Sara Carroll contacted me about producing some head shots of models for her new venture as a make-up artist along with some behind the scenes shots of her at work. I jumped at the opportunity to work with her to create some stunning studio head shots that showed off her creative talents.
Sara was incredibly professional and I enjoyed working with her ideas to create some stunning studio images of these gorgeous women.
The aim was to try and create different looks to show off her varied skills and use a dark and light backdrop with strong colours to contrast simple neutral tones.
Carly Beckwith: Strong colours – DRAMA
Alex Rae – Subtle colours – NATURAL
Yana – The Glamour – PRETTY
So where do you start with a personal branding shoot for your business?
If you are looking to have a website that stands out, exudes a professional service, then the images you use will make a difference. A business needs to be memorable when you visit a website. Mediocre images will not make you memorable. Go the extra mile to show you care about your business and you will stand out. Showing care for your business raises your profile and making these work with a story about you helps too.
There are plenty of reasons why you should consider professional photographs. If you do your research by looking at who has a website you admire, you will see why. Your customers will know the difference from something you took from a loyalty free image website, to something you had created yourself, especially if you tell the story behind it. The latter will give you credibility and interest.
To start the process you can arrange an appointment with me to discuss your needs, either over the phone or face to face. If you wish to book me then we can discuss rates there and then.
I will take a brief and we can sketch out some ideas on the first meeting or in due course after our initial discussion. The brief I take will work out what is best for the long term with the aim maximise your investment.
My advice to any business is to keep things as simple or as classic as possible so that images will not date. However, depending on your requirements, we may also be producing work that is short term for projects or seasonal side of the business.
How much does a personal branding session cost?
Each of my prices are bespoke to the requirements, as some shoots may require longer editing times. For example a more lifestyle natural shoot will require less editing, whereas a studio shoot with lots of complex elements may require double the amount of editing time. Having said this, you must not judge your needs on saving money. If what is best for your business requires a studio shoot then I would recommend it for the long term effectiveness of selling you. If together we work out that a lifestyle shoot would be best then there will be clear reasons why, and this will be how you and your business needs to be portrayed.
Personal Branding Rate: £399. This rate includes planning your shoot either over the phone or face to face. We might sketch out some ideas or share a pinterest board with ideas and colour schemes to suit all elements of you and the website. The shoot would then be a couple of hours, followed by my time editing. All images will be included. These will be around 10-15 highly produced images.
To find out more please contact me. 07513 100 514.
A SESSION GUIDE – This guide is a to help you prepare for the newborn session.
I offer sessions in my home studio, or if requested in your home with either studio and or natural light. My studio is 75 Gipsy Lane, Kettering, NN16 8TZ. I use a room in my home as a studio. I will offer you a warm or cold drink on arrival, but please feel free to bring snacks for what may be a 2-3 hour session. Arrive for your session at 10.15am.
Most images will be taken of your new baby without clothing or newborn clothing I have, unless otherwise requested or with outfits as planned. this is because very little fits them nicely at this age. I usually begin by
wrapping them up to get them to sleep. The temperature in the room will be set to the same heat the baby is used to before they left the womb. Please bear this in mind when choosing your own clothes as you may feel a little warm yourself. More on parent clothing below.
If possible it helps to have baby to be as sleepy as possible so that the session runs smoother. For this reason your baby would ideally be
between 7-12 daysold (if a little older it may take a bit longer as your baby soon starts establishing patterns for sleeps and feeds). If the baby won’t sleep, I achieve the lovely awake images, this is best when they are wrapped up so arms are not dancing about covering their little faces.
Newborn sessions are around 2-3 hours long. This allows time for you to feed, change nappies and for me to change sets and props if requested.
Occasionally an extra top up of milk during the session can help so bring milk if you are bottle feeding. Or if the baby has pacifier/dummy
please bring this too. Sometimes people use them just for the session and never again.
