The Paul Roper Interview

Ever since he was a boy growing up in Derbyshire, Paul Roper has been drawn to photography and the great outdoors. In the late 1980s, when Paul was in his teens, the photo retail industry was in great shape and buzzing with independent stores across the country. Paul seized the opportunity to work in the brand new Jessops store in his home town of Derby – and he loved it. He worked his way up to management before moving on to new challenges.

After a spell with a video editing company, Paul was drawn back to still photography and went to work for Johnsons Photopia, exclusive distributors in the UK for such brands as Mamiya, Sekonic and Ricoh. Paul thrived in this progressive environment, contributing to the business over a successful career of twenty years. During this time, he became Sales and Marketing Director and witnessed massive changes within the company and in the industry as a whole, not least the explosion in digital photography and the move towards online retail.

Paul came to a crossroads in 2018 and, after much deliberation, he and his wife Nicola made a big decision. Paul was drawn to a location which offered outdoor freedom and spectacular photographic opportunities, in addition to a new business challenge. These factors influenced the couple’s decision to totally change direction and buy a property in The Lake District: Sunnyside Guest House in Keswick. For almost two years, they have been cultivating a solid business which answers perfectly the needs of walkers – and photographers! Covid-19 has unavoidably paused this brilliant venture but Paul is looking forward to being able to welcome guests again soon. Meanwhile, he has the best back garden in the world for exercising with his spaniel, Lillie!

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