Tag Archives: New England

Opening a Restaurant? Here’s one mistake not to make…

19 Feb

It’s not an uncommon dream to want to start a restaurant… I admit, it’s definitely something I fantasize about from time to time, particularly when I’m resting happily after a successful dinner party.  And there have definitely been a number of beer-aided discussions of exactly what it would look like if I were to create my own menu for any of the London pubs that we frequent when we’re visiting our family and friends (Main takeaways from these brainstorms: fewer overcooked, gray hamburgers and more buffalo wings!)

Unfortunately, as easy as it is to dream about, actually opening and running a successful restaurant is incredibly difficult. Hundreds of articles, books and blog posts discuss how and why restaurants don’t succeed.  The commonly held myth that 9 out of 10 restaurants fail in the first year has since been replaced by the data-backed statistic that approximately 60% don’t make it, but that’s still an edgy number onto which you might pin your dream.

Articles related to starting a restaurant:

These days, the recipes can only get you so far.  Any new business, particularly a small business coming into an already crowded market, needs a good marketing plan.  One of the best ways I’ve been taught about marketing is also one of the simplest:  To market effectively, don’t think about how you would sell your product or service, rather think about the value of the product or service, and market that. For example, if you’re trying to market a house cleaning service, instead of trying to sell a clean bathroom and laundered clothes, think of yourself as selling potential clients free time with their families, lower stress when they have fewer things on their to do list, and a relaxing environment to come home to.

As part of a good marketing strategy, you’ll need a website, a social media presence (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, etc) and print materials, and part of creating a strong set of online and hard copy marketing materials is getting the photography right.  A surprising number of websites, pamphlets and menus have poor photos, which can make a business look tired, dated, and put them at a disadvantage right from the start.

There’s a pretty good amount of data that shows exactly how people look at websites – the research is fascinating and insightful:

Google results for any search string will return tens, hundreds, even thousands of items.  Potential customers and clients are not short of choices, and making the upfront investment in professional photography for your business helps you present a professional and polished image, which keeps people reading your site or materials, and increases the chance that they will inquire about your services or products.

Roberto Farren Photography has recently launched a new branch of his photography business, specializing in capturing the architectural and interior design of your space, as well as the details of your small business.  Get in touch to see how professional photography can be the first step in creating a successful marketing strategy, and give your small business the best possible chance of success!

RFP Architecture, Interior and Landscape Photography


Architecture and Interiors: Travel photography

18 Feb

One of our favorite thing to do, budget and time permitting, is to travel.  Roberto (of Roberto Farren Photography) and I have been together nearly 10 years, and our relationship is almost based on travel. I am from New England, and was living here when we first met.  Bob is a Londoner by birth, and we met while I was on vacation in England, looking at schools to apply to for my Masters program in Educational Psychology. Our first year together was spent over 3000 miles apart, but we still managed to see each other nearly 20 times, with Roberto visiting Boston a dozen times, me traveling to London 6 times, and meeting up in Portugal and Paris as well.

After that first year, we have always lived in the same country, but we’ve continued traveling together ever since!  We’ve added Germany, Spain, Scotland, Austria, Belgium, Slovakia and a number of new places in the US to our list.  We’ve also learned a lot about traveling from each other.  I come from a family where every last minute is planned, and not a site is left unseen, even if you’re seeing it from the car at 60 miles per hour.  Bob’s style of travel is to plan nothing, and experience cities by sitting in cafes and bars, trying out the language (he’s incredibly talented at picking up foreign languages), and speaking to locals. Together, we’ve found a happy medium that works great for us. I get to plan a few key sites/museums/neighborhoods that I want to visit, and in between, we relax, eat and drink in small bars and cafes.  It’s the best of both worlds!

As much fun as I have snapping away with my point and click, it’s never my photos that end up on our walls, and it’s definitely not mine that we look at when we’re feeling like taking a walk down memory lane. Architectural photography and landscape photography aren’t nearly as easy as finding a beautiful view, a stunning building or a gorgeous sunset.  I can stand behind Roberto and take the “same” photo, but the results will be entirely different.  It takes patience, timing, a knowledge of composition, an understanding of light and exposure, and a huge amount of technical expertise to capture the images he takes home from our travels.  His photographs have such warmth and vibrance that I am immediately back at that moment.  Whether I’m shivering on a lobsterman’s dock in Maine, or drinking beer in the sun in a small village in Portugal, I’m brought back to the sights, smells and laughter that we’ve had on our wonderful travels together.

I’m thrilled that Roberto has now launched a new branch to his photography business, and in addition to shooting weddings and events, he will now be shooting architecture, interiors and landscape over at RF Photography.  More on his new venture to come!


“When I saw you I fell in love…”

8 Jul

“When I saw you I fell in love,
and you smiled because you knew.”
―Arrigo Boito

Roberto Farren Photography

Lindsay and Brian’s engagement photography session at Fenway Park and Beacon Hill in Boston.

