A Portrait Photography Team
The Importance of working with a photography team
Have you ever seen footage from a professional shoot? I don't mean one of our shoots ;-), I mean a shoot for a magazine, catalog, or any other advertisement. One thing you will always see is that there is a team of people working to get what is sometimes just a single shot. There is the photographer, the assistant, the wardrobe stylist, the hair and makeup artist, and sometimes the publication's art director. The reasons for this may not be clear, especially for a family shoot, but once you understand it you will see why we at The Shelby Studio always work as a team.
Prior to every portrait session or newborn session we meet with our clients for a consultation. It's important to us that we involve our client in as much of the process as possible. Our photography is going to be a part of their lives and live in their home so it only makes sense that they have a voice in the process. Our clients are integral team members.
I love photographing children, unlike many adults they are usually uninhibited, completely free of self-doubt. And after getting over a brief moment of "stranger danger" they tend to open up and enjoy themselves.
That being said, it's a lot of work to get kids to cooperate. They have extremely short attention spans and tire quickly. It's incredibly difficult to work behind the camera as the photographer and as the assistant during any shoot, it's impossible to do both jobs well when photographing children.
Sure, many photographers do photograph children alone and they may get lucky and end up with a few decent shots. But when you want consistency it takes two qualified professionals, just ask any parent from our shoot for FUNdamentally Toys last year. These parents were amazed that we were able to get such great shots in a matter of minutes (we were shooting all day in 15-minute slots). The fact that Natalie can interact and entertain the kids as I compose and prepare for the shot allows us to get a photo that would literally be impossible to get alone.
On larger family shoots, we bring on additional help. Our assistant Vincent an invaluable team member. Having someone on hand that can take over the lighting set up and manage a set allows Natalie to focus on interacting with the kiddos and frees me up to focus on getting the best shot.
More is More
Whether we're photographing children or adults we love to have more than one person paying attention to the small details of a photo shoot; flyaway hairs, wardrobe or prop details, and subtle nuances of poses are easily spotted when there is more than one pair of eyes looking out for them.
Next time you book a portrait session make sure you're getting most for your time and money, make sure you're hiring a photography team.