With just a week to go before Christmas 2011 was upon us, Cottingham brother and sister, Ali and Rhianna contacted us to ask for a last-minute portrait idea to give their Dad a nice, Xmas surprise. The idea was for a unique image of the young siblings, preferably in a cool, and certainly different, location.
Location Family Portrait Shoot
With time being an important factor, we had a window of opportunity to shoot in the village where they lived. It was a cold, damp and overcast day, so rather than search for an outside location and have the guys freezing their respective bits off, we opted for the idea of perhaps finding a quirky and individual indoor shop location. A quick recce around the high street led us to what was definitely a wonderful and very unique shop indeed – Dolly’s Country Larder. I popped into the premises, which looked like one had stepped back in time to an olde world, grocery store full of fresh, natural products, and chatted with proprietor, Robyn Mountain-Wade. Explaining what we’d like to do, Robyn was both generous and accommodating and happily allowed us to set up a special shoot inside her shop (evidently she was no stranger to getting such requests, as the shop had already been used for a period-drama and other photoshoots before).
Careful not to get in the way of Robyn’s customers during the busy Christmas period, I set the lighting gear up whilst Debz got Ali and Rhinna settled in to their location (with suitable apron, utensils and other props befitting their’ behind the counter’ pose). In an attempt to pull in as much of the young couple’s surroundings, I shot wide -angle with my 16~35mm lens (attempting always to keep their heads/upper body centre frame to minimise distortion around the shorter focal lengths). Lighting on the guys was a mix of available ambient light [which wasn't exactly streaming through the shop's main window], a single Bowen’s monolight firing into my Photoflex 60″ shoot-through and a dash of warm-gelled SB900 speedlight to pop the background shelves and the cool detailed walls.
After about an hour or so, we’d wrapped the shoot. Ali and Rhinna were patient, cooperative and fun and really got into the spirit of their surroundings and the festive period. Saying our grateful thanks to owner Robyn, we packed up and left the store and I immediately got to work on post-processing and prepping the images for print (which were delivered to Ali and Rhianna a couple of days before Christmas fully arrived and made Dad a unique and special, present to remember).
Dolly’s Country Larder can be found at Unit 4, Kings Parade, Cottingham, East Yorkshire -plus, Join them on Facebook HERE.