Time, on a shoot, is usually of the essence.
So I've learnt over the years what can be left out, what can be sped up, and where sacrificing time means sacrificing quality.
Though most clients understand this after a shoot, it can be difficult to explain beforehand. So here's a stab at it...
The energy on a shoot sets the tone for all the images. When you first arrive, there's usually a nervous energy, an air of anticipation. It can be easy to feel this and want to get going, to ride on the energy. But, if I can, I'll do the opposite.
Tea is a wonderful part of British culture. Sitting together with a cup of tea gives everyone that invaluable, but often forgotten, thing called 'time'. Time to let the tension settle, time to get to know a little about each other, time to tune in to the dynamics of the room.
Then, when the atmosphere is right, we can start to shoot. And when we do, it'll be all the more genuine for it.
So my useful piece of advice is: Don’t panic if we don't start shooting straight away, that it’s eating into the precious 4 hours of photography time. This first half hour is more than just a cup of tea - it’s the time that shouldn't be sacrificed, the time that sets the tone for all of your images, the time that you'll appreciate after the shoot.
Here are some of my favourite shots of people with tea!