While your session is three hours long we aren’t actually shooting the whole time. It’s important for me to monitor how baby seems to be in the positions and with the props, but it helps for you to read your child too.
Anything that that you or the baby went through during birth would be important for me to know.
Although I photograph baby as they are, I have newborn hats, ties and headbands as well as outfits. These will still be kept to a timeless look. I prefer not to use buckets and will only use bowls or a small prop bed for some set ups. I tend to prefer to wrap up your baby to settle them first before I try any nakedposes. If you are after the natural and less prop approach or have specific colour preferences, then please let me know before our session.
Please feel free to bring a special toy or blanket. I have placed a baby in a mothers special bowl and wrapped another in a wedding sari.
Siblings /family images
I will capture sibling/parent images first as young children get bored fast. I aim to do these first so that the rest of the session is focused on capturing the other details of your baby. Please feel free to bring any entertainment for siblings. There is a TV room and outdoor play area with swings and trampoline which can be used after the images with them are taken.
As I use a home studio I do find that siblings are more relaxed with feeling of a home from home.
What to bring/clothing
Simple outfits work best and do not distract from the overall image of the baby. Please avoid patterns and bold or bright colours.
If possible, stick to plain block of colours; and white always works well as I tend to use a grey or white backdrop. It also keeps the images timeless.
After the session
It can take me around two weeks to edit your images. I pay particular attention to skin and colour tones. If there is anything at all
which you would like me to correct in photoshop or if you prefer no photoshopping please let me know before I begin editing.
I will book in another date for you to view the images this can be in my home or your home. During this session you will be asked to select your favourites to purchase and pay on the day via BACs or paypal. This may be one of the collections and or individual bespoke prints or wall art.
The chosen products are then ordered and delivered to you within 5 weeks. Any digital images purchased within the collection will be
sent to you for download the same or next day. The USB is delivered with the prints.
I hope the information above is useful. You are welcome to contact me at anytime with further questions or to discuss your requirements.
I very much look forward to welcoming you into my studio and making some very special memories into beautiful pieces of art for
Most mums will recommend joining a pregnancy class of some type. Yoga, hyno-birthing or any time of antenatal birthing class, and NCT where you will meet some other mums to be.
I met a group of friends during one of these classes just over 7 years ago with my first child. We all went to have boys which furthered our bond. After our births we met up and drank tea and ate cake. Eventually we joined baby classes of all types together; buggy fit, or sensory classes. Some time was also spent in any cafe where we felt comfortable to breast feed and chat. It’s these chats that save you! Thanks fully I had a circle of mums I knew before to support and be supported.
I recommend these groups or classes because years later when your little ones start school, you still never forget the support that they gave you in those tender days.
Some of us met up again recently to catch up on our lives. This time without children at our feet. It’s lovely for lots of reasons and mostly because I realised I was lucky to have found them at the right time in my life. They remind you of how far you have come emotionally. After birth, more births and ups and downs, you realise how strong you are as a human being. Becoming a mum makes you feel invincible, but ironically at the same time you manage to muster up strength you never knew you had, you discover a vulnerable you which you can’t describe.
Talking is the best therapy, unless more serious. Talking can get you through these mixed, contradictory emotions and experiences. Talking with good friends really can help; your maternity mums (if you meet the right ones*) along with your existing besties, will be a saving grace.
So as soon as you’ve had your 20 week scan, please get joining these amazing classes. You will be creating forever friendships.
Wishing you all the best on your maternity journey.
*I say meet the right ones because along the way you meet many who are not going to make you feel good about yourself. My advice is to very quickly ditch those. Trust your instincts, as it’s a vulnerable time to be surrounded by anyone negative or who brings you down. You will know them straight away.
The classes I went to were mostly in Kettering, Wellingborough and Northampton. Some don’t exist now but I am building a page of new ones which I have been recommended. This is coming soon! So follow my page on Facebook or Instagram for updates.
These will cover Northamptonshire and Market Harborough.
