Just been digging through the last years children's parties to update our galleries. I found so many beautiful photographs I thought I should show them off on the blog. I know I'm biased but my children's party photographers are seriously good at what they do. Children's party photography is a real skill. Remember that old adage, never work with children and animals...we'll they make it look easy. Timeless beautiful photographs of the magic of a children party again and again. I'm so proud of my super talented event photography team. A big shout out to Gabriel, Helen and Max who took all these pictures, with a few of my own thrown in for good measure.
Why Choose a Professional Photographer Over a Friend Who is a Keen Amateur?
We live in the digital age; an exciting era in which we can share what we want with whom we want – and that includes our photos.
It’s great, seeing far-flung places through the eyes of our friends or their quirky take on life but there is a danger that lurks beneath. Everyone is confident in their photo taking capabilities and that means they think they can be the professional-type photographer at any event, from a wedding to a christening to PR shots for your business.
After all, phones have fantastic cameras that have taken award-winning photographs, so why spend the money on a professional photographer, passing over your mate who takes a fairly decent picture?
The Benefits of Working with a Professional Photographer
In a nutshell, professional photographers have the knowledge, the skills, the creative edge and the kit it takes to do the job properly…
- Professional equipment – taking fantastic photographs is not about luck, but about understanding how light affects the subject, getting the composition right and so on. To get a great photo, a professional photographer will have the professional kit needed. Smartphone cameras have limits.
- Creative Edge – professional photographers do not ‘point and shoot’ as we do with our camera phones. They see photogenic opportunities in the surroundings, the location and the event. They bring a creative edge that others would struggle to see. Photographers also specialise in certain aspects of photography, such as family or shots of children, or corporate photography.
- Experience – a professional photographer has crafted their art over many years and through many different experiences. They have created stunning photography using all kinds of conditions and techniques. Why wouldn’t you choose this kind of experience and ability to create the photos of your event that you want?
- Can work in various lighting conditions etc. – important for any event, is the lighting of the photographs. Indoor venues can have poor lighting or rely on colours not commonplace in nature. In an outdoor event, the shifting clouds and glare of the sun can make the lighting of subjects and shots difficult. But a professional photographer has the kit and the experience to be able to deal with all these conditions, creating fantastic photo memories of the day.
There are guarantees when working with a professional photographer, and you are unlikely to be disappointed with the finished product. But if you place such a heavy responsibility on the shoulders of a friend, and the results are not what you want, what happens then…?
Don’t place your friendship at risk. Hire a professional photographer for your event. It will allow you to get the photos you want without risk of damaging a great friendship – and it will also allow your friend to enjoy the event as a guest!
We are pleased to announce that we are now representing videographers.
Over the past couple of months, the demand for videography from our clients has increased significantly. We have been sourcing up and coming talent. We would like to take the time to introduce our extremely talented videographer George.
Since working with George, he has had the opportunity to shoot behind the scenes of a fashion shoot with Harrods. He has produced an events promo for the internationally renown Elrow nightclub. George also attended the Secret Garden Party in 2016 to film the band Courts as they performed live. We've even recently sent George to Qatar to shoot an amazing Disney princess themed children's party.
Raccoon London would like to take this opportunity to introduce our new photographer Adrian. Adrian is a brilliant reportage photographer who has achieved an impressive career and has an astonishing back-story, we recently interviewed Adrian to find out more. As of now Adrian is available for commissions, take a look at his portfolio here
Please, can you tell me about your background in photography, where did it all start?
As a young backpacker in Asia many moons ago I found myself in the middle of a disaster zone in Bangladesh. A cyclone had ravaged the coastline killing 136,000 people. I was mistaken as a journalist and the next thing you know I am flying around in an old Russian helicopter. With a camera in one hand and my head out of the helicopter port hole, I had an epiphany. I realised that as long as I have a camera I can go anywhere and see the world in all it's difficulties, mystery, and beauty. That was 25 years ago and I haven't looked back since!
Why are you passionate about Photojournalism?
