Making Photoshoots Accessible

Making Photoshoots Accessible For Everyone

I’m a firm believer that everyone deserves beautiful photos.

Over the years, I’ve tweaked the way I work to make my photoshoots and wedding coverage more accessible.

Have I got it perfect, no. Is it an on going work in progress, yes.

But here are some of the subtle little adjustments I’ve implemented.

Location Location Location

When someone asks me to recommend a location for a photoshoot, of course I have a long list of beautiful locations.

However, beautiful is not the only thing I look for when I consider my photoshoot locations:

  • Is it accessible? Are there footpaths suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs, or someone with a mobility aid?
  • Is there parking?
  • Are there public loos? Partly because of family members, but it also can come in handy on photoshoots, I do carry a radar key for disabled loos as you’d be surprised how many people forget to bring them (they are huge, so I get not wanting to take a huge bunch of keys on a photoshoot).
  • Is there a coffee shop or pub nearby? No, it’s not so I can get a coffee fix. If someone has diabetes, knowing where you can get a quick drink or snack can be useful.

Camera Free Zone

“But you’re a photographer!” I hear you cry, so let me explain.

Photoshoots can be overwhelming, it’s not an everyday experience. Rather than try and force people to join in, I create a camera-free zone. This is NOT miles away, it is NOT down the corridor, and it is NOT shut away from everyone.

I’ll place my bag on the floor, usually right behind me, and explain that if at any point anyone feels overwhelmed and just needs a quiet moment, they can simply sit by my bag. My camera “won’t work” if I point it in that direction, so no one will take their photo. They can sit and watch what we’re doing, and when they are ready, they can join in.

Knowing there is a quiet space can be comforting, they don’t have to use it, and if they do, that’s fine, we’ll continue to snap everyone else until they feel ready and want to join in.

I Don't Print Off My Paperwork

OK, this one also links nicely with my Green Policy, but I swear it’s linked to this too.

You may have noticed that I never send paper copies of contracts, instead, I send electronic versions. This is partly because if I sent paper ones, I would have to consider the font size.  If you have poor vision, large print documents can be such a benefit, but it’s difficult to guess what font size suits everyone. Instead, if I send electronic versions, it’s easy to adjust the zoom on your screen to see the text easily for your vision.

The Order Of Group Shots

I spend a lot of time trying to work out the perfect order to shoot group photos at weddings.

You might think it’s as simple as largest to smallest, and yes, that would be easiest, but I like to consider a few other things.

I’ll ask if anyone has any mobility issues and try to prioritise photos that include them. For example, if your Great Aunty Bunty who is nearly 100 is in a photo, I’ll shoot photos with her first, and then she can relax at the bar with a G&T.

I’ll also ask if anyone would like to be seated during group photos. This usually leads to a discussion about that one relative who won’t want to sit down if everyone else is standing up, so I’ll claim my artistic flair, and have a few guests seated because I want to create different levels in my photos.

I’ll also prioritise any photos that involve little ones, let’s face it, they’ll want to be running around, not jumping in and out of photos.

Lotus Photography UK Pylewell Wedding Dorset Lymington

Learning BSL

I’ve signed very very basic BSL for a few years, but for 2024 I want to try and be able to hold an entire conversation.

I’ve shot weddings, where even my incredibly limited BSL skills have meant I can chat to guests, and I really do believe it’s a skill worth knowing.

Am I any good, no, and I make a lot of mistakes, but I’m trying!

Let's Say Hello

Sometimes the best thing I can do to make my photoshoots more accessible is to simply say; hello.

If you, or someone who is joining the photoshoot, is nervous, let’s hop on a Zoom together.

We can chat about how the shoot will go and how I like to take photos, but it also means we can gossip and get to know each other. That way I’m no longer the “Scary lady with a camera”, instead I’m the “Small but really bouncy lady who will quotes random movies and likes roller skating, oh and she has a camera”.

What Do You Think?

This is an ongoing work in progress, so if you have any suggestions for changes I can make to make my photoshoots and wedding coverage more accessible, let me know!

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