Crafting a Captivating Lifestyle Branding Shoot with Celeste at Every Step of the Way

February 13, 2024  •  1 Comment

In the dynamic world of real estate, establishing a strong brand identity is crucial for standing out in the market.  One effective way to achieve this is through a carefully curated lifestyle branding shoot. Following was the steps I used for creating a compelling visual photoshoot with Celeste and Jess at Every Step of the Way Real Estate.  

Planning the Shoot:

1. Understanding Your Brand: The journey begins with a comprehensive meeting where we explore your business style, personality, and colour palette.  This foundation step ensures that every image aligns seamlessly with your brand identity.

2. Location Scouting: Considering the nature of your business, we'll explore various locations, including office spaces and different settings that reflect the essence of your business.  This diversity will provide a rich tapestry of visuals for your marketing materials.

3. Props and Wardrobe: We'll discuss and plan the incorporation of props and wardrobe choices that resonate with your brand. Whether it's showcasing your expertise in an office environment or capturing the dynamic aspects of outdoor real estate, every detail will be thoughtfully considered.

4. Lighting Setup: Bringing my own lighting setup ensures that we have control over the ambiance, highlighting your spaces and portraying them in the best light. Additionally, utilizing natural light will infuse authenticity into the images, creating a genuine connection with your audience.

Shooting Day:

1. Posing and Composition: Drawing from our pre-planning discussions, I'll guide you through various poses to capture the desired look. This includes a mix of headshots for professional profiles and lifestyle images that convey the dynamic nature of your real estate business.

2. Close-Up Content Creation: Close-up shots add a personal touch to your brand. We'll focus on creating detailed, visually appealing content that showcases the finer aspects of your business, such as attention to detail and client satisfaction.

3. Branding Paperwork: During the shoot, we'll ensure that any branding paperwork or materials are strategically incorporated, reinforcing your brand messaging in a subtle yet impactful way.


1. Retouching and Editing: After the shoot, meticulous retouching and editing will be carried out to enhance the visual appeal of each image. This step ensures a polished and professional final product.

2. A Library of Images: The end result? A comprehensive library of images tailored to your brand. These assets can be seamlessly integrated into your website, social media platforms, and marketing materials, presenting a cohesive and engaging narrative to your audience.

In collaboration with Celeste at, this lifestyle branding shoot is designed not just as a visual investment but as a strategic tool to elevate your brand presence in the competitive real estate landscape.

Thank you to Celeste for her testimonial from this shoot:

"I had an amazing experience working with Amanda Duncan on our company branding shoot! She made us feel at ease, listened to our vision, and her attention to detail was outstanding. The end result exceeded our expectations. Amanda is now our go-to for all corporate needs. A real gem in her field – photographers like her are hard to find!"

If you need a new vision for your website from the initial planning discussions to the final delivery of a comprehensive library of images then get in touch and we can collaborate to produce a lifestyle branding photoshoot for you.  


Places to Take Pictures Near Me Photography Inspiration

February 06, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

It you're an avid photographer like me or just someone with an interest in capturing the beauty around you, exploring local gems is a must and something I do to re inspire me which helps me with my photography business.

Hengistbury Head Beach is a must.......

It lies at the most eastern end of an 9.5 mile continuous strip of golden beached that runs from SouthBanks via Bournemouth and Boscombe.  During my recent visit armed with my new Sony mirrorless digital camera I was compelled to capture the essence of this picturesque location.  Also a surfers paradise. 

On a DSLR camera and never putting it on auto, I can manipulate the camera aperture and exposure with the interplay of light and shadow to control depth of field and produce the images that I was looking for.  Along with the rule of thirds I can create the stunning visuals that I wanted.  It doesn't have to be a beautiful day these photograph were taken at sunrise in January.

This experience serves as a reminder that relying on automatic settings can limit your creativity.  Taking time to understand your cameras settings open up a world of possibilities.  I encourage fellow photograph enthusiasts to experiment with their controls.  Hengistbury Head provided the perfect back drop for this creative exploration of my local surroundings, can you do the same too?

If you have any questions about enhancing your photography skills then feel free to get in touch.  Happy shooting!



Why high quality product photography is more important now than ever.

