Friday, 28 January 2011
This blog details the third and final part of a campaign for Saks Hair & Beauty. For a general overview of the campaign click here.
It was great to attend this event as it was, in addition to the the usual annual conference and awards, the platform for launching the all the branding work that I have talked about in the last three blogs. So for me it was the first time I'd see the images I had done in the flesh. In presentation form, in marketing material and in film. Exciting stuff!
My brief was not to get carried away with seeing my hard work displayed all over the place, no it was to capture all the proceedings, reportage style and to get some particular group and head shots (for internal publishing) and to get the winners being presented with their awards for the press. So full coverage, and enough to keep me busy for about eight hours (I get used to this type of thing by doing weddings - stamina required!).
The actual brand reignition went down really well with the franchisees and the awards created an excellent buzz. It was great to see all that hard work and investment in quality marketing being crystallised and starting to pay off. My focus during the presentation was on trying to get images that could not only be used to show that a presentation was happening - but also to convey the message of the presentation. The image becomes a lot more powerful (and useable) as a result.
If you need coverage at an event or are considering photography to help you with your marketing and branding then do get in touch.
All the best
This blog details the second of three linked projects I completed for Saks (for an overview of the whole campaign click here).
I can't lie. This was a real treat for me. How often do you get to work alongside industry giants? Elisabeth Hoff has shot the stars, Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, Devina Mcall to name a few. She's at the top of her game and has a lot of respect in the industry, particularly when it comes to working with women.
So my brief was simply to go down to Jet Studios at get some reportage style shots of Elisabeth at work, preparation and abstracts. As you can imagine, there's quite an entourage when you do a shoot like this. A small army of stylists, make up artists, lighting technicians, even someone taking care of the jewelry!? Elisabeth's brief was to get close ups of three models who were chosen as natural beauties. So quite simple, elegant, beautiful portraits to be used as centerpieces for subsequent marketing activities.
The results speak for themselves and I'm thrilled to have met and watched Elisabeth in action. The reportage shots have been used alongside Elisabeth's in brand marketing such as their brand booklet, presentation and film - they also were used as part of a rolling slideshow at the annual franchisee conference - it was pretty cool to see these images projected on a LARGE scale!
If you have any requirements for reportage style photography (or any other form of commercial photography) then do get in touch. I pride myself with giving excellent results at highly competitive rates.
All the best
A bit more about one of the commissions I completed for Saks Hair & Beauty . For an overview of these projects follow this link.
The brief here was to capture candid images of customers and staff at three different Salons around the UK. The reportage aspect needed to capture both the hair and beauty side of their business as well as the customer journey and experience. This translated to a story book approach, shooting customers throughout the whole of their Saks journey - entering, receiving treatments (expressions of both enjoyment and relaxation were regarded as key elements of the images) and leaving.
In addition to this abstracts (products & equipment etc) and salon shots were the order of the day. Anything to make the salons look as attractive and enticing as possible.
As usual I requested that my presence be communicated to all staff days in advance of my arrival. This is actually a small but very important detail. Not only is it polite to warn your subjects that they will be snapped, it also makes for better pictures; if you know its going to happen you make sure you look your best (helps to create good images) and having done that you feel more confident in front of a camera (really helps to create good images).
Even with staff and management primed there is still the question of getting customers in the shots, which for the large part is what its all about. So what's the strategy there? Well really its all about being polite...and then having fun - I will never take pictures of people in this kind of setting without their consent. It also really helped that Saks have fabulous relationships with their customers. They are experts at retaining customers, and they do that by creating real and lasting relationships with people. I, having spent negligible time in Salons, was genuinely astounded at how well Saks employees know their clients, and on an individual level. That said it was quite easy to get consent from most customers. Clearly there were a few that didn't want to be involved and so I was sure to leave well alone.
So far these images have been used alongside Elisabeth Hoff's images (see my blog on that shoot) at the franchisee conference (as part of a rolling slide show and the main presentation) and in their brand video and booklet.
