I was contacted by email from Amina Rehman a Community Engagement and Research Co-Ordinator for the BIB Project which is part of the NHS Fondation Trust, who asked me to come along to a 1st birthday celebration for the BIB Project. I was asked to take images of the families that would be attending in order to produce images they can email to the members as well as for advertising for their project.

I took with me lights and stands, a soft box and took some test shots upon arrival, They had given me some teddies that they wanted me to include in the images, I used these as stand in models to test the lighting, positioning and set up.

As I was working with children in a community centre that would be busy I had taken along my liability insurance certificate for the project, I was asked if I had insurance beforehand upon having a meeting with Amina The Wednesday before the session on 13th April 2017.  I went through a quick briefing with the team on Health and safety, they showed me fire exits, first aid and signed me in, we then proceeded to set up the miniature studio using the equipment I had brought along, I had asked for some tape to keep the wires out of the way before we began shooting, with me working with others I wanted to be sure the studio was safe for children to come in and out of.

The aim was to take images of the families and try to include he BIB bears, the families would come in and be given a number, once called up I would snap a family photo of them all together and take one with the number card. The number card was for the project to keep a track on who’s who in the photographs.  I quickly realised that the children were not overly keen on coming for photographs so I used the teddies to talk to the children and make then feel relaxed, and using the opportunity to take the image with the number card I asked them to pull funny faces so they could become more engaged and relaxed in front of the camera.

It was a very busy day and the process of taking the images was fast paced, as the party only lasted 2 hours we needed to get them in quickly take their photo then move them along to sign a consent form for use of images.

With the time been so limited I found ways to keep the system simple, using just 2 chairs positioned in the same place I would ask mum and dad to come sit down then asked the children to sit on their laps or would organise them around the seating, this made the process easier and quicker, getting their photo snapped, the number card photographed and then moving them on ready for the next setting.

Although it was a busy day I was still able to get some images for my project, I wanted to make the most of the day and set up and got some images of children, I had sat them with the teddies whilst their parents stood by. I wanted to capture some studio like images of children as like I have been getting for my project, I interacted with them to get smiles and came in close to not get any background distractions in the photos.

I asked the project if I could use images from the shoot, I was granted permission by both the project and parents that attended the shoot to use images.

The reason I had taken the images above for my project was to get a shot I could use in an album, with y project being on the family album I wanted to create images that represent a professional photograph. I engaged with the children to get them interacting and laughing into the camera, with the help of parents behind me I was able to get some cheeky smiles, this is what the parents had told me they expect to see in their family photographs. I have been creating happy family shots throughout my project and found this to be a great opportunity to interact with families with children.

I had handed my business cards out to all the families that took part, as I had been asked about myself during my time at the photography session.