by Keith Thompson Published 01/06/2012
"Our eldest daughter Lynsey started helping me at weddings when she was quite young, maybe just eight or nine," says Keith, "and she would look after my camera bag for me and generally help out, and then when she hit her teenage years and lost some enthusiasm, her younger brother Jamie wanted to get involved to give his pocket money a boost. He's been my photographic assistant pretty much ever since."
Being surrounded full time by photography it's probably no great surprise that the bug has been catching, and as she grew older Lynsey rediscovered her interest in the business while Jamie likewise decided that a photographic career was what he wanted. Completing the set, youngest daughter Charlotte has developed her own complementary skills and now offers her services as a make-up artist, available to work on location with brides on the wedding day but also on photo shoots in the studio when required.
Despite his children wanting to work in the business Keith and Debbie both insisted that they should go and get qualified up to Fellowship standard so that they had their own skills that they could tap into and that philosophy has paid off handsomely as both Lynsey and Jamie are now skilled photographers in their own right and it's meant that weddings can be shared around the studio, with Keith increasingly being able to take his foot off the gas a little as the younger generation gets more involved.
"The children all have their own businesses now," he says, "albeit under the umbrella of Studio Rouge. Despite the recession we've got more weddings coming in this year than ever before and we're seeing them throughout the week rather than just on Saturdays. We try to pace them so that when one of us has a wedding to cover another will be free to work as their assistant: I might have a wedding to cover on a Monday and a Friday, for example, and Jamie might assist me on those two and I could end up assisting him with a wedding on the Saturday. It works out really well and it means I don't have to cover three weddings on my own in a week."
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