If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ll see it’s been a busy few months!
I’m glad to say, things are now beginning to calm down, and so I can FINALLY release some dates for Christmas Mini Sessions this year, woo-whoop! This year, the Christmas sessions will take place on Saturday 20th and Saturday 27th November, with weekday spaces for the mini sessions between the 21st and the 26th.
The sessions will take place in my NEW studio, in Newton Abbot town centre. You’ll find us above The Wholesome Hippo Cafe, which is at the top of Newton Abbot town opposite the clock tower and Austin’s toy shop. There is plenty of parking nearby, one such carpark is right behind the studio.
As always, the sessions will compromise of some photos with this years Christmas setup, and if we have time I am happy to take a few non Christmas images! As always, I will suggest some wardrobe ideas and our sessions will be relaxed and fun for everyone! The new studio, if you’ve been to my old studio, is much larger, which means more opportunity for beautiful images!
Prices are £99 for 25 minutes with 10 digital images and 5 7×5″ prints
£150 for a 45 minute session with 18 digital images and 10 7×5″ prints
On top top of this, you will have the opportunity to buy additional digital images and prints from your session at a very reasonable cost!
To book, there is a booking form and a deposit of £25. To book your mini session, please message me (link below) below with your details along with your top three preferences for dates and times. I will respond with your time confirmation, booking form and deposit request, and your session is only secure once I’ve received both of these back! Your session is held for 24 hours, after this it will become available again. Every year, sessions fill up very quickly so please don’t delay!
I am leaving at least 15 minutes between sessions to ensure that I can clean the studio between sessions. In addition, you’ll notice that we have an air filter that is on for the duration of your session, and I will ensure I follow strict hand washing and hygiene procedures. Please let me know if you test positive for covid before your session (so that we can reschedule) or in the few days following your session so that I can follow risk assessments procedures. I will ensure I take Lateral Flow tests every other day, and I do request, if this is possible, that you take LF tests before attending your session in order to keep every safe.
Well, it’s been an interesting few weeks, hasn’t it just??
When I started off this year, never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d be spending at least three months of it confined to our homes, and that my studio would be being turned into a makeshift classroom for my three children: as I changed my job title from photographer to full time teacher of three little lunatics.
As we make our way into June, and plans are in place to start opening businesses again all over the country, I’m now turning my attention to what this will look like for me as a studio photographer. It’s a plan I’ve been wrestling with; and am keen to make sure I follow the safest plan of action. Much as I am DESPERATE to photograph your families, I need to ensure that I can only do this in a way that keeps people safe.
What Does the Current Advice Permit?
Up until now, not a lot. I could operate doorstep family portraits from the street, and that’s about it. However, as more and more people are being advised to return to work, my opportunities to be allowed to shoot again open up.
From June 15th, I can begin to do limited studio work as long as I can try to maintain social distancing as well as some measures.
This week, I have began to make plans for a “new normal” to ensure safety.
What Does the New Normal Look Like?
Location Sessions Now Booking
From June I will readily be accepting location sessions, in and around Devon. These will be set at a one price for one package option. To keep costs down, I will be offering these at a set price of £149 for a 45 minute session, with all of your fully edited, digital images. These sessions will take place in a local location that I will pre-approve to ensure social distancing is easily achieved.
I will be strictly operating the recommended 2 metre distancing guidelines.
I know that location sessions will not be preferable for many: especially those with young babies who are desperate to capture some newborn or baby photos!
I have been racking my brains as to how I can ensure baby safety and still be able to offer studio photography.
Therefor, I will be able to offer a form of studio photography, but with very strict regulations in operation.
A very limited number of sessions
To reduce exposure, I will not be accepting more than three sessions per week. this means that there is more than 24 hours between each session: this not only allows for time to clean; but also ensures that any contamination risk hugely decreases.
A new session length, a new session style
All sessions will be for now limited to around an hour. I know that this will not always be fully achievable for newborn sessions, but it does mean that I will try to move through sessions quickly and efficiently to ensure for as reduced exposure as possible. Prices for newborn sessions have also changed as a happy consequence!
Additionally, and perhaps one of my biggest challenges, I will be trying to maintain as little physical contact as possible. To enable me to do this, the emphasis on my studio sessions will be on unposed images. The studio has been undergoing a little makeover to enable this. This means there will be an increased focus on parents and sibling images, and I’ll be asking for your help to pose your little ones! Don’t worry, images will still be absolutely beautiful, and will still be able to give you those beautiful, natural images that I have always prided myself on. Luckily, this isn’t a huge variation of my usual style anyway!
