THE ROOST

Build a profitable family photography business with soul

Do you want to photograph families in a natural and meaningful way, making a decent & ethical living, working sociable & family-friendly hours?

Do any of the following sound familiar?

  • You’ve no idea how to make family photography profitable or where to start with pricing and packages
  • You love shooting weddings but you’re burnt out and exhausted, desperate for more weekends off
  • Since having your own family your priorities have changed and now you want to pursue work with more sociable hours, more flexibility, less stress, less travel and more time at home with your own loved ones
  • You hate selling and worry that family photography means relying on cringeworthy in-person sales consultations with piles of tacky sample products
  • You’ve seen a lot of cheesy family photography and don’t want to ‘sell out’ or compromise your artistic vision and creativity 
  • Past wedding clients keep asking you for family photography but you don’t know how to respond and sense this is an opportunity missed 
  • You’ve created a family photography package but hardly anyone buys it 
  • You’re unsure how family photography would sit alongside your current photography brand 
  • You're doubtful that others will want to buy the kind of family photography you want to shoot 
  • You’re uncomfortable working with certain age groups of children  
  • You’re happy with your photography but you struggle with the ‘business’ side of things and charging your worth
  •  You’d love more family photography work but are stuck for ideas on how to market yourself  

My dodgy journey into family photography

Family photography is my absolute biggest passion and something I now find easy and profitable… but as a mother, previous wedding photographer and self-confessed ‘crap salesperson’, I spent years struggling with ALL of the above. 10 years ago I built a respected wedding photography business and enjoyed a happy decade of throwing myself into this crazy, fast-paced joyous whirlwind of a job. Photographing kids at weddings always brought me huge amounts of joy, and when I started regularly shooting families 5 years ago, I quickly realised this was my true passion and calling. HOWEVER...  

  • I was only really booking past wedding clients for family photography and struggled to find new families prepared to pay me
  • I tried to recreate cheesy family photography poses (yes, I do remember asking a poor family to peek out from behind a tree – please don’t hate me!)
  • I spent years sourcing an elaborate range of wall art and products I didn’t even like, as I thought that this was what family photographers had to do
  • I bought a projector and screen, and spent valuable evenings sitting uncomfortably in clients’ living rooms, dying inside as I flailed around awkwardly showing them their images, toting my samples and ineffectively trying to sell to them whilst desperately wishing I was somewhere else
  • I was only making a nominal amount per family shoot and knew there was no way I could make a living from it other than it being supplementary to wedding photography
  • Still shooting lots of weddings, I felt burnt out and was desperate to enjoy more weekends with my own friends and family – lazy Saturdays in pyjamas, barbeques and Sunday roasts… all the simple pleasures that somehow had become such a rare treat.  

GOOD NEWS!

Through years of trial and error I worked out methods and approaches to overcome all these problems, so that eventually I became proud of my work artistically, charged my worth, enjoyed more free time with my family and earned a solid reputation as one of the country’s leading creative family photographers, with loyal clients who truly valued what I offered and regularly returned for more.  

In 2017 I stopped taking wedding bookings to focus purely on family photography, and in 2018 I shot my last ever wedding and fully completed the transition to full time family photographer. Over the years I’ve found that it’s completely possible to strip it all back, keep it simple and build a profitable, ethical business that puts families under not one ounce of pressure to purchase anything they don’t want to, whilst giving them not just beautiful, emotive, unique photography but also a meaningful, memorable experience with their loved ones. It’s the most rewarding work I’ve ever done.  

I'd love to help you!

I designed The Roost in 2016 in response to frequent demand from other photographers who wanted me to share with them how to make a success of creative family photography. Since then I’ve run 7 in-person Roost workshops all over the UK and have a thriving Facebook community of past attendees (the lovely ‘Roost Gang’) who all continue to support each other today as their family photography businesses grow. I’d love to share everything I’ve learned with you too so that you don’t spend years faffing around working it out like I did and immediately feel confident:  

  • Photographing families creatively 
  • Booking more ideal clients 
  • Producing rewarding, meaningful work 
  • Enjoying more time at home with your own family and friends 
  • Increasing your family photography income with a simple system and not one ounce of hard selling.  

In-person or online?

Many photographers told me they’re keen to come to a Roost workshop, but due to childcare / dates / geography they’ve been unable to attend them. In response to this, in August 2018 I launched an online version of The Roost, so that anyone is able to access it from the comfort of their own home, and work through it at their own pace. This online course becomes available 3 times a year, with doors closed in between so that I can focus fully on supporting each cohort/intake. 

I’ll also continue to hold in-person Roost workshops 3 times a year, as I know some people prefer learning face to face and having the opportunity to meet other photographers in person and ask questions as they pop into their head. From now on both will be available :) The core content is exactly the same – the differences between in-person and online are outlined below in ‘Bonus Features’ below. Everyone enrolling, whether in-person or online, will have permanent access to the Roost Gang Facebook group.  

