How to Create a Time-lapse

15 June 2018


After being asked how I created my time-lapses, I put together this quick tip on how to get that speeded up video effect when you want to show some action in your social media content.

These are great so show the behind the scenes of your business – but in a short video – so it’s not asking too much of your followers to sit and watch something for hours!

It definitely offers a new way to produce content for your social media and I find I get better reach with this kind of post too, perhaps because it’s a authentic story telling snippet of your business and brand.

You can really record anything, from setting up for a special business event or showing people how you are working or creating things.

Here’s how…

Here are some Amazon links to the same Joby Tripod I used in my vlog and a bigger version for larger phones. Not completely necessary but a great investment if you’re planning on doing more videos and time-lapses in the future. Just click the image or text to be directed to the Amazon product.

Smart phone:

Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand for Smartphones – Black


Larger smart phone:

Joby GripTight XL GorillaPod Stand Magnetic Mount and Tripod for Larger Smartphones

Bringing photography and graphic design together

09 June 2018

Don’t you just love it when everything comes together so effectively.

I’ve been doing photography with Create Your World and d-c-fix products for some years now. The styled images we have produced have been used on social media and on their e commerce website as well as in B and Q and The Range.

More recently, Create Your World wanted to capture their customers attention by designing some flyers and digital marketing campaigns. I was delighted that they got Claire Harding involved with the graphics. She’s a graphic designer that I’ve known for a while and her work is fantastic.

The brief was to inspire and educate the customer on how to use the sticky back plastic products.  Including clear, accurate and application photography.

Here are  some of the 2018 campaigns that are getting fantastic engagement online.

Photography flyer

You can find out more about Claire here


Twitter @cjenksdesign

Where to put arms in a portrait?

01 June 2018

Children-Where to put your arms in a portraitSometimes when taking photos of children, they put a lot of energy into their smile but stand with their arms and hands down by their sides like they have no clue what to do with them.

OK – we adults are the same too! What on earth do we do with these two long limbs that are hanging around and have suddenly got no purpose as soon as a camera appears.

Don’t get me wrong, it can look OK, but often, arms down the side just creates a long, narrow, and dare I say boring, image.

So here are some tips on how to get rid of those lollipop arms. I’ve added some images for you to see examples.

The first image. This shows the boy’s arms down by the side. It’s not too bad but if it was full body shot it would be very soldier like. There are no hands either, which isn’t necessarily a terrible thing, but I find hands to be a great addition to portraits where possible.

The second image. I captured the child as he ran towards me, his arms in motion. – Running around is a good one for your child to do. It gets their arms moving and swaying in the photograph not to mention genuine happiness- and it shows in the photo. Notice his hand holding a buttercup too – so sweet!

The third image. Here he was collecting dandelions. Using flowers and other props ( even an ice-cream) can be very effective so this was a great opportunity. These are more candid, natural images where they child is doing what they want to do, and often the arms will ‘pose’ automatically. This picture tells more of a story about the child and what he enjoys to do at the innocent age of 6 (maybe not so much by the time he is 10!)

The forth image. The woods are great as there are many things to put the arms and hands around.  Simply positioning one hand on the tree will help loads with the composition of a photo.

Here, I told him to wrap his arms around the tree, but he is also casually fidgeting with a piece of catchweed. I love this, as even though it’s posed, it’s so laidback, and again, like the third image I think it’s a glimpse of his personality.

The fifth image. Lastly, holding onto branches; the kids are usually in their element in trees so it makes for great photos, this time his posture is open and playful. It appears less posed than the forth image; more candid and dynamic!

Children portrait RJM-Photography

The six and seventh images This last set shows how the arms are all pretty much just hanging in no:6 – I think the kids faces say it all! It’s a nice portrait but a bit lacking in energy compared to the next along which shows more personality (yes, that word again). Their arms are doing something useful or interesting and somehow the children seem to have a closer bond in the second version even though there is more space around and between them.

Hope you’ve found these tips useful.

If you would like more top tips to be delivered to you then click the image belowLittle subject big world

Corporate headshots – before and after professional photography.

31 May 2018

Corporate headshots before and after a professional photoshoot with RJM PhotographyCorporate headshots – before and after professional photography.

