Kimberley couple toast success after 40 years in photography business

A Kimberley couple are celebrating 40 years of running their well-loved photography business in the town.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 1:00 pm
Elaine and Kevin Tanner celebrate outside Gallery 86 in Eastwood Road, Kimberley.

Kevin and Elaine Tanner are toasting their milestone success this month after launching the company, Kevin Tanner Photography, back in 1981.

With Kevin behind the camera and Elaine behind the scenes, the married couple have worked on hundreds of projects together over the years from their base on Eastwood Road.

Kevin said: “Believe it or not, we officially opened at a street party for the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana.

“We started out photographing galas, weddings and events locally.

"We must know all of the vicars in and around Kimberley from all the weddings we’ve been to over the years.”

Kevin recalls how one of his very first wedding jobs came about entirely by accident in the 1970s.

He remembered: “I was walking through Wollaton village one afternoon, just experimenting with black and white film. And while I was walking near to St Leonard’s Church, I heard someone shout “excuse me, can you help us?” and I went over.

“There was a lovely wedding going on with about four or five bridesmaids. They told me the photographer hadn’t turned up and asked if I would take some photos instead.

"Although I could only do my best with the black and white film I’d got, of course I covered it. It’s lucky I was walking by.

"Then word got around and it just snowballed.”

Ever since, business has boomed and the photographer has been all over the country snapping everything from department stores and ferries, to stadiums, nightclubs and Westminster Abbey.

“We’ve been all over the place – people don’t even realise. We even photographed the Channel Tunnel when it first opened."

The couple reflected on how their Eastwood Road-based shop, now Gallery 86, was ‘derelict’ when they first bought it.

Kevin recalled: “You couldn’t even open the windows without fear of them dropping on somebody’s head out front.

"But all of our perseverance paid off in the end.”

The studio is now also a pop-up gallery, showcasing local artwork and photographs.

Elaine is also a keen artist and the couple are looking forward to getting fully back to work this month as restrictions ease.