Get set, debate

Should you have your photo on your business card; Yes or No?

There are reasons for and against, but it’s not something that is seen very often; but why? One local firm of solicitors do take the image approach, as do a firm of financial advisors, but why is it still not used by many

Think about all the business cards you collect when attending networking events. You get back the office and sort through the stack. Can you remember the people who gave you their card?

Having a photo on your business card helps people remember you. People do business with those they know, like and trust. If they can remember you, that’s the first step.

When you have your headshot on your card, people get a second chance to meet you. You meet so many people at a networking event, how is someone that you spoke to for 30 seconds going to remember your face. Do you ever have that “What was the name of that guy?” moment after a networking meeting?

Like all images associated with you and your business, it must be the right image. By that I mean a professional looking image wearing clothing appropriate to your trade or profession.

So if it’s such a good idea, why don’t more people do it?

Do you have your photo on your business card? If not, why not?

Business card 2016 back.jpg

A world without photos

A friend upgraded her phone recently and later that day when she was looking through it she realised that she had lost over 5,000 images. We take so many pictures on our phones and tablets, but how many of us actually do anything with them.

Read More

All in an advert

How often do you update your advertisements in printed media? Do you have a written implementation plan with accountabilities?

Redlynch Players - Wind in the Willows

Redlynch Players - Wind in the Willows

Many businesses run the same advert, month after month without monitoring its performance. It is more important than ever to make every penny count, but how can an informed decision be made about which adverts are bringing an income to the business, and which are not without a formal monitoring system.

There are many ways to do this;

  • Tracking numbers
  • Offer codes
  • Cut-out vouchers
  • Publication specific offers

Using any of the above, or one of the many others available, will let you know which ones are performing the best, and which ones are not performing at all.

Once you have this information you can introduce a plan to update, change, or stop altogether. One simple change can, and often does have a massive impact to how an advert performs.

Salisbury Playhouse celebrates 40 years

Salisbury Playhouse celebrates 40 years

Adding, moving or changing an image; changing the style, colour, typeface or rewording a headline can all make a difference to whether viewers make contact.

All of these things can, and should be tested to find the one that works best for you and your business. Each test should be monitored, logged and the results used to make informed decisions.

Rotary Spireworks

Rotary Spireworks

I know, your thinking this is all fine but where do I find the time to do all of these things. Look at it another way, how much money could you be wasting be not doing them!

Obviously costs differ from business to business, but if you are paying for a monthly advertisement in a magazine costing £500 per month (£6,000 per annum) and you have never had anyone contact you off the back of it, would that £6K not be better spent somewhere else.

Can you now find the time to monitor your adverts?!

Stock photography and your website

When it comes to building a new website, or updating a current one, it is crucial to use only components that will have an equal positive impact for the audience. The key to a great website lies in the ease of use, the relevancy of the text, but without doubt, the most important aspect of your website are the images.

Of the three key areas of your website I want to focus on the images and as the title of this posts suggests,the use of stock images. As a full time professional commercial and editorial photographer, I am the first to admit that the initial cost of custom images will be higher than that of stock images, but I guarantee the return on investment (ROI) will be far more significant.

Value Cars Group - Executive Connection

Value Cars Group - Executive Connection

There are many reasons why custom images are preferred over stock images; below are my top 5 reasons why custom photography is the better choice.

1. Your views "a picture is worth a thousand words"

No matter how professional the stock photo may be, it will always belong to someone else’s interpretation of the idea, concept, emotion, etc. After all the saying is, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” When it comes to your website, why would you want those words to be someone else’s?

When it comes to custom images created solely for your business YOU have control over what thoughts and emotions those images convey, and from a marketing perspective that is HUGE for your business!

To put the above into perspective, think of the emotions, experiences and memories you gain when you look back at past holiday pictures. Would you feel the same way looking at someone else's holiday photos? The answer is no (at least it should be), this is because it is not personal, it is someone else's view.

When it comes to evoking the required emotion from all potential clients who visit your website, custom images created just for your business will hands down beat stock photography.

Total Foot Health

Total Foot Health

2. Classic original versus same-old.

The greatest benefit to you and your business that comes with custom images is that it presents you with the opportunity to show your potential clients something they have never seen before and make a lasting impression.

