I absolutely loved this heritage photography commission for York Mansion House. Two days packed of photography to capture interiors, artefacts and documentary people images to showcase the visitor experience.
In a nutshell, my brief was to create a portfolio of images to be used for venue branding. The Mansion House is a stunning property in the heart of York packed to the rafters with history and heritage. It’s a little bit of a hidden gem at the moment so my work with the marketing team was to support new marketing campaigns to make it more visible as a visitor attraction – both for international tourists and the local Yorkshire community.
There is the choice with any commercial shoot which will contain a lifestyle element to either go down the staged approach or opt, as is my preference where possible, for a documentary style of photography. I personally feel you can spot a staged image a mile off. The smiles are just a little bit too perfect and the poses can be so wooden. Professional lifestyle models can nail this with careful coaching and direction but there is still the risk of lack of authenticity. As we did with the Mansion House shoot, putting people in real situations allows them to engage more naturally with locations, physical items and other people. The real magic with documentary photography happens when you and your camera become invisible. The families were so wonderful to work with on our visitor experience day. I always love working with children and as a Mother myself understand how to help put little ones at ease.
This commission really played to my strengths as a photographer who loves the challenge of different subjects and changing light in a single shoot. The typical advice given to photographers is that to be successful you need to niche. I’ve come to realise over the last few years however that my own personal niche as a photographer comes through my storytelling approach and that many different client types and environments can happily come under that umbrella. This is evident through the diversity of clients I work with but also the different genres of photography I am comfortable bringing into a single commission.
It was such a privilege to receive this wonderful testimonial from the marketing manager at The Mansion House:
“We approached Olivia with a demanding brief, which involved capturing the entirety of the Mansion House to build an image bank we can use across all our activity going forward. With no images in existence before, Olivia came in and completely blew us away with her incredible eye for detail, and the ability to calmly move from situation to situation. She effortlessly captured hero shots of the house – both interior and exterior -, as well as beautiful archive images of our collections, and documentary shots of children exploring the house, and guided tours. Olivia’s style is perfect to show the beauty of an expansive space, picking out hidden details, and capturing those enticing shots to showcase the best you have to offer. We’re so excited to work with Olivia in the future, and recommend you do too!”
You can view more photography from heritage and hospitality commissions through my PORTFOLIO PAGE