Hi Kathy, Can you tell us about yourself and what inspired you to live and work in Northumberland?
I’ve always been fascinated by history. I grew up in Northumberland with the past on my doorstep – a fourteenth century pele tower next to our house! My favourite book as a kid was ‘Sword of Northumbria’ by Philip Woodruff. It’s long out of print, but his stories of medieval Northumbria fired my imagination. Now, so many years later, I’ve moved back to Northumberland and am writing my own stories about its history. Although I’ve spent a lot of my working life in the south I feel I’ve come back home.
Which part of your job do you enjoy most?
When I’m in the zone and completely absorbed in what I’m writing about.
What tips would you give to someone starting out as a writer?
It’s important to learn your trade, but even more to write about things that really engage you.
What is the best feedback you have ever had?
When I was twelve my English teacher gave me top marks for a story called ‘The Storm’.
Underneath it she wrote, ‘I wonder if you will become a writer one day?’
Who do you admire most in the world and why?
I love Thomas Hardy. For me, he is the great writer about the English countryside and about the rural communities of his time.
Do you have a favourite quote that you turn to for inspiration?
‘Show don’t tell.’ It gets drummed into your head on creative writing courses till you’re sick of it, but it is the single piece of advice I return to most often.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an author?
There are two challenges for an author. One is to have the stamina to complete a novel, with all the revisions and re-writings involved. The second is to convince a publisher that you have produced a masterpiece that the world is waiting for.
How will you use your headshots and how do you feel they will benefit your business?
One of the headshots will be used on the dust-cover of my forthcoming novel, ‘Cuthbert; The
Making of a Saint’, to be published by Sacristy Press. I’m also planning to use the photos to create my author website.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I write in the mornings, with a break for coffee. Depending on what else I have on, I sometimes work for another hour or two in the early evening. I try not to think about writing later in the day or the mind is still plotting at 2a/m!
Thank you Kathy, I'm really looking forward to your book coming out. I must say we had an eventful shoot, from the thick 'pea soup' fog on the wild and windy causeway of Lindisfarne to the sun beating down on us inland while we walked uphill to St Cuthbert's Cave, then on the way down you saved me from stepping on an adder snake! Such a fun and memorable! day, good luck with the book launch, Sarah :)
Hi Vicki, Can you tell us about yourself and what inspired you to work in Northumberland?
I'm a psychotherapist and counsellor working in private practice in Wooler. I've recently moved to Northumberland from Nottingham, having visited here on holiday for many years. I love being outdoors walking and cycling and Northumberland is perfect because you can easily reach both wild hills and beautiful coastline.
Which part of your job do you feel most passionate about?
I am hugely privileged to do my job. It takes courage to decide to come for therapy and it takes effort and persistence to stay and do the work. I have such admiration for the work my clients do with me and it's wonderful to see them start to feel more whole, connected and alive as a result.
What tips would you give to someone starting out in your industry?
Do the best training you can afford, have personal therapy, and do as much CPD as you can. If you carry on learning and developing, you will be able to offer to help a wider range of the difficulties that clients bring to therapy.
Who do you admire most in the world and why?
In the therapy world, Alice Miller was a tireless advocate for abused and neglected children, and the adults they grew in to. She died a few years ago but she has left inspiring books. More currently, Bessel van der Kolk is driving forward advancements in effective therapy for people who have been traumatised by painful experiences. One of his quotes I like is “Being able to feel safe with other people is probably he single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.”
How will you use your head shots or how do you feel they have benefited your business?
My headshots go on my website and on the professional registers I'm a member of (UKCP and BACP). They give people a chance to get a sense of me by seeing what I look like before deciding whether to meet me in person.
What are your future plans?
To continue offering therapy in beautiful Wooler! I'm planning to run some groups and workshops too. Individual therapy is expensive so I'd like to offer more affordable options for people. I have ideas about topics for workshops such as relaxation and mindfulness, listening and communication skills, and I'd like to run groups for women affected by sexual violence.
I spent a lovely morning with John in the stunning Harthope Valley (Northumberland National Park) shooting some head shots and details to include on his new website. www.johncasken.com
Before I went to meet John I spent some time listening to his work, 'Apollinaire's Bird', this was during the school run I must add, it definitely made the children go at a different pace with getting ready!
