Barrett and Coe Franchise

Barrett & Coe logo with slogan

We are the UK’s leading contemporary Portrait and Wedding photography franchise. Launched in 1995 and now with 18 franchisees, our franchise model continues to strengthen.

  • Run your own professional photography studio within two to three months
  • Full training to take cutting-edge images
  • Studio appointments from day one
  • Excellent earnings potential

What we look for in a franchisee:

  • Business minded
  • Committed to lean
  • Determined to succeed
  • Customer-driven
  • Organised and disciplined
  • A strong team player

greyscale contemporary family portrait

Franchise cost

A Barrett & Coe Portrait and Wedding franchise costs £15,000 + vat and includes:


This is extremely comprehensive in all aspects of the business including; not only photography but sales, marketing, and business planning.

Assistance with acquiring studio premises

Using our experience to ensure that you are in the right location and with studio design in order to create an optimum sales environment.

Starter Pack

Three months of marketing to Emma’s Diary records (including our Mailshot and calling programme and pre-appointment / confirmation literature) in your area.

This normally produces approximately 15 baby photography appointments per month. Franchisees are currently averaging £341 per appointment. 

Also included in the Starter Pack are:

  • Business stationery
  •  Marketing brochures for creating local awareness/appointments

However, through a detailed analysis of personality and previous experience, we will not take someone on board as a Franchisee unless we feel they have the necessary attributes.


Our assessment process is very thorough. We do not accept applications until we have gone through a robust process, to ensure so far as possible, that we are the right franchise for you, and you for us!

family portrait taken by a Barret & Coe franchisee

Passion, Pleasure and Profit

Barrett & Coe operate at the upper end of the photography market by offering high-quality service and products.

We specialise in finding talented people with no previous experience of professional photography and train them to become very successful photographers.

Because of our success and experience in training, and our unique and exclusive marketing programmes, we have requests from existing studios to start their own Barrett & Coe photography Franchise. Consequently, this has been added to our franchise proposal.

Commitment to our franchisees is total, with an unrivalled support programme producing, on average, 70% of a franchisee’s sales.

A Barrett & Coe photography Franchise is a lifestyle choice of Passion, Pleasure and Profit.

In particular our franchise will suit people who have experience in any of the following professions:

  • Teaching
  • Project Management
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Finance
  • Entrepreneur*

*The Barrett & Coe Franchise proposition would suit an entrepreneur/investor wanting to own a chain of studios to manage, rather than become a photographer. Typically, each unit would employ two staff and have sales of £150,000 to £250,000.

Greyscale portrait of a couple with their newly born baby

The market

Portrait and Wedding photography is a massive market. Contrary to an often-expressed opinion suggesting that digital cameras enable people to take their own family pictures, highly skilled professionals are in great demand.

They are able to supply a quality experience and unique products the general public cannot replicate.

Barrett & Coe customers often spend in excess of £1,000 on their portrait purchases. We train our franchisees to take exciting, innovative images which are presented in unique and quality frames from the finest pro-lab in the UK. The provision of wall portraits in a variety of finishes is a Barrett & Coe speciality.

Barrett & Coe are the largest group of portrait and wedding photographers in the UK. In areas where a franchisee is not located, we have over 60 recommended and approved studios that complement our UK-wide coverage.

“Portraits taken by skilled and charismatic portrait photographers are in great demand. No amateur can get anywhere near the amazing images, and great wall products they produce. Not only that, but they give their customers an exciting and enjoyable experience.”
- Andrew Coe, Barrett & Coe Founder

Family with grandparents portrait taken by barret & Coe franchisee

Your training

The training we give is exhaustive, and all-embracing, owing to the fact that new franchisees bring an array of different skills with them.

Our training is bespoke to each individual. Consequently, the training programme will vary greatly between different individuals, but no stone is left unturned to ensure that each new franchisee reaches the very high standards we set in all the key activities:

  • Photography; including lighting, posing etc.
  • Pre and post-production skills
  • Business planning
  • Financial controls
  • Customer care
  • Marketing
  • Sales

Training mainly takes place on a one-to-one basis with the appropriate members of our team. The number of days training varies greatly from person to person, depending upon their speed of learning and previous background.

baby crawling wearing a bow on its head


During the initial stages of choosing a Barrett & Coe Photography Franchise, we receive many questions to ascertain if it’s the right opportunity for both parties to work together.

I haven’t even taken the family holiday photos, could you really train me?

During the last ten years, we have trained more than 500 people with absolutely no experience to become professional photographers. The BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photography) recommend Barrett & Coe to anyone wishing to learn portrait or wedding photography.

Do I need to be artistic and/or creative?

If you are that’s great, but we can teach you how to become a highly successful and respected photographer regardless of your artistic talent.

I am completely untechnical and know nothing about digital or computers!

This doesn’t matter at all. Our training breaks everything down into very simple, easy to use methods and systems. Often the most untechnical people become the most creative photographers.

As a franchisee what on-going support will I receive?

We will provide ongoing technical and marketing support, together with telephone and email support.

Our aim is to be the best-supported franchise network in the UK. We want to help you every step of the way and will be on-hand to give you the skills, support, and encouragement to get your new business off the ground and beyond.

contemporary Portrait of family lying on their front

What is the initial franchise fee and what does it include?

The initial fee is £15,000 + vat and this includes the complete training of all aspects, activities, and skills required to run and operate a professional photography studio including:

  • Hands-on assistance to acquire and fit out suitable studio premises
  • Access to our national contracts, together with the rights to use the Barrett & Coe brand exclusively in your area.
  • Starter Pack including: business stationery, marketing brochures, initial baby photography appointments in your diary from day one.

Please note; equipment is not included in the initial fee.

What are the ongoing costs?

