With climate change at the top of everybody’s minds now, I thought that I would share some behind the scenes of a recent PR photography shoot.
A PR agency commissioned me to conduct a PR photography shoot for Ionity, a company that operates high powered electric vehicle charging stations.
IONITY is a joint venture of BMW Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes Benz AG and Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche. Their goal is to build a high-power charging network for electric vehicles along major highways in Europe with plans for up to 400 sites.
Their stations can charge at 350 kW which means at maximum capacity, the charge can be completed in around 15 – 20 minutes. They also automatically sense the power capacity of the car, so if you are not lucky to own a prestige car your car will still be charged at its optimum rate.
The brief and shoot.
This shoot was organised in conjunction with Porsche. They had arranged for a film crew to video one of their Tayan cars at Cobham services, near to where I live.
The brief was to capture stills once the film crew had finished their first takes. This meant a reasonable amount of waiting around. It did give me the opportunity to be a little more creative with my photography. It helped that I had a prestigious subject at my disposal.
They wanted some interesting angles and if possible, some action shots too. I decided to take some shots of the car being driven around and arriving at the charging station.
The advantage of working alongside a film crew is that they usually use multiple takes to cover every angle. This gives me more opportunities to get the shots I need.
I did ask if I could borrow the model so that I could get some shots with her using the equipment to bring some extra interest. The answer was obvious because the model politely declined as she had been contracted by Porsche for the day. The moral here is if you do not ask you will never get.
I do have a reputation for being cheeky occasionally, as I like to capture something different. Examples include the local mayor on a Segway and our local MP sporting a stainless-steel bra.
This gave me an advantage as the sample shots sent were of rather more mundane vehicles and the sun was shining too.
To see more of my PR and Events photography work or are looking for professional photography work to promote or capture your events, visit my PR Photography Page!
There is an adage when it comes to the retail environment. “Retail is detail”, which was attributed to James Gulliver, the head of Fine Fare/ Safeway in the ’70s. This was very important when I was recently asked to help with some marketing photography for an upgraded farm shop within a local garden centre.
This is very true when my client took advantage of the recent lockdowns. Their circumstances changed when Edinburgh Woollen Mill closed their outlet within the building. The extra space allowed them to relocate their successful farm shop into the main premises.
This gave me the chance to help them with their marketing photography. They needed to inform their clients of this change.
Kat, the marketing lady, wanted to emphasise that the farm shop had nearly doubled in size. She was excited to announce that their popular ‘cook’ range of frozen dinners had been expanded to eight freezers from the original four.
The brief was therefore aimed at showing the overview of the space. They wanted to show the context of its position within the rest of the shop.
There was a definite need to show the details such as the vegetable displays, the refillable cereal containers and the expanded range of wines. They particularly wanted to emphasise the range of locally sourced produce, as clients are more aware of reducing food miles.
Kat was also very keen to show that they were operating in a more sustainable manner. Kat wanted to show that they were serious about a reduction in the use of packaging and that this packaging was environmentally friendly.
Of course, when it comes to this kind of marketing photography you need to allow time to capture everything. The shop was open and the staff were still stocking up. Patience was the order of the day.
The premises were well lit so it was possible to get a lot of the shots in one take. However, some shots with differing exposures were merged later to create the appropriate ambience.
Kat was delighted with the results, and this allowed her to take out a full-page advertisement in a local magazine.
If you have updated your offering I would love to be able to help you to publicise this for your valued clients.
Please contact me to arrange a consultation regarding marketing photography or to book a shoot.
During the COVID-19 pandemic whole areas of our lives have changed. An amazing statistic recently revealed that there has been a 750% increase in searches for take-away afternoon teas.
What has changed in your business? How have you pivoted in these challenging times?
So many have now made the shift to online sales. This has become their norm. Others have no option but to remain in physical premises where takeaway is the solution during the latest national lockdown.
A client’s story.
I recently helped a garden centre to produce fab images of their lovely take-away afternoon teas. They can remain open however the café must remain closed for seated customers. To create some cash flow they have decided to offer take-aways and included are afternoon teas.
To be environmentally friendly they ordered in some great packaging which is completely recyclable. It is ingeniously designed to make sure that the tea is perfect after its journey home.
Overcoming the photographic challenges
On arrival for the shoot, I was directed to a dark corner of the cafe which was out of the way of any customers. Looking at the scene, I decided that the way to go was to introduce some artificial lighting. I often use a Lastolite highlight panel which is designed to be a pure white background for portrait shoots. This is a fantastic large source of soft light, which resembles that produced from a window. I always want the images to look as natural as possible and will mostly steer away from using flash.