Finding out about someones work and getting to know a bit more about their personality before a session always helps with how I choose to represent them in their photographs. Talking with someone about their work can also inspire ideas on things to include/backgrounds to use/poses/props so a pre shoot consultation is always helpful if there is time.
Some property photography for this Farmhouse which is having a website re-design a web design company in Berwick who recommended that they have some professional photography done of the interiors.
First posted Sept 2010
Today I had the pleasure of photographing the beautiful and quirky old quay walls building that is currently used as sanderson, mccreath and edney solicitors firm. The photography was done to illustrate their website to show the long standing, traditional firm that have been in Berwick for 165 years.
Last week I went out to Bamburgh to photograph Carter's. The Carter family have been the village butchers for over 100 years and have built up a great reputation by providing a personal service and top quality produce. Each time I'm in Bamburgh I make sure I pick up a couple of scotch pies, totally yummy!
I love the fact that all their meat comes from local farms holding the certificate of Farm Assurance. Their cattle lambs are grass fed and they obtain the meat from their prime cured bacon, hams and sausage from free range pork. In addition R Carter & Son makes a variety of pies, black and white puddings and they also roast and boil their own meats.
I had to go out to the Bamburgh shop really early in the morning to avoid the queues! Seriously, this is a popular village shop, with locals and holiday makers alike. Sue and Mike were really kind to me and made me a coffee and bacon sarnie which was utterly delish! After photographing the shop I went up to their holiday accommodation and took some interior shots for brochures and website marketing. The pictures from the shop are to be used in a new website designed by Northern Lab in Berwick.
Carter's is the home of the 'Bamburgh Banger' and has even been endorsed by Rick Stein as a Food Hero. It's easy to see why Carters is so popular, as someone famous once said (who's name escapes me) 'You get the business you deserve'.
This week I spent 3 days at Hutton Stone Co. documenting their operations and systems to give clients a broader sense of the size and extent of what goes on.
Products I photographed include paving, walling, rockery and masonry. Services I shot included bespoke carving, sawing and delivery. Cutting edge heavy machinery and the stringent health and safety at Hutton Stone featured heavily too.
Below there are a couple of examples of the stone samples on a plain white background with colour matching for e-commerce and brochure purposes. I also shot some key staff members to bring across the craftsmanship and welcoming personality of the company, I also feel that it's quite nice to see who you are dealing with over the web!
The website will be getting a fresh new look in the near future, keep a look out for www.huttonstone.co.uk.
From a designer who loves designing logos you'd probably think I'd say "Yes", but I love designing brands even more. Your profile image, like your logo is simply one element of your brand in its entirety.
Like all elements of your brand it needs to work hard for you. We like to think of social media graphics as a tool in your brand tool kit, which also contains, at a minimum: your brand promise, mission statement, colour scheme, typography/photography style, brand language and graphic devices.
Therefore this tiny little square is part of a much bigger picture and needs to be thought about in terms of your business, marketing and brand strategies. It would be wrong to assume it should be a logo or a head shot without thinking about how you can make that free advertising space useful for you. If you had to pay fifty bucks for that ad space you'd think more about what you wanted it to communicate.
Founder of Amazon and now millionaire Jeff Bezos said that,"brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room". At One Line we say it's also what people see when you're not there.
Use your brand as a tool, a visual sales person when you're not there. You'll save a lot of time and be able to fall in love with the things you like doing in your business on a day to day basis.
So when it comes to profile images, how can you use it as a tool? Well the obvious answer is if you have your headshot on social media then those awkward networking events become a lot less awkward. People you've been tweeting on the run up to it know what you look like, so no more fumbled first interactions over cheap wine - hoorah!
Seriously though, people buy from people. Think of your brand as a person and design a logo with that in mind. Give it it's own voice and story and your customers will be able to resonate with it on an emotional level.
As the digital landscape grows consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with trust. If they can't see the person behind your brand how can you expect them to engage.
A head shot is the perfect way to start building that personality behind your brand (and no Sarah didn't pay me to say this.) I can speak from experience. In 2013 when we changed the One Line profile images to my face rather than our logo the engagement and follower levels jumped right up within moments.
For businesses who are trying to reach a wider audience and make themselves more visible and recognisable online a headshot will resonate far better with people who don't know you than a brand logo that they've never heard of. It's a great way to build your profile.
