“I have a new shop opening, how can I promote it?”
PDSA, an animal welfare charity were planning a shop opening in Yeovil and they asked me to take photos for them. They also had a couple of radio djs from the local radio station Abbey 104 who will help promote the new shop and let people of the Yeovil community know it is now open for business.
Prior to the event, PDSA sent me a brief of the images needed on the day and they also sent me some examples of photos taken before at other similar shop opening events. PDSA most likely found me as I had already photographed a shop opening for Poundworld in Taunton, and also the Premier Inn in Glastonbury.
Usually at a shop opening it is important to make sure branding is clearly visible and the photos reflect the very best aspects of the company I am taking photos for.
Some of the example shop opening photos I was shown beforehand had some blown highlights, so the least I could do was improve on that. It was important as well to give a greater variety of images showing off the new shop to best effect. Good images mean that people can feel they know what to expect before even setting foot in the shop.
This was the official ribbon cutting for the purposes of the photos, but we did another one later when it was time for the customers to walk in. This was a little tricky, as to get the whole shop front in without causing perspective distortion (if I were to stand too close), I had to step back a bit and zoom in. This meant however I was taking the photo across a busy pedestrianised shopping walkway. So I simply arranged everyone, took a few test shots, then said “go” and fired off a number of shots as the ribbon was being cut. I also take more than enough, as people always look away or blink just when you need them to be looking at you.
I wanted to get this shot just because it is a bit more interesting when you have foreground and background layers to an image. A little depth adds interest.
A shop on its own isn’t going to make for interesting photos, it’s about the people that work and shop there that give greater context. I also looked for angles that allowed me to add some depth to the images.
At the shop opening there were quite a few staff. As I arrived half an hour before the actual ribbon cutting, I was able to make the most of the numerous staff as they could become my shoppers. It’s much easier if you have people who expect to be in front of the camera to get the natural photos you want, so I told them to behave as if they were simply shopping normally.
This meant I got a good variety of photos quickly and the whole shoot was done in under an hour.
Considering the shop opening was one for a charity, I was quite impressed by how smart and well presented everything looked. Charity shops have had a bad rap, but I think this PDSA shop looked great and like any other high street shop, but much cheaper prices! At the same time as shopping you are helping some furry friends in need too!
Friendly staff at the PDSA shop opening
There was quite a variety of pet products, as you would expect from a charity that cares about the welfare of poorly pets.
This shot and the one below was of the second ribbon cutting. As I already had the important ones in the bag showing the large group of staff, I was able to get a different angle and to emphasise the logo on the balloon. I wouldn’t have taken this as a standalone though as it’s more important to show the people involved. I like these though as it shows more of the reactions.
Considering the shop had literally just opened, there was a good number of people eager to go inside right away.
It was only 5 minutes before the first sale was made. Everything was done with a smile, I was very impressed by the manner of the shop staff.
This is what PDSA called their ‘Heritage Wall.’
Another sale and another pet helped.
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