Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Friday, August 04, 2017

The Worst Thing You Can Do At A Photo Shoot


the worst thing you can do at a photo shoot, advice for parents, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger, photography Newcastle




Everyone knows that the worst thing about coming home after a holiday (apart from the washing) is the return to work and even for me, someone who loves what they do, the getting back into routine is always a little hard.

This morning after being back at work proper with 2 photo shoots which both contained lots of smiles and occasional melt-downs (pretty much the norm) I'm feeling absolutely exhausted and in need of a decent afternoon nap.

This weekend, I have 14 photo shoots spread over 2 days, it's probably my biggest portrait weekend of the year so far, let's just presume I'll be ordering takeaway and having the earliest nights possible and on Monday I fully expect to wake up exhausted.

My job isn't really physically tiring but let me tell you, entertaining 14 sets of small people and trying to avoid the inevitable tantrums by singing 12 rounds of Let It Go accompanied by back to back repeat performances of "I've got this feeling" and you end up with a brain which is much like Swiss cheese at the end of the working day.  I love what I do of course and at least I can say my ability to sing has come in useful, some days I feel like a walking children's jukebox I know so many Disney songs, singing generally is how I make it through the day though and I love it, there's just a chance that if you asked me my secret to success I would tell you that it's knowing many variations of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat'. I actually learn new verses all the time to, go me!!

Another talent I possess is having an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of Paw Patrol without ever having watched a whole episode, you could say that everything I know comes from photographing 3 year olds and certainly if you ever want to learn about Dinosaurs, just speak to a 5 year old boy, it's their specialist subject you know!

My favourite part of working with children over the last 10 years is that I genuinely don't know what's going to happen next, I've long discarded the idea of going into a family session with a plan because, well you know, the best laid plans...

If there's 1 thing I could tell parents before I photograph them all, it's probably, please don't have expectations, the best results come from just having fun and relaxing, once you start expecting certain things from your kids, well it's a hiding to nothing, it's also true that whilst you can photograph some kids in 30 minutes, some take a little longer and if it doesn't work the first time, well that's okay too, you'll never get great results if small people feel pressured or indeed if you are tense and worrying about what you want to get out of the session.

I've made a 10 year career of photographing families and not ever having a plan, the times when I did set myself unrealistic expectations were the times I came away disappointed but as the years have moved on I've just learnt to go and enjoy myself and have fun knowing that each session is going to be just a little bit different and you might get completely different results from 2 sessions even if they're on the same day just an hour apart.

I think as a parent, particularly if you haven't met me before you have the same worries as your children, who am I?  What am I going to make you do?  Am I some kind of crazy woman?  (well yes but only in the best kind of way).

My best advice is just to come along, to relax and to have fun knowing that I don't have a plan but I can guide you along the way because I'm good at what I do, because I've shot thousands of sessions over the last 10 years and because I believe each family and the love and relationships they have is so precious and special, it's also unique and that's why your photos might not look anything like your friends families photos, try not to worry though, I won't let you down, I've got this!

You can currently book a better than half priced session for just £35 instead of £75, just follow my link!
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