Monthly Archives: March 2015

31 
Mar

Top Five Phrases I Hear When Photographing People

So what are the top five phrases I hear when photographing people? If I had £1 for every person that told me that that they don’t like being photographed – well, I think I wouldn’t have to take photographs for a living.

So, what are the five phrases I hear when I meet clients for a photo shoot or indeed when I am commissioned to photograph a wedding day?

1) I hate having my photograph taken.

I firmly believe that in this day and age with almost everybody having access to a camera via their mobile phones we are all guilty of being a bit ‘photo crazy’… Selfies, photographs of our lunch, photographs on holiday, a night out with friends, family get togethers, and so on.

And when we see so many photographs of ourselves taken by friends or family at the local pub or a get together of some sort, often these shots are taken without us realising and without a chance to give out your best smile and relaxed pose. Before we know it, they are up there on Facebook for all to see… and we’re desperately hitting the ‘untag’ button on our Facebook pages. Unflattering poses, poor lighting, dreadful expressions, perhaps even a bit ‘squiffy’ due to a little too much Prosecco…

No wonder we hate having our photographs taken. We probably see ourselves way too often in amateur images. For many people, having professional photographs taken may only happen once in our lifetimes. I have sometimes met clients for a photo shoot who haven’t had a professional photograph taken since school. No wonder the client in front of me is ever so slightly ‘photo-phobic’.

2) Can you photoshop my eyes, legs, hair, arms, nose? – the list goes on…

Everyone knows what Photoshop is these days and many (mostly women) are incredibly aware of the beautiful imagery of stunning models in the media every single day. Most of these images are unrealistic and quite frankly many photographs have excessive photoshop and retouching applied, to the point where the subject no longer even looks real.

When you compare yourself to these images you are actually comparing yourself to something that’s completely unobtainable. I want you to feel good about your photographs, however I do not excessively edit any photographs. I would much rather show off your wonderful personality and beauty with flattering poses, natural expressions in relaxed photographs. I will work with you to create beautiful images that you will love and ensure that you feel as relaxed as possible during this process.

3) My children pull funny / strange smiles for the photographs now

Our children are totally beautiful in our eyes. However, once children become aware of being photographed, perhaps when they reach toddler stage, we are often guilty of asking our children to ‘smile for mummy / daddy’ shortly after we whip out the mobile phone or point and shoot camera. It’s often accompanied by ‘say cheese for mummy / daddy’. And results in completely unnatural expressions and the presentation of a full set of beautiful teeth, but a very odd smile. I have many families visit me at the studio and parents often say ‘Show Lesley your cheese smile’ or ‘Say cheese for the lady’…

There is often lots of laughter at their cute attempts to smile for the camera as they show off their ‘grimace’ rather than a natural, relaxed smile. Tight, very forced smiles are not what we want to capture in your photographs. This can cause frustration for the parents during the photography session.

I have many tricks and techniques to ensure that children relax and I photograph them in a very casual way to capture their beautiful personalities. Often I will chat and interact with children during the photography session and have been known to be a bit silly too. Children will sometimes ‘play upland not be on their very best behaviour when they can see parents are becoming impatient or annoyed during a photo shoot, but my tricks and techniques, and of course my experience photographing children will always get me the shots I want.

The most important ingredient for a relaxed, fun, informal photography session is to to be a relaxed, fun, informal photographer. Simple!

4) I always look dreadful in photographs

Why do we always feel that we look dreadful in photographs? I think this when I see photographs of myself too. It’s quite simply because these are often ‘snap shots’ taken by someone else and often they are photographs taken without us knowing. There are so many ingredients, but very simple techniques that are involved in getting beautiful, flattering portraits of anyone. The lighting has to be flattering to the subject and especially so for a more mature client, and whether this is natural light or studio light it has to be right.

Your choice of clothing is also very important too and I often discuss this with clients before they come for a photography session. Preparation for your photo shoot is very important.
It is also key to a photography session that I talk to them all the time during the photography session. I can absolutely ‘talk for England’ sometimes, but it is a necessary skill when photographing people. Often I won’t start photographing my subjects for about5-10 minutes just so I can chat to them and make them feel as relaxed as possible before getting on with the job in hand.

5) We need a wedding photographer but I don’t like having my picture taken.

For many couples that I work with, at least one of them will be nervous about being photographed. It doesn’t matter how talented and skilful a photographer is, people skills are just as important. Building a relationship with my wedding clients is absolutely top of my list when they book me for their wedding day.

Thankfully in 9 years of photographing weddings I have only had to photograph a wedding day once where I have actually not met the couple until the wedding day. This was due to them both being in the military and located overseas.

In most cases I have met my clients at least twice, sometimes as many as 4 times before their wedding day. And at least one of these meetings will be at their wedding venue. If my wedding clients feel comfortable with me before their wedding day we are going to have a great time together. If you feel at ease with your wedding photographer and you are having the best day ever, this will show in your wedding day photographs. And an important skill when photographing weddings is to make the bride and groom, and of course their family and friends feel at ease around you.

