Chelsea by day, Chelmsford by night

Light plays such a huge role in the mood and storytelling of a photo, regardless of the subject matter. From romantic portraits taken under the soft glimmering light of the golden hour (think 90% of every Poldark episode) to harsh and dramatic street photography taken in the midday sun, we photographers use light to evoke feelings and stir emotions in our viewers.

Recently I embarked on a couple of city shoots and due to the time of day. the lighting (and the editing process) they couldn’t be more different. Below I have displayed images from each shoot side by side to illustrate how much control we can have on the mood of an image, just by playing with light and deciding when to photograph a city or building.

All images were taken with the same camera (Canon 5D ii) and lens (24-70mm 2,8) which demonstrates that it is you not your camera that controls the stories you tell and the scenes you set.

 

London-54

 

Commercial street photography London10

 

6London-4

 

1London-2

Which style / collection of images do your prefer. How does the lighting influence how you feel about the subject matter? I would love to hear your thoughts. Why not let me know in the comments below?

Have a great week!

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 http://www.rosswillsherphotography.co.uk / http://www.rosswillshercommercialphotography.co.uk

info@rosswillsherphotography.co.uk | 07590 520539

facebook.com/rosswillsherphotography | @RWillsherPhoto | instagram.com/rosswillsherphotography | http://www.linkedin.com/in/rosswillsher/

Advertisements
Chelsea by day, Chelmsford by night

Vitawell Medi-Centre – bringing Harley Street to the High Street

One of the things I love as a photographer is meeting business owners who have a passion for excellent customer care and providing exceptional services for their clients. Upon visiting Debbie Ash and Debbie Read at their Vitawell clinic in Billericay, it was quickly apparent that both ladies are passionate about delivering outstanding results for their customers and their warm welcome and friendly faces instantly brightened up a grey overcast morning. 

But what is Vitawell and how do Debbie and Debbie help their clients to look and feel fantastic? I sat down with both ladies to have a chat about the services that they provide and their ambition for their business going forward. 

Debbie Ash                                          Debbie Read

What is Vitawell and who are the Two Debbies?

Vitawell Medi-Centre was established in March 2016 by Debbie Ash and Debbie Read after 4 years of research into the latest innovative treatments in anti-ageing from America that are otherwise only currently available in Harley Street, along with other treatments in Health and Wellness that – although already available – are often disjointed in how they are delivered to clients.

The thought process behind Vitawell is to co-join all these treatments into one central clinic, for instance if you want to lose weight, look younger, feel good, get fit and have physiotherapy for a current injury, then all these treatments and therapies can be provided by Vitawell at our clinic.

What sets Vitawell apart from other clinics?

Vitawell Medi-centre is a small private clinic with a warm and friendly atmosphere that welcomes all its clients with the same enthusiasm and professionalism. It is an accessible haven for clients to undergo innovative and technologically advanced treatments in an ethical and safe environment. Both Debbies are fully qualified and listen to what each client is looking to achieve.

We believe that Vitawell is not about us, it’s all about the client and in providing an exceptional service that is customer focused. Our clients have remained with us throughout our start-up journey, and we have retained all of our clients since we began.

Vitawell Medi-Centre Essex

How has Vitawell evolved during the first 12 months of business?

Twelve months on, Vitawell’s client base is very diverse; with male and female clients ranging in age from 18 years to late 70’s undergoing our treatments with extremely successful results.

Since it started, Vitawell has increased its services and now offers treatments and therapies in Diet and Nutrition, Fitness and Personal Training, Health and Wellness, Anti-ageing and Medical Lab testing. Our clients can benefit from the latest technology available, including;

  • the revolutionary 3D Lipomed+ non-surgical liposuction
  • Diamond Microdermabrasion
  • Neo-elegance LED Illumination non-surgical Red, near Infa-Red and Blue light Face and Body therapy
  • Total Hair Systems
  • Therma Paraffin Treatments
  • SkinLove revolutionary facial range and Skinade – the science of “Better Skin from Within”.

We are both fully qualified in the Aesthetic treatments we offer and Debbie Read is also qualified in Nutrition, Sports Science and Physiology, Fitness, Personal Training and Sports Massage.

