New Season, New Name
Seasons mark a period of transition in our world. They are an end to what has been and the start of something new. All of life happens in seasons and it teaches us that everything is beautiful in it’s time.
6 months ago I started a new season as I entered self-employment, full time. I gave myself 3 months to create and announce a refresh, rebrand, and relaunch of my business. Those 3 months turned into 4, then 5. Now, 6 months later, it’s time to share what this new season looks like.
THE LAST SEASON
A few years ago now, in 2016, I launched the morethanjust.photos website and online store. The idea came after I uploaded a photo to the site Unsplash, which went on to reach millions. I uploaded many more photos, which now appear all over the internet. The numbers are pretty insane…
I wrote more about my Unsplash story over on Medium, which you can check out here.
When the photos took off, a stream of people got in touch to ask for more or higher resolution images. After a number of sales over email, with the photo on a dropbox link, I knew I needed to build something to improve the experience for both parties.
Unsplash showed me just how far a single photo could reach, but also the impact that it can have on those that come into contact with it. The stories I’d heard from around the world of how my photos had spoken to people, or greatly helped them in their work, was truly inspiring. It drove me to pursue something more meaningful with what I chose to create.
I wanted to build something that could make a difference beyond the platform itself. I wanted my work to be about more than just photos! So, in the end, that’s just what I called it! morethanjust.photos was born.
The idea was to license my photography (digitally and via prints), which I knew people had a desire for, and give 10% of every sale to charity. It also became a home for the stories and adventures behind the photos, where I shared the meaning within every image. Every photo had a story and every sale made a difference.
The idea worked. I licensed photos, sold prints and shared many stories from my adventures. It’s been really encouraging to have the support of so many and see this dream become a reality. Together, we’ve given generously to charity and I continue to learn the far reaching impact that a photo can have. Thank you.
During this season I also got engaged and married, continued a nearly full-time second job, and in general pursued the best in every area.
So, what changed?
The change began at the end of 2018 when I found out I’d no longer be split between two jobs. Simply, come January 2019, I’d have a quite a bit more time on my hands!
Change is always hard, but it was clearly time to have a new focus and invest my energy into one area. It was daunting but incredibly exciting. I had ideas and dreams that had been curbed for some time, that I’d now have the space to work on. This season had been the best of my life so far, but I know the best is yet to come.
So, just as it was the close of one season, it was the beginning of a new one.
THE NEW SEASON
I sat down with cinematic music playing in the background (probably Tony Anderson) picked up a handful of empty notebooks, and started scribbling. If I was going to invest all of my time in my business, I needed to know what comes next.
I came to realise that photography wasn’t my only focus. Whatever I worked on, I wanted to make it meaningful. Photography has been the foundation of my work since leaving school, but it isn’t the only thing I’m passionate about. I’ve worked extensively in branding, design, videography, directing and marketing over the years and it’s the fulness of my experiences that make my work what it is.
Above all, I’m passionate about making a difference. So, the first thing I wanted to change was the name. Photography would remain a key expression of the brand and business, but there would be much more to the products and services available.
I began building on the old ideas and set out to create something brand new with my wife. Together, we wanted to build something special. We finished the year with new direction and a hunger to get started.
When More Than Just Photos isn’t enough.
More Than Just Photos had originally been the caption for the name that I never came up with! I couldn’t figure a one word title, so I went with 4! But to frame this new season, we needed a name to connect each of our passions into a cohesive brand, and help make sense of our new products and services.
I discovered the word as I read a passage in the Bible, Romans 8:37. It says, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." It's a very famous verse and one I knew from memory. But on this occasion I was reading from the Spirit Filled Bible, which adds small references to explain the original meaning of the words. This is where I first saw the greek lexicon for the statement more than a conqueror, which is Hupernikao. It jumped off the page at me. It’s a strange looking word but with a very profound meaning.
I spent some time researching it's different uses and how huper is the translation of 'more than...'. It declares that we are more than we think we are, more than what we have (or haven’t) accomplished. It's a mindset that reflects living a life despite our circumstances rather than due to our circumstances. A life where we are destined to be and do more. It resonated with my spirit. I knew straight away that I'd found the one word that encapsulated my dream for the business.
More Than; Huper. More Than Just Photos; Huper Photos. The word kept the original context of the ‘more than...' dream but allowed the business to become relevant across new categories and products.
I shared the meaning with my wife and we knew it was the future. We spent countless hours working on ideas and developing the vision & values for the business that we’d now be working on together.
So my wife and I registered our new company; Huper LTD. We’re now co-directors of our first registered company and look forward to working together to build this dream.
What is Huper?
Huper is a new platform for products and services that are inspired by adventure and fuelled by photography & design.
Huper will service like-minded individuals, independent creatives, and businesses.
Huper will allow other adventurers to explore with us, discover new things, and plan their own trips with our adventures stories, travel guides, essentials and more.
Huper will allow creatives (by profession or passion!) to grow and develop their skills, connect with purpose-driven collaborators, and be part of something more than an industry cliché.
Huper will allow businesses to get the best travel and adventure photography with purpose and be buying into products more than traditional stock photography.
It’s an understatement to say we’re relieved to finally get the name and update out into the real world. It took a little longer than expected but we trust the timing is perfect and look forward to pressing on with everything we have planned.
Season 1 | Volume 1
The overall launch will be split into sections, which we’re calling Seasons. Each Season will be made up of a number of Volumes. These Volumes will include the launch of new products, general updates, and additions to the business.
A new Season will mark the end and beginning of some longer term projects as we continue to grow and develop our offering within the Huper brand.
Spreading things out in this way will help us focus on what’s important in the moment. It also keeps things fresh, as we’ll be adding new and exciting content regularly through each Volume.
The first Volume of Season 1 is already here!
Click here to find out all about Season 1 | Volume 1.