Head Teachers can't just be experts at knowing how to get the best out of children nowadays, they also have to know how to run a business and how to 'sell' their school to prospective parents. Schools are having to market themselves with fabulous websites, beautiful prospectuses and well-managed social media posts. In order to really bring these marketing materials to life and stand out from the crowd of other schools, it is crucial to have a wide range of beautiful school prospectus photographs which really show exactly what the school is all about - it's facilities, it's ethos and what parents can expect their child to experience there.
My background is in marketing, so for me, it's not all about getting the perfect light for a specific shot (although that does help!) - it's working out what each photograph will show about your school. For example, if the school is known for it's academic prowess - does it show engaged, hard working pupils? Or if the school is especially proud of it's pastoral care, are there plenty of photos showing the children interacting with teachers and fellow pupils?
I have a wealth of experience photographing schools throughout the Thames Valley and London, so thought I would share with you what makes for a really effective school prospectus photography session and how to get the most out of your photographer. Here are some things to consider when planning your school photography session:
A professional headshot is often the first thing people notice when they 'meet' you online either on your website or on your social media platforms. Make sure the first impression, is the right impression! If your headshot is out-of-date or a blurry holiday snap, then please consider coming along to our next headshot day on Friday 24th November at My Workspot in Maidenhead (full venue details below).
These sessions offer fantastic value for money and are extremely time efficient. You simply book a one hour time slot, come along in your chosen outfit and we'll do the rest!
For just £100*, we will work with you to create a beautiful headshot, which you can use to create the right impression for your business.
Alison Oswald , the UK’s number 1 Sales Director of Mary Kay will take care of your hair and make up. Alison has a very natural style and all previous clients have felt her make-up has enhanced their appearance and given them more confidence for the photo shoot (see below for 'before' and 'after' photos of one of our previous clients). Then Pennie Withers of Photos by Pennie will take a stunning headshot, again in a very natural, relaxed but professional way.
Together, a bespoke hair, make up and headshot session would usually cost £175, so why not take us up on this fantastic offer and have a new headshot which you can use anywhere you would like for just £100! For the men out there, Alison can offer a haircut and/or facial hair trim for the same price. Alternatively, if you would rather just have your photos taken, without the hair and make-up, the price is £50, which offers exceptional value for money. Please note that a headshot alone (no hair and make up) would be a 30 minute booking.
Our next headshot day is on Friday 24th November between 9.15 and 5.15 at My Workspot, 2nd Floor, 85 King Street, Maidenhead, SL6 1DU. (See below for map and parking information)
Please just email us to find out what slots are available or if you would like any more information, please give Pennie a call on 07715 889457.
Frequently asked questions:
So – I’m probably doing myself out of a job here, but I thought I would share with you how you can take better photographs to use on your social media posts. Obviously ideally you’d book me to take them for you (!) but if not, these tips will at least make your social media photos as good as they possibly can be!
But first – why use social media photos?
According to Media Blog - tweets that include a photograph are 35% more likely to be retweeted . Plus - Facebook posts that have a photograph in will obtain on average, 87% more interaction . So there is definitely big value in adding some pictures to get more people interacting with your posts.
How to take the best social media photos:
Tip 1 – The rule of thirds: images where the subject is off centre are always much more interesting. Divide your camera frame into 9 squares (see below) and place your subject on one of the intersecting lines – instantly your photo will look much better.
Tip 2 – Use leading lines to create interest in your shot. So – a bit like the rule of thirds, you are basically just making your shots that little bit more creative than just photographing from straight on. For example, use things like walls, horizontal lines and a pathway to add that interest. See below for an example.
Tip 3 - Do NOT use flash! Particularly if you are using a phone, the flash is never good and the photos end up looking really rubbish. So – take my advice, take your photos on overcast days – you won’t get any shadows or rings under the eyes. Or – if you can’t avoid a bright sunny day, head for some top-shade. This is created either by doorways or under trees. Your subject will still be lit beautifully but won’t be blinded by the sun.
Tip 4 – on the same subject as tip 3 (ie – lighting….) try to shoot your photos during the ‘golden hour’. This is the time either shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which almost all photos look absolutely gorgeous. (Think those holiday photos early evening when the sun is going down). Literally everything looks good in this light! Again, see below for an example.
Tip 5 – Control Exposure. This is fairly limited on smart phones, but can still make a big difference. On I-phones when you have a photo you’d like to take, simply tap and hold the screen and you will see a slider, which allows you to increase/decrease exposure, and lock it. This can also lock focus – so you can decide what is in focus and what is not.
Tip 6 – minimize your editing effects. I’m a sucker for a filter on instagram, and it can be fun to apply them but before you do it, ask yourself is it really necessary? Is it possible they detract from the image? Sometimes, a simple crop, good lighting and composition are all that is necessary.
Finally, Tip 7 - Keep your lens clean! It may sound really obvious, but you’d be amazed what I see…..your phone sits in your pocket, your handbag, on your desk etc. and gathers finger prints and goodness knows what else in the process. Before you take a photo – give it a little wipe and you’ll be guaranteed crystal clear photos every time!
But remember…….if you want really
fantastic professional photographs to represent your brand, take a look at www.photosbypennie.co.uk
or call me on 07715 889457. I have worked with all sorts of businesses including interior designers, schools, commercial lighting companies and many more to supply them with a bank of photos for them to use on social media. Thanks for reading!
