Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service (CCVS)
On Tuesday 14th January 2020 I undertook my first official photoshoot for a charity as part of my #roadtrip4charity project!
Whilst the photoshoot/assignment wasn't a big one, it was still a great landmark day for me and the project to get the first charity shoot done.
Who are CCVS?
CCVS is an independent registered charity, set up by local organisations in the 1980's, to provide a central source of expert help and advice for local groups. Our purpose is to support charitable organisations by providing them with the tools they need to keep going. We provide training, one-to-one consultancy and advice to help the community and voluntary groups set up, develop and grow in Cambridge, South Cambridgeshire and Fenland. Services are classified under three broad headings. (source: CCVS)
Through the power of social media, in this case, LinkedIn, a mutual connection, Rachel, introduced me to the CEO of CCVS, Mark.
Following a call with Mark to discuss the background of the project, what I was looking to achieve and how I could help we agreed that what his charity was immediately in need of, were headshots of him and his team.
Mark opted for a more casual style headshot and not the more typical studio based (solid background), so I packed according to the brief.
What was in my bag?
Nikon D750 as my main camera
Nikon D5300 as the backup
Nikon 24mm - 120mm F4 VR lens
2x ESDDI Flashguns
Stands, umbrellas, batteries, triggers etc.
Mark gave me a tour of the offices and spaces available and we decided upon a fairly smallish meeting room with a bare brick (but painted) wall which I thought would go with Marks desire for more casual looking headshots.
Due to mainly space limitations, I used a one light setup.
There was insufficient space in the room to set up and use a tripod so I shot freestyle which in this instance was satisfactory due to the casual nature of the images.
Tip: If you would like indoor headshots done of your staff please try to allow a space of at least 3m x 3m, ideally larger, without furniture. If indoor space is not suitable, other options would include corridors, outside of your office or in a nearby park, weather permitting.
I photographed 5 people in total. Mark and 3 of his colleagues, and Hanna from Cambridge Community Arts (does that mean I've actually worked with 2 charities? 😊).
As is the case in the majority of headshot shoots 'forced' onto colleagues, not everyone was overly joyous at the prospect of having to have their photograph taken. One even did their best to avoid me.
However, I'd like to think that every one of them, when the images were taken, will say that it was not nearly as horrible as they had convinced themselves it would be.
I believe I shared a joke and a laugh with each person as they came into the room and took 3 - 5 images of each person, with at least a couple of each person displaying a lovely, natural smile.
It was really great to meet with Mark and his team (and Hanna) and they were all genuinely interested in the project. There was some pressure on the back of this photoshoot. Given the nature of what CCVS do, ie, support other small charities within Cambridgeshire, if Mark didn't care for me, or the service I provided him and the team, he certainly wouldn't be suggesting my project to other charities.
The best way to be with anyone you meet is authentic. And I hope that this was portrayed to those that I met. I did see a Tweet from CCVS mentioning me having been with them to do the photoshoot, I'm going to take that as a sign of them not disliking me 😊
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