Sparkle Academy – Rawtenstall
What a fun shoot! Dancers love to pose and we love to turn their moves and poses into fun images.
Do you attend a dance class in Lancashire or West Yorkshire?? Or maybe your children do. Tell your dance teacher about us – we’d love to come and do a shoot for you. Also, as we give 10% of our profits from the shoot back to the dance group, it’s great fundraiser.
So, 2012 was the year of the Postbox partnership. The year we, as a mother and daughter team (should be daughter and mother really – in terms of importance), took on the nurseries. We love toddlers in the studio but taking them on in their own environment is a different matter. Lights, background, toys all in place but no smiles! This is where the teamwork kicks in.
It’s quite difficult, as a photographer to coax a smile whilst looking through the lens. Here’s when a partner is needed. What child will not giggle when a green fluffy dinosaur decides to eat the photographer. Instant success -photography by Amy, puppetry by yours truly. Judging by the response from parents to our nursery images, we got it right! We like to give people variety so we offered at least 6 images of each child. And we like to keep up our studio standards so what we offer is, not just an ordinary nursery shoot but a mini portrait session.
We’re always looking to get in touch with new nurseries so if your child attends one in our area – Rochdale, Oldham, Bury or even further afield, why not recommend us? We’d be happy to discuss any nursery/school requirements.
Free £25 Pet/Family Portrait session and print – just collect the coupons!
What a great idea! We get lots of families coming into the studio wanting a family portrait – Mum, Dad, 2.5 children and maybe a couple of grandparents. But, very often, the family is not complete because Fido is at home, probably sulking and chewing the leg of your best chair just to show that he, too, would have liked to be included in the family portrait. He would have cocked his head on one side and looked cute for the camera but, no, he wasn’t invited.
Of course we have photographed dogs at Postbox. Frisky labradors who sniff all round the studio, reception and changing room before deciding whether to cooperate – a big, old, ploddy Irish Wolfhound who just plonked himself down in the middle of the studio in a “ok let’s get this over with” kind of way. Then there was Ruudy who competed with his girls, Emma and Clare for the most beautiful hair of the group. And how could we forget the basket full of Chihuahuas?
You get the idea – we’re fine with dogs. So we were really looking forward to booking in the Daily Mail clients for their family/pet portraits. We phoned the first two numbers and yes you guessed it – CATS!
Mmmmmn! This is a completely different scenario. Have you ever tried telling a cat to “sit”? Impossible! A cat does what he wants to do – which is usually the exact opposite of what you want him to do. Well there’s only one way to find out how a cat will react – “Felix, Scoobie look what we’ve got for you in the Studio”. Felix, as you would imagine is black and white. He was given to us 10 years ago as a stray. He was so timid he wouldn’t come to us or let us pet him for the first 5 years and still gets very anxious in strange surroundings – not the best model for a photoshoot. Scoobie, also a stray, has got to be one of the most annoying cats in the world, she chases the curser on the PC screen and sits on the keyboard when you’re trying to work. She definitely will not cooperate.
Well what a surprise! Felix, after a little coaxing sat and posed for a good half hour then went and sat on the sofa in reception – just like a real client!
Scoobie was a bit more difficult but Amy still got some great results!
So bring on the cats!
(Just phoned the next client – has anyone got a snake we can practice on?)
We had a very Happy Father’s Day here in the Postbox Studio though, as usual, it was the kids who stole the limelight. It was supposed to be a treat for Dad so why were the children having so much fun?
Amy thought she was just earning some pocket-money when, to ease her student finances, she worked in children’s nurseries, sport’s clubs and even did a season in France as a children’s entertainer. Little did she know that all her experiences with children and babies back then would come in handy now. Children are all different – some need coaxing, some love to pose and some just want to play – but they are all beautiful and Amy loves to capture them just as they are. If a child doesn’t want to sit down and smile at the camera they jolly well won’t! It’s not problem at Postbox we just let them play and capture the smiles naturally.
Aleysha brought her Dad in. She had decided what he had to wear (Aleysha is 10!) and as they play golf together, they brought their clubs and we got some great shots.
Little Will was too busy playing with his toys to pose but was quite happy reading a story with his Dad while Amy took some great natural shots.
Lucie and Emily had been here before so they knew the ropes – Lucie made sure Mum and Dad got the poses right.
The balloons went down a treat with Rio and Maisie but we’re not sure Mum and Dad will want to put this one on the wall!
Must go and edit all these lovely images now!
When Amy was younger she did gymnastics (Sports Acrobatics). Training three times a week, she worked hard and loved every minute of it. At competitions I would take my camera and, because it was really difficult to get good shots of the gymnasts competing, I would stand Amy and her partner against a plain wall (if I could find one) to record the day. Consequently I have lots of great photos of gymnasts doing absolutely nothing.
So we had an idea! We know about gymnastics and dance. Why not try and record some moves in a more dynamic way? Amy had a go and I took up the camera for a change. The ceiling in the studio is low so we found it quite restricting but with some clever lighting and a fair bit of editing we got some good results.
What to do next? Well, we decided to invite some gymnasts and dancers in for a test shoot. Chris Rait came in and jumped so high we were afraid he would go through the ceiling.
Then little Courtney, Harriett and Tracey Ray and her dancers came along. The great thing about it is we could ask them to repeat a move over and over until we’d captured the right shot. And they were happy to oblige, in fact they had a great time at the studio. We then added some graphics to emphasize the movement.
Our problem now was that the studio is a little cramped for this kind of shoot so rather than bringing the dancers/gymnasts to us we have decided to take the studio to them. Tracey Ray was so impressed with her images that we have arranged to go out to one of her classes with our lights and backgrounds etc and photograph all her dancers. We’ve arranged a shoot for the 27th June and can’t wait to see how it works out. I’ll let you know how it goes but if you know any dance or gymnastics teachers in the North West who you think might be interested in something similar let us know and we’ll get in touch.