Personally I hate the price shopping phone calls, but I understand clients don’t know where to start the comparison process they need to choose the best photographer for them.
Which is why I opted to create my blog on family portrait photography to educate and inform what I am about, my values and what I have to offer as a portrait photographer.
I’ve realised I am creating a boutique portrait photography business, one that attracts clients who wanted a personal service from me – I book them in, create their photographs, prepare them for viewing, create the album, viewing and process the order using a network of high quality professional suppliers.
I like to work alone, but bring in other experts, as I need them, like my lab, framer, accountant and graphic designer
My studio is not high street, but space in a converted flourmill surrounded by other creative businesses and artisans who are passionate about what they create. It’s quirky and friendly, a world away from the corporate world I left eight years ago.
I am not trying to compete with the photographic chains in retail locations that surround me. I am offering a more personal service and my prices reflect that. I price my work to include all the back end work I do and choose my suppliers very carefully.
A wise person taught me that I might not be the right photographer for every client, and I’ve found the clearer I am about the service I offer the fewer the problems. In fact it’s when I bend my own rules that I regret the decision.
I have my own photographic perspective and style: natural portraits of children photographed early morning in an environment special to them produce my best work. I don’t loudly direct shoots, I let them flow naturally, tweaking as I needed, creating a collection of photographs that respond to that child/children or family I am with.
Some photographers I have observed have a shoot routine that they won’t deviate from, but as I photograph children mostly I find a strict shoot routine just hikes up stress levels especially when the children won’t perform to order. I have a more organic approach, which my clients like.
I like to stay up to date with what’s new in the industry, and love learning, which is good because there is always something new to get a handle on. And photography demands you have a level of skill in both art and science.
Ultimately my goal is to run my business in a way that works for my clients and me.
I want to capture the details of childhood in my creative style, in a location special to them. I like morning shoots (8 a.m. starts) as the children are fresh, and I like time – then everyone relaxes and magic happens. No rapid fire thirty minute sessions here. My inspiration comes from the location and the family. What’s important or special to them and why they have commission these photographs influence my composition and the direction of the photo session.
I specialise. Natural light on location, children, portraits. Only the babies get the studio treatment and then I use a soft pink or blue background because I feel a plain white has had its day. Just look at the fashion magazines, no white there.
I don’t work full time (just 4 days a week) and I don’t like back-to-back appointments. I allow time to recharge, refresh and to shoot my own personal work. A bored photographer produces boring work!
Portraits are an important part of social history. In many ways the art of photography has been devalued and people are happy with shaky camera phone images, but an enlightened few are not. These are my potential clients.
About the author
Sue Kennedy is a professional photographer and owner of Blue Eyes Photography Ltd. She specialise’s in lifestyle portrait photography which means she doesn’t confine her shoots to a studio but uses the real world as a backdrop. Harnessing the natural light and using beautiful settings such as parks, woodland or gardens, she creates stunning, contemporary portraits which will provide a lifetime of pleasure.
Sue is a qualified member of the prestigious British Institute of Professional Photography and the Master Photographers Association. her work has been featured in a number of magazines and on BBC Radio.