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More shots at more bars

October 31, 2013

What started in Wales last Bank Holiday continued across Somerset, Berkshire, Worcestershire and Yorkshire this month, as my assistant Dan and I hit the road to continue our photographic pub crawl around the UK.

Gold_pub_mirror

Gilty pleasures

We’ve covered thousands of miles, visited a wealth of hostelries and, while there’s never any drinking on the job, seen off a fair few pub lunches.

Commercial interiors photography by Leamington Spa photographer Rachel Spivey

Clear, uncluttered interiors were a big part of the brief

Commercial interiors photography by Leamington Spa photographer Rachel Spivey

Studying the specials board

If you’re in the hospitality business these days presenting yourself at your very best on sites such as booking.com and Trip Advisor is crucial. People want to make an informed choice – especially if they’re staying somewhere overnight – and quality professional photography plays a key role. The pub company who commissioned me recognised they need something better than a few snaps from a phone to give them a competitive edge, so it has been my job to create a visual showcase of the inns in their estate.

Commercial interiors photography by Leamington Spa photographer Rachel Spivey

All tucked inn

Commercial interiors photography by Leamington Spa photographer Rachel Spivey

Just noticed that this chap hasn’t got any shoe laces

The different pubs we photographed were as varied as they were far apart. Some are beautiful old properties in scenic locations, while what others lack in interesting surroundings they make up for in good value accommodation and service. Apart from a bit of expert towel folding courtesy of Mr Barnes, my brief has been very much to ‘photograph what’s there’, rather than over-style it, fill it full of models and light it within an inch of its life.

The Bear at Street

The Bear at Street with a great view of Glastonbury Tor from one of the windows

In some ways it has reminded me of one of my first editorial commissions for Waitrose Food Illustrated.

Back in the mid-nineties I was one of their regional photographers and would be sent to some of the finest restaurants in the country to photograph the venues along with the dishes.

Editorial photography by Leamington Photographer Rachel Spivey

Some of my old editorial work for Waitrose Food Illustrated

It was great having top chefs style their own creations for me, but I’m just as at home capturing good, honest pub grub.

Commercial interiors photography by Leamington Spa photographer Rachel Spivey

Along with a big a checklist of ‘must do’  shots of the exterior, gardens, rooms, etc. I was also tasked with capturing a handful of shots of customers. Relying on whoever happened to walk through the doors that morning added an element of unpredictability to the proceedings, but as it turned out, I met a good number of ramblers, businessmen and regulars who were more than happy to be featured in the shots.

Commercial interiors photography by Leamington Spa photographer Rachel Spivey

Happy ramblers

Commercial interiors photography by Leamington Spa photographer Rachel Spivey

A deal going down

Commercial interiors photography by Leamington Spa photographer Rachel Spivey

Morning coffee

Group in pub

Lunch for four

The final part of each shoot was to head out and capture a bit of the local landscape or points of interest. Of all the places we visited I was really quite taken with Street, near Glastonbury. The pub there, The Bear, was just opposite the original Clarks factory which is now a shoe museum.

If I’d had more time I’d have liked to have had a nosey round.

I’m quite partial to shoes.

xx

The Shoe Museum in Street

And around the corner we found this cool little art deco lido, Greenback Pool which was originally a gift to the women of the town by shoe heiress Alice Clark. As the menfolk of Street would swim naked in the nearby River Brue, Alice a keen supporter of women’s rights, left money in her will along with instructions that a pool be built so the women and girls would have somewhere to bathe.

Greenbank_Pool

Greenbank Pool in Street

Well, what’s a pub crawl without a bit of pub trivia?

We’re heading out to Berkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire over the next two weeks for the last leg of the tour

Cheers
RS x

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