I don’t like having my photo taken. I’m not sure what age this started because as a child it didn’t bother me, but now I’d much rather be out of the camera shot. I feel ridiculous posing or I don’t like how the shot ends up so it all feels like a lot of hassle. However, increasingly I’m finding myself regretting not having a photo in a certain spot, either for my blog or for the memories. After all, anyone can take a picture of a place but only you can be in it. James is much the same and as a result most of the photos we have together aren’t great. They are either ridiculous selfies or we both look really awkward. Recently we both pushed ourselves out of our comfort zone and bought a couple’s makeover photo shoot with Clifton Photographic Company. The aim was to try something different, but also hopefully walk away with a nice photo of us together which we could cherish for a while.
Leading up to the shoot I was really nervous. I wasn’t sure which clothes to take (we were allowed up to four outfit changes), what I wanted my hair and makeup to look like, or how natural we would look together in front of the camera. They reassured us that it was normal to be nervous, but looking back now I realize how little there was to worry about. You are in the hands of professionals so let them do their job and just sit back and enjoy the experience.
What to plan in advance
You are given a checklist of things to think about ahead of the photoshoot but it can still be difficult to know what you want without ever experiencing anything like it before. I’d advise thinking of the purpose of the shoot and what you want as a result of it. I wanted a nice photo of the two of us, but I wanted it to look quite relaxed and informal. I wasn’t too worried about my hair and makeup provided I still looked like me, but I did give our clothes some thought and we each tried on a range of different outfits before deciding what to take with us.
In the end we opted for:
- Something casual
- Something formal
- Smart-casual (which we actually didn’t end up using)
- Our hiking gear (we had been recommended to think of a hobby we enjoyed doing together)
When we arrived we were greeted with a glass of buck’s fizz, had the format of the day explained to us, and were given a short form to fill in declaring any allergies and what we wanted our hair and makeup to look like. After this James was encouraged to sit back and relax whilst I was taken through to get my hair and makeup done.
I opted for the “soft-smokey” look as you could tell that I was wearing makeup but without it looking over the top. I was warned the foundation would feel quite heavy on my skin, which it did, but it helped to mattify my face under the lights and the camera. I had my hair loosely curled at the ends to add some texture and body.
James was next in the seat for about five minutes. If going with a male partner I would recommend they bring a book with them to read and keep them entertained as we hadn’t realised quite how long he’d be waiting with nothing to do. After a bit of powder and some gel, we were both ready for the next part of our experience.
We were being photographed by Jen and she was absolutely wonderful. Right from the start she made us feel relaxed but also gave us plenty of direction to get the best possible photographs. We started off with a warm-up exercise to get us feeling more relaxed, and then before we knew it we were into the shoot.
It was difficult to begin with to pull more serious faces when asked, but we soon got into the swing of it and I was really enjoying myself. As well as photos together, we had a number of individual shots taken and so we each got a turn to be in the spotlight whilst the other watched.
We moved around the studio using a range of different backdrops and changing our outfits to fit. Jen was very clear about which way we needed to lean or tilt parts of our body to get the best photo and although it felt unnatural at the time, looking at the shots it is clear that she knew exactly what she was doing.
The most fun part of the shoot was when we were in our hiking clothes as we’d brought a range of different props (some matching wooly hats, maps and guide books) which we were able to use. James also gave me a piggyback at one point, and although there was lots of giggling we both look really relaxed in the photos. I would definitely recommend bringing something along to have something in the photo other than yourselves. Jen admitted that from her point of view these were the photos that were most fun to shoot, and seeing the results these were definitely the most energetic photos which showed our personalities.
Seeing the photos
After a short wait whilst the number of photos were cut down and edited, we were invited into a room to watch the selected photos in a slideshow. It was really nice seeing the results of what had just happened and I was amazed at how good we looked in some of them. After this came the most difficult bit. The part where we had to decide what, if anything, we were going to buy.
We had a voucher as part of the deal we had bought the shoot on, which would have allowed us to walk away with a single print. However, cutting down over 50 beautiful photos to just one was going to be really difficult. We were talked through the price-list and the opportunity to take out a payment plan, and then at our request we were left alone for a short while to discuss what we were going to do and to look at the photos again.
This was the least comfortable I felt in the entirety of the day,and it was mainly because I naively hadn’t realised quite how expensive the photos were going to be. After much deliberation, cringing at the cost, and looking through the photos again and again, we finally managed to narrow our choice down to seven photos which we bought digital versions of. That way we had a selection of photos from different aspects of the shoot, and could print as many as we liked.
I had a lovely morning having our makeover photoshoot with Clifton Photographic Company and I would definitely consider going again in several year’s time for some more updated photos. I really enjoyed myself and found it all much more relaxed thank had expected. My only piece of advice would be to go in with a fixed idea of the maximum amount of money that you want to spend as it might make the end part easier (although when you see the pictures you are bound to want more than you’ve decided on!). We got small prints of our photos produced on the same day and have them in a collage frame. It makes me smile each time I look at it and I’ve felt so proud showing off our photos to friends and family.