The Arches Participate Team is always out and about in Worcester meeting with people who are successfully developing their creative practice in Worcester.
Our Managing Director, John Holmes, recently met up with Josh Foster.
Josh Foster graduated from BCU with a BA in Photography in 2018. Like many graduates, he started to build his creative practice as a freelance photographer gradually over time alongside steady work managing a bar. For Josh, The first Covid lockdown in March 2020 provided him with both a challenge and an opportunity to re-invent his creative practice to explore new ways of providing new services for customers:
“I started by offering a film processing service to friends and family to test the market. It soon started to look very likely that this could be my way of building my own photography business.”
Josh built his new practice alongside other work which, over time, became more closely aligned with his creative practice: during this time he moved on from managing a bar to working photography startup pixl-latr founded by Hamish Gill (also co-founder at F8 Media and The Kiln).
He now offers a wet film processing service for keen photographers, providing them with negatives and digital images from 35mm and other film formats from his processing studio or by post.
Josh built his practice step by step: testing the market with friends and family; establishing he had a new service that people valued and were willing to pay for; fine-tuning and improving his service responding to feedback; building his customer base through networking, social media, and word of mouth marketing.
“It is quite a balancing act in the beginning, managing work and family commitments and finding time on top of this to build the business.”
Why Worcester ?
Throughout his time at University, Josh felt a lot of emphasis was placed on the idea that graduates would have to move to London to find opportunities to work in their creative practice. However, Josh was keen to stay in Worcester and develop his practice there, and has found the city offers him lots of opportunity to build a local customer base, and provide online and postal services to customers anywhere in the work working from somewhere he loves.
“Working in Worcester based at The Kiln has been fantastic. I’ve gained a lot of customers through the member board and chatting with people – there is a real willingness from everyone here to communicate and be supportive.”
Josh currently works out of The Kiln co-working space in Worcester, and is presently (March 2022) at the stage of finding his own premises and devoting 100% of his time to his new business. He has found the sense of community you get from a co-working space to be invaluable in helping him through the early stages of building his practice:
“There is definitely a sense of community at The Kiln, people are always willing to refer you on to someone who can help, and that builds trust. Over time, these working relationships build up into really strong friendships.”
Be Kind to Yourself
Reflecting on any advice he would give to people graduating presently and thinking about developing their own creative practice, Josh says:
“People who are passionate about building their own practice realise they have to put in the toil to make it a success. Be kind to yourself – give yourself time to recharge.”
You can find Josh on Instagram at: