With an impressive track record in photo journalism, international work and London agency work Tekla Szocs only decided to start up her photography business, Bear and Pine, in January this year, after moving to London from Hungary six years ago. She says “I had always been drawn to London for its creativity and I knew if I wanted to develop my abilities London is where I had to be”.

Like many start-ups, Tekla is an expert in her field but had never run her own business before. A simple Google search for business advice in Wimbledon led her to Merton Chamber’s door and a subsequent business review with Kevan Dunne put her on the right track. Following Kevan’s review, he introduced Tekla to one of our Merton Chamber Business Service Sales and Marketing Service Provider’s, 360 Ripple. With some creative thinking and marketing advice, 360 Ripple have been helping Tekla grow Bear and Pine’s brand and business.

Although specialising in child and family photography Tekla has also taken portraits of many well-known figures including Prince Andrew, Prince Philip, Fern Cotton and Channing Tatum. Tekla has had work printed internationally in ‘National Geographic’ and has won photography competitions run by the ‘National Portrait Gallery’, the ‘Barbican Centre’ and the ‘Sony World Photography Awards’. All her work has helped her to “develop my approach into the area I enjoy the most, working with families and children. Once you spend time with a family they relax and start to have fun together, I capture those moments. I want to create elegant images that will stay the course of time. ‘Bear and Pine’ aim to capture the art of play and those special times of the family together, that last for generations to come”.

Even with competition and award wins under her belt, when discussing the future, Tekla admits she “has a lot to learn about running a business”, which is why the “continued support of Merton Chamber and their suppliers is so important”.

Earlier in June of this year Bear and Pine ran a campaign for Fathers’ Day, with both a photography competition run on social media as well as a voucher treasure hunt in Wimbledon. The final winner of the free portrait prize, Mrs K. Olbison, said “The photos were outstanding and the best professional photos we have ever had taken. Tekla captured every member of the family perfectly”.

Tekla has also continued to offer her services to Merton Chamber, taking staff portraits as well as capturing our events including our AGM and recent 25th birthday party, as well as taking photographs of the Summer pop-up, ‘Nosh @ The Place’ for Love Wimbledon.

Bear and Pine still has a busy year ahead. Already commissioned for catalogue and promotion shots for a children’s fashion range, portrait shoots booked for several Merton Family’s and an event to document for Wimbledon based ‘Ski Club of Great Britain’.

This September Bear and Pine will be attending the Merton Business Awards as a finalist in the ‘Best New Business’ category, something Tekla is very excited about. “To be honest I didn’t expect Bear and Pine to be considered, it is such early days for my business, but when the letter arrived to say I had reached the finals I called just about everyone I knew! Using the ‘finalists’ logo has already raised Bear and Pine’s profile in the local area”.

To mark the successful launch of Bear and Pine, Tekla is running the following offer until the end of the year for Merton Chamber members – If you work for any Member of the Merton Chamber of Commerce and would like a child or family portrait ‘Bear and Pine’ are offering a 25% discount on all photographic services until 31 December 2017.

Contact: tekla@bearandpine.com

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