Dan is working on a rebrand of his business and he produced the best shoot brief I’ve ever had from a client, conveying his very clear vision for how the images would work, for use on both his website and any printed matter. Dan wanted clean and uncluttered images so that he can use his design skills to make the visuals and text convey exactly what his business can do for his clients. This is the first time I’ve worked with a graphic designer and really enjoyed the experience of working with someone who makes a living from design. I’m looking forward to watching his business grow (he’s already off to a flying start!) and hope to be collaborating on new work for him and some of his future clients.
The National Justice Museum in Nottingham has recently refurbished a number of rooms around the building which form part of their excellent conference facilities which are available for hire by businesses, charities and individuals.
I was commissioned to photograph numerous rooms, the impressive entrance called the Shire Hall, the beautiful Grand Jury Room in different layouts and the Victorian Civil Court, built in 1889. I was very pleased to be asked to do this work and knew the rooms well as I had attended a number of meetings in the building the year before. The images will be used on the website to promote the rooms and make people aware that conferencing facilities exist at the National Justice Museum and so help increase income for the charity.
The large windows allowed lots of natural light to flood into the rooms and there was constant juggling with exposures as it was sometimes overcast and cloudy which gave a lovely soft light but at other times the sunlight was strong and so quite harsh at times.
I took it all in my stride as the key is to be patient and work with whatever nature decides to throw at me and simply adjust the settings accordingly. It’s a wonderful building and well worth a visit given all it’s different uses over the hundreds of years and do check out the old prison cells which are really creepy!
The commencement to the works at the Broadmarsh Centre were put back by a few weeks. However, in February the new wayfinding signs were finally erected and here some of my images, on the boards outside and internally in the walkthrough before you enter the main lobby.
The signs are placed to help visitors find their way to the new entrance to the caves which is beneath the Nottingham Contemporary. It’s estimated that the work will take some two and a half years to complete so the new signage will be around for a little while.
If you happen to be in the area or visiting the Nottingham Contemporary you will find all the wayfinding signage at the bottom of the large external stairs. If you have never visited the caves it’s well worth a trip down there and a tour given the extensive history of these amazing human made sandstone caves beneath the city of Nottingham.
The year started with a wonderful commission by the charity that runs the City of Caves in Nottingham. The extensive revamp of the Broadmarsh Centre is due to start imminently and this means the usual entrance into the caves will have to be closed off for the next two years. So a new entrance has been constructed beneath the Nottingham Contemporary and that will need major signage to show exactly where the new entrance will be located.
I spent two days in the caves photographing the the most amazing spaces and people visiting and learning all about the fascinating history of these sandstone constructions that were used as dwellings, a tannery, hideouts, air raid shelter and even some mischievious goings on! I also had the pleasure of working with some actors who are regulars at dressing up and knowing exactly what to do to in order to illustrate the different uses of the caves over the years.
It wasn’t possible to close the cave down to visitors so I had to be patient and work around individuals looking round at their own pace and official tours which took place every so often. I was very grateful for my sturdy tripod and cable release as the light was challenging in some places and so I needed longer exposures but it was a small price to pay for the joy of being able to work on such an interesting project.
The owner of this beauty treatment clinic was keen to show her recently acquired premises on her new website and asked me to shoot the front of the building, waiting area, logo, treatment rooms, products and headshots, of course. These are some of the images from that shoot, and as you can see, I had to contend with some challenging mixed lighting conditions. Luckily, I didn’t have to contend with strong sunlight streaming in through the window, so managed to pick up some detail outside and have well balanced outdoor light. So much of working on location is about making the best of what you have around you in a limited time period and working in between client appointments. Luckily, I had very kind and gracious hosts throughout the shoot, making sure I was supplied with plenty of coffee and water.
One of the privileges of working with new businesses is the excitement of watching them grow and, in this case, expand into new cities. This waxing and beauty salon needed images of their new salon in Leicester for their website. It was important to work quickly and discreetly as clients were having treatments so I needed to shoot around the appointments. It was great fun and the business owner was very happy with the results, as was I!
