Alexander Ward

Claire

Alexander Ward
Claire

Today I’m meeting Claire, a PR Consultant who discovered me through my Instagram. We’ve been speaking for weeks arranging it, and today we get to shoot.  

From the first email, what struck me about Claire was not only her authenticity but her belief in value. She appreciated the power of photography and the efforts involved in its inception, taking the time to understand my approach and ensure I'd represent her in the right way. 

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We met at Porter & Cole who were kind enough to let us shoot at their wonderfully designed venue in the Northern Quarter, both Porter and Cole (the dogs the owner, Billie, named the shop after) were present and aided the feeling of welcome the place afforded. What I love about this venue is not only it's attention to detail and design, but the way the lights and shadows are used in equal measure to create this really balanced environment. There's a ton of different spots too, each with it's own material and vibe meaning Claire and I can get shots that feel like different settings by moving just a few metres. 

As I spend more time with Claire, it becomes clear how much she believes in the work of good PR and good brand, and what empowers this belief is she genuinely cares. She speaks about a few clients and you gain a sense of how close she is to them, how she wants to propel them forward. 

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We spend a good deal of time there before moving onto the Ibis' new coffee shop on Portland Street and then a quieter place along Princess Street a little while later. Throughout our time together Manchester's weather continues to make lighting a challenge, but we keep on and I realise in post-prod it's not the issue I thought it was. 

The Interview

As the shoot approached, Claire mentioned she'd like to interview me for a podcast she's launching for the Northern Creative Collective - a collaborative space for creatives to meet, learn and share. We found a space in a new café on Princess Street and had a conversation about how I started up, what I think about value and belief and my favourite work so far. It launches in March, so keep an eye on my twitter and Instagram for details. 

Claire runs Unhooked, a PR consultancy in Manchester.

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