COVID-19 How We Are Helping Our Customers To Cope With “The New Normal”

COVID-19 How We Are Helping Our Customers To Cope With “The New Normal”

The many changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic have been swift and in some cases drastic. Never has it been more important to be able to communicate clearly both with clients and colleagues to ensure that everybody understands policies, guidelines and new working systems.

A short video, a series of photographic stills or a 3D walkthrough are all excellent ways to get your message across, whether it is instructional or simply to reassure.

Examples of work we have completed for our clients to illustrate how they are getting their coronavirus message across to customers since the advent of the pandemic.

Business Headshot Inspiration

Business Headshot Inspiration

A Professional Business Portrait To Suit Your Style

Business Portraits – Mobile Photography Studio – Head shots on Location

Corporate headshots or business portraits are not simply to put a face to a name. They can serve to tell a story, illuminate an individual or create an image depending on the style of photography and location you choose.

Find out more about our professional business portraits and head shots on our dedicated page HERE

Fashion Photography Ideas

Fashion Photography Ideas

Creative affordable fashion photography

Lifestyle Fashion – Studio Fashion – Product shots – Creative fashion

Fashion photography comes in all shapes, sizes and styles. With or without models, out on location, or on your own premises with our professionally equipped mobile studio. A few select items, or a photoshoot for a full season, whatever your requirements are we can work with you to develop your individual style and branding and achieve your desired results.

Professional Night Photography In London, Derbyshire And Northamptonshire

Professional Night Photography In London, Derbyshire And Northamptonshire

Photography is often assumed to be a seasonal industry, and depending on what your product or service is you may well assume that professional photographers go into some kind of hibernation state once winter is upon us, emerging only as spring starts to creep over the horizon. However for some of our clients winter is the very best time of the year to get as much photography done as possible. Dusk and night photoshoots are much in demand at this time of year, sometimes because of their aesthetic nature, and sometimes simply because that’s the only time that the activity being photographed actually happens.

If any of you have tried to take photographs at night time you will know how difficult it can be, low light levels and slow shutter speeds are not for the faint hearted! Professional photographers bring not only the necessary equipment to a shoot, but also the benefit of detailed knowledge and years of experience in how to tackle photography at night and achieve the very best results.

In the last few months we have been kept very busy covering night photoshoots. Early February found us on location airside at Gatwick Airport. The shoot started in the late afternoon, and then continued through dusk and into the night. Our brief was to show the lighting in the area in it’s best … well … light if you’ll  excuse the pun. This assignment took a great deal of time and effort to organise, but when everything came to fruition on the night the resulting images were stunning.

A little closer to home, in Ilkeston Derbyshire, we were asked to photograph the newly refurbished railway station. On the run up to the shoot the weather forecast was dubious and rain looked like a possibility, so a dusk shoot was suggested. Rain obviously isn’t generally the photographer’s friend, but combined with nightfall and effective lighting it can be used to really enhance a photograph and provide dramatic effect.

Another benefit of a winter timed night shoot is that night falls a whole lot earlier than in the summer. Whilst many of us are bemoaning the short days and long winter nights the professional photographer is welcoming the chance to get started at 5pm, instead of 11.30pm later in the year.

Sometimes though, there  is no choice. Many industries carry out their activities overnight to ensure minimal disruption during the day, e.g. road and rail repairs are frequently undertaken in the early hours of the morning. Because Peter is well known for his transport photography, and carries a Personal Track Safety Certificate for his rail industry work he is often commissioned to photograph these projects as they are happening overnight. It’s a real privilege and absolutely fascinating to be asked to document this world of busy industry which many of us are totally unaware even exists.

Of course the clocks will be changing soon, and the days will start to draw out again. Hopefully spring and summer will bring us some sunshine and bright blue skies for our daytime location shoots, but we’ll still be carrying out our night assignments, just starting them a little later than at the moment!

Why Should You Invest In A Professional Business Portrait?

Why Should You Invest In A Professional Business Portrait?

Did you hear the one about the builder who’s own home was never finished because he was always too busy working on everybody elses, or the plumber with the ever leaking tap in the bathroom? Well … meet the partner of a professional photography business who to her horror realised she hadn’t updated her business portrait recently … and is putting that right straight away!

It’s a standing joke amongst photographers that they don’t like to have their photograph taken and so they chose a career behind the camera, but in the corporate world a professional business portrait (sometimes known as an executive portrait) is an essential component, contributing to your business’s success and elevating your professional profile in the business environment.

It used to be that we only ever had our portraits taken for passports, visas or Curriculum Vitaes. But in today’s highly visual, multi-media world , professional photographs are used in so many more ways, business cards, social media, websites, press…..the list is endless.

