Family photo shoots, head shot photography, actors head shot photography, corporate photography....what wedding photographers do out of wedding season
I’ve had a few conversations in the past where someone has asked what do wedding photographers do outside of the busy wedding season. It transpires, understandably, that they thought that once the last wedding of the season is over we have keep things ticking over. They didn’t realise that our skill set extends to family photo shoots, head shot photography, corporate photography and many other kinds of “people” photography and sometimes beyond. They thought we sit back, relax, crack open the Bailey’s and watch Loose Bargain Roadtrip all day. Sadly, as appealing this doesn’t sound, that’s not actually the case.
So we fill our time with other shoots like I said. On top of the family photo shoots, head shot photography, corporate photography, I have even been known to do the odd bit of interior and real estate photography too. I even teach occasionally!
But there is a lot more than just taking photos. Usually, after the last wedding is done, all the editing has to be finished, photos delivered, marketing ourselves for the nest season or two, keeping up social media presence, renewing insurance, getting camera’s serviced, meetings for potential jobs and other couples, meetings for other work, networking etc etc etc…..there is a lot more behind the scenes than most people, rightly, would realise. But I digress….
But let me elaborate on the photography side of things. That’s what you’re reading this blog for right? As a wedding photographer, actually I want to shoot all the time. It’s partly why I got into this in the first place….to shoot photos. You would think it would be nice to put the camera down for a while, but actually, that’s not the case. In a previous life, I used to shoot all sorts of things, a lot of it purely for fun. And that is the important aspect of this…..fun. And we also need to keep the engine running creatively, so to speak. If we down tools for a while, its surprising that it can take a little while to get back up to speed with your vision, so you need to keep it going so you are on top of things. It’s like giving a classic car a little bit of a run out over the winter….just to keep it loose. Same for us as photographers really. So, how does that translate into actually making it a viable business outside of the wedding season?
I am very much a people person and that is the main thing for me…interacting with other people, getting the best out of them, having fun and capturing the essence of them for the shoot. Doesn’t matter if its wedding photography, head shots, family photo shoots, corporate photography…..having a connection with the camera and photographer is key. And that is why I want to keep shooting. What being outside of wedding season brings is variety and the ability to try things out, be creative, have fun (weddings are awesome fun, of course, but we need to change gear occasionally…). And importantly, when doing these things, they do help keep that trickle of money coming in, that’s for sure. And if you can have a good connection with your subject, whether it be on a family photo shoot, head shot photography or corporate photography and it shows in the photos, then that will only market you even more to get your skills out there and get you known. Let me show you a few examples…..
Styled Shoot - The networking fun photography
Below are three photos from a styled photo shoot I did last year with the lovely and fantastic Kerry Curl of Cambridge Makeup Artist, ably helped out by Vanessa and Dom of wedding planners extraordinaire, Rocks and Frocks at the gorgeous award winning venue, Escheat Farm. Now, this might look like a lot of fun and not really work, but what came out of this was a hell of a lot of amazing connections, information, friends, industry links and a whole new avenue of exposure for my work. We can never really turn down opportunities in networking and if it means we can have a bit of creative fun along the way, it’s all good! No money is exchanged by anyone involved in a shoot like this, so I agree, it might not seem like work, but the opportunities that come out of this are priceless and worth 10 jobs.
Family Photo Shoots
The family shoot is a very popular side branch to any “people” photographers arsenal. After wedding season, the obvious thing coming up is Christmas and the family shoot is a great way to capture people being themselves to send to family and friends. This can be done in a studio, or at home if the photographer has portable gear that can be set up quickly and easily. But a lot of people who have done this come back in the summer too, for a shoot just for themselves as a family in the lovely light and weather, just having fun at that point in their lives. To be able to do this for families is a real privilege to do as I am capturing memories they will keep forever.
Actors Head Shot Photography
Head shots photography and corporate photography sometimes go hand in hand. Very often the setup is very similar, but the brief is quite different. I have done performers and actors head shot photography that looks very similar to those of many corporate shots and that is perfectly normal. What is the same is that you try and get something out of the subject and that’s where the fun is! Listening to the brief and giving them something that is unique to them and they can use for their own promotion and auditioning. I love this kind of photography as you can actually end up giving someone a heck of a lot of confidence they can take away from the shoot for themselves, knowing that they have got some great shots done and giving them a much better chance of being seen and chosen for an audition. Below are a few examples of some actors head shots.
It can be difficult to see the difference between the above and the corporate photography head shot that will likely be used on websites, brochures and the like. Below might not seem like your standard corporate head shot photography, but these images were used for promotion of Salon 262, a new hair salon based in Cambridge a couple of years ago. The salon is still going strong and quite successful and hopefully images like this were helpful in some small way to that success.
Website and Marketing Photography
These shots are still technically seen as corporate photography and were done for a website that went live not that long ago. Teresa Brooks Coaching has used many from the shoot we did on her website and her business is going from strength to strength. The shoot was a lot of fun walking around Cambridge, listening to the brief, understanding it and then approaching the whole thing with a freedom and lighthearted feel. Teresa was a trooper, knowing exactly what she wanted and it was my job to interpret that brief and give her the images she wanted. She loved them!
These, not necessarily seen as your standard white background corporate photography images, but they will be used in a brochure and marketing revamp by the cosmetic aesthetics company, Cosmetier, so comes under that banner. The images are of a current client of the company who has had treatments but volunteered to have her photos taken as she was a fantastic example of the work that Cosmetier actually do. And as a non-model, she was fantastic. The fun was in the interaction and direction and just getting her to relax and do the things that were needed to get the images that the company wanted. I think she nailed it!
Promotional Head Shot Photography
And finally, head shots that people have used for advertising themselves….these two ladies asked me to take natural but more formal shots of them so they could be used to promote themselves to prospective employers. The first one the lady used the image after she had finished her PhD and to use it for work in the science industry. The second lady was of Scandanavian origin and was looking to apply for jobs at the United Nations where a head shot is a prerequisite for any job application. Simple, easy, but a natural brief. Doesn’t stop you having fun while shooting them!
So there you go….there is a lot of stuff that keeps us going outside of the wedding season. It’s not just something we do for a few months of the year, however hectic that may be! But all of it is fun, that’s for sure. If picking up a camera and it becoming a chore was the norm, then it would be time to give it up. I can’t ever see that happening for me. I love the variety, the creative outlet, the interaction with so many new faces, the connections I make and put that all together, its just the best job I could ask for.
If any of the above has piqued your interest, then get in touch. I am happy to chat about your needs and requirements and more than happy to help out. There are many strings to my bow and would love to hear what you have in mind! Have a look at my Families and Portraits page for more images to see the kinds of things I do and if you think I could do a job for you (or someone you know), then drop me a line either via my contact page or via email which can also be found on the contact page.
Right, i’m off for a cuppa…