Skip to main content

School Photos 2013


As many of you know, in addition to my studio work I also have a very successful schools side to my business.  And as it is my policy to provide quality in all areas of my business I ensure it continues through this side as well.  Although my school portraits have a different look and a less time intensive style, the quality of the light, the processing, and the products are still in line with what I offer my studio clients and often excels the work of most, if not all other school photographers in this country.  I see no reason why the photographer's skill should be lower just because the end client is expected to spend less. 


I wanted to share a few examples of some of my favourite pieces (the ones I have permission to share) as I am just as proud of some of these as I am my studio work.  The expressions I am able to achieve in such a short space of time gives me a sense of pride as it must be so hard for children to open up like that with someone who is often a stranger to them. 


Having said that however, we do make a good effort to get to know the children and even remember their names as the years go by.  We've been with our first schools for 8 years now and we regularly ask the children their names as we work.  Repeatedly seeing their name with their photo while processing their orders helps reinforce it and we can often call them by name (or close to it) the following year.  Its a great feeling seeing the smile on a child's face when they see that we remembered them.  We're even a little sad when we realise that its the final time we'll be photographing those about to move onto the next school. 


Our work is a little different to most school photography businesses in that, as I said earlier, we like to keep the level of quality in line with what we offer our studio clients.  In doing so that means we spend much more time throughout the entire process.  First, we take more time with the children, doing our best to bring out the best in them.  I then select the 2 best images for the proof card myself which can be surprisingly difficult.  When the orders are placed I carry out any necessary Photoshop work requested on our order forms.  Most scratches and small blemishes can be removed easily so this is a service I offer free of charge.


I also have a lovely Photoshop process I run against all the images which enhances them just the way I like it.  Images straight out of camera aren't good enough for me so I don't let anything go out just as they are.  This process adds a little punch and crispness where needed and a little softness to the skin.  As with any automatic process though, it won't be perfect in all cases.  So as a final step I quickly review each image before the order for prints is placed. 


Once these arrive back with us (which takes our lab about a week to process) they are mounted and packaged in our studio.  This is another opportunity to ensure that our quality standards are met.  But of course, please bare in mind, that we are only human and mistakes can still be made.  If you have any problems just get in touch and I am sure we can sort it out. 


For those of you who wonder why it takes so long to receive your orders, this is why.  We put in a lot of effort for all of our schools and we do have many of them now.  And everyone wants them in time for Christmas.  We've never let anyone down yet and don't ever intend to. 


I also wanted to share with you all the fact that we pay a commission to all our schools.  I'm not sure many of you realise that 20% of everything we sell goes directly to the school.  And so it should as they provide us with the space and time we need to get the work done.  Without them we wouldn't have this revenue stream which is vital to our business.  They also tolerate the disruption to their day, help organise all the children and help us by reminding parents and then collecting in the orders on our behalf.  I just thought it was time I shared this piece of information so that you are aware of some of the costs associated with the products you purchase as I know some of you have told me in the past that prices are high for what they are. 


Commission fees are pretty standard for all photographers at all schools across the country.  Its what makes it worth while for schools to provide this service.  And for those of you who are unhappy with your school photographer (which I hope isn't me), its an even greater reason for you to make this fact known to your school.  First, you are paying for this service so you should be happy with it.  And second, if you are not paying for it because you're not happy with the results, well that is money your school is missing out on.  Some of our schools receive close to £1000 a year for the individuals alone which must prove very useful for the children.


We currently have space for a couple more schools before it looks like our diary will be full.  So if you would like to see Christina Lauder Portraits at your school please get in touch and we can arrange for a sample pack for your school. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I am Still Me: A Story about a Transgender Boy

  Meet Leo. Leo is 15 and currently going through an epic transformation that has momentarily turned the lives of himself and those around him upside down. A mum who once had the daughter she always longed for is now coping with the realisation that she will be living the rest of her life with a son instead. When your child is born you have certain expectations of the typical life they will lead but most of us know and accept that it won't necessarily end up the way we imagine. Not every person wants to marry, have kids or be involved with the opposite sex. Most of us have come to accept this and can adjust to whatever comes our way relatively easily. But few of us have expected to have to deal with a change in sex. Its not that we've hoped it won't happen, but just that it never occurred to us that it might. This is a new adjustment that we as a society are being presented with today, just like so many others that have come before. When I first heard that Phoebe

5 Reasons you Should Consider Getting a Professional Headshot

Headshots, or profile pictures are becoming a requirement of so many tools we regularly use or reference today. From Facebook to Linked In, Instagram to Twitter and often any website that represents a company for which you work or own will have a place to include a photograph that is meant to show your audience who you are. And how you present yourself there will tell your audience so much about you. 1. A profile picture is your first opportunity for your audience to see you. Its often the first impression you make and we all know you only have one chance at a first impression. A professional photographer has the skills to show you in the best, most suitable way to give a great first impression. (These headshots were created for recruitment firm  Optima UK  who asked to have their logo placed behind them. I think it makes these headshots quite eye catching and they should do their job well.) 2. Using a professional to create your headshot will convey yo

My Fellowship in Child Portraiture, Baby Photographer of the Year and All Things Convention Related

Its been a very busy year for me.  Hence the reason I've not been keeping this blog up to date. That's about to change though.  I anticipate this coming year to be even busier but I plan on getting a lot more organised and keeping on top of things like this.  For now though I'd like to tell you all about last week. I keep trying to think of some words to describe this past week and I keep coming back to 'I had the time of my life' and breaking into song in my head.  Apart from when my daughter was born I haven't had a better time in my life. This week was spent at the Societies Convention where in excess of 14 thousand photographers from around the world meet to take part in print competitions, submit qualification panels and join in on various classes and events. The week began as one of the most stressful of my life.  I've never felt nerves like it.  I'd just spent the best part of a year planning and preparing my 20 image panel to present to 5

I'm a Portrait Artist and Variety is the Spice of My Life

  I often admire the work of other photographers.  I'm always having a browse or spotting something interesting on Facebook or Pinterest.  Many of them have a very consistent style and subject, as is the case with many newborn photographers especially.  This has made me wonder if perhaps I'm not developing as a portrait artist as well as I could be.  We are taught early on within the realms of the photography world that we are to develop a distinct style and this of course must be clearly evident in any upper level qualifications panels we choose to submit.  However, when I look at my own work over each passing year I fail to see the same consistency.  I don't have a particular subject in which I specialise.  I can photograph anything from newborns to teenagers, toddlers to families and even the occasional male nude.  How can you put these together in an album and form a beautiful collection that I see many other photographers displaying so well.   

Fine Art Portraits of a Beautiful Young Girl

So this is really becoming my thing lately. I am having so much fun working with children individually where I can direct and interact in ways that bring the best out of my subject. This has certainly become a process now of creating rather than taking photographs. And its what I have always wanted to be, a portrait artist rather than a photographer. I cannot put into words fully just how rewarding this is. For each of these shoots (as with nearly all of my shoots) we begin with a consultation where we discuss what we would like to achieve in the shoot. Here we will consider the type of clothing and any possible props. We will look at both the clients clothes and my ever growing collection so we can pick what will work best. In all circumstances we are heavily guided by what the child in the portraits wants to wear as I see this as vitally important. If he or she is uncomfortable its going to show and the portraits won't work. But most are happy to play dressups and wear a com