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A walk on KWR

Coltish – the Adventure Begins – and ends.

Some 5 years ago we spent a great deal of time and effort building a new retail brand. We built out a new shop on King William Road Hyde Park in Adelaide with high hopes for the future. Sadly these hopes were never realised and the Coltish brand is no more. Back in 2018 I shot some video with Sophia Anna which I have just re-edited into this short video.

This was before Covid, and before the great King William Road Upgrade, so things are somewhat changed, some businesses have gone, but most are still there.

Kim Freckelton

(This page is a test to follow how Google indexes images. Google indexes pages fairly quickly, but images are another matter)

Kim Freckelton is an Adelaide glamour model. I have photographed her multiple times over the years, mostly as a swimwear model for a local swimwear designer. As a swimwear model, Kim Freckelton is beyond compare. Here is a selection of images of Kim.

Kim Freckelton modelling swimwear at Semaphone beach, wearing a red bikini

This is a shot from I think my first shoot with Kim Freckelton. Shot early morning at Semaphore beach in Adelaide.

Kim Freckelton in vintage dress posing with fisherman

This is a shot from I think my first shoot with Kim Freckelton. Shot early morning at Semaphore beach in Adelaide.

Model Kim Freckelton sitting on a rock at North Haven beach wearing Raquel rashie

Kim Freckelton sitting on a rock at North Haven beach at very low tide.

Kim Freckelton wearing the Tatjana one piece swimsuit from Kato Swim

Another all time favourite shot of Kim Freckelton wearing a onepiece swimsuit from Kato Swim.

Kim Freckelton wearing red bikini at Semaphore beach

Another shot of Kim Freckelton from that first shoot at Semaphore.

Model Kim Freckelton wearing Bianca triangle bikini at North Haven beach

Here Kim is at North Haven beach wearing a bikini from Kato Swim in a watermelon print.

Model Kim Freckelton in the surf at Maslin beach wearing a bikini set in tropical print

Kim in the surf at Maslin beach

Kim Freckelton channelling bond girl Halle Berry, walking out of the sea at Maslin beach

An all time favourite shot of mine, Here Kim Freckelton could easily be a Bond girl, shown here walking out of the surf at Maslin beach, wearing the Isla reversible bikini from Kato Swim.

What is Content Marketing?

To understand content marketing, we need first to understand what is marketing.  According to the American Marketing Association:

Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

This is a pretty broad definition. Most people think of marketing as being akin to selling, that we start with a product and then look at ways to market it. Modern marketing starts with questions like

  • Who is the customer?
  • What problems do they have that we can solve?
  • How do we design a product or service  to solve these problems?

Then we would look at the competition, pricing, distribution, and bringing the product/service to the attention of the target market for whom it was designed. With traditional marketing, getting attention is achieved by advertising. Advertising is focused on selling, with the call to action of ‘Buy Now!!!’

Content marketing on the other hand is focused on the customer and the problem that was originally identified that brought the product into being. It is designed to engender trust by addressing  the customer’s pain point, showing willingness to help and expertise in the problem area.

Content Marketing is  not new

Content marketing is not new. Back in the 1890’s the brothers Michelin in France wanted to sell more tyres – so they created the a small book of helpful information for motorists, inclluding lists of places to eat. Thousands of copies were printed and given away free. No charge. The thinking was that readers of the guide would drive to the restaurants, cover more miles and need more tyres.  So that wonderful secret sales funnel that is endlessly promoted online is not new either – offer something of value to get an email address, then run some kind of automated email campaign. Of course most consumers are onto this today, they will sign up, get the ebook, and unsubscribe. Anecdotally, the Michelins found that their book was not valued as they would have liked – they found a tyre reseller was using them to level a bench – so eventually they put a price on the guide. Seven francs, whatever that was worth at the time.

Most Companies are Doing It

77 percent of companies have a content marketing strategy in place – many more are doing content marketing without a strategy.

Why Content Marketing?