So what are you waiting for? Are you thinking about having some professional photographs taken? Please feel free to call me to discuss your requirements, your inspirations and what you want from your photography session. I am happy to have a ‘no obligation’, informal chat with you about my photography. Please feel free to call me on 01455 233224 or complete the enquiry form on this website by clicking here

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Published Date: 31st March 2015
Category: Uncategorized
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27 
Mar

Secrets to Getting a Great Business Head Shot

I have taken a lot of business head shots for local businesses in and around Leicestershire.  I have visited numerous businesses and photographed colleagues on site and have had lots of small local businesses visit me at my studio at the Atkins Building here in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

I am a real big fan of small local businesses, obviously because I am a small, local business too,  so I have empathy for everyone out there getting on with running their businesses every day.  It’s not an easy task.

I have just met a really lovely lady called Mel Fenson from Work Your Words in Lutterworth, who came to me for a business head shot.  And like all other clients that come to me for any kind of photography,  I heard lots of the same things ‘I hate having my photograph taken’, “I avoid the camera at all times”, “I feel a bit anxious”…. all the same thoughts and feelings that also run through my head when someone wants to take my photograph…

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So let me tell you the secret to getting a great business head shot…  Make your clients feel relaxed…  It’s as simple as that and actually it’s not really a secret.   Creating flattering poses and of course having your lighting and camera settings spot on are of course so very important too.  But it doesn’t matter if you have all of the ingredients correct in terms of the technical and posing side of you session, if your client doesn’t feel relaxed, then you might as well give up there and then.  That’s the secret….

For me it’s about not rushing, it’s about chatting to your client and getting to know them just a little before even taking a photograph.  I always take a little time to say hello, get some conversation going on and taking an interest in them.  After all, most of the people who come to me for a business head shot are running small businesses just like me.. so we have lots in common for me to strike up a conversation.  And if it’s a family photo shoot or any type of photography session, the rules are the same – you can always find something in common with every person you meet in life.  Relaxed subjects equal relaxed and fabulous photographs – not really a secret after all… 🙂

Once I can feel that my client has loosened up a little and we have a rapport, I will start to take a few shots.  I do have some little tricks here and there for getting the best out of my subject when they are in front of the camera, but my best tip… keep talking and interacting.  It’s really that simple…

So, during and after our 10-15 minute session Mel and I had a chat and and of course Mel is a copywriter and a keen social media expert and blogger and we got on to the subject of blogging…  So, thank you to Mel who fed back to me that she felt relaxed and enjoyed the session and what a great subject this would be for me to write about…

I love meeting new businesses and I meet lots of people all of the time… but thank you to you Mel for the inspiration to write this before going home today.

 

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Published Date: 27th March 2015
Category: Leicester Business Head Shots


 

27 
Mar

Your Family Photography Session – Special Offer with Lesley Bee

I am so looking forward to Spring and Summer… lighter nights and longer days.. I already have a Spring in my step (excuse the pun).  I’m also looking forward to Easter and eating chocolate – well who isn’t looking forward to Easter?  An extra long bank holiday weekend.  Hopefully some nice weather thrown in too?  But don’t hold your breath, this is the UK after all…

I have booked numerous location shoots for family photography and I am so looking forward to the fresh air and running about like a lunatic capturing images of energetic children enjoying being outdoors and having fun.  Location family photography sessions are just perfect for family get togethers such as Christenings, special birthday parties and those occasions when all the family are together – doesn’t happen very often, so it’s the perfect time to record the precious time you have spent together.

You may be considering a family photography session and perhaps would like to do this over the Easter period whilst the children are off school and you have taken some time off work too?  This ‘Spring Mini Sessions’ offer could just be perfect for you and your family.   For a limited period only from Sunday 29th March through to Saturday 11th April you can take advantage of a mini photography session for only £25 including a complimentary 10×8 print, and an amazing 15% off at your ordering session.  Sessions are available from Sunday 29th March, through to Saturday 11th April.

Easter holidays are a great time to have your children photographed and this offer is available for weekday and weekend photography sessions.

So – what are you waiting for?  Book today by calling me on 01455 233224.

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Published Date: 27th March 2015
Category: Uncategorized
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13 
Mar

Queen Bee’s Bee Hive – My Photography Studio

I have just realised recently that I haven’t photographed my studio in a long time…  And I thought it was a great idea to do this now being as I have just had a little refurbishment.  When I say a little refurbishment, I really do mean little.  My photography studio was a little bit of a mess and I have been so busy in 2014 that I just haven’t had time to have a tidy up and clear out.

My top task for 2015 was to clear out, tidy up and rearrange my studio space…  And with the help of Maisie Bee we did this and took the opportunity to take some photographs too.

