Are you selling products online?

jewelleryIf so, how much importance have you put on the quality and professionalism of your product images, especially for ‘catalogue style’ with brilliant white backgrounds and consistent lighting? Or perhaps in-situ for a more stylised shoot but keeping a consistent look and feel?

We have experience in photographing products and still life in both studio and in-situ photo shoots – from food and drink to jewellery and other luxury products. See this case study from our recent Client, The Jaunty Flaneur; and this one from jeweller Robert Vining.

socks1With over 20 years of marketing and photographic experience we offer a consultative approach to deliver you high quality images optimised for web as well as professional images for advertising and other marketing communications.

The exact price depends on how many products you have to photograph; whether we come to you or you send us the products; and a few other details that we’d iron out when we consult on the brief. But fundamentally we want to help raise the standards and help you sell more.

Why not ask us for a quote? – and we will work out a perfect package to fit your budget and exceed your expectations. Get in touch today

Are you selling products online?

January Offer: Headshots and Portraits

Book a Corporate Headshot or Social Portrait session today and get up to £50 off!

Corporate Headshots

Whether you need a new LinkedIn Profile Picture (YES, MANY OF YOU DO) or some decent photos for the company website or a ‘better than a selfie’ headshot for your Facebook or Dating Website, why not get some professional headshots?

Book an hour with us and you will have a set of digital images you can use however you wish! We have a relaxed and fun style to put you at your ease whether you are a seasoned poser or reluctant participant.

This Offer Includes:

  • Approximately one hour session at your Office or Home or a location of your choice (where allowed).
  • We bring equipment – you can have outfit changes and you will be given direction for poses as needed.
  • We will do light editing on the images (if required) – everyone has a natural beauty although further photoshopping can be done if you really, really insist ;0)
  • All hi-res, full colour and selected B&W images will be available for you to review, share and download from a password protected online gallery within 24 hours of the session.

(Note that Make up and hair styling are not included in this offer although we can make recommendations if required).

Terms:

  • Executive Headshot sessions are normally £250ph (offer price £200); Social Portrait Sessions are normally £150ph (offer price £125)
  • Booking must be made by 31st January 2015 and Photo Session must take place before 31st March 2015.
  • Sessions can be booked from 8am-8pm any day of the week where we have spaces!
  • Sessions can involve more than one person and even pets if desired – but remember you only have an hour ;0)
  • Travel expenses are included within M25; and passed on at cost and/or at 50p per mile mileage.
  • Social Headshots – no deposit necessary and payment must be made in full before images are released.
  • Corporate Headshots – PO or reference required at time of booking and invoice will be emailed at the same time as the image link. Payment within 30 days.

Make an Enquiry or Book now!

January Offer: Headshots and Portraits

Poppy-tastic! Meet The Poppy Man of St Pancras

There’s been a lot of talk about poppies this year – from The Tower of London installation to all the 11/11 commemorations across the country and so it was more like an accident that I stumbled across a chap called Ron Wiltshire (@RonWiltshire17) who was drumming up support via Twitter for sales of 1914-2014 poppy pin badges.

This East Midlands Trains train advisor set out to collect £25,000 via on-train and at-station collection boxes along the EMT route covering Corby, Leicester and Sheffield as well as the lines terminating at St Pancras International.
The first tweet I saw he was at £18K and had just starting selling them on ebay:
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It was a few DAYS later that he hit the target (only to set a new one of £35K):
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By 11/11 he was over £43K and preparing for his last “poppies on a train” collection round:
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So I jumped at the opportunity to meet him when he called into St Pancras International to pick up all the boxes and do the final tally on 12th November. Just a handful of badges remained from the 14,000 they had at the beginning. The National Ticket Office at the station managed to raise an impressive £4,351 from badges and poppies – which is way ahead of last year’s £452!

As we were speaking a lady came up to Ron asking, “Are you the Poppy Man?” then asked for a pin badge and Ron promptly removed his lapel badge and gave it to her (for a donation of course).
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Ron started raising money for the Royal British Legion eight years ago after a heart attack left him yearning for something positive to give back. Each year he gives up two weeks of his holiday time to follow his mission – the last two years of which have been wholly supported by his employer.

