Look beyond the stylish clothes and sashaying and brooding models and you might spot the real star of some of the nation’s top advertising campaigns... Norfolk, says
Why the big brands are flocking to Norfolk for their photoshoots
WE ALL know what a special place Norfolk is, what a wealth of breathtaking landscapes, rich heritage and fascinating architecture the county has to offer.
Now, thanks to the work of a local production company, those virtues are being recognised and leapt upon by some of the country’s biggest brands who are choosing to film major advertising campaigns and fashion shoots here on our beaches, at our stately homes and inside our surprisingly eclectic properties.
Tessa Reynolds, managing director of East Coast Productions in Norwich, says the decision to launch the company was a natural progression of the work she was doing with sister company, the model agency Sandra Reynolds
“People would book models and then would increasingly pick our brains for ideas and recommendations for locations and photographers; Norfolk is such an amazing area it seemed like a logical step to consider bringing together all that local knowledge and expertise. We already provided models so it became a case of introducing Norfolk itself to them as well.”
It not only benefits those directly involved, but the local economy as a whole, with crews using restaurants, hotels and facilities – as well as helping further boost the county’s overall profile nationally and internationally.
“While the crews are here we always take time to show them how fantastic Norfolk is, introducing them to different places, showing them little shops, or places to eat and finding them good places to stay. Many of them come back to visit with their families. It is in our interest that they like it and have a good time because then they consider using us for a shoot again. Then there is the benefit of the finished product, with Norfolk taking centre stage in these major national and international campaigns.”
The company is run by a small team and they work closely with a trusted group of local photographers, videographers, stylists, models, drivers, runners and assistants, as well as calling on all manner of additional help from across the county – from owners of dogs, cats and birds of prey to boats, classic cars and helicopters, depending on the client’s needs.
“You have to offer something they don’t get inside the M25 because they incur the extra travel and accommodation costs on to the budget if they venture too far. But people are also always looking for somewhere new and we have a lot of business that used to go to the south coast which now comes to East Anglia, something a lot wouldn’t have considered feasible before.”
Tessa says her favourite beach to shoot is Winterton as it offers a little bit of everything – from big open stretches of sand to the atmospheric beach huts and dunes. She says Norfolk’s stately homes and historic buildings are also popular as shoot locations.
“Predominantly the beach is the biggest draw. But clients have all sorts of briefs. Some might need a specific style of bathroom and that is all. Others might want some contemporary interiors mixed with some coastal shots, others might want a grand country house.”
Among the brands which East Coast Production has worked with are Cath Kidston, The White Company, Boden, Sainsburys, Laura Ashley, Marie Claire and Harpers Bazaar. It also has a host of local clients, from Orchard Toys and Startrite to Dewing Grain and Hoseasons.