“I don’t need to hire a professional photographer, my iPhone is good at taking pictures”

Sure, iPhone (all smartphone) cameras have come a long way in the past few years, but its is worth investing in professional images of your property 📸
…. an image says a thousand words, just look for yourself

The photographs of your property most likely provide the very first impressions people have of your business. 📸

Did you know that estate agent listings with professional photos sell for more money? Not only that, but they also sell faster! AND 92% of home-buyers use the Internet as part of their home search 🏡 💻

We can help with home staging of your property and showcasing its features through composition and art direction.

 

 

#AskTheExpert Create your Own Photographic Content

Just over a week ago I did something I’ve been scared to do for years. Stand up in front of a group of (utterly wonderful) people & give a workshop on Photography 🤓 Imagery is such a vital part of creating engagement with your audience, an invaluable marketing tool that every business, no matter the size, needs.

As part of the #AskTheExpert series at GetSet East Dorset I delivered ‘Create your Own Photographic Content’ 📷

My favourite part of the workshop was running around with everyone’s iPhones as part of the show & tell from the practical exercises we did 😂 🏃‍♀️📱

 

Neutral Backgrounds Still Rule Product Pages

In the world of Amazon, product photography is king. You might have a great title or competitive price, but your Amazon product photography is the first thing everyone will see when they’re browsing items in your category.

Neutral Backgrounds Still Rule Product Pages 💻
As you probably noticed, most of these approaches are for category pages and their equivalents. Once you get to an actual product page, product images have white, transparent, or neutral backgrounds.
Removing the background makes your images more consistent, removes distractions, and minimizes file size.
Plus, many marketplaces require white or neutral backgrounds for product images, and you really don’t want to reshoot for different channels 🚫

eCommerce Photography: White backgrounds rule the roost when it comes to eCommerce product photography. But why? It promotes consistency. Contributing to a uniform look and feel throughout the site. Just as it is important to ensure the brand identity of a seller is consistent, the same goes for photography. Emphasising the product with no distractions, shows the quality of the products finish and detail is the point of focus.

The numbers don’t lie: 75% of online shoppers rely on product photos when deciding on a potential purchase, let’s face it, it’s hard to describe some things & just easier to show it. People remember 10% what they hear, 20% what they read and 80% WHAT THEY SEE & DO 👁👁

We offer a drop off service for product photography 👏 ideal for busy business owners in Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole & surrounding Dorset and Hampshire areas

🙌 Drop your products off to us
📸 See & approve the images
📅 Come pick up your products

 

Hoping to get published in the press? You’ll need great PR Photos

The importance of photography in PR and newsworthy stories should not be underestimated. We all know the saying ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ and it’s true! Did you know that a recent study showed 90% of what we remember comes from visuals?

Pick up a newspaper or magazine near you and have a flick through — what catches your eye? I would guess that the images are getting your attention, right? Good images are essential when trying to achieve press coverage.

In some cases, the media won’t even publish the story unless there’s a decent image to go with it. In other cases, having a good photo or collection of images can make all the difference between a small, text-based story – which the reader could easily miss – and a longer feature, with lots of eye-catching images for maximum impact

What a professional. Excellent pics turned around fast with no fuss.” – Darren Slade, Bournemouth Daily Echo

Whether you’re using images on your website, social media or sending them to press, if they are unprofessional or poor quality, it won’t reflect well on your business… Don’t get me wrong, the cameras on smartphones these days are pretty good and in the right light, you can take a half decent shot. ⛔️ BUT ⛔️ you should invest in at least some decent head shots and ‘business in action’ images.

It’s always a good idea to invest in a professional photo shoot. Never underestimate what a photographer can do for your brand visuals. Outside of the business of actually taking the photos, a good photographer can advise on the kind of images you need to show your business to its best advantage, provide lighting and professional backdrops and develop creative ideas to really make you stand out from the crowd

 

One World by the Sea festival declared a success

A Festival celebrating the benefits international culture has brought to Dorset has been hailed a big success. Organisers of the inaugural One World by the Sea Festival are planning a “bigger and better” version next year.

The community festival, organised by members of the International Education Forum of Bournemouth and Poole, attracted thousands of visitors to events taking place over four days and I was there to Photograph it!

Check out the full article at Bournemouth Daily Echo

Discovery Day at Bournemouth International College


Eden Carnival Music Night


Film Screening at Poole Lighthouse


Family Festival Day in Bournemouth

 

Venus magazine cover with Rowena Co-Founder of Lush

I was recently commissioned by the Venus Awards to create their new magazine cover & focus feature. For this edition, Rowena Bird, co-founder of Lush graced the cover.

Within the magazine, the art director & I had planned a special photo shoot to reveal of the finalists of the awards ceremonies within the pages.

But, back to the cover…

Rowena kindly invited us into her home for the photo shoot. The house décor was so incredibly colourful, and Rowena’s personality so welcoming and cheerful, you’d never have guessed that it was a pouring down with rain outside and that it was 7.30am on a Monday…

While Anita took care of Rowena’s hair & make-up, founder of the Venus awards Tara Howard & I, raided Rowena’s closet and picked out her outfits, accessories & decided on our shooting locations.