Vitawell Medicentre Billericay

That is an impressive list of qualifications. How did you find the training process?

Debbie and I had some great laughs practising aesthetic treatments on ourselves after our training, including Debbie A’s infamous cold stomach and disappearing chin and my magic foot diamond microdermabrasion… but those are other stories for another time!

We still have practice days and we continually attend training, seminars and industry shows to make sure we are ahead with new innovations and developments and we keep up our CPD as this ensures our clients get the best of the best.

Vitawell Billericay

What is your most popular treatment?

We have seen many clients in our first year with varying treatments wanted, but our most popular by far is the 3D Lipomed which is basically “permanent body contouring”. We break down unwanted fat non-invasively, which the client’s body then disperses of naturally over a period of time. Our 3D Lipomed also does Radio Frequency Skin Tightening for wrinkles and fine lines and our Dermaroller diminishes and gets rid of cellulite on places like thighs and bottoms.

We are very proud to state that we have a 100% conversion rate from free consultation to treatment. All of our clients have started with one particular treatment and then chosen to undergo further treatment on a different body part or utilise one of our of many other treatments and services.

Vitawell Medi-centre

What has it been like getting started?

It has taken a lot of time and hard work to get started, especially with regards to getting our name out there and getting clients through the door. Our marketing has ranged from attending breakfast networking groups to leaflet dropping. We have also been featured in magazine editorials, trade brochure adverts and we constantly update out website, social media and blog posts. We even did a Tesco poster in two stores in Chelmsford.

The effort has been worth it, with all our clients staying with us. However, we always look forward to hearing from, and welcoming new clients who then refer us to their friends and family.

Client referrals and testimonials are so good for us – they really do work and are our best form of advocacy. We have also made the move to become accredited and a full member of the Consulting Room, who are a self-governing Aesthetic body who overview and regulate Aesthetic Clinics, we are seeing more and more referral clients from this avenue.

Vitawell LED

What are your goals for the next 12 months at Vitawell?

Our aim is to gain a constant flow of new clients month on month so that we can grow and continue to offer the newest and latest advanced treatments in Health, Wellness and Anti-ageing that come to the market.

Our ultimate goal is to find larger premises that allow us to offer even more treatments and therapies and in the future to expand to franchise level with Vitawell Medi-centres on popular high streets.

We pride ourselves on offering the best and most innovative treatments with good customer care, fully qualified and knowledgeable therapists and a warm welcome.

I can testify that you will definitely be greeted with a warm welcome at Vitawell and that the compassion of both Debbies shines through in all they do.  To contact the Vitawell team you can call 01245 426005 / 07927 572 431 or email debbie.s@vitawell-medi.co.uk 

You can also view details of all the treatments they offer by visiting their website HERE. 

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 http://www.rosswillsherphotography.co.uk / http://www.rosswillshercommercialphotography.co.uk

facebook.com/rosswillsherphotography | @RWillsherPhoto | instagram.com/rosswillsherphotography | http://www.linkedin.com/in/rosswillsher/

Vitawell Medi-Centre – bringing Harley Street to the High Street

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.

MM_Businesscard

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.

MM_Portraits

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!

MM_Portraits2

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.

MM_Coppertools

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.

MM_Seedballs

MM_Seedballs2

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.

MM_Portraits3

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.

MM_Coppertools2

___________

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

Relax – It’s in the bag: Part 2 – The Camera Lenses

Following on from last week’s blog where I talked about some of the features of my camera body and how it helps me to take great photos of you and your business, this week we are looking at my lenses and seeing just what they do for us on our shoot.

Canon 50mm f1.8

The Canon 50mm is a fixed lens meaning that it only has one focal length (and cannot be zoomed in or out). The number 1.8 refers to its largest aperture setting (the hole through which light enters the lens and into the camera). The smaller the number, the larger the aperture and therefore the more light the lens lets in. At f1.8 lots of light can flood into the camera to create the shot. This lens is small, lightweight and exceptionally sharp.

Blog2-4

What this means for you

Your business premises might not be the brightest and most spacious location in Essex but that doesn’t mean we can’t get some great shots for your website or social media platforms. The 50mm lens is unobtrusive, and with it’s ability to let in lots of light, we don’t have to use vast amounts of artificial lighting setups that might interrupt your workflow and take up valuable business hours.

