Snapshot: The Duo Story


When my partner Nicky and I became parents to our children Max and Harrison, we started to ask this question. I started to look back at my own childhood, and realised how lacking my own photo album was. I did not have a photo of my father and me together. I also only had one formal photo of myself with my mother. None of the photographs I have of myself capture me with my childhood toys or playing with my siblings. All of my memories remain in my heart. I now have no photographs to show my sons what my life was like when I was a boy at their age.  


As Nicky and I shared our thoughts on this, we realized that although parents today have access to modern digital do- it-yourself cameras, most families still miss out enjoying these memories as images often stay on hard drives or memory cards that are either lost or corrupted later. Also, family photos often have one parent, "the photographer," missing. Photos taken tend to be either forced or overly posed. Nicky and I believed that we could help change that for today’s families.

It inspired us to shoot with fun and relevance, and to capture real moments for parents to remember and for their future generations. We wanted to encourage parents to have images of their loved ones displayed on the wall, mantel piece or even in a modern coffee table book to enjoy.   


This need led to the birth of Duo Photography in 2004.  


Since then, the business has evolved and grown into a successful and well-known Wellington success story. We have five full-time Mobile Studio photographers, and a head office team of four to support them. You can click here to meet our support team. 


Apart from our wonderful team, and being able to bring joy to so many families while doing something we love, the highlight of The Duo Story for Nicky and me was making the finals in three categories in the 2014 Hutt Valley Business Awards. It was further confirmation to us that, yes, we must be doing it right.  


It also made us think long and hard about expanding the business outside the Wellington region.     

"Over the years, I have been approached a number of times by people wanting to set up a Duo Photography business in their own region. Our Business Awards success made us realise that we had everything they would need to be successful in this – the business model, brand, systems and people"

When we thought about the best way to expand, one method really appealed to us – licensing. Under the licensing model, the right people have the opportunity to set up their own business using a common business model, brand and systems, and supported by people experienced in the business. Licensing seemed the ideal way to help people achieve their dreams in the same way Nicky and I have achieved our dreams – but without having to learn any hard lessons along the way as we did.  


We invite you to share our dream and get in touch to request the Duo Photography Franchise Information Kit here.      



Our Team is here to support your Duo Photography Business and provide all the help you will need! Technical Photography Training, Customer Service, Distribution, Marketing is all covered.


How Many Professional Photographers are there in New Zealand?

Go on, take a guess.  


According to Careers New Zealand, there were 1,679 people who called themselves photographers in 2012.  


That may sound a lot, but when you consider there are 4.5 million people in New Zealand, 2.3 million of them in the work force, it turns out that just 0.07% of working New Zealanders are working as professional photographers. And that’s not a lot.  


Some of these photographers are medical photographers or take aerial property photographs.  


“Most photographers are self-employed,” says Careers New Zealand on its website. “Many photographers need to work in more than one area to make a living.” In other words, they can’t make enough out of photography to support themselves.  

“One of the reasons we set up the Duo Photography Franchise is to change all that. We wanted to give people the opportunity to learn how not only to be a photographer, but to be a professional photographer. And that means so much more than being able to use a camera. The thing that most people don’t realise is that the actual photography is only a part of it. Much more importantly, you must learn how to get clients, how to work with those clients, and how to run a business.”  

"Opportunities to break into the professional photography profession really are as rare as hen's teeth. So much so that many people with flair get completely put off or never consider photography as a career or business opportunity".


- Adrian de la Fuente, founder


10 Reasons to Invest in a Duo Franchise

Why would anyone in their right mind buy into a Duo Photography Licensed Business rather than go it alone?

We think there are some pretty compelling reasons. Here are some of them:


1. You don’t have to be up to professional standard right now


We know from experience that people skills and the other abilities and attributes listed here are more important than technical photography ability. Technical ability can be taught – and we have developed some very effective training systems to teach it. Don’t have masses of experience in business, marketing and sales? Again, we’ll teach you the simple yet successful systems that work for us. Just bring a positive attitude and willingness to learn – and we’ll do the rest.

2. Leave your 9-5 job and change your lifestyle


At Duo Photography we value family, fun and flexibility. With a Duo Photography Franchise you will be your own boss. The hardest work is done for you. We book all your clients for you and It is up to you how many photoshoots you would like to do and when you would like us schedule them. All you have to do is show up! Set up your lifestyle the way you want it. 

