Monday, 10 May 2010

Make the most of your pictures!

A recent shoot got me thinking about how people don't always make full use of the photographs which they commission. Thankfully, those involved on this particular occasion will.

So, I was asked to attend the relaunch party of a local beauty salon, capturing a series of images depicting the proceedings over the course of a few hours. Getting on site early allowed me to catch up with my client (she contacted me via LinkedIn, having remembered me from a networking group we both attended 4 years ago), and get a good idea of the location and lighting considerations.

Before guests started to arrive, I made it my priority to capture a set of nice, clean images showing the atmospheric, newly-decorated rooms, including detail shots. The rest of my time was then spent capturing a mix of posed and un-posed pictures of everyone chatting, networking and generally enjoying the free champagne.

Perfect PR material.

In the first instance, my images hit an advertorial feature in the local press (see photo above). Ffollowing that, they will be used in both printed and online media well into the future.


The great thing about photographs - especially the digital variety - is that they are very flexible when it comes to how you can use them. Sounds kind of obvious, right? Well, not necessarily.

Ahead of any shoot, I always have a meeting and/or series of emails and phone calls with my clients, in which we discuss not just the sort of imagery they are wanting, but the ways in which those pictures are ultimately going to be used.

Quite often, thoughts turn simply to the immediate output (profile pictures on a company's website, for example), and regularly the possibilities just... stop. At least in the client's mind. But why should they?

You need to think laterally, people, and consider what other opportunities are out there for spreading your message!

Let's be frank - you're prepared to pay out 'X' amount for my services, so why wouldn't you make the most of our time together? This isn't exploitation, it's value for money. Bang for your buck... call it what you will.

Never be afraid to ask about the potential for using photographs throughout all your marketing activities - there's no such thing as a stupid question.

The point is, I want my clients to make the most of the photographs I shoot for them. That's why I like working with forward-thinking companies, especially if they have their own in-house or out-sourced marketing department.

It's only be being open to the possibilities that you will ever get the most out of this wonderful, powerful communication device we call photography.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Fountain Jam - revealed

Spoiler alert - this post has nothing whatsoever to do with jam... Although I am rather fond of the stuff!

Back in December, as part of my yearly 'Looking Ahead To...' post, one of my bullet points stated "Personal projects - research and develop further; possible exhibition?"

Well, regular readers will know that I am already involved with the Vobes-Babbidge Pinhole Camera Project. This has taken something of a back seat of late, due to health issues on the part of Mr. V, but with things on the mend, we are due to get together for the latest instalment soon.

In the meantime, I have another (self-driven) project under way, which I have kept quiet until now. It doesn't have an official title as such, but the premise is simple: Every Thursday, The Fountain Inn at Rowlands Castle in Hampshire, UK, holds an open-mic jam night. This is a local-level, free-for-all get-together, hosted by ex-Van Morrison member Herbie Armstrong. It's a great showcase for local musical talent, and always full of interesting characters.

I have made it my mission to document proceedings over the course of the year, with a view to publishing a book somewhen around February-March 2011.

Feedback so far has been really positive, with many kind words which spur me on to produce more great imagery of the individuals who stand in front of my lens! And, thanks to a few sneaky glimpses of my camera screen along the way, it looks like there are already a bunch of regulars interested in getting their hands on a copy of the book. Great stuff - I can't wait to see the end product!

To find out more about the Thursday Jam Nights, you can contact me via any of the usual channels or get in touch with the event's co-ordinator, Keith, through the dedicated Facebook page (be sure to tell him where you heard about the event!).

I'm not there every Thursday, but if you do come along and see me, um, 'working,' don't be a stranger. It's a very relaxed state of affairs, and so is my shooting style (not, I hasten to add, due to over-zealous consumption of local ale!). Make yourself known, have a chat and enjoy the tunes!

You never know - you just might make it into the book!

As an aside - a quick shout-out to Lorraine Paintin for the use of the picture you see here. See, I do sometimes get caught out on the other side of the camera - sneaky, Lorraine!

Edit: For a progress update, hit this link!