What’s the first rule of being an art blogger? You’re going to need a gallery-based profile pic. I’ve taken a lot of selfies since starting my blog. Hundreds, if I’m honest. But, I had NEVER had a professional photoshoot – until very recently. I wanted to share a behind-the-scenes look at what actually happens before, during and after a professional photoshoot. I was lucky enough to work with the professional portrait photographer, Victoria Beddoes, in Birmingham.
Find your professional photographer
I had been thinking about having a professional photoshoot for quite some time, but didn’t know who to work with. I had been following a few Birmingham portrait photographers on Instagram. Victoria Beddoes’ work stood out: it’s classy and appears effortlessly unstaged. The imagery is always beautiful. I could also see that she captured personality in her pictures, which was important to me.
Victoria Beddoes is an award-winning photographer based in the West Midlands who covers the whole of the UK. She loves photographing people and specialises in elopements, intimate weddings and portraits. Her style celebrates the little moments, captured beautifully through careful attention to your story, composition, light and colour.
I cannot recommend Victoria enough!
Messaging & Mood
Together, Victoria and I agreed upon the mood and messaging for the photoshoot. Victoria created an online mood board which I could add to. This outlined: key messaging, shoot to-do list, what to wear and possible locations. Most importantly, I wanted it to reflect my job as an art critic and modern art expert. This leads me onto location…
Location, location, location
Victoria asked me to decide where the photoshoot should take place. I write about modern and contemporary art, so it had to be a gallery showing this sort of artwork. Secondly, I don’t have a car. So, it had to be somewhere easy for me to get to. The choice was obvious: Ikon Gallery. It’s a unique space, housed in the Grade II listed, neo-gothic building. I was especially fortunate because the gallery was showing one of my favourite painters: John Walker.
Choose your outfit/s
Victoria used to work as a makeup artist, and frequently collaborates with fashion brands such as Marks & Spencers. So, I trusted her when she recommended I opt for a monochrome outfit. This also went well against the backdrop of colourful abstract art in Ikon.
Victoria says some clients change their outfits multiple times throughout the shoot…good if you want content for your whole year!
Relax into it
I’ll happily take a hundred selfies, but the idea of working with a professional photographer made me nervous, and freeze up a little (see the photo on the left above). Luckily, Victoria put me right at ease. She got me from awkward to relaxed and confident. It’s worth paying for a professional photographer, when they can direct you. From hand placement and posture to eye contact, she had it covered and made me feel confident.
Victoria had already asked me, and mapped out, what I would need photos for: social media, website, headshots for publications I write for, and one for a book cover! With this in mind, we worked through a variety of portrait styles, with a range of angles, poses and formats.
Victoria also suggested we take some photos outside, which came out the most relaxed. These also show Birmingham at its best!
Victoria edits every single photo, individually. This contrasts with most portrait photographers who bulk edit. You can tell.
I am so happy with the finished photos, and you’ll be seeing them all over my social media, website and, sometime soon, a book cover.
To book a photo shoot with professional photographer Victoria Beddoes, you can visit her website here.
Thank you, Victoria!