The shoot itself was over within an hour before Rowena & I scooted off to her Poole shop to capture some images of her within her business.

My plotting with Art Director, Seb, was finally revealed! Within the glossy magazine housed the Dorset and Hampshire Finalists group photos that I’d taken at the respective finalist announcement events 8 weeks prior (with a few people photo shopped in! But you’d never have been able to tell)

 

The magazine was revealed on the Dorset Finals Night much to the delight of the finalists, having patiently waited 8 weeks to see their photos! It was lovely to see people engrossed in the articles on the awards night – sharing their finalists photos in anticipation.

 

So, pick up the magazine & have a read!
To finish off this blog post, here are my favourite unpublished shots from my photo shoot with Rowena….

 


Magazine: Venus Dorset & Hampshire Edition
Hair & Make-Up: Anita Kaur-Simon
Styling: Tara Howard & Zelda de Hollander
Photography: Zelda de Hollander

Venus Magazine Cover & Feature

Was absolutely delighted to be asked to photograph not only the cover image for the new Venus Magazine, but also 2 features. The cover girl is Emma-Jane Taylor an Entrepreneur, TV Presenter on The Well-Being Show aka The Inspirational Mentor and author. Emma graced the cover of the magazine photographed in the picturesque Chandelier Bar in Christchurch, followed by a studio photo shoot, along with a few outfit changes, back at Studio Shotz. Here are my favourite images from the shoot…

 


For the Thames Valley London edition on the Venus Magazine, I also went on a road trip to Reading to photograph Sir John Madejski at the Madejski stadium. Sir John welcomed us into his penthouse apartment for a feature interview and my photo shoot, EK! Lucky for me, his apartment has a gorgeous wrap around deck that showcased the entire city of Reading. He also had numerous paintings, photographs and memorabilia which made for great backgrounds and props (I love the gnome!).

In the middle of Sir John’s penthouse was a beautiful black grand piano, I asked if he wouldn’t mind posing for me while playing “Oh, I only play this thing when I’m drunk” I think I’m quite persuasive and he looked so happy tinkling the ivories…

I WON the Venus Award for Networker of the Year!

Holy Cow Batman, I only went and won an award!

This year I was in the finals for Networker of the Year, sponsored by PlayGolf Bournemouth, a category that I’ve become quite passionate about. It’s a key way of developing your professional & social contacts, not just for yourself but for your already established connections too. The past year I’ve really stepped out of my comfort zone, literally, walking into rooms of people where I have known no one…

The Venus journey concluded at a glamorous Black Tie Ceremony and Gala Dinner at Bournemouth International Centre on Thursday 20th October 2016 . Dubbed the “Working Women’s Oscars” by Channel 4 and now in its seventh year in Dorset, the Venus Awards goes from strength-to-strength in discovering and recognising the talents of enterprising women. Competition was fierce this year with 785 nominations and applications across the 15 Award categories in Dorset.

However, it’s not the first time I’ve been in the Venus Awards Finals, it’s the third! Previously for Online Marketing and Networking! (Not to mention I’ve been in the semi-finals/short listed for everything from PR, online business, customer service and professional of the year!)

I enjoyed the Venus Night with my table; consisting of good friends, my family and some awesome business people that wanted to support me. Thank you for joining me Nick from Foxes Estate Agents, Andy from Gervis Accountants & Christchurch Chamber and Dion from Pure Networking! You all made the night truly memorable, hilarious and fun.

Public speaking scares me. I’m just no good at it, my mind goes blank & I lose my words… Thankfully I remembered to thank my mum “MUM, I LOVE YOU!” and the Venus Awards, but the nerves did get the better of me & I forgot to thank some key players, MAJOR WHOOPS.

Firstly, I need to thank Pure Networking! That room I first walked into not knowing anybody, I can say that a year later they’re now clients, business contacts and friends. It is the most welcoming, friendliest & most FUN networking events I have ever attended. Why else would I sign up as their official photographer and attend every single event!?

I also need to thank CCTC (Christchurch Chamber of Trade & Commerce), I was delighted that Andy from Gervis, also CCTC’s Treasurer joined me at the Venus Gala, they’re one of the first local networking groups I really got associated with and have met some big influecnes in my business world there.

For obvious reasons I have to thank PlayGolf Bournemouth, especially Peter Gilbert (Thank you for the celebratory bubbles!) for choosing me as their winner. When waiting for our turn to be photographed and filmed as winner & category sponsor, I blurted out “But, why me!?”, “Your progression in the past year. You don’t have to introduce yourself any more, people already know Zelda the Photographer”. How awesome is that!

Lastly, however cheesy this may be, here it goes…. I need to thank my late Dad. He was the person that persuaded me at 21 years old, only 2 weeks after finishing my university degree, to set up my photography business with a high street shop! Talk about diving in at the deep end. There is no way I could have done what I’ve done without you.

Thanks for Venus Awards for the above photographs

Bournemouth Echo Article – Here’s who one at this years Dorset Venus Awards

 

 

 

New Year – New Business Photography?

