Tempest Photography- Summer 2023 Graduations

Tempest Photography provides photographic services to institutions such as schools and universities. They mainly specialise in classic portraiture taken within a studio environment. https://www.htempest.co.uk/our-photography-services/graduations

In the summer of 2023 I worked with them for two weeks, at two different graduation, one in Canterbury and the other in Brighton.  As my manager put it, this style of commercial photography is a conveyor belt of image production. The company has a strict vision for the images and the goal is to blend with this vision rather than utilise your own creativity.

The training day covered technical skills such as how to set up the studio and how to position groups of varying numbers of people. However, no amount of practice can prepare you for your first day of work.

Finding my work flow took a couple days. Because the work is repetitive you quickly find a script that works for you, you learn what words make the best instructions and how to be in control of your studio space. The diversity of families you photograph are broad and you learn things such as to stand on a stool for tall people and how to balance heights in a group. Having a good relationship with your co-worker in the neighbouring studio is important when you are struggling to make a composition work or fit everyone onto the backdrop, as you can ask for their assistance.

The work was repetitive and I was juggling a lot. I personally enjoyed the pace of the job, I liked creating a precisely composed image, according to the criteria of Tempest, it made a nice contrast to the way I usually work with a camera. It felt fulfilling to make images people liked of themselves and to photograph a proud family achievement. I enjoyed the lifestyle of the job, paid food, board and travel. I can’t imagine myself doing photography of this nature full time however as a freelance opportunity I think it’s well suited to me. This November I am looking forward to working for them again.

A group portrait taken at Brighton Graduation

The laptop and printer set up at Brighton Graduation

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