I am fascinated by our world and how we live our lives. Photojournalism has allowed me to spend time with people, communities and aspects of society that I otherwise might not have. For example, once I graduated with a degree in photography I went and lived in a tree for 6 months with environmental road protestors. Later on, I moved to and lived in India for eight years working right across South Asia making anthropological and political photographs covering everything from Maoist guerilla soldiers hiding and fighting in the jungles of India to a series of portraits that defined Chinese youth. One theme I began early in my career and one to which this day I am still working on is documenting counter-cultural movements. Whilst exploring this subject I have photographed British environmental protesters, illegal raves in London, South Asian youth and currently I am working on a book about the underground psychedelic plant medicine movement.
What do you consider essential in having a photojournalistic eye?
Firstly you need to understand what you are photographing. What is it and what do you think defines those people involved? All photojournalism and documentary photography is subjective so it's really about how you see your subject matter. The clearer you are the more powerful, compelling and poignant your photographs will be. It is important to be able to communicate a strong narrative through your story. Much like a book or a film there is a beginning, middle and end. You want to take the viewer on a journey that will engage them emotionally. It is the photographs that provoke and demand an emotional response that we remember, learn from, cherish and love.
Your skills in being able to capture candid moments during events are brilliant. Is this a conscious effort on your part during events to take pictures in this style?
Yes! I really love photographing events. I bring twenty one years of documentary photography, photojournalism and street photography experience to an event and you know what the most amazing thing is? The process is practically the same! They are both, after all, events. The difference being you are shooting to a clients brief rather than for yourself. In both you need to be clear in what you are communicating and your eye needs to be very sharp so you can capture those snap second moments when they reveal themselves. To capture the vignettes of an event I shoot in the same unobtrusive manner as I do when shooting a journalistic story. In both I am following the same rules laid down by great photographers like Henri Cartier Bresson, Don McCullin and Martin Parr.
How do your clients respond to these candid moments?
They love them! It is in these candid moments that a photograph tells the story of the event and the characters within it. Get it right and a good candid photograph will be cherished by those in that photograph for the rest of their lives. I simply love it when I make a series of photographs of an event that I know has really caught the essence of that event and those people in it. My clients testimonies bare witness to this.
Why do you think it is important to be observant during these natural moments?
Quite often great moments aren't always obvious. Sometimes they are very gentle and unassuming and could be easily missed unless you are there quietly observing with your finger on the shutter. I am known for being an unobtrusive photographer and when photographing an event I watch carefully the scenes that take place before me much like you would watch a play with actors. As Shakespeare said, 'All the world's a stage' and never more so than an event with its many people interacting in a myriad of ways. Over time I think some of these photographs would make a great book. A series on some of the best moments I have captured in event photography. I look forward to that!
Today the extremely glamorous and high energy London Fashion Week comes to a close and we say goodbye to another year of amazing talent.
London Fashion Week is an extremely prestigious event which happens twice a year, which marks and celebrates the world wide talent in the fashion industry. From designers to models and hair and makeup artists, London Fashion Week is a seriously glam and photogenic celebration of all things beautiful.
Raccoon London’s photographers were able to attend and photograph this year's celebration, commissioned to document the festivities and shows. As events photographers our crew is able to attend many high class and luxurious parties and celebrations, but here in this exclusive blog post we are going to discuss what sets photographing at London Fashion Week aside from other events our photographers are usually accustomed to shooting.
This year Raccoon London photographer Dai was hired by Studio Output to document an interactive light and sound display for a Farfetch Party. We asked Dai some questions regarding his experience.
What was the highlight of shooting this interactive light & sound display?
“It was a really high energy environment with lots of celebrities. We shot an array of different people dancing inside the installation across the duration of the evening. The installation consisted of a pressure sensitive floor which was hooked up to lights and speakers using WeConnect technology, this is turn triggered a music and light show depending on where people were standing, it was a very interactive experience for the guests of the party.”
In your opinion, what set this experience aside from previous shoots you were commissioned at London Fashion Week?
“I think this experience was probably the most immersive and interactive, I think most parties follow a more conventional formula. These guys were definitely doing something that was more surprising for the guests upon arrival, I saw a lot of people coming into the party and instantly interacting with the installation which I feel definitely connected with the brand”
What advice would you give to a photographer who might shoot something similar to this in the future?
