A quick look back before a big launch forward…

This week has been all about setting new goals for Ross Willsher Photography and thinking about all the exciting shoots I have coming up over the next 12 months. However, with the festive season arriving and departing – as ever – in such a blur, I haven’t had a proper chance to reflect on my successful first year as a professional photographer. Therefore, I think I can afford a quick look back at some my photographic highlights from 2016 before turning my attention to new challenges and successes that lie ahead.

I am lucky enough to shoot both commercial photography (headshots, food, products & events) as well as wedding and family photography, so my workload is diverse and I get to meet a wide range of interesting people as a result. That also means whittling down my favourite images was pretty hard to do. Therefore, I have chosen my favourite shot from each genre of photography I had the pleasure of shooting. I hope you enjoy this (extremely brief) overview of what I do. If you are looking for professional photography – be it to capture personal memories or to market you business – please do get in touch. I pride myself on taking images that reflect the individuality of my clients.

Website Shot

Working with the friendly professionals at Limeberry Catering was one of my highlights of 2016. The team are dedicated to delivering high quality service & produce and in doing so they make my job very easy. They also put an equal amount of work into their premises to ensure that each of their venues have the perfect atmosphere for an exquisite dining or drinking experience. I love the vibe at Bottle Bureau in Chelmsford – its dark walls and dimly-lit tables (along with a fresh and funky drinks menu) make this a must-visit bar. The team are also responsible for The New London and The Ship Inn – both of which I have had the pleasure of photographing and can recommend just as heartily.

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Wedding Shot

As wonderful as they always are, weddings can be chaotic and crazy occasions. The planning alone can be extensive and exhausting and the day can be over in the blink of an eye. My job is to not only capture all the wonderful and magical memories of the day but  to create images that serve as a reminder of what the occasion is really all about. The very essence of every wedding day is simply two people in love. I think that this photo sums it up perfectly.

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Headshot

Ah headshots…suited and booted, crossed arms and bright white background time eh? Well…probably not if you’ve booked me! I like to do most of my headshots outdoors when possible – not only does it provide more interesting and vibrant backdrops, it also helps my clients to relax and forget their emails and Outlook calendars for a short time. I feel strongly that your headshot should reflect not only your brand but also your personality. Jeannie from Real Revolution Healing is a yoga instructor who likes to offer her clients an escape from hectic city life during her workshops and classes. To reflect this, we shot her portraits in the countryside as the evening sun was golden and this was the result. I love how the light, the colours and Jeannie’s expression all work together to bring a sense of warmth to the photo.

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Food Image

I love food photography. It’s something I definitely want to do more of in 2017. Colours, textures, shapes; food photography offers it all. However, photographing food can be a lot more challenging than people think – you have to ensure the images make the food look appetising and fresh; with enough shadow to create depth and texture but not too much that the lighting is too harsh. Obviously the colours are the first thing that hits you about this image but I also love how the composition isn’t overly perfect. Some of the spices have overlapped into each other giving a sense of movement and culinary creativity.

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Family Portrait

Before I became a photographer, I spent 10 years working with children with special educational needs. I’m so happy that as a photographer I still get to work with children and young families as they can be the most rewarding shoots of all. Again, I like to do these shoots outdoors as it helps everyone to relax and results in a set of images which tell much more of a story. Often we will take a walk around a venue and stop at various locations to take a range of group and individual photos. I think forced smiles on perfectly behaved children make boring images! Muddy hands, cheeky grins and the odd strop make far better memories in my opinion. This image sums up my approach to family portraits – beautiful locations, natural smiles and moments that can be treasured on living room walls for years to come.

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Street Image

Street Photography is simply “people-watching” with a camera. I love trips to the city to capture entertaining images of the everyday things people do. In the image below noone is screaming or shouting, there’s no romantic moment or comical character. However, I just love the moment-in-time captured and the questions one could ask on viewing it. What is the lady so engrossed in? Where have they been to and where are they going? Of course, we will never know..but it won’t stop us speculating!

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Event Capture

Events can be great fun to photograph – in 2016 I photographed concerts, Hollywood-themed balls and even a Santa’s Grotto. However, one of my favourite images from last year was this shot from the Peterborough Memory Walk in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. I take a similar approach to weddings and event photography – letting much of the action unfold organically and capturing natural moments as they happen. My event photography is all about ensuring the shots capture the magic of the day so the they can be used to promote future events for businesses and charities. This shot highlights how much fun you can have raising money for a great cause.

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These are just some of my highlights of 2016 and you can see more of my work on my websites below.

