OPINION: The Humble Photoshoot

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Fast forward from 2003 to 2019 - Client education is really the biggest challenge.

The superyacht marketing and media landscapes have changed significantly over the years and no better example of this is the humble photoshoot. The demand for content to satisfy the needs of the ever-hungry media machines and channels has created a demanding environment for all involved.

The 2003 Superyacht Shoot…The boat is 45m you have 3 days and I need photos of the guest areas, decks, aerials, and the boat at anchor and I need the results in a week

The 2019 Superyacht Shoot…The boat is 90m You have 3 days and I need photos and video of the guest areas, decks, aerials, the boat at anchor, underwater shots, all the toys and slides, drone shots, full lifestyle story with a family of six including some with a car or jet, a collection of photos and short films specifically for social media, oh and while you are at it can you take a few of the engine room and some crew profiles.. and I need the results in a week.

Second to actually securing shoot dates, satisfying all the demands is one of the single biggest challenges when it comes to ’The Shoot’ element of any superyacht marketing strategy.

To achieve the results demanded, client education is critical. It's always nice when our clients realise the risks associated with the ’I need everything’ approach and work with us to develop a strategy that identifies the deal breakers and works for all. Because the risk is with so many objectives in play none of them will be achieved 100%. Once a client understands this, timely planning becomes the next objective…more to come…

OPINION: Drones VS Helicopters


Drones VS Helicopters. Which one is best for a Superyacht shoot?

Each year our photographers and cameramen spend around 60 hours shooting superyachts from helicopters. Yet, we are often asked whether we can use a drone for aerial photography and filming instead. This can be for either budget or location reasons. So, we chose a few key factors relating to the photography and filming of superyachts and put the drone and helicopter head to head.

Please note, the drone in this review is the most practical and portable model for our kit, the DJI Phantom 4Pro. It delivers exceptional results for the intended purpose. There are some drones capable of carrying large camera payloads. But, in our opinion, they are not the best choice for the work we do.



Drones generally have 20-30 minutes of flying time and can only fly up to 400 feet, as per Civil Aviation Authority regulations. This means several battery changes for the flying time of an hour. That eats up valuable time and interrupts the flow of the shoot. The controlled range of a drone is another factor for the pilot to keep in mind. No one wants to lose a drone into the sea. The pilot must always be aware of the flight time and battery remaining.


A typical helicopter will be able to fly for two and a half hours at 135 knots for 300-350 miles on one fuel tank. The flexibility of a helicopter for uninterrupted shooting, altitude, and composition, provides greater variety of photos for the client. A helicopters flight capacity also makes it far better suited for running shots.

The Winner: Helicopter.



A drone has the ability to shoot video in 4k and 20 megapixel, but it is the size of the sensor that delivers the results. The bigger the sensor the more information you capture and the greater the quality. The type and quality of the camera lens is also a factor. The drones we use have a one-inch sensor and a fixed lens. Our preferred drone delivers excellent results for the final use of most of the photo and film we shoot.


Like most things in life you expect more when you pay more. When you are flying in a helicopter with over £30k of camera equipment and lenses at your disposal, you get more. Here the sensor quality and size, image quality, sharpness, and details are all at the top of their game.

The Winner: Helicopter.



Composition from a drone can be limited. The photographer can only really view the subject and surroundings via the drone’s screen. What’s more, our clients require both landscape and portrait photos. The drone can only shoot landscape.


The view from inside a helicopter is panoramic. This allows the photographer, and others, to anticipate changes in the light and the scene. Our photographer will have a variety of lenses on hand. They will also have the capacity to shoot landscape and portrait images. This means the composition options are almost endless.

The Winner: Helicopter.


The Weather


The best conditions for flying a drone is when it is sunny with a moderate temperature and little or no wind. This ensures maximum drone control and range. As wind and heat increase the drone has to work harder, so the battery drains faster. It also becomes harder for the operator to line up the best shots in windy conditions. Unfortunately the environment we shoot in can be very changeable. This often places a limit on what we can achieve with a drone.


Helicopters also have their weather-related limits, but these are more extreme. They can handle more wind and rain than a drone. In our experience, the weather has rarely stopped a helicopter taking to the sky. However, at times they do get buffeted around by the wind. The wind can also restrict the pilot's ability to manoeuvre as we need.

Winner: Helicopter.



Having a drone in the kit means that at short notice we can capture aerial photos and film. This allows us to take advantage of changes in the weather, light, and scene. The only limitation is that the use of drones is becoming increasingly regulated. We no longer take the drone to some countries.