“I think the best thing you can do as a photographer is to be prepared, you never really know what going to happen at London Fashion Week. In terms of this event it was technically quite challenging, because we were in a very busy environment with a lot of noise and a lot of people. So I always try and understand what the technical challenges are going to be, so I can focus purely on shooting, being creative and capturing the mood and the people. Focusing 100% of my energy on preparation would be my advice.”
This year Raccoon London photographer Helen was hired by Alice Archer to shoot a presentation of a spring and summer 2017 collection and also to shoot a lookbook. The event took place in the beautiful Reading Rooms we asked Helen about her experience.
Tell us more about your shoot this year?
“This year I shot a presentation and a look book for Alice Archer. Using one model we shot all of the different ‘looks’ against a simple backdrop that will be used as a selling tool. The presentation is when all of the buyers and press come to have a look at the clothes and all of the looks.”
In your opinion what sets London Fashion Week aside from other events that you have photographed?
“London Fashion Week is extremely creative, it’s fast paced and very glamourous. You’re able to work with incredible models in beautiful clothes and very often in unusual and striking venues.”
What advice would you give to a photographer who wanted to shoot at London fashion week
“Go with the flow, don’t be too hung up on time schedules and just understand that the shoots will happen but time is a serious constraint compared to a normal shoot.”
What was the most exciting aspect of this Fashion Week Show
“It’s a very different genre of photography, it’s extremely interesting to work in the fashion world. You’re working with very talented designers who are extremely creative, you have access to very high end models which provides great images for your portfolio”.
This year Raccoon London Photographer Iona Wolff was commissioned by Interview US Magazine, who have worked with Iona many times before and have even commissioned Iona to shoot at men’s fashion week. We interviewed Iona on her experience this year to find out more.
How did you find this years Fashion Week Festival Iona?
“Great but stressful, the commission confirmations come in last minute and you sometimes have restricted access such as only being allowed to shoot beauty, then there is a good chance you’ll be asked to leave when the models are changing into their first looks. However sometimes you’ll get full access and might have an opportunity to shoot the riser shots which give you an opportunity to get onto the catwalk, however I prefer to be backstage. Beauty shots can be quite limiting as the models are still looking very natural, beauty shots consist of details about the models such as the hair and nails and close up shots of the face shot with a ring flash. Being backstage gives me a chance to shoot candid reportage style photography, however it can be quite nerve wracking being backstage, high stress and it can all go by quite quickly”
What were your personal highlights of this year's London Fashion Week?
“I’ll be honest, after two years shooting it, the novelty has worn off. But I must admit the first time shot London Fashion Week I was blown away, by things such as Georgia May Jagger modelling in the first show that I shot and I was really starstruck to see her and to be able to take a photo of her. Being able to work with the top models, top makeup artists and the best designers all completely up close is amazing. However if the collections aren’t up your street, then I sometimes start to lose interest somewhat and instead focus my attention on capturing beautiful portraits of the models. Shooting backstage gives me the chance to take some amazing portraits of the models, as they are completely relaxed and I get to direct them how I want to. You can almost carry out mini shoots if you get the right lighting and the right backdrops, it’s incredible, you can really build up a nice portfolio of great models.”
In your opinion, what sets London Fashion Week aside from other events you have shot?
“It’s glamorous! It’s not corporate, it’s as far away from corporate as you can want and it is really exciting, with all of the talent and excitement it has a really good atmosphere surrounding it. It is intense!”
What advice would you give to an aspiring photographer who wanted to shoot London Fashion Week?
“Having a thick skin is essential, you will get shoved about, it will be quite challenging and the stress involved is huge. Understandably the organisers are going through their process, making sure the models are ready and are on time sometimes means you as a photographer can get quite caught up in it. Actually this is one of the most important things to bear in mind, that you shouldn’t get completely sucked in, but grab every opportunity that you are able to, there are all sorts of incredible shots to be had.
This Year Raccoon London Photographer Max was commissioned by Swarovski to document a jewellery stand at London Fashion Week. We asked Max some questions about his experience at this years Fashion Week.
Why were you commissioned to shoot the Jewellery stand at this years Fashion Week festival?
