northumberland

Head Shots and Interview with Vicki Owen, Psychotherapist and Counsellor

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.

Vicki_owen-counsellor-headshots-2441.jpg

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.

Vicki_owen-counsellor-headshots-2416.jpg

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?

Vicki_owen-counsellor-headshots-2472.jpg

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.

Headshots for John Casken, Composer

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

PICTORIAL_BERWICK_PRODUCT_WHITE_BACKGROUND_CUTOUTS_STUDIO_SALE_ECOMMERCE-0008.jpg

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.

PICTORIAL_BERWICK_PRODUCT_WHITE_BACKGROUND_CUTOUTS_STUDIO_SALE_ECOMMERCE-9917.jpg
I found you very easy to get on with, totally understanding of what I was looking for, and had a very good eye for composition and texture. I found the whole experience stress-free, and was very pleased with the results.
— John Casken

Sanderson McCreath Edney Solicitors, Illustrative photography for website and traditional branding

bronze-plaque-copper-bridge-reflection-traditional

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.

Children's Photo Shoot at Cocklawburn Beach

Finlay and Isla were both absolutly fab on their beach shoot, we went down to Cocklawburn where someone had built this little wooden teepee for us, it was just perfect.  I had brought a couple of little props, the bunting and the pink tutu but at the beach simple is always best.

Finlay and Isla's mum ordered a beautiful 24x16" black and white image on canvas along with some digital files so she can print away to her heart's content :)

Cute Little Elsie's 8 month shoot, sitting but not yet walking. Duns, Berwickshire

Little Elsie was the cutest, most smiley little scone today.  For babies, after the newborn stage 8 months is a really brilliant age, loads of personality and sitting confidently, we nearly caught her first crawl on camera but it wasn't yet to be.   her mum brought the red and white bunting out from her nursery - where she plans to hangl some wall art.

After a while we managed to get some shots of Elsie with her mum, she wasn't keen initially and didn't expect to be in the shoot but I just love to capture the bond that children have with their parents, preserving the memories of fleeting childhoods and relationships that transform over time. 

This got me thinking, why wait until we have the perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect weight or perfect weather?  I need a family shoot myself, it's been nearly 2 years since the last one!  My children don't mind or even care what I look like and future me will be so glad to have a special glimpse into this moment in time, and we'll all get to cherish it forever.

It's my ongoing quest as a mother and photographer to bottle up time.  What better goal could there possibly be as a photographer?  I must practice what I preach.. Watch this space!

BeDigital Northumberland Springboard Programme

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!

IMG_4292.jpg

 

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

Website: www.pictorialphotography.co.uk

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/PictorialPhoto

Twitter:  twitter.com/SarahPictorial

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'.

New strategy planning - it outgrew the folder!

New strategy planning - it outgrew the folder!