Essex-food-photography (1 of 1)

Canon 24-70mm f2.8

The Canon 24-70mm is a great all-round lens that can be used for wide-angle scenes and flattering portrait shots. If I only have space for one lens when ton assignments, this is the one I take as it allows me to shoot such a variety of subjects quickly and to a high quality. It can let in lots of light for hand-held shooting in dark locations but also has impressive manual focussing abilities for landscape photography on a tripod.

Blog2-6

What this means for you

To make your website engaging and a cut above those of your competitors, you need a variety of high quality images that provide prospective clients with a strong insight into the property, personalities and products behind the brand. This lens has the versatility to take shots ranging from exterior location images through to close-up product photography. To be able to switch quickly from a close-up image to a staff group photo helps me to save you time and get back to more pressing tasks.

Blog2-3

Canon 70-200mm f2.8

The largest of my lenses, the 70-200mm is great for taking shots of people and objects a little further away. It still lets in lots of light in dark environments but is also great for photographing moving subjects: be they mechanical, human or animal. The 70-200mm lens is great for creating soft blurred background as it compresses all objects in the frame.

Blog2-7

What this means for you

Many people are a little concerned when this large lens is pointed in their direction as they feel it will highlight all of their (perceived) flaws. In actual fact the focal length of this lens and its ability to compress objects to make them appear closer together really flatters faces. Take a headshot with a wide-angle lens and you will see how distorted and unattractive your face looks – this lens does the opposite. So don’t be intimidated by its size. This lens also helps you to really stand out from the background and make your portrait “pop”.  At events this lens allows me to capture expressions and gestures of guest speakers without obstructing your audience and attendees.

New Website (11 of 29)

To see some more of the work created with these lenses please take a little look at my website. Alternatively, please get in touch if you would like my lenses and I to create some images that will help you promote your USP.

In my next post I’ll be talking about memory cards and batteries and their importance. In the meantime, I’d love to hear any comments or suggestions for future posts.

Have a great week.

Ross

info@rosswillsherphotography.co.uk | www.rosswillshercommercialphotography.co.uk 07590 520539

Relax – It’s in the bag: Part 2 – The Camera Lenses

Head’s Up – how to nail the perfect headshot

 Headshots-essex (4 of 7)

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

 

It’s an old saying but one that is more relevant than ever before in this digital age. With Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles – in addition to a professional website – now an essential part of any marketing campaign, first impressions are no longer solely made face-to-face.

Headshots are your chance to provide potential clients, casting agents or employers with the perfect first impression and to communicate in one image what you are all about. In order for your headshot to do this, it needs to be two things;

A) Professionally taken

A quick snap taken by a friend with their latest smartphone may seem the most cost-effective option, but aside from the compromised image quality, there is no substitute for a professional photographer’s ability to light, pose and direct you to ensure that your headshot makes the maximum impact.

B) Reflective of your personality and brand

Wearing a suit and tie and standing in front of a studio backdrop may work really well for a bank manager or accountant. However, this may not truly reflect the brand and personality of a personal trainer or actor. The location, styling and posing of your headshot needs to reflect who you are and resonate with the type of audience that you are trying to attract.

It is important to find a photographer who will listen and get to know you, make you feel comfortable in front of the lens and know how to light and pose you to help you look your best.  However, your attitude and preparation to a headshot shoot can have a massive impact on its success. Below are some of the simple things that you can do to get a headshot that captures your unique personality.

1. Have a clear direction

 

Headshots-essex (3 of 7)

Before the shoot, think about how you want to be seen and what characteristics you want to portray. If you are a performer think about the types of roles or performances that you want to be cast in. Are you seeking roles as a villain or a leading love interest? Are you an opera singer or a rock musician? The slightest change in expression and intensity of the eyes can change how you look in your headshot so be clear about what you are wanting from the shoot and share this with the phtographer before the session. This applies just as much (if not more) to business headshots – what are you trying to say about yourself and your brand? You may want to appear friendly and approachable which  is understandable, but you also have to consider where the photo will be used. If your company hits the headlines for the wrong reasons, a picture of you with a cheesy grin will give a very bad impression.

