Phototgraphy

Anatomy of a Shoot – Magic Moments

SOMETIMES MAGIC CAN happen and, when it does, you just have to appreciate the moment. A shoot that might have been tricky ultimately turns out to be beyond glorious, and the story I’m going to share this month happened to be one of those very special occasions.

Meet the client

Maintaining a steady stream of clients through a photography studio is always a balancing act. We all know about any small business’s ‘feast or famine’ syndrome. From our perspective we can do various things to encourage bookings, from marketing across our social media channels to appearing at local events, and, of course, the greatest marketing of all will be the recommendations that come from existing clients.

This particular shoot came about through that latter route, from someone we had worked with before who spotted that we were selling some seasonal vouchers, and he purchased one of these for his sister and her family, as well as for himself and his partner. Result!

Our vouchers make a lovely Christmas gift whenever we offer them while, for us, they help, to fill our diary for the early part of the following year. It’s always a thrill when one of our existing clients buys one for their family since we believe it’s the best recommendation we could possibly hope for.

So, when Justine, Lucy, Ben and their dog Dougal arrived at the studio, it was obvious that it was going to be a lovely shoot. Two teenagers, a mum and their every-faithful dog: what more could you want?

The only slight challenge I could envisage was that it was clear not everyone was especially keen on being photographed. That said, this isn’t all that unusual for us. We hear the line ‘I don’t like being photographed, but if it’s going to be done by anyone, then it’s going to be done by Paul and the team’ quite a lot. It’s flattering to hear they have faith in us, of course, but it doesn’t always make it easy when you head into a session knowing this is what you’re facing.

Anyway, we did what we always do with a shoot such as this, namely put the kettle on and sit down for a chat with everyone before heading into the session.

Setting up the Session

I love a family session like this, because there are so many options ahead of us, from beautiful, boisterous family groups through to shots of the siblings, mum and each of her kids, and the opportunity to create the stunning wall art that includes the faithful hound. And here it’s worth emphasising that you should always pay attention to the sales opportunities provided by pets!

Although the voucher had been bought in December, this particular shoot took place in April, and it turned out to be a cold and damp time of the year. There are times when spring can be a glorious time to shoot, but sadly this felt more like an unwelcome extension to winter.

I never let it worry me, but it does mean we run the shoot in a particular way, keeping our clients dry for as long as possible and only venturing outside when I’m happy that any resulting frizzy hair or wet clothing will have a minimal impact on the shoot.

This being the case, we started off in our lovely, warm, dry studio. The session was progressing nicely – everyone was chatty, and the dog was perfectly behaved – when I noticed Lucy slumped in one of our studio chairs.

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