Meet the team profile pictures are becoming increasing popular in the law profession, as clients like to know who they are dealing with. It’s important to project a message of trust and professionalism.

I recently had the pleasure of helping Carr and Co, a NorthEast law firm with their new headshots.

Carr’s had already had headshot portraits done a while back by a helpful family member who was an amateur photographer but that had been a long time ago and as new team members had joined over the years it was obvious that the photos all had different lighting and an inconsistent feel to them.

”it was important to get a consistent look throughout all the headshot photos”

I was keen to help out. We arranged a date so that everyone was in the Gosforth office and I set up my mobile studio in the spare room. Rachel McClumpha headshot photoshoot

A tweet from the day

I wanted the background to be a soft grey tone instead of bright white or black that i’ve seen a lot of corporate headshots use. This subtle grey colour is much more flattering with skin tones and I feel it fits with the Carr and Co’s branding better too.

”I created a beauty style lighting setup which makes the skin glow”

I positioned all the ladies so that they were all at a similar angle and asked them to lean forward towards me.

The lens I used for all the shots was a 70-200mm 2.8, on a tripod, as it was important to get a consistent look throughout all the headshot photos as they were to be placed on the same webpage.

Here is an image of the before and after portraits on Carr and Co’s website. As you can see, I captured a closer portrait, eliminated the harsh shadows and created a beauty style lighting setup. This lighting helps the skin glow, gives great catchlights in the eyes and creates a fresh-faced, youthful apperance all whilst keeping the images on brand and professional looking, which is most important for solicitors headshots.

Headshots before, and after by RJM-Photography

Before and after professional headshots

Would you like to update and get some shiny new headshots for you and the team?

If you’d like to find out more about professional, meet-the-team headshots lets chat.

How to get better photos on a bright sunny day

22 May 2018

You might think photos on a bright sunny day will look great but actually our cameras struggle with the contrast in the highlights and shadows and can result in poor images.

Why? The sun so far away and is a hard light source so it creates dark defined shadows. Whereas on a cloudy day the light is softer because the clouds diffuse the suns harshness and scatter the light leaving the shadows subtle or not visible at all.

So does that mean for a more flattering light on our faces we only ever take photos on a cloudy day?

Here’s a quick tip on how to get round this if you’re out and about on a bright sunny day and want to get some great selfies or family snaps that you’ll be really pleased with.

Also checkout my indoor lighting tip here

How Setting Goals Can Improve Family Harmony

25 April 2018

EVO Goal guest blog

At one time or another we all feel the pressure of parenthood. We often tie ourselves in knots with the work-life balance but then feel guilty when we can’t keep everyone happy. How often have you told yourself I’m going to be more patient, I’m not going to shout or I’m going to spend more quality time with my loved ones? Intentions are all well and good but sometimes they fall by the wayside just because life gets in the way.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Through experience and extensive research, I now know that to instigate real, long lasting change, creating goals is the key.

Even the simple act of setting goals and breaking down your path to achieving them can make a massive difference in your ability to create change.

‘’If you as a parent feel fulfilled and have balance in your life, then you will be better able to cope’’

So what goals should you be setting?

Before you look at setting goals to improve your family or children’s lives you need to first look at your own life. If you as a parent feel fulfilled and have balance in your life, then you will be better able to cope with the challenges of raising your children. Whether you’re a full-time parent or juggling external work with your family commitments, stepping back to assess your own life and ensure you are in a place that you are content with is so important. I appreciate it can be easier said than done to make time for yourself but finding small pockets of time where you can fit in the things that make you happy (e.g. reading a book, running etc.) is essential. As Jessica Turner mentions in her book The Fringe Hours there is always more time to be found whether it’s 30mins while your child is napping, 20mins on a commuter train, 5 mins between meetings, early morning or late evening.

‘’Helping your child to create (achievable) goals can help increase their confidence’’

Once you’ve looked at your own personal goals, start thinking about your goals for your family. These can be goals for improving your behaviour or habits or those of your children. Helping your child to create (achievable) goals can help increase their confidence and can also help build their resilience and ability to cope with setbacks.