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

1

MOTIVATION + VOICE

Finding your ‘why’ // style + voice // branding + identity // attracting your ideal clients 

2

MAKING STRONG IMAGES 

Equipment + kit // ingredients of a great picture // finding + using great light // making creative use of composition, location, background + environment // capturing genuine moments, relationships + emotion 

3

WORKING WITH FAMILIES

Preparing your families for the shoot // differences between photographing different age groups // looking after your families + working harmoniously with them // troubleshooting common problems // format of a typical shoot 

4

WORKFLOW, MARKETING + SALES

Workflow // navigating the sales process - sales for people who don’t like to sell! // products + pricing // marketing + leveraging different client sources 

5

WHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY MATTERS

Why it matters to me // why it matters to others // communicating that value

BONUS FEATURES

IN-PERSON ROOST (next date Thursday 14th March 2019, central London - limited places available) • Live indoor shoot at the workshop venue with a parent and baby • Walkthrough of a RAW, unculled outdoor shoot with older children (yes, you get to see all the crap that I shoot, I’m not proud!) • Opportunity to ask questions and discuss ideas throughout the day, as and when they crop up • Chance to meet other photographers in person and make some new friends! • Lunch (lots of it) • All content delivered in one intensive day

ONLINE ROOST (next intake early spring 2019) • Walkthrough of a RAW, unculled in-home shoot with a young baby • Walkthrough of a RAW, unculled outdoor shoot with older children • 5 x fortnightly live group Zoom coaching calls – an opportunity to ask questions & chat online (no problem if you can't attend the live calls - you can submit questions beforehand for me to answer & recorded replays of the calls will always be available to you) • Tasks for you to complete at the end of each unit • Work through entirely at your own pace - devour it in a day or spread your learning over weeks/months

TESTIMONIALS

I’m now booking a lot more family shoots and overall earning probably at least 50% more than I was before, and in some cases double. The Roost was the best workshop I’ve done in terms of clear advice and practical learnings; I came away knowing exactly what my next steps should be.” Joanna Yates (Joanna Nicole Photography)  

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"The Roost Online has been the best photography education I’ve invested in. I love the format of the course but also the medium Anna uses to deliver it. I was getting bogged down with the ‘doing’ of getting my business of the ground, chasing my own tail with seemingly never-ending tasks. The Roost has provided me with an opportunity to really get to the nitty-gritty of what my motivations are as a family photographer and given me the opportunity to reflect on every aspect of my business. I’ve now got a clear plan of action thanks to Anna’s stellar guidance. Anna is warm, funny and approachable. She knows her stuff, teaches from experience and speaks from the heart." Charlotte Hueso

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“The Roost workshop was GREAT! I found myself leaving with a wealth of knowledge, confident booking in family shoots and a solid pricing structure that would work for me and my families. Since the workshop I’ve seen a real improvement in converting shoots into real cash! Anna taught us there is no reason other than self-doubt why family shoots shouldn’t pay good money – we are worth it if we pitch it right. The whole day was full of gold dust. It would take you years to learn what Anna teaches in one day, it’s well worth the investment and you will earn that back in your first shoot!Ash Davenport  

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"I’m just coming to the end of the online version of The Roost, and I can’t recommend it enough. The flow of modules is well thought out, and Anna’s honest, personable and relaxed presentations are very engaging and full of useful hints, tips and strategies. Knowing everything stems from branding and ‘my why’ has helped me understand where I'd been going wrong previously. The fact that the content can be worked at my own pace was a big factor in going through the modules successfully, and knowing I didn’t have to rush was definitely a key factor in signing up. I've had many lightbulb moments throughout. I've struggled with marketing, client conversion and sales, feeling like I’d have to work methods that I didn’t feel comfortable with. Anna has shown me that isn’t the case, it’s just a matter of finding what’s right for me and being consistent. I'm much more confident in my approach to my client journey and how I can run the business in a way that makes me happy and comfortable too. Thanks Anna, this course is something I am so glad I have signed up for!" Martin Patterson

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“Probably the best workshop I’ve attended, and that’s no exaggeration.” Robbie Venn  

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Anna’s workshop was jam packed full of so much valuable information that I just couldn’t find elsewhere. It was well worth the investment, not only did I learn more in that day than I have in the last 6 months, I've also come out of this with a stronger focus and a renewed confidence that I CAN and WILL be successful. Since attending the workshop I’ve stopped procrastinating, I know what’s important to focus on and what’s not, what I need to organise now and what can wait, what I need to invest in and what I don’t, how to work with different age groups, how to attract my ideal client and build a business with longevity. But most of all I have learned that this is absolutely 100% my passion and I'm so excited about the future.” Janni Atherton  

