I got a call from Nicola at 1 Vision PR asking me if I could meet up on a Monday morning at 11am at the Culloden Hotel in Holywood to photograph the launch of a new business called ‘Bespoke Belfast’. Bespoke Belfast are a personalised travel company, from their website:
“You tell us what you would like to do … we do the rest!
Your short break will be passionately styled and perfectly planned. We easily cater for large groups as well as smaller parties.
All trips include the unique Bespoke Belfast special champagne and cupcake welcome reception where you will meet your personal travel co-ordinator and receive your luxury goody bag!”
I turned up at the Culloden just before 11 and met Nicola and Melita Williams, the owner of Bespoke Belfast. The plan was to get some photos of Melita with Bespoke Belfast branded goody bags, balloos and cupcakes. The shot below of Melita is probably my favourite from the morning, Melita was very pleased with it too. I used a couple of Bowens studio heads along with a little ambient light from a large window to create this photo, if I remember correctly it was with the 105mm lens.
The Culloden was a great location for the photos. I haven’t been in there in years, but the rich colours, big fireplaces and paintings were a great backdrop. I took a few different photos inside with Melita and several other VIP’s. Nicola had a few ideas for photo locations which helped as we were able to move from one part of the hotel to another fairly quickly to get another couple of shots.
One of the important shots we needed to get was of the various Bespoke Belfast goodies such as the James Nicholson champagne, Co.Couture chocolate, Bog Standard soap and Bog Standard candles. We ended up rearranging one of the reading rooms in the Culloden, moving the sofa and chairs away, moving lamps and pulling a dark wooden table into place. We didn’t have long to get this photo so everyone helped to set up the various products, I got the lights into place and got into position to get the photo. We wanted to get the rich surroundings of the hotel in the shot but at the same time the photo was about the products the customer would receive as a gift so I made sure that while the background was there it was fairly blurred. After everyone was happy with the photo (below) it was time to put everything back in place and head outside.
The final shots we needed to get were taken outside, as we wanted to get a shot of the Culloden in the background. However as usual the weather wasn’t playing along and it was dull and completely overcast outside. We got a photo anyway with the Culloden in the background but there wasn’t much I could do about the totally white cloud filling the sky. From a photographers point of view, a little sun is usually nice, blue sky looks much nicer in a photo rather than a big white patch of nothing! The only good thing about it being overcast was that the light was nice and soft and I was able to get the shot below looking down a set of steps with Belfast Lough in the background and some nice colourful trees.