‘’Consistency and routine’’

Key to achieving your goals is identifying small actionable steps, consistency and routine. For example, if your goal is to improve your child’s mental maths, build a routine of asking them questions for 5 mins at the same time every day, e.g. at the breakfast table or on the walk to school. Doing this at the same time every day means you won’t forget and they (hopefully!) won’t complain as they accept that this is the routine.

Some top tips for setting goals:

  1. Make your goals SMART!
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Relevant
    • Time-bound
  2. Set BIG GOALS to stretch yourself. Give yourself challenging, stretched timelines. Be determined, focused and put a structured routine in place and you’ll be amazed at how your capacity stretches to accommodate your priorities.
  3. Find your Motivation – Big goals are more like climbing a mountain than a walk in the park and if you don’t have a deep emotional reason for achieving something, you won’t be able to keep going when the going gets tough.

mum and daughter portrait - RJM Photography

Fiona is the founder of EVO GOALS, an online coaching platform, and mum to two little ones. Following years juggling family and work in the city and feeling as though everything was a compromise, Fiona decided to leave her job and set up her own consultancy business. This improved her work-life balance, but she still felt that she could do more. After extensively researching the self-help market and realising there wasn’t one book or product that gave her exactly what she needed (most focus on a single area) she had the idea for EVO GOALS – a simple-to-use affordable platform that combines life coaching and professional productivity coaching in one, helping you to take more control of your life.

Website –

Facebook –

Twitter –

Instagram –

Blog –

How to Boost Your Selfies With One Easy Tip

29 March 2018

Taking selfies can be frustrating. So I created a quick vlog about how window lighting can be used in your selfie images or video to produce lovely smooth looking skin and great catchlights in your eyes.

For tips of how to get good lighting outdoors on a bright day check this vlog

How to prepare for a lifestyle photoshoot

28 March 2018

Preparing for a lifestyle photoshoot

How to prepare for a lifestyle photoshoot

If you’re in the process of branding and designing your website and you want some great new portraits to complete your professional new brand image then I have put together some key things that will help you prepare for the shoot.

Getting a set of shiny new images might just be the most fun part of the whole branding process! Not to mention that it’s really important to get fabulous looking images so that your ideal customers will want to do business with you.

Finding a photographer

There are different ways to find a photographer, perhaps you know someone from networking, or a photographer has been recommended to you by a friend. It could be that a facebook group discussion has given you some names  to look into. Take your time to do a bit of research and check out the photographer’s website and galleries to see if you actually like their work. If you do then arrange a chat, either on the phone or meet up in person if possible. It’s good to speak with the photographer to see if you’re a good fit for each other.

Check package details and things like how many images you’ll get and whether there are any extra costs or license fees.


Bring all your ideas to the discovery consultation –  but don’t worry, at this stage many people don’t know what they want yet. You don’t have to come up with a plan all by yourself.

Together we can chat about what the images are for? What platform(s) are the images being used on? What your brand is all about? Do you have brand colours you like to have in the images. This will help me get ideas for what you’d like and make sure we’re on the same page.

Must-have shots

Knowing where you will be using the images will help you get clarity on what you need. Firstly, browse your website and make a note of where images would fit in great.

”Consistency is key for your brand”

Great lifestyle imagery on website

Next, see what orientation or sizing would work best, tall, wide, square… If you know you need a banner image that will be very wide, tell your photographer so they can capture that for you. It’s better to know this in advance because cropping the image later might lead to disappointing results when important bits are cut off.

Do you need to have your portrait taken at the side of the picture so there is room for text to be added later?

Check your editorial calendar, if you use one, and see what campaigns, blogs, posts you need to have imagery for – if you are organised enough to have planned a Christmas campaign 6 month ahead, then it’s worth considering if you’ll need a photo of you in a santa hat for instance. Consistency is key for your brand.

”You could have a selection of locations for your portraits – some indoor and some outside”

Create a secret board on Pinterest

I do this for my clients so we can share the kind of images you like and what you feel represents your brand. We can comment and add images so that my clients can see ideas and be inspired. Again, don’t worry about trying to find exact images of what you want – at this stage it’s really to get a feel of your brand and style preferences.

