A Typical Day in the Studio
What happens in a typical high street photo studio? What is a typical day like? How does a photo shoot work? You may not have given it a passing thought, but if you've ever wondered then read on.
On opening up the studio in the morning, the first task is to pick up any phone messages and emails, answer those that need answering and action any that need anything doing, adding to the list of the days tasks as needed.
We then review the days bookings and any other tasks that need to be finished by the end of the day, these could include printing and framing photos, dealing with orders, office admin, planning etc.
The number of shoots we will have booked in on any particular day can vary, depending on whether it's a weekday or a Saturday, how many viewings we have booked in, they types of shoots booked in etc. Typically we will have a mix of shoot types and a few viewings booked in as well. We might have 7 or 8 sessions booked in on a Saturday so it can be a busy day, but perfectly manageable and never rushed.
Once initial office admin is out of the way, it's time to get ready for the first shoot of the day. We primarily shoot family and group portrait sessions but also cake smash shoots, newborn shoots, 'My 1st year' package shoots, photo parties, 'feature' shoots such as our exclusive 'box' photoshoot, or our 'fairy' shoots or headshot/corporate website shoots.
This means that any particular day often has a variety of shoot types, of different lengths and with different requirements in terms of backdrops/lighting etc. We'll usually get a few viewings interspersed with the shoots as well.
A flexible studio space is thus vital, the ability to change backdrops quickly and easily, to change lighting setups and to accommodate differing shoot requirements are all necessary for a smooth running studio. We are lucky in that we have a good sized space, we can accommodate family groups or photo parties, we have a high ceilinged space and a full width backdrop system as well as a number of studio lights and lighting modifiers.
When a customer arrives for their shoot slot, we first sit down and discuss their requirements, some people have a specific idea of the type of photos they want, the style of backdrop and poses, some people just want some great images but are happy to leave it to us to take the lead. In either case we'll make some suggestions, set up the equipment and lead the customers into the shoot. A typical family portrait shoot will involve a mix of individual and group shots, a standard portrait session lasts up to one hour, allowing plenty of time for a relaxed shoot though often shoots are quicker than an hour. We aim to provide around 20-30 shots from a typical portrait session from which to choose your favourites, though it depends on your requirements. Sometimes we shoot more, sometimes less depending on those requirements. Once everyone is happy, we then arrange a viewing session, usually a week or so after the shoot, where the customer will come in to view their shots and choose their favourites and print options. We then upload and back up the photos, go through them, editing where required, though we aim to get everything right 'in camera' to minimise the requirements for any editing, to provide an 'album' for the customer to view, on a big screen in the studio during their viewing.
On a Saturday, typically the next session will start straight after so it's then going through the same process with the next customer, though it might be a cake smash, or photo party, next rather than another portrait session.
At a viewing session, we will show the customer a slideshow of all the best images from their shoot, we will then go through the images one by one, refining the customers selection until they have chosen their favourite images. We can go through framing options, we offer a wide choice of frame sizes, layouts, print finishes, frame types etc. so there is a lot to choose but once the customer is happy, we create an order. We can print up to a certain size on the premises, larger prints, canvases, and framed prints are sent to our local workshop for printing, all in house so we can maintain top quality throughout.
We keep all our shoot images for at least a year, as often customers like to order some additional products/prints some time after their shoot.
So the day progresses, and as the day draws to a close, we make a note of any outstanding tasks or any tasks that need attention another day, deal with any outstanding admin tasks etc. clean up the studio and make sure all the images from the day are safely uploaded and stored.