This week I was asked to do a day’s presentation about iPhone photography to the marketing people at the Dorchester Hotel in London. I’ve presented on iPhone photography a few times now, usually specifically focusing on food. This one was a little different because the guys at the Dorchester were interested in using their iPhones to take a range of different photos: we covered a number of different apps, but the day ended up involving a lot of discussion about how to approach any photography, not just iPhone photography.
The bulk of the day was going through the most important considerations when creating an image. For me it was a great exercise because it really made me rethink how I work and what goes on when I’m producing pictures even if I’m not necessarily thinking about it. I’ve been working as a photographer for a long time, so a lot of what I do just feels natural. It’s a good exercise once every so often to write down your processes as if you’re sharing with someone else because it helps you to look at what you do and understand a little better what’s working and what’s not, I think it’s always good to scrutinize your work with a very critical eye and look for not just its strengths but also more importantly any weaknesses that could be worked on.
The presentation itself went really well. They were a lovely group of people and they asked quite a few questions. I really got a run for my money with the grilling a couple of them gave me, which was great. Again, a really good part of the exercise is actually being challenged. The presentation I put together went down well and the handouts were also well received. The document itself I put together was specifically for the project – looking at iPhone photography in general, with them in mind. The object of the exercise was to help them identify an iconic style of imagery and how to produce that imagery with a camera phone, and then get a large group of people all producing the same style of photography so that they’ve got some consistency with their imagery across the brand.
For me seeing behind the scenes at the Dorchester was a real treat. It is an iconic hotel. The kitchen was vast and a really exciting place to take a few shots. We ventured upstairs to an incredibly beautiful set of rooms – their ballroom has been refurbished and is linked to a suite of stunning rooms. We then ventured out onto the rooftop where they have some stunning fountains and a lovely view of London, cranes and all.
We looked at shooting cocktails. We looked at shooting afternoon tea. We looked at shooting behind the scenes in service. But the main thing that we focused on was constructing an image. What goes on before you produce an image? What goes on throughout the process of producing an image? And then how to treat that with apps, post production, and sharing the image across social platforms. We considered lighting, composition, exposure. But one of the biggest considerations was the subject matter and what images we could create to tell the story of the Dorchester. It was a great day and I hope to go back again soon.
You can see the pictures that the Dorchester team have been taking with their phones on instagram – they post from Dorchester Collection.