Professional Photography Bristol - Lifestyle photography, commercial and promotional photography.
Creating impressive photographic imagery takes many years of understanding what the camera sees and it’s often the littlest things that make the biggest difference. Composition and space, the nuances of colour, light and shade. It’s this experience that allows us to bring something very special to our photography.
Creative photographic solutions
With our professional kit, we’ll provide you with great photos of your business and products. We'll also give some creative thought to it. Some of our most remarkable photos have come from some unique ideas.
Product photography for websites is another specialised service that we provide in-house, offering affordable product photography of all sizes.
Photographic retouching using Photoshop
We have dedicated Photoshop editors that can work on retouching your photos, this service may include colour correction such as improving skin tone, removing elements from your photos, masking parts of the image and swapping out backgrounds.
Photographic editing takes the RAW files from a camera and and follows a procedure of cropping, adjusting image levels such as exposure, brightness, contrast, image sharpness and much more, before finally converting the image into a more user friendly format such as Jpeg, PNG or Tiff.
International photography service
For UK based clients that need a photographer to travel with them or set up photography whilst on the move or based in another country. We can provide an individual photographer or small team to travel to any location to set up a photo shoots that are difficult to organise in the chosen country.
Website optimised photography
We are experienced in optimising images to use with websites and all the social media platforms. This type of photo optimisation would not only change the size and aspect ratios of the original photographs, but would remove unwanted meta data that is included in the image itself. We would also create a complete range of sizes and ratios that conform to requirements for the various social media platforms.
Photography Bristol FAQ
We will always recommend original, professional-quality photography for any client and for any photographic purpose. However, we understand totally that budgets can vary widely, depending on the business size, how may photos are needed and what they will be used for.
Original, professional-quality photos will enable the subject matter to be reproduced at any size, without any loss in quality. They are also your’s, which means that no competitor will be able to use them. Google also ranks original photography much higher than library photos.
A good but sometimes more-expensive alternative to original, professional-quality photography is a photo-library that sells you the license to use a chosen photo. Licenses can be costly if you require global usage but usually UK, single-industry coverage will suffice. There is no doubting that these libraries carry the most, best-quality library photos and will save you a lot of time. However, costs can mount up.
The next alternative is a paid-for, royalty-free photo library. As it says on the tin, they don’t have expensive royalties attached to them. These libraries contain photos for just about any subject matter and are usually priced according to the reproduction size required. Although paid-for, royalty-free library photos appear to be high-quality there are a few disadvantages. Firstly, anyone can obtain exactly the same photos. Secondly, Google reads online photos and whether they are duplicated elsewhere, which will affect page ranking. Thirdly, library searches can be very time-consuming when you have something specific in mind and you rarely get exactly what you’re looking for.
There also photo libraries online that are royalty-free and ‘free’. Don’t expect too many choices with this option and the photos you’ll find will probably pop up everywhere. They also have all the SEO disadvantages of paid-for royalty-free.
Lastly, you can take photos yourself. Today’s mobile phones, such as the Apple iPhone12 Pro, has three remarkable quality lenses for just about any format or lighting option you can imagine. Alternatively, a good-quality digital SLR camera, set to “auto” can also create some amazing shots. However, quality with this option is very dependant on the person taking the photos.
For budgets of £800 and over, requiring approximately 6 to 10 photos – we recommend the professional-quality route.
For budgets between £250 and £800, requiring approximately 6 to 10 photos, your best option is licensed library photos or paid-for royalty-free.
For budgets between £50 and £250, requiring approximately 6 to 10 photos, your best option is paid-for royalty-free.
If you don’t wish to spend £50 or over, then try searching the royalty-free and ‘free’ libraries or have a go yourself with a good-quality mobile phone or digital camera.
Photography for E-commerce websites can often mean dozens or even hundreds of product photos and is a service that Red Thread Creative specialises in.
Any business would want their products to appear online in the best light possible but very often, where so many products are involved, hiring a professional photographer would normally prove extremely expensive and time-consuming. Businesses therefore, often resort to taking their own photos with little or no photographic knowledge, resulting in very mediocre or poor-quality images.
At Red Thread Creative we have the solution. Depending on the number and size of the products involved, we set up a ‘template’ photo booth with consistent but high-quality lighting. We also use the highest-quality cameras and photographic kit. Once its all set up, it becomes a conveyor belt of simply replacing products in the booth and photographing them. Yes, some won’t conform and we’ll have to make adjustments but we can usually rattle through dozens of product photos in a single day, making this method highly cost-effective.
The main difference is that with professional photography you have the ability to brief the photographer to achieve the exact images you require, which, depending on the photographer, can be limitless. With photo-libraries, the imagery is still professional quality but you can only choose what is available.
However, there can sometimes be advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. If you have booked a professional photographer for a location shoot for example, lighting during the day will vary. So, most pros try to get their best photos condensed into a short timeframe when the daylight is at it’s best or most consistent, which creates its own pressures. Photo shoots also mean dealing with unforeseen events such as models becoming sick or forgetting that location permits needed to be booked, which can all be stressful. There is basically a lot more to deal with but a professional photographer will hopefully have the experience to pull the rabbit out of the hat when needed.
With library photos you can obtain all the imagery you need from the comfort of your armchair. You just have to accept that it won’t be original, will probably take a long time to find (some library keyword searches throw up thousands of options) and won’t have the exact content or composition you want. Library photos are also not ideal if you’re seeking great website SEO.
