Salter’s Den Publicity Photographs

Salter's Den 2015

One of the great things about being a portrait photographer is that I get to meet all kinds of people from all walks of life. I’ve become well known across the NorthWest for my business portraits and the business portraits have given me all kinds of opportunities to do other portrait work, commercial work, event photography and even weddings. Last week I photographed a beagle as a result of doing a business portrait for the owner a year ago.

I’ve worked with Howard Worth, Cheshire’s largest accountancy practice, for about 18 months now and in the Spring they asked me to photograph the team for the Salter’s Den competition for 2015. The judging panel for Salter’s Den 2015 is made up of local business leaders in Northwich area: Gerard Rooney from Moss Haselhurst Solicitors, Diane Johnson from Eric Johnson electrical Contractors, Claire Morley from NatWest and Chris Smith, from Howard Worth.

The Salter’s Den competition is looking for an entrepreneur or new business start up in the Northwich area that is worthy of winning a prize of £2,500 and on-going expert advice. The winner will receive a £2,500 cash prize as well as one years free business advice and support from Howard Worth and legal mentoring from Moss Haselhurst. There are also rewards for second and third place. Second place will receive six months support and mentoring and third place three months.

To enter the competition or for more information about Salter’s Den 2015, go to the Salter’s Den website and follow the links.

Justin Moorhouse & The Children's Adventure Farm Trust

A couple of weeks ago Helen, the press officer at the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust asked me to pop in to take some photos of comedian Justin Moorhouse and the cow he had donated to CAFT.

CAFT is a fantastic charity and I’ve been helping them with event photography for their charity fundraising events over the last couple of years and it’s been a real pleasure to be able to help them in a small way. They need to raise £1 million each year and they don’t receive any statutory funding.

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CAFT provides a variety of programmes for terminally ill, disabled and disadvantaged children from all over the North West.

The needs of the children visiting The Adventure Farm range from complex and severe physical and learning disabilities, sensory impairments and terminal illnesses through to children who act as Carers for a family member, those dealing with bereavement and children who have been victims of abuse.

The Adventure Farm is a lifeline to children who are in desperate need. CAFT brings a little light and fun into the lives of children who have known terrible hardships at such an early age.

Helen Crowther, CAFT’s press officer and one of trust’s fundrasers told me “Justin is a long-standing supporter of our charity, he regularly aids our fundraising and spreads the word about the amazing work we do here at CAFT. It was no surprise therefore when he called me concerning a donation, but what I wasn’t expecting was that it would be a cow! We’re not a working farm so it was a relief to discover that this particular cow was fairly low maintenance and we gratefully accepted his very kind offer.

The cow has now been put out to pasture up near our pond and has quickly become one of the star attractions on our amazing 10 acre site. She joins a whole herd of animals including miniature donkeys, ducks, chickens, budgies and quails, helping us to provide a stimulating and fun environment for disabled, ill and disadvantaged children from all over the North West.

This was also a great opportunity for us to spread the word about our work, and to let everyone know how supportive Justin is of our work. Andrew is always on hand to help us and he didn’t hesitate for a moment when I needed a photographer to take some pics of Justin with the cow which I’ll be including in Press Releases and on our own blog page on our website. Thanks Andrew, you’re a star!”

The news story appeared in the Manchester Evening News and on the Knutsford Guardian website on Monday August 3rd, 2015.

If you’d like to find out more about CAFT or would like to make a donation please visit their website or call 01565 830053.

Warrington Business Awards 2015

A couple of months ago Trish Peters asked me to photograph the 2015 Warrington Business Awards Ceremony and Dinner at Lymm Rugby Club. I was expecting a typical, fairly small event. As time went on I realised that this was going to be a BIG deal. With 500 guests, trapeze artists, a live band and eight award categories, this was going to be a special night and a busy one for me.

The awards were organised by Business Breakfast Group, Pro Warrington and Warrington First Networking Groups and the eight awards were sponsored by Bibby Financial Services, Taylor Business Park, Space 48, Deepbridge Capital, Watsons Solicitors, Styles & Co, Adele Carr Financial Recruitment and FDR Law.

Here are the photos from the night.

