Over the past few months we’ve been busy planning and crafting away for our Hobbycraft Christmas shoot.
This year our shoot was held at PhotoRed in nearby Southampton with Glenn (trusty photographer), Eloisa (super talented stylist!) and Taylor, their adorable wire hair fox terrier. To get to know them better we sent them a few questions.
Behind the Scenes! Christmas : Part 1
Here’s what Glenn had to tell us . . .
Q – You’re a formidable husband and wife team. What’s your secret to success?
A – We’ve worked together for over 10 years so have established a pretty good working relationship. I’d say the thing that makes it work for us is the fact that we both share the same passion for what we do – running a business isn’t easy, but if you’re both working hard towards the same goal, it makes the tough bits much easier and the good bits all the more exciting.
Q – How do you work with Eloisa?
A – We work as a photographer and stylist team so essentially we develop the concepts and scenarios for a project together then when it comes to the shoot day, I focus on lighting and shooting the image and Eloisa works on the styling & dressing of the shot.
Q – What’s always in your standard kit bag? What can’t you live without?
A – Well as a photographer, of course my camera bag is my most important piece of kit! Aside for the obvious stuff though, like lenses, lighting etc, I’d say perhaps gaffa tape and clamps – you can never have enough of either of those!
Q – What process do you use to find the perfect location?
A – Depending on whats needed for a shoot, sometimes we use an agency to hire locations from, other times we source places ourselves and if we can’t quite find what we’re after, we build it in our studio!
Q – Tell us about your photographic passions. What’s your favourite type of subject?
A – I genuinely just love making things look nice on camera, be that for a holiday brochure, a fashion shoot or a homewares catalogue. As a commercial photographer I also think its really important to keep taking pictures as a hobby, just for myself as opposed to a client to ensure you keep the passion for it alive. I can’t go far without getting inspired to take photographs, but whenever we go away I like to take a small kit bag and just take shots of the people and the places that inspire me along the way.
Q- Who inspires you?
A- I think inspiration is everywhere – to me its not a specific person, different people inspire me in different ways, but the places I go and the things I see are just as important a source of inspiration to me and you can find it in the strangest of places…the other day for example I happened to drive past an old-style launderette and just felt compelled to stop by and take shots of their lovely retro washing machines!
Q- How did you help Hobbycraft to come up with the perfect Christmas concept?
A – I think it was a combination of listening to what you guys at Hobbycraft wanted to achieve and working together to plan out some scenarios to showcase all of the products in the best way we could. We’re really pleased with how it all worked out!
Q – Do you always have a good idea of what the final shoot will look like, or does the process evolve throughout the shoot?
A – You always start with a vision of how you’d like it to look, sometimes you get it to be exactly as you’d imagined and other times, something just comes to you half way through shooting and you end doing something completely different to what you’d initially imagined-its nice to allow yourself scope to change you mind as sometime the best ideas are the unplanned ones!
Q – How do you keep up-to-date on emerging practices and techniques?
A – I think you just keep an open mind, keep an eye out on whats going on around you and make sure you give yourself time to ‘play’ and try different ways of shooting so you don’t get stale.
Q – Give us some top tips for the perfect lifestyle shot.
A – I think its just a case of trying to get things looking ‘real’ through good lighting and styling-great lifestyle shots feeling convincing and not contrived.
Q – People say never work with children or animals; you worked with both on the Hobbycraft Shoot! How did it go? Did you get the shots you wanted?
A – Yes, they certainly do say that! To be honest, Finn, our little model was absolutely brilliant, but kids do get bored quite easily so its best to try and keep things quick and as fun as possible. The other thing is to be a bit flexible with what you’re willing to get in terms of the shot and work with what the children want to do…for example, we wanted a shot of him holding a mug of hot chocolate but it proved too tempting for a 3 year old so he started drinking it and it actually made for a much better shot that way! Same goes for working with animals, although in Taylor’s case, so long as you have a supply of dog treats, he’s pretty easy to work with!
Q – Which were your favourite shots (from the Hobbycraft shoot)?
A – I actually really enjoyed the chocolate story, I love the way the textures and colours worked out. I also really liked the shots we took of the sewing machine in the little ‘crafting space’ as I just liked that it was so different to the rest of the shots we worked on.
Q – What one piece of advice would you give to an amateur photographer?
A – I think I’d say to remember that its not all about the camera you use, it’s the vision you have that creates a great photograph. You can go out and buy a big expensive camera and lots of great lenses, but without the eye to compose a great shot, its just an expense bit of metal! The other thing I’d say is to take your time to compose a picture, don’t rush it but really think about what you’re trying to achieve..and enjoy doing it!
Q – How did you get started commercially?
A – I worked as an assistant for a number of years following my photography degree, then gradually worked my way up through photographic agencies to get a really good solid grounding in the industry. Once I felt ready to go it alone (and with a lot of encouragement from Eloisa!) I finally took the leap as a freelancer and so began PhotoRed.
Q – And for the future? Do you have any plans?
A – I guess just more of the same really! We love what we do and feel very lucky to be able to make a living from doing it.
Make sure to stay tuned for our next behind the scenes interview with Eloisa . . .