Amici Cantate

Founded in 2005, Amici Cantate is a Bishop’s Stortford based choir who perform a wide range of material from all parts of the world. Their most recent concert was a performance of Zimbe!, a 40 minute fusion of traditional African song and jazz by Alexander L’Estrange. I was asked to cover the event by the choir’s Musical Director, John Tripp.

The concert took place in Bishop’s Stortford Baptist Church, a modern building that has more in common with a conference centre than a house of worship. I visited the church beforehand to get an idea of the space and lighting, something I always try and do before such events. I was a little concerned about the lighting (churches aren’t often generously lit) but I was pleased that the choir brought their own additional floodlighting for the event. The venue also featured a gallery, which allowed a good view of the performers.

Photo of choir performing

The choir themselves were thoughtfully decked out in simple bright colours, whilst the junior singers wore all black.

Tickets for the event sold quickly at the church was nearly full to capacity, limiting the available angles somewhat. When photographing public performances I try to be as discreet as possible – the event is for the public’s enjoyment, not mine – so I try to be as unobtrusive as possible.

Photo of choir

I took many of the shots from the back of the auditorium using a 70-300mm telephoto lens in Aperture Priority mode with the aperture around f5. Speed was set to ISO1600. Other shots were taken from the gallery and wings.

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Following the event I created a slideshow in the client area of my website so that members of the choir could view the photos. I also provided information about how to order prints or photo CDs.

If you’re interested in having an event photographed and would like more information about the services I can offer, just fill in the contact form on my website.

Giambrone’s

I was delighted to be invited to provide some promotional material for a new delicatessen and café in Hertford town centre recently. The business were looking for images to submit to a local magazine and annual restaurant guide showing the interior and exterior of their premises, together with images of their products, including hampers, panettones, cakes and pasties, meats, pasta and other Italian produce.

Exterior photo of Giambrone's cafe and delicatessen in Hertford

As with all such jobs I spent a while on the premises in the days before the shoot to get an idea of the environment – the space, the lighting, the angles and the backdrops. The retail premises is on a corner plot and glazed from floor to ceiling on two sides, giving plenty of light, albeit of a different colour temperature to the internal lighting. Immediately opposite is a vacant shop with whitewashed windows – not the best view out of the premises and something to avoid when taking shots that are meant to look appealing.

The shoot took place during working hours so it was important not to get in the way of customers and staff.  Some shots had to wait until there were less people around whilst others had to be composed to minimise their presence. In a couple of shots it was necessary to airbrush out the odd head or other body part!

Photograph of shop interior

The product shots were probably the simplest as the displays were already well lit, with the fresh pasties and cakes looking especially pleasing. The staff also provided me a some excellent displays of cured meats and freshly made coffee.

Finally, we shot some of the packed goods on shelves and in the refrigerated displays.

A full set of my images from the Giambrone’s shoot can be found on Flickr.

If you’re interested in promoting your business through photography why not contact me to find out how I can help show off your business. Just fill in the contact form on my main website..