News from the Booking Desk: August
The ground floor of our building is home to the Sandra Reynolds team of bookers and is always a buzzing hive of activity… Each month we share a little bit of news from the booking desk so read on to find out what we have been up to!
In August we include a new member of the team, some personal achievements and a sneak peek of a new feature coming to SR.....
We have been listening to: Beyonce's new album, Renaissance.
We have been reading: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.
Favourite brands we've worked with: Jimmy Choo, Pinterest, Jaguar, Kickers, Apple, No7, Manolo Blahnik, Estee Lauder, Virgin Experience, Primark, Waitrose, Aston Martin, Qatar Airways.
Our biggest challenge was: Logistical with all the train strikes and cancelled and changed flights that are still happening, but so far, we have managed to navigate all the problems caused by this and make sure all our talent arrived where they were supposed to be, on time!
NEW BOOKER NATASHA
This month we welcomed new booker, Natasha Ling into our family! Natasha joins the stills division, working with Jess, Georgia and Jemima, bringing along her previous experience in communications and curation. Another graduate from Norwich University of the Arts, where so many of the SR team have studied, Natasha has also worked as a curve model so knows how the industry works from both sides.
She says her favourite thing about working at Sandra Reynolds is being part of an agency that promotes inclusivity and brings it to the forefront of the industry, she explains; "as an agency, we are giving a platform to those that have been overlooked before. The modelling industry has previously been viewed as an exclusive field where a person had to be a certain height and dress size to be a model which did not represent the diversity in our society. The fact that we have a range of diverse boards such as curve and disability is amazing and so pivotal. Representation is key in the industry".
Natasha tells us she would love to book models for Cantu, who provide products for textured hair. "When Cantu was introduced to retailers Boots and Superdrug, I began to see people who had hair like mine as well as those who had even tighter curls, compared to mine, on the promotional materials and ads and that’s when I knew we were heading in the right direction in terms of inclusivity. From my experience as a biracial girl of African & European parentage growing up in the UK, it was rare to see adverts and posters showing products for my hair texture. I observed a lot of marketing for Caucasian hair textures, a minuscule amount for Afro hair textures & hardly any for mixed textured. Even for something as simple as a shampoo for my hair, I would have to go to a shop that specialised in global products instead of an everyday pharmacy or a supermarket and so it would be an honour to book models for a stills campaign so that other girls such as me can see themselves represented".
As a creative, Natasha is super stylish but she says "it is difficult to pinpoint my style as it changes often, however, my colour palette tends to be muted, earthy tones and stylistically minimal. I love all things rustic and Bohemian but can also appreciate a nice pair of fresh trainers. I view my hair as my crown so I like to change it up and experiment with styles as much as I can. My go-to style is either box braids or twists as they are so easy to maintain and it’s a protective style for my hair".
Inspired by pop culture and visiting exhibitions, Natasha tells us "a few of my favourite exhibitions would have to be the Tyler Mitchell and Seydou Keita in Foam Amsterdam as well as Frida Kahlo at the V&A Museum. All three artists create work around identity & culture and as someone who has felt unrepresented, identity is important to me". A girl who also likes her luxuries (join the club!), Natasha is at her happiest when she is checking into a gorgeous hotel or visiting a spa, relaxing with a bubble bath, a face mask and a glass of bubbly.
Booking apprentice Katie confirmed her very first booking since joining the actors division which we were all delighted about! Katie said it was a real highlight for her as it was a booking of not just one but seven actors for ZenAuto, "it ran incredibly smoothly and I really enjoyed booking it, they were a great first client to confirm and I cannot wait for more to come".
We asked Katie if she could pick her favourite actor to work with if she had to choose, and she told us it would be Riz Moritz. She says "Riz is just so on it and never fails to get back to me quickly and efficiently. She is super nice and helpful and just a great model to book". Katie shares that her favourite thing about being on the booking desk is working alongside the other bookers in the actors division Daisy, Jordan and Ellie & learning new things every day. Katie is due to finish her apprenticeship in January and she could not be more excited to join the booking desk full-time.
Our apprenticeship programme at Sandra Reynolds has been very successful this year. Poppy, on our juniors booking desk and Amie, on our digital team, both graduated with distinctions this summer and are now full-time members of our team. Sandra Reynolds Managing Director, Tessa, says "we decided to take on our first apprentice in the early part of 2021 and since then have taken on two more. Poppy and Katie came in at age 16, having started A Levels and finding that they would rather be working, and Amie, slightly older at 19, having done a media course at sixth form college. The skills they have learned during their apprenticeships have really been valuable to us."
