February2017

3 Tips for getting the very best from your commercial shoot

Top tips for your commercial photo shoot

Professional images is a business investment, and if you are a savvy business person, you will only invest in things that will make your ship go faster! Here are my top three tips for making sure you work me hard during a commercial shoot!

I do lots of commercial photography for businesses of various sizes, and I have learnt over the years that people approach this task very differently. Sometimes I come away completely exhausted and unable to remember the beginning of the shoot, because so much was packed in! But other times we waste time to even get going and poor planning means the customer gets fewer images from their shoot. I want to give my customers a perfect set of images that will make their marketing looks excellent, and the absolute key is to communicate and plan things ahead of the shoot.

1. What are you doing with the images?

Images can be used for so many different marketing projects, and it could make a big difference to how a photographer will shoot for you. If they are for social media, they are quite small images, and I might shoot an image knowing I will want to crop it in postproduction. But if the image is for a large exhibition stand I will want to keep every pixel possible, and I definitely wouldn’t shoot anything that needs cropping. If the images are destined for a brochure, show me the layout. Your designer might have designed a gorgeous full spread layout, in which case it is no good if you get a broad set of portrait images from your shoot. Will you want to write on the image, maybe marketing messages or pricing, in which case I will shoot the images with plenty of empty space for text. Will you be wanting the images in colour or in black and white? I will often shoot differently, with more contrast, if I know the images are destined to be in black/white. The more you can tell me about the final use for the images, the better chance you have of getting a set of perfect images.

2. What kind of look and feel are you after?

You might initial feel you just want “good professional” looking images, but actually there is more to it than that. If you have a look at examples you like and share them with me, I will look at geeky things like the lighting used, and hence I will know what equipment to bring with me and what locations will work well. Are you after close up product images or images of your production process or images with yourself? Would you like to include some head shots? Again I will bring different lenses depending on the type of images you are after. Where are you hoping to shoot the images? If you can send me a picture of your facilities I can gauge how much light is available etc. Will we need certain props for the shoot? You might have seen a fab images, with some gorgeous props, in which case please do share this, so we can source the props needed. Lots of commercial photography use great props that can really help make or break your pictures. Maybe we need a certain backdrop? Maybe we need simple details like food or cutlery? commercial_photo_shoot commercial_photo_shoot_ideas commercial_photo_shoot_ideas2 commercial_photo_shoot_ideas3 commercial_photo_shoot_ideas4 commercial_photo_shoot_ideas5 commercial_photo_shoot_ideas6 Preparing for a commercial photo shoot

3. Exactly what are we shooting on the day?

You are paying for my time, so you might as well make me work hard! Make a list of all the products or setups you would like to capture. Think ahead, what events have you got coming up like mother’s day, valentine, summer holiday, Christmas, special promotions? Plan ahead so you get a good bank of images to use across your social media marketing and any other marketing activities. You might need posters for your events or vouchers or magazine adds make sure you plan images for all eventualities. I am often shooting Christmas stuff in August, and valentines stuff in November! There you go, plan ahead, and that should give you a great commercial shoot with a fabulous set of images that will make your marketing shine for months! There are so many photographers around today, you might as well pick a good one, and get the best possible value for your £! If you have any questions about my commercial photography or cinematography, please just get in touch. I typically work throughout Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, but I am willing to travel further.
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Mum with one hand, running a business with the other…

Mumpreneur photography

Mumpreneurs, entrepreneurs, mighty hard workers, super multi taskers, call them whatever you want, there are lots of us who are mums with one hand and running our businesses with the other, and there in something really inspirational about other people’s stories, so here is the story of a local mum setting up her event management business.

Jo asked if I could do some professional head shots for her new business, but I had no availability on the days she had childcare, so I said to bring her little prince along to the shoot. This doesn’t exactly fill us with a feeling of high flying professionals, but reality is, we are juggling two roles! I hope you enjoy Jo’s story and this little behind the scenes from her shoot.

