What a picture!

RoSPA’s campaigns officer Helen Halls reveals the secrets of the Family Safety Week photo shoot.

Meet our Family Safety Week stars!

Meet our Family Safety Week stars!

How many times have you looked at photos of Kate Moss and thought “Modelling? Bah? Money for old rope!” Or seen shots of assistants standing around seemingly doing nothing more taxing than passing a prop or powdering an overpaid nose?

I thought it looked like a cushy job until I took on the task of setting up a photo shoot for our very first Family Safety Week.

We wanted good photos of real people, so the logical place to scout for models was within our own RoSPA family. Babies, children, nieces, mums and dads were all drafted in to be the faces of Family Safety Week.

With my models booked (okay then, railroaded) and Redfrost Photography’s Bromsgrove studio reserved, everything seemed to be going smoothly . . . too smoothly. Then, on the eve of the shoot, my ‘young dad’ got pulled into a meeting and my ‘grandma’ got sick. Cue a day of phone calls and charm offensives, all to no avail.

Thankfully, press officer Alison rounded up her mother-in-law and husband’s best man to save the day – and my nerves.

Plied with tea and biscuits, our models began bonding in Redfrost’s cosy kitchen as the shoot got underway – until curiosity began to draw them out, one by one, to watch the action in the studio.

It may look effortless, but modelling’s not easy. To get that one perfect image, you may have had to flash a smile 20 times, or move your leg slightly for 10 minutes until it’s in exactly the right place. But our amateurs took to it like ducks to water, especially young Sienna Mansell, who also helped out with prop management and babysitting Elijah Bullock.

Helen briefs, from left, Rich, Lachman, Alison and Virginia on exactly what shot she wants.

Helen briefs, from left, Rich, Lachman, Alison and Virginia on exactly what shot she wants.

And if I thought I’d just be standing around holding a pot plant, I was wrong. Marshalling models, sorting out props, discussions with the photographer and keeping things running to time all needed to be juggled. I even got dragged into a few photos myself.

The end result was all worth it. The photos are great. You can see some of them on our Family Safety Week website www.familysafetyweek.org.uk .

My thanks go to ever-patient photographer Richard (who had the added pressure of knowing his wife could go into labour at any moment) and to our Family Safety Week family – Elijah, Sienna, Zack, Jack, Katie, Jo, John, Alison, Ibi, Lachman and Virginia. You were amazing.

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