“Swarovski commissioned me to shoot at London Fashion Week, the shoot was to basically document their promotional stand. They had a jewellery collection and a number of different design collaborations with other jewellers, they had a really beautiful chic stand which showed off these designs. My role as a photographer was to make the jewellery look as beautiful and and well presented as possible, this is something I really enjoyed doing and I think I did the job really well.”
What was the most exciting aspect about shooting at London Fashion Week?
“I think for me, the most exciting aspect about shooting at London Fashion Week was having the opportunity to work in a really fast paced environment. It’s a really special and unique experience, it’s a massive cultural event in the London calendar and being able to work with a high quality brand like Swarovski and see the beautiful products that they make was really exciting. From a photographic point of view, you’re able to have a comprehensive range to the images and produce wide variety of shots that provide context to the activity, such as close up details of the jewellery that most people walking past wouldn’t notice. This is where I feel photography can be really powerful and great for clients, especially those who want their products to stand out.”
What advice would you give to an aspiring photographer wanting to shoot London Fashion Week?
“This was actually my first time shooting at London Fashion Week and I hadn’t actually factored in how tight security would be. There are extremely vigilant security guards on all of the doors doing their job, which added 15 minutes onto getting into the festivities. I would definitely allow myself more time than I usually would in order to get my pass and to be organised.
In this blog post, we have interviewed Raccoon London events photographer Iona on her ability to capture the perfect candid moment. Iona informs Raccoon London of where it all began, going right back the beginning of her career in photography. From where Iona studied, to her fist ever job in the industry. Here Iona remembers some of her golden moments in photography.
- Where did your career in photography begin?
After finishing my degree at Central Saint Martins I spent a memorable summer archiving the photographs of the late Corinne Day. I then knew I wanted to focus on documenting people as much as possible, especially in London! I started working for the Evening Standard, photographing people at events and parties for Londoner's Diary. I now shoot for a variety of clients linked to food, fashion and art, as well as taking on private portrait commissions.
- Outside of shooting events, where does your passion lie in photography?
People inspire me and particular spaces and interiors. I'm often seeking out different subjects to photograph. 'What makes a good portrait?' - this question is on my mind a lot! I always try to shoot in natural light and in 'real' spaces - domestic settings, artist studio spaces etc. I'm often thinking about interiors and how my subject will work with this particular chair, with this particular painted wall behind...
- What do you consider an essential feature of reportage style, candid photography?
This style is very appealing to me. It is my default shooting approach! I like an effortless feel to shots, not highly posed or artificial. It seems to be very popular amongst friends - most people seem to really like this approach generally - at most events, including weddings.
- Do you consciously consider candid moments when shooting events? why?
I absolutely hate missed opportunities! Therefore I'm trying my best to catch these lovely candid shots as much as possible. You can tell as the shutter goes down whether you caught the moment or not. I try not to have any effect on the subject at the time - just willing them to be themselves and to not be too put off by the lens pointing at them.
- How do your clients respond to this style of photography?
It's so nice when the clients begin to not notice you so much, despite the big camera on show... People quickly realise they don't need to consciously pose in a conventional way for me... I just want people to carry on as they are!
- Why do you think it is important to be observant for these natural moments?
It is all about timing. Patiently waiting on occasion... And then being absolutely ready for a lovely bit of interaction between people, a great expression, a nice smile...
- Is there anything else that you would like to tell me about your practice?
I'm currently setting up a studio space in my flat for more portrait work. The flat transformation has been very exciting - adding new colours to the walls and particular furniture for my future subjects.
Today’s society is increasingly more connected, impatient and content consuming. Social media is disrupting our habits, lifestyles and most industries.
What are the consequences of social media on the event industry? We all like taking and sharing pictures with our friends on social media for diverse reasons: recommendations, ego, fun and our passion.
Online word of mouth has never been so efficient and is now the strongest form of communication. Visual contents and social sharing represent a powerful sales and marketing tool, especially for events organiser who’s mission is delivering something worth sharing.
Headoo is a Visual Marketing technology that helps brands to create one-to-one relationships with customers online, during events and in-store.
