The Roost

Grow a profitable family photography business with soul

Do you want to make a living photographing families in a natural and meaningful way, working sociable & family-friendly hours?

Hi I’m Anna, a family photographer and mentor living in sunny Manchester, proud mum to hilarious loopy chatterboxes 15 year old Joe and 6 year old Huey. My images are inspired by my love of people, their character and their stories, and I specialise in honest, creative documentary family photography that celebrates real life, spirit, emotion and individuality.

As a past secondary school teacher, I’m hugely passionate about education and supporting others, and for several years now I’ve regularly run Roost family photography workshops and mentoring sessions for other photographers, helping them to develop and grow their own family and wedding photography businesses.

As seen in: Shoot Edit Chat Repeat podcast / Photobizx podcast / Can We Have It All podcast / Phototypes podcast / Dreaming & Doing podcast / Harpers Bazaar magazine / Huffington Post / Gurgle magazine / Digital Photographer magazine / Toddler Fun Learning 

 

ANNA HARDY

My goal is to help you transition your business to a more sustainable, family-friendly model.

Do any of the following sound familiar?

You’ve no idea how to make family photography profitable or where to start with pricing and packages

You love shooting weddings but you’re burnt out and exhausted, desperate for more weekends off

Since having your own family your priorities have changed and you want to pursue work with more sociable hours and flexibility, less stress and travel and more time at home with your own loved ones

You hate selling and worry that family photography means relying on cringeworthy in-person sales consultations with piles of tacky sample products

You’ve seen a lot of cheesy family photography and don’t want to ‘sell out’ or compromise your artistic vision and creativity

Past wedding clients keep asking you for family photography but you don’t know how to respond and sense this is an opportunity missed

You’ve created a family photography package but hardly anyone buys it

You’re unsure how family photography would sit alongside your current photography brand

You're doubtful that others will want to buy the kind of family photography you want to shoot

You’re uncomfortable working with certain age groups of children

You’re happy with your photography but you struggle with the ‘business’ side of things and charging your worth

You’d love more family photography work but are stuck for ideas on how to market yourself

My Own Dodgy Journey Into Family Photography
Family photography is my absolute biggest passion and something I now find easy and profitable…

…But as a mother, previous wedding photographer and self-confessed ‘crap salesperson’, I spent years struggling with ALL of the above. 13 years ago I built a respected wedding photography business and enjoyed a happy decade of throwing myself into this crazy, fast-paced joyous whirlwind of a job. Photographing kids at weddings always brought me huge amounts of joy, and when I started regularly shooting families 8 years ago, I quickly realised this was my true passion and calling. HOWEVER…

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I was only really booking past wedding clients for family photography and struggled to find new families prepared to pay me

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I tried to recreate cheesy family photography poses (yes, I do remember asking a poor family to peek out from behind a tree – please don’t hate me!)

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I spent years sourcing an elaborate range of wall art and products I didn’t even like, as I thought that this was what family photographers had to do

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I bought a projector and screen, and spent valuable evenings sitting uncomfortably in clients’ living rooms, dying inside as I flailed around awkwardly showing them their images, toting my samples and ineffectively trying to sell to them whilst desperately wishing I was somewhere else

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I was only making a nominal amount per family shoot and knew there was no way I could make a living from it other than it being supplementary to wedding photography

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Still shooting lots of weddings, I felt burnt out and was desperate to enjoy more weekends with my own friends and family – lazy Saturdays in pyjamas, barbeques and Sunday roasts… all the simple pleasures that somehow had become such a rare treat.

Good news!

Family photography does NOT work in the same way as wedding photography and it was a steep learning curve to adapt my approach. However, through years of trial and error I worked out methods and approaches to make a success of it, so that eventually I became proud of my work artistically, charged my worth, enjoyed more free time with my family and earned a solid reputation as one of the country’s leading creative family photographers, with loyal clients who truly valued what I offered and regularly returned for more.

In 2017 I stopped taking wedding bookings to focus purely on family photography, and in 2018 I shot my last ever wedding and fully completed the transition to full time family photographer. Over the years I’ve found that it’s completely possible to strip it all back, keep it simple and build a profitable, ethical family photography business that puts clients under not one ounce of pressure to purchase anything they don’t want to, whilst giving them not just beautiful, emotive, unique photography but also a meaningful, memorable experience with their loved ones. It’s the most rewarding work I’ve ever done.

Now I’d love to help you transform your business too

What Will you learn?