If you'd like some images of your premises and of your staff providing the services you offer then please do get in touch.
All the best
Late last year I was commissioned to take some shots for Saks which were to be used as part of campaign aimed at reigniting their brand.
Saks is currently the biggest hair and beauty franchise in the UK, and are always seeking to improve their brand both for their franchisees in terms of market awareness and directly for their customers in terms of quality and value.
That said, they were taking a calculated look at their business and addressing what they considered to be working well and being honest about what wasn't working so well. This insight was gained by employing leading brand gurus (responsible for marketing the massively successful GHD brand) to conduct a process driven in depth investigation, interviewing both stakeholders and industry experts as well as conducting numerous customer focus groups. The resulting information would then be used to implementing changes both top down and bottom up.
It's not all about change though - why change something that works so well? You would be mad to right? Not surprisingly Saks discovered that they were in fact doing most things very well indeed. So whilst areas of the business were targeted for improvement a big part of the marketing strategy became an internal one to remind franchisees and staff what it was about their brand that made them so special.
I was employed to play a part in helping communicate these messages by undertaking three separate photographic projects which would be fused into a campaign by marketing masterminds, art directors and designers.
The first project involved going to three separate salons to capture candid shots of customers enjoying hair and beauty treatments and to get general shots of the salons. Follow this link to see more on the Salons Project.
The second project was to go down to Jet Studios in London and capture reportage shots of ace photographer Elisabeth Hoff whilst she worked her magic. These hi profile marketing images would be used as centre pieces to much of the resulting marketing material. Follow this link to see more on Elisabeth Hoff at Jet Studios.
Third and finally a spot of event photography. I was to attend the annual franchisee conference and capture both reportage style shots of proceedings as well as shoot the winners of the numerous awards, both of which would be used internally and for PR purposes. Follow this link to see more on the franchisee conference.
So there you have it, commercial photography doesn't get more rewarding than that. Saks have been a fantastic group to work for and I sincerely wish them all the best with their ongoing projects. If you have any enquiries about how I can help you with your marketing projects or with coverage of events then do get in touch.
All the best
Thursday, 27 January 2011
I thought it was about time that I explained a bit about how some of my commercial photography is created and where it is used.
This post details some work that was done for NWE (North West Employers). At the time this company was going through a huge rebranding exercise and needed images specifically for their shiny new website and marketing materials.
The brief was simply to get some colourful images of employees in the office and then get a few head shots of some of the senior management team. In order to do this I was allowed a free run in the office and was invited into meetings to capture candid images as they happened. The office staff were of course warned that I would be there so they could look their best. I knew they'd look great anyway as I'd met most of the staff on a previous shoot, but it's still really important to warn people so that they feel as confident as possible on the day.
On top of being told about my arrival, the staff were also invited to wear colourful items, indeed I requested that someone should wear a top that matched the logo colour. I knew that if those images came out well then they would sit naturally on the new website - see for yourself - it worked!
Not all of the images shot were spontanious. I generally spend a bit of time talking to staff, to find out what they do (I am nosey) and also build confidence and rapport. The team at NWE were particularily friendly and accomodating so this was easy. I made a few cups of tea and thoroughly enjoyed meeting some really nice people - whilst taking a few pictures of course. So towards the end of my time there I invited some of the staff of take part in a few set pieces where I could direct the subjects to make them look their best. I tend towards a proactive approach to photography and in many cases engineer shots as necessary (sometimes things just do happen...but I wouldn't like to rely on mere chance). As long as the look and feel is natural then it's always worth it.
I hope this gives you, my prospective new client, an insight into how I work. And incase anyone from NWE stops by I'd like to thank all the staff that took part, and particularly Liz McQue (Chief Executive) who was just fantastic and who had clearly created a culture to be proud of, and one that the new brand really does reflect nicely I think.
All the best