Using a helicopter requires some forward planning. Booking the slot, time to get to the pickup point, time to fly to the boat, and time to get back after landing if needed. This can add half a day for just an hour of shooting.

Winner: Drone.


This is really what it's all about - what gives you the best result for the money you invest? To measure the return you need to go back to the objectives of the shoot. Consider how important the results are to the goals for marketing your business or yacht. Then you have to consider how and where you need to use the media to achieve your goals.

We believe, everything involved with marketing a superyacht has to be in keeping with the perception you want to create. A superyacht is the ultimate in everything. Therefore there should be no compromise in the media you use.

So it's no surprise, for us the winner is the helicopter.

But a drone is also a winner. It can be used for much more than aerial shots of a yacht. We use it on the yacht, in the yacht (try that in a helicopter), on the beach, on the streets. Anywhere we need to get extra creative angles. For us, that is when a drone comes into its own.

At the end of the day, whether its drone or helicopter, the result is only as good as the person taking the shots. :)


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Tune in next month for our feature: How your brands/yachts popularity can soar by placing people in photos.

For more information about regulations surrounding the use of drones see below:

Flying Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or Drones in the US:

Dronesafe UK:

Commercial use in the UK:

Flying Drones in France :


OPINION: Superyacht Awards

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 Advice for Entering Superyacht Award Contests The importance of photo and film

Every year excitement mounts in preparation of events celebrating superyachts for their design, form and function. Prior to the big announcements, judges have poured over numerous submissions trying to decipher what makes one yacht extra special compared to others.

Some of the judges can call on their first-hand knowledge gained from when they viewed the yacht at a show, at its home port or when they made a special visit to a remote location. Make no mistake these judges take their role very seriously, we know of at least one who spent in excess of $250,000 per annum making sure he saw them all. But for some, visiting every shortlisted yacht can be prove a logistical challenge.

Peter Wilson, project manager - MCM and World Superyacht Awards Judge says “As a World Superyacht Awards judge, I endeavour to personally inspect as many of the nominated yachts as is physically possible. However, due to logistics, their locations around the world, plus other commitments, it’s challenging to see them all. Of course, nothing beats actually stepping on board to get an up-close and personal look, but in the absence of such a visit, I rely heavily on great photography and video. Together, these are great tools to help evaluate the yacht and her nuances, as if done well, one is “virtually” on board”

If a judge has not personally been onboard, they must rely on feedback from those who have and what has been supplied by the entrant - photos, video and text. Not surprisingly the ones we have spoken to agree it’s difficult to make decisions if the media supplied doesn’t convey the true sense of the yacht. Whether it’s the composition, the sense of space and light, the colours or details, the images and videos need to make the judges feel as if they are virtually on board.

Investment in the very best photography and film is therefore critical and could simply make or break a yacht's chance of success. With 15 years of shooting superyachts behind us, and first-hand experience of many award events, we able to to ensure all photos and films supplied truly reflect the uniqueness and quality of every entry.

However, regardless of how well we capture the yacht, it can all count for nothing if the submission misses the deadline. We are constantly amazed at how every year there is a mad panic for photos and film specifically for awards. Surely it comes as no surprise to entrants that they have entered a competition with entry deadlines! So why then do they jeopardise their chances of success with last minute pleas to produce content? Our experience has been that the most prestigious competitions have the strictest rules and deadlines to make sure judges have the time to give every entrant equal and fair consideration. Organisers tell us that late arrivals are likely dismissed entirely rather than risk being reviewed hastily and incorrectly. Take it from us, multiple last minute pleas for images creates one huge deadline challenge; a challenge that one day could be impossible to overcome, resulting in to a disaster for all.

So, if you are thinking of entering a yacht in an awards competition invest in the very best media, and allow plenty of time to get it produced prior to the deadline.

OPINION: Breed Media Bank image licences


Rights Managed and Royalty Free image licences

To make the most of stock photos it helps to understand the difference between the two main licensing options: Rights Managed (RM) and Royalty Free (RF). The Breed Media Bank, and most stock photo libraries, supply their images with one of these two licenses. These licensing options each have their own benefits and work differently from each other. Photos are licensed because you are buying the right to use the photo – not the photo itself. The photographer who created the photo is still the owner of the photo. The copyright is always with the person who created the photo.