I designed The Roost in 2016 in response to frequent demand from other photographers who wanted me to share with them how to make a success of creative family photography.  Since then I’ve run 9 in-person Roost workshops all over the UK, over 100 people have enrolled in the online workshop and there is a thriving Facebook community of over 160 past attendees (the lovely ‘Roost Gang’) who all continue to support each other today as their family photography businesses grow. I’d love to share everything I’ve learned with you too so that you don’t spend years faffing around working it out like I did.

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Motivation & Voice

Finding your family photography style + voice 

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Making Strong Images

Family photography equipment + kit // ingredients of a great picture // finding + using great light both indoors and outdoors // making creative use of composition, location, background + environment // capturing genuine moments, relationships + emotion within families

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Working With Families

Preparing your families for the shoot // differences between photographing different age groups // looking after your families + working harmoniously with them // troubleshooting common problems // format of a typical shoot
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Workflow, Pricing & Sales

Workflow // navigating the family photography sales process – sales for people who don’t like to sell! // family photography products + pricing // marketing tactics that work well for family photography

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Why Family Photography Matters

Why it matters to me // why it matters to others // communicating that value

In Person or Online?

Many photographers told me they’re keen to come to a Roost workshop, but due to childcare / dates / geography they’ve been unable to attend them. In response to this, in August 2018 I launched an online version of The Roost, so that anyone is able to access it from the comfort of their own home, and work through it at their own pace. 

I’ll also continue to hold in-person Roost workshops occasionally, as I know some people prefer learning face to face and having the opportunity to meet other photographers in person and ask questions as they pop into their head. From now on both will be available 🙂 The core content is exactly the same – the differences between in-person and online are outlined below. Everyone enrolling, whether in-person or online, will have permanent access to the Roost Gang Facebook group.

What kind of results do people get?

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Joanna Yates

“I’m now booking a lot more family shoots and overall earning probably at least 50% more than I was before, and in some cases double. The Roost was the best workshop I’ve done in terms of clear advice and practical learnings; I came away knowing exactly what my next steps should be.”

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Charlotte Hueso

“The Roost Online has been the best photography education I’ve invested in. I’ve now got a clear plan of action thanks to Anna’s stellar guidance. Anna is warm, funny and approachable. She knows her stuff, teaches from experience and speaks from the heart.”

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Ash Davenport

“Full of gold dust. It would take you years to learn what Anna teaches in one day. Since the workshop I’ve seen a real improvement in converting shoots into real cash! It’s well worth the investment and you will earn that back in your first shoot!”

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Sally Thurrell

“I’ve never come away from a workshop armed with such extensive and practical information. Such an inspiring and useful day – amazing stuff and wish I could do it all again.”

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DAVID JENKINS

“Anna is the absolute mastermind of running a family photography business. Her course is not just about taking nice photos (although that’s covered) but a breakdown of how modern families want to feel on a shoot as well as how they buy. Anna’s approach is the perfect counterbalance to an in-person sales model. She’ll take you through her online sales process, a huge time saver in itself. By the end you’ll come away being able to run a transparent, ethical and fully sustainable business.”

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Kristian Leven

“Anna is rightly regarded as one of the very best family photographers in the country, and her Roost course is considered the best training tool for new family photographers, so for me there was no question that I wanted to learn from her. The course itself is truly impressive, and there were so many takeaways throughout. It felt like I was learning new skills for the first time – despite being a professional wedding photographer for a decade! The course gives you the confidence to tackle all age groups, how to structure a shoot, the sales side, marketing yourself etc, and there are also worksheets to help hone these ideas. There’s loads to take in, so I’ll definitely be watching the courses again before my first shoot. Thanks so much again Anna!”

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Lowri-Ellen Owen

“I feel like a weight has been lifted and I now have some direction. Thanks so much Anna for such an amazing and informative day! My head is spinning from an overload of information (in a good way!) So many many many thanks!”

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NINA DHANANI

“NEVER before have I come across a photography workshop where both personal development and photography are combined. Anna is amazing!!! She really works on your mindset, fears and confidence in a massively positive environment. Anna has an amazing and contagious energy, her passions and confidence really shine through and her eagerness to teach and help other people is so refreshing. I wouldn’t hesitate to go on more of Anna’s workshops.”

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SIMON BIFFEN

The Roost has given me the confidence to use my experience as a wedding photographer and adapt it into the family photography environment. By setting out not just how to do this with practical steps and advice, it also gives you your reason why. Anna sets the stage for you in easy to digest modules and well thought out course material which educates and emboldens. From one of the best family photographers in the country you’ll be given the tools to create an experience that leads to photographs with meaning and value.

