A FORMER Stroud News & Journal photographer is starting his own company to cover anything from village fetes to weddings throughout Gloucestershire.

Carl Hewlett, 29, is starting his new venture Stand Out Studio Ltd, with a base in Bond’s Mill Estate, Stonehouse.

He became a staff photographer for the SNJ in 2010 after completing a degree in the craft at University of Westminster in London.

After three years in Stroud he made the move to a photographic agency where he expanded his skills covering events, news stories and sporting fixtures on a national scale.

“When I started in the trade I think I was as nervous and apprehensive as some of the people I was meeting, going from studying at university to a 22/23-year-old trying to order people around and help them feel comfortable,” said Carl, who attended St Matthews Primary followed by Archway.

“I loved the work because every day was different to the next and I’m now confident that I can cover any event.

“During my career so far I’ve had the privilege of photographing everything from small village fêtes right up to celebrity interviews and royal engagements for the national press, not to mention four seasons of premiership rugby thrown in for good measure.

“With my career so far there have been plenty of are jobs where you are sat out in the rain on a Friday night and it’s tough, but it pays to put in the time.

“While I’ll still be out on the road taking pictures at events and businesses in the district, with a studio as my base I’ll be able to provide services such as product photography or family portraits that can only be created in the controlled environment of a professional photographic space.”

In an industry in which Carl, who moved to Stroud from Kent when he was three, says photographers are having to persuade people that a professional is worth the money, he is confident that there is still space in the market.

“If I had a pair of scissors, that doesn’t make me a hairdresser, but plenty of people have a half decent phone and can often get a good enough shot for what they need.

“However, there are plenty of purposes for which that won’t be high enough quality.

“Part of being a good photographer is about being a good director of people, that takes time to learn, making sure people are stood in the right places as well as sorting the lighting, and because most people don’t like their picture being taken you need to be able to help them feel comfortable from the offset.”

For more information visit www.standoutstudio.co.uk