Claremont voted Business of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Claremont voted Business of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Lewis Haworth of Optionis Group voted Apprentice of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Lewis Haworth of Optionis Group voted Apprentice of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Mark Poulton of Key Integrated Services voted Business Man of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Mark Poulton of Key Integrated Services voted Business Man of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Claremont voted Business of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Claremont voted Business of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Vicki Swinden of The Print Company voted Business Woman of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Vicki Swinden of The Print Company voted Business Woman of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Warrington Youth Club voted Community Initiative of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Warrington Youth Club voted Community Initiative of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Golden Gates Housing Trust voted Innovation of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Golden Gates Housing Trust voted Innovation of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Qudos Marketing voted New Business Startup of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Qudos Marketing voted New Business Startup of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Dawsons Music voted Retailer of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

Dawsons Music voted Retailer of the Year | Warrington Business Awards 2015

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Debbie Hayes – A pioneer in organisational transformation

Debbie Hayes asked me to do her business portraits and some ‘action shots’ for her website last winter and I should have posted this blog post months ago but I’m still catching up! As well as her business portraits, she needed photographs of her 1-2-1 sessions and group sessions.

I’d originally met Debbie through networking at Warrington Business Breakfast Group run by Trish Peters. If you haven’t been, it’s well worth a visit. Anyway, back to Debbie; I met her again when I photographed her sister’s labradors, Ruby and Jess.

We organised three shoots for Debbie, one for her business portraits and then two more for her website. Debbie’s business is about helping people to change the way they work and deliver growth or as Debbie puts it, ‘Success without sacrifice‘.

After the photo sessions I asked Debbie for her thoughts on her business portraits and on the marketing photographs I took for her. Here’s what she said:

Launching my website also became an opportunity to revisit my branding to truly reflect my business; therefore the imagery on the site needed to support this. Of particular importance was to help give my target audience a quick understanding of my business.

I knew of other people whom had used Andrew and I felt that he had consistently delivered what they had been looking for.

When I shared some of the images on my social media pages the response was amazing. I’m not the most comfortable person in front of a lens, but Andrew quickly overcame this and captured me in a way that really resonated with how my friends and clients view me – RESULT!!

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Business Portraits with Menai Holidays

“Just a little note to say thank you to the lovely Andrew Collier who took our photos…a fun day for even the less confident subjects in the group! A great photographer for business portraits, weddings and, for that matter, any other event. Without a doubt he is the best portrait photographer I have ever seen! The pictures below are proof!” Judith Matthews, Managing Director – Menai Holiday Cottages Ltd

In February I was asked to go over to Llangaffo on Anglesey to do a business portrait session for Judith Matthews and her team at Menai Holiday Cottages. Menai Holidays is a holiday cottage letting agency offering self catering accommodation in Anglesey, Snowdonia and the Lleyn Peninsula, in North Wales. We did the shoot at The Outbuildings, an absolute gem of a B&B and boutique wedding venue set in peaceful grounds with beautiful views of Snowdonia.

As well as new team shots for the website and marketing literature, we wanted to create a variety of looks for each person and everything had to be done within a day so that the disruption to the business was kept to an absolute minimum.

Most people don’t like being photographed so it’s important to make sure people are as relaxed as possible and don’t get too much time to worry about how they will look in their business portraits. The Outbuildings was a perfect location for photographing people from a holiday business and gave us loads of different, natural backdrops and very good natural light to work with.

I like to keep the pace going and move from backdrop to backdrop quite quickly so that people don’t get bored and so we can create a variety of looks in a short time, making the best use of natural light as it’s much more flattering than the dreaded studio flashing lighting typical of more formal portraits.

Used properly, soft natural light is just perfect for flattering portraits. The light is much kinder and we can just concentrate on letting the subject’s personality shine through.

Here’s a small selection of group and individual portraits from the session.

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February Business Portraits

As social media grows in importance as a marketing tool, and networking, both real and through social media becomes the main route to market for many small (and indeed larger) businesses, professional business portraits become even more important. My business portrait clients use their profile photos on their websites, with news articles online and in the press, on business cards.

Andrew Collier Photography has become well known as a specialist business portrait photographer across the north of England and North Wales, and we photograph business portraits for clients in every profession and trade.

A good business portrait should capture the essence of you and let your character shine through. Anyone seeing your business portrait should be able to engage with you and get a first impression of what you’re like a person in business.

Here are three portraits from a recent business portrait session in Warrington.