It may be a cliche, but is true nonetheless that you only get one chance to make a first impression. Whether you are starting out as a new company, or have been trading as an established business for many years, it’s a fairly safe bet you’d like to convey a professional, positive impression to everybody of both yourself and your company. So why would you use a grainy, badly lit photograph that somebody took of you on your last holiday, or at the Christmas party? If you were checking out somebody’s website ask yourself what kind of impression that would leave you with. Sounds unlikely? I thought so too but a quick check of profile photographs on linked in, Facebook and Twitter proves it does actually happen.
So why should you commission a professional photographer for your corporate portrait?

1. It puts you in control.

It’s your commission. Your can decide exactly how, where and when your photograph is taken. Do you want a formal portrait with a plain background, or something more casual posed within your work environment, or even taken outdoors? You can discuss exactly how you want your photograph to be taken with the photographer well in advance of the photoshoot so that you can tailor the style of the shoot to reflect the impression you want to give.

2. You can be as two-faced as you like….

….or three … or four ..or more. Just because you are having your photograph taken in one sitting doesn’t mean you have to look exactly the same for the entire shoot. By bringing several outfits, changing your hair style, and even changing the background you can achieve several different looks from the same session. This means you can build up a portfolio of different photographs from just one sitting. Some professional photographers will also offer make-up and hair services, so don’t forget to check with them when you book.

3. We’re all in this together.

If you have a team of people, whether large or small, you can arrange for everybody to have their photograph taken on the same day, with the same background, under the same lighting. This creates a consistent corporate identity for your company and means photographs of different people can be reproduced within the same literature or online in a clean, tidy and professional manner. In effect, everything matches.

4. Anything for an easy life.

We’re all busy right? And you know that just as you are dashing out of the door for that really important meeting an email arrives asking for head shots of you, and your sales team which simply has to go to press within the next 30 minutes. The business portrait shoot that you arranged for everybody several months ago now really comes into it’s own. You know instantly where to find the images, and can be confident that they are all appropriate, professional and sized correctly, you can just hit the send button. Sorted.

5. Get in the right gear.

Any job is made easier provided you can bring experience and the correct tools to the table. A professional photographer will supply everything that is needed to ensure the very best results on the day. Not just a high end digital camera, but also studio lights and stands, backgrounds, a full and up to date version of the industry’s latest software to process the images following the shoot, and of course a wealth of knowledge, experience and advice to guide you through the shoot.

So with all of that in mind I am off to put a comb through my hair and rifle through my wardrobe … now then, dressing for your portrait …. that’s a whole new blog!

Should I Use Professional Models For My Photo Shoot?

Should I Use Professional Models For My Photo Shoot?

So, you’ve decided you need some professional commercial photography to showcase your business. You’ve gone to the trouble of sourcing a leading photographer, arranged a suitably impressive location, ensured that the products you are promoting are all brand new and clean and intact … and then … oh yes you need a model . Not to worry, we’ll ask one of the employees if they’ll do it … Dave from accounts looked good in his wedding photos, he’ll do. WRONG!

There is a common misconception that professional models are astronomically expensive, are diva like, and won’t work anywhere other than London or Paris. Now whilst we are sure, as with all things in life, this may be true for a few, it is certainly not reflected in our experience, and it may be a costly mistake not to consider commissioning a model for your photoshoot.

Models are professionals, they have worked hard to achieve a career in a very competitive business and they want to do a good job for you. They have invested time and money ensuring they look their very best, and building a collection of outfits that most of us would envy. So how will they save you money on your commercial photoshoot?

Well first and foremost they have years of experience in posing. Sounds silly? No not really. A professional model is comfortable in front of the camera, they will be used to following direction from the photographer, any photographer because they will have worked on literally hundreds of professional shoots with many different photographers. Whether it’s under the lights in a studio, or out on location a professional model will be able to pose instantly and accurately. This means the shot you are looking for can be achieved quickly (saving time), and you will have a whole variety of images to choose from all taken within a few minutes of each other, equalling more photographs for your budget.

I remember working with a male model at Kings Cross railway station in London, his brief was to be photographed in various areas of the station posing as a serious business man on his daily commute. The model was, as we have found all to be, a nice guy who patiently waited while all the red tape that was involved was completed, laughing, joking, enjoying a coffee, and tolerating the less than glamorous broom cupboard style changing room BUT the second the camera was pointed in his direction his whole demeanour became exactly what we had asked him for. Serious business man…on station platform … passing through ticket barriers … using escalators … in the first class lounge. We shot quite literally hundreds of images that day, because working with a model made it easy to do so, and the client was extremely pleased to have a fantastic selection of stunning photographs to choose from.

