For the last month it’s been great working with the SweetSpot team who are based down in London but have properties in Newcastle, Nottingham, Liverpool and various other places around the UK. So obviously I’ve been working on the Newcastle properties of late. There’s 10 blocks of eight properties just on the outskirts of Newcastle city centre that are providing amazing student accommodation that is just completely worlds away from the student accommodation that I stayed in back in 1999. That’s no reflection on the University of York by any stretch because that was a fantastic time for me and the facilities were great at the time but to see how that’s moved on to where they are now, it’s just worlds apart. Granted, it’s 23 years ago that I started at university - to see this change in the property for students is really good and it’s been great being able to capture the properties and see the slight variations and the facilities that are on offer - not to mention the camaraderie I’m sure with the students once they get in there.
So from a technical perspective, it’s obviously been an interesting one. These are refurbished properties - these weren’t styled in this way at all and the rooms weren’t set out in the same way previously so there are a lot of little variations within each room such as bay windows in some and not in others. So from a lighting perspective and from a set-up perspective, to get the photos to be comparable throughout the property and also each of the properties, it’s always that little bit of a hunt to find the right angle in a room as you walk in and to really showcase it and show it off to its best to be able to get these full SweetSpot and get as many students in there as is needed.
The next stage is for me, after doing Lilico House I’m off to Westgate Road to do a few down there and we’ll see what the future brings. SweetSpot are a growing company and has lots of properties lined up so you never know, I might be coming here in a year’s time saying I’ve done however many for the last year for SweetSpot and that would be great. Maintaining clients in the longer term is always something I strive for and repeat business with clients because of the good relationship I have with people has always been something I’ve strived for. And I continue that now, 12 years or so down the line into my business.
On a more technical level, a quick
shout-out to my kit! All of these properties have been shot on a Canon R5 with Sigma 14-24 lens paired with a Three Legged Thing Winston 2.0 tripod and a Pixapro AD100 and associated trigger. All my property shots are shot in “flambient”, as they say, which is a mix of flash and ambient light just to give a more natural feel to the images by being able to pull in those windows a little bit so we haven’t got a big high contrast image where it’s nice and bright in the room but the outside is just a blown-out white window. It’s something I’ve done for a lot of years now and it’s certainly a technique that works well for me.