Jo’s story

I've been selling for over 18 years in various industries; Recruitment, Corporate Hospitality, Conference and Events, Web Development, Marketing Services, HR and Health & Safety Consultancy. I have enjoyed working for organisations and running my own business, both previously and currently. I have been lucky enough to be given responsibility to create sales activity and marketing campaigns with successful results. I have worked at many prestigious venues, which have enabled me to use my creative skills as well as developing new business and new business opportunities. I had been very settled into a Business Development role for a fantastic global brand/organisation and fell pregnant, I hadn’t quite anticipated how much having our son would change both our lives, for the better. The moment he was born I just knew, I couldn’t return to working full time and being away from home, away from him and missing all the special moments, I appreciate that some parents have no choice, they have to return to their full time employment. However, there are also others who are lucky to have parents still alive, or relatives that can step in and assist. As we moved away from our home town when I started my last job, it meant we were away from my husbands family and longstanding friends. Mumpreneur photo shoot Mumpreneur head shot Mumpreneur_photography Mumpreneur profile picture 3D4A0970 - CopyASWEB mums with small business Small business start up Toddlerpreneur So, when my request for returning to work part time was declined, we decided that I would set up Sheer Edge Ltd, we would somehow juggle business, childcare and make it work. I’ve had many job offers along the way, but I think its so important to try my best to make the business work. It’s been over a year now since we made that decision and I have no regrets, i’ve seen our son grow and watched the magical stages of development. Don’t get me wrong, I have probably set about it the hardest way, with no investment, no immediate client contacts to call upon, as a family we’ve really had to restrict our spend which is hard with a child. But i’m encouraged that we have regular clients who are booking with us and are seeing a regular increase in awareness and interest. Both in the hospitality booking service and event services. I think it’s important for clients to know how hard you’re working for them, how much their custom means to you, which is why it’s a good thing for them to know we have a new addition to our family. What it takes for you to juggle a business, child and being you. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Follow Jo on Facebook www.facebook.com/sheeredgehande/ Follow Jo on Twitter twitter.com/sheeredgehande Visit Jo’s hospitality & events website www.sheeredge.co.uk/

Have you got a dream of setting up a business?

Maybe you have already started out, or maybe you have a plan? The key point is to accept that it isn’t the easy option. It is a lot of hard work, but also very exciting! First step in making a business happen is looking the part, and great images goes a long way here. You might feel more like a mum a lot of the time, but you can still look like a professional business to your customers! Please do get in touch about getting you started with a broad set of images perfectly showcasing your business. Good luck!
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Cuteness even in potty training and sickness?

Any mum will know “everything is just a phase”, and strangely it turned out that even the phases I HATED the most, like potty training, carried sentimental value as soon as they came to an end...

I am not a very organic earthy kind of parent, I really do like everything clean and tidy and running on a schedule – I’m not proud of this, but it is who I am. This means I HATED potty training and anything that came with mess (but strangely I have no issues at all when newborns poo and wee on me during their sessions - different story!). Yet, when potty training came to an end it was a sign of my youngest growing up, more sand slipping through my fingers, and suddenly I did want to hang on to this phase; watch him chatting to him self on the potty and to those first little pants. We are all heartbroken when our little ones are poorly, but it is all part and parcel of being a mum, and rightly or wrongly I did also photograph these stages. I stumbles across these images the other day, when I was writing the initial “A day in the life of...” blog post, and they melted my heart, so thought I would share them, and encourage you to go and capture what ever stage your children is currently at... Look at how his little brother is close by when M was poorly on the sofa, bringing comfort and care. 3D4A1239AS 3D4A1241AS 3D4A1245AS 3D4A1254AS 3D4A1105ASBW 3D4A1112AS 3D4A1118AS  
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A day in the life of…

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards” – I have practically grown up with these wise words by Soeren Kirkegaard, but they have never been more true to me than now...

A common criticism of my type of photography is that it isn’t “real”. Our children aren’t perfectly colour coordinated, sitting still, holding hands, with perfect smiles! They have often dressed themselves, (making you feel slightly embarrassed as you whisk them through Sainsbury’s), with snotty noses and an agenda all of their own which only rarely collides with yours. I am acutely aware that I have invested huge effort chasing the perfect picture for my customers, this was me living life forward setting aims for perfection. However, I have now had 6 full years to understand, retrospectively, what it is actually like being a mum! A few years ago I became more aware of this aim for perfection and to counter act it in some way I started shooting more personal and “real” pictures of my own two boys... I call these images “a day in the life of...” because they are just quick documentations of every day life with my little ones. They are a far cry from perfect, but the more they grow up, the more I treasure these little time capsules. It isn’t just about seeing them grow up, it is also about the toys they had, the clothes they wore, their drawings and general development, it's all in the details! I am just a mum with a camera, and my boys are probably the most photographed kids in Europe, but I highly recommend you set your self a similar project. Take some good solid pictures of everyday life with your kids, because sooner than you know they will be off to school! Secondly, do something with those images, put them in a book or collect them in a personal blog, just somehow collect them, so you can enjoy them. Here are some of my favourites, and I am going to post these more regularly which might inspire. My only regret is not starting this project sooner... DCIM100GOPROGOPR0024. 3D4A1966AS 3D4A1995AS 3D4A5961AS3D4A1931AS IMG_1421AS 3D4A1953AS 3D4A8691AS IMG_1462AS IMG_1555AS IMG_1560AS IMG_5511AS IMG_5508AS
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