When potential clients visit your website for the first time, their immediate reaction should be "OH WOW!” As a business owner you are wanting to grab the attention of your visitor and get them to explore your website further.  The way to do just that is with original photography that immediately shows them something they have never seen before. Showing them custom images, you are already going a long way to helping establish your own unique identity and promote the image of your company that you want to stick in your visitors mind. This is simply not achievable with stock photography, because stock photos are used over and over again on multiple websites.



3. Short-term cost or long-term investment

As I stated earlier in this post, hiring a professional photographer will have larger initial cost than using stock photos, but the benefits will far out way the costs. Having images of yourself, and your staff, provide visitors with a view of who they are talking to when they call. This makes it easier to have that initial chat and start to build a relationship.

There can also be many indirect costs associated with stock photos that go beyond the licensing fee. These additional costs can be quite high depending on the quality of the image, how often you wish to use it,and what you want to use it for. You also have the added cost in time of scouring through hundreds, or potentially thousands of photos to find the “perfect photo” for your website.

Professional custom photography, allows you to build a library of images that you own completely and can use in perpetuity.

The Body Lounge

The Body Lounge

4. Be GREAT, don't settle for GOOD enough.

Before you begin to think about images and photography, before you even start thinking about your vision for your new website, you have (or should have) done research to identity the goals/objectives for your website. What message it is you want give across to your potential viewers and potential clients? What actions do you want the website visitors to take when on your website.

Where custom photography is concerned, you are assured of having the images that are perfect for your business website and that the message you want to deliver is clear. When it comes to your business only the best should be considered good enough.

Richard Griffiths and Co

Richard Griffiths and Co

5. Direct customer connection takes on “Yeah right, pal”

You will find that every website you ever click on will have a ‘Contact us’ or ‘Customer service’ section. This should be a standard page for your site, but it should also be a personal one. For example, you go to a website and there is an image of a sales agent on the contact us page… now look again, does it genuinely look like a happy employee who legitimately works for that company or have you seen it before on someone else’s website?

Professional photos of your team will let visitors know that your website is personal, and directed at the one visitor who made the click. Those companies using stock images will look like everyone else.

The Car Network

The Car Network

When building your new website, remember that small cash savings now could very well have a much greater cost down the road.  Using stock images over custom photography is one of those areas.  If you want to learn more about how John Rose Photography can help you increase engagement and trust, call us on 01722 320500 we will be more than happy to assist.




So we've been through my WHY!

I want to create images for businesses that help them engage with clients. I want to show their clients how good they are, how good and trustworthy they are, I want to work with forward thinking businesses that value the time, effort and passion I put into every image I create. That is my WHY!

Proterra Limited

Proterra Limited

And my HOW!

As a professional commercial photographer I have a four step approach to creating amazing images for my clients. The listening stage and the research stage being my how!

Richard Griffiths and Co

Richard Griffiths and Co

So now to my WHAT!

I have listened and researched, and have clarity on the message that is required, so we now move onto the creative stage.

Vita Skin Spa

Vita Skin Spa

The creative stage is exactly what it says on the tin, it's where I look at putting the ideas I have gathered in all the previous stages and turn them into an image design. The results of this stage depend on where and how the images will be used, and of course my clients budget. In creating the images I have to ensure I balance the cost of producing them, to the investment (ROI) my client will be making. There is absolutely no point in having an amazing campaign if it costs more to produce than they can make in bottom line profits.

Trethowans LLP

Trethowans LLP

I have listened, researched, created, and now I have moved to the final stage, which is the production stage. This is where the idea becomes reality, and I produce the image(s) to give the desired outcome. The outcome can of course be a myriad of things from engagement, sales, social interaction, bums on seats if they are having a conference, the list is endless. At the end of this stage the client will have an image, or images that they will be able to use freely and without further license, for as long as they are able to give the message they want them to give.

So that's it, my, WHY! HOW! WHAT! used to power John Rose Photography's client care.

MG Cannon

MG Cannon

I hope you have enjoyed reading this short series of posts. Now that you know a little more about John Rose Photography Limited. Please do leave a comment, I am very interested to know what you feel about this series.

Holiday Inn - Stonehenge

Holiday Inn - Stonehenge

If you have a question post it in the comments and I will answer it personally. If you would like to talk to me about how I can create an image to help you and your business grow, please do get in touch by clicking here or telephoning 01722 320500.

