I am A Registered Member of the Guild of Photographers so am part of a highly respected photographic body committed to a code of conduct and high standards.
“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I am going to take tomorrow.” – Imogen Cunningham
David A Hicks
I love to take photographs and look forward to my next assignment or photo shoot as though it was my first. I'm never happier than when I have a camera and the opportunity to put it to the test.
That's why I love the famous quote above from the American photographer Imogen Cunningham who died in the same year I was born. It's also why I insist on using the very best equipment as I want to push it to it's limits and put 100% into every single shot I take.
I am an interior design, estate agency and architectural photographer who supplies high quality interior and exterior images for estate agent clients, architects and businesses throughout the North West, North Wales and Cumbria, although I will work anywhere in the UK depending upon fees.
All photographs are taken using the very best and latest Nikon equipment. Interiors are lit with a combination of the natural light from windows and balanced with carefully placed off camera flashes for the darker areas that are all fired using remote triggers. If required the image will consist of various exposures and flash images and these can be blended together in post processing to produce a final well balanced and perfectly exposed image. There is often just as much work involved in the post processing as there is on the site during the shoot.
One of the most difficult skills to master when taking interior shots of businesses, hotel rooms or properties for sale is the balance between the ambient light through the window and the lighting conditions inside the room.
Most amateurs and estate agents will have blown highlights at the windows as the interior is obviously the most important element of the image to light correctly, and it is almost impossible to capture both in a single shot within the camera. Even the very best camera currently available does not have the dynamic range to correctly expose for the interior and exterior, in the way our human eye can see.
If you try and take a photograph so that you can see the view through a bright window, the interior will be too dark, capture the interior correctly and the outside view will be too bright. There are a few techniques for getting this right balance and producing a great photograph without blown highlighted areas.
One of these is to take between 2 and 5 different exposures and blend them using Lightroom and Photoshop. This however is time consuming and does not give the most natural look. The technique is called HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography and can cause issues such as ghosting, lens flares, halo's and noise. When done right it can look great and I find it is much more useful when used for the external shots, especially when forced to take a property or garden images when looking directly towards the sun.
The best way to light a room and give the balanced exposure between interior and exterior is with a good flashgun. This is always best when diffused and bounced off and wall or ceiling so that it does not create any harsh shadows in the room. It's all about finding the right shutter speed to capture the view through the window and then matching that with the correct ISO and aperture for the flash to correctly expose for the interior whilst giving a sharp image with good depth of field.
The images on the left show the difference between a typical estate agents image with the blown highlights and a perfectly balanced example......which would you choose if you wanted your property to look it's best and attract buyers?
It's all very well capturing a room from the corner to show potential buyers and customers the full view, but there are also many properties and especially businesses and hotel rooms that have great features that also need showcasing and this requires more skills and an eye for detail. It may be feature fire, coving, a spectacular staircase or expensively fitted furniture or kitchen units and appliances. Most sellers have gone to a lot of effort to make their homes look great and at great expense, so why not highlight these to potential buyers.
This type of photography requires different equipment and is normally best shot with a longer focal length and much larger aperture to create a more artistic image with a smaller depth of field.
Public liability insurance is essential for any photographer so that cover is provided in the case of an accident. You should never employ a photographer, or any other professional for that matter who does not have adequate insurance cover.
I guarantee my clients will be satisfied with the quality of my work and the excellent results that they expect, or they don't pay my fees. This is how confident I am that anybody who chooses me to take their commercial, architectural or lifestyle photographs will love the results otherwise they don't have to pay for them. I prepare a preview of my work with smaller lower resolution image files, and once agreed that they are just what we agreed and my client wanted, we can arrange payment and delivery of the final high resolution, great quality images in the method chosen. This could be a USB stick, File sharing site such as WeTransfer (which I highly recommend) or a Disc if preferred.
So there is nothing to loose by contacting me and we can discuss exactly what your photography requirements are. I work with my clients and their brief to deliver great results. I work very hard on each individual assignment treating each one with a fresh approachwhilst all the time drawing on experience from previous work to achieve the desired outcome.
A typical full day photo shoot would start with an initial meeting, either over the telephone or email to discuss the requirements, or we can arrange to meet at the shoot location to discuss on site. The day itself would then begin at whatever time is required, even before dawn if there are images required for sunrise etc. I then work very hard for the full day, causing minimum disruption especially if it's a busy working environment. Although many areas and rooms of the business may have to be staged to ensure they look their very best and so that I have the time to prepare the stage and setup including lighting. Other areas including any public areas can be shot as they are often including during busy periods including shots with customers and staff to give a true realistic representation of exactly what we are advertising. I would work through to any time necessary to complete the job. There could then be anywhere from three hours to three days spent working on the photographs in post processing. Working on various techniques including correcting white balance for accurate colour casts, varying exposures and possibly blending multiple images into HDR or panoramas as required, correcting converging verticals, cropping, removing unwanted items from shots, masking, cloning, increasing or decreasing saturation and vibrance, sharpening.....the list goes on and on in Adobe Lightroom, and Photoshop and other software applications. I then export the images to jpg files and load them onto my website so that they can be reviewed in the clients comfort and own time. When I am then informed that they are happy with them (and so far this has always been the case) I will send the best quality images to them.