If you are hosting a sales conference/new product launch/company party at some point and are considering having some event photographs taken…read on to find out how you can get the best ‘value’ out of them afterwards plus a few handy hints for what to look out for in a good event photographer.
The versatility of event photographs from a
can be used in a number of ways either immediately in terms of social media or
in the future where you can extract some added value from a marketing
· Immediately after your event
o For use in press coverage in industry media or social pages
o For use on your company social media channels
o To include
in post-event correspondence to delegates and guests
· For future marketing projects
o For use in promotional material for your next conference/exhibition/dinner/product launch
o On your company website - promoting the company culture and it’s people
o In the company annual report
o PR campaigns/media features
o In print/online ads
Here are 10 top tips to help you find the
perfect event photographer
· Who to book – ask colleagues/business contacts for recommendations. It’s always best to go with a photographer who someone you know has used before.
· Budget – don’t just book anyone with a decent camera. As the old adage goes……’you get what you pay for’. Get 2 or 3 quotes from recommended photographers.
· Portfolio – take a look at the photographers’ portfolio. Does their style match your branding and image?
· Insurance – does your photographer have professional indemnity and public liability insurance? You don’t want to be held liable if your photographer causes an injury or has his kit damaged/stolen at your event!
· Equipment – If your conference is happening in a dark basement or a well lit room, make sure the photographer you use has the correct equipment necessary.
· Lighting - consider if your venue will be dark….will flash be necessary? You may not want flash going off at your event all the time!
· Photo sharing – is your event photographer happy for the photos to be shared in social media?
· Shot list – spend some time putting together a base list of ‘must have’ photos from your event. Eg – keynote speakers, important guests, detailed timings so your photographer can always be in the right place at the right time.
· Post event marketing photos – if you want to use the event photos afterwards to market your company, consider what sort of photos will be useful and add those to the shot list too.
And finally…….if you want some really fantastic event photography in Berkshire, the Thames Valley and London, take a look here to see more examples of event photos or call me on 07715 889457. Thanks!
So - you already know WHY you should have a professional Linkedin profile photo. But now, you're looking for a Linkedin profile photographer. Here are my five top tips to help you get the most out of your headshot session.
Meet Rick......he was looking for a new LinkedIn profile photo but definitely didn't want a standard headshot on a white or black background. Rick wanted some tips on how to get the most of our photo session and I'd like to share these thoughts with you....
1. Before you get started
2. What to ask your LinkedIn profile photographer:
3. What should I wear for my professional headshots?
4. Anything else?
5. What next?
I have been taking professional headshots for years. Everyone from sole traders just starting out in business to Chief Execs and whole teams of people. Musicians, vets, accountants, solicitors, graduates and many others. All very different types of businesses, but all with the same requirements…….professional headshots which create the ‘right’ impression for them.
Recently however, I was asked to do headshots for two young children who needed them for their online acting ‘CVs’. Whilst the same principles applied, the requirement for a range of expressions was greater than your average executive needs. From that ‘straight down the lens focus shot’ to the friendly, ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ smiles, we tried them all. And what was the best bit you may ask? The distinct lack of photoshopping required on their young, unweathered skin!
Anyway – another client recently needed a new Linkedin Headshot, and wanted some tips on how to get the most of our photo session. So I thought I would share some thoughts with you….
Here are some tips for your Linkedin Headshot:
What should I wear for my professional headshots?
Are you having a new website built for your business?
Or perhaps you have a great looking website, but are looking to give it a freshen up. Either way – you will need some cracking, beautiful website photos to really give it that WOW! factor.
Now obviously, I’m hoping you’ll take a look at my website and immediately pick up the phone and book me for your business photos. However, even if you don’t book me, I would love to at least be able to convince you WHY you need professional photos on your site (and while I’m on my soap box, on your social media too!). If I’ve piqued your interest…..here’s why:
Apparently, our brains react differently to visual stimuli. This is because the brain deciphers images instantly, whereas words take more time to process. Photos or images are in fact, processed 60,000 times faster than text.
So – why should this matter to you?
Well, you can spend hours and hours creating a new website with fantastic, eloquent words, but I hate to break this to you, people actually rarely read website content word for word. However, have fantastic, professional photos on there and immediately, you are creating the impression that your business is professional. The photos can reinforce your brand, they can show what you have to offer and in a nutshell, enable your business to create the right impression. In turn, people will want to do business with you. That’s good, right?!
On top of this – don’t forget that if you have a set of professional photos of your business, you can also use them in your social media. It’s a win:win – 2 jobs for the price of one! And if you don’t believe me, here’s some figures…..According to Media Blog – tweets that include a photograph, are 35% more likely to be retweeted. Add to this the fact that Facebook posts that have a photograph in will obtain on average, 87% more interaction. Make sense?
In case you’re not convinced, take a look at the photos below. My client, Mark Harris drom http://www.marketingboost.co.uk/ was having a new website built for his coaching and part time Marketing Director business (this is still under construction, so I will update this blog when the new website is live). He wanted beautiful, striking photographs of him ‘at work’ so clients can see immediately what it is he can do for them. Photos of him coaching a client, briefing his marketing team and also doing 1:1 coaching on the phone in his favourite riverside location were all on our shot list. On top of that, he also wanted a cracking headshot and also some shots of his associate team too.
So – hopefully you’re now fully convinced of the need for professional photographs on your website and social media posts. If you’d like to have a chat about how I might be able to help you, please give me a call on 07715 889457 or click here to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you. Pennie