Salisbury Plain Military Wives Choir

Salisbury Plain Military Wives Choir

I am very passionate about what I do, and the results I present to my clients. If you know someone that would benefit from a no obligation chat with me then please do forward my details and I will be pleased to talk to them.

State of Play

State of Play


Okay, so last week I posted my WHY, so this week I will tell you about my HOW.

Also known as a businesses Unique Selling Point (USP), Differential Value Proposition or Proprietary Process your HOW is what you can do that no one else can do, or do as well.

So what it my HOW? Or maybe it should be what is JRP's HOW.

Either way I guess the same answer will apply as it is about ethics and professionalism and how our aim is to help businesses grow, engage, and ultimately gain more of the right clients for them.

So HOW do we do it.

We have a four step approach to creating amazing images for our clients. The listening stage, the research stage, the creative stage, and finally the production stage. The first two are without doubt our HOW, the final two being our WHAT. So for this post we will be concentrating on the listening and researching stages.

I guess the biggest, most important part of the whole process we go through with our clients is the 'listening' stage. This is where we pull all of the details about what message you want to give when a someone sees the images. It is not just enough to create an image, it has to be an image that sends the correct message. An image that makes the viewer think a particular thing, that thing being what you want them to think about your business or product. Once we have gained an insight into the message you want the image to give, we can move onto the research stage.

The research stage is where we look for inspiration, or if we already have an array of ideas, the clarity and reassurance that the ideas we have are going to deliver the message in an easily understandable way. This stage may require a further meeting or discussion with you, to discuss our ideas.

A much shorter post this time, but I hope this insight into my, or JRPs HOW have helped to clarify HOW we create the perfect image for your company. If you've watched the full Simon Sinek talk in my post about our WHY, you have probably worked out the last in this series of posts will be WHAT we do.

Thank you for reading the second of my rambles. Please do leave a comment, I am very interested to know what you feel about HOW we do what we do. If you have a question post it in the comments and I will answer it. If you would like to talk to me about how I can create an image to help you and your business grow, please do get in touch by clicking here or telephoning 01722 320500.


It is said that people buy your 'why' not your what or how. Now if you haven't heard this before you're probably thinking, what the hell is he on about, surely they buy what you sell and how you sell it. I used to think that too, until I watched this video.

I've watched this a few times now and to be honest, I just couldn’t find my WHY. I came up with things like

  • I love doing what I do
  • To make money
  • People say I'm good at it
  • I like people's reaction when they see their images
  • Now these are all good reasons for doing it, but why would anyone care about any of them; apart from, I'm good at it I guess, but they don't know that until after I've done it.
Food photography

Over the last few months it has been playing on my mind that I didn't know WHY I'm a photographer. I've attended quite a few seminars and this 'WHY' seemed to keep coming up, but I didn't know WHY. I spoke to trainers and mentors about it, and they all said that although my reasons above were good ones, none of them are going to compel clients to want to engage me.

I looked at each of the genres of photography that I undertake and listed why I thought I did them, and each time I came up with the same answers. Then on day, while watching training videos, I watch lots of videos by top photographers trying to improve my techniques, I realised what my WHY was.

Jewellery box product photography

I want to create! Now I know that's sounds a bit obvious for someone who's in a creative business, but I want to help businesses 'Develop their image' (my new tag line by the way).  That is my WHY! I want to create images for businesses that help them engage with clients. I want to show their clients how good they are, how good and trustworthy they are, I want to work with forward thinking businesses that value the time, effort and passion I put into every image I create. That is my WHY!

People have always described me as a commercial photographer. I don't know why as I used to do more social photography than anything, but I now know why. I think they have been seeing my WHY when I couldn't. They have seen my passion for commercial photography and helping businesses, when I couldn't. You see I thought I was a social photographer, and don't get me wrong I love doing weddings and portraits, and I give the same care and attention to their shoots as I do to all my clients, but my passion really is commercial. OK I'm starting to ramble a bit now, but that is because every time I start to talk about finally finding my WHY I get so very excited.

Business commercial portraits and Headshots

Since finding my WHY and starting to relax with it, I have found a new lease of life. I will still continue to do weddings and portraits if asked, but I will limit those to couples I connect with, and who really do want ME to do it. I have limited my wedding commitments to a maximum of 10 full day weddings over the last couple of years and will reduce this further over the next couple of years to 5, but I can assure anyone engaging me to shoot their wedding that it will be an amazing experience for us all.

