Taster Photoshoot Pamper Parties – Come and Try For Yourself

TASTER PHOTOSHOOT PARTIES – JUST £99

 

Wondering what to do with the children this half term? Or perhaps thinking about a full pamper party but not sure whether it’s what your child would want?

This is a perfect opportunity to give it a try and do something really different during the school break.

 

If you book our Taster Photoshoot Party for just £99, your child plus three friends can enjoy:

 

  • A fun party lasting one hour
  • A light, age-appropriate make-over
  • Individual and group photoshoot
  • Soft drink and a cup-cake or snack
  • Downloadable photographs suitable for sharing on social media
  • Opportunity to buy prints at very affordable prices
  • £20 voucher to be used for a full Pamper and Pose party

 

Sound like fun? To book, or if you have any questions, look at our website www.studiog-oldham.co.uk or ring Lisa on 0161 300 6224

 

What a week! Studio G launches a mental health photography project

Lisa Marie Gee

Well. What a week! Lisa and I meet every Monday morning to discuss the week ahead. Our meeting usually takes place at Costa (other coffee shops are available – apparently) and we have a roughly organised agenda so we know what we’re doing (again, roughly). 

So last Monday, we met as usual, but the meeting did not go as planned. Lisa rather dramatically said “Well enough of that, let’s talk about something important. I’m going to launch Open Shutters today!” Now, dear reader, and I am never less than honest with you, I had heard this before. A few times, in truth, in the time we’ve been in business together. But this time, she really meant it. We didn’t even have a second coffee. We headed back to the studio and started setting up Lisa’s self-portrait which was to launch the project, we recorded the video that told her story – and if you haven’t seen it you really should – they were posted on line, and we were officially launched.  As we talked we developed a vision for an ongoing project leading to an exhibition, and perhaps even a book 

We were overwhelmed by the response, and decided we needed to post a portrait and story every working day last week, which was of course Mental Health Awareness Week and, with our enormous gratitude to Ella, Scottie, Laura and Chris we achieved that. We’ve had a number of approaches from people wanting to tell their story, and we had some great coverage in the Oldham Evening Chronicle, who were proud of the fact that Lisa used to be one of their journalists. In the event, Lisa was right to abandon our planning meeting, because the project took up the whole week for both of us. 

So why are we doing this? Mental Health is getting a lot of publicity at the moment, which can only be a good thing, but the coverage tends to focus on eliminating the stigma often attached to mental illness. No-one seems to be talking about the fact that many people who have mental illness, whether an isolated episode or an ongoing condition, find that it brings beneficial changes to their lives. The people we’ve had the privilege of photographing and talking to this week wouldn’t be the people they are had it not been for their experience of mental ill health. That’s the story we want to tell with the Open Shutters Project.  

The project was initially conceived as a personal photographic project for Lisa, but as we’ve got to know each other better, and as I’ve learned about the mental health journey that she and other good friends have taken, I couldn’t possibly let her do it alone. What we’re doing is, I believe, important. It has the capacity to help people, and perhaps change attitudes. I am very proud of Lisa for having  the Open Shutters concept, and for finally taking the plunge and launching it, and I’m also very proud and excited to be part of it. 

 

To find out more, check out our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/theopenshuttersproject/?fref=ts or our website www.openshutters.org.uk   

Ella Fraser

Scottie Felicia Oxton

Laura Norrey

Chris Doyle

Green Screen – a new toy at Studio G Photography

WE’VE GOT GREEN SCREEN AND WE KNOW HOW TO USE IT!

Studio G Photography, green screen, portrait photography Oldham, photoshoot party, photobooth

This week we’ve acquired a new bit of kit. It doesn’t look much – a bright green pop-up backdrop and a piece of software. But what’s exciting is what it enables us to do.
If you’ve been following us, you’ll have seen our photographs using a number of different backdrops, including fairy glens, arctic ice, Christmas scenes, elegant wallpaper, superheroes and theatrical stage curtains.  What our new set-up makes possible is to photograph someone against the green background, then add in any sort of digitally-created background and foreground.

This has lots of applications, including some we probably haven’t thought of. We’re thinking Fairytography® shoots, parties and photobooths, not to mention portraits, maternity photography and business headshots. The possibilities are limitless.

We’ve included a few examples in this blog to give you an idea of what’s possible, but really the only limit is our – and our clients’ – imagination.