Photographing a property for sale is sometimes quite challenging. For the most part I've been lucky because the home owners I've worked with are very house proud and so do an excellent job of de-cluttering, cleaning, tidying and making sure their homes are ready to be photographed. This property, however, is a show home for a brand new development in Belper, Darbyshire. Clearly there was no tidying to do as everything was in pristine condition and there were no personal possessions or furniture to move or worry about. Consequently, it was a real joy to work in and around this house to make great images for the website and brochures in order to help the developers prepare to market the homes.
I first had the pleasure of working with Grain et Feuille in France (in the region of Rhône-Alpes) a couple of years ago and went back this year to shoot product shots for their social media. There is so much work that goes in to producing a decent cup of coffee which I started to appreciate more fully after spending time watching the coffee beans being roasted, ground, packaged, labelled and sold. This business has only been going for two years but is already in profit and I expect that it won’t be too long before they expand into new premises and accrue even more venues to place their premium coffee and machines into. I‘m back to do more work for them late next year so looking forward to spending some time in this beautiful part of France and exploring the region more.
I had a wonderful afternoon photographing products for jewellery designer Karen Duncan at PonyPonyPony. Karen really enjoys working with a wide range of stones, gems and metals and loves the process of taking raw materials and changing them into something even more beautiful and decorative. So, in keeping with her love of all things natural, Karen wanted real people modelling her unique pieces of jewellery. She invited a group of friends to her home and based the shoot in her garden. Amongst other things, I used the trees, old shed and garage walls to show off the different items. It was a fun day and luckily for me not too sunny so I had soft diffuse light to work with for the most part. I always enjoy working with new clients to help tell their story and working with Karen was a very enjoyable collaborative experience. I look forward to working with her again photographing her amazing range of totally bespoke pieces of jewellery. Do get in touch with her if you would like to commission and perhaps even help design a unique item for yourself or a loved one: email@example.com
I started working with a new branch of this estate agent and was pleased to be asked to also do headshots of each team member as they were looking to update their profiles in both print and on the web. The team wanted to have shots that obviously identified them as estate agents but also showed them as professional, friendly, trustworthy and open people to work with. I look forward to working with them on more impressive properties for sale in the near future.
I have long had an interest in photographing architecture and all sorts of buildings both commercial and residential. I like pondering what makes a structure a great place to live or work and thinking about what lessons we have learnt from the past about how we utilise space. The buildings we occupy should be not only functional but also spaces where we want to spend time and simply enjoy being there. The best architecture does, of course, lift our spirits and makes us feel happy to wander around and explore different areas and watch the play of light in and around the structure. We have an emotional connection to the space and look forward to our visit to either work rest or play. Lately I have been lucky to visit some lovely homes to photograph in preparation for selling and had the pleasure of meeting and talking to interesting people. Here's an example of some of the homes I've had the pleasure to work in.
A little trip down memory lane here but a year ago the lovely people at Nottinghamshire Hospice got in touch to explain they had great news about some free promotional space which they would need images for. Nottingham City Buses had offered the hospice free advertising on the back of one of their buses and so I was asked to produce a range of images which meant working all over the site to cover the different services they offer, the staff that work there and the wonderful grounds the hospice is surrounded by. The building is a day centre and offers numerous services to people including a range of therapies, treatments, refreshments and a freshly prepared hot meal at lunchtime.
Fortunately, I had a warm and slightly overcast day which meant there were no harsh shadows to contend with when photographing the grounds and people sitting on the benches relaxing and talking. In the end the main image chosen does, I feel, reflect exactly what the hospice is about and that is people. People and the quality of life they can enjoy for the days, weeks or months they have left. Nottinghamshire Hospice is a wonderful charity doing really important work to help people in the community. if you would like to know more then here is the link to take you directly to their website: www.nottshospice.org
It's always an honour to enter someone's home who is willing to give me total access to take photographs. I don't take the trust for granted so I move from space to space as discreetly as possible and I'm acutely mindful that I'm in someone else's home. Although I work systematically I take the time to think when I'm in a space and consider where the best places are to place my tripod and begin work. As ever, the devil is in the detail when shooting property, so I am constantly assessing the space as I work to make sure everything looks right. Wherever possible I will remove or move things around to make the image work as well as possible to show off the space. Getting back to my desk, shortlisting and editing each photograph is where I finally decide which images will be shown to the estate agent and vendor of course. It's lovely to get positive feedback but I continue to learn all the time because I want to produce the best images I possibly can.
