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A portrait of a small business

Photography company snaps up Windows Vista and Office 2007

Bradley Photographic Designers are to the family photo what Savile Row is to the jacket and tie.

Cheryl and Andrew Bradley started the company three years ago to pursue their shared passion for photography. They offer a unique service to their clients; offering an initial consultation followed by a shoot at a location that is special to them.

Most people - when you point a camera at them – tend to look like Wallace and Gromit," says Andrew Bradley. To counter this, "what we do is spend time with our clients so we get a better photograph."

A picture is worth a thousand gigabytes

Quote�We want to be innovative. We want to do anything that will make us more efficient. Windows Vista and Microsoft Office help us do both�End Quote

Like most owner-managers of small businesses, the Bradleys work long hours and juggle different tasks. It is more than taking photos – there’s marketing, finance, IT and so on to manage. Therefore, they value anything that can save them time. More time means less stress and freedom to grow the business.

They use three desktops and a laptop. So far, so normal. From an IT perspective, what makes them different is the vast quantities of image data they store. They get through a terabyte a year. This is where Windows Vista really helps.

Improving your image

It streamlines the whole process of working with digital photographs prior to sending them to our professional lab. The photo import wizard is very important. It lets them tag and specify a location for their photographs, which makes them easier to find later.

The Windows Photo Gallery allows them to rate the photographs and even burn backups to DVD. Then they can browse the images (including RAW files) and zoom in on the thumbnails. Each step of the process historically required separate programs, so Windows Vista makes the process cheaper as well as more efficient.

Once the digital photographs are on the computer, Windows Vista makes it very easy to search for them using the names and the tags they gave when they were uploaded. Search helps in another way. It lets the Bradleys type in a customer’s name when they ring up and see all the photos, quotations and correspondence relating to that customer right away. "It helps develop the client relationship," says Andrew.

All this efficiency has a real payoff. The Bradleys reckon that the new features save them each about ten hours a week. It’s like getting a month’s extra holiday a year and has saved us hiring a part-time assistant. For Andrew, the switch to Windows Vista was a revelation. “I didn’t realise what I was missing."

What next?

Microsoft Office Word 2007 is now available. Check out its features here.

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