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Capturing Love: A Valentine's Day Photoshoot Adventure by Emma Solomon Photography | Whitley Bay



Love is in the air, and what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with a photoshoot capturing moments of love, romance on the seafront of Whitley Bay?


Recently, I had the pleasure of embarking on a fantastic couple of days, lens in hand, capturing the essence of love in two distinct settings working alongside social media manager Helen Arnold from H Social Agency.


Helen specialises in helping brands manage their Instagram accounts. Not only running, but also training and working collaboratively. It's all about organic growth and an understanding of your client and geographical locations. Is hiring a social media agent a good investment? Well in my view it is, Helen knows her stuff and to be honest, reaching your prospective clients quickly and effortlessly is everyone's dream and it's something I strive to do, but often don't have the right amount of time to do. That's where H Social Agency comes into play, they do the work for you. Running a business instagram account is not the same as running a personal account, so if you want a great business instagram account, have a chat with Helen.


Working with me on such collaborative photoshoots is an investment, however, it gives you a broader audience for your products, especially if you work with local designers and businesses with similar geographical locations; a big plus for instagram. My style is definitely authentic and leaning towards documentary, but my goal is to give you a set of high quality images that you can share on all social media platforms.


Our Valentine collaboration was with Primehide Leather, designers of equisite leather garments and bags, sold locally at The Leather Mob in Tynemouth. We were primarily photographing their "Yvonne" biker jacket. This jacket was so pretty, soft as butter and incredibly warm - which is actually quite good considering it was a freezing cold day on the coast - it also had a really pretty lining, which is just an added detail to fall in love with!


The first leg of this adventure took us to the beautiful, if a little windswept, seafront at Whitley Bay, where Jess and her nine red helium heart balloons set the stage for a dreamy scene against the backdrop of crashing waves and the iconic ICES at Rendezvous Cafe. I have to thank the team at the Card Factory in Whitley Bay for helping us with these balloons, and definitely somewhere I would go again for my balloons. To be honest, it was quite a tough shoot as it was so windy, but we had booked the day so just had to work with Mother Nature.


The concept was being blown off your feet by love - ironically it was the wind that nearly blew us off our feet - but you get the picture. The tulle skirts and fleece lined Doc Martins, matched with a heart jumper, were perfect for the more grungy look we were going for. Really this jacket can be work with any style, with these heavy boots or as you see later, with a sequin dress and high heels. Jess's vintage look worked so well for this look, especially with her own turban. The LIPS earrings are super and are a statement piece, but work effortlessly with the styling.


Our mini heart balloon "I hate Valentine's" photo was just quirky and we couldn't resist. Not everyone finds love on Valentine's Day, so we have to be somewhat realistic in our photographs!


Our presence on the seafront did bring some happy smiles to morning dog walkers, and we did get a lot of dogs photobombing us, but I'm really pleased with the final edits. Massive thanks to model Jess, and also to Rendezvous Cafe team who let us take a few photos indoors. We were so cold we had to warm up before going to our second shoot location of the day, so big thumbs up to the Rendezvous - iconic cafe that is a must if you are down on the seafront.



Our fab LIPS earrings had been handmade by Michelle at Jewellery by Hooked. She had also given us some take-away coffee cup earrings with little hearts on. So we headed to our second shoot location, Cullercoats. One stop along the Metro from Whitley Bay. The funniest moments were off camera when we had to make sure the balloons were secure as we walked up the main street to the Metro Station, then on the train with the bag of balloons. But we made it in one piece, really not sure how.


Once in Cullercoats we went straight to my favourite cafe, The Boatyard, for a take-away coffee and sat down on a bench looking out over the bay. A quick change of tulle skirt from red to black and we were good to go. [my favourite tulle skirts are from Chicwish, always useful to have a few in the wardrobe in different colours!].


Massive thank you to The Boatyard for our coffee, which was lush.


