Anorak Cat Web Design branding photoshoot at the Mercury Hub in Clevedon

Anorak Cat Web Design branding photoshoot at the Mercury Hub in Clevedon

Rich and Amy from Anorak Cat, a boutique website design and branding agency based in Clevedon near Bristol, signed up with me as part of my Uncorporate Annual subscription package, and after a Zoom call to finalise the details for the shoot, I knew they’d be a great team to work with.

They wanted to capture some new images of them in situ at their offices in Clevedon at The Mercury Hub, and by some stroke of luck, the co-working venue was deserted on the day that we arrived. We made the space our own studio for the day, and set about capturing around 100 images for them to use on their website and social media.

A Branding Shoot with yarn and fibre designer, Rachael Prest from Cat & Sparrow

A Branding Shoot with yarn and fibre designer, Rachael Prest from Cat & Sparrow

When Rachael contacted me to talk about brand photography for her yarn and fibre business Cat & Sparrow, I took one look at her website and realised that this was a woman who loved colour and creativity and that we definitely needed to work together.

A client match made in colour heaven!

Rachael has been running Cat & Sparrow for a few years, initially with a business partner when she lived in Australia, and now she runs the British and European arm of the brand.

The colours and quality of the yarn that Rachael designs are exquisite, and she has an amazing stash of beautiful raw material wool that she dyes in her home studio.

She lives and breathes creativity, and part of the brand shoot was dedicated to showcasing her skills in knitting, spinning, weaving, dyeing.

Another part of the shoot was to capture a slightly different aspect of Rachael’s life; her other life as a proofreader and technical editor. She needed photos that came across as fun and professional for the different style of client that came to her proofreading website.

My goal was to capture Rachael as someone creative, artistic and colourful, but not in the standard rote poses that do the rounds. Her beautiful yarns and time-honoured passions were central to the brand, so I decided to take more of a documentary approach with minimal direction, allowing Rachael to feel completely comfortable and capturing every image that she needed to share her business with the world.

Rachael Prest holds a selecton of coloured fibres for spinning. Photo by Gemma Regalado Bristol Brand photographer
Brand Shoot of Yarn designer Rachael Prest
Yarn dye bottles from Rachael Prest's stash. Bristol Brand photoshoot with Gemma Regalado
Rachael Prest showcases her knitting
Rachael Prest for Cat & Sparrow. Branding shoot in Bristol
Yarn and Fibre designer branding photoshoot Bristol. Rachael Prest wears a Yarnicorn t-shirt
Rachael Prest shows me her yar dyes. Cat and Sparrow wool and yarn brand shoot by Gemma Shoots People
Updated Coronavirus guidelines for branding photoshoots with Gemma Shoots People (aka the most 2020/2021 update I have written to date)

Updated Coronavirus guidelines for branding photoshoots with Gemma Shoots People (aka the most 2020/2021 update I have written to date)

What a tres 2020 *cough* 2021 titled blog post, hey?

Fact is, Covid-19 has impacted, and continues to impact, every one of us. Here are the guidelines that I’m adhering to in order to keep my clients (and me) as safe as possible.

Availability statement

The current situation as of @07/01/2021 is that all indoor shoots are suspended until further notice, this includes private homes and offices. All outdoor shoots can continue with only one other person. At this time I cannot travel further than 5 miles from my home in Bristol in order to attend a photoshoot.

Let’s start here:

  1. I expect all of my clients to adhere to UK government guidelines, just as I am
  2. The health and safety of me and my clients is of the utmost importanc

So what does this actually mean?

Well, there’s a whole heap of different things I need to be mindful of above and beyond just having a good shot list and a funky moodboard.

All clients will now have to read and agree to the Covid Guidelines Agreement on the day of shoots. Basically it says that you aren’t ill with the ‘rona, haven’t been in direct contact with a ‘rona-infected person for the last 14 days, haven’t travelled from another country on the UK ‘rona quarantine list within the last fortnight, and if you get the ‘rona within 14 days of the shoot, you’ll let me know. Seems fair!

To limit contact with people outside of our own homes and bubbles, meetings, consultations and any appointment that can be made online will be available online via Zoom.

