It’s no secret that I’m a great fan of hospitality interiors so when an invitation comes through to check out the refurbished Apple Tree pub in Gerrards Cross, it was a no brainer.
As there were other guests around, all photography is handheld and taken using the ambient light available, which naturally dimished as the evening progressed, but the quality of the interiors and the excellent food should speak for themselves.
Located on the A40, there’s a good sized car park and as the weather gets warmer, an extensive outdoor seating area
Once inside, we relaxed in the stylish bar area
Flavoured gin being expertly prepared
Personalise your G&T with this little lot
Bar area seating. Loving the choice of colours and materials, combining to give a high class finish to the pub
Bar area reflection
Delicious nibbles platter
Pork, squid, pate and hummus are just some of the delicious nibbles we tried. We loved the lot and our young daughter was given her own plate with squid featuring toned down seasoning
Poke Bowl with prawns, amongst the healthy options on the menu
7oz fillet steak with scallops. Absolutely delicious
Dining table detail. Enjoying the candle light.
Bar area detail
By the end of our meal, which comprised platters of nibbles, a main and dessert, we were already discussing when we’d be back to try some of the other menu options. The pub is clearly aimed at the quality end of the market, with a menu that provides a fine dining take on traditional favourites. This said it is priced well and could suit a range of groups and occasions, supported by a pleasingly varied children’s menu.
Disclaimer: We received complimentary food and drink as part of the Apple Tree’s preview opening but all views in this post are our honest opinions.
The Apple Tree, Oxford Road, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, SL9 7AH
While many of my projects focus on completed buildings and interiors, some tell a longer story of the construction project from an empty shell through to completion.
A beautiful Grade I listed Georgian property in central London is one such story that I’m currently in the midst of capturing.
Imagine such a property and your imagination may instantly conjure up visions of fine interiors, tailored living spaces and bespoke fittings. These are all coming, in time, but the hard work of converting a property to its new specifications must first be completed.
In a striking contrast to expectations of Axminster carpets and sumptuous wallpaper, a property at the ‘shell’ stage is simply that: an empty shell. Walls and flooring are bare, or even missing as the integrity of the existing fittings is assessed and prepared.
Yet grand houses still impress when stripped back to such a humble core. Full height Georgian sash windows fill the rooms with an abundance of natural light, which as a photographer makes the property an absolute pleasure to work with. Look closely and captivating details abound from unfeasibly thin stairs to oval rooms and archways.
Sweeping staircases and slender stairs are amongst the period features on display
As the story of this property unfolds over the coming months, my challenge is chart this transformation, appreciating the original character of this prestigious Grade I building while showcasing the new spaces as they emerge.
Daniel Atkinson is an architectural photographer documenting residential and commercial projects in London and the Home Counties.
The rate at which the internet disrupts established industries is pretty incredible. Nevertheless, the venerable Yellow Pages printed business directory has held on – until now. Its demise represents not only the end for this long lived publication but also a entire approach to marketing.
Currently appearing through the letter boxes of homes throughout the UK is the final ever Yellow Pages. If you’re anything like me, the Yellow Pages is something that’s immediately stored away on its arrival each year, only for it to be thrown away, untouched and unused, the following year when the next edition drops on the door mat.
The writing has been on the wall for the yellow book for some time, of course. A survey back in 2011 found that 70% of US households never used the printed Yellow Pages and it’s fair to assume those statistics have only become increasingly stark in the years since. In contrast, the ease and efficiency Google offers for finding far more information about businesses and services makes a dated printed publication seem increasingly like a curious relic from a bygone age.
The pace of change in marketing is greater than ever and this presents a challenge for business owners. Either keep up with modern consumer habits or find yourself languishing in the same era as the Yellow Pages and awaiting a similar fate.
Fortunately, the opportunities for promoting business online are far richer and wider reaching that was previously possible but in a crowded market space it’s imperative to stand out with a credible and attractive offer.
