Watch This Episode of MwahTV About A COVID Photoshoot
If you're delaying or updating the photography of you on your website because like my clients Aileen and Karen, at this time you are working remotely and distanced, then this is absolutely the episode for you.
If you're just like them and the idea of travelling quite a long distance just for a photoshoot just doesn't seem like a safe enough reason to get out there, then you're probably going to find exactly how we did this to be really interesting.
Let's get you all inspired and thinking well outside of the box. Let's go.
Meet Aileen & Karen
Let me tell you first a little bit about Aileen and Karen.
They met a number of years ago when they were both doing the same nutrition course. And after hitting it off, they agreed that going for a partnership was probably going to be a great idea for them because they had such similar interests. And so as a result of that, their podcast was born. Their podcast is called, She Runs, Eats, Performs. And as a result of creating that podcast together, their membership, the Runner's Health Hub was created.
How COVID Impacted Their Business
Now, pre-pandemic, the ladies made a point of trying to catch up on a regular basis, in person, so that they could share ideas and work together, but more often than not, they worked remotely together on these joint ventures of theirs. So when lockdown happened, it's fair to say that they didn't have to do a lot of adjustments to the style of the way that they were used to working in.
A COVID Photoshoot Problem
However, when it came to getting a new set of matching photography, they hit a bit of a barrier. Neither of them felt, back at the time when these sessions were created, that it was really safe enough, and that they could honestly justify travelling 300 miles to one another, just for the sake of a photoshoot.
And that's when Aileen contacted me. Aileen and I go back quite a few years as well. We first met at a breakfast networking event, I think it was about 2014, 2015-ish. And then we got to know each other a lot more when we were in a group coaching programme together. And that lasted for about six months, I think.
The Collaboration Crew
So in order to make sure that the images we created looked like they had been shot in the same place, on the same date, with the same lighting, I had the pleasure of working alongside this fabulous photographer.
Meet Charlotte Krag
Hi, I'm Charlotte, I run Charlotte Krag Photography, here in London, in the UK. I work as a commercial photographer, shooting both lifestyle and fitness photography.
Meet Karen Campbell
Hi, I'm Karen, co-founder of the Runners Health Hub and cohost of She Runs, Eats, Performs Podcast. I'm based in London in the UK, and my photoshoot was with Charlotte Krag in London.
Meet Aileen Smith
Hi, I'm Aileen, I'm co-founder of Runners Health Hub, and I'm also a cohost of She Runs, Eats, Performs Podcast. I'm based in Newcastle in the UK, and I have my photo shoot with Laura at the Mayfield Studios in Newcastle.
Meet Claire Jenks
And I'm Claire Jenks from Jenks Creative, and I'm based up in Northumberland, and I've joined in this project to bring the photography created into the Runners Health Hub brand.
A COVID Photoshoot Day
So now you have to skinny on who's who, let's go straight into shoot day show, shall we?
Just got here, the first time I've been here in a long old time and the little park that I used to have, it's just knocked down. So this used to be here where you see all this white, that used to be a bus station, and everyone would know to park there cause it's cheaper than the NCP down the road, and now they've knocked it down. How times have changed hey. I realised now of having said that, that this is the kind of thing your Mam or Dad would say to you when you were little and you'd be like, oh, why are you talking about the old days? I'm officially old.
Let's talk about today shoot. So today I'm shooting with the amazing Aileen, and if you've checked out my post on my feed today, you'll know a little bit of a backstory about her, but I love it when this kind of thing eventually comes round, something that I never realised when I was starting out in business, but you make friends with all these cool people, and then something will eventually crop up where you end up working together or helping each other out, even if it's years and years later. Yeah. I love that. It's really cool. So today we're doing a green screen session, and I've got all my equipment waiting for us at Mayfield Studio, so I'm only packing one bag.
How cool is that?
Hey, that's a wrap, we are done.
CHARLOTTE: We were just discussing how to get our photography to look like Aileen and Karen were shot the same place at the same time. How can we summarise up all of this technical chat Laura?
LAURA: Yeah, I think it would be a bit boring wouldn't it if we went into all the nitty-gritty of the technical stuff. We've been talking about finessing layers, flattening layers, blending layers, getting colourways right, but really, I would probably say that anybody, if I was telling them how we do this from the outside, that they should do it with lighting diagrams.
Unfortunately for us, it didn't happen that way, we just didn't have time in our schedules to communicate exactly how we were doing our setup with lighting diagrams. So we weren't extra prepared.
CHARLOTTE: Yes this time has been by collaborating on the retouch, we've discussed how we're cutting out the ladies and how the retouch can fit the match on the final images.
So they can look the same.
And then of course the plan is to composite both of those PNG files together so that it's going to be easier for the ladies to use.
CHARLOTTE: And we agree that this is going to make it easier for the ladies to work with their images and easier for the suppliers that use them.
Discovering our Newcastle College Connection
LAURA: Yeah, exactly a hundred percent.
