Jenny Bigrave celebrates 20 years of working for the Shooting Partners Group this month.  We caught up with the group’s “oldest” employee to find out how things have changed in two decades.


How did you end up working for the Shooting Partners Group?

I was 22 years old when I started working at Shooting Partners – it was my first job out of college!  After completing my media technology studies, I did an internship at IBC and then my neighbour (who was a lighting technician and good friends with one of the company directors) mentioned that a job had come up at Shooting Partners.


Tell us a bit about Shooting Partners twenty years ago.

When I started there were three directors and two camera assistants.  The company focus at the time was cameras – the Anna Valley side of business didn’t exist yet – and the primary clients were “Wish You Were Here” and the IBC.  We mainly did PSC shoots and one of the directors was a cameraman and another was a sound engineer.


Tell us about the roles you’ve had at SPG over the years.

I originally wanted to be an editor, but I joined Shooting Partners as an admin assistant, so I was mainly typing up letters, filing and answering the phone.  I wanted to do something more technical but then I started working on productions and organising logistics, which I really enjoyed.  I took on a role as a production co-ordinator helping to arrange a project we were working on for the National Lottery, shooting all over the country, and then became the production manager for IBC TV News shortly afterwards.  When the company was smaller I was the operations manager and, when Anna Valley came on board, we built a full operations team to look after crewing and logistics across the group.

About three years ago, while I was on maternity leave, there was a management buyout and the company structure changed – we went from 30 to about 70 people in the space of one year and the operations manager position was split departmentally.  I took on a new role as facilities and compliance manager as this gave me the opportunity to spend less hours in the office and work more flexibly around my new family.  I’m also part of the HR team and have helped develop processes around onboarding and new staff inductions – I’ve always had more than one role!


What made you abandon your dream of becoming an editor and choose to stay at SPG instead?

I’ve been really lucky because at every stage where I might have left to go to a bigger company, the company has grown, so there have always been new opportunities available within the group.  One of the other things is the people. We’ve always had really good people at Shooting Partners and we’ve always got on as a whole.


What are some of the biggest changes that you’ve witnessed in your time at the company?

My first big change was when Chris Dingley, one of the three original directors, retired. He taught me everything I knew and was one of the best people I could ever work for, so that had a big personal impact.  The management buyout was another big change – we became a different company, for the better, but everything I knew changed while I was away on maternity leave.

On a personal note, my partner and father of my child is someone I met and worked with ten years ago at Anna Valley!   We weren’t even slightly interested in each other at the time we worked together – he was a technician and I worked in operations and we both had other partners, but we happened to bump into each other a few years after he’d left to become a freelancer and the rest is history!


What are your plans for the future and ambitions for the next 20 years?

The company is still growing so I am looking forward to working with them on new projects and ventures and passing on my knowledge to the younger generation who will eventually take over. And at the end of all that I plan to retire to a little cottage in the country with my family and lots of animals!




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