Personal Branding Headshot Shoot

Meet Rhiannon. She's a freelance writer and blogger based in Cardiff, South Wales. You can read her hilarious honest writing on her blog The Daily Boyle.

I've been doing quite a lot of headshot and personal branding shoots so far this year but I have to say this is one of my favourites. With such a variety of settings and amazing light, I was like a kid in a sweetshop.

What is personal branding?

If like me, you work for yourself and run your own business, then you ARE your brand. It's important to be able to portray yourself and your business to clients. It's vital for them to believe and trust in you - as a person and a brand.

A quick selfie might do the job in the short term but it's worth investing in some professional photography for the future. Personal branding shoots can include anything that helps to portray you and your business. Images can then be used across your website and social media platforms.

For Rhiannon's shoot - I wanted to show all the different sides of her. Yes, she's funny and friendly and down to earth but she's also a writer. Her writing covers all sorts of areas, some happy, sad, serious, funny and thoughtful. I wanted to capture all sides of her personality so that she can use the images for her blog as and when she needs them.

If you're interested in booking a personal branding shoot, then prices start at only £199. Bespoke packages can be created to suit your needs - each business is different and I'm happy to have a chat and create a package that suits each individual. Find out more on my pricing page and see more images on my headshots & commercial portfolio. Follow my very latest work on my Instagram account too!

 

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Kitchen Renovation - Before & After

I've recently completed my kitchen renovation and wanted to share the before and after images to help anyone else thinking of doing the same thing.

After living in our house with a dated kitchen for 10 years, we decided to try and give it a bit of a makeover. We planned to do most of the work ourselves, so we were a little worried that it would end up looking a bit rubbish. But, it didn't! It looks pretty fab. I know loads of people have similar kitchens, so before you chuck them out, think about changing a few key elements and save yourself a fortune. There's links at the end of the post to all the suppliers used.

 

kitchen painted in farrow and ball paint

Here's what we did:

Replaced the floor.

Replaced the worktops, sink & taps.

Changed the light fittings.

Added a door for our new 'pantry'.

Glued tongue and groove over the old tiles.

Painted the cupboards/drawers and added new handles/knobs.

Removed some old cupboards.

Painted the walls and ceiling.

Bought barstools for the new breakfast bar.

List of suppliers at the end of the post.

 

PLANNING

It took a while for us to work out what sort of design we wanted for the kitchen. I enlisted A LOT of help from friends (they are all rolling their eyes and nodding if they are reading this) for the look and feel of the kitchen. We opted for a "country kitchen" feel because it went well with the house and the existing design that we had.

We were on a very tight budget, so spent a lot of time researching prices and looking for online suppliers that would be cheaper than the high street DIY stores.

kitchen refurbishment

PAINT

We knew we were going to keep the walls Almond White (Dulux) as we have the colour throughout the house. For the cupboards we opted for the more expensive Farrow & Ball paints. We tried a few tester pots on the doors and eventually chose Pigeon. It's a sort of greeny grey colour and it looks different in different lights. We also bought the Farrow & Ball undercoat as advised but used a primer from Wickes too.

Of course, there's the option of matching a Farrow & Ball colour with a cheaper paint but we've done that elsewhere in the house and it just isn't the same finish. There wasn't a massive difference in price to choose the paint that we wanted, so we went for it.

I'm not going to lie, painting the cupboards and all the wood work was a monumental task. It took WEEKS and was very slow going. However, if we'd paid someone to do it for us, or bought new cupboard doors, it would have cost so much more. In hindsight, it was worth it, but there was a LOT of whinging (from me) and frustration (from me) about how long it was taking.

Each door and drawer front had to be removed and have the handles removed. Then it was cleaned, sanded and cleaned again. Only then did the painting begin. Each door/drawer front was painted with white primer (both sides - twice), painted with undercoat (both sides**) and painted with Pigeon (both sides - twice). We used brushes for the edges and a soft foam roller for the flat parts. Did we need so many layers - who knows?! We were worried about it looking bad, so we wanted to do the best possible job. **You may wonder why the undercoat is so dark - hangs head in shame - I ordered the wrong one. Moving swiftly on...

