Looking forward to a busy summer of horse photography! We’d love to team up with selected livery yards and stables so we can offer their members special rates on group bookings. Do you know anyone? Message me sandie@forestlightstudios.co.uk or call 07710-446447

Our bank holiday Monday was mostly spent being clambered on and having our ears gently nibbled by adorable 12 week old Patterdale Terrier pups! Introducing the two wee bundles of energy – Tilly & Nessie. We were thrilled to be asked by Karen & Donald, from Lochore in Fife, to photograph their wee furry sweethearts. Puppies change so much and so quickly in the first few months and professional photography at this time in their young lives is something we highly recommend to all dog (& cat) owners. A year down the line, you’ll understand why 🙂

We always develop a special affinity with whoever or whatever or wherever we photograph. And our time at Sylvester’s on West Nicholson Street in Edinburgh photographing the culinary delights from chef Kieron Sylvester was no different. At the tender age of 34, Kieron still has the best cheffing years ahead of him and with talent & creativity to spare, the sky really is the limit. As part of Kieron’s Chef’s Profile, we asked to photograph a couple of dishes from his brand new menu. And after talking with him at length about his love for family, Scottish produce and oriental influences to his cuisine, it came as no surprise that the first dish was a deconstructed Prawn Crab Cocktail. With crab from the Isle of Harris (his son is called Harris and he wanted to ‘have him’ somewhere on his new menu – I love this!), a delicate seafood sauce and prawn crackers, this dish is a visual feast for the eyes even before a forkful enters the mouth.

Kieron revealed to me during photography that his last menu was undeniably rustic, relaxed and informal and he was now intent on bringing his food back into the realms of fine dining. And that was soon reaffirmed by the meltingly gorgeous salted caramel chocolate tart that was next up. Kieron has introduced a bit of French flair into his kitchen and with it elements of French cuisine, pastry skills and sugarwork artistry. The chocolate tart is a delight to behold. I can heartily recommend a visit to Sylvester’s to anyone looking for fine Scottish cuisine with a twist, cooked with imagination and served with a lot of heart.

Meet Craig McKay, entrepreneur dad and owner of Bearded Basturds, an innovative and ethically minded Dunfermline based business which produces and supplies beard care products made from natural ingredients (with a focus on grapeseed oil) and which are free from alcohol and harmful chemicals. No petrol, phthalates, sulphates, or synthetic oils or dyes. In his own words, Craig is changing the beard care game, one conscientious bearded man at a time! As soon as I met Craig, it was obvious to me that a really striking headshot was something that would benefit his business and his brand massively. There’s so much to admire about Craig’s work ethic and his intense desire to educate the public about what goes into skin care products and what they really should look out for. From one Scottish entrepreneur to another, I wish him all the success in the world.

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And voila! Here’s Craig’s ‘before & after’ clearly demonstrating the WOW of having your business headshot photographed professionally.

 

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There are two things which photographers should focus on when taking a great business headshot.

One is getting a pleasing, flattering facial expression on your subject. Personally I always start by going for a natural, open smile. It helps to strike up an engaging rapport with your subject as soon as they come into the room, to put them at ease and, amongst other things, convey to them that they are in safe, capable hands. There is no getting away from the fact that the best people photographers have the best people skills. It’s also important to know your camera and your lights inside out, so you’re never fumbling, bumbling and mumbling (a real chemistry killer)! Once the conversation is flowing, keep it bright and positive, and the smiles will happen naturally.

The second thing photographers should get spot on is lighting. And with lighting, there’s no substitute for experience. Learn lighting! Experiment on your days off. So before your subject arrives, decide on your main light – think about the size of the source and it’s placement. Assess the quality of light that’ll be falling on your subjects face. Are you going to use natural daylight or artificial? Think about the need to modify your main light (it might a gel or a softbox or just be a simple sheet of muslin, ). Think about the need for a kicker light to separate your subject from your background. Ultimately the goal is to achieve soft, directional lighting that results in a nice catchlight in the eyes. Throw all those things together and you’re basically home and dry with a great looking business headshot for your client.

Well, there are other considerations like focal length choice and posing your subject. And creating variety from a limited location. And background selection. And balancing ambient lighting with flashlight. And maintaining the energy of the shoot at a high level. And juggling ALL of these things to convey the desired brand message for your client. But that’s another post entirely 🙂

A big thank you to David Gray (pictured above) for asking us to photograph his new business headshot to reflect his next career move. David joins the fantastic team AM Bid Services a business that aims to assist local, regional and national organisations with delivering business growth by creating winning bids and proposals. If you need help with bid writing/management, tender management or funding applications, they are the people to call.