AgendaIODDamon Eastwood

Damon Eastwood

Photography was always my first love and after studying it at the London Institute I gravitated towards interior photography and the technical aspect that came with that art form. There is a lot of staging and preparation behind capturing the perfect interior shot and I was keen to find my niche in this arena, as well as exploring the world of 360-degree photography which was an emerging technology at the time. 

To get anywhere as a photographer you need to be in a big city, so after my studies I moved to New York to immerse myself in their cutting-edge art community. I was the epitome of an Englishman in New York, clueless, but eager to absorb as much as possible both culturally and professionally. I rarely said no, and it became an interesting journey of what I was prepared to do to access valuable opportunities, which included babysitting hip-hop stars’ kids and photographing at locations anywhere from the world graffiti championships to ultra luxury Hampton real estate! 

This open attitude and willingness to learn, led me to work alongside architectural photographer Elliot Kaufman who introduced me to some very influential photographers and artists. His teachings very much formed my approach and my New York experience in general showed me how important it is to be a pioneer in your industry and to always embrace new developments, something which is reflected in our approach at Switch Digital today. 

Returning to Jersey I wanted to maintain the distinction of offering something a little different using my honed skills as an architectural photographer providing 360 photography and aerial photography – way before drones came onto the scene. I opened my own agency offering photography services and website builds, the latter of which eventually became our core service to meet a growing demand. 

We are a digital first agency, so are always changing and evolving, it’s a model of working that has become second nature to me. We continually adapt our operating model, not just to stay relevant, but to ensure we attract real talent. To be successful I need a team of experts supporting me, because there is such a breadth of understanding now required in the digital sector. The pool of those with digital skills on the island has always been small so I am mindful to create an environment that continually inspires and allows our team to get the experience and exposure they need to be the best. 

My father was a bank manager who installed a great work ethic in me; good things come to those who work hard and work smart. Ironically, as the years have passed running Switch I started to feel more like a bank manager, so we now have a leadership group in place with defined roles and responsibilities – enabling me to continue to act as a trusted advisor to clients and to be a CEO.

To help me keep up with the evolving digital landscape I discovered a love of podcasts, a fantastic way to instantly access successful businesspeople. I really enjoy Steven Barlett’s Diary of a CEO which I turned to for the more entrepreneurial nature of his guests, but found I also benefitted enormously from the diversity of those he interviews. One piece of advice that has stayed with me is to blend perception with perspective. I try to emulate this at Switch Digital so that our team all trust their expert knowledge and skill set, but are able to validate it through data and external views. 

When I think of what success looks like to me, it isn’t defined by numbers or the size of my company, it’s being able to do a job that I love every day. I am very proud to own something tangible that was built through hard work, and I try to impart that same sense of accomplishment and fulfilment onto my team members, and equally to my three children. There is no price on happiness and I’m the biggest advocate in chasing dreams, no matter how wild they may seem. 

As we near the 21st anniversary of Switch Digital I would encourage everyone to seek out their purpose and combine this with discipline to bring their visions to life. For me, this comes from enabling my team to understand what motivates them and then supporting them to achieve their goals – and hopefully dreams. That means my job is to continue to develop a business that can support our collective ambitions.

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