Traditional advertising is in decline for many reasons:

Move to privacy

According to Business Insider  over 763 million devices worldwide are blocking advertisements. Most browsers not only allow but promote ad blocking as a feature – Firefox’s most recent updates offer to block ads and tracking, frustrating Google’s analytics and hurting their advertising business. Of course Google’s Chrome browser resists ad blocking because, well, Google.

To most internet savvy people today, social media advertisements are mostly background noise, just like television ads have been for years.  Advertisers have tried to make their ads look like posts, but this eventually annoys people and drives them away.

The Decline of Social Media

Overall, the use of social media has topped out or is in slow decline. Younger people in particular are moving away from the use of open communications. This is in no small part attributable to the inexorable rise of social media advertising, the intrusiveness of the ubiquitous algorithm, and the knowledge that everything is being watched and measured.

The Rise of the Digital Campfire

“Today we already see that private messaging, ephemeral stories, and small groups are by far the fasting growing areas of online communication”  -Zuckerberg, March 2019.

The term ‘Digital Campfire’  was coined by content strategist Sara Wilson (The Era of Antisocial Social Media) to describe closed, private, interactive online spaces. Examples are Facebook groups, close friends on Instagram, What’s App chats, and Slack communities.

People, especially younger people, are moving away from the constant bombardment of advertising, much of it low grade and deceitful, from algorithm moderated spaces, from public trolls, to private spaces where they can feel safer and in control.

While existing social media platforms have some privacy features, less familiar platforms are gaining popularity, such as Discord, Slack, and Twitch.

But Search Still Works.

All social media advertising, print advertising, television advertising, is unwanted. We endure it because it permits us to enjoy a service: free to air television, free social networks, affordable newspapers. But we will avoid it if we can.

Search is different. We use search when we are actively looking for the solution to a problem, what car to buy, how to fix a leaking tap, where is the best italian pasta restaurant. People who are searching are what salesmen call ‘qualified’. They are in the market, willing participants.

Content marketing helps you to be found when customers search for a solution to their problems.

Media Types

Content can take many forms: for example text, images, video, infographics, podcasts, animations, and gifs. All have their place, depending on the intended message, but for attention grabbing, images and video have pride of place.

Text vs Images and Video

Text blogs are all very well, and better than nothing, and they will be appreciated by Google, but today people are much more visually oriented. Images attract clicks, and people will watch a video rather than read a 5000 word article.

We are primarily visual creatures: reading and writing came much later than seeing. Visual communication technology has advanced at breakneck speed, going from cumbersome wooden cameras to smartphones in little over a century. Growth in internet broadband now enables video as a communication tool available to everyone. Look at the growth of Zoom during this pandemic. Suddenly everyone is using technology that a few years ago only large companies could afford.

To grab attention in an instant, images are unrivalled. For explanation, video can convey more information much quicker than text.

  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
  • The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text.
  • People only retain 10% to 20% of textual information, but when an image is included, they retain 65% of it.
  • Infographics make numbers interesting. Compare the text above with this infographic.
  • According to Wyzowl, 85% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. There are opportunities in your blog to use video, but also in Facebook and Instagram.

Delivery Channels

Content can be delivered through many channels: blogs, facebook, instagram, YouTube, even television programs. Big companies have large marketing deparments with teams dedicated to management and development of content. Small businesses do not have that luxury, often one person has to take on all the roles in the business. Where is the time to devote to content marketing? Businesses have to balance the need for content, the time to produce it, and the cost of getting someone else to do it.

Mostly, small businesses will try to post regularly on Instagram and Facebook. It tends to be fairly random, whatever pictures happen to be available at the time. Results will be unspectacular. Again the quality of content has to be balanced against the cost of getting a professional to do it.

The Need for Strategy

Content marketing, like any marketing, has to start with a strategy. And that should be part of an overall marketing strategy. A few random posts each week on Instagram doesn’t cut it.

