Photographing the Cabinetmaker

Continuing the theme of photographing genuine craftspeople in their work environments I took the opportunity to visit Paul, a skilled craftsman, a Cabinetmaker,  working from his garden workshop in the small village of Thurne in the English County of Norfolk, UK.

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It was a very frosty morning in December when I arrived at Paul’s historic home. The sun was shining in a clear blue sky but it was very chilly!  The visit had been planned but I hadn’t seen the space Paul works from, for all I knew it could be cluttered or untidy, cramped or dark or full of power tools. These situations can be tricky to photograph aesthetically.

gjn_0152We chatted over a warming cup of coffee before venturing around the back of the house into the workshop. I was in for a treat, as I stepped into the space the sunlight filtered through the window behind Paul’s uncluttered, tidy workbench. The ambience of the space was more than I could have wished for.

gjn_9993Positioning Paul between me and the light coming from the window ensured I got the soft, backlight I love to work with. As a skilled cabinetmaker Paul uses vintage hand tools in his craft. As he worked on the wood with these tools I captured moments as the particles of sawdust almost glittered as they floated into the air.

To avoid dark corners in some shots I used strobe light directed into them and kicked a little reflector behind the subject. I also tried to counterbalance the window light by experimenting with the added glow of an electric heater almost out of the frame.

For more small business, craftspeople images see here.

Organic Marketing Imagery

We are always endeavouring to keep up with the trends in marketing. To ensure our library of images are up to date and relevant to the issues of today we turned our minds to organic marketing and set out to create a set of images with kids engaging in organic play.

For clarity organic play refers to the surroundings, activities and materials the kids immerse themselves in.

Why  did we chose the subject of organic play?

Latino boy role playing in model van, homemade from a cardboard box
Latino boy role playing in model van, homemade from a cardboard box

The awareness of the hazards of environmental waste means more businesses than ever are turning to green practices. They strive to become environmentally responsible and they want to advertise this with organic marketing.  Therefore they need the visual images both still and motion, to engage their audiences.

Alongside this we thought about how kids play these days. With parents full schedules less time is being spent in outdoor unstructured activities.

Research shows that children are spending record amounts of time watching television and engaging in other media devices.

Caprisun embrace organic play in their marketing. 

HSBC use kids aspirational role play using organic materials and imagination.

How we produced and styled this shoot.

Two young latino boys playing in homemade cardboard aeroplanes in the park
Two young latino boys playing in homemade cardboard aeroplanes in the park

We abandoned the plastic, commercially produced toys and left the technology indoors and headed outside with organic materials, recycled materials, and repurposed items.

Cardboard boxes were rescued from the recycling bin and paper plates and lids from store cupboards became wheels and lights. Scarves, goggles and hats gathered from a rummage in a store of accumulated props. The kids wore their own clothes and ‘dressed up’ as pilots, racing drivers and superheroes using the props provided.

We took them to a great outdoor space available to everyone, the park, and let them race, run and fly! 

Stock photography and how we make it work

Stock photography and how we make it work
Woman in silk dress in the sea, used as book cover.

Developing concepts and ideas for a stock shoot pays off when you see the published work.

For us stock photography is producing and creating a curated collection of innovative still images and motion clips which are fresh, dynamic, compelling unbranded and released. The content is distributed by our agents to fulfil the needs of creatives who are looking for immediate images. This post explains a bit about stock photography and how we make it work.

OK, so we know what stock photography is but how is the content created, what is in demand, where do you shoot, who do you photograph and when do the photos get selected by licensed stock agencies?

Also stock video clips are making a huge impact on the market these days. Look closely at TV advertisements, how many can you spot which are mainly a bunch of video clips strung together as opposed to a full production? Thus we shoot video clips too.

The journey of a still or motion clip is basically the same from ideas to production to revenue in the bank and this is how we do it.

  1. Research. We research topics, keep up to date with latest trends, seek and meet interesting people (old, young, in between, active, individuality) seek advice on photo requirements from creative advisers and take note of interesting and suitable locations. It’s important to think of a concept for the shoot beforehand then build the storyboard around that.
  2. Planning. Sometimes a shoot is planned in fine detail with a production plan, models, crew, travel and budgeting but sometimes it is a walk on the beach with the camera, yet even this simple pastime has been given some thought, for example, the time of day, the location, what to wear and whether we need props.
  3. Production. Getting the right shot takes many, many captures and much patience from all involved. The lighting, camera exposures, props and talent adjusted and tweaked. Then the talent, be it a friend, relative, new talent starting out or a pro has to sign a model release…otherwise the pictures will be worthless. This needs to be agreed beforehand. Even dogs, cats, homes, offices, boats require a property release.
  4. Editing. Back in the office the photos are edited with a fine tooth comb leaving the best to be distributed to the agency for their selection.
  5. Key wording. Generally about half of the edit will be selected, these then get cleaned up in photoshop, removing logos and a little colour adjustment, uploaded to the stock agency portal where the metadata and description is completed using those conceptual keywords and phrases, these have to be good to get the images found, selected and sold.
  6. Selling. Images are now live and ‘for sale’
  7. Revenue. It could be 3 months before we see any revenue..it could be as little as a dollar or enough to book a plane ticket to a nice location for the next production.

That is stock photography and how we make it work for us.

Companies are asking us to produce in house libraries of content for their social media and advertising requirements. If this interests you contact us with your needs, we will be happy to help you. hello@garyjohnnorman.com

 

A Spanish road trip

The first version of the Spanish road trip on the Vimeo site used generic music from the internet and now the new version on the Youtube site has composed original music by Niall Murdoch. As a producer of imagery and a strong believer in copyright I believe it is important to use original audio on published film clips that their intention is for commercial gain. I intend to write more on the use of audio in future blog posts with more reference to sources for audio for the filmmaker-Gary.

Production stills

The idea of this project is to shoot video and stills from the hip to create a bohemian style of imagery. The scenario is a road trip from Malaga into the Andalucian mountains to a small artist village Genalguacil and then to a coastal village with wide stretch of beach
Endless road trip, no burden, moving along, changing landscape, image rich environments, European, new take beach generic, credit card tooth brush go, tech stuff inventive ideas, honeymoon newly weds, something blowing in the wind, lap top technology, getting lost.

Concept words; Discovery, exploration, freedom, friendship, fun, happiness, journey, learning, on the move, real people, romance, technology, guidance, navigation.

Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits. In this context, Bohemians can be wanderers & adventurers.

I have referenced this image before in my blog posts and wanted to reflect on it again for this next project a commission by for the Elvis Jesus Company

Endless Roads (Trailer) from Juan Rayos on Vimeo.