Ron not only personally walks the trains and visits the stations with the collection boxes and badges, but he also took to Twitter just a few weeks ago to help raise awareness and also set up an online shop on ebay. The online orders are personally fulfilled every day and in just one evening he had over 500 emails taking him three days to clear.

Ron, 62, is a kind and gentle man who has been taking the new-found media interest in his stride: “I had my photo taken in Sheffield and they printed a piece in today’s Star”. He humbly adds: “My legs are aching from all the walking, but it’s been really great and people have been so kind.”

He’s been away from home for the most part of a fortnight and he’s looking forward to a week off with a proper well-deserved break. His wife just about remembers what he looks like and at least Ron remembered to send her a postcard from London last week!

What a lovely man, what a fabulous cause and I hope the final figure is as near to £50,000 as possible!

See the story on Stpancras.com (12th November 2014)

Please note there are some delightful people on ebay selling poppy pin badges at twenty times the original recommended donation value – and we cannot guarantee that any or even some of the proceeds are going to the Royal British Legion. Ron is an official collector and only offering the pin badges for £2.50 with all proceeds going to RBL.

Poppy-tastic! Meet The Poppy Man of St Pancras

Five things (most) brides only do on their wedding day

For most brides, it’s a one-off, once-in-a-lifetime, possibly even an I-dreamt-of-this-day-since-I-was-a-child occasion, and there’s very little personal experience to draw on apart from attending other peoples’ weddings and/or being a bridesmaid. So I had a think about what I believe most brides only do on their wedding day and here are the top five from my photographer’s perspective…

1 Wear a strapless/big/expensive dress

It can be all about the dress – full and flowing or slim-fitting and elegant?; Stunning impact or fine detail?; Backless and strapless? Big or small?… the choice is endless and is probably one of the biggest decisions for the bride – especially if money is an object. But let me share a few observations. Firstly – Wearing Strapless is an Art Form.

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If you have never worn strapless before – practice; or try one on for a day. It can feel quite exposing, you can feel self-conscious, you may want to constantly pull your dress up…

And – unlike these lovely brides (Heather above and Kate below) – not every bride has the body shape to carry it off. (Just saying!).

Secondly – Going Big specifically needs careful planning – consider how easy it will be to move, sit, dance and go to the facilities. Even getting the dress on and laced correctly needs the help of a small crew.

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And thirdly – whatever you do decide to spend on your wedding dress – it is an expensive item of clothing that you will probably only wear once – you will get marks on it, people may step on it, it may catch on something (eg your ring), you may spill something…

All I recommend is that you consider wisely the practicalities so that the day is not all about keeping the dress up, avoiding tripping over and re-mortgaging your house.

Oh, and whilst I am at it don’t forget to ‘break in’ your shoes by walking in them around the house – I’ve photographed many a shoe with the price tags still on them ;0)

2 Carry a bouquet

Unless you’ve already been subjected to the bridesmaid version, this is in my mind one of the weirdest things a bride gets to do on her wedding day. Gorgeous as flowers look (and smell) and how they can make a photo, it is actually pretty awkward to hold onto something out front and on display for most of the day (just try doing that with your handbag or phone for ten minutes then you’ll see!). According to ‘Howstuffworks“The practice probably originated from the time of the Plague, when people clutched the herbs over their noses and mouths in a desperate effort to survive.” Nice.

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I do love the bouquets though and one tip I mention to my brides is to always hold the bouquet further down than you think as it looks more natural in the photos… I’d also suggest some practice holding flowers before the day too – discuss the best holding position/shape and size when you meet with your florist…

3 Wear a veil

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It’s another traditional element that can look great in photos but can also lead you to wonder why you bothered giving yourself yet another thing to worry about…and an additional expense and a bit of a faff hoping you don’t lose it. Tradition states that the veil symbolised the virginity of the bride. And Wikipedia goes on to state “Further, if a bride is a virgin, she often wears the face veil through the ceremony, and then either her father lifts the veil, presenting the bride to her groom, or the groom lifts the veil to symbolically consummate the marriage, which will later become literal.” So there we go!

If you do decide to go for a veil, (as did the fabulous Simone above), tips from me include practice veiling it over your face and unveiling off your face with your hair done – perhaps get a friend to help. And at least mention the process to your partner – they will be so confused as to what they have to do when they see you at the aisle as if he wasn’t nervous enough!