Tessa with apprentices Amie, Katie and Poppy
Poppy was delighted to have achieved a distinction this summer and says "Since joining Sandra Reynolds as an apprentice, I have gained lots of experience by working alongside the best team. Being on the busy booking desk has made my confidence grow massively in a way a school classroom would never have. The skills I learnt during the programme has made me able to manage and grow my own client base and book some amazing jobs which I am very grateful for."
HEAD BOOKER JESS WALKS THE THREE PEAKS
Our head booker, Jessica, participated in the Three Peaks Challenge over the weekend... and then returned to work on Monday still walking normally - incredible!
The National Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales, within 24 hours. The three mountains are Snowdon in Wales which is a total of 1085m, Scafell Pike in England (978m) and Ben Nevis in Scotland (1345m) which is a total ascent of 3064 metres and walking distance is 23 miles.
Jess tells us "my brother and I decided to embark on this, which meant us heading up to the North of Scotland, near Fort William, to begin the challenge. Luckily, the 9-hour drive to get there wasn’t included within the time frame! To make the most of the daylight hours, we started the challenge late afternoon and began to climb Ben Nevis at 5pm. We were very pleased to be down this first peak by 10.30pm and then drove through the night to begin Scafell Pike at 4am. We were back down the second peak & back on the road by 8am, to drive to our final peak, Snowdon".
We asked Jess what the hardest part of the challenge was and she explained "the heat; we climbed Ben Nevis in 29°C and Snowdon in 32°C, which really took a toll on us. Thankfully, Scafell was slightly cooler due to the 4am start. The weather did mean that we had amazing visibility for all three peaks though, so we were very grateful for that". Jess' best part of the challenge was being able to do it with her brother, "it was a great bonding experience for us. As adults with busy lives, we don’t get to spend that much time together anymore, so to have a whole weekend together was a real treat. Our parents kindly volunteered to help with the driving so we could at least get a couple of hours of sleep through the night between peaks, so it ended up being a fun family adventure."
"Proving to myself that I could do it was a mental challenge as much as a physical one and I was so pleased I pushed myself to achieve it". Mentally, Scafell felt the most challenging due to lack of sleep and having to find the motivation to set off in the dark but physically it was Snowdon, due to being fatigued from the other two peaks already, as well as the hottest temperatures to climb in. Although they all have their own merits, Ben Nevis probably takes the edge, due to the stunning scenery. Watching the sunset over the mountains was a really special moment". We are all so proud of Jess for taking on this challenge and she has inspired us all to set ourselves a personal challenge to complete by the end of the year!
"SPILL THE TEA" PODCAST & VIDEOCAST
If you have managed to miss all the teasers across our social media channels, SR is launching "Daisy & G Spill The Tea". A regular videocast and podcast presented by stills booker Georgia and actors booker Daisy, is aimed at giving viewers and listeners a proper insight into the workings of the agency.
Our hosts will introduce the team, our offices and also speak to people in the industry about various topics. We have enjoyed watching Daisy & G record their teasers and first episodes and are looking forward to the first episode airing on 5th September. Let's just say they are not afraid to delve deep and provide the inside scoop!! Stay in the loop by keeping an eye out on our social channels, blog and by signing up to receive our newsletter.
We are enjoying settling into our new home on Westwick Street. Last month we moved in and are now frequenting the many bars and restaurants in the lanes around the area. Up until the end of June, we resided in Norwich's Creative Quarter on St George's Street, a building in which we had been based in since the company was founded in 1975. Previously a piano shop and a pub, Sandra Reynolds acquired the new freehold premises in November 2021 and we've been super-busy since then, giving it a full renovation and makeover to become our forever head office.
Spread over four floors, we have a number of gorgeous offices, an in-house photographic studio, spacious meeting rooms, comfortable break-out areas, shower and bathrooms, and, of course, a fully stocked wine fridge! We had these colourful paintings done of our team by artist Caroline Joynson, inspired by her lockdown portraits our MD Tessa saw on display in a cafe in Saffron Walden. Who can you recognise?
We have taken on some fab new faces on all our divisions... head over to our new faces blog post to see further info.... AUGUST NEW FACES
We will try to fill you in on as much as we can but it is always so manic on the booking desk that we would be writing full-time! A few outtakes below - three birthdays (Jordan, Jemima and Georgia), a tiny new puppy, filming for our new videocast, booking desk babies calling in for lunch and that 'lets crack open a bottle of wine as it's the end of the day' time, that ended up with us ordering Deliveroo twice and testing the strength of the booking table with our moves!
Get in touch with the booking desk today
020 73987 5858