The costs include:

  • 5% sales
  • 2.5% marketing levy
  • Total 7.5%

Additionally, there is a nominal charge for bi-monthly franchise meetings, currently £55 per month. These meetings are high powered brainstorming days which greatly assist a franchisees business. There is also a cost for appointments booked through our national contracts.

What is the gross margin?

Each Barrett & Coe customer price lists is designed to give each franchisee a minimum of an 80% profit. For example, for each £1000 sale, £200 will be your cost of the product supplied to the customer.

If I am seriously considering a franchise and have paid a deposit, may I meet existing franchisees?

Yes. Indeed, we actually insist that you spend at least a couple of days in studios with different franchisees to see exactly what it is like being a professional photographer.

However, you will be required to pay a £2,000 deposit (this is fully refundable if you don’t take a franchise, less any costs incurred by us) prior to making these visits.

The reason for this is that we often get several franchise enquiries a week, and our franchisees are just too busy to stop and talk to anybody who has a vague interest. Hence, we need to see a reasonable commitment to allow this facility.

Franchise Process

We take a robust and thorough approach to ensure that it’s the right franchise and the right business for you.

We will explain very clearly what skills are required. The process we share with you ensures that our joint partnership will be successful for both parties.

contemporary family portrait of barrett & coe founder with his wife and childern

Are we right for each other?

We are looking for franchisees who are highly motivated and committed individual. Previous experience is not essential as we teach you everything you need to know.

Our current franchisees include a former banker, teacher, distribution & logistics manager, policeman, IT manager and bodyguard.

Interested and want to know more?

By filling in the form below you will be able to receive a copy of the Barrett & Coe Photography prospectus.

This will provide you with more detailed information on the franchise opportunity and allow you to contact them direct with any questions you may have.

This is FREE and non-obligatory; we never share or sell your personal information.

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At a Glance


Min total investment:

Min contribution:

Development type:

UK presence:
18 locations

Development type:

Franchisee Case Studies

Barrett & Coe Photography Franchisee

Exclusive Interview: "If you want to be successful you will need the drive to succeed!"

Mark Adams was looking for a change of career after working from 12 years as a bodyguard in London. He wanted an opportunity to work where he lived in Norwich and manage his own time. Learn how Barrett & Coe were the perfect fit for Mark and how his successful journey into franchising has been going!

Franchisor Interview

Exclusive interview: "Proud to be the largest wedding & portrait photography franchises in the UK"

Barrett & Coe Photography

Name: Andrew Coe
Franchise: Barrett & Coe

Tell us a bit about yourself including when and why you joined the company and your past employment within or outside of franchising

I started the franchise together with my business partner at the time, Brian Barrett, in 1995 because we both felt that newcomers to the profession of wedding and portrait photography, were in need of greater help in starting a photography business, than was available at the time.

The Coe family were part of the history of photography in the UK. Albert Edward Coe became Manager of the Sawyer & Bird Photography business at 32 London Street, Norwich in 1863. The same studio was still being used as late as 2007 making it the longest continuously operating Portrait Studio in the world.

What have been the company’s biggest achievements/successes to date?

We are currently the largest wedding and portrait photography franchises in the UK and specialise in recruiting franchisees that have no previous experience or knowledge of photography.

All our franchisees, after our training, quickly attain qualifications with the Master Photographers Association. We are able to supply 64/70% of sales a franchisee requires in their first year.

We’ve also recruited in excess of 100 independent photographic studios giving them a licence to operate as a “recommended and approved Barrett & Coe photographer”. We are the only company able to offer nationwide coverage with 130 franchised and affiliated studios.

This has led to contracts with Activity Superstore (Argos, Boots, Debenhams, Next, WHSmith, Co-Op, Morrisons, Sainsbury and Wyvale), Wowcher, Groupon and LeisureGuard. We book in excess of 10,000 portrait appointments each year.

What challenges have you had to overcome?

Creating many unique and ground breaking promotions in order to fill the studios with portrait appointments.

To train complete novices to take stunning and creative images.

Between the years of 2008-2010, because of massive changes within the industry, to change from a wedding franchise from home, to a portrait franchise in a studio.

What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?

We primarily rely on portrait and wedding photography courses to select potential franchisees rather than marketing the franchise in the normal way.

What differentiates Barrett & Coe from the competition?

No other photography franchise is able to fill the franchisee diaries with appointments from Day 1.

What qualities do you look for in a franchisee? What makes a successful franchisee?

The ability to understand and learn about marketing and sales. To be able to understand that it is not the activity that can guarantee success.

Any franchise or business relies upon the determination, perseverance and dynamic energy from the franchisee in order for the business to be successful. And to believe in the business model.

What changes have you seen in your industry over recent years? And how have you adapted to them?

Social Media and facebook in particular have opened up completely new marketing opportunities and we have given over 2 -3 days per week in this area.

What does the future hold for Barrett & Coe?

We will continue expand our marketing activities for the benefit of our franchisees and licensed photographers.

What expansion plans have you got nationally and internationally?

Internationally none. Nationally, for every family in the UK to be aware of, and want to use, the Barrett & Coe Photography brand.

What advice would you give to someone considering franchising their business?

Spend a considerable amount of time and money on BFA recognised Consultants and Lawyers. There are many, many traps and pitfalls.

If you had to do it again, what would you do differently?

I would do what I do now and send a great deal of time before accepting an application for a franchise and before acceptance insisting that they sign that the only guarantee of success comes from their own hard work, commitment and ability.

To request our FREE franchise prospectus, click here.



Barrett & Coe Photography Franchise Webinar!

Barrett & Coe franchisee of 13 years Peter Evans is running a Webinar providing more information about what it is like running a photography franchise. Listen to his experience, ask questions and find out if Barrett & Coe is the right fit for you!

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