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“I’m an avid fan of personal development, I’ve attended Tony Robbins seminars and read lots of books to help my mindset. NEVER before have I come across a photography workshop where both personal development and photography are combined. Anna is amazing!!! She really works on your mindset, fears and confidence in a massively positive environment. Since the workshop my confidence to set up my own business has improved and I now feel like I have a structure and plan to work towards. Anna has an amazing and contagious energy, her passions and confidence really shine through and her eagerness to teach and help other people is so refreshing. I wouldn’t hesitate to go on more of Anna’s workshops, and also her mentoring programmes. I’m really lucky to have found a genuinely honest and humble lady to inspire me to change my career.” Nina Dhanani  

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Such an inspiring and useful day – I’ve never come away from a workshop armed with such extensive and practical information. Amazing stuff and wish I could do it all again.” Sally Thurrell (Sally T Photography)  

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“Listening to you and your approach shows that it is really doable to get that work life balance. I’ve been on a few courses over the past years and walked away and thought yeh, that was OK. But I sincerely mean this, I came away and felt I'd learnt a lot, reassured that yes I'm on the right path and so inspired. I called my husband when walking back to the car and I couldn’t shut up talking about the day! So a big, fat, massive thank you!” Charlotte Wainwright (Charlotte Giddings Photography)  

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“I’ve shot weddings for 8 years and toyed with family photography for around 2 years. Now my eldest daughter is at school I wanted to try and free up a few more of my weekends by lowering my wedding bookings and taking on more family work. The workshop was a fantastic day. Anna made everyone feel very welcome from the off and gave us invaluable bits of advice. She opened up about how she approaches her family shoots and gave me the push to shoot the way I want to, along with some amazing insights into her booking process and post-shoot process. For anyone wanting to book more family shoots and improve that side of the business this workshop is a must! Since the workshop my family bookings have increased, as have my profits from each shoot.” Dan Wootton  

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“A brilliant workshop – it was everything I hoped it would be and more. Feeling hugely inspired but also armed with lots of new tools to make the most of my family shoots. Can’t wait to get started!” Hannah Grove (Montague Photography)

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“I wasn’t struggling with clients loving my photos nor finding work, but was aware that I wasn’t running my family photography like a business. I had no contracts in place and wasn’t making the most of the selling potential afterwards. Since the workshop I’ve had a brochure put together, figured out a price list (rather than just blagging it based on what people have asked for!) and have taken time out to assess what I want to gain from my business as I drop wedding photography to be able to have more time with my son. Plus I made some new friends and met the lovely Anna, so a good day out too!” Tori Deslauriers  

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“I was unsure whether it was feasible to do less weddings and more family shoots, and still earn enough money. I absolutely loved the workshop – since then I have the confidence to stick with my style of family photography, and to not market weddings so much. The post-Roost care has been amazing – the Facebook group is such a valuable resource – to ask questions, post photos for critique etc. It just keeps on giving!Rachel Ulph  

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“Thanks so much Anna for such an amazing and informative day! My head is spinning from an overload of information (in a good way!) and I feel like a weight has been lifted and I now have some direction :) So many many many thanks!” Lowri-Ellen Owen  

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My confidence has improved and I loved meeting the other ladies and hearing their experiences. I loved hearing what you said about use of light, and branding is something I’ve thought about more since attending, as well as images for my portfolio and WHY people should use me.” Maxine Small  

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“I needed a creative boost and wanted to get some ideas for moving away from weddings and more into portraits. The workshop was great! A really relaxed day, with lots of friendly people and no problems or worries asking simple questions – plenty of nuggets and tons of info. Lovely food and I felt very welcome in a comfortable setting. Since then I have lots of ideas going forward with family stuff and there’s more meaning to my work now.Carrie Crouch (Carrie Bugg Photography)  

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“Thank you Anna for being so warm and welcoming, I really enjoyed the workshop! I really wanted to learn more about how Anna works to get such awesome documentary photos as well as how to attract my ideal client. It was so useful to learn about her workflow, the way she approaches a shoot and gather some great tips and tricks. I feel more sure about how to approach social media and attract my ideal clients and I’m excited and inspired to get out and shoot!Selina Merie Harris

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“Fantastic workshop and Anna you answered all my questions without me even having to ask.” Jess Yarwood  

WHO AM I?

I’m Anna, a family photographer and mentor living in sunny Manchester, proud mum to hilarious 13 year old chatterbox Joe and loopy 4 year old Huey. My images are inspired by my love of people, their character and their stories, and I specialise in honest, creative documentary family photography that celebrates real life, spirit, emotion and individuality.  

