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New website and photography for Jayne Peirce Travel Recruitment

A picture is worth a thousand words…

I’ve always dabbled in photography (yes, I even learned how to develop my own prints in the darkroom way back in my college days before the digital era), but have only recently bitten the bullet and bought a decent camera and some juicy lenses after many years of frustratingly poor quality kit. So when one of Designate’s new clients Jayne Peirce Travel Recruitment required some new imagery for their brand new website (designed by us of course), I jumped at the chance to create these. I tend to sway more towards landscape and travel photography, so the opportunity to shoot some props in an office environment provided a new and varied challenge for me. Now, a pro photographer I am not, so I left the more technical part of shooting the staff portraits to Designate’s Dean Harvey (who did a fabulous job by the way).

What was the brief?

To shoot a bright and clean office environment with a nod to travel and to include a human touch. Oh, and of course, I’d designed the website to accommodate very long and narrow header images, so there needed to be enough width on the images so that a narrow crop could be achieved. Umm… tricky.

What was my approach?

I thought the best way to do this was to create images with a very shallow depth of field that enabled the subject (detail of someone typing or a travel souvenir on a desk for example) to have prominence against a dreamy background of out-of-focus bokeh.

So how did I do this?

Firstly, I don’t like to shoot with a tripod or use flash. I prefer to duck and weave around the subject freely to get the best composition and I like to use natural light. Secondly, I needed to create images with very shallow depth of fields. These factors led to my lens choice; the sublime and speedy Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM. It has a wide enough angle to get the shots I wanted, it’s super sharp, very fast (f1.4) and produces some of the best bokeh out there.

I sketched out a few compositions and then loosely set up my shots before summoning my arm models! I threaded in some hints of travel by asking them to wear some exotic looking jewelry and also by placing some souvenirs from far-flung destinations on desks and computer screens.

Common technical details of the shots were in the region of 1/60 sec at f1/4 with ISO 100. I wanted the light to flood in for the images to have no noise or grain.

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Any editing in post?

I try to get what I want in camera without the use of Photoshop afterwards. Also by shooting in RAW mode it allows me to have total control over any settings I need to tweak afterwards with no loss of quality.

Adobe Bridge is usually my choice of scanning through masses of images quickly and star rating my favourites. The selected images are then opened up directly into Adobe Camera Raw. As it turned out, a few tweaks were necessary; mainly adjusting the temperature (warmed up slightly), boosting the contrast and then upping the clarity, vibrance and saturation to create images with some ‘pop’.

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Is that it?

Finally the images were imported into Photoshop where the website designs were created. When the images were in situ there was some minor editing to do so that they worked in harmony with the layout (mainly cloning out a few distracting elements).

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It’s great to see a project with tailored photography rather than completely depending on stock imagery. There’s no other way to create ownable and authentic images that are unique to a particular brand. It certainly sets your brand a bar above the closest competition.

 

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