June 1st to 7th every year marks Volunteers’ Week in the UK - a celebration of the many thousands of volunteers who do such invaluable work and an opportunity to say thank you for their contribution. The Soap Cọ greatly appreciates the many volunteers who help us with so many aspects of our social enterprise work.
Back in October 2017, at a photo shoot to help us capture the 'buzz' of our new Eco & Bee Friendly collection, we enlisted the creative spark of two great volunteers: Ellen Jonsson, a graphic design student at Central Saint Martins, and Adil Ghafoor Miam, a newly discovered friend of The Soap Co. and a physics student who enjoys photography.
This is our second blog – featuring Adil; you can read all about Ellen’s experience in Focus on photography.
“Hi! My name is Adil and I am studying Physics. However, for the past two years I've taken a break – gap years really.
“I don't have any formal training in photography, didn't study it at school, don't have an artistically inclined family, but in the past year I was fortunate enough to receive a Nikon DSLR from a friend. Having practiced Photoshop for a long while, photography became another element in my creative process. And I love it!
“My friend Christy referred me to Diane from The Soap Cọ, and I was excited to get involved when I heard that they wanted to communicate their ethos of eco-friendly and inclusive products using local UK materials on a photo shoot.
“I didn't have much to do with the creative aspect of the shoot. Diane had the ‘vision’ and Ellen created these very cute props. I provided the space and lighting and added some ideas when I thought of something! Getting the high-key lighting was a challenge as it's a make shift studio, but it was important to get it right.
“Diane had a shot list for the still bottle shots, the range shots, and gift sets – but we kind of ‘trial and error'd’ it on the day. Ellen’s props included some dried and painted rhubarb sticks and a pink background to match. There were also painted small fruits, corresponding coloured background paper, things like that.
“The organic ethos behind the whole range, the recycled materials and love for all things sustainable – combined with what is a very cool fashionable product – was always going to lead to a fun shoot! I love the braille writing on the bottles – a really nice touch!
“Looking at the final pictures, I think the simplicity of the white space and strong blocks of colour really worked well and were ‘on brand’. I think we also managed to communicate the eco aspect of the range with the matching flowers, leaves and fruits. Beauty in simplicity, right?”