Earlier in the month I was asked to shoot some material for a Rigsby’s, a café and restaurant in Hertford’s St.Andrew Street.
The brief was to provide some interior and exterior shots of the restaurant, together with some shots of dishes available on their menu. The imagery would then be used on their website and other promotional materials.
I paid a couple of visits to take the shots, firstly for the interiors and photographing the food, and a few days later – when the sun was shining – to take some further exterior shots.
This was an interesting assignment because food photography is something I’ve not had a lot of experience with but have been keen to add to my portfolio. We found a suitable location and props whilst the chef was tasked with producing a series of dishes for me to photograph.
I ran in to Schrodinger’s Strings recently whilst taking some promotional shots for a local music festival. I’ve worked with the band in the past, taking promotional and live performance shots and this particular location lent itself very well to the character of the band.
I tried a number of different angles but settled on this one as the best. I used Photoshop to enhance the exposure but otherwise the shot comes straight out of the camera.
Update: The band used this image on the cover or their recent CD.
I took these shots of RiverCity Studios after I was called by an existing client who needed some publicity shots at short notice. They needed some wide views of the premises for their website and printed brochure. I was called at lunchtime and took the shots later in the afternoon, delivering unedited shots in the early evening for review.
Last month I was asked to take some promotional interior shots for Parkhurst Music Studio to be use on their website. The two floor studio is used for teaching a variety of instruments, including guitar and drums. The former stable block has recently been renovated and is light and airy.
The studio is south facing and on my first visit there was strong sunlight streaming in to both rooms. This is far from an ideal lighting situation due to the strong shadows and high contrast between the direct sunlight and ambient light, so I returned an hour later when the position of the sun had changed.
The ground floor studio has plenty of light, with large windows along two walls. I used off-camera bounce flash to light the darker corner of the studio to balance the lighting with the rest of the room.
As well as wide shots of both studios I also took photographs of instruments on display in both the studios and entrance hallway.
To get a greater feel for the environment I included some close up shots of instruments, music books and sheet music.
If you’re interested in promotional material or interior shots please feel free to get in touch using the contact form on my website. My catchment area covers much of Hertfordshire and the Essex borders.
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.
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!
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 word I often like to use to describe my photography is “observational“. This can mean photographing people, their environment, and the things they surround themselves with, either personally or professionally. Yesterday was a good example of this kind of work, when I was invited to photograph Nick Blishen at his workshop in Hertford.
Nick is an accomplished guitar maker and lectures on the subject at London Metropolitan University. I was asked to provide some promotional shots for forthcoming classes in guitar making being offered by a local music retailer.
The setting I was given was ideal – informal and relaxed, with a handful of visitors taking an interest in the various stages of the craft. I was able to photograph Nick chatting and talking about his work, as well as focusing (quite literally) on some of the tools and work in progress. The workshop was also light and airy so there was no need any artificial lighting.
The shots were delivered to the client the next day after post-production editing.
I recently did a shoot for a fledgling PR and marketing outfit at their base in Islington, London. Formed in 2010, Alexandra Marr & Associates specialise in the lifestyle and tourism sectors, with offices in both London and Wales.
This was a straightforward brief to provide headshots and capture the working environment – something I call People & Premises.
The staff shots were taken in a meeting room using my mobile studio. We took both individual and group shots before moving to the office for the at work pictures.
Being a new business, the office is quite small and so space to shoot was very restricted. We managed to find an angle that showed the three staff and avoid some of the office clutter such as coat racks and shelving.
There was plenty of daylight in the office thanks to large rooflights so the only additional lighting that was necessary was a touch of fill-in flash.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the services I can offer to business, please feel free to contact me.
I’ve recently finished work on a project providing material for a small exhibition about the history of Hertford Brewery.
The exhibition forms part of a new Sainsbury’s store in the town, which occupies the site of the former lager building of the brewery, which has been run by the McMullen family since 1827.
The client was Museums & Heritage Consultant Val Bott, who was commissioned by Sainsbury’s to work on the project. My brief was to photograph the modern brewery in operation and supply photos of old advertising posters from the company’s archive.
Photographing the brewery was straightforward, with head brewer Chris Evans’ patient co-operation and assistance setting up shots.
For the archive material I was ably assisted by Val, who removed many of the old posters and advertising materials from their frames so that I could photograph them. I used ambient daylight rather that dedicated lighting equipment, providing a wider diffuse natural lightsource.
In post-production I then used Photoshop to correct lighting levels and sharpen the images using a high pass filter.
A couple of items presented interesting challenges. One large poster was in poor condition physically and had to be photographed on the floor. As I was unable to get directly above the poster due to it’s size, so I photographed it from angle of about 30 degrees, which was later corrected for perspective in Photoshop. Another picture was wedded to it’s frame and had to be photographed in such a way as to minimise distracting reflections in the glazing. Again some post-production editing was necessary.
Overall this was a rewarding assignment that is typical of the work I enjoy. The results will be on display when the store opens later in the month.
I had an assignment yesterday to take some exterior shots of a chiropodist’s premises in Ware, to be used on a new website. Part of the brief was to show the premises in relation to the rest of the high street. Unfortunately, in one direction was a disused pub, complete with a large hoarding advertising the premises. This was a shame as it was an otherwise interesting building and would have made a good backdrop. If truth be told, the chiropodist’s premises themselves weren’t looking their best, but with a careful choice of angle and some softening of the image in Photoshop I was able to provide a suitable image.
As well as this shot I also presented the client with a variety of other angles, including shots of the front of the building and close ups of the signage that might be cropped and used on the site for graphic effect.
In this shot, I again softened the image and added a vignette for effect.
Whilst the brief in this instance was simply for exterior shots, when working with commercial or business clients I often advocate the Three Ps – Product, Premises and People. This often gives a good all round feel for the business and hopefully encourages people to engage.
Earlier in the week I photographed a show home at a new development of 13 spacious town houses.
This was my first time photographing interiors, something I’ve been interested in getting in to for some time. I had the run of the show home so there was no pressure and I could take my time choosing the best angle and compositions.
The property was ideal material, being large, finished to a high spec, beautifully presented and with lots of light.
I used a tripod for the vast majority of shots and set the ISO to 100 and aperture to f11. In many of the shots I boosted the EV, in some cases by up to 2 stops.
A handful of shots required a bit of a tweak in Photoshop but the vast majority were fine straight out of the camera.