ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS get excited when they have a client to photograph to help make their brand stronger. You know who they are, what their business is all about and what you have in mind how the shoot will go. We all do. Then you get extra pumped: make sure you have enough media cards, batteries charged, flash unit and all the accessories for it, lenses and cameras (if you have more than one), and anything else you can think of. During all this you’re communicating with your client: you understand their vision and begin to see it. Yes everything begins to click.

Then comes the day of your photo shoot…

I had the opportunity to do a branding shoot with Theresa Mechem, owner of Paisley Lady Theresa is a retired Graphic Designer and continues to use her talents to create custom designed and hand-painted curtains, pillows, towels, table runners and more. Before she retired Theresa had started her business and has grown a great deal.

I couldn’t ask for a better locational shoot than Theresa’s office. She loves color and it shows all through her office. Everything was Paisley Lady: all the fabrics, customs curtains and pillows. As I was looking around and begin to setup Theresa told me that she hates getting her photograph taken. I mean she really hates getting her photograph taken. The one thing I could do was to let her know over and over it will be okay and everything will be fine. I looked in the corner and there was this huge ring light standing in the corner. It belongs to her daughter but we used it for our shoot.

The shoot went very, very well. I won’t say she was 100% relaxed but she did get a little comfortable. As I was shooting I shared with her the images and explained why I did what I did. It was very important to keep her involved. Lucky for me she uses her experience as a Graphic Designer and she loves to sew. I made sure I had her doing both. I photographed her as she was creating then had her to look up. I also tried to make sure I didn’t get too close…again trying to make sure she’s comfortable.

Below is one of the first photographs that I took. Yes her shear curtain is opened a little. Did I care…no? Was it a big deal…no? My goal was to try to get her as comfortable as possible.


Two things helped me in this shoot: 1) the ring light. If I had to use my flash I don’t think it would have went well. I think the flash would have made her very uncomfortable. 2) Trust. Little by little she was understanding why I did what I did and how branding photographs from all angles will help her in the long run. If you can’t communicate with your client you need to learn how…it’s just that simple.


To find out more about Paisley Lady:



Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens, Ring light.