It was a pleasure to update Acumentice’s headshots, who work with data in partnership with the NHS.
Lucy got in touch as the company needed some new headshots, for their website and marketing collateral. They needed options in colour and black and white, and a nice group shot. We also produced some semi-posed “meeting” shots for their future marketing.
Lucy was superb at helping to organise the shoot, and even on the day she continued to make great suggestions and help with the group shot. My camera was connected to a laptop so everybody could see how their photos were looking during the shoot itself. This means we can assess the images together in real-time, which helps the non-professional models amongst us to see what angles are working and where posture can be corrected. This makes directing the shoot a bit more collaborative, which I find works well for individual headshots.
The Group Shot
Group shots always involve some shuffling and last second alterations. Lucy was flawless in helping out with this, which was not part of her job description at all but it was much appreciated.
The Selection Process
The final images were required about 10 days after the shoot. We managed to keep post-shoot discussions efficient as we’d already selected the head shots that we liked in real-time on the computer, on the day of the shoot. I find this best as it ensures that everybody is happy with their images, and it increases efficiency a lot, especially on the client end (that’s you). No more group email discussions with dozens of photographs to look at!
It was a real pleasure to work for Acumentice. If you’re looking to update your own headshots, please do get in touch and we can discuss your own needs.
Final Final Thoughts
Is it spelled “headshot”, “head shot” or “head-shot” (here in the UK)? After much deliberation, I can conclude that there’s no real answer. However, an assessment of my emails suggests that clients tend to use the spelling “headshot”, so that’s what I’ll use too!
The events industry is of course heavily affected by COVID-19. I wish all my clients, both past and future the very best of luck going through this period.
If you’re interested to know what an event photographer does during a pandemic, I’ll give you a brief update. I’ve been: retouching other photographers’ images; designing and putting up the lighting on larger (socially distanced) advertising shoots; photographing still life/product photography for one of my main clients (we photograph a lot of shoes every year); doing a few socially distanced head shot sessions; reading a lot of Walt Whitman.
I also have a confession to make. I’m actually a fine art trained, ex pottery-making, conceptual sculpture producing free spirit in my spare time. I have a pseudonym for my fine art so that it doesn’t overlap with my corporate event and head shot photography. Over the pandemic I’ve expanded some of this work and had a (socially distanced) physical exhibition in September/October. I’ve been pretty busy really!
Again, I wish everybody the best of luck both personally and professionally in every aspect of life but particularly in light of the pandemic.
I was commissioned by Prada to document the extraordinary interior styling of their store at Heathrow, before it changes again for the next season.
Arriving at a time in the morning that I barely knew existed, I was to shoot a series of wide angle shots of the interior installation of Prada’s store in Heathrow. I had around 15-20 minutes to complete the shoot, as customers should not be waiting, especially given the time-critical nature of airports! The images are used for documentation purposes, as there are so many re-fits and style changes within Prada and the fashion industry as a whole, that it needs to be properly archived for reference and posterity. Colour accuracy and a “realistic” (but wide angle) approach to the imagery was important. Images were to be sent within a few hours.
To successfully capture images to the brief while working super fast and under pressure, you really need to have done a lot of interiors photography before, and thankfully I’ve got a fair amount of experience. To make things just that little bit tougher, the images needed to be edited, processed and sent within a couple of hours of shooting. I happen to live in a fairly central London location along the Picadilly line, so I was able to begin the editing process on the train, and finish the edits at my editing station in my home office. I have carefully calibrated monitors in a controlled environment, which is essential for accurately reproducing colours in photography.
DID THEY LIKE THE IMAGES?
The feedback was a simple “perfect”, which works for me!
It was a pleasure to be asked back to photograph the NCTJ Council this year, which took place at Bracken House.
Among other highlights, this was a panel discussion and an opportunity for students to speak directly with important people from NCTJ, and have their own say. I can’t help but be fascinated by the skill of shorthand, which can allow journalists to write down notes and quotes at extraordinary speed and in condensed form. The gold standard is 100 words per minute, and exams are available for achieving between 60 and 120 words per minute. As a comparison, 60 words per minute of typed text is a good standard for high end typing jobs. So 100wpm seems somewhat superhuman. I remember first noticing shorthand while watching one of the older James Bond movies as a kid.
Here’s an interesting video from NCTJ regarding their shorthand: https://www.nctj.com/journalism-qualifications/shorthand-teeline
And to give yourself some context, try this speed typing test to see if you can get anywhere near 100wpm! I know I didn’t! https://www.livechatinc.com/typing-speed-test/#/
It was a pleasure to photograph for Cloudshift at their celebratory event at the Sunborn Yacht Hotel, in The Royal Docks, around Canning Town.
The sun was out, drinks were flowing and it was an all-round success following their earlier exhibit at Excel that day.
James Fabulous was there, entertaining the crowd…
He’s a mentalist and magician (a mentalist is someone who messes with your head over doing “simple” card tricks, Derren Brown style). Here’s his Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamesfabulous/?hl=en and here’s a YouTube video of him doing his thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwKzGxO7i3o&feature=youtu.be
WAS HE ANY GOOD?
Yes, he was blowing minds left right and centre! He can work the crowd while also letting people get on with socialising, which is a real art in itself, so I admire his talents. I’d honestly recommend him for any corporate event. I’ve seen a lot of entertainers at corporate events and I must say he stood out as a particularly good one.
Believe it or not, direct sun is not an event photographer’s best friend - we prefer bright daylight with plenty of clouds, if we get a choice on the matter! Fortunately I had a bit of time to carefully edit and tweak the images from the day to help with flare and other technical camera related things, and I’m happy with how the images came out.
Another challenge we often face is certainly not an issue for the events managers - people enjoying themselves in a nicely crowded party environment. Generally it’s nice to get a bit of distance between the camera and the subject, but that’s not always possible. I used my little Fuji camera quite a lot for this event so I could hang out with the crowd without having my big camera lens intruding on their conversations. It’s a great little camera for all sorts of situations, but rather specialist as it doesn’t zoom or anything like that.
DID THEY LIKE THE IMAGES?
I had a phone call a couple of weeks later to say how much they loved the pictures, and have booked me to photograph their golfing day too! So I think that’s a yes.