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 was transi…

Portraits Even a Teenager Boy Loves

Finally I've had the opportunity to photograph a young man in my studio again. And funnily enough this was the second time that week which is absolutely superb. In both cases these young men were just as enthusiastic to be involved as I was, which is something I don't often get when I'm working with very young children, my usual subjects. With young children I find my energy in their cuteness. But with young adults I get energy from their excitement over how the portraits are working out. I get such a buzz from the experience and that can keep me going for hours, often editing the photos straight after the shoot for hours more.


Shoots for teenagers is something I've been wanting to focus on for some time. Its not something that I often get asked for though unfortunately. It tends to be parents of very young children who want to capture moments that are slipping through their fingers at lightening speed. Maybe its teenage moodiness that means these moments don't fe…

A Beautiful New Dress Lovingly Handmade

Recently I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful woman, Nedine, who made this gorgeous dress for me. You can find Nedine here. She specialises primarily in making elaborate costumes but is branching out into dresses as well. Together we shared ideas for this piece and visited Birmingham to check out a large fabric store for inspiration and of course fabric. The end result is this.


I'm in love with lace and flowing dresses. We saw lots of beautiful lace and one day I hope to work up to something that will include some of the incredible (but very expensive) lace we saw while out together. I had no idea lace was that expensive. I knew good lace wouldn't be cheap but never realised how quickly the price went up to a range quite far from my current budget. So we decided to start relatively small, before investing in lace that was in some cases more than 10 times the cost of the lace used here. I can't imagine how scary that is to work with.


I love the dress, the quality …

Fuji Announces the New X-T2 and I've Been One of the Lucky Testers!!

I have been one of the few fortunate ones to be selected by Fuji to test Fuji's newest mirrorless camera from the perspective of an SLR user. Today Fuji have announced the release of this camera, the X-T2, (X-T1 being its predecessor). It was such an honour to be selected for this task and I truly enjoyed the experience. I've been hearing such great things about Fuji's cameras over the past couple of years I've wanted to try one myself but when you own a perfectly good camera, in my case the Canon 5D MKIII, its hard to justify trying an entirely new system. As any photographer will confirm, in this industry there is always new kit we want to purchase. So getting to test one out for free was really quite awesome.


Now I am not going to say that I prefer one over the other at this stage. My use of the Fuji is still relatively new. To be perfectly honest they both have very good selling points and I'd struggle to say one is better than the other. But if I were just sta…

Introducing Claude - Another Fantastic French Bulldog

I know this breed is becoming very popular, I believe even set to take over the top spot for most popular breed from the Golden Labrador, but I never expected to get quite so many in my studio. Can't say I'm complaining though. They have such a wonderful character and I love to capture those adorable squished up faces.


This client came in not just for personal portraits though. Instead she is developing a line of homemade all natural dog treats called Claude's Little Doggie Bag and these portraits are to be used in her labels. Which is partly the reason why these images differ quite drastically from my usual style.


This client had a very specific idea for what she wanted on her labels. But again, this is perfect for me because I just love variety. I don't really want to be creating the same work over and over again. This gave me the opportunity to revisit a style I've not used in some time.


This little guy was just 14 weeks old so as  you can imagine, I had a grea…