 

kitchen doors being painted

One of the biggest issues with painting the doors was that we just didn't have room for them all to dry. I used boxes and cardboard on the floor and anything else I could get my hands on to lay them out but eventually ran out of room. I painted until I ran out of drying space and then went back the next day to carry on. TIP - THINK ABOUT WHERE YOU CAN LET THINGS DRY AND MAKE PLENTY OF ROOM.

 

painted kitchen doors

Being total novice kitchen renovators we didn't think to mark the doors in any way so they could be put back in an orderly fashion. Oh no, we just stacked things willy-nilly around the place and so I had a fun afternoon of trying to work out which door went where (let's just say I wasn't successful the first few times). Picture on the left below is how NOT to hang doors. TIP - MAKE A NOTE OF WHERE EACH DOOR BELONGS.

 

painted kitchen

Obviously, the same attitude was taken with all the screws and fixings. We chucked everything in a plastic bag and by some miracle, we only ended up with a few things missing at the end. TIP - MAKE A NOTE OF WHICH SCREWS AND FIXINGS GO WITH WHICH BITS.

 

kitchen handles

Painting the walls was pretty straightforward and I painted them twice over 2 days. We had very dark beams on the ceiling and so it took a few coats to cover those and paint the ceiling. TIP - BE CAREFUL. CHEAP MASKING TAPE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. IT WILL BETRAY YOU.

FLOORING

After shopping around, we thought that we wouldn't be able to afford a new floor. We spoke to a few outlets on industrial estates and they all assured us that we'd need a screed to level the dodgy tiled floor. Add that to the cost of the floor and then whole thing was too much. Luckily, our lovely carpenter suggested a friend of his that owned his own flooring business. Steve is friendly and efficient and sorted a new floor with minimum fuss and totally within budget. His contact details are at the end of the post. TIP - USE STEVE.

kitchen floor before and after

LIGHTS

We wanted to move the lights slightly to have them hang directly over the breakfast bar. We chose some pendant lights from Next and then some plain bar lights from John Lewis. Both fittings cost less than £200 and our very lovely and clever friend Dave came to fit them for us. Don't worry, he got a nice bottle of rum and some vouchers for his troubles. TIP - KNOW A DAVE.

pendant light from Next

WORKTOPS

Resigned to our budget, we only expected to be able to afford a laminate worktop but after some research we realised that we could order some solid oak from Worktop Express and it wasn't going to cost too much more. We chose a sink and taps from there as well.

The worktops were fitted by local carpenter Gareth Jones, who's done a beautiful job.

kitchen worktop

TONGUE & GROOVE

The tongue and groove was a late decision. As you can see from the pictures we had a wall full of yellow tiles with ahem, interesting fruit designs dotted around the place. We assumed that it would be too expensive to have the tiles removed and replaced so we'd made peace with keeping them - even though we really didn't want to. Luckily, the carpenter came up with a brilliant solution - to glue tongue and groove over the top of them! He made new windowsills too and it really finishes the kitchen off. Without it, I think the kitchen would look unfinished.

kitchen refurb

SINK & TAPS

I really wanted an undermounted sink. I hated the sink we had. It was really hard to clean around the back of the taps and I liked the idea of sweeping mess straight into the sink. We had a quick look around at undermounted sinks and could have spent much more on one but we were just after something pretty plain and simple. In the end we opted for a plain stainless steel one from Worktop Express.  The taps also came from there as well. As you can see from the picture we had two different dodgy taps on the old sink. It's such a pleasure to use the new taps!