BBC Radio Nottingham invited firearms officer, Angie Cochrane, one of only 4 female firearms officers in a team of 52 from Nottinghamshire Police to discuss her career to date. She talked about her most memorable 999 call, her pet hens and what it's like being a woman in a male dominated environment. I was asked to nip over to the BBC building to photograph Angie and Verity once they had finished the interview and managed to get this image of the two of them in the recording studio. The interview wasn't broadcast live but was part of a series of programmes being aired weekly over Women's history month of Verity speaking to different women about their careers. I have often passed the BBC Radio Nottingham building and wondered what it would look like inside so was very excited to finally be walking through the doors! I obviously didn't have much time to grab my shots, as both Angie and Verity had to get back to work but managed to get this shot, straight after the interview.
This was my third year photographing the annual LGBT+ Partnership Conference in Nottingham and this year, for the second year running, at the beautiful Council House in Market Square. The organisations that come together to host these annual conferences work together throughout the year to organise events that are always well attended and offer and safe place for insightful dialogue and debate. The organisations that work together to make these conferences a success are Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Homes, Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottinghamshire Police, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, Nottinghamshire Healthcare and NHS Trust, and Vision West Nottinghamshire College. The ballroom at the Council House is a wonderful place to photograph as it benefits from excellent light thanks to the enormous windows that are equally spread all along one side. I love shooting in this type of natural light and had many opportunities to make great images as the light changed from morning to afternoon.
A fantastic opportunity from Rebecca Hart, the Director of a dance company called Dance Equation, who wanted to have some images of her professional dancers in rehearsals at Alea Nottingham for a cabaret night they were due to be hosting there. There were numerous styles of dance and the accompanying change of costumes and all were photographed in the available light at the venue so that the images reflected what the routines would look like on the night. All the dancers were fantastic at running through routines and working with me to ensure we got the best images possible. The images have also been used on publicity materials for the company and on the new Dance-Equation website so do check it out - www.dance-equation.co.uk.
I had the pleasure of working with Chloe Williams, Managing Director of Little Wickets, which is all about providing cricket fun for the under 7's. There are numerous sessions run all over Nottinghamshire and Chloe wanted images that showed the children actively taking part and enjoying their time with expert coaches and each other. The aims of Little Wickets is that children pick up the fundamentals of movement to develop individual skills, team work and fair play. It was an energetic photography session (to say the least!) but great fun watching these children learn and play together.
Victoria and i had a very enjoyable morning walking around West Bridgford to find outdoor places where we could shoot her headshots. Always wonderful to work with someone who is so cheerful, positive and up for trying all sorts of places to see what works best. Victoria was a little nervous at the beginning as she hates being the centre of attention but we talked a lot and shared funny stories and she soon started to relax.
Charmaine has worked in the education sector for over 20 years initially as a teacher and now as a coach in education establishments working alongside staff. She specialises in coaching consultancy related to promoting organisational change, resilience, leadership development and well-being. As an executive Coach she works with teams individuals and groups. It was a delight to work with Charmaine as she was calm and easy to work with. Charmaine had requested a variety of images of her running a workshop at The University of Nottingham and also headshots which she could use on social media, publications and websites.
Having photographed the first iteration of Crowe's delicious chilli sauces back in November 2016 things have moved on somewhat for the owner Alessandra Crowe and a year later the business is going places. The production has now moved from Alessandra's residence to a unit at Sneinton Market and a now an even hotter sauce (can you believe?!) is being developed and tested. In December Alessandra is off the Brazil for a month to do research and see what other sauces she might be inclined to develop and put into production for 2018. In the meantime here are the latest product shoots.