Website of the Year

TheDayThat

Gavan Goulder talks about photographing the sunrise every day for his business.

In 2005, Gavan Goulder started photographing the sunrise every day so that new parents could own a beautiful piece of art taken at the very start of their child’s life. Customers visit TheDayThat and look up the date that something special happened to them, such as the day they got married, the day they gave birth or just a signicant day in their lives. They use a simple calendar to search for the date and they can see what the world looked like on that day. Gavan always photographs the dawn as this has such emotional significance, the very start of the day that their lives changed forever.

The site holds all 40,000 photographs spanning back to 21st June 2005 and all are still available and can be viewed via a simple calendar. Once customers have chosen a picture, Gavan and his team personalise them, such as Sophie’s first day – 12th May 2014 and produce a beautifully framed photograph that becomes their special piece of personalised art. We caught up with Gavan to find out more.

What was the inspiration for the site?

In 2005, my beautiful daughter was born and I captured the sun rising over St. Ives Bay in all its glory and its significance of this beautiful dawn, my daughter's first day of life, really hit me. It was this feeling that I wanted to pass onto others and that is how it all started. Having a first hand experience of being a new parent, I knew that these pictures could have such a poignant meaning to so many others.

We now have a second daughter, Nia and we have both pictures up in our kitchen and they are fascinated that they were taken on the day they came out of their Mummy’s tummy. One day, they will have the photographs in their own homes and will show their own children their pictures taken on the very day they were born.

When did you launch the site?

Our first site was launched in 2005 and this version was launched in April of this year.

What are your greatest challenges?

Our ongoing challenge is marketing into a very crowded and competitive market with a limited budget and small team.

What's your background?

I carved out a successful international freelance photographic career specialising in reportage, portraiture and commercial photography. My clients included The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Woman’s Journal, Country Life and The Independent. I also worked for numerous corporate bodies such as Shell, BUPA, Lloyds of London, ISMA, Texaco, as well as marketing agencies and design groups.

I continually produced strong, creative images that fitted the brief as well as submitted and carried through story ideas for key titles.

My exhibitions included, A Year On, a study on the change of life following the Romanian Revolution; The Forgotten People of Israel, where I spent three months living with the Bedouin in the Negev Desert, the Independent Magazine sponsored British Summer Time, a look at how people change after a holiday in Ibiza, and The London Marathon, a 24 hour chronicle of the event sponsored by Flora.

Who do you admire in business?

Laura Tenison the founder of Jo Jo Maman Bebe. I’ve been lucky enough to meet Laura on a couple of occasions. She has built a fantastic brand starting from scratch and has very high ethical principles which she will not budge from.

Please recommend a website that you simply couldn't live without

TED, I really can’t do without this and visit the site on a regular basis for an inspiration fix...

What is the best piece of business advice you've been given?

Keep an eye on every single penny as if it was money given to your children by their grandparents.

What is your motto?

Don’t be late. (If we miss the sunrise then that days is gone forever.)


Where do you see the business going from here?

I have a great lifestyle, living and working by the sea and the business is very much a lifestyle business but I would like to do much much more with it.

December 2014