Why get photos taken at all?

From Simon, one of our photographers:

Most people hate photos, right?

Nope. most people hate having their photos taken. I am the same, I cringe and grimace and I dislike it more than a spinning class at the gym. But nobody ever saw a great picture of themselves and thought, ‘Oh I hate that’. Everybody values a good photograph.

In a previous job I had to train photographers to do headshots. To teach them how to work with a difficult subject, I gave them one of the worst - me. I subjected myself to this torture dozens of times, but I only remember two photoshoots positively: one made me do all sorts of ridiculous poses whilst they took photos, and the other just talked to me for the shoot and told jokes. They both took ‘in-between’ shots, those natural little moments at the end of a laugh or the beginning of a smile. And not only did I like the photos at the end, the actual photoshoot wasn’t too bad either.

This is what I strive to achieve. A good family photographer will do whatever it takes to get a great reaction out of you, and therefore a great photo. The technical stuff is secondary. Expression is key.

I’ve been told off for acting immaturely when I shoot. I act like a child around children and I tease adults who are shy until they blush and smile. I’ve even been told by a client that I am a bad photographer because I don’t act professionally enough and lots of people are really surprised that I manage to get great photos whilst running around the studio!

I don’t want a photo session to feel like a photo session, or a trip to the dentist. Or a spinning class - eugh! It should be memorable and bring you closer together. I want everybody to enjoy themselves, to laugh together: new parents should appreciate the cute quirky things their baby does, kids should play with their siblings, couples should smile and show each other love. If I can turn your worst nightmare scenario into a tickle fight or a competitive game or family playtime then suddenly you won’t hate photos.

I want those expressions from you. And trust me, you want them too.