So to the future. I have already explained WHY but not what it means for John Rose Photography Limited.

Corporate events and special occasions

Well, I have already created a new commercial website, which showcases some of the commercial photography I have been doing. In the next few months I will be moving premises. It's still at old Sarum and has free parking but I will now have a unit to myself. This will give me much more room as I will have the whole of the ground floor as studio space, which in turn will allow me to be more creative with how and what I shoot. It also has direct ground floor studio access which will allow for larger projects.

So the future for John Rose Photography is in the commercial world, with an occasional dip into the wedding and portrait markets. We will still shoot charity and commercial events but these will, in the main, be all inclusive pre-paid events with the images being supplied to the event organiser, or printed for guests on the night.

Awards events and business conferences

Our current school photography will be separated to become its own entity, although in the early days it is quite possible I will be doing a lot of the photography. As this part of the business grows I will bring in other photographers who have been trained by me to undertake the work in the manner I have always done.

Thank you for reading my ramble. Please do leave a comment, I am very interested to know what you feel about the proposed changes. If you have a question post it in the comments and I will answer it on here. If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you and your business create your message in images please do get in touch by clicking here, emailing or telephoning 01722 320500.

Click image to visit new commercial website

Click image to visit new commercial website


Starbucks get a brewed awakening…

Starbucks have once again found themselves in hot water, or rather in this case, cold water.

The coffee giant has been sued for a whopping $5million (£3.4million) for putting too much ice in its cold drinks.

Customer Stacey Pincus filed a lawsuit against the chain, stating that the volume of liquid in their cold drinks was sometimes little more than half of that advertised, due to the additional ice.

Starbucks provides the volume of each of its serving sizes in fluid ounces in its US locations, but Pincus said these figures were really only the size of the cup, rather than the drink.

Starbucks said the case was "without merit" because “ice was a fundamental part of an iced drink”.

Pincus said Starbucks could serve its cold drinks in larger cups that would allow room for the advertised volume of liquid, plus ice. The company advertises four sizes on its menu – tall, grande, venti and trenta (which are 12, 16, 24 and 30 fluid ounces respectively).

So a Starbucks customer who orders a venti cold drink receives only 14 fluid ounces of that drink – just over half the advertised amount, and just over half the amount for which they are paying.

In essence, Starbucks is advertising the size of its cold drink cups on its menu, rather than the amount of fluid a customer will receive when they make a purchase – and deceiving its customers in the process.

It seems every other day we get a news story about businesses and brands misleading their customers.

Even worse is when those businesses don’t own up to those mistakes.

Some of the biggest assets you have are your current customers. If something happens that they should know about – tell them. When something is going wrong, let them know.

This sounds simple to say, but can be hard to do for fear of losing a client.

Own up to your mistakes, then make things right with your customers.

As your best source for new business, don’t give them the opportunity to say, “Well, they’re good, but they’re a bit sneaky when it comes to…”

If you make a mistake, be professional enough to admit it – and be humble. Own up and apologise before anyone else has the chance to publicly make a harsh judgment that could damage your reputation further.

Everyone has flaws – it’s what makes us human.

Handled correctly, being honest about and accountable for your mistakes could make all the difference.

Speak soon


P.S. You can read about the lawsuit here:

Commercial Savvy Salisbury

Were you one of the commercially savvy businesses that got your year off to a fresh start by updating the images on your promotional material and website.Well there’s still time!

The first couple of months of our new year here at John Rose Photography, Salisbury has been verybusy helping our commercial clients update their images. We find that many companies start the year looking at their marketing material and website. They find it to be the perfect time to refresh everything. The old cliche ‘a picture paints a 1000 words’ is never more true when it comes to commercial promotion in South Wiltshire and West Hampshire

We all know people buy from people, and the more business savvy people know that making your business stand out from the crowd is even more important. Did you read Mandy’s post ‘What do the images on your website or promotional material say about you’, the guest blog from Personnel Placements  ‘Profile pictures – what do they tell a potential employer about you?’ or the guest blog from Robert Snook, MD of MG Cannon‘What a dose of your own medicine tastes like’. If not then pop over and have a look, they are well worth reading.

We have recently relaunched our commercial studio portraits giving you 3 options to choose from, starting as before with the 20 minute shoot for £35. Full details can be found in our blog post ‘Professional commercial studio portraits/headshots’. If you are a member of Salisbury or Wilton Chamber of commerce you can take advantage of a 10% discount on the displayed prices.

