Recently some children from Drama classes, ‘Scripts to Stage’ in Berwick have been selected and signed up to an agent so I have started taking portfolio head and full body shots which bring out their individual looks, these images will appear in Spotlight magazine (which lands on casting directors desks all over the world), it is a very exciting opportunity for them and I hope the photographs will make them shine out from the rest, fingers crossed for some great acting and extras parts!
Photographs from a recent day out to Amble shooting the Fish Shack for Landscape magazine’s regional and seasonal pages.
Chef Martin was a great host, really helpful. As this was for the April issue we had to made sure there was no snow in the images, there wasn’t any snow - just a lot of frost! He was tasked with clearing the windows of frost, the only problem was that the pipes had frozen (hazard of the location) so no coffee or customers! We made do to get the pictures we needed and I pulled a few people in from the Harbour for ‘customer shots’ they were quite glad to be able to cosy up by the stove.
“On the Northumberland coast, a cafe made from upturned boats serves food fresh from the sea”
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……..
Thank you for giving up some of your precious time to do this, I know how busy you are! Let's get straight to it...
Can you tell us about yourself and what inspires you?
I work for Radio Borders, running their charity Cash for Kids, which supports disadvantaged children in our broadcast area. We grant funds to individuals as well as other children's organisations, so long as they are local, and living in poverty or with an illness or disability. I don't have to look far for inspiration. A 9 year old I met last week for example, had recently been diagnosed with a terminal condition. He's not expected to live through his teens and he is aware of that. I spent time with him and his incredibly brave family, learning about his illness so I could understand how Cash for Kids might help. As I left, he ran after me, gave me a big hug and said"Thank you for helping other children too."
What does a typical workday look like for you?
K2 in a white-out. My desk is always snowed under. In fact, by midday, there's a high risk of avalanche on to the news-desk next to mine. I am only part time and solo. Even with the help of my long-suffering colleagues, the summit always seems to be just out of reach. There's an endless range of tasks; I might be filling in a risk assessment, forecasting income or expenditure, writing a press release, processing an emergency application, dressing up as our mascot Courage the Cat, ordering disability equipment, clothing or bedding, writing thank you letters, paying bills, attending a school assembly, making a presentation, briefing volunteers, letting the listeners know what's happening with the charity. There are epic peaks and crevasses even in a day. One minute I'll have my head in my hands, looking at a massive shortfall, and the next, I'll get a call from someone who's just run a marathon for us. I am never, ever bored.
Which part of your job do you feel most passionate about?
My background is in advertising, I'm a copywriter to trade, and worked in London until I had children myself. Two days a week I still work as a freelancer. I love finding creative ways of getting a message out. (Thanks for this one by the way!) I'm so lucky to have that opportunity in both my jobs.
What tips would you give someone starting out in your industry.
Balance your head and your heart.
What's the best feedback you have ever had.
From a social worker who phoned to let a Mum know Cash for Kids funding was on its way. That phone call interrupted Mum in the act of taking her own life.
She'd become so desperate, she felt her kids would be better off without her. Just a few hundred pounds made the difference between three children having a Mum, and not.
Who do you most admire in the world and why?
People often ask me how I stop myself crying when I hear the stories of abuse and neglect, or the challenges of disabilities, bereavement or homelessness. But I am driven to tears by the generosity of people who don't have a spare penny but still stick £1 in my collection can. Or those who give up their precious time to help because through personal experience they know the true value of it. Those people I admire. And I am surrounded by them here.
Do you have a favourite quote that you turn to for inspiration?
"…always try and be a little kinder than is necessary." Appropriately it's from children's author, JM Barrie.
What are your future plans for Radio Borders Cash for Kids?
I have a lyric on the back of my business card: "...with a little help from my friends…" As the charity grows, I need to find more help. A voluntary committee in every locality who can run fundraisers, attend events, or support our big campaigns like Mission Christmas. I need SM and digital expertise. I need local businesses to get behind the charity, set up staff fundraising groups, I need friends to dedicate their time, energy, commitment and imagination to making sure every child in our community fulfils the potential they were born with.
Candy, that feedback, what can I say? it is amazing what you do and it all sounds pretty hektic. If any businesses or individuals would like some info on how to get involved and help please visit http://www.radioborders.com/charity/.
To apply for a grant from Cash for Kids please visit http://www.radioborders.com/charity/grant-application/
Tell us in one sentence what you do?
I get paid to draw pictures and colour in / i'm an illustrator and designer.
Which part of your job do you feel most passionate about?
