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Business Portraits

 

Business Portraits –  Case Study – Pallant Chambers

Corporate portraits have become increasingly important in the internet era. As face to face to meetings become more rare, online portraits become the way that clients get to know you. Studies show that putting your photo on your website can drastically increase convertions, so getting a headshot is one of the best business investments you can make. If you are a larger company, a business profile with portraits of all your staff demonstrates the size and scope of your company.

Pallant Chambers is a legal practise specialising in civil law. The brief was to produce formal but friendly portraits. The practice is a real mix of ages and gender. Therefore, it was imperative to come up a with a format that would be flattering to everyone. In addition, business portraits have to be tailored to each company individually. The tone of the portraits must fit in with the company image.

Barristers are busy people and Pallant Chambers has people working all across the south east. Therefore the portraits were spread across three sessions in the afternoon. Many of the barristers had to attend court in the morning. I was happy to fit in with their schedules, especially considering the nature of their work.

The Shoot

I used the company boardroom to take the portraits after the usual funiture moving that goes with this type of work. Everyone was lit with two lights and a reflector. I spent about 10 minutes with each sitter, which usually consists of a few minutes coaching and explaining  before actually taking some shots. I never actually limit my time with people. Sometimes you get the shot in a few frames with some people and have to do considerable work with others. 10 minutes for a business portrait is very much an average figure.

If you would like to book portraits for your firm visit my Business Headshots page for details and availability.

Toby

Commercial Photographer in Sussex

Commercial Photography on Location for Trinity Insurance


Commercial Photography in Chichester
img_2274 img_2601 Business Photography by Tobias Key

Commercial photography on location has become an increasingly large part of my professional life over the last couple of years.

It is something I really enjoy doing. Each job is so different and there are so many interesting challenges.This project was for Trinity Insurance is a specialist firm providing insurance cover to our armed forces.

The brief was to produce a selection of images to use in their advertising, but without making our models identifiable. All of our models were serving soldiers and this just seemed prudent in the current climate.

It is always a challenge to produce photos that go against the normal rules of their genre. It also makes things more interesting. Together, we came up with some ideas that still had a human element to them. We had access to a barracks and its training facilities so there were plenty of location options. 

I thought natural light augmented with reflectors or diffusers was the best option for creating the images. This is my favourite way to work in sunlight. You get what you see, nothing can fall over and there aren’t any issues with batteries and triggering. I can work quickly, and I don’t have to worry about recycling tmes.  Used carefully, the results are very natural but still have a polish.

The nature of our location meant we went from bright sunlight to dim wooded areas and had to keep a consistent feel in the edit. We were lucky not to get any very green lighting from the wooded areas. Fortunately they weren’t so dark as to cause problems with noise either. Commercial photography on location can often produce unforseen problems, especially on a job like this where a site visit wasn’t possible. This is why often I only use about 25% of the equipment I bring to a shoot – better this than being caught out!

Commercial Photography on Location

Toby

Commercial Photographer in Sussex

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Canon 135mm F2L Lens Review – A Wedding Photography Favourite.

Canon 135mm F2L

A shot the really shows where the Canon 135mm F2 shines. Smooth bokeh, fantastic colour and a wonderful depth to the photograph.

The Canon 135mm F2L is one of the older lenses in Canon’s line up, but is still an excellent performer.

I had come to that time, usually at the end of a busy summer wedding season, when it’s time to decide what gear is due for replacement.  My 85mm had been in my bag for a good few years now, and while it was still working perfectly, it had seen a LOT of use. So, I decided to put it into semi-retirement. I was generally happy with it and used it for most of my formal couple shots. However, one frustration was it was not long enough to shoot from the back of a very dim church. My mind turned to the 135mm F2L. Could this lens work for my couples shots and work for inside the church?

Image Stabilisation vs. Large Aperture.

There are two ways of approaching low light photography. Once you have gone as far as you want to in raising the ISO, you can either open the aperture up, or drop the shutter speed. Both have their downsides. If you open the aperture up you risk having too shallow depth of field to keep everything you need in focus. If you drop the shutter speed too far you lose the ability to freeze movement. Canon users generally have the choice of fast unstabilised lenses, or stabilised ones that are generally one stop slower.

Personally, I don’t like to use shutter speeds slower the 1/125 when I am shooting people. I find that you can’t freeze spontaneous gestures at slower speeds, so I would always favour a wider aperture over image stabilsation. I also thought that a Canon 135mm could replace BOTH my 85mm and 70-200 in many situations. These could be demoted to my stand-by bag I keep in the boot of my car and save some weight. I am not fanatical about weight saving, but weddings are always long days, and anything you can do avoid fatigue is worthwhile. So I took a deep breath, got out my debit card, and bought the Canon 135mm F2L.

Zooms vs. Primes for Weddings.

While there are photographers who will argue strongly for either primes or zooms, the reality is you need to have both. Personally I favour primes, but in the day to day reality of a pro’s life you will find yourself in situations where you can’t move around and zooming is the only way to control composition. On the other hand, primes have that bit more character that can just make a shot special. So I have found myself with zooms and primes to cover all my favourite focal lengths. 