We are currently working on our ‘New Year, New Image’ promotion for SME’s. This is similar to our commercial studio portrait shoots, but will allow you as a businesses to update your literature and website with professional, high quality images of your business premises and products too. We have options to suit everyone, and at very reasonable prices. COMING SOON!

We are very lucky to have a hugely diverse client list, and in any one month we can be shooting art, commercial headshots, actors, singers, jewellery, electrical items, the list goes on. If you are thinking that perhaps it is time you freshened up your website and promotion material with new, bespoke images, give us a call on 01722 320500 or email

6 Reasons Why Images are Important

If you have an online store, issue press releases or even just have a Facebook business “page”, then here are 6 reasons to publish images and photos as part of your business marketing tactics.

  1. Articles with images get 94% more total views
  2. Including a Photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45%
  3. 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results
  4. In an ecommerce site, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product
  5. In an online store, customers think that the quality of a products image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%)
  6. Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% where text only is 0.27% (this translates to a 37% higher level of engagement for photos over text)


Is checking your email making you stressed?


Does the thought of opening your email inbox in the morning fill you with dread?

Or are you guilty of checking them countless times throughout the day?

Email StressEmail anxiety is a big thing - both in your personal and professional life – but research released this week has shown that keeping track of those messages could actually be the reason you’re feeling stressed out.

Enter: The Daily Message.

The brainchild of Twitter co-founder, Evan Williams has proposed the idea for ‘a messaging service/app that only delivers once a day’. The concept means you can see all your messages from the last 24 hours, reply, and then switch off.

And, much like a traditional post-box, your replies all get delivered at the same time. Ever wished you could delete an email after hitting send? With this app, you could! If of course, you don’t ‘miss the post’.

You can read more about his app idea here:

We’re living in such a fast-paced, modern world where having our offices at our fingertips really does have its pros. You can work remotely, you can check in with colleagues wherever you are, and you can always know what’s going on.

But that too, has its drawbacks.

We’re constantly ‘on’; replying to messages out of hours and always hitting refresh, afraid of missing something.

Sound familiar?

While “The Daily Message” is, at the moment, just an idea; I certainly think that the concept is a great one. It’ll give you so much time back, and you’ll have much more freedom – and time – to work on your business, and not in it.

What do you think? Is it something you’d use?

Speak soon!

Are you 'Well Natural'?

Well Natural Artisan

Do you know your zinc from your iron, or your magnesium from your potassium if the answer is no then we suggest you make your way to Well Natural located at 15 Silver Street, just on the edge of Salisbury’s Cathedral City Guildhall Square.

We were recently commissioned to go and capture some images on behalf of our friends at Salisbury Life Magazine, and in doing so its certainly opened our eyes and minds about alternative and healthy options available.

Well Natural Cafe SeatingThe mission at Well Natural is “To provide value in products and services, to remain committed to the supply of natural products helping to keep the whole family healthy”.

This store is clean tidy and everything is easy to find – but if you are having problems then don’t be afraid to ask their very helpful team of staff.

With a café inside and extra seating both upstairs and outside in the summer months , this shop caters for everyone and all things healthy – even a healthier  vegan  option which during our visit was Chocolate & Coconut Flapjack or Malted Fruit & Seed Bar.Well Natural Cafe

It’s not just about health and nutrients in here, they also care your skincare routine and have a great range of skin and body products from the Dr Hauschka. This really is an interesting place to visit – did you know that you can buy original flower remedies?

Well Natural Vegan Fruit and Seeded BarWere you aware that adding a drop or two or Rock Rose into a glass of water or directly on to your tongue, will help against terror or that White Chestnut is to help with unwanted thoughts and mental arguments. There are certainly a few flower remedies we can think of trying.

So from minerals, vitamins and flower remedies you can also buy food, ingredients and eco-friendly washing liquids and fabric conditions. Everything in this shop shouts Well Natural from the inside out, the outside in and from top to toe.”

The Sunflower Ball at the Stones Hotel, Salisbury


Sunflower Ball image at the Stones HotelAs a business we do as much as we can to help local charities including capturing images for publicity like the Stars Appeal Breast Cancer Unit Campaign, Lucy’s Days Out events, taking part in fundraising and more recently attending and capturing both formal and partybooth images with our portable studio at The Stones Hotel for the Sunflower Ball.