I feel most passionate about being able to communicate through illustration. One of the most satisfying feelings is taking a solid chunk of text, and being able to inject life and meaning into it by providing pictures that people can 'read' at a glance. It's the best kind of problem solving. Recently I collaborated with the Science Central team at Newcastle University to illustrate a brochure about Newcastle upon Tyne being a future smart city, and it was wonderful to be able to see those ideas translated into images.
What is the most important lesson you have learned in business so far?
The most important lesson that I have learned in business (and life!?) so far is that you are never stuck unless you decide to be. This applies to everything - finding inspiration, feeling stuck geographically, financially or emotionally. Also, I find that as creatives we can be predisposed to feeling that our work is not worth that much or that we shouldn't earn as much as other professionals, and overcoming that feeling is so important in feeling confident in your abilities and career and creating a sustainable business practice.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your industry?
Get your work out there! Working for free is a highly controversial subject, especially in the creative industries, however those first few live briefs that I entered into magazines such as Amelia's Magazine and various blogs really helped me get my name out there. Sharing work online and having a professional online social media presence have also been key factors in attracting work. Starting to produce work for live briefs while you are still studying is a great way to get a head start and really push yourself creatively. If you can balance university coursework and real live briefs then that will stand you in good stead for the real world when you have several projects on the go at once.
What is the best feedback you have ever had from a client?
Agh! I have a terrible memory. However, I recently got an email that said "you've done a great job of these, Katie" and that's good enough for me. Feeling like I've done a good job and knowing that the client agrees is one of the best results to hope for.
Who do you admire most in the world and why?
I admire a lot of people and it's really difficult to choose just one. I do love the work of spoken word artist Kate Tempest, however, and I think she gives out really good energy as an artist. The world needs more people like that, people who can wake everyone up and make them rethink what they are doing and how we are as a community/nation/planet.
Do you have a favourite quote that you turn to for inspiration?
"Whatever you are, be a good one" -Abraham Lincoln.
What drives you forward more than anything else?
I love the freedom that being self-employed gives me, and being able to travel and still produce work is something that I value greatly. At the moment I am splitting my time between Berlin in Germany, and my hometown of Berwick upon Tweed in Northumberland. The knowledge that working freelance allows me to travel drives me forward and keeps me motivated. Even when I eventually settle down I hope to keep traveling regularly.
What is the biggest challenge you face in business?
My biggest challenge in business so far has been balancing the quiet times with the busy times. There are sometimes relatively long stretches where I have no projects coming up and I am only working on the bare minimum. I've learnt that it's wise to have some security savings stashed away, and to make the first connection with potential clients. Sometimes the work won't just come to you and you have to go out there and ask for it and let people know who you are and what you do. I've taken on part-time jobs in the past to help with paying the rent and bringing in the 'bread and butter money' and that brings a new challenge in itself. Finding the space and time to be creative when you are working in a non-creative job can be exhausting! I feel very very lucky to be working solely on illustration and design at the moment.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
A typical workday for me starts at around 8am. I'll get up, make coffee and sit down to work straight away (usually still in my pyjamas). For the past 2 years I have been working with Megan Claire, a personalised card company, and I will do any orders from them before I have breakfast. After breakfast I get ready and cycle to the studio where I will work on whatever projects I have happening at that moment. When I am traveling or living in Berlin my routine doesn't change much. I definitely don't work as many hours while I am traveling and when i'm in Berlin I spend a lot more time cycling around the huge city. Going to Yo Illo meet ups with fellow english-speaking illustrators in Berlin really helped me to network and meet like-minded people. Berlin is massive and I've been amazed at how much more effort it takes to meet new people there and maintain connections. It's a far cry from the tiny town I grew up in.
If you would like to learn more about Katie's work you can visit her website HERE.
In October I was selected as one of 20 women entrepreneurs in Northumberland to participate in the fully funded 'BeDigital Springboard Programme' which is a 6 month intensive programme of business mentoring, masterclasses, meetups and Google+ mastermind sessions.
As part of BeDigital a photographer and a video company visited to help create my story, it's interesting to be on the other side of the camera and feel what my customers must feel like. I usually love to chat but I found speaking on video very difficult!
Thanks to RJM Photos and MC Media for taking the time to come up to Berwick, it was a great fun day.
Here is the interview article that accompanies the photography:
"Hi Sarah, can you tell us about yourself and what inspired you to set up your business?
Hello, I'm Sarah, I have run a small business called Pictorial Photography in Berwick for 9 years now. I specialise in portraiture and photograph family groups in natural locations. I also do professional business head shots for ambitious and creative individuals and I style themed backdrops for children's photo sessions in the studio.
