One of the more interesting photographs of the year

Social Services Photography

The original brief for the job was to create images that were to go with the line "Child Social Services, How Far Would You Go?" in a campaign that was to attract specialist child social workers to the south coast county of East Sussex in England, UK. The idea was that they wanted to attract people who would go the extra mile for their job, as well as suggesting to people that moving to East Sussex was worth thinking about if they wanted to progress their career. To this end, the client came up with the idea of showing a social worker in a space suit, to illustrate both ideas - dressing up in a costume to bridge the gap between a professional and a child, and also as a visual representation of someone who's willing to travel to get the job done. The pictures were also required to show the area as a desirable place to live for people who might be thinking of relocating. I liked the concept a lot. The location was to be Hastings, and a group of real social workers were pressed into service for a few hours and a selection of children were rustled up from various places. For images such as this, it's never possible to use children who are actually under the care of social services because of all the issues relating to confidentiality and consent, so in the pictures for this series, the children were played by "models".
We didn't have a lot of time, and the was a need for a quite a range of different images to tell the story. The lead image for the campaign was to be a simple image of a child running towards a social worker in a space suit with as little distracting detail as possible with lots of space for copy around the image. It took a while to set everything up and we pretty much had the shot, and then I thought it would be fun to try some with the child leaping into the arms of the spaceman. We tried it four times, before stopping, as we had other things to do. The shots were quite successful, and this was my favourite image of the four:

SpacemanOne0284 copy

However, although the client was pretty pleased with the image, I was unhappy with the way the child's hand was lost behind the spaceman's glove. Without discussing it first with the client, I made some adjustments to the image and also sent them this improved version. I think it's so much better, and it's pleasing that this is the image that they decided to use.

SpacemanTWO0284 copy

The replacement arm was borrowed from one of the other images. It had to be adjusted to make it look real, but the result is quite satisfactory I think.

The image in use can be seen here on the clients website, along with some other images taken on the same day.

Photoshop. Before and after

Photoshop in everyday use.

Every now and again comes along a picture that needs a little help. Here's a good example. This picture was taken yesterday on a trip out into the bay. It's a useful image, but the structure of the boat on the top left hand side is a bit distracting and adds nothing to the image. It's the type of thing that Photoshop is so good at correcting. The amended version is much crisper, and the change doesn't really change the context or significance of the image at all.



…and after:


You can see a full portfolio slideshow of my work here: