I love to photograph kids having fun on my family photo shoots
I’ve been photographing families on location since 2001 and love my job. There’s something quite special about photographing crazy teenagers like Charlie showing his skills in front of his family. The energy was electrifying as he launched himself in to the air and a far cry from the traditional family portrait around the mantlepiece. This magical moment came when Charlie was airborne on top of the world looking down with his infectious smile ! With focus locked, shutter opened and flash fired, we captured him ‘Loving Life’ forever…
If you would like to find out more about my Suffolk family photography shoots please do take a look at my children photography, teenagers photography and family photography portfolios at http://www.tonypickphotography.co.uk/
I’ve heard this saying before and think it really sums up what I do. Capturing special moments for people and providing them with prints that they can look back on with fond memories is, in essence, like giving them a return ticket to a particular moment in time.
Anyone who has been reading and following my blog will know that I love portrait photography – they really are my favourite type of shoot (if any of my corporate clients are reading this, don’t worry – I still love working with you!) However, on a portrait shoot I get invited into a special moment with a group of people and am able to share this with them, documenting it at the same time. Not only does this make my job an awful lot easier (albeit, sometimes even the most well behaved children can be camera shy) but it also makes it really enjoyable!
Recently I joined a lovely family staying in Aldeburgh for a shoot, which is partly why I’m reflecting on it for this blog post. It really reminded me that actually, photography can bring people together. I’m lucky also that the area I operate in is full of natural beauty – from the coastline at Thorpeness, Orford and Southwold to the forest in Rendlesham, I have a fantastic backdrop which ensures any portraits I shoot have an impressive backdrop.
The whole aim of portrait photography is to capture personality by using effective lighting, backdrops, and poses (or at least, it was when I last looked). But, its not quite that simple – these 4 tactics are ones I swear by to try and make shoots as enjoyable as possible, particularly with young children!
Wear clothes you’re comfortable in
Bring children’s favourite toys and teddies
Juice, milk and sweeties are always helpful
Be prepared to have fun!
If, after reading this you’re considering booking a shoot or would like to know more, please do drop me a line – even if it’s just to ask a question, I’m more than happy to help!
Well actually, that’s not strictly true – if mention MailChimp, I definitely did mean to, because it’s not something I tend to shout about.
In their own words, MailChimp is a
“creative company that gives other companies digital tools to grow in their own creative ways”,
which basically means a platform useful for designing and sharing a mass-delivered email newsletter to your mailing list (I see what they did there though, makes it seem more valuable and less see-through).
However, I wouldn’t be talking you through the uses of MailChimp if they hadn’t caught my eye for their own promotional campaign – they created 9 individual concepts that all revolved around puns of their name. These consisted of:
3 short films released in cinemas nationwide in the US – MailShrimp, KaleLimp & JailBlimp
WhaleSynth, a real musical tool made entirely out of whale noises
VeilHymn, a musical collaboration that resulted in a hit single and music video
NailChamp, a world-wide platform for nail artists to be pitted off against each other for the title
For more analytics and details on the campaign and its results click here, but what I wanted to touch on was the way they used a paid search campaign to ensure they were noticed. In terms of marketing and PR, I’m gradually learning that it’s a bit of a taboo subject. Paid posts and content are now more obvious than ever before, and hence it has become more difficult for small businesses to promote themselves in a way that is tailored as opposed to targeting the masses simply for ease and guaranteed exposure (see what I did there with the photography pun? I’m learning…)
MailChimp dropped themselves into every part of culture and waited for the right people to pick them up, leading to some amazing coverage and results as summarised in the video above. This campaign really highlighted to me that in order to reach a specific audience, the most effective path isn’t always the obvious one and maybe it does require you to be a bit more creative to get noticed…
Whilst I appreciate the aid paid for posts can give you, I also now understand how much more aware of this people are and can disregard you for it… a lesson for all of my friends running a small business!
You might think you know rather a lot, or at least enough – but that’s what I thought. I always knew video was an important tool, but recently my eyes have been opened to just how much impact these clips can have for your business.
Let’s start with an example… the video below, titled ‘Riding the waves’ which I’m sure you’ll have seen on my social media channels (if not you can view it by clicking the image below!) reached an impressive 7,000 views within a week. Now, here is where I have to come clean; I did use Facebook Boost to help with these figures, but the below stats taken from a Guardian article should help reiterate my point that video can be really effective at driving more engagement for businesses online.
In 2015, Cisco predicted that by 2017 video content would account for 69% of all internet traffic
In early 2017 the firm shifted their prediction to say that video content would account for 74% of internet traffic
They project that by 2019 global internet traffic from videos will make up 80% of all internet traffic
4x as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product/place/service rather than read about it
More than 60% of small business owners said they planned to increase investment in video marketing in 2017
Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%
This means that any local business interested in creating short, impactful and engaging stories through videography would be foolish not to contact me – I can help you provide beautiful, professional and eye-catching videos that will really work for you.
Using another example, my promotional video of ‘Orford – a beautiful place’ earned 2,000 views on social media in just 48 hours.
Although I’ve just started my venture into video, I’m really excited to see where it goes, and am extremely passionate about creating videos that promote the breath-taking Suffolk countryside we live in – watch this space!
It doesn’t feel like 5 minutes since I was sat in this same space last January (albeit now a little older, wiser and more experienced of course) – last year I shot 58 corporate PR jobs for large and small companies, including both Stansted and Gatwick airports, BT and EDF as well as some holiday home interior commissions, plus 22 family portrait shoots and some corporate videos too – so it was quite a big one!
I always like to think that the New Year should allow some time for reflection, and so writing this has definitely reminded me of how much I love taking a step back and thinking about shoots I’ve loved during the year, or work that I’ve done for corporate companies I’ve particularly enjoyed.
