What is a Location Photographer?
People keep on asking, “Kim, why don’t you have a studio? You could take loads more portraits every day”. Generally speaking, here’s what I tell people…
When I became a portrait photographer, I made the conscious decision to be a “location photographer”. Most of the time, I hate being cooped up indoors – I much prefer to work outside in the fresh air, in the sunshine using natural light – well, even on a cloudy flat day it is possible to yield some beautiful images.
I’m also not a great fan of posing people. I was privileged to be taught the rules of posing by one of America’s most successful portrait photographers, Doug Gordon – the tuck, the roll, the lean – but in my heart, I know it’s not really my style. I prefer to observe people and capture their essence naturally. I’m the same with wedding and event photography – I prefer to blend in, observe my surroundings and capture the event unobtrusively, as it unfolds and happens naturally.
For me, a large part of the joy and love of what I do comes from building relationships. I like to take my time with a family, getting to know them and giving them the time that they need to feel comfortable. I don’t want them to feel rushed. Equally, I don’t want to overstay my welcome, but I do want them to enjoy the experience and remember it favourably. I get quite involved and shoot from the heart, which can be quite emotional. Suffice to say what helps me to capture an individual’s personality is my ability to feel their emotion and energy.
So, for all those reasons, I don’t want to have a studio and I only offer one type of family portrait photography – the on-location shoot.
How does a family portrait shoot work?
The on-location portrait shoot: Generally a location shoot takes 1-2 hours. I don’t want to impose on the family’s precious time together, but there are some things in life that shouldn’t be rushed – a young baby won’t smile on cue; neither will a dog or a cat always sit obediently, if there’s a family pet included in the shoot. It takes patience and compassion – and it’s about making sure beautiful, natural images are assured before leaving.
The portrait shoot is arranged at a location of your choice in the London/Essex or Southeast area. It could be at home, if you have a light and airy living room or a back garden. Alternatively, how about a woodland, a farm with a barn, a mill, a graveyard, fairground? A photographic location needs to offer interesting situations, backdrops and textures.
I’m not much of an early-bird, I have to admit, however, when asked, dawn and dusk offer some really lovely and interesting light scenarios. Alternatively, 11am and 3pm are also good times. The choice is yours to fit in with your schedule, not mine.
What’s best to wear for a portrait shoot?
Portrait photography is largely about faces and capturing the personality and love within. I feel that overly busy clothing can take attention away from the face, which is why I usually advise my families to keep it simple. But equally it depends on the nature of the location shoot – is it at home (with lots of toys and bookshelves) or outside (with a beautiful landscaped back-drop)? There are so many styles when deciding what to wear – for a traditional look, jeans and a camisole top is popular. You could choose a fun theme, like football – and dress using bold colours. Girls and motorbikes… now there’s an interesting idea – you really can let your imagination run wild!
Accessories such as fancy jewellery and hats, even parasols and umbrellas, can all have a role in making distinctive pictures too. What do you want the portrait to say about you?
What happens after your photo shoot?
Within ten days, we can meet to look at the best images either on a television screen, a laptop or a proof-sheet. This meeting can either be in the comfort of your home or at your office, at a time to suit you. Sometimes, viewing sessions at home have a party-like atmosphere – with the whole family around the screen, drink in hand – it can be a bit of a giggle.
Generally speaking, when you booked the photo shoot, we will have had a chat about what it is you want or need – and you will have seen examples of my products – including a variety of frames, a cubix, Queensberry albums and portrait image boxes. You will know that the minimum spend is £450 for a family portrait shoot which gives you a small framed portrait or a portrait image box presenting ten portrait images mounted on beautiful card. When you booked, you may also have put in an initial order – that’s great because it helps me to plan the shoot. After seeing the results at the viewing, most of my clients then decide that they want to give Granny a Birthday or Christmas present, or have a piece of art for the second home abroad, and spend a further £1-2K on large 30”x40” framed portraits – the piece of magic that will be on their walls for future generations.
If you aren’t quite sure what type of frame you want, I can create a mock-up image (low res jpeg) showing what the portrait will look like inside a frame to help you visualise what the frame will look like, like these:
Finally, once you have confirmed your order, I hope to be able to personally deliver your keepsakes within three weeks of the viewing session. Sometimes I’ll ask for your patience as some products take slightly longer than others to produce because everything is made bespoke, to order.
Kim Rix Photography
“Capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments”