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Alan Downes

What do you know?

I’m an award-winning photographer, certified Google educator, Apple Product Professional and Apple Teacher. My video work has been used on Channel 4.


From the age of 16 I’ve worked in the retail technology sector, and as that was quite a long time ago, that means I have over 30 years of experience with computers, software, peripherals, mobile phones and apps. By the age of 22 I was managing my first electronics store in Colwyn Bay in North Wales, where I was promoted after only four months, before moving on to run a number of flagship stores in Chester and surrounding areas over 15 years.


In 2016 I set up Rough Cuts after volunteering in local schools teaching kids the basics of digital media, video capture and creation.


Why do you do what you do?

I have always had a passion for photography, and it was when my daughters were born in the early 2000s that I became interested in video to capture them growing up. It was through learning the hard way, through using digital tape, clumsy video recorders, slow computers and poor software, that I learnt how difficult video production can be, and this inspired my drive to help make this process easier for people.


My passion for technology, determination and tenacity when things don't work as they ought and thrifty nature, mean I’ve developed a set of skills which are perfect for supporting others.


How can you be useful?

As a perfectionist, I am always working to capture the ideal shot, and I have spent a lot of time developing my experience and knowledge to understand the principles so that I can capture the perfect films and videos for clients to help them tell their stories.


Through Rough Cuts, I work with Do-Well to create photography and film-making to support the people, places and organisations that we work with. This includes supporting Do-Well’s public narrative work by filming narratives, as well as coaching people to deliver their narratives.


I also provide IT support, driven by my aim to make technology accessible and easy to understand for everyone, and I am currently writing my first book that aims to help people that think of themselves as computer novices to make understanding how they work a bit easier.


A keen advocate for mental wellbeing, I help support small business, local government, enterprise and schools with everything from simple photography, website setup and promotional videos.


What album has most inspired you?


My first job was working in a record shop, selling CD’s in the late 80s to mid 90s. I grew up with everything from Captain Beefheart to the Beach Boys and as the tech guru my 10,000+ digital library is my crux. As well as being an escape, quite often music conveys feelings better than words or text does and it can be a helpful reflection of lived experiences. For me, Pink Floyd’s 'The Wall' is a stark reminder for anyone, who’s endured mental health problems, of the ongoing challenge and the everyday battle required for everyone to Do Well. 

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