The draining grooves were added by the carpenter, Gareth, after the sink had been fitted. Being solid oak, the worktop needed a few coats of oil before we could use it. We're a bit paranoid about damaging the wood, so we've added extra oil around the parts that get wet regularly. It's something that we'll have to do every now and again.

kitchen sink

BITS & BOBS

I'm not a big fan of shopping at all. I don't really enjoy the process of choosing things and agonising over decisions. I'd much rather be reading a book or listening to music than trawling through websites. However, there was one bit of the whole experience that I thoroughly enjoyed and it only took about 15 minutes! We visited Bath a few weeks ago and I love mooching around the shop Anthropolgie. There's so many pretty things in there - that I can't afford. I mostly just go around touching things and imagining being able to buy things. This time, I decided to treat myself! I bought two coasters (£8 each) and a knob (£6)! I absolutely love the coasters. They are my favourite purchase in a long time and go so well with the colours in the kitchen. Next time I'm in Bath, I'm going to buy another two!

kitchen accessories

SUPPLIERS

Laminate floor. Contact Steve from Hickman Flooring - Highly recommended

Solid oak worktop and breakfast bar -Worktop Express

Fitting by Gareth Jones.

Undermount Stainless Steel Sink - £140 - Worktop Express

Mixer Taps - £60 - Worktop Express

Pendant light - £90 - Next

Bar light - £80 - John Lewis

Bi-fold door - £65 - B&Q

Knob for bi-fold door - £6 - Anthropologie

Paint (incl undercoat) for cupboard doors/drawers/woodwork - £153 - Pigeon from Farrow & Ball

Paint for the walls and other woodwork - Almond white from Dulux.

All Handles and knobs - £70 - Amazon

Barstools (bought in the Sale) from Leekes

Coasters -£8 - Antropologie


Why is personal branding so important?

Why do you need a personal branding photo shoot?

In this day and age branding is super important. You'd have to be living in a cave if you weren't aware of the impact of brands. It's not just big businesses that rely on branding to get their message across. It's equally important for small businesses too - it runs through every aspect of a business. How you want to portray your business to your clients, the look and feel of your products and service, your logo, your website and your web presence.

Personal branding extends to include not only your business but yourself as well. If you provide a service then your clients will want to get to know you. They will want to see what you look like, perhaps see images of you at work as well as just a portrait of you.

Running your own business is a very personal undertaking and so it's important to be able to have images that portray you - do you want to be seen as corporate, arty, relaxed, fun, serious, creative? Do you want to include where you work, the tools that you use on a daily basis etc.

If you don't run your own business, it's still important to have a set of images that illustrate your working life. You many need images to feature in a programme, for a conference, on the back of a book, for your LinkedIn profile, CV - even your dating profile!

I really enjoy working with local businesses and business folk in and around Cardiff to get the images that they need. Over the years I've photographed businesswomen, businessmen, writers, actors, graphic designers, builders and even a mermaid. I've included a little selection of images below.

If you need to update your personal branding images - drop me a line to find out more. Visit my headshots & commercial pricing page and headshots & commercial portfolio page.

 

Business headshots
Sheila needed some images for her new consultancy website.

Marged needed headshots for her new website.

Siriol needed some headshots for her radio and acting work.

Scott needed to update his LinkedIn profile.

Rhiannon uses her images on her blog and Instagram account.

Kate uses her images on her Instagram account for her ceramics business - Skratch Ceramics.

Actors headshots

 

Business headshots
Suzy wanted a headshot for her brand new business.
The Home Physio Company
Business headshots
Staff headshots for the new website
Newbridge Software
Headshots
Ina wanted some images for her children.
Business headshots
Mermaid Sandy needed new images for marketing.
Mermaid Adventures
Business headshots
Claire needed new headshots for her dance business.
Business headshots
Sian works in digital marketing.
Business headshots
Neil, working with Channel Four architect George Clarke on a local project.
NKG Construction

Commercial Photography Shoot, South Wales.

I first photographed this wonderful group a couple of years ago. I was asked to go back again in August to do a commercial shoot for them to refresh their images for their new leaflets. With Music in Mind is a singing group for people aged 50 and over to get together, to socialise and have fun! And boy, do they have fun! I absolutely love going to the group and hearing all the singing, it's so uplifting and heartwarming. I'm such a softie, so hearing this lot belt out a ballad is just wonderful. They have groups in Cowbridge and Barry and two new groups starting this Autumn in Llantwit Major and St Athan!

