Sophie Hitchens

Sophie Hitchens


Behind the Scenes with Sophie and James

Sophie Hitchens Wednesday 27th March 2024

2023 saw us start working in partnership with the lovely James Gardiner to shoot new locations for our website. James is a London-based photographer specialising in interior, still life, and lifestyle photography for editorial, commercial, and publishing.

James is a joy to work with, and we consistently achieve a fantastic set of shots that always show a location in the best possible light. To show how our creative process unfolds, we wanted to share an insider’s look into how James and I (Sophie) bring our exquisite location shoots to life for our website.

Pre-Planning and Recce Shots: The Foundation of a Successful Shoot

Our process begins with meticulous planning. Once a location is selected, I set a date to visit the property. This initial visit is crucial for me to take recce shots, which form the backbone of our detailed shoot list. It’s also an excellent opportunity to meet the property owner and familiarise myself with the space. This groundwork helps immensely on the actual shoot day, ensuring everything runs smoothly.


The Shoot Day: Creativity and Hard Work

Our shoot days are intense and invigorating! Depending on the season, we typically start between 8-9 am and continue until the light fades. This could be around 5 pm in winter, but we might still capture the perfect shots as late as 7 pm in summer. We pack the day with 20-30 shots (often more!) on our list, demanding high energy and early nights before the shoot.

The day starts with introductions and a quick coffee – James loves chatting, so I often have to pull him out of conversations, which always results in laughter. Then, we dive into our roles: James is setting up his camera, tripod, and laptop, and I take on art direction and styling. We tackle each shot with precision and creativity, adjusting to the day’s light and ensuring every photo showcases the property’s best angles.

Lunch is swift, usually a sandwich or salad, with something sweet for that extra energy boost.

Winter shoots can be challenging due to shorter days, often necessitating a revisit for external shots in brighter seasons. Despite these challenges, our teamwork and enjoyment of each other’s company make every shoot a great experience.

Wrapping Up: Attention to Detail and Teamwork

The day concludes with meticulous care, returning everything to its original place, often with the bonus of cleaner windows, floors and plumped up sofa cushions, thanks to James’s attention to detail. Packing up and travelling home marks the end of our on-site work.

Post-Shoot: Bringing Our Work to Life Online

After the shoot, James’s task continues with a day dedicated to photo reproduction. Once he sends the final images, I carefully edit them before handing them to our web team. The entire process, from shoot to website, typically takes about a week, showcasing the dedication and hard work that goes into every location we take on.

We pride ourselves on being more than just a team; we’re a creative duo who love what we do, and we hope that passion is evident in every image we capture and share with you.


To see our most recent results, take a look at our new locations here. 

Find more about James, his clients and projects here.

Sophie Hitchens

Sophie Hitchens