Government’s ‘Stay at home’ advice and freelance photography service

and from hard hat, steel toe boots and hi-vis jackets to masks, eye protection and gloves?

Today, 30th March 2020, is the best day so far in the mayhem of C19.  Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc has commissioned two photoshoots for this week.  For the past 2 weeks, our buoyant photography agency has seen widespread cancellations, all the way to July.  Our freelancers have been reporting that their diaries became empty, austere.

UNP Photo Agency Office

Working at UNP Photo Agency in March 2020, just before COVID 19 forced us to close the office doors. ©UNP 2020

The UK and the whole world are now on an emergency footing.  During these unprecedented times we would like to assure you, our customers and photographers, that UNP ‘remains open for business’.  We are determined to deliver for the clients we serve, for Amazon, Lloyds Banking Group, Aldi, Morrisons, BOC, NatWest, Parcelforce, Coop, Airbus, Ikea, Aston Martin, RBS, Rolls-Royce Holdings and for many more in the print, publishing and PR industry.

We remain open during coronavirus pandemic and we‘re working hard to ensure that the freelance photography service we provide, and all our services (office staff) and support (with library) are able to run as normal in these challenging times.

That’s why we want to assure you that we’ve built a robust frame to ensure that our services and support are able to run as normal as possible.  It is true we are no longer working from our lovely office, but thanks to the technology and state of the art equipment,  our staff are all connected from their homes and  are still available 24/7, 365, working even more united than before, as if ‘across the desk’.


UNP office in Leeds

Freelance photographers who work with UNP Ltd, (L to R) Mark Bickerdike and Victor De Jesus at UNP HQ in Leeds, England, UK, before Covid 19. ©Photo: UNP

We would also like to assure you that our number one priority is to make sure the safety of the photographers as well as subjects, who will be photographed, are not compromised.

Even though the situation across the world changes every minute and new developments reported are extremely fast, United National Photographer Ltd team are doing everything we can to act within government’s guidelines:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

Stay at home

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Do not meet others, even friends or family.

You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

As the photographers cannot work from home, and have to cover events during COVID 19 outbreak, I hate to phrase it like this, but we are very much ‘business as usual’.

Our photographers are used to having, wearing personal protective equipment, PPE.  This used to be hard hat, steel toe cap & midsole boots and hi-visibility clothing.  As we move on to new “territories” perhaps there should be a call for photographers who work on locations on freelance basis to protect themselves by using a personal protective equipment similar to what the front line personnel at the hospitals are using, appropriate masks, long-sleeved gowns, eye protection and gloves?

Please stay safe and healthy.

Hamlet Mejloumian


Photos show various NatWest branches

A board of photos taken for NatWest in various parts of UK. Photos: ©UNP

As a picture editor or Press Officer, you’re used to commissioning lots of photography. No doubt you have your go-to photographers for each type of project you’re working on, but what do you do when they’re not available? And what happens when you’re spinning lots of plates at once?

We think we have the answer: here are five signs you could benefit from using a photography agency.


1. You have multiple locations


Photos showing Aldi supermarket in various parts of UK. Photos: ©UNP

A board of photos taken for Aldi in various parts of UK. Photos: ©UNP

If you are a business or organisation with multiple locations or if your nationwide campaign requires multi-city photography this can create numerous logistical hurdles. You may want to commission some business headshots, get some photos of your new offices in multiple locations, or you have cheque presentations and ribbon cuttings across the country. It is important to get them done as quickly and efficiently as possible without it dragging on or causing issues.

Photos showing Co-op Food in various parts of UK. Photos: ©UNP

A board of photos taken for Co-op Food in various parts of UK. Photos: ©UNP

Finding a good quality local photographer for all your photoshoot locations in the first instance can be tricky. If they are any good, no doubt they will be busy so even getting hold of them can be hard. By using a photographic agency, all of the sourcing of freelance photographers, booking and coordination is dealt with by them. If anything goes wrong at any of your photoshoots, you have one point of contact (instead of several individual photographers).

photos taken for Parcelforce in various parts of UK.

A board of photos taken for Parcelforce in various parts of UK. Photos: ©UNP

2. You spend a lot of time getting quotes and comparing photography rates….


Morrisons Let's Grow campaign image

A board of photos taken for Morrisons Let’s Grow campaign in various parts of UK. Photos: ©UNP

Individual freelancers set their own fees (and so they should). But here’s where it gets tricky: some include the extras like travel, mileage, parking, congestion charges, expenses, and post production time, and others do not. If you commission a lot of photography comparing one service with another isn’t easy, and neither is keeping control over your project costs. At UNP we have a set fee structure which is an all-inclusive hourly rate. This means that the photography price you see is the price you pay so there are no nasty surprises or extra expenses further down the line.

Sainsbury's 'Manager campaign' in various parts of UK

A board of photos taken for Sainsbury’s ‘Manager campaign’ in various parts of UK. Photos: ©UNP


3. …Then you spend a lot of time repeating your photography brief to individual photographers


Tesco openings in various parts of UK

A board of photos for Tesco openings in various parts of UK. Photos: ©UNP

In any creative process, the brief is vital if your photographer has any chance of getting the end product right. This can be a painstaking process if you have to repeat yourself time and again across different communication platforms to different photography suppliers. By using a photo agency, you only have to do this once. All photo assignments with the photographers after that point is taken care of by the picture editors and photo coordinators. This leaves you to get on with your day job and stay focussed.


4. Getting a consistent look from one job to the next isn’t easy


ASDA's 'Managers campaign' in various parts of UK

A board of photos taken for ASDA’s ‘Managers campaign’ in various parts of UK. Photos: ©UNP

The look and feel of your photos (elements like the colour balance, brightness, contrast, levels, size)  is all part of your brand. It isn’t always possible to book the same photographer, so ensuring that the look and feel of the end product remains consistent isn’t easy. An experienced photography agency should be able to solve this problem for you. At UNP we make sure we get to know you and your brand, and take care of the editing ourselves, so that we only ever send you photos you can actually use.

McCarthy And Stone in various parts of UK

A board of photos taken for McCarthy And Stone in various parts of UK. Photos: ©UNP


5. You have a last minute requirement that needs fulfilling yesterday


We know that photography isn’t the first thing on everyone’s to do list. After an event has been organised, or a project has been finished it’s usually the last thing on people’s minds, and time is tight. Nobody wants to be held up moving into a new office, or launching a product because the photography is delayed! In these cases, you need a quick response, and a speedy turnaround that isn’t always possible when dealing with individual photographers. Any professional, well established agency will have people on the ground where you need them, they will already know their photographer’s availability, and be able to produce results when it counts.

A board of photos taken for Lindt openings in various parts of UK. Photos: ©UNP

If you have never considered using a photography agency before, but can relate to any of the signs above then why not send an email or give our team a call before your next project? We would be thrilled to work with you.