A single day photoshoot with an experienced professional photographer and professional kit will cost around £800 plus expenses. Depending on the client brief, subject matter and whether the photoshoot is studio or location-based, you can expect to receive anywhere between 10 and 20 high-quality photos, plus out-takes.
Other cost-elements you need to consider are whether props or models are needed. The photographer may also recommend having an assistant or two if the subject matter is difficult to light, which will push up costs.
Photo editing is the process that needs to take place in order to convert the photographer’s original RAW files. RAW files aren’t image files, simply the digital data captured by the camera. These files need to be compressed into more manageable, traditional image files, such as Jpeg or Tiff.
RAW editing software allows a photographer to adjust the digital photographic file for colour balance, exposure, brightness, contrast etc. without affecting the original quality of the image.
Normally, a professional photographer would include this process in their fee. So, it is important when selecting a photographer that you ensure they have included this in their agreement.
If you are provided with RAW files only, you will need to seek the help of a digital file conversion company that has access to RAW photo editing software. If individual file adjustments are required, expect to pay an hourly rate of anywhere between £50 and £100 per hour.
This is very different to photo editing in that ‘retouching’ is physically manipulating individual images. This would require photo retouching software such as Adobe Photoshop to remove defects or blemishes. It can also be used to enhance photos by improving colour balance, contrast, skin tones etc. Another element to photo-retouching, which can be very time consuming, is the art of changing the composition by removing or manipulating parts of the image, making cut-outs or perhaps changing the background.
This is very dependent on whether the required ‘retouch’ is minimal or extensive. The digital artist performing the work will probably have an hourly rate which can vary widely. At Red Thread Creative, a ball park figure for a minimal retouch would be £30 per image. For an extensive retouch, we would need to make an assessment and provide a quote but figures between £250 and £350 per image are not uncommon.
Photographic or image optimisation usually relates to website Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), whereby file sizes are reduced as much as possible, without sacrificing quality, so that the page where they appear loads faster on screen.
At Red Thread Creative, we work closely with Google to determine the optimum page loading speeds of every website we develop. This also contributes to improved User Experience, which Google also uses to rank website position for searches.
Although rarely used today, photographic optimisation can also mean optimising an image for a reproduction platform such as a specific print machine or printing process. In pre-desktop days, photographic images needed to be calibrated to allow for dot gain. This is where the image was broken down into screen or dot values for the four primary print colours, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. The screens were then converted to printing plates which required pressure to offset the colour to the printed sheet. In high-end printing, an allowance, or optimisation, was sometimes required for an individual print primary. Magenta was a common colour that print machines tended to exaggerate and needed adjusting accordingly.
With very detailed planning! Red Thread Creative has conducted many, many photoshoots and we can safely state that the best results come from photoshoots that are pre-planned down to the minutest detail.
You need to bear in mind, that a photographer, models, props etc are all pre-booked, usually on set fees. They will wait around for as long as it takes to be told what the client is expecting if a shot list has not been constructed and discussed.
Then there are the unforeseen challenges that always tend to occur when you are least expecting them. A model doesn’t show up or is wearing the wrong clothing. A prop decides to break. The weather suddenly turns nasty or as is sometimes the case, becomes excessively hot, causing models to perspire. Sods law – things can go wrong and you need to be prepared for that.
At Red Thread Creative we have experienced project managers that can rise to any challenge. Providing back-ups is part of their nature and just being able to plan for any incident means the anticipated outcomes are always achieved.
Yes. A lot goes into a successful photoshoot which can also include pre-payment of location authorisations, models and kit hire. A 50% deposit is not uncommon.
The best way to brief any professional photographer is to write a shot list. Be prepared to provide examples of any photographic effects you may find hard to describe. Communicate your expectations in a written brief and be specific so that there are no assumptions or confusion as to what you want to achieve.
We are not lawyers, so we cannot provide factual statements relating to matters of law. However, in most cases, creative copyright remains with the originator. If commissioned, the creator, the photographer, would normally grant a license, or permission, for the client to reproduce their work within certain constraints – i.e. a set period of time (which can also mean ad infinitum) or for some specific reproduction purpose only. Models will also retain rights over the usage of a photograph they are portrayed in, meaning a ‘model release’ is required. For professional models this is simple and straightforward. Relicensing photographic copyright with fees is a common practice for photographers and models when time limits have been exceeded.
Many professional photographers however, are happy to waive their rights over reproduction permission. Always ensure that there is a written document stating what permission is being granted and what has been paid for this privilege.
A photographer will normally require a few days within their schedule to cull any unwanted photos and edit the ones they have selected. This should not however, drag into weeks.
At Red Thread Creative, we understand how excited our clients are to see the final results of a photoshoot and a two or three day turnaround is what we normally work to.
Most professional photographers have access to an indoor studio where they can have maximum control over all the parameters that affect a photographic image. This means that lighting, composition, colour balance, focus etc can all be finely adjusted to obtain the best result.
The studio is where the ‘art’ of photography is truly performed, where the photographer can bring all their experience and know-how to bear. The added benefit for the client is that a photographer is able to make initial ‘test’ shots and demonstrate various options before committing to a specific lighting or composition.
That depends totally on the model, their experience and whether they are tied to an agency or not. Typically, model agencies charge clients between 15 and 20% of the model fees. The agency can also demand a percentage of the fees from the model themselves, making this a very expensive route. Model fees are normally for half-day around £250 or for a full-day around £400 plus expenses.
If possible, booking models direct is much more cost-effective but will still include add-ons like travelling expenses and sustenance. You may also find that this route is more negotiable, with models able to work within your budget.