Where will these photographs take place?

Outdoors? City, beach or woodland backdrops all look great. Remember that outdoors will be weather dependant though. It’s not a problem to rearrange a shoot but something to keep in mind if you need to organise the shoot for a specific day.

city headshot portrait by RJM Photography

Indoors?  Your office, home, at a cafe or venue and perhaps you like the idea of solid colour backdrops which can be done in the studio. It will also be easier to change your outfit indoors too.

Refer back to your Pinterest board to see if you favour particular backdrops.

”Choose little prop details that help tell a story of your business”

Change of clothes and backdrops

You could have a selection of locations for your portraits – some indoor and some outside. Mixed with a few clothing / jacket swaps; this is ideal to create an illusion that the images were taken at separate photoshoots on different days. But really it’s all been captured in a matter of hours.

Props in your photographs

Accessories like, bags, scarfs, earrings, hats, sunglasses are useful to give you different looks. Maybe a laptop, phone, cup of coffee ? Or perhaps something that’s very specific to your business. Some little details that help tell a story of your business may be great to capture especially if some are your brand colours.

branding colours for lifestyle photography


Select props and try on your outfits at least a week in advance to make sure you’re really happy with your look. (refer back to your Pinterest board for ideas). Be sure to keep on brand, but you don’t need to actually wear you brand colours if they don’t suit your skin tone. You could book a stylist or colour analyst (check out Helen Lee to find out more about using colours ) to help you out with clothing ideas and also be on hand at the shoot too.

Book in hair appointments near the shoot date if you need a blow dry or your colour done. You could also have a makeup artist (see my Headshot Photography Makeovers  blog) come along to the shoot to make sure you look your absolute best.

Confirm with you photographer the meeting time and address and pop an event reminder in your diary.

Bring a makeup bag so you can touch up. A hair bobble, grips, and a brush/comb and some hairspray if you need them. Also safety pins – they come in handy!

I believe that feeling comfortable is just as important as being confident if not more so. Feeling prepared and doing this planning process will help you feel ready and excited for the shoot. Most of my clients tell me that they hate their photo taken so you’re not alone if you feel a little nervous. But one common thing is, that after the first 5 mins I always notice my clients begin to relax and feel more comfortable with being in front of the camera. By half way through the shoot their are normally well into the swing of things which is great because when you’re more at ease, authentic expressions start to appear.

I hope this has given you some great prep advice. If you’d like a checklist, download the Lifestyle Headshot Preparation Checklist here

Headshot checklist RJM Photography

Find out how to prepare for your professional brand headshot

24 March 2018

Hi I was so excited to be asked to join in with Chocolate week.

Amy Purdie asked me if I could chat about headshots and what business people need to consider if they want to get a professional headshot for their branding, website and marketing.

It was also my very first Live chat- eek! Have a watch…

Find out more about Amy and brand design here

Headshot lighting tip for indoors

24 February 2018

If you’re ever trying to take a flattering selfie photo indoors it can be difficult to get it right- especially with electric light sources and shadows.

As well as studio lighting I also love to use natural light, so here is my quick tip for getting the most flattering results for a great selfie headshot photos.

Did you know that my Professional headshot portrait sessions start from only £90!

Why not contact me to see if we can work together

Headshot price list 2018

16 February 2018

The Corporate Headshot

Ideal for your own Linked In profile picture, or Meet-the-team corporate headshots for your staff. It’s a great session if you’re an actor, author or musician too. Really this is for anyone who needs a professional photo shoot but with minimum fuss and time out of your busy schedule.

 20 minute studio, location or workplace session.

 A range of head and shoulder poses for choice.

 1 background and 1 outfit

 Includes retouching of 3 images

 Special price for meet-the-team shoots

 2 x Payments of £50 (excluding travel)


The Collection

 Perfect for a selection of professional headshot portraits with varied poses and clothing to give you a range of different looks. These can be used across your social media and website to create a sophisticated and polished feel to your brand.

 Includes a 1-2-1 consultation

 45 minutes studio or location session.