If you already have a modern uptodate marketing strategy, you don’t have to do much to have a content marketing strategy: just fit your content marketing to the existing marketing strategy, which will already have considered the following:

  • Brand identity. Your brand is what distinguishes you from your competitors, essentially it is your promise, the way you behave. Visually it is recognisable by your logo, trademark, signature colours, and perhaps your slogan. Content marketing must be consistent with brand.
  • The Ideal Customer.  Defining your customer might well be the first step in marketing, before you design your product. If your content does not speak to your customer, it will be wasted effort and expense.
  • Your competitor. You must know your competitor in order to know how you are different. This is going to be an important factor in your content.

Content marketing strategy might mandate the use of user generated content, widely used for its perceived authenticity.

What Does Content Marketing Look Like?

Let’s contrast advertising and content marketing with an example.  Here is an advertisement for Dior j’adore fragrance. This is the pinnacle of advertising production, part of a campaign costing many millions. It’s all about impact and grabbing attention, and attempting to insert a link into the viewer’s memory. And it is singularly focussed on selling a single product, though it may result in the sale of related Dior products at the department store or online shop. The video ran on television and online  while stills were inserted in magazines, billboards, and bus shelters.

Dior’s website is primarily product oriented, but content marketing can be found  on the  News and Savoir-Faire page..  It contains a range of interesting articles related to the company and its products. It is still pretty tightly focussed on Dior itself, and could be termed selfish content, but content nevertheless.

Like all good content marketing, Dior includes a page on the Dior story.  As the effectiveness of advertising decllines, it becomes more important for small business to start telling their story, preferably by incorporating video. (CXO Today)

Content marketing does not have to be really expensive. Mr Poolman  is an Australian company selling swimming pool related products. On their webpage, though a little hard to see, they have a  blog  with dozens of helpful articles about pool equipment and maintenance. All that was required to create this was time and knowledge, knowledge that the company owner did not have to look for because they were already experts in their field. Anyone can do this. All small business owners are experts in their field, or they would not be in business, or at least, not for long. Most pool maintenance companies make extensive use of content.

Authenticity and User Generated Content

This is a big topic. Authenticity is one of the most commonly used buzzwords in marketing today. It is difficult because it pierces the wall between the business and the consumer. The business becomes more vulnerable, accountable, and needs to be honest, and, dare I say, accessible?

Content provided by the business can be seen simply as promotional material and dismissed by the consumer. Authentic content resonates with the customer and is seen as truthful. At its simplest, authentic content can be customer reviews. This is User Generated Content. It can go further than simple reviews, and can be customer stories, relating their experiences.

There are companies promising to create UGC for businesses, but this is a dangerous road to go down. Once your ‘authentic’ content is seen to be fake, there is no road back.

Business Photography

Your Business Needs Photography – Here’s why.

More than ever, today’s world is visual. We communicate visually through images, still and moving. Text is not attention grabbing, images not only grab attention immediately, they convey information and have an emotional impact in fractions of a second, compared to maybe a minute or more to read an equivalent amount of text.
And more than ever, today’s businesses are online. They need to show their products, their services, and more than that, their brand, to their customer through their web presence. And the only way to do that is through imagery.
Take for example, a small restaurant or cafe. You would have a website, an instagram page, and probably a facebook page. Images you need:
Banner images, images showing the restaurant interior, pictures of the kitchen showing the chef at work, pictures of customers enjoying their meals, pictures of staff serving delicious looking food.
Photographs of every item on the menu – this is highly important – menu photographs must show off the food perfectly.  Descriptions are necessary but a photograph will stimulate the taste buds and  make the mouth water. And show the portion size.
Returns are costly for ecommerce: good product photography reduces returns by accurately showing the customer details such as size, texture, and colour of what they will be getting. That will also increase customer satisfaction and make repeat purchases more likely.
Great lighting will reveal texture. Rotating images will show every side of the product – much better than flatlay!
A professional photographer will take pains to ensure that colours are captured correctly: this is often crucial, especially online. The precise shade of colour is often important to the customer, and again, is this is shown accurately, returns will be reduced.  And using some common object in comparison will show size when that is an important factor.
A zoomable image allows the customer to examine critical product details that may not be visible in a small catalog image.
 It turns out that most buying decisions are emotional, not rational. So while an accurate product photograph is useful and necessary to avoid disappointment, it’s not enough to get the customer to buy.  A different kind of image is required, one that excites and engages the customer. Sell the sizzle, not the steak – an age old marketing principle. Two kinds of image are suitable here: the hero image, using lighting, setting  and compostion to really showcase the product, and lifestyle images, showing the product in its natural environment, or people using and enjoying the product.
Now you can use stock photographs. If you want to disappear into the crowd. Stock images are not of you, not your product, not your people, not your environment. You need images that accurately represent you and your brand. And that means having pictures taken locally. And if you want the best possible photographs for your business, you need a professional photographer.  Not just any professional photographer, but one who understands business – a commercial photographer.

