Managing a small business means taking on all sorts of roles that larger companies can assume will be carried out by whole teams of people. Book-keeping, marketing, and PR, procurement and more fill a sole-trader’s time. Love it or loath it, managing your social media presence is no exception and it makes demands on nearly all businesses, one way or another.
We live in an image-saturated world and ensuring you have a steady stream of photographs can end up being prohibitively expensive if you have to employ photographers while on a limited budget. Fortunately, the latest smart-phone models make taking photographs an incredibly democratic process – nearly everyone can capture suitable images, provided they follow a few basic guidelines. That doesn’t mean you can do without professionals, and there will certainly be times when it really matters that you commission someone to create high quality images for your website and offline promotional material. But, far from photography being over, as some high profile photo-people have claimed, photography and moving-image content are flourishing. Even so, it’s quite amazing how many truly dreadful photographs there are out there, sometimes being used as business content, which is completely unnecessary in this day and age.
Thankfully, just a few simple rules can help those lacking in confidence or experience. I offer workshops to people who are looking to make the most of their phones, and have helped artists, business owners, teachers and students see the photographic value in their multi-tasking pocket computers. We will cover topics such as harnessing the light, composition, what apps to use or avoid, if and when to use filters, when to use a professional, personal taste, social-media case-studies and a brief introduction to the ethics of people photography. Workshops can be delivered as one-off sessions or over several weeks.
Please get in touch to find out more at 07581 694934 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Creating headshots that look informal and ‘un-corporate’, yet professional can be a challenge. However, both my client and I were really pleased with this image. I love that it was picked, as it captures a sense of playfulness in a way that most corporate headshots seem to miss out on. Of course, all this depends on what sort of business you’re promoting – a light touch might be completely wrong! Nevertheless, in this case, it was great to make the most of the window, a lovely reflection and a super smile.
When I recently changed my business name I wrote to all my previous clients to inform them. Happily, getting in touch with people again, and perhaps especially as we come out of a period of repeated lockdowns, led to a few bookings and here are the results of one of them. As I said in my previous blog, I love people-photography more than most other forms, and it was especially fun spending time with an old friend and client who needed new headshots for her job. She has yet to make her choices from a large selection of images, but here are a couple that sprung out while I was working on them.
If you’re re-entering the job market, starting a new business, or just fancy refreshing your profile images, do get in touch. Visit http://www.sarahfurniss.co.uk for more information.
I have been reading a book by an art critic, who, while conjuring up a thought experiment, contrives to remove all people from all photography. And at the end of a protracted passage where he eradicates everything he professes to be disinterested in in photography, he arrives at images of blank paper on a desk as the only worthwhile consideration. (In fact, the work he refers to ultimately is intriguing and intelligent, and has had a significant impact on the way I think about photography).
I have not mentioned the writer’s name, nor the photographer he highlights as worthy because, while they both matter in certain aspects of my life, what is critical here is that people photography, and in particular portrait photography, is my favourite kind. If I were to do the same thought exercise as the aforementioned critic, I’d get rid of landscapes and still life, and maybe even journalistic images with people running this way or that – and only ever take portraits; the sort where one person and I get together and spend a bit of time with my camera, and not much else. No props, no lights – just the ambient light, perhaps a stool, and the ‘field’ – the space between the subject and me. It will come as no surprise that I very much enjoyed photographing the young man below last week. I hope he also enjoyed the experience and I’m looking forward to more portrait shoots soon!
I was really impressed with Dr. Bella Smith, AKA, the Digital GP, and Baz Moffat of Strong to the Core, when I photographed their event in Putney last week. It was conceived to share vital information about the menopause, and both women are incredibly passionate about getting the message out.
Dr. Bella and Baz put on an amazing event while also raising money for the Get Lippy Campaign managed by Eve Appeal which encourages open and frank discussions related to gynaecological health.
We’ve all heard about hot flushes and mood swings but I had no idea forgetfulness could be a sign of the menopause. Attendees were reassured with tales about women visiting the surgery, wondering if they were experiencing early signs of dementia only to discover that they are, in fact, peri-menopausal. I can’t tell you how glad I was to hear that one. Any confusion or misaprehension related to HRT was also cleared up which could be so useful for some women.
There were some really generous speakers invited to share their stories too. All in all, a fantastic event and it would be well worth looking out for future dates. I only wish a greater number of people could hear talks like this.
Do visit the links below the photographs to find out more.
