I was approached by Paula Gibson to do some photography for her jewellery business, Jessica Florence, but it wasn't direct product photography she was after.
Up until now, her photography has been focused purely on the handmade bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces she creates, however she's reached a point where she wants to take it up to the next level and put it into a lifestyle context.
So over several weeks we used Pinterest to create a mood board to develop the look and feel of the kind of images she was after, and eventually decided a model in a cafe would be a good idea. Hands holding an espresso cup or latte glass with bracelets on wrists seemed to express the right feel.
Concept at the ready, we now needed a place with the right atmosphere, but despite bouncing suggestions back and forth we struggled to think of anywhere that fitted the vision.
Until I suggested my favourite haunt, In House Chocolates - which does the finest hot chocolate in 100 miles - and has a wonderful decor with an old stone wall on one side and wood panelling painted a luxurious deep red on the others. Not to mention it smells divine...
Obviously it would have been tricky to to a full photo shoot while the place was open but owner, Gillian, very kindly allowed us to use the place on a Sunday. She even made us all a hot chocolate just before we began!
Paula brought along Leigh to model the jewellery, and her daughter, Holly, to assist and to do a wee bit of modelling too.
Holly, Paula and Leigh
Over the next couple of hours we shot various combinations of clothes, jewellery and coffee types, periodically stopping to gesture to people through the locked front door that the place was actually closed and they couldn't come in to buy any handmade chocolates. By their expressions, some people clearly thought we were being greedy by locking them out and were just going to eat all the chocolates ourselves.
Not to say we weren't seriously tempted...
Many thanks for Gillian for her extraordinary generosity and hospitality. Do make sure In House Chocolates is on your "must visit" list if you haven't been there already.
Of course if you have been there, you already know you'll be looking for any excuse to return.
Here are a couple of shots from the shoot:
And a bonus pic taken by Paula while I was photographing Holly.