Have you ever wondered how a photographer works?
I am so lucky - I have a job that only takes up a couple of hours of my time a week. Because all I really have to do is show up to a shoot and snap a couple of photos, right?! RIGHT?! Erm…. NO! If you have ever wondered what REALLY goes into a family photoshoot with me, have a read of the below.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to live-blog one of my days, so if you have ever wanted a behind the scenes peak into what it’s like to be a family photographer - here you go!
6am - Caffeinate me
Awake. Ugh. Give me ALL the coffee.
Thank God for CBeebies.
Check weather and emails to ensure that everything is ok for today’s shoot in London.
It’s going to be cloudy but warm - perfect!
7am - Safety checks
Feed starving cat and starving children (in that order).
Check School bags are packed.
Make sure I have all my camera kit and that all my batteries are charged and my cameras are actually working
Clean lenses and then take test photo of the cat to make sure lenses are focusing properly - he is spectacularly unimpressed and makes a half-hearted attempt to murder my camera (and when that fails and he falls off the table… my foot).
8am - School run
Rescue child no.1, who is (for some unknown reason) naked and wedged firmly between the sofa and the wall.
Wrestle children into clothes
Try and make myself look presentable
Locate school shoes
Ask children to put shoes on… 10 ten times
End up screaming like a banshee and then guilt-bribing them out the door with the promise of a ‘magic sweet’. Give them chewable vitamins, they are ecstatic and cannot wait for their magic powers of super strength and health to kick in (one day the lies I tell my children will come back to bite me…)
9am - Gearing up
Children successfully delivered to the angels of education and are safely at school
Rush home and re-check camera gear (I shoot with a Canon 5DMkIII with an 85mm Sigma Art f1.4 lens and a Canon 5DMkIV with a 35mm Sigma Art f1.4 lens)
Head on into London
10am - Arrive early
I always like to get to my shoots early if I can, it gives me a chance to relax and have a look at what the light is doing.
I spend a good few hours planning my sessions in advance, so I check my notes on the family, familiarising myself with their likes and interests.
I take a look at my shot list and remind myself of all the photos I’d like to capture - I don’t usually refer to it again. Each session tends to take on a life and flow of its own. I want my family’s true personalities to shine through, rather than making them go through a series of stiff poses. But I like to remind myself of where the best photo opportunities are likely to be and to make sure I get the photos I know my clients are going to want.
10:30am - Meet the family
My favourite bit!
We’ve been chatting over email and Whatsapp, planning this session for WEEKS. We’ve been deciding on the location, talking about what to wear, going over what to expect and generally getting to know one-another. I can’t wait to get started.
Everyone is a bit nervous, the littlest member of the family is quite reserved and shy around me. I show him my camera, we chat about what we’re going to do. I can’t wait to see that shyness unravel over the next few hours. I just know we’re going to end up buddies by the end of this!
2pm - And that’s a wrap!
I’m so bloody lucky to do this job - I get to meet the most AMAZING people from all over the world.
I’ve loved every minute of the last three hours (THREE HOURS!! I can’t believe this family has lasted this long. I can’t believe their sweet 5yo boy has walked London without complaint! What a TROOPER)
We started at Tower Bridge and then walked over to St Dunstan’s in the East, jumping on the tube at Monument and then walking to St Paul’s Cathedral and over the Millennium Bridge. We stopped by a brilliant street entertainer blowing gigantic bubbles (and he even let my client have a go! Perfect photo op!) and then finished our session by the London Eye.
I’ve loved every minute getting to know these guys, holding hands with their little dude and showing him how to use my camera (he even took some photos of his own!)
3:20pm - Home just in time
HOME! Just in time to drop my cameras and speed off to fetch the kids from school.
4pm - Itching to edit
I’m so excited to see these photos I simply cannot WAIT to get editing. I download them all onto my computer and pick out a few instant favourites to edit and pop up on my social media account and send over to my clients. I want them to have a sneak peek to hold onto until I can get the final gallery over to them.
5pm - Dinner and work admin
I am just about ready to collapse, but still have to feed the hungry hoard, so I throw some dinner on and then check my emails to make sure there isn’t anything urgent that needs looking at before the end of the day.
I have a few enquiries and some emails from clients who have questions about their shoots.
I make sure to get back to everyone and thenI plan out my social media posts for the next day (which will be an editing one!).
I have three shoots coming up this week. They have all been planned out on my non-shoot days over the past few weeks but I want to double check everything is in place for them and that I am up-to-date on all communication with my clients.
7pm - Collapse!
Husband is home! Kids are in the bath and I’m not moving until I have to crawl into bed. I cannot wait to get editing tomorrow!