Royalty Free (RF)

A Royalty Free licenses places very few restrictions on the use of an image. It allows multiple and unlimited use of an image and is not exclusive. The purchaser pays a one time fee for the license and can then make perpetual use of the image in all the permitted ways. So, the licensed image can then be used freely for your marketing material, website, brochures, PDF’s etc. These images are generally called royalty-free Because royalty free images are not sold exclusively an unlimited number of licenses can be sold for the same photo. Images sold under RF are usually priced low and at a flat fee, they can also be distributed across stock photo agencies. This means the image license may be purchased by multiple people in different companies and brands who can all use the image at the same time in different ways. The image is licensed because you are buying the right to use the image in multiple ways for a one-time flat fee. So, you pay for the licence once but can use the image forever within accepted ways.

Rights Managed (RM)

The rights managed license outlines how, when and where the image can be used this assures the purchaser of the image a level of exclusivity. When purchasing a rights managed license there could be specific time and geographical limitations as well as specific and per-use rights. The license only covers the consigned use, to use the image in another way a new license is needed. The price for a license varies according to its intended use. Depending on the photo the price can vary significantly. For RM photos there is a more detailed buying process. Because of the custom, set, specific rights a buyer acquires over a RM image they are generally less widely available, and you are less likely to see duplicates in use simultaneously. Rights managed photography can provide a level of protection to the image purchaser. The seller of the photograph, when made aware of the intended use of the image, can alert the buyer to any possible conflicts in image use. The arena of brand confusion can be bypassed by using rights managed licensing. If you can be clear on where you want to use photos sometimes it can be more cost effective to purchase the rights managed photo for a specific use rather than paying more for a royalty free image which you end up only using once.

As the need for stock photography grows both rights managed and royalty free licensing models both have key roles to play. What you choose to purchase ultimately comes down to what the image will be used for and the level of exclusivity required. If you need any help with this when using the Breed Media Bank please contact

OPINION: 5 benefits of using models

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Those who embark on superyacht photo and film shoots will find themselves evaluating the use of models. Here we look at the top five benefits.


1.    Bring a yacht to life and engage the viewer

Thanks to their design and craftmanship, film and photography of a superyacht is impressive even without models. But, when you add models you not only capture the beauty of the yacht you also bring it to life. A life the viewer can begin to see themselves as part of. What’s more, if the models have been carefully selected to identify with the target market demographics then the viewer begins to engage their imagination even more and starts to live the experience. This engagement can be a powerful tool in helping achieve your marketing goals.   


2.    Broaden the message and deliver a higher value proposition

You are selling both a beautifully designed yacht, and also the lifestyle. Both of these elements affect the purchasing decision. By adding models to a shoot, you are combining each element and appealing to the audience on multiple levels, this delivers a much stronger value proposition to your target market.

Models also allow you to capture the attention of a wider audience. Some audiences are more captivated by the yacht design, some by the lifestyle and some by both. 


3.    Gain more media exposure

Good quality superyacht photo and film content are always in high demand by the media especially by the ‘all you can eat’social media channels. Lifestyle images and film featuring professional models will increase your chances of being featured because the content appeals to a wider audience. Perhaps more importantly, it provides you opportunities to gain exposure to new markets via luxury lifestyle media and social channels with their millions of followers.

You can also benefit from exposure by suppliers. organisations and trade events who often require media with models to promote both their product and the superyacht lifestyle. Many such companies will ask permission to use your media content for this purpose and credit you as well. This again increases the promotion of your brand.


4.    Trigger an emotional response

The use of models always engages an emotional response from the audience. We are emotional beings and use both rational and emotional thinking during the purchase decision making process. The superyacht purchase or charter is especially driven by emotion so the more you connect with your market on an emotional level the higher the chance they will contact you.  


5.    Use storytelling to cut through the marketing clutter

The use of models can go further than simply bringing life to a yacht and brand. It can also create the opportunity for storytelling. Storytelling has become one of the most effective way to cut through the marketing clutter, communicate you brand story and differentiate yourself from your competitors. When your brand story is about people and the way your brand and product deliver what they are looking for, then the use of models will introduce a strong engaging element that strengthens the message through human connection. 


Ultimately whether you choose to incorporate models on a superyacht film and photo shoot comes down to: 

1.     What is the aim of the content you are creating and does the use of models benefit the overall goal of this marketing material? 

2.     Is the use of models likely to bring a significant, and therefore justifiable, return on investment? 

We hope the above benefits help you to answer these questions.



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OPINION: 5 steps to an effective film production

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5 steps to an effective film production

Here are a few elements worth considering for those who may have limited experience with film projects.