The Ball itself was organised by Baz and Jan Burns, and their daughter Izzie to raise funds for SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) In memory of their son Charlie Burns, who sadly died when he suffered two seizures within days of each other in October 2011.

His condition was unknown to anyone because up until four days before he died, he was an apparently fit and healthy child.

Since Charlie’s death, his parents and sister have raised an incredible £46,000 with a further £10,000 being raised at the Sunflower Ball - along with awareness of the condition with the majority of funds going to SUDEP Action.

We were so very pleased to be the photographers for Baz and Jan on the evening of the Sunflower Ball and very touched to have received such great feedback from them for our support of their event:

You were fantastic - 3 little words!!

Sunflower Ball PartyBooth image at the Stones HotelJohn Rose Photography kindly offered to support our Sunflower Ball Charity Auction and Ball which was held at the Stones Hotel , High Post, Salisbury on 3 October 15. The night was in memory of our son Charlie Burns who sadly died week after his 10th birthday from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP).

The evening was a black tie event with 150 people attending. There was a full packed entertainment pack and of course JRP were there with both formal pictures and a fantastic photo booth.

The evening was a total success with the bar closing at 06:30 on Sunday morning! People are still commenting on the evening and publishing their photos on social media. Thanks to everyone's support the event raised a staggering £10,000.

Thanks for your support and hope to be able to work with you in the new year!!”

Baz and Jan Burns

Have you been to Repertoire lately?

For those of you that are regular browsers of Salisbury Life Magazine, will know that they are keen to bring you the best of Salisbury’s shopping boutiques and “Repertoire” certainly falls in to that category.

This is a shop with style teamed with the quirkiness of the old beams in the current 13th Century listed building, located in Fish Row, in Salisbury’s City centre.

“Since opening its first stores over 18 years ago, Repertoire has established itself as a leading independent retailer of major designer labels, based in the South of England. Today, with five stores, stocking a variety of collections from over 50 key designer brands, we cover all styles, from casual jeans by a whole host of designers to formal dressing, suiting for men and occasion wear for women”

Repertoire, Salisbury

Brands stocked in this beautiful boutique are high end which are already established as having great reputations within the world of fashion and include Barbour, Ted Baker, Holland Esquire, Ralphe Lauren, Armani and Jeffery West to name but a few.

Staff are not only warm friendly and helpful, focusing on their great customer service, but also have a wide knowledge of their brands too.

If you are looking for a new jacket, coat, jumper or even a new pair of gorgeous designer jeans, as well as other items of fashion wear for the autumn/winter season, then please go and take a look inside the doors of Repertoire Salisbury.

#PotterItForward – The next step in the Harry Potter Saga

  Before you get too excited, I’m not about to reveal a new book in the much-loved Harry Potter franchise (sorry, I’m as gutted as you are!). But I am going to tell you that the magic is definitely not over, especially for newcomers to the Wizarding World.

The seven books have had a massive impact on the lives of millions. And now, a younger generation are getting the chance to experience this for themselves.

Potter fan-site, MuggleNet have started a new movement that’s seeing Potterheads share with the world what Harry, Ron and Hermione mean to them. Fans are being encouraged to leave a secret note in their favourite book, and donate it to a library or charity shop.

Be it their favourite quote, a message they took from the books or something else; these heartfelt notes are keeping the magic alive.

This got me wondering, what books meant the most to you growing up? And which timeless stories do you read over and over again?

In the day and age of the Internet, it’s so easy to read a blog or an e-book instead of picking up your favourite paperback. We’ve almost lost the magic of books (pun very much intended), and I think it’s important that we most definitely get this back!

So, I’d love to know what your favourite book is? Whether it’s a Roald Dahl classic, something by the Bronte sisters, or even the boy wizard himself, let’s talk books!

Speak soon!

Hats off to Vivien Sheriff

Hats off to Vivien Sheriff

When thinking of hats or hat designers we immediately think of locally based, multi award- wining milliner Vivien Sherriff!

Based here in Wiltshire and established in 2004 Vivien's heritage millinery is a superb brand at the forefront of all British headwear designs. She strives and succeeds to produce the most exceptional hats and headpieces, with her inspiration being drawn from the wildlife surrounding her studios, in Wiltshire's very own country village of Downton.