The interaction between attendees, event organisers and brands are fundamental and are therefore worth being captured and shared. Turning your attendees into your brand advocates, in turn, amplifies the impact of your event and increases your brand awareness. Headoo has created technology which cleverly utilises this channel in which a brand can engage with their audience, open up conversations with individuals and create all-important one-to-one relationships.
In the context of an event, interactions with customers can be physical by the use of a connected photographer, a photo booth, a smart camera or even an iPad. Interactions can also be purely digital, for example, User Generated Contents posted on social media. When it comes to the use of professional photography, however, the quality of the content and the instant reception will boost engagement and live social sharing.
Headoo's software never sends attendee's their pictures. Instead, customers access them online on a branded and customised platform from which they can share on social media. This process allows Headoo to measure the reach and ROI generated during the event and to collect tons of data on the audience and their social media friends.
If you’re hosting an event, the use of Headoo's system can be used to amplify the event impact on social media, collect data on attendees and increase brand awareness of both the event and the sponsor and organiser. Utilising Headoo's software, event organisers can now observe the conversations on social media and create long term one to one relationship with every single attendee. The Headoo platform also allows event organisers to redirect traffic towards their website and to push their marketing materials, upcoming events and special offers. The data collected varies from, email contacts, Facebook pixels, opt-in answers also allows organisers to retarget attendees and their social media friends via emailing and social media ads campaigns.
Using Headoo provides events photography agencies and events photographers with an efficient way to deliver, store and manage the images directly with the client. Photographers no longer need to upload images to cloud-based storage . All content is securely hosted on the Headoo server in real time.
Unleash the power of Visual Marketing Technology: https://headoo.com/
The photo booth has forever been a source of nostalgic enjoyment for all. From going solo and having those awkward passport photos taken, to cramming in with all of your friends into the same booth and contorting your face into funniest gurn imaginable, or even having a steamy snog with your partner. It’s safe to say the photo booth has seen some very intimate moments in our lives.
More recently, we’ve managed to coax the photo booth out from it’s usual dwellings, setting it free from the supermarkets and train stations and we’ve invited it to attend our parties. It would seem that the photo booth has become very popular at these gatherings and has even become somewhat of a socialite, a familiar face at the biggest occasions.
The photo booth has even had several makeovers in order to look the part, depending on the occasion of course…
Here at Raccoon London a professional events photography agency, we’ve interviewed a select few photo booth companies based in London. The companies we have interviewed have completely unique products and services. We learn exactly what it takes to stay ahead in the photo booth game.
Since technology has progressed significantly, the photo booth has gone under redevelopment and has been subjected to a series of experiments. The results of which have lead to new and revolutionary variations of the friendly photo booth we’ve all come to know and love.
Number 1: Say Fromage: events photography and photo booth company.
Say Fromage are a company who are really pushing the boundaries when it comes to designing their products. From 360 photo booths to the Hashtag Printer, Say Fromage have all the angles covered...
Tell us a little about Say Fromage?
Say Fromage is an innovator of interactive photography installations and experiences. We combine photography, social media and other technologies to help create unforgettable moments.
Who is your team made up of?
As a team of creative designers, project managers, photographers and developers. We work with clients every step of the way, from project conception and physical production through to delivering the live experience.
What makes Say Fromage unique in the industry?
Founded in 2007, Say Fromage has been providing the UK and Europe with the most adaptable, cutting edge photo booths. We help brands tell their stories, ultimately driving their online presence and creating powerful connections with their customers. We are always on top of emerging trends and technologies. We love working closely with our clients and adapting to their ideas and imaginations.
Say Fromage has the experience and creative drive to make any idea possible—whether it’s making 360° GIFs for TalkTalk TV, turning a mirror into a touch screen photo booth for Burberry, building an automated green screen for Google, or creating the means to catch a slam dunk at the perfect moment for Nike.
What do you most enjoy about your business and service?
We love helping people tell stories. Every event, every activation, every party is a story and that we get to help make it an unforgettable experience is why we love our jobs and push ourselves to always go further and create more.
Prices start from £600.00 for using Say Fromage's services. However as most of their services are custom built to match a clients needs (just like the 360 degree emirates photobooth above), Say Fromage's do rates vary.
