small business

rhubarb rhubarb

emma byrnes, rhubarb rhubarb, organic foodstore
emma byrnes, rhubarb rhubarb, organic foodstore
emma byrnes, rhubarb rhubarb, organic foodstore
emma byrnes, rhubarb rhubarb, organic foodstore
emma byrnes, rhubarb rhubarb, organic foodstore
emma byrnes, rhubarb rhubarb, organic foodstore
Photographs by  Emma Byrnes
Photographs by  Emma Byrnes

Photographs by Emma Byrnes

This beautiful organic grocery store is run by beautiful people and sells beautiful produce! What more could you ask for?
In 2018 this family-owned business at Preston market turned 18! Congratulations Rhubarb Rhubarb on reaching such a huge milestone. 
Photographing for small business is a huge pleasure of mine especially when it is owned by legends such as Sue and Hayden (pictured above). They were able to use the image series I took for them in their social media/website and now have them up their sleeve for future marketing purposes. The photoshoot also coincided with a series that I did for my client Brave New Eco who designed the beautiful new fit out for their retail space.

Two awesome clients in one space! Shazam!

If your business could benefit from some professional imagery get in touch to book a session with me.

twist and squat

emma byrnes photographer melbourne
emma byrnes photographer melbourne
emma byrnes photographer melbourne
Kinematics studio in Richmond. Photography by Emma Byrnes

Kinematics studio in Richmond. Photography by Emma Byrnes

As a photographer one needs to stay flexible in order to twist and squat into all sorts of interesting positions. But over a year ago I went to get out of bed and I could barely walk. It took me many weeks of trial and error and word of mouth recommendations to find myself on the doorstep of Kinematics Studio but gosh I am glad I did. I can’t even describe to you my admiration for the folks at this physiotherapy/pilates studio. The expertise of their practitioners helped me rehabilitate and propel me back on the rapid road to recovery.
And of course during my visits I was lucky to forge a relationship with co-directors Pep Karulus/Rachel Crampton who then hired me to photograph their new Richmond studio for use with their branding/social media (by this stage I was once again nimble-footed!)
The shoot encompassed interiors shots and product shots with Rachel jumping in to effortlessly provide some context on the pilates equipment. It was great to offer some of my own expertise back to this dynamic duo - long may their business thrive!

warmth and precise artistry

emma byrnes, dana leviston
emma byrnes, dana leviston
emma byrnes dana leviston
Photographs by  Emma Byrnes

Photographs by Emma Byrnes

Renowned Melbourne hair and makeup artist Dana Leviston has opened her beautiful new Collins St art-deco studio.
I have had the pleasure of working alongside Dana this year as she sought out my branding and small business expertise to consolidate her position as Melbourne’s go-to makeup/hair artist. I am looking forward to working with Dana to further develop her brand in 2019.

For those reading, be sure to keep Dana in mind if you ever need makeup or hair.
She is the most uber-talented, experienced, approachable and mellow makeup artist out there. And that’s no exaggeration.

Some of these snaps I took featured on Frankie Magazine to celebrate Dana’s launch party.

time for a brand refresh?

An image from the new series for Anna at    Sweet Polka.    As a graphic designer and visual communicator, Anna is keenly aware of the power of effective imagery to win and influence her clients. She knew she did not need a rebrand (a total overhaul of the brand from the ground up) to inject a renewed sense of vigour. All she required was a fun afternoon spent crafting a handful of fresh images for use on her website. Photograph by    Emma Byrnes.

An image from the new series for Anna at Sweet Polka. As a graphic designer and visual communicator, Anna is keenly aware of the power of effective imagery to win and influence her clients. She knew she did not need a rebrand (a total overhaul of the brand from the ground up) to inject a renewed sense of vigour. All she required was a fun afternoon spent crafting a handful of fresh images for use on her website. Photograph by Emma Byrnes.

Is your brand feeling a little stale?
Does it feel like the ethos and principles of your brand are still relevant but the execution isn’t as elegant and effective as it could be?
If your answer is YES but the idea of a refresh fills you with a deep-seated fear of the endless hours you will lose as you go deep and attempt to reinvent the wheel (or in this case, your brand) - there is absolutely no need to fret.
Rather than going way out onto the precipice of rebranding, you can maintain the philosophy and essence of your brand but transform it into a super-charged version of itself by taking a few simple steps.

A portrait of Anna of    Sweet Polka   . By using a restrained colour palette and a beautiful inner city location we were able to photograph a cohesive set of images - each one powerful in it's own right but able to sit within a visual framework. Photograph by    Emma Byrnes.

A portrait of Anna of Sweet Polka. By using a restrained colour palette and a beautiful inner city location we were able to photograph a cohesive set of images - each one powerful in it's own right but able to sit within a visual framework. Photograph by Emma Byrnes.

