The "secret ingredient" of getting perfect Love Story/Family Shoot pictures

For a long time I was thinking about writing an article about love story (can be used for family photography too) preparations/process/expectations.

It could be helpful for my clients or all those, who wonder what "special key" turns a regular shoot into something unique, touching, unrepeatable and "hollywood worth".

The more experience I'm getting, the more consistency I can see - that secret ingredient, every time, is SINCERITY of the couple/family: their ability to stay open-hearted, candid, truthful, loving and tender/sometimes funny and crazy with each other at the shoot. The less they care about the world around (even including me, unless I'm asking them to do something specific), the more epic shots I can capture.

The same thing I've mentioned when me and my husband were captured by few great photographers lately. The main thing that inspired them and what they were expecting from us as the models during the process was the SINCERITY. Our pure emotions, couple little habits, cute kisses (not only the lips, guys! if you're embarrassed to kiss your other half's lips in public, just remember, that there're hands, cheeks, foreheads, eyes, noses, necks, ears left :D ). Don't be shy to keep closer. You're holding your biggest treasure, aren't you? So what for is the distance? :) 

As for the families - don't try to keep your kids still. Don't try to strike the poses like our goal is to capture a single traditional "passport picture style" photo :). Just have fun! Laugh with your kids, jump with them, kiss and hug. Be honest, be real. Keep in mind, that the more active and emotional you will be, the more sweet and touching future memories you will get. 

I'd really appreciate if the Clients that are booking a love story/family shoot with me could realize that my part of the work is to capture and "frame" the atmosphere that THEY ARE CREATING. I don't seem to have problems with giving the posing directions for those who are expecting them, but I wish it would be optional. 

And sometimes... some inspired people are contacting me regarding the shoot, we're discussing the upcoming event to the details, they're sending me some visual examples of what does they prefer/expect/desire to get... and when we meet up... I see, that the couple isn't ready to show their love. And it is the most upsetting thing. As I understand that they've made some great preparations/expectations regarding the shoot. But the most important is the process. Those 60/90/120 minutes, when loving people should feel/act like the heroes of the coolest romantic movie. Just try to do that! Isn't it an amazing experience to get? If you'll be able to keep that vibe just for few minutes, I promise that you will get some unique photos filled with your Private Atmosphere of Love.

What I can say.... It's up to you, guys! I will do my best to make you feel comfortable, interested and open during the shoot. I will give you the directions, suggestions, advices and will share my point of view if needed. I'll ask you some questions and will be joking from time to time only to relax you and to create a friendly connection between us. But after all, this is YOUR SHOOT. this is YOUR SPECIAL TIME, your investment to the priceless story of your life and love...

So what do you think? Are you in?...


How do you feel about your job?

Imagine a job, where you try to seek an inspiration in almost every moment of your daily routine. Where you have to work on your mood 24/7 keeping your internal enthusiasm and passion. The job, where you need to fill every part of your work with your own style and vision, and to improve this style constantly. Where every workday and it's effectiveness is unique because of the weather, location, lighting and client's attitude. Imagine a job, where you become responsible for other's most important and touching future memories; and sometimes even for others self-esteem. A job, where you need to use your sense of humor, your communication experience in this diverse society to relax the client and make him feel comfortable, no, even more - to look comfortable...

When I started to photograph 7 years ago, I chose or created the themes that made me "filled by art" and made my heart to beat faster. I started to photograph because I felt like creating the photoshoot transferred me to the other dimension - of Beauty and Creativity.  I didn't start because it was a trend, I didn't start to make some extra-money. I was photographing my friends, that were ready to show to the world my (sometimes crazy) ideas and I felt very happy expressing my vision.

In 2012-2013 friends started to book me for the classic portrait shoots, love-stories and weddings. I began to learn about people's needs for the photos that they want to get. Since that time, I had to deal with different requests, different backgrounds, different expectations and what is really important - clients attitude.

As I raised as a professional, I got more bookings and more clients of various nationalities and religions. I met up the interesting cultural differences, styles, vision of Beauty and measure of gratitude. I faced the stereotypes, the misunderstanding and the lack of respect too.

I wish that people who are looking for a photographer would understand that it is very important for us to feel valued. My heart melts every time when someone gives me a call or text, starting with the words "I've seen your work, and it is amazing, I love it!", but often the only question is "How much do you charge?" without explaining what do they need and why did they choose me. I don't want to be booked because of the low-price, I want to be booked because of the value of my work, the value of my vision of beauty and creativity. I would prefer to shoot with 10 clients that understand what they are paying for, then 20, who easily pay bigger price for a dinner in the regular restaurant but can't understand, that I'm working not only the exact hour(s) of the shoot, but I'm spending hours and hours after to edit the photos - do the special color-correction and toning, make them look stylish, make them look harmonized among each other, do the retouch and appropriate framing.
I keep investing thousands in my equipment and studying - to get the best professional results and client's satisfaction. 

Every shoot that I create contains my soul efforts, so it doesn't become only "client's" after I get the payment and send the final pictures to him/her. They will always remain the part of me.  So I keep the right to post the photos that I take on my website or other social media for the promotion, if different is not specified by the contract/previous arrangement.

I wish my clients would understand that they're booking not a service, but an artist and an artwork. They're booking my responsibility for the result, but it depends on them too. If we have no enough time, if the clients didn't prepare for the shoot, don't want to open up or if they don't want to listen to my directions I won't be able to create a miracle.

And in the end, I just want to remind, again and again, that people's memory is not a reliable friend. Unfortunately, the most precious moments; the freshness of youth; the romance of feelings often fade through the years. And the only way to flashback is to have them recorded.

Don't lose your chance to freeze the time and the beauty, invest in your future memories!


From all my heart,
Marta Dorosh