Vivien's signature designs are made with passion, distinct silhouettes and intricate elements making them the finest in couture pieces. Vivien - top of the list of designers who have previously dressed many famous and celebrated heads, has also specifically designed headwear for most of the royal wedding guests who attended Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011. Ms Sherriff has since continued to raise her profile by representing ‘Best of British’ in headwear fashion.

Bold combinations coupled with an exacting match in trim through hand dying; create a unique and fresh style. The dramatic shapes are enhanced by exquisite flowers and feathers softening the silhouette and giving richness in design. Vivien with her outstanding skills and a team dedicated to their craft, use only the very best quality fabrics; silks, organzas and tulles, essential to give a depth of colour. All these elements come together to create some truly exquisite hats and head pieces.

-'Minnie' Peacock Feather Headpiece 01Vivien's Guide on How to Wear a Hat: 1. Your hat should coordinate with your outfit - either as a complementary or accent colour. Take your outfit with you when you buy your hat to get the colour match correct. 2. Consider the occasion and your role in it For ladies, an upturned brim is best for kissing guests, or try a disc shape, a headpiece or even a fascinator. For gents, a classic fedora in wool felt or Panama toquilla straw always adds effortless style to an outfit. 3. Make sure your hat flatters your face and your silhouette Petite women should opt for fascinators so as not to look unbalanced, whereas tall women can carry off wider brims. Be daring and try different shapes - you'll be amazed at what you can wear. 4. Make sure your hat fits properly A hat that is too big or too small is as uncomfortable as an ill-fitting pair of shoes. 5. Finally, wear your hat with confidence A slightly jaunty angle down over the right eyebrow is best, and never on the back of the head. Stand tall, feel splendid and enjoy your day! Not only has Vivien Sheriff made a lasting impression on the world of fashion, but also on us at John Rose Photography!

Although the weather was not at its best and rather miserable outside, we were served fresh hot coffee at her country-farm studio, whilst discussing all things Vivien. This lady certainly knows a thing or two about hats; after all she also created the fascinator worn by Kate Middleton on her first official engagement in Anglesey in February of that year.

- Beaux Headpiece Special 01As part of our portfolio range for Salisbury Life magazine we were asked to visit Vivien at her studio and show room in Downton, for a portfolio shoot. We were delighted to meet the lovely lady herself and her staff, before having the pleasure of photographing this remarkably talented lady with some of her outstanding work.

Miss Sheriff herself was an absolute delight to photograph, so much so that we managed to capture the perfect shot of both her and her dog effortlessly and within minutes.

We always try to keep the lighting as simple as possible for these shoots. Space is generally limited as is the client's time.

Two speed lights on stands were used to light Vivien. One was placed slightly behind and to her right and fitted with an umbrella. This light lifts the shadows and helps to separate her from the background. The most important factor to consider when setting this light is that it must not overpower the fixed lighting and create its own shadow.

The second light is placed in front, approximately 45 degrees to the left and above. The sole purpose of this light is to illuminate Vivien. The 45 degree angle helps to produce a pleasing shadow on her face and down her body.

The lights are metered and tested individually before a model (anyone available really) is placed in the scene to test the light fall. I shoot at f8, ISO around 400 and with the shutter speed of around 1/200 sec. These are generalised settings and can vary depending on the situation and the available light.

Once tested and ready, the client is moved into the scene and the image is captured in just a couple of shots. Generally the client will be shown the image on the back of the camera or a tethered iPad to ensure our client is happy with her facial expression, etc. and the job is done.

25 Years of the Larmer Tree Festival

  Walking into the  Larmer  Tree Festival is like taking a walk back through time.

A time of flower power and hippies in an environment that's safe for children to run free. Everyone is happy with beaming smiles upon their faces, a community of total togetherness that never ceases to amaze us each year that we visit.

From the moment we arrive and collect our press passes we are captivated by the atmosphere. It's a time to catch up with friends in the press area and on stage that we have met over the years and this year is was no exception.

Celebrating its 25th year the Larmer Tree organisers have gone all out to make it a huge party and what a celebration it's been. Headlining for two nights as the opening act performing his classic songs, as well as tracks from his latest critically acclaimed albums Spirit in the Room and Praise and Blame was Grammy and Brit Award winner Sir Tom Jones.


