The kettle’s on, the clothes are steamed and the toys are standing ready. While photographer Rae sets out the lights, Jo's using a hairdryer on the set. No, the studio hasn't flooded - but it's only just been repainted a particular sandy shade, to better compliment the bibs we're photographing today. Welcome to a KIDLY label shoot. It all looks a bit mad at this stage, but we're always good and ready when the small stars of the show arrive.
This morning it's Azaiyah, his first time in front of our camera. He's going to be showing off the new KIDLY Label Brilliant Bibs and Organic Easy Sweatshirts and Joggers. At 10 months old, he can't quite see why his mum is getting him dressed for a second time this morning. (Fair enough, really!) But he soon warms up and is having fun exploring on the floor and high-fiving us from his highchair.
Jumping jacks & hidden sweeties
Photographing kids in a studio isn't any different from trying to get great shots of them in your kitchen, or on the beach. Often the model has other ideas! So sometimes we don't get what we're after, but other days we get something different - and better.
The main trick is to keep it all fun. Make it feel like we're just hanging out, with the photos a bit of a side feature. So, there are lots of breaks for snacks and play. And, naturally, Mum or Dad is always there. We keep the KIDLY 'crew' as small as possible, plus we usually only snap one child (or family group) at a time. Behind the camera, we'll be throwing balls to each other, or doing jumping jacks - anything to entertain. Hiding treats and surprises for them to find in their pockets is always a hit too.
Some of our mini mannequins have been with us since they were babes-in-arms. You'll have seen Bronte in lots of our shots. A seasoned pro (at only four) she takes everything in her stride. She's a friend of the KIDLY family - her mum went to school with Becca, our Community Manager. We tend not to use 'professional' models - lots of the faces you'll see were spotted in local playgrounds and supermarkets by Vic, our Head of Creative.
When we're shooting with a younger baby, that perfect shot takes lots of patience and cuddles. We do most of our shoots in Vic's barn conversion studio, where there's a chill out zone and a cosy sofa in the corner - perfect for quiet time, feeding and naps. (Which is ideal if we're after a peaceful sleeping babe shot.)
We make the most of nap time by getting as much feedback from mums and dads about KIDLY Label as we can - how the clothes fit, wash and wear and how the kids feel wearing them.
And that's a wrap
Back to Azaiyah, who's now had three outfit changes and is still in a good mood, so he seems to have taken to this modeling malarkey like a duck to water. We don't want to tire him out, though, so after an hour-and-a-half, it's home time. But we'll definitely be seeing him again.
Shoot days are always unpredictable, with loads of magical moments. (So, just like parenting, really!) We're always looking for new models to join in the fun. So, if you think your little one might fit the bill, get in touch. Ping your details and a few recent pics to firstname.lastname@example.org.