Jessica Jones

Jones, Jessica Jones

I got together with Sophia Anna to create some Jessica Jones inspired images. Sophia is among other things, a model and an advocate for those suffering invisible illness. Check out her instagram at @sophiaannamodel

Jessica Jones is a Marvel character, who had a series lasting three seasons on Netflix. She has some superpowers, including great physical strength and apparently the ability to consume vast quantities of alcohol which helps with her PTSD.

Sophia Anna as Jessica Jones sitting on a desk with whisky bottle and glass under lamp

Sophia Anna as Jessica Jones sitting on floor under desk with whisky bottle and glass

Sophia Anna as Jessica Jones with feet on desk

Sophia Anna as Jessica Jones standing in leather jacket and holding a camera in the right hand

The Spanish Chair Project

The Spanish Chair






First, there was the chair….

Then, Em was regal….
Megan modelled….
Kim channeled  Angelina – or was that Sharon?

T-Bear made the chair disappear….

Sophia made it look comfortable…

Lauren added Modern Vintage..

Lysa lounged languidly.

and Cecelia danced in place…


Real Estate shoot for a small Airbnb.

Adelaide Architectural Icons

As part of a personal project I ventured out to photograph two notable examples of modern architecture in Adelaide: the Convention Centre, and the Medical Research Institute. In between we happened on the Jeffrey Smart Building at Uni SA, so made a shot there. All three images were made on the venerable Nikon D3 camera, now over 10 years old, and only 12 megapixels. The lens was the Nikon PC-E 24mm tilt shift lens, hand held at full shift, shot at f11.

Shooting Film at Bone Gully

We went to Bone Gully in Kuitpo Forest south of Adelaide recently, specifically to shoot on Hasselblads: the relatively old H4D40 digital camera and the much older 500CM film camera, loaded with Kodak Portra 400. Twelve shots on the roll, one roll only. Focussing this camera is quite difficult, it has no autofocus, no auto exposure, no auto anything. No electronics, no battery. When I got the film back I found that 6 shots were a little out of focus, the other six were good. I did not shoot tight enough, so the resultant scanned images have been cropped in Lightroom, no other changes made.
Kim Freckelton Model

Kim Freckelton Model

Kim Freckelton, Model

I first shot Kim Freckelton in Feb 2010 and since then several times, but last time would have been a couple of years ago. Mostly I’ve shot swimwear, focussing on our own brand, Kato Swim, though that first shoot was intended to be the basis of a tutorial on shooting with strobes outdoors. This never eventuated, though I had shot a considerable amount of material using a range of different lighting systems. Those were the days when we could get up and shoot in the dawn’s early light. I’m not a great fan of shooting at sunset, because, once the sun sets, you’re finished. If you shoot at dawn, once the magic (half) hour has passed, you still have light. Anyway, Kim has always been a great model, very professional and always giving her best. Some more images here.

Kim Freckelton - as Marilyn M
Kim Freckelton - as Bond girl Halle Berry

These two images, channeling Marilyn Monroe in the first and Halle Berry Bond girl in the second, show the range of Kim’s work. Today she is more likely to be photographed in a bikini than anything else, and positions herself as a glamour model. I’ll leave it to AussieBabes to show more of Kim’s glamour side, meantime here are a couple of her swimwear images for Kato Swim.

Kim Freckelton in the surf at Maslin Beach for Kato Swim Swimwear
Kim Freckelton wearing Kato Swim Tatjana Onepiece at Glenelg