Photography for Children at Home in Surrey
This little chap was a bundle of energy - thankfully his mum had chosen an ideal location where he could run around and have fun. And run around he did! In fact we all did - I really like the fact that family photography doubles up as a fantastic form of exercise. It also takes you away from the more mundane side of life, because we can’t help but laugh throughout most it. Kai was brought to us by leading photographer Annabel Williams, who had arranged the photo shoot for the purpose of hands-on practice.
It’s all about taking a flexible approach on the day. The very best results are gained when the client is on exactly the same page as the photographer. This is very often where new photographers can go wrong. The pre-shoot consultation is probably the most important part of the preparation process. This is the point at which we learn the important details about our subjects, and what the client hopes to get out of the session. There have been times in my career where I felt the client’s expectations may not be realistic (this is particularly so with pet portraits). It’s so important to be straight about whether you feel you’ll be a good fit for each other.
If a client has very boisterous young children, or very boisterous pets, then it may not be feasible to gain some of the photographs they have in their mind. It can be difficult if not impossible to force youngsters into certain positions or poses. We can try to coax them, but we can never make any promises. Photographers are there to make suggestions and to take the pictures, we can’t take the place of the parent and we can’t take responsibility for the behaviour of the participants. Therefore open-minded parents are instrumental to success on the day. And that’s exactly what we had, we could just let our little subject be himself while we snapped the best moments as they unfurled. Kai’s mum loved the results because they captured her son’s playful and cheeky personality. That’s the whole point of location photography, after all.
What do I mean by a mismatched photographer and client? A good example of that would be if a prospective customer gets in touch looking for constrained studio style portraits. Whilst I always try to include some formal or semiformal pictures in a session, I can’t spend too long on these because that would be at the expense of all the other concepts which location photography embodies. The time taken to drive to the client, set up a mobile studio, tear down the studio and then the return journey would leave very little time for the photographs themselves. A small handful of photos with a plain studio backdrop wouldn’t result in enough sales to cover what is in fact half a day of my time (before I’ve even started to process the pictures). That’s why those clients would be much better off going to a high Street studio, where the photographer could see several customers in a morning or afternoon to help meet their profit margins.