As a past secondary school teacher, I’m hugely passionate about education and supporting others, and for several years now I’ve regularly run Roost family photography workshops and mentoring sessions for other photographers, helping them to develop and grow their own family and wedding photography businesses, as well as guest speaking at photography events, colleges and universities. Today I’m lucky enough to work with amazing families and wonderful photographers from all over the UK and overseas, and I also love to share helpful tips and resources via my mailing list and Facebook group for photographers – creating and building supportive communities is hugely important to me as I know so many of us work alone and that freelance photography can sometimes be a lonely place!  

FAQ

WHAT LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE SHOULD I HAVE? Photographers of all levels of experience are very welcome and have happily attended Roost workshops, including: - People just starting to build their photography business from scratch - Established professional photographers who already specialise in other areas (eg. weddings), who want to establish, grow and gain confidence in family photography - Established family photographers who want to take a fresh look at their business, photographic work and approach

ONLINE COURSE  

WHAT FORMAT IS THE COURSE CONTENT DELIVERED IN? Each module is delivered in a series of units. Each unit contains a video with voice-over slides. At the end of each unit there's an optional task for you to complete with a downloadable worksheet to help you, so that by the end of the course you'll be fully up and running and ready to crack on with your family photography business! There are also five fortnightly group Zoom coaching calls included in the price, which are basically like group Skypes where anyone can ask me questions about the course and I'll answer them. So you'll have plenty of opportunity to get continued personalised support as you progress through the course and regularly chat and ask any questions to real live talking people, myself included! :)

WHAT IF I'M NOT ABLE TO ATTEND THE LIVE GROUP ZOOM CALL(S)? Don't worry at all - although the Zoom calls are live, you don't have to attend them if you're not able to or don't want to. You'll have the opportunity to submit your own questions for me to answer beforehand, and whether you've submitted questions and/or attended live or not, the recorded replay of the call (including my responses to all questions) will be available for everyone to watch afterwards :)

HOW LONG DO I HAVE ACCESS TO THE ONLINE COURSE? Forever! There are 3 intakes a year, but once you've purchased the course during one of these intakes, it's always available to you, 24/7, 365 days a year :) The Roost may increase in price to new intakes but you'll never have to pay any more and will have permanent access to all the resources.

WHAT IF I'M CURRENTLY BUSY AND MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO START / DEVOTE ENOUGH TIME TO THE COURSE AT THE MOMENT? This is no problem at all - you can begin working on the course whenever you want (you don't have to begin on the day or even the week the course opens, many people don't!), and you can work through it completely at your own pace - guzzle it all in a day, mooch through it slowly over several months/years or anywhere in between! Once you've purchased it, it's yours to start and work through whenever suits you. Do bear in mind that if you miss this intake then the course won't become available again for another 4 months, so perhaps weigh up whether you are likely to be busier then or now :) As there are 5 free fortnightly Zoom group calls included in the course (starting when the course opens), you might prefer to be able to start the course within 10 weeks of signing up so that you can take advantage of some of these, but some people prefer not to join the Zoom calls anyway and just like to work through the content on their own without asking questions in a live chat. You'll also have permanent access to the Roost Gang, so you'll always be able to ask any questions regarding family photography at any point in the future - this isn't just restricted to the Zoom calls. Whenever you choose to start and whatever pace you work at, all the content is yours to access forever (including recorded replays of the group Zoom calls), so you're able to revisit any of it at later dates if you want to :)  

IN-PERSON COURSE

WHAT TIME DOES THE DAY START/FINISH? Arrive from 09:00 for a brew, a biscuit and a chinwag with your fellow Roosters before a prompt start at 09:30. We finish at 17:00. 

DO I GET FED? Absolutely! I'm a chronic 'feeder' and greedy guts so there will be no shortage of tasty food! Lunch is included, as well as mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshments, and tea, coffee and cold drinks will be provided throughout the day. 

HOW MANY PLACES ARE THERE AT EACH WORKSHOP? Depending on the venue, there will be between 10 and 15 places on each workshop. It’s important to me to keep each event intimate to allow each attendee to be able to get involved more freely and comfortably, and to ensure that discussions are productive for everyone. 

IF I'M UNABLE TO ATTEND, CAN I GET A REFUND? Unfortunately payments are non-refundable. However, you’re able to transfer your own booking to an available place at a different Roost workshop on a different date, or you can transfer your booking to a different person if you’re able to source someone else to attend in your place. You are also more than welcome to switch to having access to the online version of the Roost instead.

DO I NEED TO BRING A CAMERA? There will be one short live shoot during the day, during which attendees will be invited to shoot alongside me if they wish to do so (one at a time, so as not to scare the baby!) However, if you’d prefer to just watch and listen, as many do, please feel free to leave your camera at home. 

WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO BRING? Just a notepad and pen, and if you like, a list of any questions you’d like to ask :)

Ready to make a success of your very own family photography business?