Weddings and Portraits – www.rosswillsherphotography.co.uk

Commercial – www.rosswillshercommercialphotography.co.uk

Thank you for reading. Click here to contact me if you would like to know more about how I could help you capture memories or promote your business in 2017. Who knows – maybe you will feature in my “Best of 2017” blog.

I hope you have a fantastic 2017 and I look forward to working with you soon.

Ross

Ross Willsher is a social (weddings and portraits) and commercial photographer based in Chelmsford and covering Essex and London who is passionate about creating images as individual as you are.  His work can be viewed at www.rosswillsherphotography.co.uk / www.rosswillshercommercialphotography.co.uk 

facebook.com/rosswillsherphotography | @RWIllsherPhoto | instagram.com/rosswillsherphotography

A quick look back before a big launch forward…

Meet Modern Mint – The go-to local business for garden design and quality products

The first in a series of photography blogs looking at some of Essex’s most exciting and innovative small businesses.

Earlier this month I met up with the charismatic trio behind Modern Mint to find out about their bespoke and ethical approach to catering for all of your gardening needs.

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Upon meeting Darren, Chloe and Stefano, I was immediately impressed by their passion and knowledge for all things horticultural and was eager to find out more about how Modern Mint is fast becoming the go-to business for garden design and products that are as beautiful as they are practical. Read on to find out what Chloe had to say. 

What is Modern Mint?

Modern Mint is the place to go for all things gardening. There are three of us that work here. Darren is the plantsman in the Essex and London area, Stefano works on the garden design drawings, and me – I run the online shop.

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What made you take the plunge into the world of a start-up?

The idea and challenge of setting up a shop from scratch really excited me. Perhaps its in my blood as both my father and grandmother ran shops!  Before I joined Modern Mint I worked as an PA to the President of a large company. This work gave me the opportunity to get involved in running different areas of the business, discovering the nitty gritty of how it all worked – an experience that was brilliant training for Modern Mint.

Getting the confidence to run your own business takes time, it is worth starting small or building some career capital from the job you are in, but now I have done it I wouldn’t want to work any other way! You learn something new everyday, stretch your skill base and it has been a positive and healthy change of lifestyle!

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The shop was never in the original plan – how did that come about?

We decided to add the shop after a year or so of setting up the garden design business. It was a natural progression. Going to garden centres we kept seeing the same stuff over and over again. With Darren’s gardening work he had grown tired of working with tools that kept breaking, planting up pots that were ugly (or even worse, boring) or using synthetic fertilisers that harmed the environment. He had gradually tested and refined a palette of products he could trust and start with for the shop.

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What was the first product you sold online?

It was the Seedballs. When we made our first online sale, our merchant bank refused to work and the customer called complaining that she couldn’t pay. We were in a state of shock that someone was actually buying something off the website and calling us up about it along with utter frustration at the bank for being so unhelpful! Thankfully it was all resolved quickly, and our first customer has turned into a regular one.

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How do you source your products, and is there anything exciting coming up?

The garden industry is not really that green – which seems ridiculous really as it is all about working with the environment. There is lots of waste in the form of plastic pots, overuse of chemicals and excess waste that ends up in landfill. We didn’t want to part of this.  We garden organically so it would be totally against our ethos to just buy mass produced items, poorly made with a negative effect on the environment and community where it is made.

We sell items that we know are good quality, have come from suppliers and makers that care and use recycled materials if possible.  A good way to run a business is to sell an amazing product and avoid customer dissatisfaction. Who wants to deal with complaints? We like our customers, enjoy getting to know them and want to build up a long term relationship with them.

The new ideas come from listening to our customers. When we first launched the shop last year we were told constantly our stuff is great for gifts. So we are spending the summer putting together a gift range for all our products, with gift wrapping options too ready for the Christmas season. We aim to launch this in September, along with a very exciting range of indoor gardening products.

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How does professional photography benefit your business?

We pride ourselves on only selling high quality, ethically produced products. Therefore it’s really important that these are photographed in a way that visualises the craftsmanship and skill that has gone into creating each item. Professional photography helps Modern Mint to communicate our brand to potential new customers, who may not have had the opportunity to experience the products in person and are viewing them for the first time online. We also feel that by photographing our products in the environment in which they are to be used, we can clearly communicate a sense of size and scale and help clients to see how great an addition they would be to their own gardens or homes.

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I had a great afternoon photographing the team at Modern Mint. To see more of the products Modern Mint sells you can visit their website at www.modernmint.co.uk

 If you run your own business and require professional photos to help you sell your brand, please visit www.rosswillshercommercialphotography.co.uk to see more examples of my work or email info@rosswillsherphotography.co.uk to arrange a complimentary consultation. I look forward to hearing from you. 

 

 

Meet Modern Mint – The go-to local business for garden design and quality products