We finished the shoot with the last of the frames walking under the Underpass in Cullercoats, which to me is a living art gallery. The art is continuously changing, so when you are next in Cullercoats make sure you walk under the road to the beach. It was a great way for me to show the back of the jacket as it has a lovely V shape down the back towards the waist, a nice design feature.



Collaborators:

"Yvonne" Jacket - Primehide leather  from The Leather Mob, Tynemouth

Balloons - Card Factory, Whitley Bay

Leather charm bracelets - The Leather Mob, Tynemouth

LIPS earrings/Coffee Cup earrings - Jewellery by Hooked

Wave ring - Silverkupe

Heart spinner ring - Meander Gifts, Whitley Bay

Take away coffee - The Boatyard, Cullercoats

Top & Skirt - models own

Model - Jess


Our next shoot was a few days later, indoors and toasting to love with a Valentine's photoshoot at Miller & Carter steak restaurant in North Shields/Tynemouth.


Our second styled shoot was a little more Galentine - ie Valentine with the girls - fun, flirty and delicate. It was indoors and thankfully no North East wind to deal with!


With our favourite "Yvonne" biker jacket, Poppy and Stella modelled gorgeous jewellery from a wide selection at Meander Gifts in Whitley Bay as they sipped on signature cocktails made by the bar staff at Miller & Carter steak restaurant at the Coast, which is just on the boundary of North Shields/Tynemouth. If you haven't been there yet I'd definitely recommend it - the steak is incredible and the waiting staff actually know everything about the steaks that they are serving, which in itself is fantastic. We of course had to sample all the cocktails, which were lovely, and the atmosphere in the restaurant was relaxed and welcoming. A nice way to end a working day!


We asked Anna at ThreadyMades to make some bespoke name cards for the cocktails, and I'm so thrilled with what she created - not just simple name cards, but creative and beautifully handmade. Her creativity and styling really added to the shoot - in fact I love Anna's style I've bought some of her artwork!


All rings, earrings and bracelets were from Meander Gifts in Whitley Bay. They have such a lovely selection of jewellery from many different designers, it's worth popping in when you next pass to see their selection. I really like the bracelet which is all one piece, but looks like several wrapped around. The LIPS necklace was by Michelle at Jewellery by hooked, which made for a perfect Valentine piece.


It's great to see a leather jacket being styled two ways, so you can wear Doc Martins one day and heels the next. My perfect sort of jacket!



Collaborators:

"Yvonne" Jacket - Primehide leather  from The Leather Mob, Tynemouth

Leather Handbag and coin purse & tag - The Leather Mob, Tynemouth

Handmade name tags - ThreadyMades

LIPS necklace - Jewellery by Hooked

Rings, earrings, bracelets - Meander Gifts, Whitley Bay

Dresses - models own

Models - Poppy & Stella



What are the benefits of working with a social media manager and a photographer?

One of the main reasons to work with Helen, is that she knows her social media. So many brands think they can do their own instagram as they probably do it for their own personal account. However, instagram for business is a different thing all together. If you want the best for your brand it really is worth investing in brand promotion, and that's what Helen's agency does, it works collaboratively with brands to build an organic following. And to be honest, having someone who knows what they are doing manage your instagram account means it's one less thing to worry about. So that's got to be good right?


You have around 3 seconds to capture someone's interest as they scroll through social media, so you need strong photos. Having the right photo is essential. I've been taking photographs for 40+ years, it's something I'm passionate about and just live for. I love working with all sorts of brands, and happy to design a creative shoot with other brands.


If you feel you haven't a good bank of photos, then get in touch with me and we can chat through how to work together, either on a personal brand photoshoot, or on a collaborative photoshoot with other brands. I'm always happy to chat about photography!

As Valentine's Day approaches, let us remember to cherish the ones we love, to celebrate the beauty of connection and togetherness. For in the end, it is love that truly makes life worth living, and it is through love that we find meaning and purpose in our journey.


Happy Valentine's Day Emma x


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