Another reason to commission a professional model is for business clarity. Dave from accounts may well have looked good in his wedding photos, and might be very eager to pose for company publicity at the moment but what if … he leaves the company or … horror of horrors he’s asked to leave the company! None of us can predict the future, and bad blood down the line could render all of your photographs unusable if your amateur model is no longer amenable, suddenly asking Dave to model isn’t looking so cost-effective.

When you commission a model all of the paperwork is agreed in advance. Both you and they will know exactly how much modelling fee is to be paid, what the images are to be used for and (and this is the key part), the model will sign a Model Release allowing you to use the images as agreed. There is no grey area, no room for misunderstandings and you will have the paperwork to prove it.

So how do you go about finding your model? We appreciate this can be a bit of a minefield, especially if you’ve never worked with models before, but the very best person to start with is the professional photographer you have commissioned for the shoot. He will have worked with many models in his lifetime and he will know which ones are the most suitable for your photoshoot. Here at Alvey & Towers we have models who we work with from all over the country. Sometimes we will source a model in the area that the photoshoot is taking place, and sometimes we will source them from our local area in the East Midlands and they travel with us, or make their own way to the shoot.

In the last twelve months we have carried out commercial photoshoots with models in various locations including London, Leicester, Nottingham, Derbyshire, York, Leeds and even up to Scotland. As well as some amazing fashion photoshoots there were some fairly unusual modelling assignments too including posing as scientists in a quarantined laboratory, a heating engineer laying down lagging in a roof space, and a nurse administering an injection.

So when you are considering your next commercial photoshoot, and you think a model might be needed, give some serious consideration to commissioning a professional .. and if you’re not sure, give us a call for a chat.

Jericho Summer Rock Band PR Photography and Video

Jericho Summer Rock Band PR Photography and Video

I’ve been lucky enough to be working with Jericho Summer this year. It’s been a busy few months shooting publicity stills and two music videos for their new Night Train album.

Jericho Summer is a Southern rock band, formed by Jay Zeffin and Vanessa Joy, who are based on the island of Mallorca in Spain. Gathering together a group of studio musicians to record their debut album Night Train, the album went into the UK New Releases Chart at number 6 when it was released by Devil’s Blade Records in August 2016.

Zeffin and Joy had already been working in the music industry since meeting in 1995, and the Night Train album project resulted through a meeting of Zeffin and ex-Guns N Roses rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin in 2012. It was at this time Zeffin also met Marco Mendoza from Thin Lizzy and Richard Fortus from Guns n Roses.

To join the lineup were Albert Lee and Stuart Duncan, plus other musicians such as John Marcangelo, notable for his work with Violinski (“Clog Dance”), the album was recorded digitally between studios in Mallorca, Cumbria, London, Nashville and Los Angeles.

Night Train was released on 12 August 2016 with one video, “Bitchin’ with a Woman”, and a second, “Running Free”, dedicated to Harley Davidson in November 2016. Jericho Summer were featured in the winter edition of the Harley Davidson Owners Group Magazine winter edition 2016.

Photography for the NHS in Bristol

Photography for the NHS in Bristol

I’ve worked with University Hospitals in Bristol for many years now and seen lots of amazing changes over this time. All the staff are so wonderful and the children in the children’s hospital love them to bits!

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust is a dynamic and thriving group of hospitals in the heart of Bristol, a vibrant and culturally diverse city.

With over 9,000 staff who deliver over 100 different clinical services across nine different sites. With services from the neonatal intensive care unit to care of the elderly, they provide care to the people of Bristol and the South West from the very beginning of life to its later stages.

The amazing staff are the lifeblood of the Trust. They provide general diagnostic, medical and surgical services to the populations of central, south Bristol and the north of North Somerset – approximately 350,000 people. These services are delivered from the city centre campus with some services delivered in community settings such as South Bristol Community Hospital. They also provide specialist services such as children’s services, cardiac and cancer services, and other smaller specialist services that are nationally commissioned, to a wider population through the south west and beyond.

Photography for Queens Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Photography for Queens Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

I have the utmost respect for the wonderful people who work in all areas of the healthcare sector. This was a day spent photographing the fantastic team at Queens Hospital, Burton on Trent working hard to ensure patients receive the very best care whilst they are in hospital.

I’m always disappointed I don’t have more time to chat to the patients who despite their difficulties often seem to happy to chat and be photographed. Its a privilege to be able to meet the patients and work with the staff for the day.

Train Wrap – mobile photographic studio

Train Wrap – mobile photographic studio

We were commissioned to shoot some publicity images for the SkyHD series “All Aboard: East Coast Trains”, the final images were to be used as a train wrap.

We took our mobile photographic studio up to York and shot the participating staff on a white background so they could be cut out and put on the train wrap.

All the people taking part in the programme were East Coast Staff, not actors. We had a fabulous fun day and the resulting train wrap image looked amazing, the print quality was superb, capturing every detail.