How can it be the end of February already? Two months already gone in 2020, and they’ve zipped by. January was really busy, full of quotes and bookings for a really wide range of website photography shoots, from brownies and fancy soap, to fundraising corporations; so I think it’s safe to say that the next few months will be varied!
The website shoots I’ve done have been varied too. Corzo and Wood make handcrafted silver jewellery, and are based on the stunning Claydon estate in Buckinghamshire; and in keeping with the countryside theme, I loved working on some magazine images for a rural solicitor, as it included meeting some piglets!
I visited a speech therapist, and learned so much about the practice – it was a fascinating insight into their work, and I wanted to play all of the therapy games! Then there are the headshots to be done for an author, to be printed in the books she’s written. This was another wonderful insight into what a personal thing that is for her, and the courage it’s taken her to go for it. Being part of that journey, and hopefully giving her some portraits to be proud of, is a real honour. I’m also at the start of some really exciting work with a singing tribute act, think 80’s colour vibe!
I also had a lovely thank you note come through from a bespoke saddle-making company, Balance, for a set of images I did last year. It’s amazing what a positive effect a small thank you can have.
Refreshing your website images doesn’t have to be a massive project, or part of an overall rebrand; it’s something you can do gradually, which has a number of benefits. Firstly, you don’t need to plan your product shoot all at once – if your business is seasonal, you can think about photos that could be taken at different times of the year, and in different settings, to reflect all of the services you offer.
Secondly, updating the images on your website is good for your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), or in plain speak, how near the top of the list you are when people Google your type of business. Updating your images over a period of time will have a longer-lasting effect than doing one update, and then leaving your site untouched for six months. I love helping clients to plan their product photoshoots, so if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat.
January was also huge for my property photography work. I’ve captured images for some truly stunning homes over the last few weeks and I’m thankful that this area (Buckingham et al) doesn’t seem to have suffered too badly with the economical uncertainty experienced by some. This area of my work being busy is also a positive sign for our economy overall.
On the home front, it’s been a time of milestones and changes. One of my sons is now working abroad, and I do miss him; I'm constantly looking at the photos I have of him around the house. Another of my boys is getting married, and has just booked his venue – so lots of exciting plans ahead there too, although he’s also moved away, up north to Liverpool, and I’m really missing him too! Another child is at the A levels stage – we survived mocks, and now we’re moving onto the real thing, with all of the tension and anticipation the next six months will hold (there was a failed driving test in there too, so I hope to have better news to share on that front soon!). And finally, the littlest is becoming a gaming pro, so I’m happy to predict that my retirement is therefore sorted.
My usual Christmas present from the children is all four of them getting together for an annual photo, taken by me. We haven’t managed to do that yet, as we’ve not managed to be all together so far, so that is high on my wishlist for later this year. Looking back at our albums, and the photos we have on display around the house, is becoming ever more important to us as a our family grows up, and they remind me every day of the power – and gift – of print. Mothering Sunday is coming up so maybe they’ll pick up on my, not so subtle, hints!
Dog-wise, my lovely Mickey has had a sore leg, so has been off walks and not able to jump for a while. Luckily we have the fabulous Croft Vets, who’ve taken super care of him, and he's managed to get onto the footstool now; so he’s not far off taking over the settee once more.
This month’s tip: following on from last month’s settings theme, try having a play with shutter speed this month. Using a tripod or a sturdy surface, set your exposure speed nice and slow. Practise on moving objects, such as people walking about, or running water. You should get a beautiful soft blur. Show me your results! The blog image is mine from the Lake District.