While driving to work through Nottingham, newbie card publisher and wildlife photographer Mark Blake, founder of Wild in Print heard a story on the radio that was right up his street. The story was about a Muscovy duck that had set up residence at a bus stop in Daybrook, Nottingham, which the locals had befriended and were feeding. This had attracted lots of media attention with BBC Look East, Midlands Today, Nottingham Evening Post all having dedicated airtime and column inches to the quackers story.
Revealing how this resulted in a greeting card, Mark told PGBuzz: “As I carry my camera with me, I shot over and got some great images of the duck the locals had named Arnold. He’s actually a she, but the name has stuck and Arnold even has her own Facebook page!”
Mark decided to create a greeting card featuring Arnold’s image and contacted the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to see if they’d like to be part of the project. The Trust was over the moon for the charity’s name to be used on the cards, and that it would receive a donation for each card sold.
“Seven retailers in the vicinity of Daybrook immediately agreed to stock the greeting card and took photos of them holding the card outside their shop to put on Facebook,” explains Mark.
The Arnold cards have been selling well and Mark has high hopes for his other wildlife cards.
“Wildlife photography used to be a hobby to me, then it became an obsession and now it’s turned into a business,” says Mark, whose took the bold decision to change his career from the senior sales and marketing roles he has held to pursue his wildlife photography talent. “I concentrate on British wildlife and have amassed an extensive range of images,” reveals Mark, who is well respected in his field, as testified by an involvement with the judging of the BBC Countryfile calendar.
“Wild in Print means I can combine my sales and wholesale background with my photographic skills, and sell greeting cards, mounted and framed prints, also gifts and fancy goods.”