Sunday, 24 September 2017

Family Shoot

It's very rare for me to take photographs of people or children & it's even rarer for me to work in a "Studio Set Up." So when I was asked to do a Family shoot, although I said yes, I was quite nervous as the only times I'd done that type of photography was a couple Maternity shoots. The great thing was that this shoot was for the same person with her husband & her little ones. Another great thing was that they are actually part of my family, which I know at times can be hard to work with but my niece & her family are wonderful & made the whole experience a great one.

We had the shoot booked in quite a while in advance & this gave me time to get prepared. I read a few articles on Family Shoot set ups & while at The Photography Show in March, I bought a Lens Buddy which is a Monkey whose tail wraps around your lens & squeaks; this was to help keep the kids attention. I also invested in a set of soft boxes & a background from Phot-R. These were all reasonably priced & didn't break the bank since I knew I wouldn't be using it regularly. {Though one of my soft boxes is being used as a lamp for my room!} I decided to get the background as I don't have any rooms in the house that are white & we wanted a nice clean background.

Phot-R Background
A month or so before the shoot, I got together with my Niece & I made a note of the type of shots she wanted & showed her the Loxley Colour catalogue so she could see the products they did & what I would be able to do for her if she wanted any shots printed or framing. what I found helpful was that she had some photos I could use as a reference as she wanted some shots of her little boy to be similar to ones she had had done of her daughter at the same age.

The night before the shoot my parents & I turned our dinning room into a "Photography Studio." We moved out the table & chairs, pushed the little sofa we have in there into the corner of the room & put up my background & soft boxes. the next day before my Niece & her family arrived, I took some test shots of my mum to make sure my white balance & ISO were set right & the background looked okay. I also transferred my shot list from my photography project notebook onto my phone so I had them to work from. I also set up my iPad Air so I could connect it to my Keenai SD Card so I would be able to see the shots I was taking while I was shooting.

One of two Phot-R Softboxes
We worked our way through the shot list, taking a break half way through so the kids could play a little bit before we started again. this break also gave us time to look through the shots I had already taken & thankfully my Niece was liking everything so far. Once we'd all had a breather, we started again with the shoot & finished off the last shots on the list along with some extras.

Even though this isn't my type of photography, my Niece & her family made it really easy & enjoyable. The kids were great in front of the camera; my Great-Niece loves having her picture taken so I knew she would be fine but I wasn't sure about my little Great- Nephew as he was only about 8 or 9 months when we did the shoot. But he was so good & when I was taking shots of just him, he happily sat on the floor of my background smiling & laughing at "Kevin" my lens Monkey while I took some shots of him.

My gorgeous Niece & her family
The shoot was about 2 hours in total & once I'd finished, I went through the shots on the iPad before they left & had my Niece chose which ones were her favourites, as those were the ones I would post process. That night my parents kindly took down my background & soft boxes & put the furniture back as {long story short} I'd become really ill. Due to being ill, I had to put off my post processing  for a good week or two but thankfully my Niece was really understanding & didn't mind the delay at all.


USB & Box

Once I had finished all the post processing, I went onto Loxley Colour's website to sort out the products I was getting for my Niece. I had put together a "package" for her which included a USB & presentation box, which I had personalised & a triple frame to match the one she already had. I really do recommend Loxley Colour for anything Photograph related, their service is wonderful & they have a great selection of products to offer your clients & the prices are very reasonable for very high quality products.  The order turn around is really good too; the USB & Box arrived within 5 days of ordering & the frame took exactly a week, including the weekend.

Framed Prints
Even though I am very much a nature/wildlife/landscape photographer & love being in my garden with my camera, doing this family shoot was a great experience & helped to stretch my skills not only behind the camera but also in post processing as checking & editing a family shot is very different to checking & editing a shot of a flower!

I'm so happy with how the shots & so is my Niece, which as any photographer working with a client will know, what a relief that was! So even though this isn't my type of photography, it's something I now know I could do with confidence.

Take Care,
Louise