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Photoshoot case study: Jewelled Buddha

Photoshoot case study: Jewelled Buddha
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Do you ever feel like you’re confused about how to communicate your brand’s message well and who your ideal customer actually is?  Maybe you already have answers to these questions but your gut is telling you that something isn’t right.  You’re confident and clear yet you’re not generating the results which you feel you should be getting. After all, you’re doing everything you can and you do it well.  So what’s going on? I was approached by Harjit from Jewelled Buddha because she was in that situation.

Harjit felt that she needed stronger visuals to help her define the story of her brand and her latest product collection. She wanted to do a photoshoot which would speak to her customer. She felt that the images she had were not appealing to the customer she wanted to attract. They were strong enough to translate her brand’s values but they were not generating enough interest from her targeted audience. 

Defining the concept

We started by creating a concept and the story behind the shoot that would appeal to the customer. I usually start the process by mind-mapping. We wrote down adjectives and words which we took as our guide to building the story. Words such as: global luxury, travel, modern, artisan, craftsmanship, handmade, heritage, elegant, timeless, empowerment. From there we came up with the title of the shoot/collection: “A touch of wanderlust”. Every decision we made afterwards was based around “a touch of wanderlust”. We opened a shared Pinterest board and collected images representing the concept.

Creating outfit moodboards

For me to work out the best way of getting that message across, I needed to know what items Harjit planned to use in the shoot. Generally speaking,  to maximise a shoot one should use everything that needs to be promoted, whether that’s through a combination of products through layering or focusing on one product at a time. Think commercial. The more material you have for different purposes, such as lookbook, promotional materials – leaflets, thank-you cards, website images, social media images, blog images etc,  the better.  It’s better to do little bit more than thinking afterwards that more products could have been used and promoted. For this particular shoot we created seven outfit moodboards. Since Jewelled Buddha is a fashion accessory brand, we needed to support Harjit’s necklaces, scarves, shawls and capes with other brands that could help translate the concept into reality. I brought on four other independent brands to help us with each outfit.

Jewelled Buddha shoot


The next step was to brainstorm on the feel of the backdrop of the shoot. Because of budget limitations we had to find a location which would be affordable but would reflect the element of travel, craftsmanship and elegance. We had the following options:

1. Studio shoot. Props would be needed for a backdrop.
2. Finding a hotel or restaurant, which has a suitable interior as a backdrop.
3. Outside in front of a building – maybe a colourful, detailed door or wall.
4. Somewhere inside and using a rug or wallpaper as a backdrop. 


Two days before the scheduled shoot I came across Jonathan Charles showroom on Lots Road while visiting the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour. I spotted a corner which was the closest option to the concept. While talking to Yannick, the showroom manager, I also learnt that the brand is very much about craftsmanship, high quality, timeless design and travel. Both brands, even though trading in different markets, share similar ethos. A perfect match.

Jewelled Buddha shoot


The shoot

Planning the shooting day’s agenda is crucial. I like to have things organised prior to the day so we don’t waste time on the day. Harjit prepared seven outfit bags which were matched to the seven outfit looks. We went through each one after the other, moving within the showroom and creating different scenes in order to get as many options and material to use in the story. Paying attention to detail and constantly thinking with commercial mind was important to me so we got all the images and formats we needed.

The use of material

After the shoot, when we got the images back from the photographer, we decided which images will be best to use in a lookbook, which will go in the magazine feature and which will go on the website’s slider and any printed materials such as a roll banner, leaflets and thank-you cards.

Jewelled BuddhaLookbook example, A5 horizontal

Jewelled Buddha

Jewelled Buddha

Estila feature example, A4 portrait in ESTILA VOLUME 5

But there’s one more thing we did together. Through the brainstorming, shoot and our conversations we also changed the logo and came up with the brand’s tag line. Harjit has now better understanding of how her brand needs to communicate the message and how to promote her latest collection and campaign to her targeted audience.

You can read Harjit’s thoughts on the shoot and how we worked together on here.

Credits: Thank you to Jonathan Charles Furniture for allowing us to shoot in their stunning interior showroom. You can also read about them in ESTILA VOLUME 5. Model: Farida, Photography by Cleveland Aaron. Other brands involved in this project: DAI, VVA by Sarah Haran, Raw Copenhagen and The Shirt Company.

Want to be part of a group of like-minded creatives who are going through what you’re going through? We have an amazing community of emerging designers, interior designers, stylists, fashion accessory brands, artists and photographers, where we help each other grow. This is where I encourage sharing knowledge and brand collaborations. No fakes, self-centred liars and backstabbers are allowed. Please join us here. And, feel free to share if you found this useful!

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