What does a team photo shoot entail?
Last August, I went with John to shoot at 9 Gough Square Barrister Chambers to do the headshots for their new website. It was intriguing to see how much goes on behind the scenes as well as how much energy John has to put into each individual person.
Having set up in one of the reception rooms upstairs and with a tight agenda, he begins shooting away. When doing website shots, John tries to capture the usual headshot but also an action shot, to show the client in motion and with more expression.
My job on the day was to try and engage and relax the client whilst they are in front of the spotlight. I needed to get them to move their hands (which is very hard when barristers are often asked not to gesticulate when talking) to capture a live networking shot. Now, this doesn’t sound too hard or like it entails much energy – until you’ve dealt with 32 individual shots in 8 hours of whom all have such different personalities.
Now, this is completely unnatural and having been the other side of the camera, I know how awkward I felt doing it, so I can appreciate it. Some people are easy to engage with – they will throw questions back at you, get into the motion and although still uncomfortable, they know the quicker they do it, the quicker they get to leave. Others will refuse to move their hands or won’t want to speak to you. This makes our job ten times harder and also the shoot longer, making that person more agitated; especially when they have a lot more important things to be working on. I felt a lot of sympathy for John as well as a lot of respect for how much he has to go through on a daily basis – not to mention the amount of back of house work that is involved after a mentally challenging day.