This weekend we’ll be using our new set up at Oldham Comic Con, so you expect to see some great pictures of your favourite super-heroes – drop in and see us if you can.

Studio G Photography, green screen, portrait photography Oldham, photoshoot party, photobooth Studio G Photography, green screen, portrait photography Oldham, photoshoot party, photobooth Studio G Photography, green screen, portrait photography Oldham, photoshoot party, photobooth Studio G Photography, green screen, portrait photography Oldham, photoshoot party, photobooth Studio G Photography, green screen, portrait photography Oldham, photoshoot party, photobooth

A Studio G visit to the old library – Flying the flag for regeneration in Oldham

Last Saturday, we both had an opportunity to have one last look around the old Oldham Library before it’s handed over to contractors. Wearing our hard hats at a nonchalant angle, we joined a guided tour of the building in Greaves Street. The gallery curator took us to all the parts of the building that were safe to go in, pointing out what they were used for, the story behind their Victorian construction and development, and how they would fit into the new library facilities that are going to be built.

 

It was a fascinating tour. Some were seeing the building for the first time, but for most it evoked many memories of library visits with parents, schools and friends.

But the most exciting thing for us was the future. Over the next couple of years we’re going to see a transformation of this 19th century heritage building into a library and gallery for the 21st century. We were shown drawings, and the excitement in the curator’s voice was very noticeable. He also talked about what would follow on from the new library and gallery building, including the new Coliseum Theatre and Heritage Centre.

In recent years Oldham has shown it real commitment to regeneration and improvement. Despite the traditional Oldham cynical attitude – it’ll never happen, and if it does it won’t be any good – Oldham is now on the tram network giving fast and affordable links into Manchester. It has a state-of-the-art cinema which rescued the problematic old Town Hall. It has a brand new Leisure Centre, a Regional Science Centre, and will have a great retail development at Prince’s Gate, even if the details have yet to be finalised. The new library, gallery and other cultural quarter are all further evidence of the town moving forward.

We’re both very committed to Oldham, and fed up with those who seem to delight in talking their town down. Of course Oldham has its issues, as do all post-industrial towns that have lacked investment over the years, but the council has shown its commitment to do something about it, and Studio G will continue to celebrate and shout about that whenever we get the chance!

 

You can read more about Oldham Council’s plans for the old library building here: 

Studio G working with local businesses

Our commercial work doesn’t always get as much profile as the portrait and parties side of business, but as well as providing product and event photography for clients as diverse as Housing Units and Around Saddleworth magazine, we also make our great studio facilities available to other businesses, photographers and videographers.

Working with and supporting local businesses is a key part of our vision for Studio G, so we were delighted yesterday to welcome a young and ambitious entrepreneur and fashion retailer Eric Bishyika,  into the studio. Eric has been shortlisted for an Oldham Business Award in the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category, and needed to produce a video to be shown at the awards ceremony 12th May. Eric had organised a number of models, including Studio G’s Head Model Natale Rea, and make-up was taken care of by our very own Sharon Ball from Black & Blue Make-up and her team.

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New Image Public Relations provided the videographer, so all in all it was a great collaboration – just the sort of thing we love. Lisa co-ordinated the shoot, and Eric went home a happy man – with video footage in the can and a collection of exciting images that will help his business to thrive.

We loved working with Eric and the gang, and we wish him every success in the Oldham Business Awards.

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If we can help you achieve your business goals with creative and affordable photography, just give us a call.

Autism Awareness Week – Guest Blog by Zoe Thompson, Head of Development, Bright Futures School

Autism Awareness Week – Guest Blog by Zoe Thompson, Head of Development, Bright Futures School

 

 

Autism is a neuro-developmental condition that significantly impairs a person’s ability to look at the world through someone else’s eyes and to relate to others. It impacts upon a person’s ability to think and act in a flexible, adaptive manner. Flexibility and the ability to relate well to others are key to success in arguably the most important area of life including making and maintaining friendships and relationships, maintaining meaningful employment, and living independently.

Why we set up our own autism-specific school

My elder son, Philip, was diagnosed with autism at age 5. As parents, we looked at lots of different interventions that might help him but were singularly unimpressed at the outcomes they aimed to achieve.

The largest study of outcomes for adults with autism, titled ‘Ignored or ineligible’, (Barnard et al) was published by the National Autistic Society (NAS) in 2001. The research included a focus on over 200 young adults who had a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. All had relatively high IQ's and good language skills. Some 50% of these bright individuals had gone on to higher education after secondary school. Yet, at the time of the study:
• Only 12% were employed, full or part-time.
• Only 3% could live independently
• Over 65% had almost no social contact outside of their family
• None were married or involved in a significant emotional relationship

These are disappointing outcomes for ‘successful’ pupils and not what we wanted for our boy.

