Shooting for Story: How to Make Your Portrait Sessions Tell a Complete Story

©Kate Botel

I love shooting for, designing and selling albums to my family portrait clients (and then visiting their homes and seeing them proudly displayed on their coffee tables.)  In my third year in business, over half of my clients opted for an album and many ordered “bundles” – multiple copies to gift relatives and/or leave at the office – and I anticipate those numbers growing.

I’ve been told that what made my albums such a hit is that they tell a story. As a former television writer, my scripts had a clear structure, bookended by “Fade In” and “Fade Out.” When I transitioned into portrait photography and found myself producing album after album, I realized that I needed to shoot like I wrote, and approach each session like a day on a television set to ensure that a clear, beautiful and loving story would be told.

I constantly hear from clients how much their …

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Giving Families a Slice of History: Make a Wish Foundation

I didn’t get into photography for the art of it; nor did I get into photography for the passion of it (which isn’t to say I’m not passionate about my art).  I got into photography because after moving to Los Angeles to write for television, and doing that (and then not), I needed a job.  A steady one.  That I was in control of.  I chose photography, because I am passionate about family.  And about family history.  And about leaving a legacy.

I live and work in the entertainment capital of the world – where everyone is beautiful, where if the sun doesn’t shine every day of the year, it can be painted in, and where even the unglamorous seems glamorous.  I have delivered chicken soup to Aaron Spelling’s house as a gesture from his writing staff in hopes he would get better (and approve their scripts); I have dressed in black tie …

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