So by working in this way, I am taking a risk that I may not earn anything from possibly many days hard work, but because I have great self belief and confidence in my photography I am happy to offer this backup to my clients for complete peace of mind.
If you are unsure as to how long I may take and don't know if you would be looking at a half day or full day, or somewhere in between or even more, contact me and we can discuss it. I'm also very fair and not rigid and strict as other professions or tradesmen often are. We've probably all had plumbers and electricians doing work for us by the hour and somehow always seem to work 5 minutes over the hour mark and charging a higher rate. I'm not like that and consider client satisfaction and therefore repeat work and good recommendations are far more important than a few extra pounds on the initial job.
I will always offer discounts and offers for clients likely to have further work or multiple assignments.
21 Westway, Maghull L31 2PQ - 0151 527 2700 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.iancrane.com
11 Hoghton Street, Southport, PR9 0NS - 01704 532728 - email@example.com - www.ahgroup.net
Wiggett Homes carries out private housing developments.
The number of developments and the complexity of the sites varies according to market conditions. Wiggett Homes typically works on housing developments between 10 and 100 plots.
Wiggett Homes has also been very active in Mill refurbishment/conversion projects and this has become a significant part of our turnover with schemes at Alexandra Mill, Uppermill, Buckley Mill, Uppermill (shops and apartments) and 113 Newton Street Manchester successfully completed.
Numerous sites have been undertaken in Saddleworth where developments have to been built in natural materials (i.e. stone or slate) to reflect the conservation area status of the locality.
Simply Spain are specialists in sourcing high quality, realistically priced properties in Spain for UK buyers.
We offer unique access to a selection of properties as the UK's only authorised agent for ANIDA the real estate division of BBVA in Spain
"You get what you pay for" is pretty much true in everything in life.
I'm not the 'cheapest' photographer you will find (why would you want me to be?) but I also will not be the most expensive. I believe I charge reasonable rates to supply the best quality images and offer my clients the service and quality of work they deserve and would want.
Consider every profession and the fees payable to the artist employed. How much effort and time are they likely to put in if the returns don't make it worth their while? Everything in life is the same, you get what you pay for. You shop at M&S and Waitrose for some items because you know very well that they will be better than the same items in Lidl or Aldi. You buy a Mercedes or Audi because the quality is far higher than a Kia or a Hyundai (no offence to any owners of these vehicles, they are purely examples) and therefore worth paying extra for. It's the same with photography. If you pay a small fee to a photographer who does not make the effort because they would be better off moving onto their next assignment because there is more in it for them, you will not get the same returns. You want great results to drive new customers your way. Fantastic images that sell your business will easily pay for themselves many many times over. It's a business investment.
However it's a balancing act, because at the same time as charging reasonable fees to cover expenses, pay a living etc, I need business, I need clients. If I price too high, I will not get the work and I need to pay the mortgage, pay for cars, camera equipment and to support a shopaholic wife and two daughters. Yes, I live with three girls, 36, 8 and 2. So maybe now you will hire me out of sympathy or just to help me to get out of the house for a few hours sanity!
The prices I have quoted are really a guide. I know if I was looking for somebody to hire online, I would want some idea of how much it would cost. I'd be very unlikely to call or email somebody without fees. So you may prefer to pay for your images per photograph rather than per day or half day, that's fine, we can come up with something. I would just need to know what, where, when, how long and we can agree a figure we are both happy with.
If you want great images you will have to pay for them. I'm the only person that can take the photographs that I take. If you are looking for a cheap photographer, ask yourself how much effort will they put into their work. Why are they cheap? For the rates below I will commit 100% to getting the best possible results and spend as much time as it takes in post processing and delivery of the images. Many people don't realise that the on site / photo shoot time is normally only around 30% - 50% of the total timescale of the final image delivery.
The reason you are looking for a photographer in the first place is normally to help you sell something, whether it be your property, business, service, products or even yourself and your staff. Paying the right commissions for the right results will pay for itself in the long run.
Fees are payable per half day and full day.
Half day rate: £275
Full day rate: £495
( I will negotiate on the fees and offer substantial reductions for repeat business and regular work )
Prices for estate agency photography:
1-6 images £48
7-14 images £72
15-30 images £96
(These fees are based on the property or properties being within roughly 30 miles from Formby. If unsure please contact me and we can discuss any small additions)