You could even do both at the same time. We did this with The Little Fair Trade Shop's social media graphics. Sabeena was well recognised online and had built a great following using a headshot. Working with us on a rebrand she wanted to push the brand identity a bit more. This was all part of a bigger strategy because the logo was about to be the single visual used on packaging - we needed to connect her packaging with what people also saw online without losing the personal touch. So that company mug does come in handy after all.
Of course if your logo is everything about your brand then yes for sure use it as your profile image. If you're Nike or FedEx we're probably not going to want to see a photo of your CEO but actually a shot of real life people on your team would be quite interesting and it lets us know you're not a team of robots. Don't forget you have that huge banner behind your profile image to use as free advertising space. So if your strategy dictates that you have your logo in the square, then have a team shot in the banner. If it's a headshot in the square then use your logo in the banner. Think about combinations of photography and logo or key messages that will work hard for what you're trying to achieve with your digital marketing.
Like, follow, connect and check out my ugly mug at http://www.onelinestudio.co.uk/
As a Personal Style Coach I’m often asked to collaborate on photo shoots from vintage to business. One of the key question I’m often get asked before the shoot “what should I wear?” Firstly, it differs from shoot to shoot, it also depends on the location, if It’s in a studio or on location, whatever the location this will have an influence on your photo shoot wardrobe.
Here are a few simple tips to help with the “what should I wear?” question on photo shoots.
If you work in a corporate environment, or serve corporate clients, conservative classic outfits are usually the way to go. But remember corporate looks don’t have to be boring or simply black or grey in colour palettes. It’s ok to add a pop of colour, which can help to brighten up your face and make your picture stand out of all the right reasons.
I like to pull a few key pieces from the client’s wardrobe’s then build core outfits based on the client’s style requirements for their photo shoot. It’s important leading up to the shoot to have run through of all the outfits chosen, so you feel confident on the day with your chosen outfits, as it will show on the images. If you’re thinking about necklines and what to opt for go for a V-neck which is very flattering on all you ladies, because it helps to lengthen your neck and displays your beautiful feminine décolleté. If you choose to wear a jacket, team it with a collarless top, keeps it looking modern and the neckline simple and chic.
MAKE COLOUR YOUR FRIEND
Choose light soft, bright, sparkling and jewel tones for your photos. Colours are a great way to express your emotions visually in a picture. But unless you’re feeling super confident, pass on bright red or orange. Please stay clear of neon or fluorescent colour’s they really don’t get on well with the camera. If the very thought of colour sends you in a panic, just add a pop of colour with your accessories.
PATTERNS AND PRINTS
I love mixing up plain sold colours with patterns/prints on client’s shoot’s, they really do look good on camera. However, do try to use one pattern/print that will match the colour palette of the rest of your outfit. Don’t be afraid to go with fabulous florals which are soft, feminine and never go out of fashion.
ACCESSORIES ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND
Say yes to accessories! The term accessories cover’s a multitude of items form necklaces, earrings, watches, brooches, hats (I love hat’s my favorite one is a fedora style hat) and scarfs. Accessories are so your best friend, as they can take your outfit from drape to fab, they also add an individuality and style in such a way that nothing else can. They can easily make you look like you’re wearing a whole different outfit by simply adding accessories.
Makeup can make a big difference in terms of getting a fabulous professional look. A photograph isn’t just about great arrangement, colours, or even the outfit, but having amazing makeup can bring the most out of your own natural looks. If natural and basic is your own style then stick to that look or if you wear a lot of make-up, or sparkles then go for it If you find makeup isn’t your thing, then get a professional make-up artist on board. I work with a few make-up artists and it really pulls everything together from the outfit to the hair to create the perfect photo shoot.
Think of your hair as another element of your wardrobe as it represents femininity and your style, which should be updated, and styled depending on your mood and outfit. Experiment with scarfs, clips, head pieces and even clip-ins (always make sure you have a colour match with clip-in hair extensions as you want them to look as natural as possible with your own hair). If you’ve decided to be brave before the shoot and opting for a new style or cut always remember it should play up to your best features.
Finally, the most important thing is for you to feel comfortable, happy, sexy and confident. How you feel during the shoot reflects in the photos, so make sure to wear something that reflects you……..