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Martin Patterson

“I’m just coming to the end of the online version of The Roost, and I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve had many lightbulb moments throughout. Thanks Anna, this course is something I am so glad I have signed up for!”

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ANGE WARD-BROWN

“The Roost is the best bootcamp for making family images that I could ask for.  Anna is a wise owl who is brim full of knowledge, and she shows up for her course students consistently and generously. The course itself is logical, laid out in a way that makes sense and doesn’t overwhelm you, but still instills a love of the genre.  It’s really hard to work though a module and not want to race out and put those skills into practice right away.  I am someone with ADD who learns in fits and starts, and I can pick up modules after leaving gaps and they still make total sense and compound my previous learning. It’s something that can be burned though with a  passion, or taken in bite size pieces with equal impact. And throughout, however you learn, there is incredible support and engagement in the Facebook group. The woman is a gem. The Roost guides you through making compelling images, managing expectations, pricing and selling yourself in a way that is reasonable and suits your character.  It guides you through the whole client journey so that people come back to you time & time again to continue the story of their lives through your eyes.  It’s a precious thing, and Anna places as much value on what these images mean, as to how to market and sell them. The Roost is where I send any photographer, new or established, to find their voice in family photography, and learn all the strategies & skills needed to make it a profitable endeavour, while retaining all the heart needed for such a special thing.

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STEVEN ROONEY

“The Roost course has been a bit of a game-changer for me. Having come from weddings where everything is sold up-front, I was really struggling to get to grips with a different way of sales and maximising income and profit. I signed up to The Roost as I knew how successful Anna has been and I thought that investing in some expert advice and coaching was better than muddling through as I’ve done in the past. It didn’t disappoint. The Roost made me think differently about this side of my business and changed the way that I worked in terms of booking sessions and after-sales. It’s had a huge impact on the way I feel about my work as well as giving me a platform from which to make more money through family photography.”

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LYNDSEY GODDARD

“Having run a wedding photography business for over 10 years, the thought of venturing into family photography was exciting and yet daunting. Having Anna’s expert guidance, experience, and support via the Roost course was the difference between me procrastinating about it forever and actually getting the wheels in motion. Her previous experience as a teacher is evident; the way the course is structured, laid out and delivered cannot be faulted. From how to approach the shoot itself, what kit is best suited to the job, how to market yourself, the delivery of the final images, and how to price yourself is all covered, and more. Whether you are a novice photographer or have years of experience, this course is suited to you. I can’t recommend Anna highly enough.”

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ADAM RILEY

I first started shooting portraits over 10 years ago, but since I started photographing weddings they have taken a back seat. I was keen to get shooting more family photography again, but wasn’t really sure where to start. I loved the idea of an online course that allowed me to work at my own pace, after seeing Anna give talks at photography events and witnessing how willing she’s been to share knowledge and tips, I knew the Roost course would be the perfect grounding for building this side of my business. I found the course really enjoyable, often pausing the videos to jot down notes and ideas, it gave me fresh enthusiasm for shooting family portraits and made clear areas I need to improve on. I’m confident in the shooting side of family photography, but still discovered  gems of advice. My main aim was to learn more about gaining new leads, pricing my products / services and providing a more professional portrait shoot service. The course has really helped me achieve my goals. I’ve really enjoyed putting Anna’s advice and help into practice and am shooting more portrait sessions than ever!

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Jess Yarwood

“Fantastic workshop and Anna you answered all my questions without me even having to ask.”

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RIK PENNINGTON

“Anna is undoubtedly one of the UK’s top family photographers and in the Roost she has put together such a thorough and comprehensive course that it’s a must for any aspiring family photographers. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Throughout the course Anna shares a tonne of of practical and real world experience which covers every aspect of running a successful business. Anna’s first hand experience and advice is such a valuable tool for anyone who’s looking to get into family photography. I can’t think of a single aspect of running a business that isn’t covered in Anna’s course, from branding and marketing, to composition and interacting with your subjects through to pricing and after sales. Just do it, you won’t regret it!

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ROBBIE VENN

“Probably the best workshop I’ve attended, and that’s no exaggeration.”

What are my options?

Choose the version of Roost that works best for you.

IN PERSON WORKSHOP

£400

None planned until further notice due to Covid-19

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5 modules of family photography content

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Walkthroughs of two RAW, unculled shoots, one outdoor with older children and one indoor with a young baby

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Lifetime access to Roost Gang Facebook group for ongoing support

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Opportunity to ask questions and discuss ideas throughout the day, as and when they crop up

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Do all your learning in one intensive day

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Chance to meet other photographers in person and make some new friends!

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Lunch!

