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Commercial photography in a Somerset quarry

I recently carried out some commercial photography at Wainwright, a basalt quarry in the beautiful Mendip Hills in Somerset. As a photographer more used to shooting cheeky children or scampering dogs, this marked a bit of a departure.

My brief was varied: the client asked for photographs of key senior personnel, the working quarry and the machinery in it, the company’s electric car fleet, and some recently installed solar panels on its asphalt plant. The photographs would appear across a variety of media, including the company’s website and its newsletter, Rockface.

The portraits

Having quarried in the Mendips since 1891, Wainwright has a long history. It is also a family business, with many long-serving and highly valued employees. As the company’s people are of its essence, I wanted to take portraits that brought out their personalities and reflected Wainwright’s values.

I photographed the company’s Chief Executive, Quarry Manager and Contracting Director. In each case, I shot them against a variety of backdrops and in a mixture of formats to allow for different uses and layouts.

The electric cars

As part of Wainwright’s mission to minimise its impact on the environment, it has recently invested in a fleet of plug-in hybrid electric company cars. I photographed these to appear alongside an article in the latest edition of Rockface.

Into the quarry

With the staff portraits and vehicle shots complete, it was time to head into the quarry. So I donned a hard hat and high-vis vest, and jumped into the passenger seat of a Land Rover.

First, we bumped along the quarry track to a vantage point ideal for capturing the solar panels. Then we headed further up the hill, where I could take some wide shots of the quarry. Finally, we visited the rockface itself, where I photographed an excavator in action.

It's all in the detail

On our way out of the quarry, I spotted a lone daffodil pushing its way up through the soil above the quarry benches. As this particular quarry had recently undergone extensive development, it struck me that the flower was symbolic of the life breathed into it. So I jumped out of the car and took a quick snap, with the quarry machinery just visible in the background. I was delighted to see this used for a double-page spread in Rockface!

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