Number 2: Megabooth: photo booth company.
Hailing all the way from Essex Megabooth are likely to get the party started by rocking up in a customised black cab, which also doubles up as a photo booth! Who ever came up with this idea is a genius...
Tell us a little about Megabooth?
Founded in 2009 Megabooth is the leading photo booth supplier in the UK, specialising in unique photography installations and experiences for corporate events, weddings, private parties, retail outlets, expos and much more.
Who are your usual clients?
Megabooth work with agencies and directly with a brand to create a bespoke interactive service that engages with the user and raises brand awareness for a campaign or event. Whether it’s through social media engagement for Skype and Microsoft’s PRIDE campaign, turning the MTV EMAs 360°, personalising our Taxi photo booth for Time Out or creating a one off trophy photo experience for Facebook at the UEFA Champions League in Lisbon in 2014, Megabooth have the experience and production capabilities to bring experiential ideas to life.
What do you most enjoy about your business and service?
The best part of being in the event industry is the demand for new ideas and striking content that is instantly shareable - when demand for innovation is there it allows us to constantly reinvent ourselves.
Number 3: London Light Box: photo booth company.
Coming fresh from the drawing board is the result of a combination of different creative brains, including architects, engineers and photographers. London Light Box are here to put their stamp on the industry...
Tell us a little about London Light Box?
We looked at the world of photo booths and quickly realised that there isn’t a product out there that is beautiful in itself. That’s where we found ourselves - so here at the London Lightbox we wanted to create just that ourselves. Designed and built by a group of architects, engineers and photographers, the result was a unique photo booth we call the Obscura. So now, everyone from top event stylists, international fashion brands and boutique event spaces have something they choose to complement their own quality design. And, we also take great pictures! Top of the range tech is inside each Obscura ensures the highest quality photos out there! Lastly, we also have a trick up our sleeves. Following the same design principles, we’ve created interchangeable ‘skins’ for our Obscuras; choose from brushed steel, copper, zinc, piano black wood or living moss – so if you’re having an event in an industrial warehouse, a grand Georgian house or even a wood – there’s something beautiful for you!
What do you most enjoy about your business and service?
What we enjoy most is the fact the people are always surprised when they see one of our Obscuras! After launching 8 months ago with parties and events in Shoreditch and Hackney, we are constantly excited when we get messages from all over the globe saying after they’ve used one of our Obscuras it’s all they want at their own event!
This item is really a thing of luxury, prices start from £425.
Normally June is phenomenal month for the British people. As the seasons change moving from Spring to Summer, the sun finally comes out to play and the fun begins the nation over. Keeping us busy photographing all sorts of events. Amongst the back garden BBQ’s and long days spent chilling out in parks, so many large scale events occur in the Summer months. Two of June’s most prolific events are the Royal Ascot Races and Glastonbury Festival. The sheer magnitude of both these events is so captivating that people literally travel from all areas of the world to bare witness to them. The attention of the nation's media gets a much needed light hearted shift, focusing as much upon whether or not this years Glastonbury Festival will be wash out as it was on the consequences of Brexit.
Losing ourselves in being lighthearted is what the brits do best and we certainly enjoy dressing for the occasion. This gives us event photographers something fun to photograph! Whereas Ascot goers roll out their finest outfits, Glasto punters deck themselves out in the weird and wonderful. Fully prepared for the inevitable messy days ahead!
Women of Ascot wear the most spectacular hats, the fashion of Ascot is most certainly a key feature! (Credit: Tara)
Glastonbury plays host to all kinds of shenanigans. Anything goes it seems (Credit: Getty Images)
Upon first glance it would seem as though Glastonbury Festival would top Ascot Races in being the craziest event of June. They're certainly extremely aesthetically different, especially from the perspective of an event photographer. However at the end of the day the British people do what they do best, in the only way they know which is through full throttle hijinks where ever the find themselves The changing of the seasons has brought with it detrimental news, but it serves us best to not dwell on these harsh times and continue in the best way possible.
Blog post for children's party organisers. All the best suppliers for children's party planning. All children's party photography by Raccoon London's talented children party photographers.