Sheepdrove gallery

30 11 2010

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Infinis conference

12 09 2008

I had quite a long day as the photographer covering an Infinis company conference this week, but loved it. Infinis are renewable energy producer, a young and rapidly growing company with strong eco credentials. They’ve already received high praise in the Sunday Times 2008 Best Green Companies, and Infinis have their sights set firmly on increasing their renewable energy portfolio.

Their southern region conference took place at the Sheepdrove Eco Conference Centre. Here you can see an image of the Oak Room, their largest space for hire. 

Infinis seem very pro-active when it comes to staff engagement. For a start, here was a conference for the staff and the opportunity to communicate was never in danger of being missed. The company set out its vision, updated everyone with the year’s performance and targets, spoke proudly of community projects, shared best practice… and even had the directors answering questions from the floor.

My job was to capture the spirit of the day, the people gathered there, the setting and the fun side of the event. Although I took over 300 pictures on 2 digital Canon EOS cameras, that’s quite a low number, because I was being careful not to intrude on the conference with too much flash photography.

Photography for online shopping

22 04 2008

I’ve produced a new range of photographs for Sheepdrove Organic Farm – this time for their renewed online shop. At the website shop they sell organic chickens, turkeys, beef, lamb, mutton, pork, gammons, burgers and sausages.

OK, website images don’t always have to be big, best quality and award-winning. But they do have to be good. Poor pictures will not sell your product. Bad pictures can make your goods appear dodgy, old, or even ridiculous!

food photography example how to work with decoration angle composition and lightingPhotographic methods should tackle a range of factors, technical and creative. My job, as the photgrapher, is to consider what I can do to make the pictures fit your purpose. Also I have to meet the needs of your website structure and management. I know about digital images, website design and content management, and the web image preparation process. So I shoot accordingly.

Ready-for-web image software

Techies will tell you that the web page must download and function as quickly as possible, and this means they’ll scramble the data that makes your image to take up the smallest memory size possible.

Even the process of preparing a set of product images require attention to quality. A tiny thumbnail image was not what my Canon digital camera captured, it’s not what I set the white balance for – it’s something newly created. (So long as you remember to backup the original set of images. Don’t turn your original digital files into thumbnails!)

For instance, because as you ‘shrink’ your picture it can get darker, develop a colour tinged, or become blurred. This is because of the way the software interprets what it thinks is a fair balance of the colour and shadow, etc.

Try several software packages to ensure you get the desired effect when the picture is crunched into a ‘ready for web image’. You might want Photoshop or Easythumbnails, or both! These digital photgraphy manipulations take hours, so get me to do them!

Creative factors

food photographer jason ball - angle composition decoration and lighting emphasise the colour and texture of the food and gives context of high quality cuisineCrisp, well defined, well lit shots are what any good photographer will aim for, and the there are special touches to get the best for marketing. That’s where a flair for composition and style adds a lot of value. Remember that your picture has to look good at all sizes, whether 50 pixels wide in the main listings or maybe 500 pixels wide when the customer views the product details. And the client saves money when a photographer hired by the hour can achieve the shots you want in as short a time as possible.

Consider the number of products you have, multiply by the number of angles you might need, and allow for differences in lighting, background, etc. Your project could end up being a very long nightmare. So I aim for consistency, a style to suit your needs, and your target audience. During early client discussions I hone down the ‘target style’ and we can talk details such as shadow strength, the setting, human interaction, hand models, etc.

What we’re doing is translating what you want to communicate, and coming up with ideas for images that do that work for you. For advertising and PR you might want a single image that says it all. For the web shop you want a collection of clear pictures that sit together seamlessly.

Website design and photography consultancy

Get the content and functionality right by hiring a team that’s done this kind of commercial web project before. I can manage this process for you, or simply take the photographer role, and fit right into the development. Contact me to discuss your digital design and photography needs.