Jesmond Natural Health & Fertility shoot

Louise and Laura. Copyright © 2015 James Sebright Photography.

Louise and Laura. Copyright © 2015 James Sebright Photography.

Last Tuesday found me out and about in Newcastle on a shoot with Louise Collyer and Laura Bicker, 2 acupuncturists who are looking to make their mark on the well-being of the city. Louise and Laura currently work together under the guise of Jesmond Natural Health and Fertility, a small and friendly health clinic based in Jesmond. Working with their team of well-being professionals, the clinic offer a range of services including acupuncture, massage, nutrition, yoga, reiki and traditional Chinese medicine, amongst othes. The clinic has existed for a number of years, and Louise and Laura are looking to grow the business this year with a wave of marketing and PR activity.

Louise and Laura both appreciate how important good imagery is for effective communication, and so they got in touch and asked if I could help out. Working alongside PR professional Nikki Bruce, my brief was to create a set of images that captured the energy, personalities and rapport of Louise and Laura, to be used for advertising, PR, social media, websites and so on. Their friendship lies at the heart of the business and their positive energy and relationship runs throughout the clinic, making this more of a lifestyle shoot than a classic PR shoot.

The truth is that most people don’t enjoy having their photograph taken, especially in public. That’s more than natural, and it makes my job more challenging, as not only do I have to take good pictures technically, but I also have to work hard to put the subjects at ease.To make my life easier, I had recently worked with Louise on a couple of shoots for her own practice, and so we had a good rapport on which to build. Add on the fact that Laura and Louise are great friends, and the result was a lot of fun.

Key to the success of any shoot is planning, so that as much as possible can be achieved in the time available. Newcastle’s quayside offers a myriad of options, and so we were able to explore 3 or 4 set ups in a very short space of time. Most of my shoots begin in a cafe. Not only is a chat over a coffee the best way to agree a plan and gently ease into things, but cafes often make great locations themselves. So it was with the cafe at the Baltic which has a modern, airy feel with some neutral backgrounds. After this, we headed out into a chilly, fresh morning to use some of the local landmarks. The reality is that local landmarks always go down well with local press, and so it’s good to get a few of these in the bag, as well as exploring other, less familiar options. It’s a case of having your bases covered, creating a set of images for different clients and their preferences.

It might sound obvious, but photography deals with the visual, and so whilst it may be implied, it’s not possible to tell what the temperature was when a photograph was taken. Fortunately, the sun was shining on us, but it was fresh to say the least, and so hats off to Louise and Laura for braving the elements in their summer dresses, which brought a touch of colour and femininity to things. True professionals!

Having completed our brief on the quayside, we then headed up to the clinic to take some staff profile shots and group shots. It was great to meet the team. Working on my own is great, but I did feel a pang of jealousy to be part of a warm group who all share a passion for the same thing. Again, new relationships had to be very quickly forged, but the staff joined in with the spirit of the thing to bring things to a successful close.

Louise and Laura were a pleasure to work with, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the images are used. I still get a pang of excitement when I see one of my images in the press! They have a great business, and I wish them all the best with it, as it goes from strength to strength.

Here’s a selection of images from the shoot…