ONLINE COURSE

£350 

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5 modules of family photography content

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Walkthroughs of two RAW, unculled shoots, one outdoor with older children and one indoor with a young baby

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Lifetime access to Roost Gang Facebook group for ongoing support

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5 monthly live coaching calls in the Roost Gang Facebook group

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Tasks & worksheets for you to complete at the end of each unit

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Start course whenever you want and work through it completely at your own pace

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40% discount with Shutterhood membership

FAQ

Online

WHAT FORMAT IS THE COURSE CONTENT DELIVERED IN?

Each module is delivered in a series of units. Each unit contains a video with voice-over slides. At the end of each unit there’s an optional task for you to complete with a downloadable worksheet to help you, so that by the end of the course you’ll be fully up and running and ready to crack on with your family photography business! 

HOW LONG DO I HAVE ACCESS TO THE ONLINE COURSE?

Forever! Once you’ve enrolled, it’s always available to you, 24/7, 365 days a year 🙂 The Roost may increase in price to new intakes but you’ll never have to pay any more and will have permanent access to all the resources. 

WHAT IF I'M CURRENTLY BUSY AND MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO START / DEVOTE ENOUGH TIME TO THE COURSE AT THE MOMENT?

This is no problem at all – you can begin working on the course whenever you want (you don’t have to begin on the day or even the week the course opens, many people don’t!), and you can work through it completely at your own pace – guzzle it all in a day, mooch through it slowly over several months/years or anywhere in between!

You’ll also have permanent access to the Roost Gang, so you’ll always be able to ask any questions regarding family photography at any point in the future. Whenever you choose to start and whatever pace you work at, all the content is yours to access forever, so you’re able to revisit any of it at later dates if you want to 🙂  

WHAT ARE THE LIVE COACHING CALLS?

Each month there will be a live video within the Roost Gang Facebook group where you can attend live, and chat and ask me questions in real time about anything relating to the course and/or family photography. I’ll chat and answer any questions you put to me during the call but will also put a call out beforehand so if you’re not able to attend live you can still submit any questions you might have for me to answer during the video. The replay of the video will then always be available within the group’s video library for you to watch at any time that’s convenient to you.

HOW DOES THE ROOST DIFFER TO THE SHUTTERHOOD?

The Shutterhood is my online membership for fledgling photographers, designed to support people in the early stages of setting up their photography business, and covers the essential foundations for launching and growing any type of photography business, wedding, family or otherwise. Go for this if you are just starting out.

The Roost is a course covering the particular ways you need to tailor and adapt your photographic and business approach for family photography specifically. This can be purchased on its own if you already have a photography business up and running and want to diversify into family photography, or you can purchase this with a 50% discount as an add-on to The Shutterhood if you are just starting out.

In Person

WHAT TIME DOES THE DAY START/FINISH?
Arrive from 09:00 for a brew, a biscuit and a chinwag with your fellow Roosters before a prompt start at 09:30. We finish at 17:00.
DO I GET FED?
Absolutely! I’m a chronic ‘feeder’ and greedy guts so there will be no shortage of tasty food! Lunch is included, as well as mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshments, and tea, coffee and cold drinks will be provided throughout the day.
HOW MANY PLACES ARE THERE AT EACH WORKSHOP?
Depending on the venue, there will be approximately 10 places on each workshop. It’s important to me to keep each event intimate to allow each attendee to be able to get involved more freely and comfortably, and to ensure that discussions are productive for everyone.
IF I'M UNABLE TO ATTEND, CAN I GET A REFUND?
Unfortunately payments are non-refundable. However, you’re able to transfer your own booking to an available place at a different Roost workshop on a different date, or you can transfer your booking to a different person if you’re able to source someone else to attend in your place. You are also more than welcome to switch to having access to the online version of the Roost instead.
DO I NEED TO BRING A CAMERA?
There will be one short live shoot during the day, during which attendees will be invited to shoot alongside me if they wish to do so (one at a time, so as not to scare the baby!) However, if you’d prefer to just watch and listen, as many do, please feel free to leave your camera at home.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO BRING?
Just a notepad and pen, and if you like, a list of any questions you’d like to ask 🙂

7 DAY SATISFACTION GUARANTEE

I want you to love this membership and get amazing results. If you enrol, have a look round and don't feel that it can help you develop the skills you need, then let me know within 7 days and I'll refund your purchase. No questions asked. I'm sure you'll be delighted though!

ANNA

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Manchester family photographer, for down-to-earth, adventurous, big-hearted families all across the North West, London and UK

Creative, documentary family photography in Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, London

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