College photography case study

Late last year I was commissioned to photograph Hugh Baird college in Liverpool over 3 days. The brief aimed to cover as much ground as possible within the different areas refreshing images and giving them specific assets to use across various marketing channels as well as the all-important prospectus.

 I worked closely with the design team making sure we got the right images, using their brief and our combined creativity.  I always like to see the finished articles once they have been published, partly because it’s great to see them but also because it helps me understand how the design teams are likely to use my images in the future. Often it’s just a case of leaving more negative space in the frame for the overlaying of text or other elements. Sometimes it’s consciously taking a photograph knowing that it will be cropped in a certain way. Then again, the images may just be used in a collage as in this layout:

Creativity is a huge part of my photography. As someone with a background in the arts, I’m always trying to stretch myself and think of different ways of conveying what’s in front of me. It can be angles, lenses, light or various in-camera effects but to me it’s important to be able to give something a little different to the client. I go into more depth on this in the following article:

Here are a few examples of where a photographer’s eye can create something that pops and helps grab attention. Modern buildings will often have fantastic light and vantage points to look down on a subject.

Sometimes an image just works on its own and deserves to have some space from others as in this example here. That’s obviously a decision for the design team but from experience I know an image like this is likely to be treated in such a way so I will spend more time carefully lighting and editing to get the most impactful result. 

Here the image is colourfully framed whilst bringing attention to the foreground.

In this case the image has more impact because of the background, framing and lens choice. I used a longer lens to compress the image framing with the tables, pillars and ceiling to bring focus into the students and the graphic background.

It’s always important to keep half an eye on the weather with something like this knowing that some outside shots are required. Building a bit of flexibility into the schedule helps here and living in the northwest of England certainly helps create an instinctive awareness of when the sun might come out!

Click here for more examples of my education photography.

A sneak peak inside the National Cycling Centre

I had the privilege of seeing the refurbishment of the National Cycling Centre in Manchester. The brief was to capture the work so far by ISG on the new external steelworks and interior upgrades during a tour for the North West Construction Hub. So with health and safety paperwork completed and full PPE on, we stepped beyond the hoardings…

The second part of the brief was to capture two of their apprentices Lizzie and Caseigh as they chaperoned me around the site whilst undertaking their various roles. 

Most of these shots were semi-staged meaning they had actual jobs to do and I photographed them doing it. I would then position them in the best light and try to convey the sense of scale of the project. Additional lighting was required in certain shots which gave me more creativity and scope in the time available. They seem to be really enjoying this exciting refurbishment project and clearly have a bright future within their respective roles in construction. 

The full bank of edited images have been transferred and will be used by the client internally and externally across various media.

To see more of my construction work, click here.

Using creativity within a brief

Clients often come to me with a brief which they expect or hope to cover within a certain timeframe. It is my job to hit as many of these targets as possible but to also bring my own creativity to the brief. What does that actually mean though? In this case using education photography, here are some examples that were either on the list or have come about because of my own creative vision or that of the people I am working with. In an education setting there can be countless opportunities for this kind of creativity, sometimes it’s a brand new idea, other times it’s just down to effective communication and sometimes it’s just down to experience. 

In this engineering facility, I was simply asked to capture a training session. It was pretty clear to see that there was lots of scope for capturing striking images using the colours and scale of the place. In this kind of situation my only struggle is knowing when to stop!

In other cases it’s about capturing angles and compositions that aren’t always obvious when putting the brief together. As with the previous point, these ideas don’t always work of course and sometimes the skill of the photographer is knowing when to stop and move onto something else.  Different camera settings, lenses, lighting, poses,  there are lots of other ways of bringing creativity to a brief and should be taken into consideration when planning to get a professional photographer in.

Back to education.

Using Format