So these are some shots of my photography studio at the Atkins Building here in Hinckley, Leicestershire.  I have been a tenant at the Atkins Building for almost 5 years now and I love working here.  It’s a truly beautiful Grade II listed building which was redeveloped in 2010.   The whole building has been divided into creative studios and office spaces and has a fabulous, spacious art gallery and Cafe too.

I really love my studio space.  It’s got two massive windows which give me lots of lovely natural light – my favourite light to photograph with.  The original wood flooring is also my favourite feature of the room.  It’s a pleasure to work in this beautiful space.

Where possible I will use the natural light for my photography, especially newborn photography.  It’s the loveliest, most flattering light.  I especially find it flattering for business head shots and for more mature skin.  Sometimes studio lighting can be quite harsh.

 

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Published Date: 13th March 2015
Category: Leicester Portrait Photographer
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11 
Mar

Testimonials – Let Your Clients Do The Talking…

Following on from my recent post about letting your clients do the talking I thought I would showcase another testimonial about my photography services posted to my Facebook page.

I first met Charlotte when I photographed her with her partner Parker and little boy – the super cute, gorgeous and totally edible Jack.  My memories of this photography session a couple of years ago, were of a super charged little gust of wind, running around my studio and giving me flirty smiles and being totally cute and almost edible..  We had to take him outside for some photographs, just so he could burn off some of his boundless energy.

Fast forward another 2 years and Charlotte came along for a maternity photo shoot in November 2014 with her perfectly formed little bump at 7 months, with the lovely Parker, and super cute Jack too.   We also did   a newborn session just recently to introduce me to the gorgeous little brother for Jack- baby Chester.  Each photography session has been very much a family photo shoot and it has been so nice to watch this family grown and get to know them at each of their photo shoots.

Bump to Baby photography sessions are £125 and this fee includes a maternity photo shoot at around 7 months, followed by a newborn photo shoot at around 5-10 days old.  Each photo shoot includes a 10×8 print.  You will return for an ordering session of your maternity and newborn images around one week after each of the photo shoots.

Siblings are welcome to come along to both photography sessions, but it is recommended that they only attend for about 10-15 minutes of our time in the studio.  The newborn photography photo shoot can last up to 3 hours, so little children will lose interest and become bored very quickly.  It’s a great idea to get dad to attend both sessions at the beginning of the studio photo shoot and then take your other child / children off for a little walk.

If you wish to book a Bump to Baby photography experience, please call me on 01455 233224 or email info@lesleybee.co.uk.

So – back to the point of this blog update.  Let your clients do the talking…  Thank you Charlotte.  Each photography session has been lovely…  What a beautiful family.

“Oh My Days I’ve just sat crying looking at the pictures of my maternity and newborn shoot.  Lesley Bee – thank you so much.  They are all so beautiful.  It was hard choosing but we got there in the end”.

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Published Date: 11th March 2015
Category: Uncategorized
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04 
Mar

Spoil Your Fabulous Mum This Mother’s Day

So how will you spoil your fabulous mum this Mother’s Day?  How do you show your mum just how much you love her this year?  Well, you can buy her some beautiful flowers or some of her favourite perfume, or perhaps take her out for a lovely meal.  Whatever you buy for your mum she already knows just how much you love her.

However, you can buy something for your mum that will be a gift to last forever…  So how about purchasing a Gift Voucher for a family photo shoot at my studio or on location in Leicestershire.  I have some beautiful, hand made Gift Vouchers that were created by the amazing Bee Happy Designs.

I decided last year that I wanted to have some new and very special Gift Vouchers for my clients.  I also knew that I wanted to hand over something really beautiful to my clients, that they would equally love to gift to someone very dear to them.  And so, a trip over to Bee Happy Designs HQ was a must.  Debbie, another ‘Busy Bee’ just like me was so lovely and absolutely knew what would work for my Gift Vouchers and she had such a lovely collection of samples to show to me too.

I absolutely adore my Photography Gift Vouchers and matching ‘Bee Happy’ tags.  Thank you ‘Bee Happy Designs’…

So, let’s get to the point about Mother’s Day…  You can take mum out for lunch, or buy her the perfume she loves or of course, the obligatory bouquet of flowers.  But I can 100% guarantee that a family photography session will be the perfect gift for Mother’s Day and she will truly LOVE this gift.  Photographs are always treasured and in this day and age where digital images are stored on mobile devices and computers and the ‘selfie’ is king.. what better way to preserve memories for your mum than with a relaxed, fun photography session with her family including a complimentary mounted print?

Gift Vouchers start from £35 for a weekday studio session (evening appointments available) and all sessions include a complimentary print.  Weekday sessions also qualify for 10% off at your ordering session.

So… don’t delay… Call me, Lesley Bee today and I can provide you with a very pretty Gift Voucher for your special mum.  I can also post you your Gift Voucher to your home address if you can’t collect it from my studio in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

Go on…  Let your mum know how much you love her…  Spoil Mum This Mother’s Day 🙂

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Published Date: 4th March 2015
Category: Leicester Portrait Photographer
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