Hertsmere Borough Council got in touch with us here at Elstree Photo Studios, as they needed some new headshots of every councillor and staff member. Having done plenty of event photography for them before and met many of the councillors already, this was a really enjoyable project to be involved with. Also, for us as a relatively new studio in the area, being involved with the local council is great and allows us to connect with many people.

As local councils suffer cutbacks and financial constraints, one of the areas to usually suffer first is that of professional photography- councils must balance forming a professional and considered corporate image alongside sensible spending of public funds. As all the images had to appear uniform and part of the same set, the lighting setup rarely changed from the first portrait to the last, allowing me time to chat to each councillor and put them at ease before photographing them. Councillors, like any civilians, come in all shapes and sizes, with a massive spectrum of beliefs and values. The one thing that unites them all, from the young man in his 20s to the lady in her 70s, is a dedication to public service which in many cases is incredibly inspiring. The amount of time that many of these councillors dedicate to our local communities and the well-being of those around them is a lesson to us all.

We can’t wait to go into the Civic Offices soon and see a whole range of life-sized cardboard councillors staring at us! Many thanks must go to Catherine and Gail at Hertsmere Borough Council for all their help, offers of helping to carry kit, and numerous very good coffees!

Blake Ezra

Blake Ezra regularly works on commission for some of the UK’s biggest publications and organisations. His background in informal education brings an ability to work easily with people from all walks of life, bringing out their character in his pictures. Blake Ezra has worked on commission for newspapers such as The Sun and The Financial Times, and organisations including Chessington World of Adventures, Harrods, Lulu Guinness, National Lottery, Playboy, The Chief Rabbi, and World Jewish Relief. He has also recently become one of London’s most sought after wedding photographers through a blend of attention to detail, strength in versatility, ability to capture a moment, and not-yet-certified workaholism. Favourite experience in photography: “I always see photography as a passport to privilege- to situations whereby access is nearly impossible without a camera. There have been many moments in my career so far where I’ve spent time in crazy situations- backstage at concerts, royal weddings and plenty of helicopter-based aerial photography. However, nothing beats seeing the reactions on clients faces when presented with their pictures.” ‘Nothing makes me happier than taking pictures I know my clients will love, I usually work with a beaming smile on my face! I gain massive job-satisfaction when I see my images seen by millions of people in the national press, but equally nothing beats the feeling of creating personal memories for people who will cherish them forever’