3. It’s a first in the industry


People in business know that being first in the industry gives a business clear advantages over its competitors. In Duo Photography’s case, we’ve scored a number of firsts. We’re the first family photography group in New Zealand to provide a Mobile Studio service to our clients. We’re the first to offer licences to independent business owners. As a result, we’ll be first to achieve nationwide brand recognition – the first name New Zealanders think of when they think of family photography.


4. It’s a proven business concept


Duo Photography is a success story with a track record going back Fifteen years. Over that time, we’ve made our share of mistakes. We’ve learned the hard way about what works and what doesn’t in the photography business. We’ve spent loads of money on developing systems that work predictably and profitably every time. We’ve developed a good name and a strong brand. We’ve built a great support team.  

And now – finally – we’re ready to share all this with like-minded people who are looking for a golden opportunity to get into professional photography but don’t want to learn the hard way and see the value of a brand, systems, training and support.

5. It’s a low-cost way to build a business


When we add up everything we’ve spent on developing everything we’ve needed to make Duo Photography everything it is today – well, we go quite weak at the knees. The good news is that you won’t have to spend anywhere near that much to get the whole Duo Photography package. In fact, because you’ll be part of the Duo Photography family, the costs will be spread across all the family members. And the package will include everything you need – branding, marketing materials, business systems, full training, leads, you name it – to jump start your business straight away and build a valuable asset for your future. More on this in a minute.


6. It’s about being in business for yourself, but not by yourself


Most of those who start their own business do so because they no longer want to work for a boss – they want to control their own destiny. That’s admirable, but it can also be scary and lonely. The advantage of a Duo Photography business is that you have the independence of owning your own business together with the benefits of being part of a larger group. Those benefits include expert advice, training and support and group buying power. We’re with you every step of the way.


7. It’s a real business, not just a job


So many so-called businesses aren’t really businesses at all, they’re jobs for the owners. Many people go into business expecting to find more freedom, but instead find the opposite – they are the ones doing all the work. What you have to realise, says Michael Gerber in his book The E-Myth, is that to be truly successful in business, you must create a business which works independently, without you. For that you must have a system which will allow your people to consistently produce predictable results. Duo Photography’s complete business system has been designed not only to help you generate an income, but to build a team who can create profits for you, even when you decide to go on holiday or decide to take a break from the business.


8. We’ll help you over the biggest hurdle – obtaining your clients and booking your shoots.


Established professional photographers, if they’re any good, get most of their business through word of mouth – their clients show their fabulous new photos to their friends and families and, hey presto, those friends and families want some too! That’s why the biggest hurdle for starting-up photographers is obtaining your first clients. We’ve come up with some pretty effective ways of overcoming these hurdles and jump-starting your Duo Photography business. Going forward, our marketing systems take most of the headache out of generating those precious leads enabling our photographers to focus more of their time on taking stunning pictures! Our head office books all your photoshoots for you each week so all you need to do is turn up!

9. We guarantee your success!


Duo Photographers are so much more successful than the “average” because we teach them how to use our tried and tested business model. First we teach them how to be brilliant photographers. (That’s right, you don’t even have to be a photographer at the moment). Then we teach them how to be brilliant business people by following our model and systems which aren’t difficult to use, but have been proven to work brilliantly – every time.  (So you don’t have to know anything about business at the moment).  


In fact, we are so confident in our model that we will put our money where our mouth is and guarantee it!  We promise that you will make sales of a minimum of $1200 per week for the first three months after training.*

*Terms and conditions apply and are available on request.

10. It’s a profitable business


As we’ve previously explained, professional photographers tend to get into the business for love rather than money. Duo Photographers get into the business for both reasons. And once they’re in, we can show them how to have more fun and make more money by using our proven systems to simplify and streamline their businesses. Not only is this a fun way of life, it’s a profitable one too!

11. It’s a business you can grow or sell when you want to


Many people go into business expecting to find more freedom, but instead find the opposite – they are the ones doing all the work. They are the business! And that means that when they come to sell the business, there’s nothing to sell. Your Duo Photography business will be different. As we said above, we’ll show you how to grow it and set it up so it can potentially operate without you. You can operate multiple studios in your territory and you can purcahse multiple territories. That way it will become a real business – an asset, not a job. You can’t sell a job, but you can sell an asset. And licensed businesses with known brands, proven systems and solid client bases have been shown to sell for more than independent businesses.


Compelling enough for you? With all of these reasons to get into a Duo Photography business, what have you got to lose?