 4 Drink Alcohol (…from the moment they get up)

For some this actually might not be that unique, but if you are not used to drinking champagne whilst you get ready at 8am in the morning, don’t forget – pace yourself, everything in moderation and drink enough water too. (Nice pic of Emma-Lee being sensible).

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And especially if you have a big dress, consider the consequences of needing to go to the loo more often (where your Maid of Honour/Chief Bridesmaid comes into her own). And if your favourite tipple is red wine, beware of the dress! Perhaps you can adopt the ‘protect the dress at any cost’ pose as shown by the gorgeous Deborah below:

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5 Be the centre of attention ALL DAY

You’ll never be photographed as much as you will on your special day (unless you are a celeb) and it’s quite unnerving spending so much time in front of a lens if you are not used to it. Practice poses, get to know what works for you and get a practice photo-shoot in if possible – we’ll get to know whether you are a blinker, a smirker, a gurner or a super sweaty person and help guide you to ensure every photo is a keeper.

Anyone want to predict what the ‘five things a groom (only) does on his wedding day’ blog will cover?

Five things (most) brides only do on their wedding day

Happy Chappies in Real Nappies

I saw on Twitter that there was going to be a “#realnappyflashmob” meeting at The Betjeman Statue in St Pancras International Station at 11am today (Wednesday 11th December 2013) so I popped on down to find out more.

photoTurns out this was a gathering organised by Real Nappies for London – raising awareness of and encouraging take up for washable nappies. This is not something I had really given much thought about but there are some horrific stats:

  • The UK throws away 8 MILLION nappies a day into landfill
  • Nappies account for 4% of UK Household waste
  • A nappy for a new born will be changed up to 12 times a day
  • Household waste doubles when there is a newborn in the house; trebles if there are two

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But can re-usable, washable nappies actually be a viable alternative? Are they convenient? Apparently, you get used to the routines and they can be washed in a machine at normal 40degree temperature; Are they cost-effective? Yes, over the full months of use. Do they work? The kids seem happy, the parents seem convinced and they are quite a fashion accessory!

SLP_0180-X2And who knew that local councils offer incentive vouchers? and at least seven North London Boroughs have a scheme in place? (including Islington Council representatives (pictured at the gathering today right) and, thankfully, my borough, Camden). Apparently giving out over 11,600 vouchers since 2007 has saved 7,000 tonnes of disposable nappy waste and this saves London taxpayers £1M! Now you are talking my language as someone who lives and works in London but does not have any children…

I was impressed by the commitment of this group – evangelising without patronising, doing their bit to save the planet and practising what they preach. Here are a few more pics from the St Pancras part of the day: http://samlanephotography.smugmug.com/St-Pancras/Real-Nappies-for-London. Wishing you all the best!

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Find out more about the Go Real National Campaign or visit Real Nappies for London 

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Christmas is coming

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I had a really interesting project last week… to take some photos of the Christmas Decorations that are going to be on display at a fantastic London venue, but actually before they are put up (so that the images could be used in some promotional material that will also be on display and it all matches and co-ordinates).

So, off I set out into drizzly Buckinghamshire to a small unit tucked away in the countryside to drop in to see The Christmas Decorators. The dressed tree in the reception area was fabulous and as I travelled upstairs it was great to see that pre-decorated trees were already stacked up and ready for delivery.

My fabulous host Clark had already created four decorated and LED-lit garlands for me to photograph which looked amazing. I saw over 30 boxes of baubles (each containing in the region of 500!) and my host explained that there was going to be 4,500 feet of garlands – each about 9 foot long surrounding the venue. It’s going to look great! I am told it takes around 15 minutes to do each one with an array of gorgeous baubles… and then two nights to put them up! The LED lights mean that the whole display can run off just one 13-amp plug and will cost just 19p per month on power. All the garlands – which come rolled up before they are “fluffed” – are fireproofed and made at their factory in China as are the various sizes of baubles that are also shatterproof.

So much detail and effort goes into these which can be months in the planning yet a key few weeks of actual prep and installation. And then of course people want everything out again by 6th January. I have a huge admiration for all those involved in the business of corporate and residential Christmas Decorations – have a fab Christmas!

Christmas is coming