There are many steps and many people that are involved in bringing Primary clothes to life, from the fabrics we use to the way they show up on our site! As a predominantly online brand (P.S. We're available in select buybuyBaby stores nationwide!), we put a lot of thought and care into how we visually convey the color, quality, and feel of our assortment. Today, we're chatting with our Photo Art Director, Louisa, to learn more about how photo shoots work and what goes into making the beautiful, vibrant imagery we use on our site.
Give us a general overview of your part in planning a photo shoot. What happens first? How much planning does it take?
We typically start planning our shoots 1.5-2 months prior to when we need images ready for our website. We pick a shoot date, find a studio in New York City, think about who we want our team to be (photographer, stylist, hair, casting, etc.) and get to work! We’ve formed great relationships with some really talented people, which makes our jobs much easier. Fun fact: Our last Fall shoot was an all-female crew, which is something that can feel rare and special in the photo industry.
Where do you find the kids and babies? Are there tiny modeling auditions?
We work with a wonderful casting director! But rather than going through kids modeling agencies, we often use kids who are unsigned. Our casting director will post casting calls on Instagram or in Facebook groups she's part of, and sometimes, we'll even reach out directly to people in the Primary community on Instagram. Occasionally, we'll have kids submit videos so we can see their personalities shine!
What’s it like on set? How do you get such great images from young kids?
We have a great photographer and stylist who have a gift for getting kids excited. We play games and put on their favorite songs (Kids' requests include everything from Baby Shark to Camilla Cabello to Whitney Houston!). Sometimes, it just takes one thing they find funny or silly to get their genuine laughter and smiles to come through. That’s what we aim for.
Are there good snacks?
Of course! Those apple sauce pouches are always a huge hit, haha.
Do kids get to pick their own outfits?
We partner with the merchandising and marketing teams to determine what styles we want to feature the most, and work with a wonderful stylist to create outfits. However, sometimes kids get to pick out their socks! And while they don't get to choose their outfits, we always make sure that the kids feel comfortable in what they're wearing. We never force a kid to wear something that doesn't feel right for them. For example, one girl we work with *hates* pink, so we make sure to always choose outfits for her that are green or blue!
What’s your favorite part of photo shoots?
Like I mentioned above, we don’t generally work with kids who are signed with agencies. Sometimes, it will be a kid's first time on set! My favorite part is seeing their face light up when they look back on the monitor and see themselves in a picture. Also, the giggling. Kids’ laughter is so contagious and always brightens up the entire atmosphere.
What’s the hardest part?
Making sure we get everything photographed as planned. It can be a bit chaotic with kids running around, singing, dancing, babies sometimes crying, etc. It’s up to me and the producer to stay on track and cross off everything on our shot list.
Do you have any favorite quotes or stories from the shoots?
My favorite stories are from parents who write back to us saying that their kid asked when they will get to come back to Primary’s photo shoot. That makes my day, because we always want our photo shoots to be a fun and exciting experience for all.
Thank you so much, Louisa! Want to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at Primary? Check out our chat about UPF 50 fabrics with Ryan, our Corporate Social Responsibility Director!
P.S. BTS photos by Ana Maria Lopez.