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More songs for your first dance: Now with more ‘Bens’!

3 Jul

I quite liked writing my recent post on alternatives to traditional first dance songs for your wedding.  I was staying with my parents for the weekend, so aside from my mom being confused as to why I was tearing up at my computer early on a Saturday morning (damn you Conor Oberst), it was a fun and easy post to write.  Seconds after I posted, I started to think of loads of awesome wedding songs that I had left off, and I got annoyed with myself, and had to go back into the post and add “more to come” so that I could carry on with my day.   That said, here are my next 3 songs, in no particular order.

  • Such Great Heights, The Postal Service – I’m a little bit partial to this one as it is kind of our song, ever since I put it on the first mix tape I made for Bob when we started dating (look it up kids: cassette tape).  At the very last minute it didn’t end up being our first dance song when we were married.  Both Roberto and I are hands-down-amazing dancers, but it’s a high tempo song with a long intro and it’s a little bit difficult to dance to and unfortunately we didn’t have time to work it out.  However if you practice and pull it off, it’s an awesome, upbeat song that will definitely fill up the dance floor half way through!
Roberto Farren Photography

Lorrie and John steal a quiet moment during their recent Boston wedding.

  • Forever, Ben Harper – A really slow, quiet song – Just Ben and his guitar.  But the lyrics are lovely, and if you’re not award winning ballroom dancers, it’s definitely the kind of song you can just sort of sway to together.
Roberto Farren Photography

Colleen and Emmet’s recent Boston engagement photography session.

  • The Luckiest, Ben Folds – If you’ve got the kind of story where, like me, meeting your spouse was 98% down to happy chance, then this might be your song.  It’s super sweet, and it’s one of those songs where the lyrics manage to say exactly what you want to say.

Again, definitely more on this to come…

But for now, thanks for reading!


Roberto Farren Photography


“I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand…”

1 Jul

“I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand
and the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow.
I wish I had a thousand words for love,
but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep
and there are no words for that.”
-Brian Andreas

Roberto Farren Photography

Fernando and Vanessa during their Boston engagement photography session.

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“Whatever our souls are made of…”

27 Jun

“Whatever our souls are made of,
his and mine are the same.”

-Emily Brontë

Roberto Farren Photography

Ben and Julia’s lovely wedding at Castleton in New Hampshire.

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Engagement photos: Do I need them?

26 Jun


Thanks for reading,


Roberto Farren Photography

…Just kidding.  But the rest of this post is going to be a longer version of ‘yes’.  Getting engagement photos, in addition to giving you and your spouse-to-be the opportunity to have some really wonderful portraits of the two of you in normal clothes, is important for a number of reasons.

Roberto Farren Photography

A shot from Nicole and Shane’s relaxed engagement shoot in Boston’s Public Gardens.

  • It’s your wedding photography test drive.  There are plenty of posts and lists of things you should run through when deciding on your wedding photographer.  I won’t reinvent the wheel here, but once you DO decide on a photographer, take advantage of the opportunity to get out there and work together.  See how the shots come out… if they’re exactly what you dreamed they’d be, awesome.  If they’re close, but maybe a little different than what you were hoping for, give honest feedback.  If they’re way off the mark, cut and run.  You don’t want the added stress during your wedding that your big day might not be captured in the way you imagined.  Your wedding is a massive investment of time, money and effort on your part, make sure you’re getting what you want.
  • I can’t stress this enough, but use the opportunity to establish a rapport.  Your wedding is probably (definitely) going to be on a tight schedule, and you’ll be nervous, excited, (insert 100 other emotions here) and probably surrounded by about a hundred people who want your attention.  Get used to communicating with your photographer, and let them get used to working with you.  There’s a lot more to amazing wedding photography than an expensive camera and a pretty backdrop.  Banter, posing, and keeping the couple happy are hugely important to making you feel relaxed and beautiful in front of the camera (and if I do say so myself, these are some of Roberto Farren’s strengths).
  • Learn how to werk.  Unless you’re a model, you probably don’t know how to pose, and it’s totally not as easy as it looks.  Working as a photographer’s assistant, I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard Roberto tell his couples “feels weird, looks great” to reassure them while posing for their engagement or wedding photography.  For example, while the ladies out there might know some basics (weight on your back leg, etc), did you know that tipping your chin up and leaning forward towards the camera may make you feel like this llama, but it reduces any potential for double chins, elongates your neck, and makes you look a scientifically proven 62% hotter*?
Roberto Farren Photography

A sweet moment during Sara and Brian’s engagement session in the North End of Boston.

These are a few key reasons why you should definitely, definitely invest in those engagement photos.  Apart from being a great learning experience for you and your betrothed, it’s always awesome to have some wonderful photographs of the one that you love during one of the most exciting times in your relationship.

Thanks for reading,


Roberto Farren Photography

* = not actually backed up by data or science