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The Quest for True Authenticity in Quirky Headshots with Hazel

June 25, 2018

Meet My Client!

Hazel Lowndes is an expert on all things “people”; with a background in psychology she has had a fascinating career all over the world in Organisational Development.  Now Hazel is launching her own practice.  Meet Ginger Dog!


How We Met

You may remember my recent blog on Natalie Hailey’s Speaker Photography.  Natalie is setting up Hazel’s new social media strategy and she recommended me to help Hazel with some new Quirky Branded Headshots that fit with her fresh Ginger Dog brand.



The Quirky Branded Planning

Hazel and I had an initial consultation on Skype to get to know each other a bit better before the camera was involved.  I love this part of the Quirky service!  Having a good grounding of anyone’s backstory really helps me to develop a genuine context whilst shooting; I tend to scribble wild notes which then serve as my mood planning just before a session.  Client’s love this time to ask technical questions, be involved in photographic planning and calm any nerves of the unknown before their shoot day.


Hazel’s Organisational Development Headshots Wish-List

From our consultancy session together, a wish list developed that included some key factors I knew that were important to involve and include the following in this shoot.

  • Fantastic Brand Guidelines

Hazel has worked with a fantastic graphic designer.  For me, a graphic designer becomes fantastic when they provide some considered brand guidelines.  This is like a pretty, very pretty, cheat sheet for me to get a rapid snapshot of all of their workings on brand development.  I use these visual prompts to form a lot of the basis of my headshot planning.

It’s like the hymn sheet the creative team can use to tune their instruments up to before playing the client song.


  • Laptop Lifestyle

Living a laptop lifestyle is already a large part of Hazel’s working style.  With Ginger Dog, Hazel is looking to recruit a wealth of knowledge from virtual Change Management and People professionals.  Having a collective business model is truly incredible.  So long stuffy flouro-lit offices!  Hello virtual work that fits around your family and lifestyle needs.

  • Friendliness and Authenticity

As you would expect, Hazel is naturally a people person.  She values real authenticity and has injected her friendliness into the Ginger Dog brand.

Authenticity in photography is often an elusive beast.  You know in an instant when you haven’t captured it, but if you strive to catch it, you are very unlikely to see it in the final photos.  My plan of action was to keep the mood of our session mellow and conversational so as to invite some authentic energy and not scare it away by putting it onto centre stage and staring at it.


Hazel’s Quirky Branded Headshot Session

Hazel absolutely loves Newcastle and the Georgian architecture here.  With that in mind we decided to shoot a variety of backdrops in the city centre.

Grey Street

To mark our first point on the little route I had planned, we headed into the beautiful Central Arcade.

On our walk down Grey Street we ducked to very friendly Last Iguanas.  They were setting up for lunchtime service and we were able to grab some colourful and vibrant at-work laptop lifestyle shots (thank you so much for having us we really appreciate it).

Further still, I asked Hazel if she enjoyed art deco design.  She told me that she loved it so we headed into beautiful Milburn House. I would love to have an office here one day it’s always been one of my most favourite buildings in Newcastle.

On our way out from Milburn House we got into a great conversation with the gentleman behind reception.  He told us about the history of this building and that it was one of the key buildings for the shipyard management way back when.  The entire building is shaped like a giant ship with the pointy bow facing towards the River Tyne, and stern of the building pointing back into the city.  What’s more, all floors within Milburn House are backwards alphabetically, just like how you find on any ship. 

The Baltic

To give this Quirky headshot session a modern take that blends well with the new brand, we decided to finish our shoot at the Baltic Art Gallery.

As a lovely round-off to our session we went into Baltic Kitchen for a cuppa and I caught some extra photography when there (thank you so much for being so welcoming to me all the time I love you guys!)

Hazel’s Edit

To support Hazel in her editing, I met with her on Skype to go over the private session preview gallery.

We worked on narrowing down images to a final selection of authentic organisational development headshots that met the original wish list.  It was important to ensure that wider team members like web designers, social media managers, graphic designers and the like would have plenty of on brand photography to work with.  I can’t wait to see this collection in use.

The Retouch

We had a variety of great natural light in this shoot, and this translated into photography that was near to final sign-off in-shot.  To polish things up a little bit we did some selective details sharpening and made sure that the orange accessories worn in the session matched as close as possible to the Ginger Dog in post.


Extra Thanks To

I would officially like to thank the great venues that provided us with fabulous backdrops in this session.

Las Iguanas – Newcastle

Such a welcoming bunch.  ALWAYS!


Milburn House – Newcastle


The Baltic – Newcastle



Through Client Eyes

I asked Hazel to do a quick piece to camera to let you know what she thought about the Quirky Branded service.  Here’s what happened:


What About You?

If you are also a people person, and you would like a slice of authenticity in your next headshots, you need to know where to go next.

Get Some More Inspo

You can head direct to the Headshots Gallery to see more of my clients’ results and get ideas for how you would like to shoot with me for yourself.


Download The Guide

If you are a details kind of person, you need to know how my different services work.  This is the brochure to download for all that jazz.