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Dominic Halpin and the Honey Bees live at The Moore Foundation Ball, Mere Resort, September 2013

I don’t really do event photography but soon after I’d done business portraits for Moore Finance, Nigel and Frank asked me to photograph the Annual Ball for their charity, The Moore Foundation. The 2013 Moore Foundation Ball was held at The Mere Resort Near Knutsford. Dominic Halpin and the Honey B’s and Lucy Barlow provided the entertainment and they were amazing. We’ve nearly worn out the complimentary CD Dominic gave us.

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Business portraits with the Challenge Factor

Back in January Geoff Kershaw from the Challenge Factor asked me to do a business portrait session for them. The Challenge Factor specialise in conference and video production. The Challenge Factor was started 30 years ago and they work with many blue chip companies across Europe and have an enviable reputation in the in the video and events industries.

Geoff recognised the value of professional photography and liked my informal approach to business portraiture. I met Geoff when he joined our networking referrals group, BNI Focus, in Lymm. He was very keen to have my style of business portraits for his team and he could see the link between how someone sees a person’s portrait and how they react when they then meet that person for the first time.

We did the session at Castlefield Basin in Manchester, close to Key 103 radio. In our first guest post on my blog, Geoff has written about the session, why they needed new business portraits and how everyone felt about being photographed, and about the results. You can read Geoff’s guest blog post here.

Challenge Factor Business Portraits

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I don't do video but… my friends at The Challenge Factor do…

A couple of weeks ago I was chatting to Geoff Kershaw from the Challenge Factor (a video and conference production company in Hale Village near Manchester Airport) about guest blogging. Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t ‘do video’ but Geoff and his team do video very well and it seemed a good opportunity to do a guest post about it on my blog. I love the idea of using video as a marketing tool but it’s a specialism for people with a longer attention span than mine. I did a business portrait session for the Challenge Factor recently and we decided to make that the subject of my first guest blog. Over to you Geoff:

It’s the end of a particularly long week (perhaps not the best timing, in hindsight) when I break the news: “I forgot to say, we’re having some new professional profile photographs taken next week.” A couple of the team are delighted, but for some it’s gasps of horror. “Pictures? Of me? Do we have to?” At The Challenge Factor we spend our daily lives hard at work presenting our clients in the best possible light, giving them the confidence to sell themselves and convey their messages with vigour and enthusiasm. So, my reply, is “yes, because professional profile photography, as we all know, is key.” A few grumbles in response, but I’ve got them over a barrel with that retort.

So what makes a good business profile photo and why are they so important? Well, what you want to achieve is familiarity. The internet can be a cold place. Customers are bombarded with discount offers, bold claims, and calls to all different kinds of action. Like this, buy that, go here, read that. But that’s likely not the way you deal with your customers face to face, so should your approach be any different online? You want to stand out from the crowd, show people who you really are, and convince them by using “real” tactics that you’re the one for them. Despite the social media boom online you still can’t beat real, personal connections. Give them a face to associate your name with and you’re already on your way to making that vital first connection.

We chose to use Andrew Collier because (and this will explain what makes a good photo) his photography is natural, unobtrusive and truthful, as well as beautiful! I’m pleased to say that as individuals we’re all pretty comfortable with who we are in our own skins. But when it comes to business it’s a different story. Business owners have less confidence in the “I am who I am, like it or not” attitude because we want all potential customers to love us. But in my experience, customers aren’t at all judgemental – this isn’t online dating, after all. Instead, they appreciate the chance to get to know you that little bit better, see you as a more human entity, and converting an email enquiry into business offline becomes much less of a jump.

As well as great photography you might consider web videos to make that gap even smaller. Compared to text, online video delivers twice as much of the message. Online users generally read only half the text on a page and usually less than 100 words. By comparison, the average person will watch up to 60 seconds of video. For all Andrew Collier customers we’re offering 10% off our special web video rate of £500, meaning you can get a 30 second video, shot in studio against green screen, including editing for just £450 + VAT. Simply quote “Andrew Collier” when you call to book. Take a look at our video production page for more information.

To conclude, we’re thrilled with the pictures Andrew did for us, and they’ve taken a proud place on our website. Head over to our team page to take a look at how we’ve used them to create friendly team profiles and start thinking about how you could create something similar on your website.