Living in the midst of the Suffolk countryside, with Aldeburgh, Thorpeness and Dunwich just on the doorstep possibly lands me to being one of the luckiest photographers around. I get to photograph families in their home environment, enjoying the beautiful surroundings we live in but most importantly having fun – it gives me that real feel-good factor that stays with me for the rest of the day!
So, this year is definitely a time for me to focus on devoting more time to the portrait side of the business (if you’re reading this and are thinking of booking a slot please do drop me a line), as well as continuing to work on my corporate offerings.
Towards the end of 2017, I commissioned some short cinematic style videos as examples of the work I can do for businesses. I love this type of work, and know there’s real growth opportunities here for companies to drive their social media engagement and in turn drive more interest towards their businesses.
Here’s an example of a personal version I created…
As I was sitting at my desk this morning, warm cup of coffee firmly in hand and glancing out of the window at the droplets on the glass, I couldn’t help but think of how lucky I am that the weather can actually aid my job rather than hinder it.
My last blog post was also about the conditions outside, but it’s evident to me that even shooting in the rain can be fun! I pride myself on creating memorable experiences for families when they have their portraits done, and sometimes the adverse weather conditions make the activity even better!
Whether it be snow or rain, the lighting that comes with this time of year and its weather creates the most beautiful photographs, and in Suffolk we have some of the most wonderful landscapes that make photography a dream!
The dramatic coastline at Dunwich or Thorpeness can be a brilliant locations for family portrait shoots, and even when it’s raining the images we capture with groups never cease to put a smile on our clients’ faces!
In the lead up to Christmas it can be hard to find the time (or motivation) to leave the house for anything, let alone a photoshoot with the extended family, but with me at Tony Pick Photography your images are guaranteed to brighten up any rainy day.
That being said, as much as I love using the Suffolk landscape to my advantage, sometimes there’s no better feeling than inviting someone into your home to photograph those special moments, which is why I am always open to clients’ location suggestions!
If you’re unsure of what someone may be comfortable with but want to gift them a special experience this Christmas, why not present them with one of our gift vouchers to really surprise them (you can find these using the link above in the menu bar).
I’ll be back next week with a new blog post on what I’ve been up to and what I’ve been thinking about, but for now, back to the grind(ing of the coffee beans)…
When I looked back on my blog recently I was sad – sad I’d neglected it for so long!
Needless to say, I’m back now and ready to devote some more time to this!
When you run your own business, decide to give up your store front, move house and relocate your office into your new home, I think it’s fair to say that there are certain aspects of your company that can be forgotten, and writing my blog has been one of them!
Believe me, I love taking the time out of a busy morning or afternoon to sit with my thoughts for half an hour and jot them down here for everyone to read – sometimes I just forget to do this!
More recently, I’ve been working really hard to expand the family portrait side of the business. You may have seen various communications about this through my different channels (because hopefully you follow them – click on the icons above if not to have a browse!). I love all aspects of photography of course, but have always really enjoyed shooting family portraits in the autumn/winter months.
Not only do these provide really great Christmas ideas (even for those family members who are ridiculously hard to buy for!) but they also leave each family unit with some wonderful memories, which can be saved and cherished forever!
As an add on to my portrait packages, I now include a wonderfully interactive film for each family so that they can showcase their photographs beautifully and with real flare – it’s a wonderful asset to have if you have a moving digital picture frame at home too – these films look just fantastic on the mantle piece!
If you’re reading this and I’ve managed to get your attention and spark some interest in booking a shoot (I still have a few slots left before Christmas!) then click on the contact link above and get in touch! We’d love to hear from you and offer a wide range of locations for you to choose from, or you can of course suggest some yourself!
That’s all from me for now – got to get back to the grind!
Show mum some love with a family portrait she can treasure. We’ve put together the perfect package to surprise her with.
What a great reason to spend some quality time with your family and come visit us in the lovely Suffolk coastal town of Aldeburgh.
You can really make a day of it. Have your photographs taken in the morning with Tony and then while he edits and retouches them, you can go explore the town. You could try out one of the award winning restaurants or treat yourself to the best seaside fish and chips in the UK!
In the afternoon you can head to the gallery along the main high street, where you will see all of your lovely images. You will be shown our fabulous finishes from traditional frames to contemporary aluminium. You can select all your favourite images and choose what finish best suits your family and home. You can think about this before the day, you will find all our products and prices here.
With our mother’s day offer, your voucher will include all the photography time and give mum either a 7×5 framed image to choose or instead she can use £110 credit towards our other products.
There are a couple of ways to buy your £25 voucher. Either call the gallery on 01728 451999 or book online.
To book online click here, fill in the booking form at the bottom of the page and at the checkout use the promo code ‘mum25’ and update your basket.
What a beautiful day it has been here in Aldeburgh, and what a lovely way to finish off a hectic half term week.
Today I’ve been doing some Photography training workshops. It really is great to share my knowledge with others that are just as passionate about photography as me.
I was teaching my client James all about camera skills. We faced all the usual challenges of photographing outside, such as the constant changing light.
We headed over to the beach, which is a very short walk from the gallery. I used different techniques such as aperture, shutter speed, and camera filters to show the different effects you can get when creating landscapes.
Ellie then joined us to learn a bit more and she did a bit of modelling for us.
James gave some great feedback about the day:
“For me it has been a completely inspirational day – enjoyable, as well as constructive. Previously I’ve really struggled in high contrast, bright light situations. Tony addressed all the problems I came in to the workshop with and I now have all the skills and knowledge to overcome them. I understand all my camera settings and found using graduated filters and flash, whilst shooting in to the sun particularly valuable. It’s been a really great day and I will definitely be returning to find out more.”
We were all really pleased with the results, what do you think?