What are clients surprised by when they book a shoot here at Laura Walter Photography?
It's been a busy few months at the studio. Over the past wee while, I've noticed that clients usually remark on one of these six points. I thought they might interest you too.
1. The studio is in our family home
Far from the studio being located in a shiny commercial complex in the middle of a bustling metropolis (like Batman's house), I'm based in a modest rural family home.
But being the countryside, means loads of parking (you won't get a ticket here). I will welcome you into our home (not a receptionist) and we’ll head straight into the studio for a chat before I pick up the camera. The areas you will see will be (mostly) clean and tidy but evidence of family life; trike in the garden, little toothbrushes in the bathroom, will remind you that our family live here. Just don't look too closely!
2. Your kids will probably mess around
I’ve yet to meet a family whose children enjoy sitting angelically looking at the camera. And nor should they. Kids will mess around. I want to get to know them and allow them to enjoy the experience. Most clients want me to photograph their children as they are rather than to force cheesy grins. (So don't even think about telling them to look at the camera or to say 'cheese'!)
Even if your children don't behave the way you'd like them to, don't worry. I have a lot more patience for other people’s children than I do for my own at times. (They behave better for other people, don’t they?) I have a few tricks up my sleeve to get the best out of them- leaving you to relax and enjoy the experience.
3. It doesn’t really matter what you wear (just as long as you are there)
Google what to wear for your family portrait session and you'll be served up an array of wardrobe rules to adhere to. Truth be told, I honestly don’t think it matters too much. The sort of natural images that my clients love work really well when everyone is wearing what they feel comfortable in. If you would like to introduce some form of continuity between family members, then I suggest you go for a limited colour palette or complementary colours rather than trying to match everyone up, which can look rather dated and forced.
I won’t ask you to take off your shoes. (Most people expect to be asked!) But for children just sitting up, bare feet look better than the soles of their shoes do when facing the camera. And bare legs usually look better than tights on babies.
I advise families to try to avoid large logos or character prints. However, if your 6-year-old insists on wearing the Transformers top that he loves, then let him. That’s part of who you all are now, at this moment and will help tell your story. We'll look back with fond memories of those superhero obsessions. We will!
4. Every member of the family will (probably) enjoy the studio session
I love to get to know everyone and put them at ease. It's one of my favourite elements of the job. Everyone leaves the studio in a good mood; your husband will be just as excited to see the images as you are and teenagers will have enjoyed being allowed to be themselves. However, the children might sleep in the can on the way home, exhausted from all the fun they've had. (I won't be held responsible if bed times are messed up...)
I can honestly say that I don’t think there has been anyone in the studio to date who didn’t enjoy their session. If there has, they must have been too polite to tell me.
5. I won’t make you pose
Clients don't come to Laura Walter Photography looking for posed, formal images. Even so, people are usually surprised when I really don't pose them at all.
I usually show clients the ideal spot to be in for perfect light and might suggest that you brush a stray tendril away from your face (but not always) or move towards each other a wee bit. But I try not to direct you too much- so that you look and sit and interact like... well, you. As for young children, I guide them towards where they need to be and shoot them when they get there. Often, they are running around mum and dad, and caught just at the right time.
I capture interaction between family members- the type of relationship you have. Images of your children looking lovingly at you just wouldn't work if you were all doing what I instructed you to do. I'll preserve the family as they are right now and make these memories into gorgeous images that you will enjoy for the rest of your lives.
6. I promise that I will capture images with you in them that you will love
I'll tell you a secret. No mummies (that I know of) enjoy being photographed. I know, you see gorgeous images of woman looking all perfect even with children and you 'know' that you could never look like that. So you decide that you only want the children in the photographs. And that's OK with me, if you're sure.
But I know how to use light to flatter your best features. (And don't forget editing software.) Because you won't be posing, you'll be in the moment and have the most gorgeous expressions on your face. Impressed friends and family will think they could never look as good as you do in those images. Honest.
Is there anything else you were surprised about that I haven't mentioned? Let me know in the comments.