It’s 20 degrees, not a cloud in the sky and there is an energetic buzz around a farm in the heart of Hope Valley… it’s photoshoot day!
As we eagerly await our photos back from the highly recommended Andy Hook, I thought I’d share a behind-the-scenes look at our recent shoot.
Arriving at the Farm
For those who have been involved in the prelims of a photoshoot before, will vividly recall the blood, sweat and anguish that piles into the planning and preparation. For those that quite simply rock up on the day, I envy you, a lot.
Fortunately, working for a family-run business, everyone has to suffer… endure… I mean, participate, in the planning. Of course, I’m jesting, the planning stages are exciting, full-on and pose questions that range from: what colour ear muffs do we require? Who is in charge of the Instagram story? And my personal favourite… does Kieran from your swimming club look like a farmer?
With a location chosen, equipment sourced, photographer and models booked, it was finally time for the action to begin… or in our case, the heavens to open and rain on our parade (literally).
Cast your mind back to June, that glorious time of the year where beer gardens, countryside hikes and lounging round on sandy beaches can finally become a reality. Or, in this year’s case… remained a long distant dream.
Yes, you guessed it, our photoshoot was a washout at least twice!
Scouting the area
The poisoned chalice of being spoilt for choice welcomed us as we arrived on site the morning of the shoot. Narrowing down the numerous locations proved to be the first, and most difficult task.
As a team, we adored this barn as a backdrop. The Pheasant pen in the woods would show the beauty of our machine. A steep hillside where only a UTV would dare trek was also another favoured option. Yet none of these made it to the final 4… were we mad?
Here. We. Go.
The thinking behind our first scene was the narrative. To best show you the solution our machine offers, we needed to more than embraced the mind of a farmer. Step forward, Mike, a renowned farmer who embraced becoming our first model.
Just like the planning and preparation of our shoot, installing a fence requires the same effort before being able to crack on with the job at hand. And such, we created the scenario of loading your UTV.
Now for those that know our Director, Simon, they’ll understand just how much he enjoys “getting on with it” and such during this first shoot, you could see his frustration growing by the second that no posts were being driven into the ground. So naturally, I asked him to wait by the car.
Oak Tree 2:30pm
Swiftly moving on we headed out into the field for scene 2 where Simon, to his relief, was let loose on installing a new fence.
Turns out that Kieran from the swimming club, does actually look like a farmer, and such was hired as model number 2. He arrived bang on time and slotted straight into using the machine, whilst the rest of us took a moment to refuel and analyse the shots we had already captured. No pressure Kieran.
Leaving the glorious backdrop behind us we drove down into the woodland, through the ford and up the side of an incredibly steep hill and onto our 3rd location around a mile away. Unfortunately, when I say ‘we drove down’ I mean, everyone except me. With an eye for capturing the vehicles wading through the ford (which you can see in our behind-the-scenes video), I volunteered to hike it. Let me know if it was worth it when you see the video below.
Steep Bank 5pm
Picture the scene. A steep bank that requires a new fence. It’s a conundrum, we all know that. No tractor will survive the journey and a post rammer just isn’t desirable.
Up steps the Easy Petrol Post Driver. The one difficulty we had with this scene was achieving the shot that truly showed the uneven terrain. Hopefully this one does it justice?
Simon was let loose on helping install the fence again.
Sadly, using our post driver makes the job a breeze so it wasn’t long before he appeared jobless and frustrated yet again.
To his delight, we were able to quickly make him a useful hand before we had interest from other farm hands looking for the ‘extra’ slots.
Hillside Wall 7pm
As we entered the final few hours of the day spirits remained high. Andy had secured the hero shot. Simon had installed numerous new fences and I, hopefully, captured the joyous behind the scenes moments along with a lot of sun on my neck.
We were in the final stretch and a glorious sunset beckoned. It was around this time it became apparent to me what an amateur decision it was to skip out on the sun cream this morning. No turning back now.
Sunburn or no sunburn, the finale to our shoot was stunning. The low sun offered sensational silhouettes with the perfect ‘end of the day, job done’ feel.
And just like that, as the sunset behind the Derbyshire Dales, our photoshoot was complete. All the planning, preparation and production was behind us. High fives were had, thanks were shared and we departed the farm excited to create this behind-the-scenes look for you.
A personal note from me: I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone involved in the photoshoot. To Andy Hook our photographer, who we can’t recommend highly enough, his energy and enthusiasm is second to none. To Mike and Kieran, our models, they embraced everything we threw at them with high spirits and a smile on their face. To Mike’s partner, who brilliantly organised the clothing. And to Laurie and Simon, our Directors, who well and truly got stuck in with anything that was asked of them… basically all the hard graft while I stood around flying drones and filming.