CollectPlus is a delivery service, mainly used by big fashion brands – making it easy to collect, return and send parcels. I only had a couple of hours with the CollectPlus team and my brief was to photograph them going about their day to day work, interacting and having a meeting. The aim was also to get across that the close knit team is smaller than some delivery services and can react to the changing retail sector’s needs rapidly.
The team were friendly, upbeat, full of energy and happy to be involved in the photoshoot and so my job was easy. For these reportage style images I keep my equipment down to a minimum, taking just one light and firing it at the ceiling whilst allowing the ambient light to take care of the backgrounds. I try to blow the background out of focus as much as possible, by using a wide aperture, so that the emphasis stays on the people and any clutter is less obvious.
Some of these shots happened naturally and I only had to tweak a few details but other shots were set up from scratch and given direction. It can be tricky to get a team meeting shot to work well as I first have to position everyone carefully, bring in some props and then encourage everyone to interact ‘naturally’, constantly keeping an eye to make sure no-one is looking awkward. Very occasionally people have to be ‘fired’ from the team for just being too awkward or with their body language or over the top with enthusiasm! I try not to do my Alan Sugar impression but it’s hard to resist.… However these guys were really relaxed and easy with each other. You’d be surprised at what actually gets discussed during these shoots, as people often need prompting with a topic of conversation!
I’ve been shooting for the charity DEBRA for about 3 years now. DEBRA is a charity set up to help people with EB (epidermolysis bullosa). EB is a group of genetic skin conditions which cause the skin to blister and tear at the slightest touch.