After more than a decade of success at Connect Derby managed workspaces, commercial photography studio Cactus Images has expanded to new premises in the city.
The company was founded in 2008 by Angela Jenkins and Chris Howard, who met when they were studying for a degree in commercial photography at University of Derby. Cactus Images started life at the university’s Banks Mill creative studios, before joining Connect Derby’s Friar Gate Studios in 2010.
Since then, both Cactus Images and Connect Derby have gone from strength to strength. By 2016, Cactus Images had outgrown its studio space at Friar Gate Studios and expanded to the penthouse suite at the iconic Marble Hall, which is also part of the Connect Derby portfolio of managed workspaces.
Cactus Images work with a broad client base, including Fujifilm, World of Sweets, and Royal Crown Derby.
Following another sustained period of growth, Cactus has now outgrown any available space at the six Connect Derby managed workspaces and has relocated to a new 3,500 sq. ft studio on Gresham Road in Allenton, just minutes away from their previous premises.
Angela and Chris have also expanded their team. Charlie Valentine, also a University of Derby alumni with a first class honours degree in Commercial Photography, joins the studio after working as a fashion photographer since 2021. In her new role as studio co-ordinator and assistant, Charlie will help organise the studio, liaise with clients, and assist on photoshoots.
During their time at Connect Derby, Cactus Images established itself as one the region’s leading commercial photography and post-production studios, with a reputation for its ability to translate its clients’ ideas into dynamic images.
As the business has developed, Angela and Chris have expanded the range of services they offer to support and strengthen their photography projects and now provide creative planning, prop sourcing, styling and set builds.
Speaking of the move and the help and support the business has received from Ann Bhatti and her team over the past 12 plus years, Angela said:
“When we joined Connect Derby in 2010, we were new to business and were unsure of what would come next for us. Connect Derby provided us with a studio space that met all our needs, and most importantly created an environment for our business to grow and succeed.
“The help and support that the Connect Derby team, particularly Ann, have given us over the years has been invaluable and we will always be grateful. It is sad to leave, but this is an important step in Cactus Images’ development – and we will still pop in to Marble Hall for a cup of tea with the team!”
Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby, added:
“It is with a mixture of a heavy heart and immense pride that we have to say goodbye to Angela and Chris after a wonderful 12 years plus with Connect Derby.
"They’ve been fantastic tenants and are a great example of what a company can achieve with the right infrastructure and the range of business support and mentoring that is available through Connect Derby.
“I look forward to catching up with them soon in their new premises once they’re settled in.”
The multi-million Connect Derby project includes six managed workspaces and provides SMEs, micro businesses and entrepreneurs with the high specification working environment, IT infrastructure and business support they need to act as a catalyst for expansion and growth.
For further information about the Connect Derby portfolio of buildings, visit www.connectderby.co.uk.