The Canon 135mm has been my go to lens when I want a telephoto lens that has a bit of magic, and it has always provided it in spades. It has a certain look that is very individual. I can easily pick out shots made with this lens in my own work, but it is isn’t a gimmicky look.

I’ve found it to be fast and accurate to focus, very flare resistant, and built to Canon’s normal good standards. The focus ring is large and nicely dampened. It is small and light compared to its zoom cousins. It just churns out fantastic photos and never gets in the way. One of Canon’s all time classic lenses.

 

Toby

Wedding Photographer Sussex and Hampshire

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Also posted in advice for new photographers, Chichester photographer, Chichester wedding photographer, Equipment Reviews, Hints and Tips, Lens Reviews Tagged , , , , |

I need a wedding photographer – but I don’t like having my picture taken!

It probably comes as no surprise that with  many of  the couples I work with, at least one of them will be nervous about having their picture taken.

Perhaps the main skill of a wedding photographer is putting people at their ease, or at least making them a bit less nervous! You can have all the photography skills in the world, but when you’re working with people, especially people who are not used to posing for photographs, interpersonal skills are even more important.

Building a good relationship with my clients is essential to building trust, and if the people I working with trust me to do a good job, it helps them to relax.

If you are getting married soon these are my top tips if you are nervous  about being photographed.

Enjoy your Day

The simplest and best tip of all. You’ll love your wedding day and that joy will be written all over your face. Every couple I’ve photographed has had this particular glow about them, a combination of happiness and excitement that photographs really well. Your wedding is not just another day and the photos you receive will reflect that.

I’ll take Pictures, and Most of the Time you Won’t even Know 

The majority pictures I shoot at a wedding are not posed pictures. I’m taking pictures while you’re doing something else, little things like declaring you wedding vows or walking down the aisle!  Generally, you are not even aware of being photographed, so the photos are natural . These photos are also more ‘real’. nervous grooms look nervous, emotional mums cry and children try to take it all in. The fact that I’m telling a story rather than trying to create too many posed images means there’s less onus on the bride and groom to pull a happy face and pose for the camera. It’s a win-win. You get to enjoy your wedding day and get great pictures in the process.

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You are Going to Look your Absolute Best.

Remember that this isn’t just another day. Everyone will dress to the nines, hairdressers and make-up artists will groom you to perfection. You are going to look fantastic. On a day when you are going to look so great it isn’t it important to have a record of it? That’s what I am there for.

I’m Here to Help you.

New clients tell me that they are nervous about being photographed all the time. Many couples will have never hired a photographer before. They don’t realise that being photographed by a professional photographer is very different to being photographed by friends or family. I know how to help you look your best and will offer advice and help where needed. 

I have photographed people of all shapes, ages and sizes, so very little throws me and I have plenty of experience of making all sorts of different people look their best. From experience, I’ll be familiar with my local venues and where the best photo opportunities are. I have literally hundreds of weddings under my belt. I am here to help. If you hve a good side or a feature you’d like minimised, just tell me and I’ll oblige. Woken up with a spot or blemish on the big day? That’s what Photoshop is for.

Make sure you get a shoot before your wedding day

I always like to shoot with my couples before their wedding day. It can be an engagement shoot or a pre-wedding meeting at your venue.  That’s where can understand of how they are in front of the camera. From there I’ll know I have to do to make you look you best. I can coach you and offer advice that I might not have time to do on your wedding day. If we arrange an enagement shoot, I can show you how to stand, what to do with your hands and all the other things that turn an awkward photo into a great one. 

If a couple works with me beforehand, they can see what I can do to make them look great, so they’ll trust me to do a good job on the day. They’ll relax a little bit more and worry a little less. That in itself makes the pictures better.

 

There is no reason why even the most photo-phobic bride or groom can’t have brilliant photos of their wedding day. It’s all down to the skill of your photographer to put you at ease. The main thing is to communicate those fears to your photographer so he can help you. There are lots of things he can do to make your experience less stressful, and help you look your best. Remember photographers want the photos to turn out well, just like you do.  They’ll always be happy to help.

Also posted in bride portraits, Chichester photographer, Sussex wedding photographer Tagged , , , |

Model Portfolio – Ben de la Fuente

Model Portfolio A Model Portfolio is a great opportunity to work with new talent.

Shooting a model portfolio is an interesting challenge. You are usually with someone who is potentially very photogenic, but you have no idea how they will be once you get them in front of the camera. Over the years I have got much better at directing people than I used to be. I don’t think there is any substitute for doing a lot of something. It’s only through experience that you can become good at putting someone at their ease. I have learned different tricks that work with different people. If all else fails there is always persistence!

Model Portfolio

Working on location can be easier for new models

I am very fortunate that there are many beautiful locations close to me. Ben met me down on West Wittering beach. Working on location with new models is preferable as it is less imposing that working in the confined space of the studio. New models can often freeze when you use studio flash to photograph them. It is better to photograph them in natural light as shooting with flash can feel more constrictive, especially if the lights are close.

