If you haven’t heard of Clubhouse, lemme put it to you in a nutshell… it’s the professional version of Houseparty. Clubhouse is a platform for people to converse in groups (or ‘rooms’ in this case) and a place in which networking happens in a very different way to LinkedIn.
At the time of writing this article, Clubhouse has more than 2 million users and it’s growing exponentially with every passing week.
There is a hunger for a fresh way for people to connect authentically
Yes, we’ve got the likes of LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But, Clubhouse is built on audio-only chatrooms, which provides the immediacy of a phone call without the self-consciousness (and need to be camera-ready) associated with being on a live video platform.
It is very addictive
I have spent entire days just having my phone logged into Clubhouse, because the conversations that are being had are so genuine and in many ways, insightful. You can log into rooms where there are experts in every possible field, ready to dispense their wisdom, advice and tips.
It has potential to be a new broadcast platform
Influencers and popular podcasters are already hosting rooms on the platform, and it’s not inconceivable that Clubhouse could add things to the app such as the ability to host live podcasts that can then be recorded and re-purposed for use on other social platforms. One Tiktok user I spoke to with 600k followers says he already spends more time on Clubhouse than Tiktok right now because he recognises how popular it could become, and has decided he wants to get in at early adopter stage to establish his presence.
This is not just for the GenZ or Millennial generation
The age range of users on Clubhouse is not purely confined to GenZ-ers or Millennials, and we’re seeing plenty of people establishing a following and influence who are in their 40s and 50s, such as venture capitalists, business coaches and successful entrepreneurs.
It has monetisation potential
Although there is no way for creators and influencers to monetise from Clubhouse yet, there is no doubt the app will look to build this in as soon as possible. Depending on how delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine goes, we could be moving about more freely in the latter half of 2021 and spending less time on our devices. However, with current restrictions in place across the world, our screen time isn’t letting up. Clubhouse is ideally placed as a platform to connect with like-minded people, have authentic conversations and share knowledge in a way that could keep us glued to our phones for some months to come.
There are times when jobs can come in relatively late in the day, as it was with this one. Tag Heuer had asked influencer marketing agency The Fifth and Jamie McCormack’s James & James production company to produce video content for them featuring Instagram influencers Sam Fane (AKA Seen Through Glass) and Melissa Holbrook-Akposoe (AKA Melissa’s Wardrobe). However, one week before the shoot Tag decided they needed stills photography captured alongside the video.
We shot at the amazing Duke of London, the car hub in Brentford home to an mighty array of vintage and classic cars. It just so happened that Sam had recently taken on a studio in a building in the same complex and had managed to negotiate us using DoL as a location for the shoot.
Jamie and his crew shot interview footage with Sam in the morning with me slotting in during breaks in filming to capture stills of him, with the same schedule applied to Melissa during the second half of the day.
I’d decided to bring my old-as-heck Mamiya C330 film camera to grab a few film shots alongside the digital images as I felt it would be a nice addition to the feel of what we were shooting. It seemed I wasn’t alone, as Jamie had also brought with him a Super 16mm camera for capturing film footage.
With a tight schedule laid out, I really had to maximise my opportunities to get a satisfactory amount of images during the day. Both Sam and Melissa were incredibly patient and hospitable in allowing me to get what I needed.
After the shoot, having narrowed down my selections that night I was told the next morning that the brand had decided to move forward the schedule of deliverables - they needed the first set of images by that afternoon. No biggy, eh.
The rest of that morning was spent sending edits over to Stefan at The Fifth for submitting to Tag for review and to do revisions. The brand were happy with both video and stills content and particularly pleased with how promptly we delivered the final footage and images.
You can see more of the content here.
This was quite the shoot. I had been talking with Freya, the stylist I worked with on it for around two months beforehand through a series of virtual meetings and bouncing moodboards back and forth. We finally settled on a seaside-themed shoot, and whittled down the locations we had in mind to Hastings in Sussex.
Since taking part in an incredible webinar with the photographer Campbell Addy - and all the amazing tips he generously shared including writing out concepts or sketching out ideas before a shoot - I’ve been sketching ideas in a similar way. This has been particularly useful for me, being someone who uses a format in which every shot costs and every shot therefore counts. I use it primarily as a guide; I might not necessarily use all the ideas I’ve sketched out but at the same time it helps me focus on what I want to get out of the shoot and cuts down time too.
Here are a few examples:
I took the train down to Hastings on a Saturday afternoon the previous weekend to scout for locations, and the weather had been incredible sunshine, with late golden hour light. This being an outdoor location shoot in the UK, we knew that we had to contend with the unpredictability of the British weather. But we were shooting in the middle of July, so probably the safest time to shoot outside right? WRONG…wrong, wrong, wrong.
Keeping a close eye on the forecast in the days leading up to the shoot, I was being promised a full day of sunny, beautifully clear weather. Shoot day however was something else entirely. All was going well (apart from one of the models not being told by her booker that we were driving her out of London to shoot - yes for all she knew we could’ve been kidnapping her) and the weather on arriving in Hastings was dry and bright. It was only an hour later when we had prepped the two models’ first outfits that the rain started.
We spent the next 40 minutes sat in cars, trying to decide when would be a good time to bravely venture out or whether to cancel shoot entirely. We went for the former, as by that point the rain had calmed down a little, and I could feel that we were still managing to capture good stuff
I gotta thank our models, Scarlett and Ruoyi for their patience it was was particularly challenging weather, which got only worse when we turned up at our second location that day, the beach and sand dunes of Camber Sands. And do you know what was the real kicker? Not 20 minutes down the road during our journey back to London, the sky turned a beautiful pink and the sun broke through the clouds, as though the weather said f*ck you.
Anyhoo, the pictures turned out really well, well enough to get published in Flanelle magazine. You can see the feature here.