The audience danced and sang along to classics such as Delilah, Sex Bomb and Its Not Unusual. Some even throwing underwear up on stage which always makes us laugh. Sir Tom certainly hasn't lost his knack of charming the ladies young and old, certainly knows how to move on stage.

Other acts to have taken the Main Lawn this year have been:

  • The Shires
  • Bellowhead
  • Levellers
  • Demi Kuti & The Positive Force
  • Bill Bailey
  • Jimmy Cliff

For those of you that have never been to the Larmer Tree Festival, really should consider going along. With something for all ages from the 0-10 in the Larmer Parler & Larmer Lawns, to Base Camp for the older 11-17 year old age group.

For the older audience there are an array of things to do, places to visit and areas to relax and chill out it. The Secret Garden is hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds, under  the shade of the leafy trees. Here you can have a massage, Reiki, Reflexology, Aromatherapy as well as a taking a look at your journey through life with a Palmist.

When it comes to tickling your taste buds, you really won't be disappointed. Food is a high priority for all festival goers with dishes from Italy in the form of pizzas or pasta, to truly moreish dishes with Morroccan flavours and a dish with a Mexican vibe. If you are looking for something closer to home why not try The Whole Hog, or a festival roast dinner from the Roaming Rotisserie. Not forgetting of course various places to grab a coffee, cup of tea and plenty of cake or something with an alcohol content in.

It would seem that the organisers of this amazing festival have forgotten nothing , and it just gets better and better each year.

Other areas of activity You can visit the Arc, Big Top, the Pavillion, The Social, Garden Stage and of course the Main Lawn. The programme of acts and entertainment really is, the party that in the summer is unmissable.

Starcast impress at Trinity Guildhall Exams

  Have you ever had to stand and talk or perform in front of an audience? If you are nodding your head can you remember how it made you feel? personally the thought fills me with dread!Starcast Perfoming Arts Trinity Exams

Recently we were booked to capture images of over 200 students from Starcast Performing Arts, Salisbury. The students we were asked to photograph were aged between 5 - 17 years old and had all been entered in to the "Trinity Guildhall Musical Theatre Exams" which took place over the weekend of the 11th and 12 th July 2015, at the  Blackledge Theatre, Godolphin School in Salisbury.Starcast Perfoming Arts Trinity Exams

Trinity College London offers an unrivalled choice of qualifications for students and teachers of drama and speech subjects, at all levels of experience and ability.

The syllabuses provides a structured framework designed to encourage the progressive development of integrated performance and communication skills over time. Their solo and pair graded exams and diplomas are fully accredited in the UK and recognised internationally in many other countries.Starcast Perfoming Arts Trinity Exams

The Starcast Performing Arts Schools students danced, sung and acted as part of their exam performing extracts from “Cats", “Whistle Down the Wind”, “Matilda”, “Bugsy Malone”, “Annie”, “Rent”, “The Jungle Book” and “Half a SixpenceStarcast Perfoming Arts Trinity Exams

"Starcast Performing Arts Schools first opened in 2009 and now has over 280 children and teeangers training in our Acting Classes, Singing Lessons and Dance Classes at our weekly Performing Arts Classes. At Starcast we teach children and teenagers aged 4-18 yrs old. Students are spilt into three classes of similar ages and study each discipline of Dance, Drama and Singing. To read more about the content and the training involved in the three classes please scroll down this page.

ALL abilities are welcome. Starcast offers children and teenagers a chance to simply enjoy learning to act, sing and dance. With opportunites of performing professionally if they wish too.

At our schools we endeavour to build confidence and self esteem, we also teach children skills they can use in everyday life such as communication, focus, creative and presentation skills.

At Starcast Schools we encourage our students to express themselves, to voice their concerns and their ideas in loud, clear and confident voices.

At Starcast we give every child the chance to perform as often as we can, we believe this is a great confidence builder."Starcast Perfoming Arts Trinity Exams

The examiner was impressed with the wonderful costumes, staging and talent of all the performances, awarding every single students  a mark of 80% or over.

90% of students were awarded a “Distinction” which is the highest possible mark from "Trinity Guildhall"

Understandably many of the students were feeling nervous and apprehensive, but once they started to perform, the shy quietness and rattling of nerves very quickly vanished - leaving confident focused performers.Starcast Perfoming Arts Trinity ExamsWe felt that this was an exciting and professional event where wonderful memories were made for all involved. These students truly are stars of the future.