Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Easter - a day early and no chocolate egg

Recently I had the pleasure of going to Sweden to do a bride and groom shoot. I won't go into it now as I'm sure I'll have a separate post for that. What I will go into is the different way I found out that Swedes celebrate Easter.

For a start, Easter is celebrated on Saturday and not Sunday. Why? To be honest, I haven't fully understood. (If anyone can fully explain it to me I'd be more than happy to listen.) It is someone linked to the fact they also celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December.

Secondly, the Swedish Easter egg and English Easter egg are slighty different. In the UK we get a lovely selection of chocolate eggs with indulgent treats "oh I shouldn't, but I will" inside. In Sweden however, you get an egg. An actual hard boiled egg. And a brush. And some watercolours. And a smile. You all sit round the table, and paint whatever Picasso, Monet, Hurst, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air design comes into your creative mitts. Not my usual Easter, but great fun all the same.

The Swedish do have their version of a egg full of treats, but it's more like your own nest egg - you fill it with your own pieces of sugary gold.

I love experiencing different cultures. Just don't ask me to drink pĂ„skmust!

Friday, 15 April 2011

How to look good... working. And trying to be serious!

In my period of blogging silence, I was asked to do something unusual (for me) - I was asked to take images of company staff.

Corporate imagery. Interesting....

To top it off, I was asked to work for a company I've never heard of, in a place I've never heard off (apologies to all people of Corby), millions of miles away. In England. :-) As with any photographic job, I did a little research and found out the company is kinda massive in more ways than one. Well, if a company has billions of dollars in turnover, maybe I could get paid one of those billions...?

It's quite interesting seeing the inside of some of these companies. For example, they had a trophy cabinet about the width of a car and taller than me, and I'm 6ft (or 1.83m for my European friends).

It's really impressive to see. The other impressive massive thing was the warehouse. If you've ever seen an end of X-Files, where Smoking Man puts something back in "the warehouse" and walks off, then the camera pans up to show the size of the warehouse, it's exactly like that! The warehouse foreman proudly told me that you can fit a jumbo jet in the warehouse. Maybe it's where they put all their extra trophies for business and customer service.

Not everything was serious!
My job is to take people who are often not usually in front of the camera, make them feel comfortable, and get them relaxed. Sometimes that goes so well, you can't get them serious again!

I had some comments from a few of the thousands of staff that I had to laugh at. "Why would you take a picture of me on the phone?" was the main one. With the exception of the inadvertent nose pickers, no one need have worried. Everyone looked absolutely fabulous.

It was also very tricky to deliver images that are aimed at being more ... utilitarian than artistic. This is a lot more difficult than it sounds. The whole experience for me turned out to be suprisingly fun and educational, but walking through we walked (literally) over a mile in and around the warehouse. Lugging the camera equipment made it like backpacking. So now I'm happier and fitter!

Happy Friday. :-)