To start off, in most cases (with just a few tweaks from one of Heartland Project’s gun copywriter collaborators), your existing content can continue to serve your brand well.
The next step and in my opinion, the key secret ingredient to your brand refresh, is in creating a suite of professional, compelling and enticing photographs that reinforce your brand's central messages in a way that makes sense to your target audience. If you have been leaning too heavily on tired, daggy old imagery it is definitely time to (re)capture the attention of your clients with some original high quality snaps.
Having your own suite of professional photographs that you create from scratch allows you to shape an authentic and precise visual message, giving you control over what you evoke in your viewer. You can showcase real products, real services and real people from your team rather than the poor substitute of “off the shelf” stock photography. 
A limited series of original, high quality hero images are a key element - the right ones establish trust and catch the positive attention of viewers right away, adding to effective brand design.
In addition a wider gallery of associated images allows you to showcase your services/products on your website and can also be used for further promotion both on social and print media.

A close up detail of the  Tea and Sympathy  website for  Sweet Polka  as part of the brand refresh. Photograph by  Emma Byrnes.

A close up detail of the Tea and Sympathy website for Sweet Polka as part of the brand refresh. Photograph by Emma Byrnes.

Recognising the importance of visual storytelling is key to your brand’s success. 
I'm not just talking about pretty pictures, I'm talking about a way to visualise information in a simple way that makes sense to your clients. 
If you are tempted to skimp on professional photography bear in mind that images go into our long term memory and heavily influence a visitor’s opinion of your company culture. Potential clients will often eliminate your brand from consideration immediately, based on poor photography. You want the right photos, shot in the right way, by the right person: an experienced pro who knows how to get the most from a photograph. Your photos must be flawless. 
Get in touch to talk about the imaging opportunities that exist for your brand. Nothing gets me more excited than the opportunity to uncover a brand's true potential through successful visual storytelling :-)
And head on over to Sweet Polka's blog where Anna has a great post about our ongoing image-making collaboration - "How I learned to stop worrying and learned to enjoy having my photo taken."

Em x

champions of aussie made

Videographer Chelsea Morley of  Tiny Disco  capturing David Kiper from  Catcher Coats  as he steps us through the wonderful 43-year-old history of his Australian-made coat business. Photograph by  Emma Byrnes.

Videographer Chelsea Morley of Tiny Disco capturing David Kiper from Catcher Coats as he steps us through the wonderful 43-year-old history of his Australian-made coat business. Photograph by Emma Byrnes.

Did you know that Queen Victoria Market has the largest concentration of small businesses in Australia? And many of them still make and sell Australian products.  
I was very happy to work as the photographer on the "Champions of Aussie Made" campaign that was launched last week, alongside videographer Chelsea Morley from Tiny Disco. The campaign highlights certified Australian-made products that are sold in the general merchandise sheds at Vic market. Spending a weekend at the market interviewing the owners of these small businesses was so interesting and by the end of two days I felt like we had been invited into a wonderful community of new friends. Many of these traders have spent their lifetime selling wares at their stalls - such dedication turning up year around,  day-in day-out to the outdoor market stall! Often they are second or third generation stall-holders. And to say nothing of the ever increasing pressures of manufacturing their products in Australia.

Bruce Pham holding up a selection from his  Bruce Goose  range of high-quality Australian-made merino wool socks. His family have been selling socks and hosiery at the market since 1987. Photograph by Emma Byrnes.

Bruce Pham holding up a selection from his Bruce Goose range of high-quality Australian-made merino wool socks. His family have been selling socks and hosiery at the market since 1987. Photograph by Emma Byrnes.

I made some fantastic new discoveries - Bruce Goose merino wool socks have kept my feet warm all winter and in style to boot! They even kept my toes super-toasty in the snow! 
My fingerless merino gloves from Danny's Knitwear have also contributed to my winter comfort levels and are very useful for tapping away on my keyboard in our cold studio at the Nicholas Building. Not to mention the stunning line-up of Australian designed and made clothing + accessories at the beautifully curated Pussy Cat Black. Bettina has a very fine eye for quality ethical fashion.

Australian made and designed clothing hanging at  Pussy Cat Black.  Three cheers for retailers who understand the profound value in supporting local, ethical and independent makers. Photograph by  Emma Byrnes.

Australian made and designed clothing hanging at Pussy Cat Black. Three cheers for retailers who understand the profound value in supporting local, ethical and independent makers. Photograph by Emma Byrnes.

I really take my hat off to these businesses dedication and resistance to the temptations of producing off-shore.  As local manufacturing shrinks and the skills-base dwindles it is harder and harder to produce in Australia.  As a society we need to think very deeply about whether we are prepared to forego our local industries. There is a direct correlation between consumer purchasing behaviour and employment, local economic development and prosperity. As someone who has run two retail businesses in Australia I can definitely say that despite the challenges the rewards are great.  When you buy Australian-made and grown products, you can be sure you are keeping your family members and friends employed. Not to mention being part of a vibrant and positive-thinking community of like-minded folk!

emma byrnes
Cactusland's  spiky display at the Queen Victoria Market - just opposite the Jam Donut Van. All plants grown in Melbourne. Photographs by  Emma Byrnes.