I usually shoot model portfolio at a leisurely pace, usually spending a couple of hours with the client. I find new models need a bit of time to relax. If I see things that are wrong I like to slowly guide someone into doing things differently, not criticise from the get go. Positivity is the only way you can help someone who is not used to being photographed. It is an exercise in building confidence and trust and working from there. The shoot should end on a high, not dwindle through lack of ideas or progress.

I really liked working with Ben and it was great to see him grow in confidence as the shoot went on.

Toby

If you would like to see more of this type of work go to my commercial photography page

 or if you’d like to book a shoot yourself please get in touch

 

Model Portfolio

 

Also posted in Brighton portrait photographer, Chichester photographer, commercial photography, Editorial Photography, west sussex Tagged , , , |

Instagram Feed

If you would like to see what I’m up to at the moment and all of my latest and favourite work, you can follow my instagram feed. I try to add new images daily!

 

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Why Have a Pre Wedding Shoot?

Pre Wedding Shoot

Pre Wedding Shoot

A Pre-Wedding Shoot a great way of getting to know your photographer, and for him or her to get to know you. (You also get some great pictures!)

‘I don’t like  having my picture taken’. This is the sentence that I hear more than any other when I meet clients. Personally, I think people are actually more concerned that they are ‘bad’ at having their picture taken. They feel awkward, they suddenly lose the ability to stand comfortably, they don’t know where to put their hands. A photographer is not just someone who owns a lot of flashy equipment or knows a lot about lighting and photoshop. The most important skill for any photographer who has wedding clients is people skills. Unless I can make you feel relaxed and happy, and bring out the best in you, no lens, no camera or piece of software is going to help. I have lots of different cameras, from brand new to forty years old. I would say that none of them is better or worse than the other in getting a great portrait – it’s the connection you make with the people you are photographing that counts.

Here is the catch though – there is often not enough time to build a relationship with your clients on their wedding day, or to coach and guide them through the dark arts of posing for photographs well. That’s why a pre-wedding shoot is so useful. I can gauge your personality in front of the camera, are you outgoing or quiet, thoughtful or mischievous. I can experiment with each couple and find out what works for them. I can direct you, shoot and show the pictures back to you. You get to see what works, and with that confidence and trust builds. You can be absolutely sure you are in safe hands. This makes your couple shots on your wedding day easier and quicker, and helps make the most of what will almost certainly be a busy schedule.

I usually book pre-wedding shoots on a Sunday, and try to make the session relaxed and unhurried. I have a great assortment of local locations to shoot at but often couples want to visit their wedding venue and use the engagement shoot to scout ideas for their wedding.

I offer free pre-wedding shoots with all of my packages because I strongly believe they help me do my job better. Every minute I spend with clients before the wedding improves the images they’ll receive on their wedding day. The key to great photography is building relationships with people, and to do that you have to meet with and talk to people. Good old fashioned customer service.

Also posted in Advice for Clients

October Portrait Promotion

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Portrait Photography – October Promotion

Throughout the month of October I’m going to be offering 10% off all my portrait packages. This includes October half term which is the best time to get Family portraits done in time for Christmas. If you would like to arrange a sitting just email me or give me a call on 07552 990080 mentioning the October Promotion. You can see a full list of my Packages and Prices here

 

Summer Portrait Offer 2015

_MG_8402beachi-(1)-Summer Portrait Photography Offer

Now that weather has (finally!) warmed up and the evenings are lighter it is a great time to book a family photo shoot.  I am offering a sale on all portrait packages to kick start the Summer. The offer is valid until 30th April 2015 but you can book your appointment on any available slot until 30th September 2015. The portrait session can be for yourself, or given as a gift to your loved ones. I have a range of gift certificates available,  please ask for details. To book your sitting just go to the contact page and mention the offer in your message.

The portrait sitting can take place anywhere withing 20 miles of Chichester and I am more than happy to give you advice on the best locations.

Places for weekend portrait sittings are limited during the wedding season, so don’t delay!

Essential Family- £199 £175

Includes a two hour photography session and a £100 credit to spend on prints or digital products.

All images are transferred to an online gallery so you can pick your favourites.

Photo editing and retouching included. Including removing blemishes, and making composite group photos from several exposures if to fix blinking eyes or wriggling toddlers if  necessary!

Artefact Family – £299 £250

Includes a two hour photography session and a 9×12 print mounted into a 11×14 classic black frame (£ 250 value).

Full Online Ordering with a 10% Early Bird discount for 14 days from going live.

Photo editing and retouching included as above.

Heirloom Family £799 £699

This is a no holds barred premium service for clients who want to produce large framed prints. (Print size 16×20″ and over).

Portrait sitting up to 4 hours.

Package Includes a 20×24″ Framed print mounted into a 24×28″ Classic Black Frame (£599 value).

Full Online Ordering with a £100 credit and 20% early bird discount for 14 days from going live.

A free hi-res digital copy of any framed product ordered.