The Roost

Build a profitable family photography business with soul

Do you want to photograph families in a natural and meaningful way, making a decent & ethical living, working sociable & family-friendly hours?

I’m Anna, a family photographer and mentor living in sunny Manchester, proud mum to hilarious loopy chatterboxes 14 year old Joe and loopy 4 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.

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. 10 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 5 years ago, I quickly realised this was my true passion and calling. HOWEVER…

\

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

\

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!)

\

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

\

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

\

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

\

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!

Through years of trial and error I worked out methods and approaches to overcome all these problems, 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 business that puts families 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, 3 intakes of online Roost workshops and have a thriving Facebook community of 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 and immediately feel confident:
Z

Motivation & Voice

Finding your ‘why’ // style + voice // branding + identity // attracting your ideal clients
Z

Making Strong Images

Equipment + kit // ingredients of a great picture // finding + using great light // making creative use of composition, location, background + environment // capturing genuine moments, relationships + emotion
Z

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
Z

Workflow, Marketing & Sales

Workflow // navigating the sales process – sales for people who don’t like to sell! // products + pricing // marketing + leveraging different client sources
Z

Why Family Photography Matters

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

Making Strong Images

Equipment + kit // ingredients of a great picture // finding + using great light // making creative use of composition, location, background + environment // capturing genuine moments, relationships + emotion

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. This online course becomes available 3 times a year, with doors closed in between so that I can focus fully on supporting each cohort/intake.

I’ll also continue to hold in-person Roost workshops 2-3 times a year, 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?

|

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.”

|

Jess Yarwood

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

|

Ash Davenport

“The whole day was 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!”

|

ROBBIE VENN

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

|

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!”

|

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.”

|

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.”

|

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!”

|

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.”

What are my options?

Choose the version of Roost that works best for you.

IN PERSON WORKSHOP

£400
Z

5 modules of family photography content

Z

Lifetime access to Roost Gang Facebook group

Z

Live shoot with parent and young baby

Z

Walkthrough of a RAW, unculled outdoor shoot with older children

Z

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

Z

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

Z

Lunch!

ONLINE COURSE

£375
Z

5 modules of family photography content

Z

Lifetime access to Roost Gang Facebook group

Z

Walkthrough of a RAW, unculled outdoor shoot with older children

Z

Walkthrough of a RAW, unculled indoor shoot with a young baby

Z

5 x fortnightly live group Zoom calls – an opportunity to ask questions and chat online

Z

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

Z

Start course and work through it completely at your own pace

FAQ

WHAT LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE SHOULD I HAVE?

Photographers of all levels of experience are very welcome and have happily attended Roost workshops, including:
– People just starting to build their photography business from scratch
– Established professional photographers who already specialise in other areas (eg. weddings), who want to establish, grow and gain confidence in family photography
– Established family photographers who want to take a fresh look at their business, photographic work and approach

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! There are also five fortnightly group Zoom coaching calls included in the price, which are basically like group Skypes where anyone can ask me questions about the course and I’ll answer them. So you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get continued personalised support as you progress through the course and regularly chat and ask any questions to real live talking people, myself included! 🙂
WHAT IF I'M NOT ABLE TO ATTEND THE LIVE GROUP ZOOM CALL(S)?
Don’t worry at all – although the Zoom calls are live, you don’t have to attend them if you’re not able to or don’t want to. You’ll have the opportunity to submit your own questions for me to answer beforehand, and whether you’ve submitted questions and/or attended live or not, the recorded replay of the call (including my responses to all questions) will be available for everyone to watch afterwards 🙂
HOW LONG DO I HAVE ACCESS TO THE ONLINE COURSE?
Forever! There are 3 intakes a year, but once you’ve purchased the course during one of these intakes, 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!

Once you’ve purchased it, it’s yours to start and work through whenever suits you. Do bear in mind that if you miss this intake then the course won’t become available again for another 4 months, so perhaps weigh up whether you are likely to be busier then or now :

As there are 5 free fortnightly Zoom group calls included in the course (starting when the course opens), you might prefer to be able to start the course within 10 weeks of signing up so that you can take advantage of some of these, but some people prefer not to join the Zoom calls anyway and just like to work through the content on their own without asking questions in a live chat. 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 – this isn’t just restricted to the Zoom calls. Whenever you choose to start and whatever pace you work at, all the content is yours to access forever (including recorded replays of the group Zoom calls), so you’re able to revisit any of it at later dates if you want to 🙂  

HOW DOES THE ROOST DIFFER TO THE GAME PLAN?

Although they might seem like they have some overlap (as both mention branding and marketing) these two courses are completely different. The Roost contains advice specifically relating to growing a family photography business whereas The Game Plan is a system of personalised templates and exercises that you work through to create a bespoke strategy for your own photography business, and is applicable to any kind of photography – wedding, family or otherwise. For example, The Roost discusses the importance of branding and gives advice about finding your own style and approach, whereas The Game Plan leads you through the detailed process of actually creating your own unique brand so that you have a full brand profile at the end of it. Similarly, The Roost advises you about the types of marketing that work well for family photography, whereas The Game Plan leads you through the process of actually creating your own annual and quarterly marketing strategies.

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 🙂
30 DAY SATISFACTION GUARANTEE

I want you to love your course and get amazing results. If you don’t feel that my online course can help you develop the skills you need, then let me know and I’ll refund your purchase. No questions asked. I’m sure you’ll be delighted though!

ANNA

FOLLOW ME

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

what next?

DOWNLOAD MY E-BROCHURE