And I also think that we should take a little second here Charlotte, to just share that we've both learned in this technical geek and out chat that we've just had that we studied photography at the same place.
CHARLOTTE: I know it's crazy, having never met each other. Before that this collaboration has turned out to be a, yeah, a Newcastle College reunion.
LAURA: Yes exactly, It's such a small world isn't it? We've just been talking about the lecturers we remember, we did it at different times, our courses. It's not like we, we studied together and now we're having a reunion where we didn't know where each other had ended up, but you went there and then I went there. So we've been comparing what, what cameras were there, what facilities were there, which lecturers we remember.
CHARLOTTE: Yeah, It's been really good fun actually to go down that route and reminisce.
LAURA: Yeah exactly and would you, I always tell anybody when they're thinking about getting serious about professional photography, or commercial photography in particular, that they should spend the time to go and study properly. Are you have the same opinion?
CHARLOTTE: I think so because there are so many new things all the time, particularly digital Photoshop and how you learn workflow. I think that's much easier to get taught that than to work on that on your own. I think that's quite a difficult task.
And the retouching because for example, like Photoshop, there are so many ways of retouching. As we know, you know,
LAURA: That's what we've just been talking about.
CHARLOTTE: There's cutting out a person from a green screen and a white background, you know, there's maybe five or 10 different ways to do it. And everybody's different. So it's very good when you go out and industry to make sure that you have those skills. So, yeah.
How Collaboration Was Fostered At College
LAURA: Yeah. And it's, it's like, it's about the lingo, and also I think I found what was pleasantly surprising for me when I studied there was this idea of collaboration.
I don't know if this happened when you were studying, but I remember class crits were like a real magical time for me.
So you turned in your piece of work for the week or for the last 12 weeks, and Graham Stouph would stand on the table, and all the work would be around him, and then we'd, we'd go around with him as a circle, and we look at each piece of work and everyone was expected to give some sort of feedback or idea about the work.
And I absolutely loved that. Did you do the same?
CHARLOTTE: Yeah, we did something similar. Yeah, definitely. It was so interesting to see how the same project was interpreted in so many different ways, depending on what people had access to, or their interests were.
LAURA: Yeah, yeah, I love that.
CHARLOTTE: Yeah, I know it was really fun. I miss that a little bit.
LAURA: Oh God, I miss that all the time, and even like the camaraderie. Like if we were all trying to hit a deadline like people would be like, come on, we can do this.
CHARLOTTE: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
LAURA: And everyone would be like, oh, shouting and running around in the studio. Like, when you're working on your own, you just don't have that.
CHARLOTTE: No, no, no.
LAURA: Maybe we should tell, right so this is an official notice then to Newcastle College, that we want you to do some sort of a Professionals Reunion, where we all get given a little assignment, and we all get to push each other.
I would pay good money to do that.
CHARLOTTE: Yeah. We need, we need to have some alumni meeting or something like that.
LAURA: Just like a little retreat or something, yeah.
CHARLOTTE: Yeah. Yeah.
Aileen & Karen React To The Final Photography
AILEEN: So what do you think Karen?
KAREN: Well Aileen I have to say I'm really loving the way the new photos have come out. I feel that the website looks so much more professional and by that, I mean that you can now really see the real us in a beautifully consistent way. I really wasn't sure if we could pull this off.
AILEEN: Yeah me neither but I'm really thrilled that Laura and Charlotte have been able to do this for us. You know, it's been fantastic. I just wished that we'd been together to do it. It's a shame that we haven't been in the same place, but maybe next time, maybe the next session we can be there in person together.
KAREN: Yeah, absolutely Aileen, let's keep our fingers crossed.
Adding Depth With Graphics From Claire Jenks
CLAIRE: Hi Claire here and I'm now at the stage working in collaboration with Laura to make sure that the photography asset shot by Charlotte and Laura really fit in well with the Runners Health Hub branding.
We've been chatting together about the right way to do this, and in a way that is exactly what Aileen and Karen need, whilst at the same time, making the space enough for this brand to evolve going forward to.
So as you can see, I brought things together and we have taken the photography that Laura and Charlotte have shot. And we've started to bring that together with the brand colours that have been evolved and designed for that brand in the past. And we've also laid this on top of recognisable shapes, images, and textures, from the running world.
So we've got textures of road and we've also got a trainer tread as well. So these are shapes and textures that are really going to resonate with their audience.
This makes things really come together and the way that we've created it really reflects Aileen and Karen's goal of making the graphic design part of running that business really easy as possible. They can now take all of these different assets and recreate them in a tool such as Canva and start to create the graphic design in-house.
Shooting With Claire Jenks For Her Brand Back in 2017
A COVID Photoshoot All Coming Together
LAURA: So there you have it.
Two business partners situated 300 miles apart, brought together with remote photography, into five scaled composites that they can use over and over and over again in their business communications and marketing plan.
Layered on top of some bespoke graphic elements and textures that really make their brand pop.
Don't forget, you can meet more of my clients by heading to this playlist next. I'll see you next time. Mwah.
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