THOUGH he didn’t formally join the family media business until he was in his twenties, David Eglinton admits most of his life has been spent behind the camera.

“At the age of 10 I was carrying boxes for my dad and standing on a chair to see through the viewfinder of his video camera,” recalls the 38-year-old director of film and events company HCVF. “I’d been in a helicopter twice by the time I was 11.

“I’m so fortunate because I get to do what I love. It was always my intention to join the business - I can’t remember ever wanting to do anything else.”

In the 36 years since Mr Eglinton’s father, Jim, set up the Inverness-based firm, the technology used to produce films has transformed. What hasn’t changed, however, are the skills and the creativity needed, or the personal touch that helps HCVF stand out in an increasingly busy marketplace.

“Ultimately what we do, what we’re best at, is helping businesses tell their story,” says Mr Eglinton. “Smartphones have changed everything and sometimes clients ask me why they should hire us rather than making their own corporate videos on their phone.

“We have the skills and experience to help them reach their audience. Why spend lots of time and energy on your product or service and then advertise it in a way that makes it look cheap? Our clients are investing in our business, but ultimately they’re also investing in theirs.”

HCVF works with clients big and small to produce video content, as well as organising meetings, conferences and awards shows.

After 15 years working alongside both parents - mother Ishbel took care of administration - Mr Eglinton took the reigns in 2016 and brought in his wife, Mairi, to focus on the corporate side of things, including marketing and social media.

“I always really enjoyed working with my parents and now I love working with Mairi,” he says. The couple have a two-and-a-half year-old daughter, Eve, who is “already amazingly proficient with technology”. Whether she will eventually become the third generation of Eglintons to run HCVF remains to be seen.

Meantime, the current staff of five are working to expand their reach across Scotland and the UK, adding to a client list that includes big energy and life science companies. As part of this the company has been working with Family Business Solutions, the business consulting arm of legal firm Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie.

“Working with the consultants has helped us be more objective about the business and challenge our mindset,” explains Mr Eglinton. “I think it has really made us focus on growth and look beyond the north of Scotland. It’s a real and developing partnership.”

As to what he enjoys most about being his own boss, the entrepreneur values flexibility and autonomy.

“If something needs to be done, you can go ahead and change it without having to ask permission," he says.

“But I also love being part of a team. Running your own business means you have to make sacrifices and a significant amount of responsibility is involved. I like being hands on but the challenge for me at the moment is making time to focus on business development.”

And he has some sage advice to offer those looking to set up in the creative industries.

“You need to be good at your craft but sometimes it’s hard for creative people to stay on top of the business side of things. Get yourself a good accountant and go from there. Try to diversify your clients rather than relying on a few.

“I once read an interview with transport tycoon Ann Gloag and she said ‘be nice to people on the way up lest you meet them on the way down’. I wholeheartedly agree with this - you should always treat customers as you’d want to be treated.”

As for managing transitions within a family business, Mr Eglinton says honesty is always the best policy.

“Having conversations with your family about when they are going to retire can be awkward, but it’s important. Don’t ignore the issue just because it’s a tough one to broach.”