We’re barely through the first week of the new year and I’ve not stopped since first thing Monday morning. I can’t claim ‘no rest for the wicked’ because I was lucky enough to have had a super break over Christmas (thanks to all who made that possible and no, that does not include the drone gremlins at Gatwick), which meant being more than happy to leap back in. It seems to be going well for now – yesterday after I finished off an edit and my clients told me they were very pleased with the results, they paid me half an hour after I sent the invoice. You don’t get that very often, do you? I was exceedingly grateful! I will certainly be popping a couple of these lovely faces up on my site and thought I’d share a sample here too. If you also fancy a fresh new look on your website or social media platforms for 2019, do get in touch for details about corporate headshots and profile pictures. In the meantime, I hope your holidays were everything you wanted and now that the twinkly lights and silver tinsel have gone back in the cupboard, that you’re also feeling ready to get on with ‘stuff’ again. (c)SJField2018
This has been by far the busiest year I’ve had since setting up as a photographer. One of the lessons I’ve had to learn and am still learning is how best to manage my time as I navigate parenting, studies, and social as well as commercial photography. It’s a good problem to have though!
I’ve been extremely pleased to carry on working alongside local charitable organisation Just Shelter throughout 2017 and will continue documenting their trips and the situation in Northern France in 2018. Long- and short-term volunteers I meet are involved in a number of projects devoting their time and energy to a range of causes both here and abroad. At a time when we see so much extraordinary violence both online and in the physical world it is great to be reminded there is also a lot of genuine goodness and kindness out there too.
Workwise, I was pleased to photograph teams in highly recognisable companies, such as Barclays, as well as several other groups in the same sector; a few up and coming businesses that are doing exceptionally well such as Aurelia Skincare; and lots of self-employed people after professional headshots. I was also very pleased to be made a Preferred Supplier for British Land and am looking forward to working with them again.
I was lucky enough to exhibit my work twice this year. The first time was at The Grosvenor Arms, now sadly closed down. I am grateful to Brendan Conway for his support and encouragement and wish him the best. The second show was Oxford House, Nexus, when I was invited by Keith Greenough to work alongside him and John Umney on a project celebrating Oxford House’s history. Thanks to Honor who I captured for the project and to everyone who supported me.
I continue studying, which keeps me from resting on my laurels. I was very glad to receive over 70% for the academic module I finished earlier this year as it was incredibly challenging. I absolutely loved that course, despite its difficulty – and have moved onto a new module where I continue to be challenged.
And of course, I photographed my children constantly. I’m about to put an album together recording our lives – I’ll certainly have lots and lots to choose from, as always.
Do see my website for details if you’re after photography for work or family, or follow me on Instagram to keep up with my visual sketchbook. And if you live in or visit South London, perhaps I will photograph you during 2018 at one of the community events I usually get along to – you never know! Here is a very small handful of images I took in 2017.
A few weeks ago I returned to Aurelia Skincare, having worked with them in 2015 when I photographed their inspiring founder and CEO, Claire Vero. This time we were capturing their new product Little Aurelia which you can read about in Smallish Magazine, a publication aimed at parents. The article tells you how the new product came about and includes some lovely images of Claire and her son, and you can also see more on Little Aurelia’s webpage and social media streams. I have to say the product looks, smells and feels absolutely lovely and it was a pleasure to work with the Aurelia team again.
Here are a few of my favourites. If you have a company and need photography, do get in touch for examples of other product-promotion, and lifestyle/editorial images.
My first love with photography is portraiture. It always has been. And since taking up photography I have enjoyed the process of spending time with people, getting to know them relatively quickly and capturing an authentic quality about them in my camera. However, there is something quite satisfying about photographing people I already know well, like one of my oldest friends, Trudi Jackson, who also happens to be a talented actor. Trudi was recently kind enough to let me work with her for longer than I normally do when shooting headshots. Poor woman must have been exhausted after our day, which of course included a couple of breaks, (I’m not a total tyrant!) during which we fetched her daughter from school and ballet. And who, lucky for me, is equally obliging. Working with Trudi for an extended period gave me plenty of opportunity to play and learn, so I was grateful for her time, and her daughter’s too, of course!
Here are a handful of head shots with some very different looks, chosen by Trudi’s agent, followed by portraits for my own purposes including a couple of the future talent that is Ms. L, who may well follow in her mum’s footsteps by the looks of things.
Clients always tells me they hope for lovely weather when we have shoots, but don’t completely write off rainy days for photography. The light is generally much nicer and easier to manage than when it’s bright, and cloud cover is a brilliant diffuser. I’m not sure the kids are quite as enthusiastic as me, and perhaps if it had been a bit more stormy this morning they’d have had something to say about being dragged up to Wimbledon Common. Nevertheless, they were content enough to go for a walk in the drizzle, providing hot chocolate and marshmallows were on the agenda, and even let me grab a few snaps of them as I we did. Here are a handful. (That’s my woolly hat, he’s wearing, by the way…)
Despite the weather there are definite signs of spring in the air! And to celebrate I am currently offering a 5% discount off the cost of a family shoot (as specified on my site, valid until the end of April, T&Cs apply.) Get in touch for more information.