it out on a proper test shoot

Key Results

Cut admin time by more than half

Revenue Increase – 10% – 20% per job

Acquired five or six larger schools due to saved admin time


“It was an immediate difference,” the Halifax photographer added. “The schools we rolled it out with immediately liked it, sales were up and parents liked it. We started with 20 schools and then rolled out fully with our 50 schools.”

Ian didn’t have to think for very long when asked what he attributed this newfound success to – GotPhoto’s built-in coupons, upselling options and automated marketing emails all served to push his sales significantly.

Another huge advantage he identified is how easy it is to offer parents the flexibility to create their own packs and mix and match images – this led to a sizeable increase in individual spends compared to his previous method.

“It was more than worth it. It certainly turned things around,” Ian added. “In one scenario there was a school that went from £4,500 up to £6,500 and that seemed to be a similar scenario with other high schools we did through GotPhoto.”

But the benefits did not stop there as Ian was able to finally free up more time after handing over the tedious admin work to GotPhoto.

“The GotPhoto platform was the first where I could look at it and see that I would be gaining more than I would be losing in the long run.”

Ian Fearnley

Reducing Labour Efforts

“My previous system was very labour intensive. The workflow included importing images into a database. This was old and clunky but it rendered out proof forms which then required about three other bits of software to get the images online,” Ian said.

“Orders had to be manually entered into the database and then had to be rendered out through the machine. Often things went wrong which meant a tedious checking and rechecking of orders. Also, payments had to be counted manually. This could take four hours for an average sized school. Payments then needed to be cross-checked with the orders entered into the database to check for abnormalities. Checklists were manually made so orders could then re-checked on completion.

“Thankfully, all of this disappeared with GotPhoto. I was set up using GotPhoto Easy Lab and this simply rendered the orders to the lab and did it well. The number of personal hours I was working was significantly reduced, so I could get more family time.”


After many years in the industry, Ian sold Fearnley Photography to a large conglomerate, so he could pursue other interests. However, he helped to photograph a few high schools for the company as recently as December 2018 and used GotPhoto to do so. These jobs produced higher sales results than other jobs – which were of comparable size – that the company photographed throughout the UK using their own method.

“In other words, a relatively smaller business was able to outperform one of the largest in the country using GotPhoto,” Ian added. “I think they were quite surprised by the results. It was quite an achievement.”

Why You Should Make The Switch

Reflecting on the reluctance of school photographers and companies to use all-in-one solutions and sell their photos online, Ian said: “Many photographers use very outdated systems that are very clunky because they are so reluctant to give away a percentage to anyone.

“But using GotPhoto and selling photos online streamlines everything. It does everything. It turns your business around. It certainly did for me. You give away a percentage but you are making more and it is less stress, so it makes sense. If I hadn’t sold the business, I would still be chugging away for a few more years with you. My business never worked as easy as it did with you.”

Ian is happy to be contacted for further information on his experience of using GotPhoto.

You can reach him  on his mobile: +447473157912 or email him: fearnleyphot@gmail.com


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