 Includes up to 3 outfit and 2 background changes

Includes retouching of 9 images

2 x Payments of £80 (excluding travel)


The branded lifestyle shoot

Want something more tailor-made and really authentic? My North East Lifestyle headshot portraits are perfect for representing you and your brand across all your marketing, and it’s so much more than just a headshot. It can be in the studio, at your workspace or home, in the city, beach or woods, or any other place in the area you’d like.

Includes a 1-2-1 consultation

Planning images for website pages or a brochure.

2 hour session

A range of headshot poses as well as  3/4 and full length

Outfit and background changes

Includes retouching of 15 images

Skype call to choose together which images should be used on which media.

3 Instalments of £100 (excluding travel)

 Book a discovery call

View the headshot FAQ’s

Where to get headshots taken

31 January 2018

Where to get headshots taken by RJM Photography

So you’d like a headshot, but the question of ‘where to get headshots taken?’ is now an issue.


We’re so lucky in the NorthEast of England to have such a great variety of locations pretty much on our door step. So if anything, there’s too much choice.

Of course you could tootle off to get a cheap and cheerful headshot (that may or may not resemble a passport photo) and if that’s the case then you probably don’t need to read the rest of this article.


”How do you want to be perceived?”


But if you love the idea of having something different, stylish and a set of images that will make you and your business stand out then read on..

When it comes to planning the location of your portrait, this is where your branding plays a big part in the decision process. Have a think about how you want to represent yourself and your business.

Where is your business based? In the city, your home, the countryside, are you mobile? Is it important to you to show that in your images?

How do you want to be perceived? Friendly, professional, quirky?

These questions can be helpful when planning the location of your photoshoot. As I mentioned before there are a lot of possibilities; here are some examples…

Headshots At Home:

Photography in your home workspace is great to bring that personal touch into to your portrait images. It’s ideal if you’re a service provider working from home. It really helps people associate with you and understand your brand if you are creating wonderful things right from your kitchen table. There’s a real sense of showing people behind the scene with this style. It can play a very big part in your clients trusting your brand and getting to know you. these types of images are great use throughout your website.

Lifestyle portrait for brand consultant by RJM Photography

Laura is a lifestyle blogger and brand coach. This was taken in her home.

Studio Style Headshot:

This type of shoot is great for a very professional and corporate look. By using a plain coloured paper backdrop there is no distractions and you can even choose to have similar colours to your branding should you want that. I have mobile studio lighting which I can set up in your office which saves time in your busy day.

Studio light is good for creating an extra radiant look and sparkle in your eyes.  These type of headshots are often favoured by solicitors’ meet-the-team profiles, financial advisors, private medical teams, authors, and are also popular for Linked In profile pictures too.

corporate headshot for Accountant by RJM Photography

Jacqui is an accountant. This was taken in my studio.

corporate headshot in the studio by Rachel McClumpha RJM Photography

Headshots on location:

Photography at the countryside, park, beach or even your own back garden is a great choice and can work really well in most headshot portraits, especially if your brand values reflect health and wellbeing. But even accountants and solicitors, who want something different to studio headshots can use these types of scenes as an alternative. If you are a little nervous of being in front of the camera then this can be a more comfortable type of session for you. These types can be great across social media platforms and your website.

Location headshot in Newcastle Northumberland by RJM Photography

Laura’s brand is all about skincare and nutrition. We took this in the woods.

Editorial photography Newcastle by RJM Photography

Bev is an artisan chocolate maker. This is in her back garden.

City and urban:

Using city architecture as a backdrop is great for an alternative to corporate studio headshots.  It’s less formal but it still looks professional, and perhaps makes you look more approachable and modern. Often businesses who work in the city or meet clients there use this type of setting for their photoshoot. It’s a bonus if your own office doorway or building can be used in the background scene but not necessary. Again these work well for all social media profiles and your website.

Johanna is a consultant. This was taken in the city.

Other urban locations may be more your taste if you want something different. Perhaps some abstract colours and patterns represent your brand really well. Colourful outdoor images will look great on your website and can bring so much personality and story telling to your brand.

Urban photography in newcastle

This was from a fashion shoot but shows how some urban areas can create cool backdrops

So have I given you some ideas? If you need anymore info or would like to see some more examples of locations, then check out my headshot galleries