Meet My Client!
I first met Claire at a Networking Group here in Newcastle City Centre. After getting to know a bit more about her graphic design work I had her join my Supergroup of Creatives for my re-brand back in 2016.
Claire is an exceptional Graphic Designer. She works a lot with large commercial businesses who need freelance design. She also works with select small businesses on their graphic design needs. As she has these two very different audiences, it was important that we created headshots that were just as diverse for her different marketing strategies.
In our planning session I knew that Claire was using this Professionally shot portrait of herself in place of an on brand headshot.
Whilst it’s technically well shot and produced, it didn’t meet the mark for Claire’s specific business needs. She wanted to level up in attracting the right kinds of enquiries with all of her marketing communications.
The Sch-Wham Planning
Claire initially told me that she wanted to shoot with me on a Sch-Wham level months before we got to our shoot date.
As we mix in the same circles, and we have worked together, it was really easy for us to make time to have a quick coffee chat, and a cocktail to get the wheels in motion on what the shoot would be about, and how it was all going to end up looking.
As we are both creatives, we had no problems in coming up with plenty of great ideas, but landing on a final theme and a plan took us a little bit longer to commit to. Over the months we were planning we pooled all of our ideas together in a Secret Pinboard on Pinterest. If we saw something or thought of something that the other person might like, it went into the Pinterest board for safe keeping, till the next time we spoke. I love this feature on Pinterest. It’s now a staple in the way I do my headshots business.
On the Team This Time
Styling the Sch-Wham Session was Nichola English. AKA The Wardrobe Provocateur.
Nichola visited Claire’s wardrobe prior to the shoot to pull some looks, and they both went shopping to add to the final wardrobe too.
HAIR & MAKE UP
Marie from ND Makeup joined the crew this time around.
In prep to “Sch-Wham Claire”, Marie gave her an online consultation and also selected some key products to compliment the overall moodboard.
I hired a full day’s use of a Blyth Beach hut from Active Northumberland, a part of Northumberland County Council. They were really helpful to work with at all stages of the shoot orchestration. If you would like to spend the day down on the beach you can book a hut yourself following the link I’ve included here.
Claire’s Sch-Wham Wish-List
From the planning consultancy that I did with Claire, over the months leading up to her Sch-Wham Shoot, a clear cut theme of all things beachy and nautical started to shine through. I knew that it was crucial to involve and include the following factors in the shoot:
- The Beach
- Professionalism and Relaxed Vibes
- Subtle nautical textures win over in-yer-face seaside stuff
Claire’s Sch-Wham Mood-Board
With the wish-list, planning and consultancy all in my brain, I was then able to start pulling together Claire’s bespoke mood-board. Here is what I created especially for her.
Claire’s Sch-Wham Seaside Headshots Shoot
Shoot day was tonnes of fun. Despite things starting off with my fridge breaking at home, the day went perfectly to schedule. We had an extra outfit that Nichola had pulled for us to maybe shoot (if there was time). My weather watching was on overdrive in the run-up and throughout the course of the day. If anyone is not used to living by the sea, note, that any forecast is pretty much pointless.
Starting off Formal
It felt apt to start things off with Claire’s most formal looks. Her hair was freshly curled and she was all psyched up and ready to rock!
I am in LOVE with how this whole set of pictures came out. The colours work fantastically well for Claire’s branding. She kept saying she felt uber-sophisticated in the way the outfit had been styled.
Here you can see Nichola and Marie at work in between takes.
On The Beach & In The Sea
As well as meeting clients down on the beach to work through their ideas (isn’t that just insanely original?). Claire heads there herself to clear her head and stay inspired. We spoke at length about why she loves living by the sea and “going for a plodge” in the middle of the day or after working hours keeps her fresh and full of designer zing. I had to get her doing this during our shoot. The sea was right there!
So what does it even look like, smell like when you have a high-level meeting with someone on a beach? On a British beach? It looks like this people! It looks exactly like this! Try it some time.
Nichola taking five and helping Claire get some heels on in the sand.
Finishing Up Relaxy-Pants
The much more real version of the above is Claire’s day to day of heading out to the sand to doodle some rough illustrations or draft out a proposal. By this stage in the day, Claire was also feeling a lot more relaxed at being photographed. We had all had a break inside the hut with some fish n chips, so everyone felt super-chill.
The sand dunes directly behind the beach gave us the most beautiful alternative backdrop to play around with. I am officially calling this the Timotei shot of the session. Post rainstorm backlighting.
As is the national LAW with any beach visit or long walk. Before you call it a wrap (or over), you have to find and eat an ice cream. Just me? Anyone?
This particular ice cream was especially prepared by the kind folks at Ciccarelli’s Gelato. Huge thanks for their help and excellent customer service.
Claire’s Seaside Headshots Edit
To support Claire in her editing I met her on the completion of another shoot in The Grainger Market (https://www.graingermarket.org.uk/) to narrow down to a final selection of images. There were cakes involved. Thanks to Richard Tubb.
We worked on narrowing down her gallery images to a final selection that met the original wish list. As Claire is a Graphic Designer, she had a clear vision of how she was going to be cropping photography later on in different brochures, and on her site. I’m really excited to see just how much she is going to re-purpose the headshots. We’ve planned to stay in touch on this. If anyone can make these seaside headshots pay off over and over and over. It’s a talented Graphic Designer.
We didn’t have any tricky or special things to do with Claire’s retouching. The usual things like ensuring clothes were fit to perfection in line with style requests, and refining what was already shot was carried out. We had a couple of bulldog clips to remove and one or two shoe stickers to hide.
I always give clients a digital facial, and I carry out selective sharpening on their hair and eyes to give the overall shots an extra little pop. If you follow me you already know this, and it’s old news. If this is the first time on learning this. Then there you go. Its new news. Boom!
Read Even More About This Session
The rest of the crew created content for the sch-wham seaside headshots session. You can find out even more about how we all created Claire’s shoot through these handy quick links:
As previously mentioned here in the blog, Nichola wrote up a blog describing the inspiration she took from the seaside headshots moodboard. In her blog, you can find where she pulled Claire’s outfits and why they went with the looks they did to get her refined and relaxed looks. This blog has already gone viral, so if you haven’t taken a look, you need to catch up!
CLAIRE’S EXPERIENCE OF BEING SCH-WHAMMED:
Claire documented her own experience of “being sch-whammed” in an Instagram story about seaside headshots. You can also see how she incorporates beach life into her life as a graphic designer the best on her Instagram feed. Give her a follow and stay tuned for some really creative updates.
Claire creates her own content too. She did a brilliant write-up of her experience of the Sch-Wham Shoot. This is a great honest account from her perspective on seaside headshots.
What About You?
If your mind has been blown to smithereens over this seaside headshots session, and you would like a slice for yourself, you need to know where to go next.
You can head directly to the Headshots Gallery to see more of my Headshots clients results and get ideas for how you would like to shoot with me for yourself.
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