Photographing Lucy, from Lucy Ellis Leatherwork in Hertfordshire

The photos speak for themselves - I spent an afternoon with award-winning leatherworker, Lucy Ellis where she is based at her home in St. Albans, Hertfordshire for a small business content photoshoot.

For any business, but particularly for a business like Lucy's (and mine actually, also being home-based!) we don't have 'shop windows'. We can't rely on passing footfall, we can't rely on people just 'hearing about us and popping by' because that's not an option for us. We are service based professionals. We are the thing that makes our business - our hands, our skill and our years of training. We are people who need all the help we can get with exposure and representation! We produced a whole gallery of images for Lucy's business. These will serve a range of purposes, from social media content, website content and then also for print media, award entries (usually you have to submit photos and applications for this process).

The process

Lucy enquired and we did a little bit of chatting initially, but pretty quickly when Lucy knew she needed to invest in some imagery, we knew we needed to have a video call. Lucy and I had actually met previously very briefly - I dropped a leather head collar off for her to mend and what a grand old job she did for my pony, the little delinquent that he is! So we had our video call, and we spent ages chit-chatting (this became a common theme haha!) but what that enabled me to do was completely immerse myself in the feel of Lucy's brand and business. She told me about the services she offers, how she first trained, the sorts of events she attends and the longer term goals. All of these things (whilst they make nice conversations) give me a picture in my head of where to take it all and what sort of shots I can create for a customer.

I went away after this call, and I create a whole moodboard to show to Lucy. 'Is this the sort of vibe you had in mind?' (always checking that the expectations of the customer and what I am picturing align) - Lucy was really pleased and we proceeded to pick dates and work out which products would feature.

The shoot

We covered a range of shots. Lucy doing the doing was first - there are so many stages in Lucy's process. She hand makes EVERYTHING and all her beautiful stitching and patterns are done by hand too. People often underestimate the craftsmanship that goes into "proper" leatherworking!

We also covered some detail shots of Lucy's products, being worn and the products on their own. We photographed a range of Lucy's tools - some of them are incredibly medieval looking so she took time to explain each one to me and I got to see a short demo of most. I love learning about these things but also this helps me to properly photograph the process in the most realistic and 'not-staged' looking way!

We also did some all important (but I know many peoples least favourite bit!) headshots! We even included the two dogs - Ivy, the little mini sighthound mixed type and lovely Beano the Lab. Sadly Beano is no longer with us, but both dogs were fabulous models and did exactly as asked, despite Lucy being quite sure they wouldn't! Lucy's dad kindly kept us fuelled with cups of tea before we then moved into Lucy's workshop to photograph more of the making process.

The outcome

A huge gallery. We shot everything apart from the workshop shots outdoors in the garden. I am a natural light photographer, and we needed space to get the more artistic, detail shots. Lucy's garden is beautiful, and was an added bonus to working with such lovely people! You can see a small selection of Lucy's images below to give an idea of the gallery I produced for her. Thank you for having me Lucy, I really had the best day!

Links you may be interested in:

Lucy Ellis Leatherwork website

If you require some imagery for your business, service or an equine portrait session, please see below for links to more details and prices:

Photography by Holly Outtridge for Businesses

Equine portrait experience by Holly Outtridge

Hello, my name is Holly...

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I am an equine photographer based in Essex, England. I've owned and ridden horses always, and I've never known a life without them. You'll find me writing regularly about all things photography, the outdoors, countryside, horses and dogs - so if you like any of those things, you're in the right place! Thanks for joining x

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