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  • Writer's pictureRuss Tierney

Spill the tea: why food and drink at the shoot is not taboo anymore!

So I may have joked about blogging about tea with Polly when we first discussed ideas, but in reality it came from a place of love. I always offer tea as the first action at a shoot, and if the model doesn't want one, I probably still do! Usually at least a 'Sports Direct' sized one at that too! But for you regular tea drinkers, we have a kettle, our own branded mugs, tea, coffee, sugar and of course milk in a light up beer fridge... because that's how we roll here at Splash Point. Tea during (or a break) and maybe even a Pizza are regular practices too! Dogs.... well you just have to get lucky on that one..

The above video was actually a small part during an interview i did with Zoe Page that i'll no doubt blog too, but it contains tea and our splash point mugs! Butttt with out further ado, i'll hand you over to model, guest blogger and all round good egg, PV:

Blog by Polly V -

If you walked into a commercial photo studio 5-6 years ago, one of the first signs you’d see was “No Food & Drink Beyond this point”. While this makes sense around the set ups, and where all the expensive tech is kept, having a strictly “no food and drink” policy in the space of a whole studio, was at the least frustrating, and more often than not – a way to waste precious time.

The times are changing for the good though, as more and more photographers can afford to run smaller studios, and employ a more relaxed approach to studio work. The bigger commercial establishments have also relaxed their policies, and allowed for side spaces dedicated to refreshment in the studio, or on the same floor at least.

So why is this good practice?

Of course no one expects you to provide a free bar and buffet during photoshoots but a little care for the person you’re working with goes a long way. You’ll be surprised by the positive impact a cup of tea and a biscuit can have on your shoot, and the outcome of it.

Below we’ll be debunking some common myths against having food and drink in the studio, and focusing on how it can benefit your shoot instead.

1. A nice cuppa won’t make your model “fat”.

Both models and photographers are worried that food and drink during the shoot will make a tummy more pronounced. This can technically be true, but only if you have a pint and a burger. Some light snacks and a non carbonated drink won’t make a visible change but it will give you extra energy.

2. No one will get distracted.

Just because you’re taking a break, it doesn’t mean the mood will be lost. Everyone needs to stop for more than 5 minutes throughout the day. Stopping between sets to change doesn’t count – the model is still changing clothes and fixing their makeup while the photographer may be setting up lights.

3. No you don’t have to but it’s nice.

“Well, if it’s a TFP shoot, why should I be providing anything extra out of my pocket? They can buy whatever they need.”

It’s true that you DON’T HAVE TO, but it’s a great first impression and shows care and consideration. Your model might have been running late, they might have left their wallet at home (trust me it happens), or maybe they don’t have much money and wanted to go through the day without spending anything. Whatever the case, a little drink and a snack won’t break the bank and will boost morale.

4. It’ll make a mess.

Maybe a bit but not unless you spill a drink. If you have a dedicated “break” corner then it shouldn’t be a problem. Many things make a mess in the studio anyway – clothes, props, makeup. Food and drink is the least of your worries.

Make up desk and "Tea Station" - we even have a sign!

5. It’ll take from our shooting time.

A lot of times, especially when doing TFP, time flies. We get inspired and shoot set after set, angle after angle, always looking for the perfect one or moment. Regardless of whether the shoot is TFP or not, everybody needs at least one longer break. Just because you’re not feeling tired, doesn’t mean that the model is equally as energetic. Allow them to stop and recharge and the results will be much better.

6. It can cause damage to the equipment.

Yes, it can. That’s why you need a dedicated break corner or area. Having it in the studio, and not two floors down, or across the yard will also save you time that you can use for shooting.

7. You’ll build a relationship.

Work’s nice but real connections are built outside of it when you can have a proper chat. 10 minutes over a cuppa can open up a soul, and you’ll end up not just working with a model but potentially gaining new insights to what makes them tick, and may be even making a friend for life.

8. It’ll establish trust.

Trust is built on the feeling that the opposite side truly cares for you. There are not many ways you can showcase this when you are in a work environment, but hey, offering to make someone a nice cup of tea or coffee is definitely one of them! If the model has felt comfortable throughout the day, they’re more likely produce great results and work with you again.

What do you think about food and drink in the studio? Yes or no? Share your thoughts in the comments..

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