It was obvious after the first few test shots that this was not going to work. The light was too harsh and with a dull day outside, the images had a very dark background. This is where it is best to admit defeat to your client and suggest something else.
On my way in I spotted that the first part of the seating area was more like a greenhouse as it was totally glass. I suggested that it would be best to set up there a I was confident that the whole shoot could be carried out using natural light which is always my first choice. The cafe was quiet so this would not cause any issues.
This turned out to be a brilliant move as I was soon up and running producing lovely bright images which is my general style.
The shoot was a huge success, and the client is delighted with the images which they can now use to promote themselves on their website and social media.
Can I help you?
If your business needs marketing images of your take-away offering in SE England, then I may be able to help you too. Just contact me or else use the chat function on the site.
There are so many people who are now looking to rebuild their business following the global catastrophe that 2020 has been. It is true that the world has changed for good, and we need to reflect that change in the way that we promote our business.
So how can brand photography help?
The good old business card is becoming somewhat outdated as our calling card. In the world today, social platforms and websites are king. You need a new way to draw attention to yourself and must set yourself apart from others.
How will brand photography help you in your business?
It is best to have a consistent brand message across all platforms. This is where branding comes in.
This is now vital as your online presence is so important to your business. Even if you do not run a business, it is still important as you should treat it as part of your online CV.
Before you can even start, you should be thinking about your brand message. You need to tell your story, which should be genuine. It needs to reflect your true character.
You need to think of it as the story people tell about you when you are not in the room. It should emphasise your uniqueness and show what you are passionate about.
An intrinsic part of this process is to get yourself a great set of professionally produced images that fit in with your brand.
The Client experience
As an example, I was called upon by Anne who, although retired, required a set of brand photography images to help her promote herself as an author.
Anne has a huge passion for cars, especially Mercedes cars, so we decided to meet at Mercedes Benz World in Surrey as the initial location for the shoot. This turned out not to be that inspiring, so I suggested relocating to an area close by which featured graffiti under the M25 motorway.
If this sounds rather daunting; you can be assured that it does not need to be. I offer a free consultation where we can discuss what is important to you, your likes, and your dislikes. We can discuss your values and business ethos.
Thought will be given to suitable locations for the shoot, be it at your business premises or else on location. I can suggest suitable clothing and colours that suit your personality and message.
Following the shoot, you will receive a set of professionally finished images that you can use for your website, brochures and social media.
If you are considering creating your own brand or wish to update your existing brand, please give me a call or use the contact form.
The marketing mix has definitely changed over the years. Never more so in the latest crisis. There is increasing emphasis on online content and social media awareness.
This makes it so important that you make the best use of your marketing and PR photography.
The immediacy of modern platforms and the sheer quantity of data being put out there means that your post can disappear in moments.
The key to success is consistency and regular posting. This means that there is a continuing requirement for PR and marketing photography.
There are a number of ways to achieve this…
You could enlist the services of a professional, who will give you the right quality of image to make your business stand out. Another is to keep things in house, although this may compromise things somewhat as quality and consistency may vary.
To mitigate this you can train the operatives and give them exact criteria and briefs. Of course, photography training is another service that I provide and I have recently run one to one sessions for an estate agency and a catering organisation.
For more information about 121 training please visit my tuition page.
As it is now the right time to think about and book this type of shoot, I thought that I would showcase a case study to highlight where I can help.
For more information, please check my Events & PR page.
PR & Marketing photography – case study
Ground Control – Childrens Garden at Kew
I was contacted by the designers and installers of the new childrens garden at Kew Gardens. They required publicity shots of their big reveal to the families of people who work at Kew Gardens.
The benefit for me to receive a fully detailed brief for PR and marketing photography is that I have a reference point to work to. This means that I will capture all of the shots required by the client. The brief given was to capture publicity shots of the newly designed and built childrens garden.
They wanted an overview of the gardens before the official opening and also required images capturing the children enjoying the garden. This was for their website, social media and PR. My point of liaison was the marketing manager.
The garden was designed to be a fun interactive space to encourage children to climb, run, jump and explore. It was based around 4 zones featuring the things needed to thrive and grow – earth, air, sun and water.
The central feature of the garden is a 4m high canopy walk around a 200 year old oak tree. There is also a bamboo tunnel and a water feature that represents a stream, including water pumps and dam gates that open.