I do like a glass of wine... or two... so I was very excited to be approached by a Manchester-based wine grower and importer - Boutinot
. I was doubly thrilled to learn that they wanted photographs that would tell their story as a company with a genuine "family culture." They embrace their staff, growers, suppliers, merchants, clients and wholesalers as part of the Boutinot family.
If you've been reading my blog lately you'll have realised that my favourite assignments involve using photography as a vehicle to tell a brand's story. It's not only about the product, but the people who are involved in creating it and the place(s) where they work. This kind of photography gets me really excited and is extremely rewarding. It allows me to be more creative and to get to know the brand and people inside out. The resulting images are more heartfelt, real and engaging.
The Boutinot offices immediately convey a sense of the culture as the above collages show. No stuffy corporate decor here and bottles of wine everywhere! These images were not part of my first assignment but I'm really glad I grabbed them quickly on my camera phone (the amazing Samsung Galaxy S7).
My actual brief was to photograph two of the year's most important events: 1) an evening reception for growers and producers from around the world, at the new Boutinot head office in Cheadle; and 2) the annual wine tasting event at the Lancashire Cricket Ground in Manchester.
|The evening reception at Boutinot|
The photography style was to be informal, candid and to reflect the Boutinot culture. With the wine flowing and corks popping at the evening event this was easy to achieve!
The annual wine tasting event the following day was an eye-opener for me... no one actually drank any of the wine! The corks still popped and gallons of wine were poured, but the tasting itself was a serious business. Noses were thrust into glasses, wine was swirled around and held up to the light. Finally it was rolled around in the mouth for several long moments and then a few paces to the spittoon to dispatch it. Notes were made in the wine tasters notebook and then it was on to the next one. Sniff, look, taste, spit, repeat.
|Images from the annual wine tasting event at The Point, Manchester|
I loved this assignment... and not just because it involved wine (and a tiny bit of sampling once I had clocked off!), but more because it jelled so well with the direction in which I am taking my business - the importance of story telling with images. People deal with people and want to trust the organisations they do business with, and ultimately enjoy it too. Photographs go a long way towards reflecting the ethos and culture of a business.
I am a commercial and portrait photographer based in Cheshire. I also run photography workshops and one to one lessons for private individuals and businesses. Get in touch to discuss any of your photography requirements.