Catching up with Rachel of Pembrokeshire Moments
Rachel is a Pembrokeshire photographer. Her breathtaking pictures of local wildlife and landscapes are printed onto all sorts of items sourced in Wales, from tea towels to key racks. She's also produced a 2019 Calendar this year, which is now available on STDAVIDS.WALES! We caught up with Rachel this week to learn a bit more about how she began her interest in photographer, and where she wants to go from here!
How did you get into photography?
I first started taking an interest in photography when my husband bought himself a good camera (A Canon 6D). John quickly found that he wasn’t very interested in taking the camera off automatic mode. I, however, to my surprise loved experimenting and was ‘hooked’ on photography within a very short space of time. I’m very lucky that John has supported me in my business wholeheartedly and I quickly traded in his camera for a 7D MK II and now have managed to get myself a 5D Mk III. The 1DX appeals to me as it’s focussing quality is second to none but at over £5K it’s still on my wish list! Over the years I’ve invested in continuous training and workshops and added to my collection of lenses and filters so that I can get the shots that I want of Pembrokeshire. I’m still learning (as I think every photographer is) and will be going to Skomer Island in May with some world-class photographers which will stretch my imagination and skills again.
How has your business progressed so far?
I’m delighted with the support of so many local gift shops who have chosen to buy my locally made souvenirs of Pembrokeshire – I currently stock 40 outlets in Pembrokeshire with items from my range. I try and offer a personalised, bespoke service so that my lovely customers get the images they want on whatever products that appeal to them. My work consists of taking images of the beautiful views and wildlife Pembrokeshire has to offer and then putting them on to products that visitors can take home.
Why is it important to you to source your products locally?
Having grown up on a farm between Marloes and Dale I understand the importance of supporting local so it’s paramount to me to try and source supplies as close to home as possible. My cards are printed in Goodwick, my magnets are made in mid Wales and most of the products I print on are sourced from a company in North Wales. My textiles (tea towels and cushions) are printed in the UK which unfortunately make them more expensive than cheaper imports but I believe that small steps can help regenerate the UK economy. I am a board member of Pembrokeshire Tourism and enjoy being able to promote Pembrokeshire whenever possible ; with so much stunning coastline and a diverse range of tourist attractions there really is something for everyone in our county.
Do you have a favourite 'go to' spot?
My favourite place to be is Skomer Island when the puffins return to breed. I also love being out on the water dolphin and porpoise watching but unfortunately these trips are few and far between for me now. On land I guess my favourite beach is Marloes as I spent so much time there as a child and it’s vastness makes any problems seem very insignificant so it’s a good place to go to take the stresses of the world away!
Where do you see yourself and the business in 5 years?
I’m constantly trying to add different new items to my range so I hope in future to be able to expand outside of Pembrokeshire with some of my gift ideas. I’ve been working with a graphic designer at Swansea University and he has produced some lovely designs from several of my photographs, e.g. Skomer Island puffin and St Davids Cathedral. I have produced a 2019 calendar this year incorporating all my favourite spots in the north of the county.
What appeals to you about selling through STDAVIDS.WALES?
I’m very excited to be selling through STDAVIDS.WALES. This company shares the same values I feel very strongly about, i.e. supporting welsh businesses and offering quality, handmade unique gifts.