Do your promotional images properly reflect the quality of the items or service you have to offer?

Whether its an event, product, service, experience, people ……

High Quality photography is now a vital selling tool for any business; from PR, advertisement and business showcases such as your website, you need to show you are an expert at what you do.

If you want to sell to the largest market (both web and print) then you will need good quality, well-lit, sharp, high-resolution images. High Quality and Modern Photography should be used as a marketing tool, to enhance appearance and drive sales.

Photography for your business, ideal for your website, promotional materials and social media is vital in this day and age. Studio Shotz Photography can create beautiful images to showcase your products and services, or just plain and simple white background images to show your products quality.

Studio Shotz has the ability to produce a wide range of stock images, including total cut outs ready for you to place into brochures and websites. We are more than happy to produce JPEG or PNGs of images. We have produced stock images for nearly everything from shoes, jewelry and toiletries to pieces of artwork and even people!

We undertake studio and location photography, dependant on the style you wish to show for your business. From pack shot photo shoots, lifestyle photo shoots as well as general business showcase photography.

 

 

 

Why are Digital Files so Important to Photographers?

“Oh, that’s expensive! All you’re doing is burning the pictures to a CD”

You’d be surprised how often I hear this. Clients nowadays seem to assume that digital files are included in all photo shoot packages. I believe this is solely the fault of amateur and hobbyist photographers, I do not know ANY PROFESSIONAL photographer that give digital files away included with packages, or very very cheaply.

It has become the norm to see £40 shoot and burn, but this is because amateurs do not have to make a living from what they’re doing. They have a day job. They believe they are beating the professionals at their own game, being cheap & getting the clients. Probably not realising that what they’re doing is not only losing them money, but irreparably damaging the industry they love so.

Would you be happy if someone with basic knowledge of your industry came into your place of work and offered to do your job for a fraction of the cost?. . . you’d be out of a job. By giving your money to an amateur you are taking my business away from me, the experienced professional & my contemporaries.

Ok, so almost everyone that has a computer will have some form of photo editing software on it, most popular being Adobe Photoshop. This is one of the major reasons why I am so against giving digital files to clients, they will ‘tinker’ with (Photoshop) my images. Especially with the popularity of such phone apps as Instagram, editing photos in just 1 click. That client will then turn the image I have worked hours on into something that I did not intend it to be; possibly losing my photographic style, even the original quality. When you upload that edited image to Facebook & tell all your friends where you got it done – how do you know you’re not now damaging my business? As what your friends are seeing is not what I gave you.  A Photographer’s learned skill, individual style, knowledge and time spent on your set of images should also be considered.

To combat this, I offer both colour and black&white versions of all purchased digital images for my clients, as well as any specific amendments that they wish.

You may see an hour spent taking the photos – but in actual fact that photographer will probably spend on average 8 – 16 hours just on your set of images. This is mainly due to editing of your images; this is not just ‘Photoshopping’ them, it includes uploading, backing up, sifting through & picking out the best images, individually colour correcting, cropping, airbrushing, re-naming and backing up the edited images, this all before I’ve even uploaded them for you to view. So that 30 minute or hour long photo shoot has turned into 2 full day’s work. This time scale comes from preparation time, including checking equipment of setting up the studio, time spent photographing the client, uploading time, backing up original files, editing, uploading to online album, sorting through and checking orders and print quality, as well as any additional time required for ordering, client liaisons and shipment.

“But photography’s free! Taking digital photos doesn’t cost anything!”

Oh boy, how wrong you are! Let’s just do a little maths – That 30 minute shoot, £40 shoot and burn yes? If I worked 6 days a week, 3 shoots a week, every week – I’d be making a grand total of £6240…… Hmm, that’s not quite right now is it? What do you make a year? Let’s say £20,000? That’s already £130 for your shoot – Oh, but wait. I haven’t included my overheads! I have a studio with rent and rates, and a website and a phone, insurance, those cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, sample products and background papers didn’t just buy themselves. . . . . . And, don’t I deserve a week off, maybe even two? (Well…That’s now working out as a minimum of £350 for just your small 30 minute shoot)

Giving away digital files also brings up the question; who owns the image!? The photographer took it, so initially full copyright is with them (or that studio). But giving you the high resolution file, does the customer now own that file, enabling them to do whatever they wish with it. Even sell it for profit? Let’s go back to basics, you browse photographers by their previous portfolio work, check out their photographic style, how they work. Well….if they’re giving away all the digital files, legally they can’t advertise with those images because you now own them. So what are they expected to advertise with?

I do sell my digital files, as there is a strong trend at the moment for this & I’m not prepared to completely deny my customers, but I feel I do price my images accordingly.  I offer Full Usage Rights with my high resolution images which, long story short, means that I still own the copyright to the image so you cannot sell it on, however you do get a high resolution file which you can then print, store,  reproduce, upload to Facebook but I still have the rights to advertise with it – everyone gets what they want!

For any beginner photographers out there, my advice is Do Not Shoot and Burn….or if you do, make sure you price it correctly.