Fylde lensman puts a fresh focus on his career

Sam Wallis photography

Sam Wallis photography

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An amateur photographer has turned his passion for pictures into a business with a little help from Blackpool Council’s Get Started team.

Sam Wallis, 27, worked in retail for nearly 10 years, four as manager in a musical instrument store, and also as a cycle mechanic.

In his spare time he developed a love of photography.

But after being made redundant he decided to mix his managerial skills with his love of pictures, sport and the great outdoors and go it alone by setting up his own company.

He contacted Blackpool Council’s Get Started service – part of the Start Up Lancashire service supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

Thanks to help with one-to-one support, mentoring, courses and to secure a start-up loan, Sweet Jam Photography is now up and running.

The firm offers bespoke photography on everything from portraits to events and Sam plans to specialise in sports and action pictures having already secured a deal to provide photography at Blackpool Wakepark.

He’s even branching out into video with the option to add on HD footage.

He said: “It was while out documenting my own experiences I realised that I really enjoyed doing just that and the idea for Sweet Jam Photography was born.

“The seminars and one-to-one business mentoring helped boost my confidence and along with the funding, I’m now in a better position to make my business a success.”

Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for urban regeneration, said: “Photography is incredibly popular these days and it’s fantastic to see that people are tapping in to a thriving market and being able to carve out a career for themselves.

“The Get Started team is doing an excellent job in helping to create employment and opportunity in Blackpool and I would urge anyone interested in starting up a business to get in touch with them and make use of their expertise.”

Blackpool Council has helped more than 1,000 people start their own businesses over the last seven years through the Get Started scheme.