An Afternoon with Guy Martin

guy martin

We do lots of product photography for the Guy Martin Proper website.  Lots of hats, t-shirts, books etc. It’s all done in the studio using mannequins and white back grounds, pretty standard stuff that we do for lots of online retailers.

So it was a nice change to go and do some photos with Guy himself at his home in Grimsby.  He’s just like you see on TV, a grafter with lots of chat and lots of cups of tea.

We were shooting a new cleaning product, Proper Cleaner by Guy Martin,  both stills and video. For the video, he could just talk about it without a stammer or stutter as he washed his bike. No script, no rehearsing, just telling us about it in his own entertaining way.

We did some portraits of him wearing different hats, using the cleaning product, and just some general shots for use on the website. Here’s a few of the shots we came away with.





Creativity changes lives

photo of children playing outside Oxford


When we were asked to go along to the Ark T centre in Oxford to take some photographs for their website, we were excited to see the work they were doing and to meet some of the people benefiting from the activities held at the centre.

The Ark T Centre is an inspiring organisation that focuses on using art and creativity to improve the lives of individuals going through tough times. Spending time at the centre made it easy to see how their vision, “Creativity changes lives”, really rings true. The centre aims to promote tolerance and celebrate diversity within the local community. They believe that art and creativity can help people to “discover new things about themselves and unlock their potential”, and provide a safe, non-judgmental space for children and families, LGBTQ and disabled young people, and long-term unemployed adults to develop their skills and confidence.

The place itself has a relaxed vibe and we enjoyed a delicious coffee in the Camerados Living Room Cafe. The cafe is open to the public, and the warm and welcoming atmosphere made it a real hub of activity for the centre – a creative space to grab a coffee and meet a friend, with artwork lining the walls and one of the centre’s regulars playing the piano.

Exploring the centre was a heart warming experience. There was a real buzz about the place. We got some great shots of the ‘Our voice is our power’ workshop – a group of long-term unemployed adults working together to produce a community newspaper – and this kind of reportage photography, where you get to take candid, unobtrusive shots of people in real life situations is great fun.

We took a variety of photos of the space and facilities for the centre’s own commercial use, then visited the art rooms – a hive of activity, where we photographed children taking part in ‘Creativity camps’, creating stop-motion animations, making photo frames and completing other craft projects. These camps are aimed at children with educational, emotional or behavioural needs, and it was clear that the Ark T centre is a lifeline for them, with big smiles lighting up their faces as they got stuck in to the art activities.

Just spending a day at the centre was inspirational – having the opportunity to witness and photograph first-hand the strength of the individuals facing such diverse challenges and the projects run by Ark T, which really are life-changing, was an incredible experience.

The Great British Bike Off

Event Photography from Bike Off Oxford

One of the reasons that we love event photography is because we get to go to some really cool, interesting and unusual events. We were thrilled to be invited to photograph the first ever Great British Bike Off, an alternative, customised bike festival  held in Oxford City Centre. The Bike Off promised to be a celebration of creativity, culture and of course cycling… when we arrived the collection of weird, wonderful and wacky bikes that had been entered just blew our minds.

The array of colourful and creative customised bikes was extraordinary… we particularly liked the Pink Angel bike entered by The Cowley Road Condors and the customised rickshaw!

Not only was there an amazing atmosphere at this community event but with an impressive parade around Oxford City Centre and sponsorship from many key Oxfordshire based businesses, it was a really fun day to photograph!

The event raised valuable funds for Cowley based charity The Ark-T Centre. The Ark T Centre uses creativity as a tool for self-empowerment and their projects aim to increase wellbeing and personal resilience for people facing multiple disadvantages.


Clothes Photography for Boxershorts UK

clothes photography

Boxershorts UK wanted some new clothes photography for their website, so they came to visit us last week with a selection of their microfibre underwear.

We needed to get both lifestyle shots and plain white background shots. The white background shots were all done in our studio. One the lighting and angles have been chosen, we could then quickly whizz through dozens of shots very quickly.

For the lifestyle shots, we used one of the holiday cottages here at Heath Farm, and the grounds around us.



Panasonic Toughbook Severn Trent

product shot

We really put the Panasonic Toughbook to the test at this commercial photography shoot in Warwickshire and we can safely say that yes it is drop proof, throw proof, smash proof and waterproof!

The brief was to show the functionality of the touch screen, detachable keypad and visibility of the screen in bright sunlight as well as the durability of the device itself.

We had great fun getting these product shots and we suspect, so did our model…


The Spanish Shoe Shoot

model portfolio

Simply Feet, one of our product photography clients, asked us to shoot their Winter and Autumn collection of footwear back in the summer. It was easy enough to make things look wintery in the summer, coat, hat, scarf etc. We fulfilled the brief and got a great selection of shots for their catalogue.

But now, in January, we are photographing their Spring/Summer collection. First thoughts were to have a beach or marina setting, maybe Bournemouth, or somewhere similar on the south coast. But it’s so damn cold and wet this time of year. Nothing for it, but to head for sunnier climes. So off we went to Clap in Spain, with 80 pairs of shoes and 2 models.

It wasn’t as warm as we had hoped, but it was dry and sunny, which was good enough for us. So, after four days hard work, we got all the footwear shot in a variety of locations. We’re now looking forward to seeing them in print in Simply Feet’s new catalogue.


Sylvester Oxford Product Photography

furniture photography

Sylvester Oxford is an online boutique which offers you pretty vintage style accessories. They have an exclusive range of gifts and items for your home. We had already done a first product photography shoot for them a couple of weeks ago but we were more than delighted when Sylvester Oxford contacted us again for a second shoot.

There were roughly about 7 products to be photographed and I was put in charge of this shoot. Ivor helped me set up by placing the lights in a suitable location and lowering the white backdrop. What we did was have two lights pointing at the backdrop on a very high key setting so that the backdrop was flooded in light. We then placed two lights on either side of the product and had them set on a low/medium level so that if the product was white then it wouldn’t start to blend in with the background and not be able to be seen.

The camera settings that I chose were, ISO on 100 and I switched between aperture F11 and F13. I had to take three or four photos of the product from different angles, so what I did was turn the product to its side then zoom in closer on some of its vintage detail and then have a photo with the drawers open. The image taking didn’t take too long but it was the editing that did take a while. This is because firstly I had to convert all the images which were taken as a RAW into a JPEG. I then had to crop all the images to the preferred size and then by using Photoshop, fill in the areas of the photo which weren’t quite white enough. You have to be precise and careful with this as you don’t want to either make the image look too white or accidentally rub out some of the image. After successfully editing the images, I looked back at the work that I produced and was very pleased with the standard of the images and editing. This shoot was very enjoyable and very much a learning curve for me as it’s the first shoot I was in charge of.

Luc Ord