This summer has been the busiest summer of my life, I got married… I could just stop there really and that would be enough, but I also did some research on lighting and a studio to hire for my portrait photography. The lighting was tough; there are so many lights which all seem to do the same thing, but the cost varied so much. I’m normally an impulse buyer; I know what I want when I see it and I get it… be it a coffee table, a jumper or a jacket, I’m in and out within minutes, decision made, credit card swiped, all bagged up and ready to go. I may spend a few hours feeling guilty about my purchase later on and wonder whether I really needed another pair of brown, leather boots, but that’s half the fun right?
However, when it came to my photography lighting, it took me a while to part with my hard earned cash. The words of one of my friends rang in my ears, “buy cheap, buy twice!” This is something I didn’t want to do and couldn’t afford to do. In the end, I opted for the Elinchrome BX 500Ri which so far has proved easy to use and the results have been fabulous – although perhaps I should leave others to be the judge of that.
The studio issue was a whole different kind of story. I knew what I wanted; a nice, cosy space, close to home where I could take family portraits. The first studio I went to was owned by a guy who wanted to do a studio share. I made an appointment and took my husband (then fiancé) along to get a second opinion… I didn’t need a second opinion – the place had a dungeon! Yes, a fully kitted out dungeon, complete with black painted walls, a whip and of course… a satin lined cage in the corner. The dungeon was the theme room; under lock and key as all theme rooms are - not really the kind of space I had in mind for my family portraits.
Needless to say, I wasn’t interested in signing up for his studio share. However, I didn’t want to be rude to the man, after all this was his business, even if it wasn’t my cup of tea, coffee or any other drink. So, I listened while he showed me his lighting system and offered to give me a portrait lighting course at a very reasonable price; all the while thinking “Do I really look like the kind of girl who would want to take photographs of people in a dungeon?”
After that, I decided try plan B, which was to go to a portrait studio and get some photos done and learn from the experience. Again, I went with Mark, but this time the experience was one that I would want to recreate. The photographer was warm and chatty and explained what he was going to do, making us feel at ease. I am not the best in front of a camera; I prefer to be tucked away behind one; making clicking sounds. However, the photographer had a way of making us both feel comfortable. I don’t remember exactly what he did, or what he said, but I do remember that we were genuinely laughing during the shoot, which made all the difference; true smiles are always more beautiful than the fake ones.
The result? Some gorgeous engagement shots – and there’s not a dungeon in sight! I have posted a few of our favourites on my facebook page and if you take a look, please "like" the page.