Thinking Of Using Stock Photography?

When planning promotional materials for a website or printed matter it can be tempting to use stock photography to illustrate your offering. However, there are a number of reasons why you might want to take the trouble to feature images that relate directly to your business.

Stock images by their nature are generic and say nothing about the individuality of your business. The discerning visitor will often recognise an image as off the shelf and relate that to the value of your organisation, whereas a picture that clearly shows your own business, product or service shows that you have put in the time and effort to differentiate your business with confidence. There’s also the danger that a stock photograph might have been seen elsewhere.

Stock photography simply illustrates¬†the business you’re in rather than your business.

Whilst there are cost advantages to using stock photography, you may find that bespoke images created especially for your business are not as expensive as you might think. You can use photography in a number of ways Рto illustrate your unique selling point, your team at work, the benefits of your product or service, often featuring your branding or some other identifying feature that is unique to your operation.

If you’d like to discuss how Steve Beeston Photography can help your business then we’d be delighted to hear from you. Just call us on 01992 500 986 or drop us an email at You can also find out more by visiting the website at

Music Festival Sponsorship

I’m delighted to be sponsoring Hertford Music Festival for a second year. This is one of two events I sponsor, the other being Run For Their Lives, a 10K charity fun run. As part of both events I provide photographic services, both on the day and for promotional materials in the weeks leading up to the events.

On Saturday I met up with Festival organiser Kev Saunders at Rigsby’s guest house and restaurant in St.Andrew’s Street, Hertford. The business is the festival’s main sponsor and the brief was to shoot some promotional material featuring some of those involved with the festival using the location and branding as a backdrop.

Left to right: Nigel Grint, owner of Rigsby’s, festival organiser Kev Saunders and Matt Cass, logo designer.

Every job comes with its opportunities and challenges and this was no different. On the plus side we had an interesting location, accessible branding and good weather. On the downside we had the combination of bright sunlight and shadow.

From left:bookings & event co-ordinator Natalie Aylott, Mayor Jane Sartin,
Kev Saunders and Verna Akers of band Wasted Rhymes

I took a variety of shots in different locations and these two compositions appear to have worked best.

With bright sunlight you’re always in danger of either shooting into the sun or having your subjects facing it and squinting.

With both of these shots I’ve used Photoshop to adjust the levels, lighten the shadows and add a vignette. In the top picture I’ve also used a high pass filter to add local contrast after lightening the shadows, which has given it an almost stylised look.

Hertford Music Festival opens on Sunday 6th August with Rock At The Castle and runs for three weeks until the Musical Mystery Tour on Sunday 26th August.

Arabian Nights

Another theatrical assignment at Hertford Theatre! Last night I photographer the dress rehearsal of Arabian Nights, presented by the young wing of Hertford Dramatic & Operatic Society.

This is an annual presentation by the group, known as the Young Idea, and gives the performers valuable experience working on a professional theatre and in front of a paying public. The production is staged for four nights, plus a matinee on Saturday.

As well as photographing the production for HDOS I also provide prints and photo CDs for cast, crew and proud parents.