May 15, 2020  •  2 Comments

Why high quality product photography is more important now than ever.


If you are a retailer the past few weeks and months since lockdown will have been an incredibly challenging time, the likes of which have never been seen before.


This is particularly the case if you sell ‘non-essential’ products and your physical stores have had to close. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you may already have had an online presence, a web store. But if you didn’t, you may have had to very quickly pivot towards an online offering in order to keep the cash flowing, stay competitive in your market and keep in the minds of your customers. And this may have meant building an e-commerce website at short notice and with little experience in this space.


Or, perhaps you’re already a successful online retailer, and have found yourself in times of exceptional demand in lockdown. Certain sectors, such as food, garden plants and online gifts have naturally enjoyed a major upturn during this time. The challenge you may face though, is other businesses pivoting into your space and investing in new e-commerce sites.


The other factor is the amount of time people are now spending online. This is a natural and expected trend – we can’t go out, and we’re all desperate for communication and news. Where will we turn to? Websites and social media of course! So if that’s where your products are – a big boost in visibility is a likely result.


But whether an established and successful online retailer or a reluctant and new debutant to online sales, one thing is true.


Your product photography must be high quality and fit for purpose. Here’s why.


  • These are tough economic times for many people. Many are furloughed, struggling with their businesses, facing reduced incomes. Therefore, buyers will be discerning about how and where to spend their money and will take some convincing.
  • The days of easy returns are over. Popping to the post office – if you’re lucky enough to have one open - is not going to be relished as a trip out and in fact may be avoided if people are isolating. This means people will want to be certain of their choice before clicking ‘buy’.
  • It’s likely your cash flow, supply chain and production are under pressure due to the changing demands the coronavirus crisis has presented – whether increased or reduced demand. The last thing your business needs is further uncertainty in your sales and cash flow due to increased returns.
  • If you’re new to selling online, your product photography styling and quality will represent your brand. It’s crucial to get your image right so you build loyalty and a positive impression with customers and keep them long term.
  • If you’re tempted to use stock photography on your website, don’t. There is a big risk other companies will have used it too. Strong brands need authenticity and individuality. The way your products are presented on your website needs to be authentically you.
  • Good product photography is an opportunity. To enhance your products and show them off in the detail and gloriousness that will do them justice. This is particularly important if you’re in the high-end luxury space, but this principle should apply across the board if you want your customers to be tempted into ordering your products (which you do).


So that’s covered the why, the next question is, how?


You might be thinking, it’s simple. I have a phone. It has a great camera. Or, we’ve had product photography done, what we have is good enough.


But will this cut it, in today’s challenging commercial environment?


Commercial photography – done well, takes a lot more than a good camera. It takes;


  • A professional studio – as a commercial photographer the great news is I have a home studio, which means I can continue to provide high quality product photography services safely from my home. I’ll simply pick up the products, or have them delivered, and shoot them in my studio.
  • An excellent understanding and expert ability to use the right lighting. Lighting is everything in product photography to convey details, textures, quality of items. Without well-lit products, customers could simply get frustrated and move on.
  • Artistic input. An experienced commercial photographer knows the style of photography that will work for your brand and audience and ensure is this consistent, creative and high impact.
  • Professional editing techniques – to create the perfect finish and final presentation of the photography of your products. I provide editing and production services if you are shooting your own photography to ensure it looks fantastic and does your products justice.


Don’t leave your potential customers underwhelmed, misled or forced to look elsewhere for the images they need.


The current circumstances make product photography all the more important, and I can help.


Get in touch to find out how I can carry out your product photography or editing safely from my home studio.

Here's some examples of my portfolio :










They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

December 05, 2019  •  3 Comments

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So why isn’t a photographer part of your creative project?


If you’re a marketer, a creative, a web designer or a business launching a creative project, do you have a photographer as part of the team?


If not, you could be missing out on authenticity, originality, quality and another creative mind to add to the mix.


Make photography part of the story



‘’According to eye-tracking research, people spend 10% more time looking at visuals on a website than reading text’’. (Source: Nielson Norman Research Group).


