Charlotte Loves is a new styling business. Charlotte Broadbent is the director and stylist and asked me to capture her first set of brand imagery.

Based in Wimbledon, with two young children, Charlotte is that woman in business who is both friendly and stylish. Having been the ex style editor for Hello! magazine, she’s comfortable with catwalk and high street and has a knack for mixing both. Her clients love her ability to call on top designers, whilst offering high street tips. Mixing knowledge about body shapes and silhouettes, skin tone and colour styling, her expertise is in demand. Charlotte’s clients come from many fields, corporate, the arts, tv and business. Whoever they are, she wants her clients to look their best to be their best.

Charlotte and I chatted for several hours about her brand direction. With a wholly new start up, it is exciting and daunting for new business owners. Photography represents a big budget demand, I know that. And all business leaders want to feel confident in their photographer. Those early conversations are about me listening. I need to understand the shape of her business and the services she’s offering. They go beyond styling. Wardrobe edits, personal shopping and brand concierge services are all part of the business.

Charlotte had clear ideas about her new website’s look and feel. She could share visuals, but we needed to pin down priority shots to use shoot time well. Over 3 weeks, we emailed ideas and photography briefs. It can be helpful to let ideas evolve. We shifted shoot location in this time, and colour backdrops, a lot. Priorities emerged quickly for key website pages. But Charlotte needed more than web imagery. She was ambitious for this shoot, extending it by half an hour from my usual 90 minutes to two hours.

Ultimately, Charlotte knows her website is the virtual shop window for her business. It showcases all she offers her clients. Websites need marketing to get people to visit, so in our shoot we were trying to achieve both. She needed photography that would lead people to her website and her. Charlotte already has thousands of followers on instagram. She is quickly becoming a London player as an online fashion brand influencer. We needed images she could use across lots of social media platforms, as well as on her website.


 

On shoot day, we were blessed with a dry, if very windy, February day. Charlotte wanted her images shot in Wimbledon Village. We both know it well and drawing on local shops and hotels was easy with the help of friend Sandra Nardi, owner of Lady Wimbledon and Bombshell PR Consultancy.  The Dog and Fox hotel were great. Their gorgeous bedrooms were great for our interior shots. They are colour themed, so helped showcase Charlotte’s love of colour styling with witty matching to her backdrops.

Outdoor photography was also required. Charlotte needed shopping images, stylish woman about town street photography and some iconic shots to establish her brand. I am not a fashion photographer. But I am a creative people photographer and a street photography addict. Twice Charlotte and I went ‘off brief’ to experiment.  I love clients who allow a little of that. Her mirrored sunglasses reflecting in the shop window was unscripted. The image of her in zebra print shoes on the fire escape was too. They are among my favourites in her batch.

I turned Charlotte’s images around in 4 days. She gained 100 frames in 2 hours. They were pro edited, retouched, in colour and monochrome. So 200 digital negatives in all for £400. Charlotte said of her images, after shoot AND after her website went live:

Thanks for dealing with all the changes on shoot and all the surprise issues! Thanks for your extra time too, it’s very appreciated.  There are fab ones that will make the website look absolutely wonderful. Can’t wait to get the website geared up! You are very talented!

The images look amazing <on the website>! They are just what I wanted; the colour and monochrome mix look so great.

Charlotte Loves will thrive because Charlotte is great at what she does. I hope her brand sings with some help from my commercial photography.  I am always touched to be trusted with someone’s brand and business. Is yours next?

Interested in what a usual 90 minute business or commercial photography shoot entails? Read about it here and visit my commercial gallery too. Find me on facebook, twitter or love to hear from you on 07725736982 or [email protected]