We all have super smart phones and devices with high enough pixels to print an 8 by 10inch photo. I’ll be honest with you though… no matter how great the quality is of your phone or camera, if you don’t know what you are doing to capture a great image, then that print won’t turn out its best. So its important for me point out at the start of each blog on this series that you need to leave the framed art pieces to the professionals.
This blog is about day to day captures for your memories and for the 6 x 4 prints for the kids slip in albums. You don’t need anything fancy for that as you know they’ll be taking them out to show their friends.
Every year I print all the interesting or milestone moments from my iPhone to put in my kids albums, it started with newborn to first ice-cream, first day of school to bike riding etc… stuff I’m to going to frame on the wall but I want them to see growing up how far they came.
They probably don’t need to be the PERFECT shot… but I still want them to be nicer than the usual. If you are reading this or following these blog posts then you do too.
So first tip: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LIGHT! Indoor snaps.
It’s obvious right? If you take a photo on your phone in the darkest corner of the room it’s going to look dark. If you take it by the window it will be lighter. I know this is simple science but I sometimes I see people I know make this obvious mistake. Sometimes they are taken by the moment of something smart their child has performed.
I know you cant always re-enact the moment perfectly, but next time ask them do either do it again or encourage them by the window light to do that amazing face or dance. The chances are they will and you will get a better image to save to print.
Where do you stand? Side on to the window. Or open a door. Back to window if you have an interesting backdrop from the window into the house.
Where do they stand? Side on to the window facing you, a slight 45 degrees facing the window. If it’s a bright day then step back just to where the shade is. If it’s an overcast day you can be as close as you like. You can have them with the window behind – only works if you have light facing the kids or would like to do a silhouette. Try different angles too like from above but with child by window.
Practice this first. There’s lots more to learn, but start with the basics of how the light looks. When the light is best at which time of day it’s best and then you can concentrate on the rest, like what else is in the image you are taking. PRACTICE WITH ANYTHING – YOUR CAT, A VASE, KIDS GET BORED QUICK SO IT HELPS TO PREPARE, then you can entice* them into the spot you need them. (*enticing tips are different for every child).
Once you do lots of images in this way at different parts of the house you will understand what the light is like in the room, which you like the best and why. Then you will know where you like taking a photo best in the house and which part of the day too.
So next time your child has that special dance to do or award to show off you can record that image in the same place and keep to the same beautiful light.
I hope you enjoyed the blog 🙂 Get trying out some ideas and don’t forget to share them in the group.
I was recently awarded 2nd place in a prestigious* photography competition and I wanted to tell you about why I entered.
I enter monthly competitions mostly to improve my standard and to understand what makes an impactful image. If it can impact on a stranger then it will impact on the families I’m creating the images for.
I am competitive, but not with anyone else… this is the bit that’s really important. I am competing with myself! I know this sounds bizarre and most of my friends would not be surprised of my mindset.
The point is that I want to be is better than the photographer I was yesterday. It’s not about anyone else. It’s about being the best I can be for myself, my family, the families I shoot for and for anyone else who has an impact in my life.
I’m not saying that I don’t occasionally slip into comparing myself to others. I do, but it’s different this time. I look at where they are and what they are achieving, and I want the same if not better. This is for me and not to prove anything to anyone else. We all wish to understand where we want to be in life and when you see someone enjoying success in what you love doing, then it can inspire you in that direction. It shows you what your heart’s desire may be.
It matters to the families who book me that I am the best I can be. They know I’m motivated to produce work of a high standard and trust I will do the same for them.
This is another reason why I enter competitions; I have to learn what makes a good photograph, accept critique and celebrate any wins no matter how big or small. This is the space in which you will learn and grow the most.
Wishing you all the best in your ventures!
* The reason why I say prestigious is because that there are so many competitions in this industry and the levels vary. The SWPP have very high standards. To find out more about SWPP competition requirements see this link: http://swpp.co.uk/comps.htm