Business owner looking forward to reopening studios after 'tough year'

Matthew Goddard, managing director of Picture Studios, prepares for reopening.

Matthew Goddard, managing director of Picture Studios, prepares for reopening of the studios based on London Road North, Lowestoft, and Ber Street, Norwich. Picture: Picture Studios - Credit: Picture Studios

Staff at a popular photography studio, with bases in Suffolk and Norfolk, are working through "hundreds of appointments" as they prepare to open once more.

Having been a constant in Lowestoft town centre for more than 15 years, Picture Studios expanded to open a Norwich studio in 2019.

Both studios temporarily closed amid the continuing coronavirus crisis on March 23 last year, before re-opening in June and then having to close again during the November lockdown.

Reflecting on the third lockdown, and "looking forward" to reopening on Monday, April 12, Matthew Goddard, managing director of Picture Studios on London Road North in Lowestoft and Ber Street in Norwich, said: "During the third lockdown eight of our staff between the two studios have been furloughed with just myself working full time covering the phones and online enquiries.

Louise, studio manager, prepares for the reopening of Picture Studios in Lowestoft.

Louise, studio manager, prepares for the reopening of Picture Studios in Lowestoft. Picture: Picture Studios - Credit: Picture Studios 

"With some orders still coming in during lockdown we did have our studio managers return for a few days in March to fulfil these and make them available on two click and collect days we made available.

Studio manager Aaron prepares for the reopening of Picture Studios in Norwich.

Studio manager Aaron prepares for the reopening of Picture Studios in Norwich. Picture: Picture Studios - Credit: Picture Studios

"We have taken half our staff off furlough, allowing us to clean and prepare our studio buildings so we continue to stay as Covid secure as possible.

Staff member Louise making a booking ahead of the reopening of Picture Studios in Lowestoft.

Staff member Louise making a booking ahead of the reopening of Picture Studios in Lowestoft. Picture: Picture Studios - Credit: Picture Studios

"We are also working our way through the hundreds of appointments that we had pre booked in over the lockdown period to ensure no one misses out."

Most Read

The team has embraced all of the safety measures installed at the studios to protect themselves and customers.

Staff members Chloe, left, and Grace, right, prepare for the reopening of Picture Studios in Norwich.

Staff members Chloe, left, and Grace, right, prepare for the reopening of Picture Studios in Norwich. Picture: Picture Studios - Credit: Picture Studios

Mr Goddard said: "As much as we are very happy to be reopening and keen to rebook our customers in, we want to ensure safety is our first priority.

"It has been a tough year, we have had many challenges but nothing that will keep us down.

Staff members Regan and Louise prepare for the reopening of Pictures Studios in Lowestoft.

Staff members Regan and Louise prepare for the reopening of Pictures Studios in Lowestoft. Picture: Picture Studios - Credit: Picture Studios

"We are feeling fresh and ready to face this new year ahead.

Staff members Louise, left, and Regan, right, prepare for the reopening of Picture Studios in Lowestoft.

Staff members Louise, left, and Regan, right, prepare for the reopening of Picture Studios in Lowestoft. Picture: Picture Studios - Credit: Picture Studios


"Both our studios will be opening next Monday again with all our staff off furlough.

Staff members Grace, left, and Aaron, right, prepare for the reopening of Picture Studios in Norwich.

Staff members Grace, left, and Aaron, right, prepare for the reopening of Picture Studios in Norwich. Picture: Picture Studios - Credit: Picture Studios

"On top of this we also have a new member of the team starting at our Norwich studio.

Staff member Grace prepares for the reopening of Picture Studios in Norwich

Staff member Grace prepares for the reopening of Picture Studios in Norwich. Picture: Picture Studios - Credit: Picture Studios

"We are confident the future looks bright for us and we still have plans for expansion."

Staff member Regan prepares for the reopening of Picture Studios in Lowestoft.

Staff member Regan prepares for the reopening of Picture Studios in Lowestoft. Picture: Picture Studios - Credit: Picture Studios

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus