In the space of one week recently we were contacted by two families who, quite separately, have been let down by a photographer at virtually no notice. They had both booked cake-smash photoshoots for their one year olds, and were both understandably very disappointed. They were given no reason.
We don’t normally do cake smash, but of course we offered to help them out in their hour of need – one booked us on the spot, the other, we assume, chose to go elsewhere, which is fine.
The family that booked us had organised their original shoot through a Groupon deal – at the ‘amazing’ price of £12. That’s not a price we would even attempt to match, but we could give an assurance that we certainly wouldn’t cancel at the last minute, neither would we subject them to a high-pressure sales session afterwards. The price they’re paying includes a load of web-sized images, and if they want to buy prints or other products that would be lovely, but it’s entirely up to them.
When you’re thinking about booking a photographer – whether it’s for a special birthday, a party, a wedding or anything else – of course price is an important consideration. But never forget – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
If you'd like to talk to us about capturing your precious moments, give us a call on 0161 300 6224, or fill in our contact form. We welcome anyone to come in and see us for a brew and a chat before you book.
In a week of such tragedy and grief, it’s hard to know what to write about. So much of what we do is about joy, fun and frivolity – parties, fairies, photobooths with silly hats, the excitement surrounding a new-born baby, the anticipation of a baby on the way. Somehow that doesn’t chime with the prevailing and perfectly understandable mood of anger, outrage, anxiety and sadness. At first sight, photography suddenly feels a bit of a luxury, a bit self-indulgent.
But that’s not the whole story. Not at all. As people photographers we are invited to capture key moments in people’s lives, from birth (and before) through childhood, school, university, graduation, marriage and parenthood. We see families grow, go their separate ways and occasionally reunite for a precious group portrait. Sometimes we even get asked to photograph people who are seriously ill, perhaps nearer the end of their life. Some photographers generously volunteer to take pictures of babies who have died before, during or shortly after birth.
At bad times, as well as good, people reach for photographs: photographs that stir memories, that show the beauty and personality of their loved ones. Who could remain unmoved by the images on social media pages this week as families desperately hoped for news and information. And at times of great sadness, photographs of happier times may bring some comfort to families in their grief.
Photographs also form part of social history, a permanent record to show generations to come their family origins, their daily lives, their jobs.
As photographers, we see people at moments of much happiness and deep sadness, on days filled with excitement, reminiscence, regret and absence. It is an immense privilege, and we never take it for granted.
Wondering what to do with the children this half term? Or perhaps thinking about a full pamper party but not sure whether it’s what your child would want?
This is a perfect opportunity to give it a try and do something really different during the school break.
If you book our Taster Photoshoot Party for just £99, your child plus three friends can enjoy:
- A fun party lasting one hour
- A light, age-appropriate make-over
- Individual and group photoshoot
- Soft drink and a cup-cake or snack
- Downloadable photographs suitable for sharing on social media
- Opportunity to buy prints at very affordable prices
- £20 voucher to be used for a full Pamper and Pose party
Sound like fun? To book, or if you have any questions, look at our website www.studiog-oldham.co.uk or ring Lisa on 0161 300 6224
Well. What a week! Lisa and I meet every Monday morning to discuss the week ahead. Our meeting usually takes place at Costa (other coffee shops are available – apparently) and we have a roughly organised agenda so we know what we’re doing (again, roughly).
So last Monday, we met as usual, but the meeting did not go as planned. Lisa rather dramatically said “Well enough of that, let’s talk about something important. I’m going to launch Open Shutters today!” Now, dear reader, and I am never less than honest with you, I had heard this before. A few times, in truth, in the time we’ve been in business together. But this time, she really meant it. We didn’t even have a second coffee. We headed back to the studio and started setting up Lisa’s self-portrait which was to launch the project, we recorded the video that told her story – and if you haven’t seen it you really should – they were posted on line, and we were officially launched. As we talked we developed a vision for an ongoing project leading to an exhibition, and perhaps even a book
We were overwhelmed by the response, and decided we needed to post a portrait and story every working day last week, which was of course Mental Health Awareness Week and, with our enormous gratitude to Ella, Scottie, Laura and Chris we achieved that. We’ve had a number of approaches from people wanting to tell their story, and we had some great coverage in the Oldham Evening Chronicle, who were proud of the fact that Lisa used to be one of their journalists. In the event, Lisa was right to abandon our planning meeting, because the project took up the whole week for both of us.
So why are we doing this? Mental Health is getting a lot of publicity at the moment, which can only be a good thing, but the coverage tends to focus on eliminating the stigma often attached to mental illness. No-one seems to be talking about the fact that many people who have mental illness, whether an isolated episode or an ongoing condition, find that it brings beneficial changes to their lives. The people we’ve had the privilege of photographing and talking to this week wouldn’t be the people they are had it not been for their experience of mental ill health. That’s the story we want to tell with the Open Shutters Project.
The project was initially conceived as a personal photographic project for Lisa, but as we’ve got to know each other better, and as I’ve learned about the mental health journey that she and other good friends have taken, I couldn’t possibly let her do it alone. What we’re doing is, I believe, important. It has the capacity to help people, and perhaps change attitudes. I am very proud of Lisa for having the Open Shutters concept, and for finally taking the plunge and launching it, and I’m also very proud and excited to be part of it.
To find out more, check out our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/theopenshuttersproject/?fref=ts or our website www.openshutters.org.uk
WE’VE GOT GREEN SCREEN AND WE KNOW HOW TO USE IT!
This week we’ve acquired a new bit of kit. It doesn’t look much – a bright green pop-up backdrop and a piece of software. But what’s exciting is what it enables us to do.
If you’ve been following us, you’ll have seen our photographs using a number of different backdrops, including fairy glens, arctic ice, Christmas scenes, elegant wallpaper, superheroes and theatrical stage curtains. What our new set-up makes possible is to photograph someone against the green background, then add in any sort of digitally-created background and foreground.
This has lots of applications, including some we probably haven’t thought of. We’re thinking Fairytography® shoots, parties and photobooths, not to mention portraits, maternity photography and business headshots. The possibilities are limitless.
We’ve included a few examples in this blog to give you an idea of what’s possible, but really the only limit is our – and our clients’ – imagination.
This weekend we’ll be using our new set up at Oldham Comic Con, so you expect to see some great pictures of your favourite super-heroes – drop in and see us if you can.