SAE Liverpool alumnus Benjiman Sutton is the owner of a company called Techulia, which provides media and business services to veterans, serving personnel and military spouses. We caught up with Benjiman to learn more about his work, which has been nominated for the 2020 English Veteran Awards.
What inspired you to set up Techulia and work with veterans, serving personnel and military spouses?
As a military veteran, when I left the forces (two months before I joined SAE & Apple), I saw that a lot of people within this community didn’t have anywhere to get the help, support or professional skills they needed to improve their business and make it grow. Professional video (with audio), professional photography and amazing websites should be a high priority within any business, but because we don’t tend to learn business in the Forces, you trust people and I have seen people get ripped off. This is why I designed my business to grow with other people’s businesses instead of getting some money and then moving onto the next client.
What are some of the veteran clients that you have worked with?
What services does Techulia provide?
Techulia is a company that offers my main professional services first, which is professional photography and videography (audio as well). Then branching off that, creating, running and managing Shopify stores, Squarespace sites and social media platforms.
Who else is involved in the project?
At the moment it’s just myself, but I am planning to onboard staff within the next three to six months.
How does your own experience in the military inflect the work you do now on a day to day basis?
Having delivered professional photography and videography around the world, working by myself and part of bigger media ops teams has given me the ability to deliver the HIGHEST quality work to the client when they need it. It has also given me the knowledge to continue to learn, improve my skills and never stop wanting to improve not just my company, but everyone else as well.
How long have you been running the company for?
Techulia in some form or another has been running since 2018 (under Benjiman Sutton Photography), but under the current Branding, it has been running for about 14 months.
How has your business been impacted by COVID-19?
Whilst some weddings were cancelled, my business has grown 400% since the start of lockdown, with a full studio being sourced and built. Along with moving into a full-time office, plans have also started to hire staff and expand more.
How did the Audio Engineering course you did at SAE give you additional skills which are needed when working with multimedia?
So audio is a HUGE part of video and this is one of the reasons I studied Audio Engineering. Learning more in this area enabled me to give the best audio to the clients. It also gave me more understanding of DAWs and 5.1 for documentary making.
How have you worked with your peers from SAE?
I have worked with Scott Robinson who goes as Unders, who is currently SMASHING it as an online instructor and YouTuber. The music he creates has been curated in the music videos for him, along with me using his audio for videos done for my clients.
You’re also a certified drone pilot - is this an important qualification for videographers to have?
This is something I really enjoy doing, as I am able to set the scene that may not be seen by the viewer in normal circumstances, catching their eyes and drawing them into the video and brand more. This was also supported by LJMU start-up whilst I was studying my master’s degree.
How do you feel to be nominated for the 2020 English Veteran Awards?
It was a complete shock, to be recognized within the community I deliver to is huge and it also gives people who may not have seen my work and need the help that I am able to deliver.
What’s next for you - how do you plan to scale your business and see future growth?
I want to continue to learn, looking forward to increasing my productivity in delivering Web Development, I am going to push forward to become a Full Stack developer. I am also actively seeking veterans to work with the local community to support them in developing their own business.