By the time Philip was 6, we had found a parent-led autism intervention, Relationship Development Intervention™ that focused on enabling children with autism to become adults who had much improved prospects of making and maintaining friendships and relationships, holding down meaningful employment and living independently. Not only was Relationship Development Intervention™ (RDI) (Gutstein, 1999) parent-led, it also suited our family learning style and sought to work on the core difficulties at the heart of autism, enabling children to fill in the gaps in their development.

When Philip started school it was obvious within a few weeks that he had difficulty coping with the environment and the social demands it made on him. We took him out of school because it was making him too anxious. For us, Philip’s autism was the biggest barrier to his learning and development, yet we couldn’t find a school that offered any more than superficial ‘social skills’ training and other similar compensatory approaches.

In contrast, at home, RDI had helped us to change our communication style and to change the way we interacted with Philip to help him become more flexible and better emotionally regulated. Following our implementation of RDI, Philip’s ADOS score (which shows the severity of the autism) had reduced from 19 out of 22 (very high) to 12 out of 22. Our ability to understand and support our son and our family quality of life were much improved.

Eventually we decided to set up our own school so that we could incorporate some of the principles and practice of RDI into our teaching methodology. We call this RDI-derived approach ‘guiding’. In 2010, Bright Futures School opened with just one pupil. We now have 9 pupils with a further 2 families seeking a placement for their children.

 

 

World Book Day 2017 at Bright Futures School

 

www.brightfuturesschool.co.uk

 
Further information
To learn more about RDI, visit www.rdiconnect.com
To see RDI in action via video footage of Mums working on developmental milestones with their kids, visit http://notnigellanotjamie.blogspot.com and http://brightsideoflifeasd.blogspot.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/groups/471747329526072/ A facebook group consisting of parents and Consultants discussing RDI

 

A tale of two coffees……aka dreams will always stay dreams unless you act on them.

We always joke that everything at Studio G revolves around coffee, but actually that's not too far from the truth. Let me tell you a tale of two coffees.

The first was two years ago today. I (Lisa) was an average portrait photographer with a dream of opening my own photography studio. I could think of a million reasons excuses why it wouldn't work, but for some reason my husband and family all seemed to believe I could pull it off. In search of 'common sense' I met for coffee with my most grounded and sensible friend, Robert. But instead of telling me I was being ridiculous, he offered to become my business partner. Clearly he saw something in me that I didn't, the same something that my family must have seen.

That story, and what happened next, are well documented - we ended up jointly running Studio G Photography. We didn't exactly all live happily ever after - establishing a business has been far more difficult and time-consuming than either of us anticipated. But if we knew then what we know now, would we still have done it? I can only speak for myself, but my answer would be a resounding HELL YES!

Fast forward two years and we have been back to the scene of that fateful coffee meeting this morning for a small celebration and a catch-up. This morning the talk has mainly been about a massively ambitious project which, if we pull it off, will fulfil another of my lifelong dreams. And you know what? I think we'll do it. If you believe in yourself you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Anything. Last week I walked across hot coals because I told myself I could.

The thing about dreams is, the more you fulfil, the more you get. But unless you take action your dreams will never become reality. 

When I opened the studio I didn't consider where it might take me. But almost two years on, my photography has improved by leaps and bounds. I am mentored by Olympus' Principal Photographer, Damian McGillicuddy, I am on the brink of starting two very big projects that two years ago I would never have thought possible, and the studio is building partnerships with several local charities, allowing us to give something back to the community.

So the moral of this story is dream big or dream small, that's up to you, but take some action towards making those dreams come true. Take a step, or take a huge leap of faith like I did, but do something because no matter how hard the road is, it will all be worth it.

Oh, and if you fancy donating a little something to Tameside, Oldham and Glossop MIND, in recognition of my fire-walking heroics, here's the link to my Just Giving page. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/StudioG

Thanks for reading,

Lisa x

It’s time to talk…about mental health, art and photograpy

Today is Time To Talk Day, when we’re all encouraged to find time to talk about mental health, and to keep the conversation going.

At Studio G we take the issue of mental health very seriously. From personal experience, and that of many of our friends, we understand the impact that mental illness can have and how isolated and stigmatized those one in four of the population can feel.

