“There were laughs, there were tears, there were giant cardboard popsicles…you know, the usual,” laughs Ashley Thompson of the shoot she and partner Ana Homonnay recently wrapped for Peek clothing. As veterans kid photographers, Thompson Homonnay knows how to keep shooting through the chaos.
“This shoot was a marathon, with 16 kids and four babies packed into a nine hour day,” says Homonnay. “You get on kind of a high from the energy of shooting, then at 6:15 we just collapsed.” Thompson and Homonnay work seamlessly together, with one behind the camera and the other at the monitor with the digital tech and art director.
“We keep a lot of cross talk going. So maybe I take the photo but Ana is calling out from the monitor to zoom in more, move the angle up or whatever. So we don’t have to waste time or stop shooting. With kids, you can’t stop the action or it’s all over,” says Thompson.
They also bring in backup. “We have a secret weapon: Tracie the Kid Wrangler,” laughs Homonnay, referring to Tracie Marquez. “She keeps them jumping, singing, looking for imaginary butterflies. We really want that spontaneity of kids being kids, not something posed.”
Thompson and Homonnay partnered for the Peek shoot with Beautiful Picture Productions. “Lacey Shaw and her team were just awesome,” says Thompson. You’d turn around they’d be carrying in a giant cardboard car or cassette tape they’d just made in the other room.”
The duo is currently in the planning stages of another commercial shoot with kids and teens. And in the meantime they’ll keep doing test shoots, looking for new angles and approaches. But not with their own kids. “Our own children absolutely refuse to take direction from us,” laughs Thompson. “They are 11 and they are so over it.”