What’s it like having a family photography session at Kilve Beach?
Well here is a 1 hour session I had with a Rav, Kavita, Ishan and Vian from Birmingham. They were enjoying their ‘staycation’ in the south and wanted some family photography. When they contacted me they asked for some locations, but said they liked the idea of a beach with rocks. Kilve Beach seemed the obvious choice. The family photo shoot was a great success and they are very happy with the photos. I asked them a few questions about their family photography experience with Moment Photography.
Q: Have you had any family photography before?
Kavita: When it was Ishan’s first birthday we did a family photo shoot in Antalya. Just to capture his first birthday, but that was not beach related, it was on the grounds of the hotel because it had lots of nice gardens.
Rav: They had an in-house photographer.
Kavita: So it was just capturing the moment around the complex really. To be fair we weren’t thinking of photography, but we just came across the photographer while he was taking photos, so we thought we might as well just find out what we can do, and we got some really good pictures.
Q: What was the reason behind having some family photography?
Kavita: Vian turned one and Ishan turned three, so we wanted to capture the celebration memories from that. We didn’t have many good family photos at all. So as our holiday was supposed to be nice and sunny, we thought we’d capture the moments between us, for all of us really. And kind of a nice memory for their birthdays. It was the first family photo, professional photo shoot with all four of us.
Rav: The last one we didn’t have Vian at the time.
Q: Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted from your family photography or did you need some guidance/inspiration?
Kavita: Probably a little bit of both, so I already when I first contacted you thought of something beach related, but more-so with nice backgrounds with all of us. The family photos where we’re all looking at you, but then also the ones where we’re just doing things.
I kind of already knew in my head those were the sorts of things that I wanted, but obviously you gave us more clarity with regards to location and backgrounds, which for me was great.
Q: With your family photography, what were the things that were important to you?
Kavita: Capturing the moments for me because obviously the kids, with the kids, they never kind of concentrate on anything you do or say, so it was like capturing the moments for all of us within one click. So where all of us are hopefully looking, not necessarily smiling, but capturing the background within the picture so it doesn’t just look like we’ve been placed on the background.
Having all of those little memories that were taken, where we can look back at the pictures and think oh yeah we were there doing that, and remembering it.
Q: What made you decide to book me for your family photos?
Kavita: We wanted someone local to where we were staying and you fitted that. I looked through your portfolio and I liked that you had various different shots of family photos, not just that kind of one smiling and looking, and hence I was like ooh this could be quite good for us because it’s not just capturing everyone just looking and smiling, but capturing the moment of where we are at because it was location a based photoshoot, and I could see on your portfolio at the time you had done quite a few of those.
Q: Before you saw the photos, did you think the location of the family photography matched up with what you had hoped for?
Kavita: I think it matched up more, it exceeded because of the fact in my head I was thinking beach, but I’m glad we didn’t because when we got to Weston-super-Mare, the sea was quite far away and it was quite flat scenery-wise. Obviously you recommended Kilve, and when we got there it was absolutely stunning with the rock formations. The kids loved it as well playing with the little rocks; looking for things in the water, that kind of stuff. At least Ishan knows what a fossil is now. It was just great, and the weather held out and you could see breaks in the cloud which made it look even prettier.
Me: The reason why I asked that question is because I thought yeah it is an amazing place, but I often find that it can look better after I’ve taken the photos because it’s sort of enhances what’s already pretty you know?
Rav: It didn’t look like we were in the UK, it’s looks like we were somewhere really far away like New Zealand.
Me: well it might have looked like it was in the UK if it was taken on an iPhone.
Q: Thinking back to the day, if you were describing the family photoshoot to a friend, describe what happened, the process of the time I spent with you from meeting to leaving.
Kavita: We got to know you a little bit when we first got to the car park which was nice because we kind of got some more information.
Rav: We felt comfortable and really at ease. I think it was really easy to be able to build trust with you. I kind of felt we were in good hands, that you knew what you were talking about, you were from the local area so….
Kavita: And we gauged that from the conversation we had with you as we were walking down to rocks, which was quite nice.
Rav: Yeah, really easy to talk to and the kids were quite easy to be with you as well.
Kavita: Yeah Ishan didn’t kind of go no, no, no as he normally does. He kept calling you “Josh” “can you tell Josh…” from that point of view at least I knew Ishan was warming towards you as well which was quite nice.
Rav: From you just taking us to the location where we were having the photo shoot, you were explaining really well what you were going to do, what your thoughts were, how it was going to go. You know, timeframes that we had and how flexible you are with things, and that you would also take on board our ideas as well. It was just nice because you weren’t just go and stand there, take that one there, do this, do this, do this. It was like, “how about this, what do you think about this?” So it was kind of always involving us in that decision-making process as well which I really liked.
