I have spent many years, one way or another, dealing with property – from Commercial Property to Facilities Management. I am delighted now to also be photographing properties. For me interiors are particularly rewarding and at times, challenging. Composition is one aspect but this can be for nought if I have not managed the lighting. Balancing artificial light with natural light is tricky because they create different colour castes – they have different colour temperatures.
I often work for a local estate and lettings agency, PLM in Bolton. This allows me the opportunity to work with a variety of properties from modest to less modest! I have developed a “feel” for whether a property will photograph-well. This is often not just based upon the volume of space I have to work within but more about the characteristics of the space itself. Naturally if the vendor has put some effort into providing a tidy and uncluttered environment, it can be easier for me to see the wood for the trees. The most challenging shots are in new or unfurnished properties. These require potential buyers to use their own imaginations, something many of us simply can’t easily manage. As a real-estate photographer I work with my clients, Marilena and Alison, to attempt to create a “story” wherever possible.
One of my more recent clients, Gordon Moon Suites, has been refurbishing town-centre, above-retail, accommodation. I was invited to capture the sense of space and create stylish-images that supported “life-style” living in fully-inclusive, managed flats. Customers can rent these apartments for a weekend or longer and be located in the town-centre. As well as creating images that showed-off the space, it was important that I developed images that were practically informative i.e. they showed the scope and whereabouts of the flat’s facilities.
I find that in shooting interiors in general, taking the images from just above waist-height (about 1m high) works most effectively in providing a pleasing image. As I am using a Nikon 16-35mm f4 lens at the 16mm end of things, it is vital to keep the lens horizontal. Due to the characteristics of ultra-wide lenses any deviation from the horizontal, pointing up or down will cause the increased convergence of verticals. Often an unwanted look. A good tripod can help to ensure your shooting from the horizontal. Much of lens correction is now carried out in Lightroom or other editing suites.
Got to dash as, I am just off to take some more images with PLM……next time exteriors
Andrew Bovill Photography….lots has happened since the last post
It has been number of years since my last post. Over this time I have produced more images, developed a broader client-base and have tweaked my website. Improved exposure…to the market. All-good.
Whilst expensive equipment does not make a good photographer, a certain additional confidence is gained by knowing one’s kit is flexible, fit-for-purpose and more importantly, reliable. With this in mind, I have made some investment in photographic kit.
For instance, I have stepped into the world of Profoto lighting. With the system I have chosen, I now have some amazing and very portable, lighting solutions. No more trundling cumbersome “coffins” of slow-to-set-up, mains powered, lighting units with unrelenting soft-box modifiers. It’s now all about speed, agility and simplicity. This allows me to spend more time talking to my subjects and cajoling them into portrait Nirvana….or that’s the plan.
I have also added a Nikon D810 full-frame camera to my repertoire, allowing me more shooting-power. In addition to this, a superb Nikon 85mm f1.4 portrait lens and a Nikon 24-120mm f4 “Street-sweeper”, wide-tele zoom lens. The latter is a great little lens for weddings and “lifestyle” work. It allows me, seamlessly, to dash from group-shots to discreet reportage portraits, without changing lens.
With both Nikon and Canon investing in new mirror-less, full-frame cameras why did I not jump on this new, light-weight innovation? I considered the move but upon reflection decided that size and weight improvements offered no benefit to my style of photography. The new system is impressive. For Landscape photographers such as my pal Mike Prince Landscapes, humping heavy equipment up-hill and down-dale in the Lakes is a bind. He loves his super-light Nikon Z7 system!
Now that I am new and improved, I am looking forward to increasing my photographic appeal, in other words I am looking for more work.
A December morning photograph in Horwich
Friends asked me to photograph the lane and houses from which they had recently moved.
Following a long period of persistent rain, the morning looked promising or at the very least dry. Armed with my camera I set about the task. Initially I was looking to create a comforting image that reminded them of the fun they had enjoyed for almost 10-years living at No.7. This I did but the most arresting aspect for me was the darkness of the lane leading to and contrasting, with the row of cottages lit by the weak early morning sun – almost the light at the end of the tunnel.
Black and white seemed the only choice. Taking my inspiration from landscape photographer and former colleague Mike Prince (yeah, way-back) I wanted to create an image that was deeply atmospheric and that left an impression….some way to go but I am pleased with the starting point.
As I live in Horwich the image, as do the friends, has special significance.
Photographing leading Manchester business networking event
Photographing lunchtime networking event for Manchester and Bolton businesses, at the Malmaison Hotel Brasserie, Manchester.
Organised by Bolton’s very own Namita Chopra, thirty delegates attended to get better acquainted and improve their business prospects. This was an excellent opportunity for me to sell my photographic services whilst carrying out my photographic services! From established businesses to recent start-ups, everyone was keen to get introduced, swap thoughts and ideas and consider how they might support one another. I managed to distribute a number of “Andrew Bovill Photography” business cards. After a wonderful lunch and much chatter, the event closed with a prize-giving. My thanks once again to Namita and all who agreed, some more enthusiastically than others, to have their photographs taken. I look forward to the photography commissions to come rolling-in!
Europa Bilfinger senior management portraits in London went like clockwork
Despite a 0300hrs rise and a four-and-a-half hour car journey from Horwich, Bolton in the North-West the London shoot went like clockwork.
A large board room with natural light complementing the strobes and providing a perfect environment for a soft, even Bowens lighting set-up. D4, 105mm f2 at f8, remote release and tripod were the order of the day and allowed me to create the photographic equivalent of the sausage-machine – started shooting at 0930hrs and finished at 1130hrs, with twenty-six victims down from Board Directors to Operations and Business Development Managers. A big thank-you to Gary Bolton for the commission, his support and his organisational-skills.
Corporate photographic portraits opportunity in London
…a fantastic opportunity to take corporate portraits in London, for one of Europe’s leading Facilities Management companies, has come up.
I have just received the go-ahead! Lighting, composition and efficiency will be the order of the day. It will be a brief but welcome “trip-back-home” for me and the venue is Finsbury Square which is where I worked back in 1994!
Here’s to you Mrs Robinson (and Mr Robinson)….
‘just finished shooting and processing Michelle and Johnny’s wedding photos. From getting-ready to getting-wed a really enjoyable day. Comfortable and confident together not to mention with a lens in their face, I was able to capture the spirit of the day. Although overcast, the rain mostly held-off and my Nikons were able to perform comfortably. These events work-well for any photographer when everyone is up-for-it – so my thanks also go to the couple’s family for booking me and for being good-sports! All the best for your futures together Michelle and Johnny!
Home improvement in action
Just had an enquiry from the MD of DLP – a well-respected and award – winning Salford-based roofing and maintenance company. They are updating their website and require some new images. Just been to visit site to make contact with the Site Manager. Hopefully shooting on Tuesday
Just been in contact with a colleague, Mike Prince, from way-back in London in the early eighties. He now shoots some truly wonderful and atmospheric landscapes. Check out his website. In addition to breath-taking images he imparts some of his magic in workshops he runs from his home in the Lakes.
Had my first client-meet since the instruction – went well and very exciting. A couple of days nr Loch Lomond….can’t say too much… Photographs should be awesome and atmospheric…note-to-self: waterproofs?! Let’s hope not. Gig mid-August.