We all have tools of our trade that we use on a regular basis, and mostly we don’t spare them much of a thought. Unless they go missing, stop working or malfunction then suddenly we’re fully aware of them.  Your tools don’t necessarily  have to be tools either.  It could be the raw ingredients you use to produce your product like these Juniper berries which go into Hepple Gin.

The value of using the Tools of your trade in images

Did you realise that those same tools have value not just in how you use them but in reaching out to your audience, to giving them an insight into what you do, how, why and what with.

We take what we do and what we use to do it with for granted most of the time. When our electricity or internet goes down we then fully realise how dependent we are upon it. They are the ones that stand out but there’s more to it.

I keep saying that people buy from people because it’s true. People like to see our successes and our work but by nature us humans are a nosey lot we love to have insights on what makes others tick, how they do what they do and what they use i.e. the tools of their trade. Why? because it makes us more human, more approachable, it gives an insight into us and what makes us tick.

But I don’t have any Tools of my Trade worth sharing? Who’d be interested?

You know that’s rubbish don’t you? I was shooting for someone yesterday who had the most amazing pizza base press (that may not be its correct term!) It looked intriguing and until they showed me what it did I couldn’t begin to imagine. But it was chrome and sparkly and caught my eye. Seeing what it did was an eye opener and it’s a great time saving device for them as well as giving a uniform appearance. Sadly we were on a really tight schedule and I didn’t have time to shoot that too. Personally I think that would make a great post on social media – better still a short video.

Perhaps like many spirit makers you have a still or perhaps you hand seal bottles?

These make great talking points!! If you aren’t using the tools of your trade as talking points then you’re missing a treat!

Don't assume people aren't interested in the tools of your trade! Who can fail to be impressed by the engineering that goes into something like this still?

Don’t assume people aren’t interested in the tools of your trade! Who can fail to be impressed by the engineering that goes into something like this still?

But be sure to have images that showcase them well. If you’re going to showcase your coffee machine then be sure it’s super clean and all around it is clean and tidy. You want to show the best and we often don’t notice our own mess, because we get used to it.

If you have old tools that have been handed down then they are of huge interest to others.

How do I know what’s of interest?

So you get the idea but you’re not sure what’s worthy? Actually anything and everything you use by way of tools in your trade!

Part of my props collection, vitals tools of my trade.

For me my props are key tools that I couldn’t function without, many of them have some history behind them. You might have tools of your trade that have been handed down the generations. Even old and battered, I’ll bet they will create intrigue.

For me it can be old pallets which are about to be transformed into backdrops, it could be items of kit, it could be the props I use.

My laptop is key to working with clients in the studio or on site with clients.

Behind the scenes int he studio setting up an Egg shoot. Sue Todd Photography.

It could be the things I use to capture images, my cameras, my laptop, my tripods or the things I use in editing, my intuous tablet, my spyder …. the last two you may well have no idea about and that’s because they are pretty unique to my trade. That’s what makes them great subject matter.

SO … what are the tools of your trade?

And more importantly what stories can you tell with them? What behind the scenes stories can come out of them?

You will know what they are, you’ll just assume they aren’t of any interest but that’s exactly where you are wrong ….

Trust me I know, these things are gold!

Further Action:

Read my blog from last week about Context Shots – What are they? Do you need them? Or start at the beginning of the series What images do you need in 2021? If you’d like to work with me to get beautiful imagery for your business OR to find out more about my photography coaching, then get in touch. I work with people across Northumberland and the North East but also right across the UK  – its a simple matter to courier items to the studio and you can even have a quick remote peak at proceedings if you wish.

If you’d like to see how my work is received by others then take a look at my posts on LinkedIn.