And when we said “what about this?” you said “yeah great, let’s try that.” So it was quite good it was two ways and you took on board our ideas.
Kavita: It was also good you sent me a few pictures of ones you had taken there before because I’d already got an idea of the kind of couple ones I wanted to do. So that kind of gave me some inspiration too.
Rav: And it was good that you’ve done photo shoots there before because it meant you knew exactly where to go. The first location might only have been 20 or 30m from the second location, so we didn’t have to go very far to get a completely different background, change of scenery from the cliff behind us and then the rock pools.
Kavita: And not just that, but when I was in email conversation with you prior to even coming on the photo shoot you’d sent me loads of information which was really helpful and useful, especially with the parking Side of things. Not just that, but like I said, sending me those example pictures, and information about what to do afterwards. It wasn’t just about the photoshoot, you kind of gave us a little family day out.
Q: How do the final photos compare to what you originally had in your mind before booking me for family photography?
Kavita: Most likely exceeded them, and the reason being is I think, the location helped massively, because in Weston-super-Mare I was thinking beach sunset and I don’t think I would’ve ever got that from the location that we were in. So the scenery exceeded my expectations which made the photos stand out a lot more to what I was expecting.
You captured the moments of the kids and ourselves really well. Even just trying to make them feel at ease, trying to get them to do things so you could capture those moments, made the whole look and feel of the photos really good.
Q: Any favourite family photos?
Kavita: I like the ones of the kids kissing me. I like the ones where, you know where we are walking. I think Vian was on Rav’s shoulders and Ishan was in the middle, that one was nice. The ones where we are walking, all four of us are walking, but we are looking at you. Although I do really like the ones that face the back as well, because that gives you that kind of perspective of scenery.
We are struggling at the moment to find 20, we’ve narrowed it down as much as we can. I think they’re all really good because they’re all different, it’s hard to pick a specific favourite. No actually there is a favourite one, it’s of Rav and Vian when Vian has got THE biggest smile on his face.
Q: What do you think helped the family photography work?
Kavita: I think you making it easy for us, The way that you are, how you made everyone feel comfortable and kind of just describing things as we were going along so we knew exactly what was coming up. We could then get the kids and say like “Ishan we’re going to be doing this, let’s go here, let’s do that. It kind of gives him a bit of information as well
Rav: Also when you tried to get Ishan’s attention with, what was it, a dinosaur behind him?
Kavita: Yeah (she laughs)
Rav: Making stuff up to try and get the kids attention, otherwise if you hadn’t done, then what would have potentially been a great picture would have been ruined because they wouldn’t have been looking.
Q: Anything else you want to add?
Rav: Just thank you really.
Kavita: And we’d book you again in the future if we are down in that area. And we would definitely recommend you to anyone that needed a photoshoot around the area as well.
Rav: When Kav’ thought about the idea of having a photo shoot, I was like, “yeah whatever, I wasn’t that….”
Kavita interrupts: Yeah he didn’t pay attention to me when I was planning it
Rav: I wasn’t really that bothered, but now that we’ve done it and we’ve seen the pictures I was like oh my God that was such a great idea.
Obviously a lot of people do “staycations” this year and if anyone is going around that area and has thought about a photo shoot I would highly recommend that they have one with you.
Kavita: Well the thing is I will be putting them on social media when we have chosen our 20 and we’ve got them at high resolution. When people say “aww that’s a really nice picture” and they’ll be “Where was that?” and they will be like “oh yes we might be going there,” then I can recommend you.
Rav: If anything Ross I think you should increase your prices.
Me: Well I’ll have to get some more pictures in my portfolio and I might consider that. Because you know it is quite a lot of work, but I think at the moment partially why it’s quite affordable is just because I enjoy it so much and I want to make sure I get lots of photos.
Maybe later on if I get super busy I might be like, I can’t cope with the amount of photos.
With you saying about, you know at first you weren’t that bothered, I think people can have, well mostly guys at least, when it comes to having photos taken, they’ve probably got preconceived ideas you know?
They think “oh it’s going to be awkward.” And that’s what I’m trying to avoid, by, like you were saying, engaging you and getting your opinion; “Do you want to do this, would you prefer we didn’t do it this way, maybe you wouldn’t like that, have you got a better idea, or do you like this idea?” so then that hopefully takes away some of that awkwardness and it makes it more enjoyable. Rather than “oh gosh, he made us do this, oh it was so embarrassing, Oh God I felt silly.” Because if you do that, then afterwards it puts the idea in your head, “Oh I don’t really like these photo shoots, it’s a bit of a pain.”
So the fact that you’ve come away with a different mindset and actually thought it was quite fun and wasn’t awkward, then that’s a win for me really.
Rav: No it wasn’t awkward at all, I quite enjoyed it
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