There's a great atmosphere amongst the group, lots of chatting, tea drinking and we even had an impromptu poetry reading at this session too. You can see from the images how much fun they are having and the WMIM team are a lovely bunch as well - very welcoming and caring. If you're interested in joining a session, check out their website for more information.

If you're a local business and you need some images for your marketing material - print, website, social media - then have a look at my commercial photography package and drop me a line for a chat. I offer commercial shoots, as well as personal branding and headshot photography. See more of my headshot work in my headshot portfolio. There's also a post about my commercial work with local businesses over on the blog too.

This session included a full set of digital images and a bespoke designed banner for their website too!

Gem x

Older lady singingWomen laughingTwo people welcoming a couple into a roomMan laughingMan laughingSinging groupWomen chattingWomen singingSmiling womanMan playing keyboardSinging groupSongbookGroup chatting Woman clappingTwo friends laughingWoman singingFriends holding songbooksSongbookWomen drinking teaMan in groupGroup of peopleWoman serving drinkswoman singingwomen singingMan and woman chattingsinging groupsongbooksinging groupwoman singingsongbook


Mermaid Adventures Photo Shoot

Mermaid Adventures Photo Shoot

I'd never met a Mermaid before, so when Mermaid Sandy got in touch to ask if I'd be interested in a commercial shoot for her business Mermaid Adventures I was very excited! We love all things Mer in our house and I could quite happily spend every second of the day on the beach or in the water so it was a perfect fit. Mermaid Adventures is a local business that offers Mermaid experiences to all. You can book in for a Mermaid swimming lesson or have a Mermaid birthday party!

We had a group of fabulous kids who volunteered to help out on the shoot. They soon learnt, being a model isn't as glamourous as you'd think! They spent a long time at the shoot, with plenty of waiting around, but they all got to have a mermaid swimming lesson and photoshoot, so it wasn't too bad.

Above water, there was plenty of splashing and wearing some awesome hair accessories. Below the surface there was diving for shells, swimming through hoops and of course lots of posing.

As this was a commercial photo shoot for Mermaid Adventures, it was really important for me to focus on getting images that they could use on their new website and social media platforms over the next year or so. I focused on getting some action shots and showing how much fun the kids were having. They do so much in one lesson, I don't know how they fit it all in! Wall to wall fun with a touch of magic.

If you have  a local business and are interested in my commercial shoot packages, then find out more on my pricing page or get in touch for  a quote.

There were over 200 images from this shoot, so I can't feature them all, but here's a few of my favourites. Starting with the lovely Mermaid Sandy...

Swim teacher headshotGirls on poolside in mermaid tails

girl underwater in mermaid tail

girl in mermaid tailwoman in mermaid tail

girl underwater in mermaid tail swimming through hoop

girl putting on a mermaid tailgirl in mermaid tailgirl in mermaid tailMermaid swimming lessongirl in mermaid tail

girl underwater in mermaid tail

mermaid swimming instructor

girl underwater in mermaid tail

mermaid swimming lessongirl in mermaid tail

boy underwater in mermaid tailwoman in mermaid tail

girl underwater in mermaid tail

mermaid swimming lessongirl in mermaid tail

girl underwater in mermaid tail

boy underwater in mermaid tail

girl in mermaid tailmermaid tailsmermaid swimming lesson putting on tail

girl underwater in mermaid tail

mermaid swimming instructor

girl underwater in mermaid tail

girl in mermaid tailmermaid birthday experience

girl underwater in mermaid tail

boy underwater in mermaid tail

girl underwater in mermaid tail

girl in mermaid tail

girl underwater in mermaid tail

girl in mermaid tail

girl underwater in mermaid tail

girl in mermaid tail

girl underwater in mermaid tail

mermaid tails

girl underwater in mermaid tail

girl in mermaid tail

girl underwater in mermaid tail

girl underwater in mermaid tail

mermaids

girl underwater in mermaid tail

girl underwater in mermaid tail

boy and girl at mermaid swimming lesson

girl underwater in mermaid tail

girl underwater in mermaid tail

girl underwater in mermaid tail