Branding is all about story telling; so the experts tell us. Branding is not a logo or a layout, it’s a business’s purpose, vision and values which make up its story and enables it to connect with an audience. It’s about telling customers how if they buy the services and products on offer, it will change their lives.


One way of getting across this story is through the words, the content. But the other crucial element is the imagery. Ideally, the two work together, to tell the story as powerfully, creatively, uniquely and effectively as possible.


Too often though, photography is an afterthought. Or because it’s left until the end, it’s even left out all together in favour of a using an image library.


Stock shots have their purpose, but they will not be unique to one business, one brand.


They will be selected to fit a brand, not form a brand.


Bespoke photography on the other hand, if introduced at the beginning, can be key to a business brand, and how it connects with customers. It can be moody, emotive and thought-provoking, evocative, bold or controversial, humorous and entertaining, quirky, edgy and uber-cool. It can be whatever it needs to be, but only if it’s part of the story from the beginning.


A suite of bespoke photography also has multiple uses so is well worth the investment. It can be used across websites, advertising campaigns and contribute to a successful social media or content marketing strategy.


Successful marketing needs the right image


‘’Some types of pictures are completely ignored. This is typically the case for big feel-good images that are purely decorative. Other types of pictures are treated as important content and scrutinized. Photos of products and real people (as opposed to stock photos of models) often fall into this category’’. (Source: Nielson Norman Research Group).


Most web design involves imagery, but this can be a real sticking point. In the absence of creative input, often there’s a reliance on standard stock images – houses for construction companies, cheesy images of headphone-adorned customer services personnel for call centres, for example. This shows little imagination, lacks any conceptual thinking and certainly has no originality or authenticity – particularly as you run the risk of a competitor having picked the same stock shot.


If you’re a copywriter, web designer, marketing strategist or graphic designer, you’ll know how bouncing ideas off other similarly minded creatives can lead to a light bulb moment. Including a photographer in this process can provide a additional angle, introducing innovative and creative ways imagery can be used to convey the brand message or underpin a creative concept.


It could be in the stylising, editing and production – for example using black and white, saturating colours, combining real photography with graphic design, whether to opt for a natural look or a staged, creative photographic style. Or it could be discussing how to approach team or individual portraiture in a company ‘about’ page to set them apart from other businesses and reflect their individual brand personality.



For a professional finish, include all the right professionals

‘’32% of marketers say visual images are the most important form of content for their business’’. (Source: 2018 social media marketing industry report).


In any project which incorporates a range of disciplines, the aspect which is poor quality will stand out like a sore thumb. You wouldn’t refit a kitchen with all the top range appliances, expert carpentry, granite worktops but then opt for broken, old fashioned tiles! All the elements of any project need to be planned in from the outset and consistent in their quality, approach and professionalism.


When it comes to marketing, whether through a creative concept or in presenting images of your product or service, the first impression can win or lose a customer. It doesn’t matter how good the words are if the images of your products are poor quality, thanks to being shot on a phone with poor lighting and background distractions. It won’t matter how slick a website design is if the imagery is bland, generic and unoriginal. And the impact of your funky, creative graphic design will be lost, if accompanying photography is at odds with the business brand values by being old fashioned and uninspiring.



So how do you find a photographer you’ll click with?


Whether you’re a small agency, or a freelance creative professional, it can be hard to find a photographer you can trust and enjoy working with.


Local networking can be a great way to reach other professionals, form relationships and create an informal team who can come together on projects. Most areas have a variety of networking groups, and it’s a case of finding one that suits you. If you don’t have time for networking, asking other marketing or creative professionals for referrals, or making connections on LinkedIn can also work well.


By having a local network, you’ll have a team ready to go with the relevant talent and disciplines involved from the outset of the project. This will ensure the project plan incorporates the right solutions and can be delivered on time.


Click with me!


If you’d like an experienced, creative and professional commercial photographer as part of your team, I’d love to hear from you. I’m camera-ready to step in and create something magical, authentic, unique and high impact to help businesses project the right image and start attracting the customers they need.



Thinking of getting a new headshot? Check this handy guide before you go a – head!

September 02, 2019  •  1 Comment

Thinking of getting a new headshot?  Check this handy guide before you go a-head!