We believe that photography can play a part in helping those affected by mental illness to find a way of speaking openly about it, and gaining and improving self-confidence. We also want to do something to help organisations that campaign for openness about mental illness and offer support to those who need it.

We have already done some work for SANE, a national organisation that campaigns for openness, and we are delighted that recently we have been introduced to Tameside Oldham and Glossop Mind, our local office of the national mental health charity. It’s still early days, but working with their fundraising and marketing team we already have lots of ideas.

Our first piece of work was to attend an art exhibition at their offices in Ashton-under-Lyne. Oldham College students had been commissioned to produce a piece of art around the theme of ‘five ways to well-being’. You can read more about that project on the Mind website http://www.togmind.org/news/artistic-arrivals/ but in the meantime, here are our photographs of the art-work on display.

On March 2, you’ll find us supporting an evening fire walk organised by Mind at Oldham, Rugby Club. Lisa is planning to do the walk, Robert will be photographing the event, and our wonderful makeup artist Sharon Ball will be face-painting. Why not come along and join in the fun? The details are here http://www.togmind.org/get-involved/fundraising/firenight/

Please find time today to talk about mental health – but make sure you’re listening too.

 

Robert and Lisa

And so this is Christmas…

Studio G's Christmas card 2016 - a composite image of one of our little fairytography clients.

Studio G’s Christmas card 2016 – a composite image of one of our little fairytography clients.

 

As 2016 draws to an end, it seems appropriate to look back at the year gone by. As for everyone else, and any other year, there have been some ups and downs, but overall it’s been a blast.

 

Our favourite highlights for the year include:

  • Photographing the family of a very famous footballer – and not realising who he was until after the shoot
  • Our first commercial photography deal with Housing Units
  • Lisa being shortlisted for Best Start-up Business in the Network She Business Awards
  • Starting a mentoring programme with world-class photographer Damian McGillicuddy, which has been incredibly challenging professionally and personally
  • Working with Around Saddleworth magazine, and helping them to mark their 25th anniversary. Not to mention supplying some of our special brand of magic for the Christmas front cover
  • A photographic trip to Dubrovnik
  • Developing an exciting new brand – Fairytography – and some stunning pictures enhanced by Fairy Magic
  • Small Business Saturday – being selected as one of only 100 small businesses nationwide to feature in this annual campaign – including a trip to 10 Downing Street!

 

Of course our real highlight has been the wide range of fantastic people we’ve met and worked with throughout the year. From newborn babies, to wedding couples, professional models, family reunions, new business launches, clubs teams and classes – you’ve been a delight to get to know and to photograph. If we haven’t photographed you yet, let’s rectify that. Drop us a message and let’s talk about how we can help you show the world the very best version of you.

 

Looking forward to 2017, we have lots of ideas for new products and creative ideas, but that can wait. For now, we would both like to wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas, and the very best New Year.

 

 

Lisa and Robert

Celebrating World Mental Health Day

Me!

Me!

It’s late in the day, but I couldn’t let World Mental Health Day pass without a blog. For me, and millions of others, every day is Mental Health Day – we live with it our whole lives. But while today everyone is talking about tackling stigma, I would like to go one further. I would like to stand up and applaud everyone who is living with this bizarre, fascinating and diverse collection of symptoms.

Sharon

Sharon

Some of the very best people I know live with depression and anxiety. They don’t just survive, they are warriors. I try my best to celebrate my condition. I’ve had it almost all of my adult life and, although some times have been nothing sort of horrendous, overall I would not change it, especially when, with the help of medication, I keep the black dog under control.

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Natale

My depression does not define me, but it does make me a more sensitive, caring and perceptive person. I am a better person for my struggles. But what’s more, I see around me a selection of strong, empowered women who have fought their own battles and, on the whole, are winning. Several friends, like me, have found their lives crumbling around them, but instead of giving up, have built whole new lives and are now building their own businesses. A daunting prospect for many, but when you’ve stared the black dog in the face and punched him on the nose then pretty much anything is possible.

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Susan

I am massively fortunate to have a business that I love, that affords me the honour of photographing some of those amazing women who inspire me. Their stories are their own to tell (or not), but I am humbled that they agreed, without hesitation, to having their portraits included in this blog.

Sarah

Sarah

Sharon, Natale, Susan and Sarah, I salute you. You inspire me and I am proud to call you friends.