Set your goals and provide a good brief

The biggest gift you can give to a production team is a solid brief. You can work with them to develop one if you need guidance. As long as the brief is set before production starts you give yourself the best opportunity to get the film that you would like, at the budget you would like.

Choose your production team carefully

Employ the right team for the job. Check their previous work, especially the work they have produced to a similar budget as yours. Most importantly, make sure the team understand your industry and your audience, so they can fully grasp the strategy and outputs required to achieve the desired results. If you simply employ a camera operator, you may have a lovely looking film, but it may not speak to your audience, which will reduce your return on investment.

Realise you are part of the team

From pre-production through to post-production, you are a valuable film team member and need to act like one. The production team will require your assistance throughout the process, including the prompt supply of resources such as logos, on location insight and prompt/thorough feedback during post production. Delays in any part of this can increase the cost.

Evaluate expenses in light of their benefit

Big decision such as whether to incorporate models need solid consideration. You may be instantly put off by the cost, but when you evaluate the benefits, especially the return on investment, then you put yourself in the best position to make a decision that fits your desired goals.

Be bold were it is needed

Some films may simply be educational and have less need to stand out, so set an appropriate budget for this. Generally, companies in the superyacht industry benefit from being bold. We operate in an increasingly clustered market with thousands of yachts that perform the majority of the same functions. Superiorly creative and bold film concepts will ensure you create more awareness than your competitors. More work on a creative strategy and dynamic film ideas can increase the budget but also deliver best investment return in both brand positioning and awareness.

Our final piece of advice is to make sure you enjoy the process; film projects should be fun. We hope the above helps. We wish you the best for your future film projects and please don’t hesitate to call us if you think we can assist.

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OPINION: How much to spend on film?


How much to spend on film? The BIG three production costs explained

Film is becoming the most effective way to engage with an audience. The big question all companies are asking is: how much should we spend on film? This is a difficult question to answer for companies who have never invested in this medium. Cost of film production varies dramatically. The below contains some insight into what drives production costs, as well as providing tips to achieve an effective and cost friendly film process.

Production costs – the BIG three

Many elements drive the cost of film production, below are the main three:

  • Time: A lot of time is taken up in preproduction, production and post production. Time is money in film production and the amount of time allowed for directly impacts the quality of the output.
  • Team: There are many options for the production team selected as well as the models/actors.  The level of professionalism is strongly linked the budget and the desired quality of output.
  • Location: The more remote the shoot location, the higher the cost.

Explaining the BIG three

  • Time

    Preproduction is all about taking the time to evaluate what you want to achieve and how best to achieve this. Taking time to evaluate the brand strategy and then develop a film concept that compliments this is invaluable. The creative strategy takes time but gives you the best chance to develop a concept that is unique and truly captivates your audience.
    Note: Different types of films require different levels of preproduction. Some need very little.
    There are many elements to evaluate and organise for a superyacht shoot, including location, helicopter, models, styling, dressing of the yacht etc. Again, the more time you allow the better the final output. For example, allowing a good amount of time for location scouting means you will have the best areas and best shots possible for the film.

    On Location Shooting:
    Allowing an appropriate amount of days to shoot is very important. If you reduce the amount of days, you limit the amount that can be shot - it’s as simple as that. You also risk limiting the quality as there will be less time available for setting up each shot.  Less shooting time often either requires reducing content expectations, increasing the size of the team or both.

    Post Production:
    It is important to allow enough time for post-production of the media. The biggest opportunities for saving time come in the form of the initial brief and feedback. If a solid brief is provided as well as quick/collative feedback, then the postproduction is smooth and timely.
  • Team 

    An experienced film crew and experienced models/actors will significantly benefit the final output. Saving money on both of these will be reflected in your final outputs.

    The more professional the film team the more certainty and peace of mind you have regarding quality of output as well as making entire process easier. Professional teams come with the best equipment for the job, market knowledge and production experience to ensure a high-quality film that communicates the right message.

    Despite what some think, modelling/acting is not an easy business. It is well worth spending money on professional models to ensure you get the level of professionalism that will deliver high quality results with as few re-takes as possible.
  • Location

    Generally speaking the further you travel, and more remote the location, the higher the cost. Beautiful, different and remote locations can increase the chance of a visually amazing film and will also help widen its audience, but that comes at cost.  If aerials are needed, then the cost of the helicopter with an experienced pilot can be significant the more remote the location. The wrong helicopter and inexperienced pilots can limit what can be achieved. So, while remote locations are great and produce impressive backgrounds, they need to be evaluated carefully.

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