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The Story of a Story Teller

James Greenoff is a professional photographer based in Worcester with an extensive portfolio and a passion for telling stories. It could be the story of an event, your wedding day, or your new industrial process.

With years of experience under his belt and having photographed all sorts of things, James’ skills have taken him around the world in search of new stories.

His recent work with Worcester’s very own Ma Bakers feeds into his passion for exploring how everyday simplicities, such as bread, can quickly be perceived as precious goods, as James explains:

“I’m naturally curious, so I love the idea of going behind the scenes, on the hunt for that perfect moment. I love it when you can take something mundane and everyday, and make it special, visually striking and important.

“The cheapest things in life are often what we actually need, like bread for example. Everybody takes bread for granted, until there’s a pandemic and suddenly the supermarkets are empty.”

Since studying for his degree in Performance Writing, James has always been interested in storytelling, exploring how those stories can be told. Pausing projects during the pandemic allowed James to take a step back, to realign his work and focus on the creative and experimental aspects of photography that drew him to the industry 10 years ago.

“The pandemic has given me the opportunity to reengage with old cameras, old projects and old techniques.This year hasn’t been easy, but my overheads are low, and I’ve been able to focus on other things.”

As part of his business development, James recently took part in a WINN Launchpad during lockdown. Hosted by WINN (Worcestershire Innovation) on behalf of Worcestershire County Council, the WINN Launchpads offer virtual expert advice and support to local SMEs who want to take their business ideas to the next level.

“The WINN Launchpad was amazing because it helped me bring all my ideas together. Being self-employed and working on my own means I have to be good at every aspect of running a business.

“I’m not as good at being my own cheerleader as I should be, and the support I received at the WINN Launchpad has given me the confidence and guidance I need to work towards my goals. It’s important to know what success looks like to you and how to move towards it.

“The event itself was a really positive experience, and the subsequent training I’ve received has been really useful for understanding both my goals and my approach to them.

“I’ve always struggled to balance the way my website looks with how easy it is to use and having a second opinion has been really helpful. I’ve been able to get an outsider’s view of me, my brand and my site, and can start to ensure that my brand reflects who I am and what I want to achieve”

And when it comes to plans for the future, James is excited by pursuing the work that fulfils him.

“What I want to do now is push for the work I really love doing. Every now and then I look at where I am and realise how awesome it is, I want to do that more often.

“I want to produce images with meaning and think that if you look for fulfilling subjects you’re likely to produce work that you can be proud of.

“If someone had asked me 10 years ago where I would be now, I wouldn’t have believed them. Photography is an amazing adventure. I’m looking forward to the future.”

James’ blog continues on his site at jamesgreenoff.com, look out for Punk Bakers, a story about Ma Bakers in Worcester, which will be going live soon.

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WINN brings innovators together, acting as a catalyst to create connections and collaborations across the diverse business landscape of Worcestershire.

Our belief is that great things can happen when people get together.

WINN is a Worcestershire Innovation Programme formed by Worcestershire County Council and the Worcestershire LEP

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