Tag Archives: Charity

New year and new photography services

Reflecting back on 2013 and looking forward to 2014 it’s been an exciting year and we are anticipating an even better 2014.

Long Walk to Freedom One to One
Long Walk to Freedom One to One

There was a sense of Deja Vu for the beginning of this New Year walking down a cold and wet Whitehall in the early hours of January Ist exactly as we did starting 2013 after photographing guests at The Royal Horseguards Hotel in Whitehall Place. It is however very satisfying to be getting repeat business from prestigious clients.

The end of 2013 was one of our busiest periods with a wide ranging variety of commissions and assignments from large corporates and high profile charity events.

One of our favorite jobs was to photograph the actress Naomie Harris who stars in the Nelson Mandella film; The Long Walk to Freedom. The event was a charity fundraiser for the “One to One childrens fund. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing many actresses, actors and show business stars but Naomie for me shines as one of the brightest and will be starring for many years in the role of Eve Moneypenny in the future James Bond films. Photographing Naomie was one of the highlights of the year which included photographing The Rolling Stones and some exotic overseas travel on behalf of clients.

another charity event was The Big Issue ” Red Ball” when we used the new “green screen” facilities with our portable studio. This enables us to place pictures of guests in any setting they require and place magazine covers or logos over the finished pictures before printing onsite. I am confident that green screen events will become more and more popular as the technology gets even more sophisticated and we invest additional time in professional training.

The Big Issue Red Party
The Big Issue Red Party

Another new innovation this year will be guests using social media “live” at events to Facebook or tweet their pictures┬á or maybe using some new media that has not yet been discovered or invented. This in conjunction with professionally shot pictures will surely become one of the most powerful marketing tools for both corporates and charities to get their message out into the world.

On the opposing side of that prediction we have covered some assignments where the exact opposite is the case and we have signed confidentiality agreements with high profile clients. If you want publicity we will happily tell the world, if not discretion and confidentially will be the order of the day.

As well as investing in new equipment and learning new skills we will soon be overhauling our website and marketing activities as well as forming new business relationships and partnerships.

With the economic climate seemingly improving we start the year anticipating a successful and prosperous future and hope this applies also to all our clients partners and friends.

MENSA chooses us for their event photography

It’s official smart people use Smartpicsuk.com MENSA choose us for photo coverage of their Spring Ball.

Mensa Summer Annual Ball
Mensa Summer Annual Ball

We were delighted to be selected as official photographers for the MENSA annual Spring Ball at the Hilton London Canary Wharf / Docklands. The theme was a Moulin Rouge style Parisian evening where all the guests dressed appropriately thus making for excellent photographic opportunities which we were keen to oblige.

It makes a huge difference to the success of an occasion when guests take the time and effort to get “glammed up” and party goers are delighted when they receive a print in their hands within a few minutes. Many guests made repeat visits to the studio throughout the evening for more variations and poses as they relaxed and let their hair down a bit.

Guests kept telling us how impressed they were with the smart technology that enables them to walk away with studio quality pictures without having to make an appointment and visit a studio, indeed we were located adjacent to the bar which is always handy!

Whilst the technology and lighting behind the pictures is very clever and needs professional skills and experience to get the best from it ; it’s not rocket science but it is smart and that’s coming from the people at MENSA

Private birthday party photography
Private birthday party photography

Elsewhere we have attended a couple of very select private parties including an 18th birthday party for the daughter of one of our corporate clients and a retirement party for one the country’s top medical consultants at The Great Hall, St Bart’s Hospital. Both commissions needed different styles of photography which is something we are always keen to accommodate.

Whatever or wherever your party, to us it’s always a special occasion and we are happy to work whilst you play.

Longer days means lighting challenges

British Summertime starts this weekend (so we are told) and we are looking forward to a bright and busy summer of events.

Children with cancer fundraising event photography
Children with cancer fundraising event photography

We love variety and like to capture different styles of pictures at the same event or party. The pictures above were both taken within minutes of one another showing guests at the same charity fundraising function.

The fundraiser was held at The Warren ; The Metropolitan Police Social Club on behalf of Children with Cancer (formerly children with leukemia).

We set a studio and print station in the bar area and guests were soon queuing to have their photographs taken. As well as more traditional poses, we encourage guests to try different set ups especially with larger groups. These days every person in the country has a camera with them in the guise of a mobile phone and we are very aware that our photographs need to stand out as a professional product in this digital age.

For those interested in technical details the pictures were shot with a Nikon D3 and lit with 3 Elinchrom studio heads one on either side at 90 degrees both fitted with gridded softbox’s and a shoot through brolly at 70 degrees for fill light. Backdrop was the new custom made Lastolite Panorama. Pictures were transmitted in seconds via a dedicated wireless network to an Apple computer running Adobe Lightroom with some custom modifications and printed on a DNP dye sub printer for guests to take away with them.

Uniserve UK Ltd 18 tonne Rigid trucks - Corporate Event Photography
Uniserve UK Ltd 18 tonne Rigid trucks – Corporate Event Photography

Another very different commission, although not one you would class as an event, was for a corporate client who were upgrading their HGV fleet. The client who is the largest privately owned logistics company in the UK had a new delivery of HGV trucks that morning and even though the vehicles had never been used on the road and were hours old we had to make sure they were cleaned and spotless. Lining them up in formation also took a lot of time and effort and if I had been one of the drivers I would have cursed the photographer!  Being a working dockside terminal meant all sorts of operational challenges for us from carrying out a risk assesment to wearing Hi Vis clothing to having someone watching my back in case an HGV reversed over very expensive equipment or me!

The shoot was on the sunniest day of the year and created more problems with harsh shadows (even an HGV lorry deserves flattering light!) and needed sophisticated and powerful lighting to fill in the shade. It also made for a wait of a few hours before shooting the final picture at dusk which was lit by 4 Elinchrom powerpacks fired by radio flash triggers.

We are always looking for new picture opportunities and challenges so do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions as to what we can photograph and how we can deliver the right images for you either party fun or serious corporate branding and marketing campaigns.

Sports Relief Mile & Downs Syndrome Fundraising Events

As another new month begins we have decided to start a blog here at SmartPicsUK.

2012 Sports Relief fun .The Mall
2012 Sports Relief fun .The Mall

Looking at the rain and clouds got me thinking what a difference a month makes. On March the 25th we were having fun as one of the London event photography teams photographing the Sport Relief Mile for charity. The sun was shining and I was drinking almost as much water as the many thousands of runners and regretting not bringing my sunglasses.

A month later found us at the Royal Blackheath Golf Club in Royal Greenwich for the” Up’s and Down’s” charity golf day a fundraising event for the Down’s Syndrome Association. The heavens opened as the rain poured down from a gloomy looking sky which must have put a smile on the faces of the groundsmen and gardeners at the immaculate looking course. Am I the only one wondering whether this is the wettest drought since records began ? The weather didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the players though; everyone smiled and enjoyed an excellent day’s golf whilst Suzanne was printing the photographs as I took them. The rain finally ceased and everyone retired to the clubhouse to collect their photographs and enjoy a well earned drink followed by dinner. A big well done for all the and supporters.

We’re now wondering what the weather will be doing in another month from now when we will be on a luxury boat as part of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee River Pageant on the river Thames where over a thousand boats will sail down the Thames in one of the biggest floatila’s ever assembled.

As well as the cameras ,portable studio lighting and and onsite printing equipment should we pack sunblock or umbrella’s for probably one of our biggest events of the year? Answer’s on a postcard please or just click the contact form.