It was my pleasure to welcome Elliott Godfrey and Paige Lane, two Year 10 students from the local Kings of Wessex Academy Cheddar, for a week’s work experience here at the studio. In their own words, they describe how they spent the week at Individual Photography and just what they thought about the whole experience! I will add, at this point, that they were a pleasure to have around and basically, “picked up the ball and ran with it”. I wish them both much success in whatever careers they choose to eventually take up.

Here is what Elliott had to say after his first day
On Monday we were welcomed into the studio and given a full tour and explanation of all the safety precautions and procedures that take place in the building. We learned about lots of different lighting and what they’re used for, for example, split lighting would be used for a sports model, this is because it shows off the lines and contours of their muscles, etc. We also learnt about short and broad lighting, this is either to make someone’s face look slimmer or wider. Then we sat down in Jo’s office and were shown some editing techniques. She also gave us some images each to edit and test our skills and knowledge of Photoshop. Here are two of my edits:
Paige's thoughts after her first day
On my first day, I was feeling excited but nervous, but quickly my nerves went away as on the front door was a welcome sign with mine and Elliott’s name on it. I was warmly greeted by Jo and after the introduction of the week, we started to learn about the main lighting patterns (e.g. broad, short, flat, beauty, loop lighting), which was useful in the days to come when Elliott and I had been given the task of taking our own photos. That afternoon we were eased into some marketing, making promo videos.
Elliott - Tuesday on location and in the studio
On Tuesday morning we walked over to an office across the road, where we would be setting up some lighting and taking two headshots for the business’s website. This was really interesting as Paige and I could see what a real client job would look and feel like, first hand. The people in the office were really nice and welcoming, at first, I felt a little awkward but was soon relaxed in the environment. After that, we walked back to the studio and Jo showed us some magazines from which we would copy the lighting styles. We then set up the lights and took some photos of each other. This was really fun and enjoyable as I had a chance to play around with different lighting and learn what works and doesn’t work. I was happy with the photos produced and have edited them using the techniques I was shown on Monday afternoon. I got to experience being behind the camera and in front of the camera, this is good because it helps to understand how the model would feel in a shoot. These are my photos of Paige.
More from Paige about Tuesday
Day two was all about the positions of the object and the lighting to fit. Both I and Elliott had to model for each other whilst the other set up the correct lighting, then taking the photos and editing them afterwards on photoshop this prepared us for day three. These are three of my images of Elliott.
Wednesday - Elliott on his puppy session
Wednesday morning was really fun. In the morning we had the privilege to shoot a 3-month-old puppy. It was a fox-red Labrador called ‘Red’. It was amazing to shoot but I don’t think I quite realised how difficult it would be, getting Red to focus on the camera and actually look into the lens was extremely hard. Jo seemed to have mastered this by making some ridiculously funny sounds but in the end, it paid off. Constantly making loud, high-pitched sounds while also making sure that everything was in the frame and focus proved to be a hard skill to get your head around. Luckily, I did manage to conclude the shoot with a few good shots. We then edited them in the afternoon and proceeded to share our images with each other and Jo gave us both tips and pointers of what to do next. I managed to pick out three good photos (in my opinion) and I edited them how I feel was appropriate for a real client. These are my final images:
Paige's challenging puppy session
Day three was definitely a challenge as Jo had organised a puppy shoot. For the puppy shoot, we used clamshell lighting as the puppy doesn’t pose for the camera and this style of lighting covers most of the area in which the photo was being taken in. When taking a photo of a puppy you have to be ready for the puppy to look at the camera because if you wait for a second because you are not quite ready and haven’t focused the moment will have gone and you will have to wait for the next opportunity. I found this out the hard way! Below are two of my images.
Thursday - 'AMAZING' said Elliott
Thursday was AMAZING! Paige and I were lucky enough to witness a newborn shoot. It was amazing to see how such a small human that doesn’t do much other than sleep can create so much happiness and smiles. The parents were lovely and it was so interesting to see how Jo treated them as clients. After all these people were here to spend money and enjoy an experience as well as the photos at the end. Jo made it clear to us that photography isn’t always about the photos that are produced, it is about the clients’ experience. The shoot lasted for almost 4 hours, just like Jo had estimated. Jo went to extensive lengths to please the new parents and their child by heating the studio, providing teas, coffees, lunch and also access to the studio’s WIFI network. All of this enhances the clients’ experience and also keeps them busy while they’re waiting for the gorgeous photos.
Friday - 'Awesome', say's Elliott
Friday, just like every other day was also awesome! In the morning Paige and I were able to sit in during a real client viewing. Seeing a client’s reaction to Jo’s work is truly incredible. All the ‘ooooh’s and ‘aahhh’s during the slideshow put a huge smile on my face. Knowing that Jo had created an image that made someone happy or feel a positive emotion was inspiring. I hope that someday I will have the opportunity to do the same with one of my own clients. The client seemed extremely pleased with the photos and took them a while to choose their favourites, which I can only see as a good thing. In the afternoon, Dani, the owner of the puppy from Wednesday, kindly came back to model in the studio for Paige and me. She slapped on some dramatic looking makeup and wore an old wedding dress which Jo had already got from previous shoots. She kind of looked like Miss Havisham. This was really good for me as I could push myself and step out of my comfort zone without feeling much pressure as it was someone I had met before and it wasn’t a real client. Dani was willing to do anything I asked her to do which was brilliant as it gave me a chance to see what does and does not work for me. I feel like I have produced some good images and successfully edited them after Friday’s session with Dani. Below are my favourites from Friday afternoon.

Working with Jo has been an absolute blast, I have enjoyed it greatly! Throughout the week Paige and I have consistently had lots of fun. We have been given a number of tasks to complete which have all had an impact on my perspective of photography and business overall. This week has just made me want to pursue photography as a career even more and made we want to push myself to try new things.

Friday - Day 5 for Paige
Day five we saw the big reveal session of a parent who had come back after a baby shoot to see the photographs. The mother was so overwhelmed by the pieces of art Jo had created of her children that it brought tears into her eyes and she had the challenging task of trying to choose which ones to print. Not only does Jo manage to capture precious moments she allows people to keep them forever. On our last day, one of Jo’s friends came into the studio and modelled an old fashions wedding gown. This was when I truly understood the hardship of trying to make my visions a reality and trying to position Dani to portray the different emotions that I wanted to create I the photo, then trying to capture it with a camera and how changing the angle of the direction I am taking the photo changes the whole emotion of it.

Over the past week, I have had the privilege to work with Jo, a professional photographer. With my time there I have learnt about photography, running a business, and how to interact with clients with good customer service. I have seen first hand how Jo takes a photo and turns it into art. I would strongly recommend Jo, as she creates fantastic images. I first walked into Jo’s studio not knowing anything about photography and over just a week I walked out filled with knowledge. I have truly enjoyed my work experience with Jo.