2. Wear clothes that compliment you.  

 

Headshots-essex (1 of 7)

Choose clothes that are comfortable and help you to feel relaxed. Again, think about the audience and what you are trying to convey.  Choose colours that compliment your eyes or skin tone – pastels look good on fair skin types with blue eyes, whilst rustic colours (brown, green, orange) compliment green eyes. If you have dark eyes, most colours work well providing they contrast your skin tone.

White or black tops can look a little too contrasting, whilst shirts or blouses with a collar frame the face neatly. However, rules are there to be broken and it all comes down to your personal style. Depending on the look you are going for you may want to avoid high-necked tops that don’t flatter the jawline or low cut tops that are too revealing. If appropriate, a bright scarf or cardigan may add that all important splash of colour that makes your headshot stand out from the crowd.

I always allow clients to bring more than one outfit if they are unsure or want a variety of looks. The strength of Clare’s headshot above is not only down to her beautiful smile but also due to the  colours of her hair, jacket and eyes complimenting the earthy tones of the rustic location.

3. Practice

 

Headshots-essex (5 of 7)

Spend some time before the shoot looking in the mirror trying different expressions – see what you think works for you. I help to guide clients on the day but it never hurts to arrive with an idea of how you look when making various expressions and an understanding of which expressions give a stronger sense of your personality.

4. Talk to your photographer

 

Before the shoot let the photographer know of any concerns or worries you have – let them no anything you feel self-conscious about. During the shoot, don’t be afraid to suggest ideas and provide feedback on the shots taken so far. Only you can decide whether a shot truly reflects you or not and a good photographer will love hearing your input. The session is a collaborative process – not simply the photographer giving directions to you – so  be honest and open.

5. Keep posing simple

 

Headshots-essex (7 of 7)

There are unlimited ways of posing and your photographer should  provide gentle advice and direction. However, we are not looking for a Vogue cover shot on a headshot shoot and simple works best. This shot of Peter West – a brilliantly talented Opera Singer whose Facebook page you can visit here – is simple in pose and composition but incredibly powerful and perfect for use in concert programmes.

Some general rules to flatter your facial features include keeping your shoulders back and relaxed, and making sure your core (tummy) muscles are tight to support your posture. To avoid double chins appearing in your photos (regardless of whether you have one or not), roll your shoulders back, try to bring your forehead forward towards the camera and tilt it down a little (think “up and over the fence”). This stretches the neck, smooths out any lines and separates the jawline from the neck itself. As result your face will appear slimmer and more defined. Again, you can practice this before the shoot if you are unsure.

6. Be open minded

 

Headshots-essex (6 of 7)

Headshots can incorporate a variety of styles now and so we can try several ideas in a session to get the look you are after. A good photographer won’t ask you to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable but don’t limit yourself by not being open to suggestions. The shot above of Belinda from Holistic Health Hackney was taken right at the end of the shoot when we decided to try one more pose and style before we brought the session to an end. We hadn’t planned to shoot Belinda in her hat and scarf but as soon Belinda put these back on, her posture and expressions became much more relaxed and we decided that this shot caught her true personality better than all the previous shots we had taken.

7. Think about the eyes

 

Headshots-essex (1 of 1)

A good headshot is all about the eyes and connecting with the viewer. Look into the camera as if the lens is a person viewing your headshot for the first time (a casting agent or potential client) and think about how you would persuade them to hire you and what you want that first impression to be.

8. Don’t be afraid to laugh

 

Headshots are important and can have a huge impact on your publicity but that doesn’t mean the process should be dull and monotonous. Allow yourself to laugh when it doesn’t go right first time, be willing to try different ideas and enjoy the break from sorting emails, learning lines or chairing another meeting. Trust me – you’ll soon wish you were back in front of the camera.

Looking for a new headshot? I would love to hear from you. Please do not hesitate to call 07590 520 539 or email info@rosswillsherphotography.co.uk to chat to me about your headshot needs. Alternatively visit my website  to view more of my work and contact me via the online form.

Have a great week

Ross

Ross Willsher is a commercial and social photographer based in Chelmsford and covering Essex and London. To view more of his work please visit www.rosswillshercommercialphotography.co.uk

Head’s Up – how to nail the perfect headshot