YMCA’s Urban Mushrooms Product Photography

Growing For Good

You may remember seeing some interesting pictures of mushroom kits on my social media just before lockdown, it was a really fun and dynamic commission by YMCA Newcastle’s Calvin Bateson. Calvin is Marketing Communications Officer at YMCA Newcastle and he got in touch with me needing product photography at my studio in Newcastle for the Urban Mushroom project. Urban Mushrooms pioneers ethical and sustainable food production and provides jobs and training to disadvantaged young local people thanks to investment from Sage Foundation and Social Investment Business Group. Production was booming before lockdown and the team needed updated imagery for their website.

The enterprise has been developing it’s tried-and-tested approach to urban farming here in Newcastle with used coffee grounds to produce new, speciality hot pink oyster mushrooms to join their pearl-grey mushrooms in the fresh cap and grow-at-home kit product range. They’re also developing dried mushroom products along with a line of speciality powders and salts. Urban Mushrooms are also supplying ‘chog’ (or stalks) of the oyster mushrooms to Field and Forrest- a producer of vegan convenience food as a meat-alternative. Many of the products supply our local restaurants in Newcastle for high end dishes and creative menus.

Previous to this Urban Mushrooms product shoot, I had captured documentary images of the mushroom production, portraits of the youth employees and volunteers on the urban farm. The brief for me this time was to capture images of the produce and so Calvin arrived with a basket of the weird and wonderfully shaped, colourful mushrooms they grow at the YMCA Mushroom farm. Below are a select few images from the shoot that show the mushrooms ‘in situ’ of food prep, display and macro close up shots of the fungi as the main event! Just feast your eyes on this lot of fun-gi! Soon to be on the Urban Mushroom’s website.

Urban Mushrooms YMCA Product Photography in Newcastle Kitchen 7 Urban Mushrooms YMCA Product Photography in Newcastle Kitchen 6 Urban Mushrooms YMCA Product Photography in Newcastle Kitchen 5 Urban Mushrooms YMCA Product Photography in Newcastle Kitchen 10 Urban Mushrooms YMCA Product Photography in Newcastle Kitchen 1Urban Mushrooms YMCA Product Photography in Newcastle Kitchen 3 Urban Mushrooms YMCA Product Photography in Newcastle Kitchen Urban Mushrooms YMCA Product Photography in Newcastle Kitchen 4 Urban Mushrooms YMCA Product Photography in Newcastle Kitchen 9

Branding, Website and Studio Refresh

This year has seen some big changes at my photo studio and the way I approach my work. As I am now non stop with corporate photography Monday to Friday I have restricted my weekend work and ceased wedding shoots altogether. It’s exactly where I aimed to be so I’m delighted and have celebrated with an updated logo to reflect my focus on Commercial Photography. This all celebrates 7 years in business which feels fantastic!

London based Studio hb who had designed my original branding were briefed to update the typeface to something very ‘me’. A new fresher tone of green has replaced the old and we have ridded of the black and dark greys and switched to a fresher cleaner white. The new font Bella Regular has a similar friendly, approachable and creative feel to the last, but with a new simplistic SD and circular icon. I love its newness and to me it represents progression and celebration that I am still here 7 years on! Hurray! The new logo is now stripped though my website, my marketing materials and up on my studio walls so have a gander and see what you think…

SD Photographic logo 2018

As well as my branding refresh I have refitted my beloved studio with a built in desk space beautifully designed and fitted by A. Lister Carpentry and Joinery, a local lady who knows her stuff when it comes to bespoke office creations in uneven underground whitewashed caves!

Clients often visiting my studio at Clavering House for portrait headshots, comment on how my photo studio looks like a house in Santorini, the bar in an early Star Wars film or an igloo. Whilst young visitors here for family portraits often ask ‘do you live here?’ as it is so cosy and homely. Thankfully there is time after work to go to my real home!

The studio space accommodates website product photography, headshot staff profiles, fashion and family celebrations whether Graduations, Wedding Anniversaries or Bumps and Babies now with even greater ease and I have space for another staff member too! I’ll be updating you on this fab addition soon.

My website has also had a revamp (yes I was VERY busy this June & July!) and has a whole new set of professional/corporate portraiture galleries, featuring Studio Headshots, Staff at Work, Meet the Team and on location portrait photography. I also have afab selection of performer profiles and model portfolio images. Check it out on 

So here are the before and after- from store cupboard in 2015 to a glorious space in its 2018 newness. I am loving it!

Clavering house basement converted to photo studio



sarah deane studio refit in 2018 sarah deane studio refit in 2018 sarah deane studio refit in 2018

Crabtree of Gateshead Product Photography

Crabtree of Gateshead is one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of quality metal decorating presses and coating machines. They have an impressive factory on the Team Valley that produces incredibly sophisticated machines that apply the decorative coating to metal surfaces.

The photography brief was to show the breadth of their machine client base and the type of coatings that can be applied to various shapes with professional product photographs. The images are to be used for a future exhibition and for display around the North East premises. This was an extremely colourful and enjoyable photo shoot, with many of their client’s recognisable brands that we see in our kitchen cupboards. I was so pleased to be chosen as their product photographer and i shall look forward to more work with them in the future!

To find out more about their work please visit and look below to see my studio product shots.

crabpress client printed tin productscrabtree of gateshead studio product photos

Ella & Joe, Product Photography

My new client ‘Ella & Joe’ have a fantastic range of online gift products so it goes without saying their product photography is paramount to attracting buyers.

The new Father’s day and charity product are launched on their site this week using my studio shots. Ella & Joe’s Katie worked with me on the styling and props and we found that the studio’s shiny surfaces, in-house props and painted tongue and groove walls were perfect backdrops together with carefully chosen themed papers and flowers.

Before Ella & Joe’s previous photographer retired she had delivered amazing results creating home settings in a studio environment so the pressure was on! I was pleased with the results as the studio lighting had to be just right with a clean feel combined with just enough shadow. You can see the new products below and they are also on the Ella & Joe website on the following link;

ella and joe christmas product photographyella and joe product photography 2

Studio Product Shoot.. Stage Two

You may remember the delightful Sophia who came to my studio to sit on and behind  retro speakers rocking old school headphones… well she came back to shoot the next stage in this top secret project (I can’t tell you as I would have to kill you… well not yet anyway) and we got messy with Sharpies and red paint!

PS. Whilst this project unravels I have had some amazing acrylics delivered from Sophia’s stereo headphones shoot…. these are now offered as a fantastic new product here at the studio. Details to follow… now where did I put my rawl plugs and drill?

story telling of product signing photos