For in-person appointments and shoots, we will plan as much outdoors as possible.

Brand shoots that require an indoors venue can still take place, but must have enough space to ensure physical distancing of 2m between me and the subject. I’ll bring a good zoom lens to make sure that I can capture everything I need!

Sorry! No hugs or handshakes (and I’m not really into that elbow thing, to be honest), but I’m here for an awkward wave and an overly enthusiastic “hiiii!”

I will wear a face covering, and before and during the meetings, I will liberally apply enough 70% alcohol hand gel to make my eyes water. All of my camera equipment will be cleaned using rubbing alcohol between shoots.

Normally, I let clients flick through the images on the back of my camera, but sadly I can’t allow that at the moment. What I can do is bring my laptop and set up a slideshow if you really want to see some of the images before they get edited, but note this will only be available where I have space to set that up, so won’t be suitable for every shoot especially if we’re out and about in a busy city centre. I can set up a quick-flick image gallery for you once I’m home and have uploaded the images if you’re desperate to see what we got!

Some shots might not be possible for me to capture (think super up-close-and-personal-next-to-your-face), but I’ll help you workshop different ideas (a flat lay of your favourite earrings, for example, instead of a camera lens millimetres from your earlobe!)

I’ll be directing you from afar. Often I would be directly on hand to help “pose” you, or flatten an overly-puffed-up sleeve, or shunt an errant bag out of the way. Instead, I’ll talk you through what I want, or get you to mirror me where necessary. To be honest, as my style is quite natural, I never get you to stay in a pose for long. Photos look so much better when you’re comfortable and moving naturally.

If there’s anything on this list that you feel I haven’t covered, drop me an email at hey@gemmashootspeople.com and I can help put your mind at ease.

Stop using tribe in your marketing

Stop using tribe in your marketing

I will preface this by saying I am a white woman, and what I am telling you is due to education I have gratefully received from black, brown and indigenous folx. I am not here to speak for BIPOC, there are many people who have spoken at length about this subject who you should seek out and listen to.

I am addressing white people in business in particular: stop using the term “tribe” to mean your fucking email list.

What you think you’re using it for: A cute buzzword for a close-knit community of like-minded people.

But it doesn’t mean that. It’s a term to describe a familial, cultural, and historical group who often live close together.

If we think of how we started hearing the term “tribe” in context as children at school, I’d be lying if I didn’t say my immediate connection would be to African tribes or to Native American nations.

And I bet you’d be lying as well.

And, unless you’re talking about a political faction from the Roman Empire, or a specific tribe of people, you’re using “tribe” wrongly

So how is it easy for us as white people to take a word that we know has racial connotations and make it about us and our marketing? When we use this term, we are effectively profiting from cultural appropriation.

It’s your fucking email list, not The Maasai.

This is white privilege in action.

Stop using this term.

Other terms you could use?

Team. Friends. Chums. Community. Collective. Club. Society. Union. Alliance. There’s THOUSANDS of neutral terms that would fit so much better. Use a thesaurus.

I am still learning. I have made mistakes, and am willing to be called out for the mistakes I will probably continue to make in my journey to unlearn inherent racism. You are not a bad person for using “tribe” in your marketing. You are a questionable person if you continue to ignore it despite reading this.

Further Reading

Using “Tribe” and “Tribalism: to Misunderstand African Societies – David Wiley 2013

Is using the word ‘tribe’ or ‘spirit animal’ offensive to Native Americans? – Curated by Dr. Kiona, 2018

Why you might want to rethink using the word ‘tribe’ for your business community – Eli Trier, 2019

The Trouble With Tribe – Chris Lowe, 2001


I have two big loves of my life (bar my family and dog and wheels of Brie). Business and gymnastics.

I’m not amazing at either, truth be known, but there’s plenty I’ve learned about both over the years I’ve been doing them.

I was only able to start doing my favourite gymnastic move, handstands, again after a two year break.

1. You need to prepare before you do handstands

As much as I love chucking my legs up over my head (fnarr), you don’t want to go I’m without a little prep.

As someone with history of a damaged wrist, it’s even more important that I