Saturday, 9 April 2011

PR photography work in Durham.. Turning Day into Night

When you have an idea for a shoot it really doesn't pay to let a little thing like the sun get in the way. The Forestry Commission asked me to shoot some actors for promotion of Halloween walks in Hamsterley forest in County Durham.
I had a vague idea of the images that might be needed from the press release.....
" Men are being advised to be wary of marriage proposals in Hamsterley Forest later this month!
For the spirit of the notorious Mary Anne Cotton, from West Auckland, who poisoned her four husbands in the 19th century has been revived and is looking for another lonely heart to couple up with.
She is one of the notorious figures from County Durham’s past to provide the spine tingling material for a magical Halloween event on Sunday 31 October. Once again the Forestry Commission has linked up with the acclaimed Wear Valley-based Jackass Youth Theatre and Jack Drum theatre company to create a chilling evening in the 5,000 acre woodland, near Bishop Auckland."

In total we took just under an hour to shoot this little bundle of images and as always the actors made the PR pics come to life and brought some humour to the macabre scenes.
So we all had fun and the paper gave the event excellent coverage thanks to a snappy press release and some quirky public relations photography..
Happy Days. :)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Press Photography of 2010

Various photographs by taken by Doug Jackson Photography in 2010. Watch out for a few celebs such as David Essex, John Sergeant, Dirk Benadict (Face- From the A-team), Gillian Taylforth (Eastenders), Duncan Bannatyne, Seb Coe, Jonathan Edwards and the leader of the Labour Party Ed Milliband. Also lots of random shots chosen because well.....I like them! Cheers


Thursday, 16 September 2010

Photographing the Boss – How to photograph CEO’s - Tips for PR photographers

Photographing the Boss – How to photograph CEO’s

Tips for PR photographers

1) Don’t quote yourself short – In my experience giving too cheap a quote means people won’t take you seriously and if you get the gig then you’re stuck with a client that pays peanuts….think about it.(don’t be a monkey)

2) Ask what it's for - Always bear in mind the potential usage of the image when working out your copyright specification and quote. It would be unrealistic for anyone to expect to pay the same for a head shot for a company website as they would for the front page of a magazine.

3) Check the brief - Ensure your brief has a clear and concise beginning and end with achievable milestones in the middle. If there are any uncertainties you should speak to the PR people /client before the shoot. I often sketch out my own brief with a shot list before I go to the job.

4) Question the brief - You aim is to fulfill the brief but also to bring ideas to the table. If you look at the brief and think ‘this is dull’ then call them and propose something more exciting. The client may have a reason for the shots being a certain way or just hadn’t been inspired enough to come up with something creative. They will always appreciate some creative input.

5) Test your lighting - When setting up you your lighting, or even just using on camera flash, be sure to test your exposure before you start posing the subject. It removes the margin of error, saves time and stops you looking amateurish. With this in mind only use equipment that your happy with. Photographing the boss and messing around trying to get your new lights working is a recipe for disaster.

6) Select your locations carefully - Always look for a location that has a few different possibilities and has options in bad weather. I photographed an executive from a logistics company recently and the PR staff wanted a shot of him in front of the Tyne Bridge. I said fine although why not also do a shot across a busy road with blurred traffic and/or him sat calm and still on a street with people blurred around him (long exposure).

7) Be yourself - Wear smart clothes and by all means shave but do be yourself. In my experience of celebrities, politicians and MP’s the more you treat them like ‘someone special’ the more they don’t respond to you as a normal person. They generally have people that flap around them making a fuss so make sure you aren’t one of those people. Relax and be chatty, ask what they do for kicks, football, hobbies etc. As a photographer you are very different to them and don’t let them intimidate you.

8) Explain yourself - The person who is being photographed may not have a clue what it’s for or how it’s going to be done. I always give a 30 second explanation of the different locations and set-ups. I won’t go into the technical data but I reassure the subject that it won’t hurt and contrary to popular belief their soul will remain in one piece.