Cactusland's spiky display at the Queen Victoria Market - just opposite the Jam Donut Van. All plants grown in Melbourne. Photographs by Emma Byrnes.

Andrew Thompson (left) of  Cactusland  and Ariel Lewin of  Danny's Knitwear.   Photograph by  Emma Byrnes. 

Andrew Thompson (left) of Cactusland and Ariel Lewin of Danny's Knitwear.  Photograph by Emma Byrnes. 

Chelsea has produced a series of short videos that will be released weekly over the next couple of months - they are definitely worth viewing. Here is the story of David Kiper from Catcher Coats to kick it off.

I look forward to some long-standing relationships ahead with some of the traders I met through this project. Many thanks to you all for participating.

Em x

made in japan

emma byrnes, made in japan, queen victoria market
Made in Japan  ( MIJ ) has been importing high quality tableware and homewares from Japan for over 25 years. The tableware they import is seldom seen outside Japan - often only in restaurants and homes in the areas surrounding the makersʼ kilns.
emma byrnes, made in japan, queen victoria market
emma byrnes heartland projects made in japan
Photographs by  Emma Byrnes.
Photographs by  Emma Byrnes.

Photographs by Emma Byrnes.

I have photographed various stallholders for Queen Victoria Market and really enjoyed my time spent at Made In Japan.

Made in Japan (MIJ) has been importing high quality tableware and homewares from Japan for over 25 years. The tableware they import is seldom seen outside Japan - often only in restaurants and homes in the areas surrounding the makersʼ kilns. MIJ's Queen Victoria Market stall can be found on String Bean Alley - an area of the market that houses artisans and makers in recycled shipping containers. A National Trust classification prevents the Market from building permanent structures, so the shipping containers are a clever way of opening up this otherwise neglected part of the Market.  
Maddy (pictured above) is the front-woman for the MIJ Queen Victoria Market stall. She is very passionate about all things Japanese - even sporting a Studio Ghibli's Totoro tattoo. So good!

tea & sympathy

A banner image from the new Tea & Sympathy website. Photograph by  Emma Byrnes.

A banner image from the new Tea & Sympathy website. Photograph by Emma Byrnes.

Earlier this year Anna from Sweet Polka approached me to work alongside her on the online rebranding of local tea artisan Tea & Sympathy. Anna would be responsible for the overall art direction of the project plus the word-smithing and I would generate the photographic imagery, design the look-and-feel of the new website and then rebuild the whole thing in Shopify.
Tea & Sympathy stocks a limited, hand-picked range of premium leaf teas - from classic blends, to many interesting bespoke Chinese and Taiwanese teas not otherwise available in Australia. Angelina Yannuccelli who founded the brand sees the range as an extension of her own personal tea odyssey and immersion in tea culture.
I first met Angelina when she established the brand back in 2012 so I was aware of the knowledge and passion she applies to her business and the calibre of the range she offers. When I visited her old web site I realised that it did not reflect the authority and perspective that she had garnered over the past five years in the tea business. The site was full of great information but it was cluttered and disparate, having been added to in a piecemeal way over time.

A banner image from the new Tea & Sympathy website. Photograph by  Emma Byrnes.

A banner image from the new Tea & Sympathy website. Photograph by Emma Byrnes.

 We decided to simplify the user experience and elevate the imagery to a standard that matched the quality of the tea for sale. Anna and I spent an afternoon photographing images to create a general mood for the brand - we wanted the feeling to be tangible yet sophisticated to reinforce the brand's authority on teas whilst reflecting the personal touch that Angelina brings.
We would also streamline the way the individual product was presented by photographing the teas in ceramic bowls provided by local homewares wholesalers - Marmoset Found. I must say this was a very pleasurable experience - spending the day with Angelina and her encyclopaedic knowledge of her range, visually honing in on each tea as a separate entity and observing the colours, textures and smells. 

Chrysanthemum flower tea  in beautiful ceramic bowls by  Marmoset Found.  Photograph by  Emma Byrnes.

Chrysanthemum flower tea in beautiful ceramic bowls by Marmoset Found. Photograph by Emma Byrnes.

Once the imagery was finished I built the site and Anna edited the copy. And, as of last week, it is out in the world ready for the next stage of the brand's growth.
I wish Angelina all the best with Tea & Sympathy. Having worked with her I understand that the motivation behind her brand comes from a passion for excellent product and supporting artisan growers and small family farms in tea-making traditions that have been passed down over the centuries. Wonderful!

Em x

PS - If you are in the market for specialty tea my favourite whilst working with Tea & Sympathy was the Jasmine Pearls - just sublime.