Headshots are becoming an all-important aspect of personal and business marketing. With online networking driving so much business via platforms like LinkedIn, and websites the shop window for most businesses, portrait photographs are key to building connections and reinforcing brands.


With high quality, skilled, professional photography, a headshot can be a great opportunity to achieve a desired perception of you or members of your team.


But are you aware of just how many options there are for headshot styles?


From the background, the setting, the lighting, the make up and dress, the styling, editing and production, creative twists and use of props, the choice is almost endless.


Your portrait photograph is part of your marketing


The first important thing to remember is that professional headshots are part of your marketing. And like any marketing, you need to think about the purpose. Is the headshot for use on LinkedIn only? Is it for team pages on a website? Is it to be used on social media or an email campaign?


And next, you need to think about how you want to be perceived – what brand identity you want to build, what values and attributes you hope to get across.


Do you want to be seen as reliable, approachable, warm and friendly? Creative and innovative? Corporate? Quirky or edgy? Is it beneficial to reveal what you do professionally, or to convey an interest in your headshot through the use of a prop? Do you wish to carry through a brand identity whether colour, style or setting?


Capturing your best angle


As a professional photographer, it is my objective for people to be proud and happy with their profile shots. There’s no point in expecting a shy person to perform a wacky pose if they are deeply uncomfortable with it. Equally, it’s a wasted opportunity for a professional with a strong personal brand or confident, quirky personality for this not to come across. Part of the initial brief will be understanding your objectives, preferences and brand and then using my skills and experience to propose the best background and styling for your shot, so that you come across as ‘you’ and look the best you can be.


So, which of these styles most click with you?


Style through simplicity


A white background is simple and classy, enabling images to come across in a presentable way, without any distractions. It will work well in all formats and presentations, making it a highly versatile option. It may be suitable if the headshot/s are to be used in a highly designed or colourful website, or where many headshots are required for a team, enabling consistency and a clean look to the company page.


Variety through colour


A coloured background can add interest and embed a corporate colour and brand identity in a subtle and visually appealing way. It is a way to add a bit of creativity but without the complication of external shots or props. Depending on the colour, an experienced photographer will use the correct lighting and advise on clothing for the subject to stand out and look their best.

Bold can be beautiful


Bold black backgrounds are strong, artistic and a bit different from the norm. They can look visually stunning, when created with the right lighting. Again, a skilled photographer will advise on styling and even make up, to ensure the most beautiful shot.


The perfect setting


Depending on the objectives of your photoshoot, an office-based or lifestyle headshot could be appropriate. It’s a great way to achieve a completely bespoke look and feel, to set it in your office or convey a lifestyle aspect which reflects you. Team shots in offices can be creative and help build the brand. They can include marketing items such as business stands or posters, fun or quirky props like the office pet, be based in different locations around the office, or in situ at desks or in meeting rooms, as appropriate. Lifestyle shots can pick up on elements of your interests and personality which are special to you and promote your personal brand.

Classic and classy


Always classic and always flattering, black and white headshots will never go out of fashion. While black and white photography can be a way to minimise elements of your looks you’re not happy with, it stands strong as an artistic, eye-catching and visually beautiful style. While often the preferred choice of professionals in creative and artistic industries, black and white really does have universal appeal.

A breath of fresh air


For something different, you might consider an environmental/outside headshot. Enabling natural light, this can be highly flattering but also more exciting and unusual than the classic studio background. Whether in a beautiful green setting like countryside, a City setting or in your own personal, special space like a garden or balcony, this natural look can promote your individuality and personal brand very effectively.

Bring out the real you


A highly effective and bold, innovative way to promote who you are and what you do is to opt for a personality with prop headshot. For those with a bit of character and bravery, carrying this off well can enable your headshot to become the centrepiece of your brand identity, campaign or website. It offers great creative scope, as it can incorporate emotion or humour and convey a genuine love and passion for what you do.


Whether you’re a florist with a flower, a hairdresser with a blowdryer, a chef with her food or a pest controller with a mousetrap, this style of headshot offers the most awesome and high impact opportunity to raise your business profile.


With so much choice – what style of headshot is truly you? If you’d like to chat through the options, I’m here to help.




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