9) Take your time - Don’t feel like your holding someone away from an important meeting. You’re getting paid for your expertise and your time. An ideal shoot should run on to time and if you have time left why not do some candid’s of the subject strolling down the street, reading a newspaper, whatever…..

10) Ensure your asked back - By being polite, interested and interesting you should hopefully get referrals and repeat business from your clients. Do not be afraid to give cards to the CEO or whoever. It’s the way business is done and always remembers to have business card on you at all times….you just never know…

Feel free to add to this list….just thought I’d get a few ideas in…..

Monday, 8 March 2010

No Smoking Day 2010 Charity Video with Duncan Bannatyne

To celebrate No Smoking Day 2010 the No Smoking Day charity shot their first video, featuring Dragon's Den star and No Smoking Day patron, Duncan Bannatyne.

The video is a shot by shot recreation of Queen's famous video for 'I want to break free’. Which is worth watching not only as a comparison with the above video but for the wonderfully surreal turn it takes after the first bit. People just don’t make video’s in this Barberella style anymore. It will come back I’m sure. It did make me chortle though.

No Smoking Day is the UK's leading health campaign for smokers who want to stop. This website has all the information and resources you need to quit smoking or organise an event on No Smoking Day, Wednesday 10 March 2010.
I was booked to photograph the filming to get some stills of the event. It was clear that Duncan Bannatyne was in great form laughing and joking with the crew. I was going to set up a couple of flashes on stands for the stills although there wasn’t really room. I thought the video lights would provide enough light although there were not only quite dull but rather yellow in their white balance. Fortunately Canon’s new 5D mkII proved its worth once again providing nearly noise less photographs despite the high ISO setting. Below are some stills from the event. Thanks to Diffusion PR for the booking and being so easy to work with and also feel free to support No Smoking Day on the 10th March 2010. Visit thier website No Smoking Day 2010.

For further samples please visit Doug Jackson Photography

Monday, 30 November 2009

One to One Photography Tutoring/Training

Despite training many amateur and professional photographers over the years, I have never put a formalised structure in place to enable members of the public to approach me directly for training. I am pleased to announce that I can now offer one-to-one photography tutoring sessions, starting at £155 a day. I have written a syllabus complete with exercises, which includes various modules that can be adapted and structured in accordance with prior skills and knowledge. These are outlined below.

The Basics - An introduction to understanding and using a digital SLR, and editing your pictures

The Beginner - A first look at using techniques for composition and exposure and lens choice

Location Photography - Shooting a landscape, understanding composition and perspective, texture and detail

Flash Lighting 1 - Looking at basic portrait lighting. Flash and natural light, cropping and posing

Flash Lighting 2 - A more advanced look at using wireless flash and lighting effects, both indoors and outdoors

Studio Lighting - Introduction to studio photography for people, product and still life studies

As these modules have interchangeable elements, they can of course be adapted depending on what you want to achieve.

My first formal lesson with the new syllabus was with Gail. Gail is a successful business woman who after buying a digital SLR felt like she needed a few pointers to get the most out of the camera. I combined elements from two of the above modules and we had a fun day taking pictures and talking about photography. If you want to have a look at some of the shots she took then why not visit her Flickr page here

New advertising and corporate images for Richmond businesses

I was recently commissioned to take some shots for two dynamic, enthusiastic and creative young business owners - Fiona Yorke, Managing Director of Ultimate U and Lynne Burwell, Director of Pillar PR. Both have businesses based in the lovely Aske Hall development near Richmond, and are firm friends. We had a lot of fun doing the portrait shots and I even had time at the end of the day to shoot some generic branding pictures featuring some of Pillar's stationary and Ultimate U's ultimate ewes. See and

Fiona and Lynne were both delighted with the pictures. Fiona said.......
"I just wanted to let you know that I think these are fab! Of course I have my favourites but I feel you have captured exactly what I was looking for, so thank you thank you."
Mission Accomplished!