Conference Next Week gives Alternative a Deadline to Meet

It’s four o’clock on a Friday afternoon.The mobile rings. A request to handle a project that needs to be completed by Monday 9 am without fail. This can be the challenging and darn right rewarding life of the professional corporate photographer. The brief is to photograph an Audi A1 for a conference that is being held the following Tuesday. The situation seems pretty straight foreword. Go out and photograph a car to the brief, there you have it.

The agency has been instructed that the car needs to be shot as a rear view. Just the  boot area and this is going to be printed to full scale and displayed at the conference. The first thing to do here is start calling all local Audi dealerships to see who has a clean car and were they happy for me to photograph on site. After about one and a half hour calling around I had found some possibilities.

Early that Saturday morning I set out with cameras at the ready. What a lovely day! Though told it may have some bright spell by the weather channel the strong wind with horizontal rain patches was something to be desired. I travelled to the first location and managed to shoot a car out in the car park at a dealership.

All pretty pleased here called and reported the shoot was in the bag. But found the brief has now changed and that it’s been decide that the boot of the car needs to open to see the inside of the car. This was obviously not the initial brief. They can change like that!  I’ve now outstayed my welcome at this dealer and need to find a new one to accommodate me. Later that morning a result and found a dealer that was a fair distance drive but had a car in a showroom out of the not so good weather conditions. Perfect. I shot the car using daylight and the lights from the dealership with just a small fill in flash and due to only the one angle needed here it was off back to the studio.

Audi A1

Audi A1

It had been decided that the image needed was to represent a car at the show. My goal here was to have a finished piece of artwork ready for the printer to produce a life size display. Yes life size! The conference set people were going to use the boot shelf area to display a particular product at the conference. The first stage was to do a cut out around the car to separate the background. Not an easy job cutting around smooth curvy lines especially when it’s ending up a life size image. Any imperfections would show here. The car interior was black so lightening was needed to give it some detail in the upholstery. Then I needed to replace the glass areas with cloud due to being able to see the car showroom within the front screen through the car as in image one. How best to do that, go outside and shoot the sky so you have a reality image to drop in.

Cloudy Sky

Cloud Sky


Cloud Sky

Cloud Sky Mask


This then was a procedure of making various layers and also masking wanted areas to be able to compile the end result. All reflections had to be removed on the paintwork of the car and highlights painted in to give it the overall effect. The number plate was an actual shot to give its shape and colour and logo added later. Finally I had the all clear on the finished piece of artwork ready to be uploaded to the printers at 6pm Sunday evening. That was my weekend!

Audi A1 Conference Display

Audi A1 Conference Display

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Studio Lighting at your Location Shoot

As a corporate photographer in London you are asked to attend many different venues and locations. At all of these you have to establish what lighting is going to be used and the limitations the location will give you.

At a conference where you would be shooting the speakers on stage I would utilise as much of the natural daylight or even more so the stage lighting that gives the shots a natural environmental feel. Less and less I use flash in these scenarios and shoot more as a fly on the wall and not be intrusive to the conference delegates.

With some clients wanting product shoots you need to use an array of studio lighting to obtain the right effect. It differs greatly between the types of shoots you are doing to what lighting style is needed for a particular shoot.

Some want hard direct lighting such as fashion shoots, ones to make a strong impact. Others have a complexity about them and can only be achieved in a certain way by using soft controlled lighting.

So when a studio shoot is required often the client goes to a photographer’s studio and the products are delivered to that location. This is a time and costly project for the client having to ship boxes from the stock supply and if possible have to then do a reverse procedure after the shoot to return again. Product can also be heavy and bulky items that produce even more problems.

But what if a Studio can come to your location!

This is where being able to supply at a venue or site such as a factory, warehouse or distribution centre a studio set up where all the items for a shoot are in one place. These products then can be more easily sourced without the complex administration and be brought to a studio set up location on site.

Often to make the whole process a more manageable affair for my client I bring a studio lighting set up that can be quite extensive for the desired shoot. This often comprises of backdrops being either paper rolls or materials. The lighting would often be soft boxes and over head boom arms with lamp attached. This makes a mini studio at your location. Being able to offer this service to my clients is just another way to make things run smoothly for them and makes their time more productive


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What is it that you do?

If you attend a lot of networking event’s then this is probably a question that you are asked on a regular basis.

‘What is it that you do?’

And then you best describe what that is in a short paragraph.

‘I’m a photographer and video producer for corporate and medium sized businesses.’ I reply.

Of course there is more to what I do than that. Yes, I go to locations and take photographs for an interior or lifestyle publication. Or video where a director is explaining a procedure or showcase a company’s product or services. I put things together, I make things happen. I help businesses and people create the right image to promote their company.

But what else do I do? Apart from the obvious roles within my profession, what is it that I am also helping to achieve?

  • I help businesses to grow by raising their profile and showcase what they do
  • I create imagery that grabs people’s attention and gets them noticed
  • I help people with the ideas for script and video storyboarding
  • I help with presenting styles to camera on video shoots
  • I also save clients costs by working with them as and when they need me on a project


But, what I strive to do above everything else is to supply a complete professional service to my clients. And because I love my job, I hope my passion, experience and enthusiasm comes through when people ask me, ‘What is it that you do?’

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Does Your Website Need Video

The world wide web has now become our most favourite shop. And it’s a well known fact that a good deal of the nation will look to the web to shop for either goods, find information or services.

So if your in business to attract customers, what do you have? A website! It’s all about communication. And when a visitor lands to your website they need to see if you can supply what they are looking for within a very short time frame. It is also a well researched fact that people don’t want to spend time reading to find the information.

So make it easy TELL THEM!

The Benefit of adding a custom video to your website. This allows the viewer to be informed with a single click. What, how, where on any of the desired platforms your site is viewed on.
 Because of this, many businesses have found it valuable to use video to quickly convey their primary value proposition.

Having video on your site makes it easy for the viewer. Video can explain a more complex message than script. It keeps the viewer engaged and therefor more likely to purchase your service or product. This way of thinking is for any small business, right up to the multinationals. So don’t think that your business is not large enough to have one, think the opposite. It needs one.

The prospect of taking on the challenge of producing such a project can be somewhat intimidating if its not your day to day thing. There are various areas to consider to make sure you convey your message. Here at Alternative, helping people and companies to do this better, more creatively and more effectively is a plesure to have. We would both come together and start with a process known as the “Story Boarding” that will address scripts, planned visuals and locations for the shoot to tell the story.

The process to making a video can be fairly complex, but that’s where I come in!
If you feel this could be right for you and would like to know more please do contact me.


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