I had wanted to be a photographer since the age of 14 after starting a beginners photography course at the local community centre, simply for 'something to do' as a bored teen in a small town. I soon became hooked on the magic of the darkroom and enjoyed photographing architectural details and dilapidated buildings. I furthered my studies at college with a graphic design and print background and went on to contemporary photographic practice at university. It was actually long after graduation that I discovered portraiture was where my passion really lay.
After studying I worked at Northumbria University Design School as an Apple Mac and photography demonstrator for 4 years. I helped students to realise their design and fashion ideas in the studio and demonstrated how to use specialist software to produce their work. After maternity leave I started to grow tired of the commute and wanted to spend time in a more creatively rewarding position that could work around having my own family. Employment in the creative sector is rare in a small town so starting Pictorial Photography seemed like a natural step.
What tips would you give other women who are thinking about setting up their own business?
Surround yourself with positive people. I am part of a very positive group of female photographers, which started on Facebook. We support each other with advice, ideas and encouragement. If there is a photography event or conference, we often meet up and go together - this is great as some of us might not go by ourselves, having the company of other female photographers is a real plus.
I'd also say not to be scared to ask for help - you can't do everything. For example, recruiting a professional copy writer to help with editing the text on my website saved a lot of time and enabled me to get across what I wanted to say in a much clearer way than I could have on my own.
We love your website and your studio looks fabulous - what are the benefits of the internet for your business?
Thank you! A lot of time has been spent in making my website easy to use and informative so that customers have a positive experience right from the start.
The internet also helps me run the business much more efficiently. I use tools like Eventbrite for managing online bookings, Paypal for taking payments and Mailchimp for creating and sending out newsletters. Sharing what is happening on social media is a great free way to keep in touch with my customers.
What are your future plans for Pictorial Photography?
Alongside what I already do, I have started to create online articles to help customers. I want to use the website to share lots of helpful tips, features and free resources. Currently I am writing an article on 'How to prepare your skin for a headshot session when you've only got one week to go'. This will make sure people get the most benefit out of their photography session. Providing more stuff online is something I'm passionate about and is an area I want to grow the business into."
Name of interviewee: Sarah Jamieson
Business name: Pictorial Photography
Business type: Lifestyle Photographer
Location: Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland
You can visit the BeDigital website to find out more about the other women HERE, there are also great resources for those thinking of starting thier own business or just getting a bit more 'digital'.
In February I was commissioned by Radio Borders to photograph various models wearing a pretty cashmere scarf, I was intrigued by why the radio station was promoting scarfs for Valentines and Mothers Day so when I heard that Sinclair Duncan had been making limited editions, designed by a local school girl and that all the profits were going to Cash for Kids (a borders children's charity) I was very keen to be involved.
Here is the story behind the scarfs.
In late 2015, Sinclair Duncan asked 70 Primary and Secondary schools in the Scottish Borders were invited to enter a competition. They asked them to design a scarf for a local charity "Cash for Kids." The scarf would be 100% cashmere and it would be made in Scotland by Sinclair Duncan.
Sales and Marketing Director at Sinclair Duncan, Debbie Paterson, announced the winner live on the radio at the winner's school assembly: 'The entries received were of such a high standard, but there was one that stood out for all of us. The careful choice of colour and contemporary design shows a talent beyond her years.' Little did the winner (9 year-old Eve McKenzie from Knowepark Primary School in Selkirk) know what an impact sales from her scarf would have on her community:
All profits of the scarves would go to the charity and the profits ensured that:
7 children children snuggled up in their own bed for the first time.
3 autistic children can play in specially adapted safe places.
1000 children woke up to gifts at Christmas of 2015.
45 children will have warm clothes and shoes.
A family can sit down to warm cooked meals.
Here is Eve getting ready to model the scarf.
CLICK HERE to watch the video showing some of the manufacturing process of the winning scarf and also, proud Eve showing off her amazing talent.
These scarfs are limited edition and are bound to sell out fast, remember all profits from every scarf in this design goes to local children's charity Cash For Kids, CLICK HERE to buy now.
Even Lorraine has one (not my photo, Lorraine took her own selfie, cheers hen)
Here is one of the Valentines themed photographs
Here's a couple of the Mothers Day themed shots
Remember, the scarfs are limited edition and selling out fast, ALL of the profits from every scarf in this design goes to local children's charity Cash For Kids, CLICK HERE to buy a lovely scarf.
Well done Eve!!!