06 December 2022

The 3 factors set to propel Equator in-house photography to new heights

There’s a palpable undercurrent of anticipation bubbling away within the in-house photography studio at Equator Manchester.

It’s not just because there’s a steady stream of dynamic projects for the team to get stuck into – although this does continuously feed and energise the team.

What’s really driving the continuous crescendo of excitement is that months of careful planning and growth strategy are on the brink of coming to fruition: a brand-spanking-new fully renovated studio, a brimming pool of fresh talent, and an expanded offering aligned with burgeoning media and advertising trends.

New digs for in-house photography

To accomplish optimal work, you need an environment conducive to optimal working. With this in mind, Equator kicked off an ambitious studio renovation project earlier this year, undertaking an update of the Ragged School photography studio in order to prepare the vital department for long-term growth.

With the renovations expected to be complete in Spring 2023, the current studio will be expanded to nearly double in size. Along with larger workspace and meeting areas to accommodate a growing team, there will be the exciting addition of multiple kitchens, food preparation stations and shooting areas.

Alongside the physical changes to the studio comes significant investment in new kit, for example the excellent Canon EOS R5s which captures 45-megapixel photos at up to 20 frames per second and cinematic video, with Advanced AF deep-learning AI-enabled programming and internal IS image stabilisation.

Studio Director Si Thompson comments, “It’s all systems go. If you look back 18 months, this looks and feels like and entirely new department. Because all these changes really got underway in the midst of Covid, we now have clients stepping back into the studio, finding out what’s new about our studio and offering. They’re keen to collaborate and create with our team, fully believing in us and eager to talk trends, discuss concepts and ideas, and learn how we can take their brand further.”

Skill behind the lens

Industry veteran Thompson is at the helm of the in-house photography studio, joining Equator 18 months ago following a varied career across fashion, celebrity, lifestyle and fine art photography in the UK and across Europe. With 10+ years with leadership positions in a prominent brand agency, where he delivered images for packaging, above the line campaigns and social media content.

At Equator, Si leads a tight-knit crew of food photographers, stylists and home economists, each having their own impressive credentials and bringing deep expertise and wide-ranging skillsets to the table. It all makes for a rich, varied department with just the right mix of talent needed to grow the studio exponentially.

Lead food stylist Joe Wright comments, “As a team, we’re united by a pure and relentless passion for cooking and food. Because we are all so deeply immersed in this world, every one of us is fully dialled in to recipe trends and food photography trends as they begin to emerge. No other studio I’ve worked in can compare to the shared drive and enthusiasm for delivering for our clients and for taking the studio as whole to the next level.”

More services

Equator photography has historically served an important role in delivering the agency’s well-known “under-one-roof” model, but an insatiable appetite for growth means aiming far beyond the current remit.

The in-house photography studio has long been known as a safe pair of hands for Equator clients’ packaging photography needs, however current leadership is keen to break out of this comparatively narrow categorisation and to expand the offering to encompass food photography intended for wide-ranging media, from POS and editorials to video. It’s video in particular that Si and Jo are keen to drive forward in order to meet rising demand among brands. An area of strong expertise for both of them, video is becoming an essential element in the modern marketing mix and a component of growing importance in Equator’s integrated strategy, design and production offering.

Si adds, “Ultimately, we aim to grow this studio into something of a UK hub for food photography – a place where food photography players and client partners meet to originate inspirational work. We really want to play our part in galvanizing the industry whilst bringing more brands to the Equator banner. The sky really is the limit.”

More Insight

View All
Navigating the Refrigeration Divide: Exploring Ambient Crossovers in Brand Expansion

Navigating the Refrigeration Divide: Exploring Ambient Crossovers in Brand Expansion

16 February 2024 16/02/24

Navigating the Refrigeration Divide: Exploring Ambient Crossovers in Brand Expansion

In the ever-evolving landscape of consumer goods, brands are continually seeking innovative ways to expand their offerings and capture new market segments. A notable trend in recent times is the crossing of the refrigeration divide, where brands traditionally associated with chilled products explore opportunities in the ambient space. One compelling example of this is Tropicana’s […]

Read More
The Evolution and Future of Plant-Based: Navigating the Peaks and Valleys

The Evolution and Future of Plant-Based: Navigating the Peaks and Valleys

02 February 2024 02/02/24

The Evolution and Future of Plant-Based: Navigating the Peaks and Valleys

Has Plant Peaked? In recent years, the plant-based movement has experienced a surge in popularity, with an increasing number of consumers embracing a plant-centric lifestyle. However, as with any trend, questions arise about whether plant-based has peaked and what lies ahead for this burgeoning market. In this blog post, we’ll explore recent fluctuations in customer […]

Read More
2023 ‘unwrapped’ – another year of creativity and change

2023 ‘unwrapped’ – another year of creativity and change

02 January 2024 02/01/24

2023 ‘unwrapped’ – another year of creativity and change

With 2024 finally upon us, it comes a time to look back and reflect on another fantastic year we have had at Equator. While not everyone may be up to speed with the endeavours of our collaborative creatives over the last twelve months, fear not – now is your chance to catch up! In this […]

Read More
What is Sunrise 2027 and how can brands prepare for it?

What is Sunrise 2027 and how can brands prepare for it?

19 December 2023 19/12/23

What is Sunrise 2027 and how can brands prepare for it?

Throughout history, finding new and better ways of doing things has been a driving force for innovation. Not much is immune to optimisation, which is why it’s so strange to see things remain unchanged for decades. Funnily enough, one of those things is the barcode – specifically, the Universal Product Code (UPC), which has been […]

Read More
People Power and Private Brand – Global Creative Director Michael Duffy’s End of Year Review

People Power and Private Brand – Global Creative Director Michael Duffy’s End of Year Review

06 December 2023 06/12/23

People Power and Private Brand – Global Creative Director Michael Duffy’s End of Year Review

With the end of the year fast approaching, I’ve found myself reflecting on the experiences we’ve had over the past 12 months; from the projects we’ve worked on to the trends we’ve observed. I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few insights, including the developments we’ve seen in the world of private brand, […]

Read More
Tidings of Comfort and Joy: Our Predictions For This Year’s Festive Trends

Tidings of Comfort and Joy: Our Predictions For This Year’s Festive Trends

13 November 2023 13/11/23

Tidings of Comfort and Joy: Our Predictions For This Year’s Festive Trends

At Equator, we use every tool at our disposal to identify, analyse and predict seasonal trends. It helps us track and plot how they evolve year on year, giving our clients an edge when it comes to creating seasonal designs that sparkle on shelf. Last year, before summer had even drawn to a close, we […]

Read More
What pet food trends should producers focus their development efforts on in 2023/24?

What pet food trends should producers focus their development efforts on in 2023/24?

04 September 2023 04/09/23

What pet food trends should producers focus their development efforts on in 2023/24?

As a design agency that frequently handles innovative pet food packaging projects, our team turned its attention to the pet food trends producers need to know, to stay ahead of the pack. In this blog post, you’ll find all of our insights consolidated into an easily digestible format (uh oh, we’re drifting into on-pack parlance) […]

Read More
Previous Slide Next Slide