One of the things we’re most pleased with when it comes to our new website is the quality of the photography.
From the steam-punk vibe of the montage of instruments from the Museum of the History of Science to the Martin Parr-esque row of red telephone boxes, we like to think that the images we’ve chosen are a bit like us: not quite what you’d expect from your average IT support company.
And the thing we think you’d expect least is that we didn’t buy or commission the images from a professional photographer – they all came from our very own in-house talent, IT Support Technician Kevin Sands.
Kevin studied photography between 1990 and 1996. Although he decided that he didn’t have the temperament to “sell himself” as a photographer, he did initially work in the business.
In that pre-digital age, his first jobs were in photographic laboratories, processing and printing pictures using the long established ‘wet’ processing techniques of film and chemistry. He observed how the industry changed almost overnight: “I was working for a fairly well-known photographic studio, but even then it felt as if we were always on the edge of going bust,” he said.
“As digital photography became more common, the studio didn’t need as many staff, or even as much space. They abandoned one building completely, and all its lab equipment was suddenly obsolete: they literally couldn’t give it away.”
Eventually, tired of working in a failing industry, but having picked up a lot of digital expertise along the way, Kevin changed career direction and joined First Line IT.
Funnily enough, though, it was that career change that reignited his interest in taking photographs. “Working in the business, sitting in front of a computer screen tidying up endless school groups, killed my wish to do something creative,” he said. “I had to stop working in photography to rediscover my passion for it.”
Pre-digital, photography was an expensive hobby. While photography students had unlimited use of laboratories while at college, anyone who wanted to continue taking photography seriously after graduating needed a serious amount of money to invest in equipment and profile-raising.
Now, as Kevin says, all you need is a camera and a Mac, and any number of photo-sharing apps. “Photography has gone right back to the days of the first box brownie, when it became accessible to everyone. I love it that I can take photographs, post them on Instagram and my website, and get instant feedback.”
And the benefits to First Line are obvious! Not only do we get distinctive imagery for our website, but members of the team all appear in the best possible light in their profile pictures – and they have an excellent source of art for their own homes.
You can see Kevin’s portfolio and buy prints from www.kevinsandsphotography.com.