With a little help from you, this means I can respect the 2 metre social distancing guidelines for your session. With the extra hygiene and air filtering methods I’ve also put in place (see below) this will also help me to ensure safety.
Only your family, please.
I’m sorry, but the only people that will be allowed in to the studio will be parents and children. this means no grandparents, aunties and uncles or dogs: sorry!
Health and Hygiene: My Bit
I have been stocking up on industrial amounts of cleaning products. Before and after every session (no exceptions) the studio will receive a deep clean. Not only will all surfaces, door handles, furniture, etc be cleaned to within an inch of it’s life; all fabrics will be washed and disinfected between every session.
I have purchased the worldwide industry leading air purifier, which claims to automatically filter out bacteria from the air as well as pollutants.
I will be wearing a mask for the entire session. I’ve ordered a selection of pretty ones that hopefully won’t be too unnerving for young children: which will be washed after every session. On top of this, I will of course be regularly washing and disinfecting my hands: I today purchased an industrial sized bottle of alcohol gel!
Health and Hygiene
Of course, I can do all of these things, but I also require your help. To ensure the safety of you and your family, other clients, as well my own family and myself: I need you to do your bit too.
This is why I’ll be asking that for now, nothing is brought into the studio other than you and your family. This means no car seats, bags, other clothing, etc. Of course, if your little one needs changing, I am more than happy for you to retrieve anything you need.
Furthermore, you will be asked to wash your hands before and after your session: and hand sanitiser is also readily available for during your session.
Most importantly, if you have had any Covid-19 symptoms, please re-schedule your session. There will be no charge for session re-scheduling.
If you’ve already booked a session
If you have a session booked in, there are multiple options available to you.
If you want to go ahead with session, with the proposed changes in operation, that’s great with me. Alternatively, if you wanted to rebook your session for a later date; swap your session to a location session; or cancel your session all together: this is all OK with me. I will not be charging for cancellations or changes of dates. There are also some price reductions due to the changes of length and new measures.
How Long Will The new Measures Last?
Honestly, I don’t know. I do not foresee me dramatically changing the new normal for the foreseeable future, whilst there are still risks to the public. Whilst the changes will see some challenges: I would rather face those challenges than to risk anyone’s safety.
Also, it’s really important to know that this can change at any time. If the government renews lockdown or makes the guidelines stricter: sessions can be cancelled. Government advice is changing all the time: so as guidelines change and are clarified, I will need to ensure that I work well within this. I am currently trying to operate under an err of caution: and am definitely aiming to operate on a ‘worse case scenario’ basis!
As I said at the beginning, I can not wait to start seeing all of your beautiful families again, when we are all safe to do so!
Please, look after yourselves, look after each other, and be safe!
Jodie x x x
Please note: studio sessions were taken before lockdown, and other images are of my own children.
Woooooahhhh. And just like that, 2018 is almost over.
It seems like only a few weeks ago, I was writing my round-up of 2017. And yet, here I am, glass of mulled wine in hand, a whole year later. I have met over 200 families in 2018. From newborns to cake smashes to unicorn mini sessions to Christmas minis, family sessions, locations and portraits; this has been my busiest and most varied year to date.
2018 also saw the year of my biggest investments for my business, which included more training than ever before and the remodelling of my little studio. It was always my aim when I set out- ten (arghhhh!) years ago- that I would be the photographer you could come to if you wanted fun, natural and relaxed family portraits where children could play and be themselves without worrying about posing. With my new studio, this is truer now than ever, and I can not wait to show you where we will be able to take this in 2019! I am so fortunate that I am evolving knowing that I have the support of so many of my incredible clients.
It’s such a cliché to say that I feel ‘blessed’. I’ve always said you make your own luck, and that my business is based on a lot of hard work and blood, sweat and wine. But I do feel extremely humbled that so many of you are coming back to me year after year with your families. I have watched families grow from newly married couples, to first time parents, and watched them become families of five or more. When I prepared this year’s roundup, I couldn’t help but smile when I realised how many of my 2018 faces also appeared this time last year. What an amazing privilege.
One more thing. I can honestly say that I notice every single like, share and comment I get on my Facebook and Instagram feeds. For those of you that continue to follow me, despite my very slap-dash and inconsistent approach to social media marketing, THANK YOU!
So from my family to yours, I hope 2018 is the best Christmas so far, and I can’t wait to see you all again in 2019!