When the owners of Total Woman hired me to create a Personal Branding Photography System for them we never imagined that shortly after we start working on their system strangers would not be able to stand closer than 6 feet to each other, and everyone would have to wear a mask when in the presence of others.
But then COVID-19 happened.
Right when we were ready to photograph Dr. Amir and Dr. Wendy’s Personal Branding Photography System for their new OBGYN clinic they just opened, the “Total Woman” clinic.
Talk about bad timing!
In the month leading up to the photoshoot my team and I worked our personal branding photography system diligently to come up with photography concepts that would be relevant and engaging and will attract the “Total Woman” target audience. We were ready to create and capture photographs that will make the “Total Woman ”target audience stop – and engage with the content. We were ready to crate and capture photographs that would make the “Total Woman” target audience pick up the phone – and make an appointment.
Dr. Amir Dr. Wendy and myself were super excited for the photoshoot. We knew our hard work paid off and we had wonderful concepts. We couldn’t wait to bring these concepts to life.
Then Dr. Amir called me. “Rinat”, he said “I am so sorry, but I think we have to postpone the photoshoot. How are we going to photograph while not going against COVID regulations? On top of the fact that our photoshoot models will have to stand 6feet apart, our models are mostly pregnant women…with this virus going on, I think it would be safer to postpone indefinitely”.
I thanked Dr. Amir for the call, told him I understood how he felt, and asked that before we cancel the photoshoot to give me a couple of days to noodle on this and see if I can come up with a creative solution.
Dr. Amir agreed, we were to make a final decision in 48 hours.
Creative problem solving is one of my favorite things to do. That, combined with the *Pollyanna attitude towards life – usually helps me figure out a way to turn photographic lemons into lemonade.
In this case we had two major problems:
We needed pregnant models, which is not an easy thing to come by when there is a virus roaming around.
All our models would need to stand 6 feet apart from each other.
I’m going to need a wider lens...
Ok, jokes aside, it took me a couple of days to come up with solutions – but sure enough ,there were solutions.
Solution #1 –needing pregnant models - was solved thanks to Amazon. I found something called a pregnancy belly body suit on Amazon. This is apparently something you buy if your significant other/wife/friend/sister is pregnant and you want to sympathize with them.
I texted Dr. Amir the link to the pregnancy body suit and told him we solved problem #1 –our models do NOT Have to pregnant – they will just wear a pregnancy body suit.
Dr. Amir texted me back immediately the laughing emoji and the thumbs up.
The photoshoot was back on!
Before we moved forward I had to come up with solution #2 - all our models would have to stand 6 feet apart from each other.
Our Personal Branding Photography “models” are always real life people, usually the family and friends of the business owner we are creating the personalized image bank for.
Based on that fact I decided that for any group shots we will use people who are already spending time in close quarters together anyway, like family or coworkers of a small business.
I knew that for this photoshoot, due to these strange times COVID created, I will need to help my clients with recruiting models, and was ready to ask some of my family, friends and coworkers to be models as well.
Lucky for me am surrounded by amazing people. Everyone we asked to be part of the photoshoot– happily agreed!
And so we started the photoshoot day. Again, due to COVID restrictions we made sure there was ample space between people even behind the scenes. The makeup artist set up her station in one corner of the building’s second floor, while all the models were asked to wait in their car until called in for their close up.
Our on location studio was set up on another corner of the building’s second floor, and while everyone was social distancing and wearing masks.
For this unique photoshoot luckily I was smart enough to bring my good friend and event coordinator extraordinaire Dawn, from Dawn Gilmore Productions, who did an amazing job making sure the photoshoot day timeline was flowing as planned –thank you Dawn!
Our first shot of the day was a lifestyle shot of Dr. Amir and a very happy pregnan tclient.
My assistant Kennedy did double duty on the photoshoot day. Besides assisting, she was one of our models! In this shot Kennedy is wearing the sympathy belly and posing as one of our Total Woman models with Dr. Amir.
Our next shot was in the clinic’s waiting room.
Because an OBGYN waiting room is usually NOT a fun place to be in, I wanted to convey this OBGYN clinic is different, and their waiting room is comfortable and the wait is enjoyable.
To convey that feel I came up with a conceptual shot for my clients to be captured in their clinic’s waiting room that conveyed the feel of 3 women enjoying a casual chat in a beauty salon – think a fun mani pedi style atmosphere.
How do you capture a shot like that while social distancing???
I decided to photograph each model separately – and put them all together in postproduction.
This was trickier than a normal post production composite because in the shot I wanted the women to interact to create a relaxed and fun waiting room feel. How do you do that when you are basically talking to the air next to you?
That took very specific directing, including instructing the models where to look and how to react to what is happening in the scene. To make the model feel comfortable I was having a fun and lively discussion with the model from behind the camera- while clicking away.
Actually, in the top middle shot you see our Model Julia? In the left corner of that shot you see our photoshoot day coordinator Dawn bending down so Julia can look at her and be in the correct eye level for the other two models.
Guess who is pregnant for real and who is not in this shot? Actually Ashley on the right was our only pregnant for real model. Kennedy and Julia are wearing the pregnancy sympathy belly - which of course we wiped down before we handed it to the next model to wear.
For the “Three Generations” concept shot we brought in a real family – Grandma Helen, mom Diane and daughter Julia (fun fact, this is the second time this beautiful trio is modeling for me).
These ladies were together anyway during COVID, so no social distancing was necessary. And we captured some beautiful shots!
For our final concept shot of the day – another generations shot – with a twist, we also brought in a family.
Since Dr. Amir is the OB – the obstetrician who delivers babies - I wanted to show him in the shot talking with one of his pregnant clients.
And since Dr. Wendy is the GYN – the gynecologist who specializes in treating diseases of the female reproductive organs - I wanted to show here with a mature woman client.
Since Dr. mir and Dr. Wendy work together at “Total Woman” I wanted to show both of them in the clinic - each with their target audience.
But I needed something fun to break this shot up with.
And the concept of mom and grandma bringing a child along to the visit was born. That is, a VERY bored child - to make the shot fun.
Alicia, her daughter Ashtin and her mother in law Lora were perfect models for this shot! And while Alicia was enjoying wearing the fake pregnancy belly and contemplating another baby, Ashtin stole the show – she was so funny!
All and all we had a wonderful photoshoot day. Dr. Amir and Dr. Wendy now have GREAT images to use for connecting with their target audience on their website and social media. And most importantly - everyone is healthy.
Here are some more branding shots from out Total Woman photoshoot:
Want to know more about our one of a kind Personal Branding Photography system and how it is different from any other branding photography?
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*watch the movie Pollyanna, you’re going to love it!
Hair and makeup: Kristy's Artistry Design Team
Coordinating: Dawn Gilmore Productions
Admin assisting: Ann Greenway from How Can I Help
Assistant: Kennedy Richardson