With this in mind, here are my five top tips for getting your business marketing fighting fit to appeal to modern consumer trends:
- Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the key to getting your website found by your target audience. At the heart of SEO is matching what you offer with what potential customers are looking for and using this language throughout your website. Get it right and you’ll find yourself on the much coveted first page of Google search results with customers ready to check out your services.
- The first impression
Once a customer has landed on your website you have just a few seconds to convince them that your business is an attractive and credible option. The most effective way of achieving this is presenting the business with dynamic and eye-catching images or video (both of which I can help you with) combined with sharp branding. Succeed, and the potential customer will stay on your website long enough to check out your services in detail.
- Your offer
Now you’ve got the attention of your potential customer, make use of well crafted web page copy and multimedia content to appeal to the customer’s needs and the problems they want solving.
- The call to action
Naturally you want visitors to your site to get in touch or purchase but not every potential customer is ready to commit on the first visit. For them, offering a email subscription option keeps them in touch with the promise of news and offers. When the time comes to buy, you’re only a click away in an email.
- Social media
The social media channels of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and others provide new options for staying engaged with your clients and reaching out to new prospects. There’s the potential to tap into communities of interest and promote your brand and its values in new, engaging ways.
So there you have it – the 5 steps to achieving modern business marketing and relegating old habits to the paper recycling.
Get in touch with me to find out more about harnessing the power of images and video to get your business noticed.
Do also comment on this post or follow me on social media to share your experiences of meeting the ever changing demands of marketing your business.
The start of a new year is a popular time to start thinking about future plans and for many people this includes their home. Whether it’s upsizing, downsizing, relocating for work, being nearer good schools, changing your circumstances, improving your lifestyle or settling for retirement, life can present any number of reasons for making a move this year.
The internet has a well established role in selling properties now, putting thousands of homes in front of potential buyers so if you want to sell you have to get your house noticed.
I shoot properties every day and there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing quality properties that are being undersold because they’ve not been properly prepared for marketing.
Remember, once a buyer has set their price range in a search, they’ll be using the property images almost entirely as a guide to decide which homes to look at in more detail and booking a viewing for. For the sake of some preparation you could be turning away potential buyers without realising it.
Here is my guide for making a property attractive to buyers:
Top tips for preparing your home for sale
- Declutter. It’s difficult to impress how much of a difference this makes to property photography. Even a few items on surfaces will distract from the space and potential of a property. A buyer wants to be imagining themselves in the house not be put off by personal items everywhere.
- Lights. Check they’re working and replace any blown bulbs. Blown bulbs will make a property look uncared for and they make for even lighting of the property in images.
- Set tables. This is a neat trick that makes a big difference. Setting the dining table helps buyers imagining themselves enjoying the space and it puts them a step nearer to buying. Outside, make sure garden seating is set out, even if it’s wintertime!
- Clear the view of the house. The property frontage is often the first image buyers will see of a house. Make it look its best by keeping it clear of cars and free of bins when being photographed.
- Quality photography. Alas all your efforts to prepare your home will only get you so far if the photography you use is poor. Interiors are tricky to photography well and casual snaps of a house will normally give you dark rooms with wonky walls – not an accurate representation of your home and sure to put off buyers. Professional property photographers will compose and light rooms to make your home look bright and inviting to potential buyers. Don’t accept poor photography and lose out.
Daniel Atkinson Photography provides property photography services across South Buckinghamshire, South West Herts and the wider Chilterns area. I work with estate agents and private sellers alike. Get in touch to find out more.
New for 2018 I’m launching a series of blog posts helping you make the most of visual content for your business. I’m kicking off the year with a guest blog for High Wycombe-based web design company Web Design Unlimited.
When you are building a new website for your business there’s a risk of focusing on the design and text while leaving the images as an afterthought. There’s a good reason why modern website designs feature large image areas as standard and that’s the power of visual content. Photographs have the potential:
- to paint a compelling picture of the services you provide,
- to attract traffic to your website,
- to encourage engagement and
- ultimately lead to more sales.
Read the whole of my post on Web Design Unlimited website, where I’m the guest blogger this month.