Studio 1854: A picture speaks a thousand words

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In late-2017, Studio 1854 commissioned award-winning photographer Laura Pannack to create a series of portraits that explored couples forced to contemplate separation in the wake of Brexit. Bound in legislative lexicon, discussion of Brexit can often feel alienating, and not least difficult to relate to. But what if you consider Brexit at its most human? What does Brexit mean for love? 

Supported by Affinity Photo, the only fully functioning editing software available for iPad, Separation considers the impact of Brexit on bi-national couples working in London’s creative industries.

Over the course of three days, Pannack photographed 14 couples. Working closely with the photographer throughout, Studio 1854 managed the commission from conception to completion. A series of seven films provide behind-the-scenes footage of the shoot and, interwoven with interviews from the featured couples and Pannack herself, offer the audience a greater insight into the concept behind the series. The portraits were published on British Journal of Photography’s website and accompanied by editorial that revealed the stories behind the images. While one couple had married to ensure Brexit would not force them to separate, another revealed why the result of the referendum had prompted them to consider permanently leaving the UK.

Helena and Jerry. © Laura Pannack.

The portraits were then released to the international media and, featuring in publications and websites all over the world, reached 2,128,262 people. Metro, Grazia, Internazionale and the Spanish national news channel Telecinco are among those that published the series. Separation reached an additional 7,803,805 people on social media and 323,589 people viewed the videos and read the articles on BJP’s website.

The commission is just one in a series of ambitious photographic projects commissioned by Studio 1854. A visual content agency specialising in compelling, narrative-led and PR-able content, Studio 1854 sits under the 1854 Media umbrella alongside BJP and 1854 Awards.

The concept is simple. Studio 1854 commissions and promotes standout content for global clients while creating opportunities for our community to earn income making new work”

 Marc Hartog – CEO, 1854 Media


How does Studio 1854 work for brands? Advertising as we used to understand it – interruptive, heavily branded, and in your face – is effectively over. The nature of the internet and social media mean people engage with content out of choice, and only interact when – and with what – they choose. A brand’s exposure, therefore, is purely dictated by the quality of its content and its relevance to the audience it’s targeting. Studio 1854 works with brands to commission talented photographers to create compelling content that audiences want to engage with.

And for photographers? The proliferation of sub-standard stock imagery, coupled with increasing pressure on the traditional newspaper and magazine industry (which in the past was many photographer’s main source of income), has meant that getting funding, or paid commissions to make interesting work, has become increasingly difficult for photographers. Studio 1854 creates opportunities for practitioners to make an income by creating new and compelling work which they can be proud of.

“Working on a brand commission with 1854 has really opened my eyes to the potential. Using the power of real photography to cut through the noise and create meaningful conversations between brands and their communities. The photographer wins. The brand wins. The audience wins. It’s a massive opportunity”

Laura Pannack


Caroline and Kadeem. © Laura Pannack.

Affinity Photo for iPad was used by Pannack throughout the shoot to instantly review and develop her creative approach to the project. The campaign yielded impressive results for the client. 

The Affinity Photo for iPad campaign with Studio 1854 both met and surpassed our expectations. 1854’s uniquely compelling creative concept, the quality of the talent they were able to bring to the table, and their audience reach and influence, succeeded in showcasing the creative potential of our award-winning software to millions of potential customers around the world”

John Atkin – head of PR, Serif (Europe)


Atkin continues: “The campaign performed outstandingly across all channels and levels of the customer journey: starting with the awareness engagement generated by the high-quality editorial and video content they created, and the accompanying social media and PR campaign; through to the resulting traffic and conversions at our end.”

Giacomo and Glenn. © Laura Pannack.