Whether you are after a full lifestyle session or a standard portrait session, this guide will help you to get the most out of your time with me.
What to expect
LIFESTYLE SESSION - BETWEEN 60 - 90 MINUTES
I'll rock up to your home or whatever location we've chosen, chat for a wee bit, get out my camera and start shooting. I'll offer a bit of guidance here and there, and at some point during the session I'll make sure that we have one or two posed images.
Your session will be based around some activities - whether that is fishing, playing board games, cooking together - anything that will get you interacting together. It's important to not prompt your children to look at the camera in this type of session.
PORTRAIT SESSION - BETWEEN 45 - 60 MINUTES
We'll meet at the location we've chosen, then I'll give you some tips on body language and how to stand. I'll choose the spot that has the best light, then we'll go through and shoot whatever combinations of groups that you want. We might go for a bit of a walk to find some different backdrops. If there are little ones, I'll probably chase them around a bit and act like a big dork so they'll smile.
Tips for children
- Make sure they are well feed beforehand (nothing too sugary )
- Dress them in clothes that look good - but ultimately that aren't unconformable for them to be in.
- Have wetwipes and tissues on hand
- Have a few bribes on hand, but don't offer them until we run into trouble. If kids know there is a treat before the session they start to get a bit impatient for them early on.
- If there are a couple of shy ones, show them a picture of me and tell them my name and that I'll be there taking some photos. Sometimes it can be helpful to let them know that I'm a mum too.
- Your mood matters. Please approach our session with a relaxed energy. If you are stressed and focused on trying to make them perfect little angels, they will pick up on that mood and respond negatively. I do not expect your children to behave perfectly. Please don't insist that they smile directly at the camera for every image. Also, be prepared to act a bit silly and energetic if needed!
These take around an hour and a half to two hours, and can be shot at the same time as your photographic lifestyle session. For the films we want to capture those beautiful ordinary moments that you'll miss when the kids are all grown up, so they will always start at your family home. Film sessions are family led - I won't give you too much guidance on the day. Plan for lots of cuddles and interaction with the kids. You can plan to do your favourite everyday activities when I'm there and you can add some special stuff too if you want (going for ice-cream, or to the park etc.)
Tips for your film.
Make sure all of the house lights are off. It might seem dark but it's works better than the colour cast that artificial lighting causes.
If you are planning activities, a couple of different ones will be fine, you don't need to cram in tons, we want the session to feel natural and relaxed.
Encourage the kids to focus on the task at hand instead of me.
Clothing does make a difference - see clothing tips below, but in particular avoid thin stripes as they tend to cause visual banding.
What to wear.
Finding the perfect outfit can be a challenge! You want to look nice, and be cohesive with the group, but you still want to be you, and feel comfortable in your skin. This guide should help you, but if you still have questions, just let me know! I'm happy to help.
You can decide as a group if you want your session to be super casual or more formal.
Even if you have decided on casual, please avoid wearing clothes with big logos, baseball caps and keep jandals for at the beach!
Don't match everyone (white tops and jeans on everyone is so 1995!) Feel free to bring changes of clothes to change it up. Matching a tonal range is fine though (eg everyone in different Autumn colours)
- Choose versions of primary colours if you can. Yellow (mustard), red (maroon, brick), and blue (navy, royal). Deep, rich colours are lovely, as are soft pastels. Work with items that you are drawn to. Black and white are fine, but try to add another colour too and again make sure everybody isn't matching!
- Dress for the weather, and be flexible
- Layers add dimension and depth. In the summer, layer your dress with a cute belt and pendant necklace. In autumn and winter? Cardigans, belts, statement necklaces, scarves, hats, blazers, etc.
- Stay away from wearing a lot of green when having photos taken in grassy/wooded areas.
- Steer clear of fluorescent colours. Fluorescent colours tend to colour cast on faces, necks and hair. So colourful is fine, but not fluorescent.
- Maxi dresses always look amazing, but if you are uncomfortable in a dress, pants are fine too! Match them with a top that is the right length, so you aren't pulling it down all the time, and if it will be cold, find a cute jacket.
It’s more than okay to feel nervous! Please know that I do not expect you to be models. My job is to direct you in a way that helps you relax, feel natural, and be your true comfortable selves in front of my lens. You do not need to practice poses, study Pinterest pins or let the nerves take over. Don’t worry if you are feeling nervous, I’ll be sure the end result is something you will love!
What happens after the session?
After the session, I'll go through the images and edit the best ones.
I'll send through an invoice after the session, which will need to be paid in full before the photos are released.
When I've finished editing your images (around 2 weeks) I'll send you a link to your gallery. If you have a package with a limited amount of images, you will be prompted to choose your favourites. I'll then release your chosen images to you for download and share. If you have the unlimited package, you will receive a link to the full gallery of edited images.
You can then print your images with your chosen lab. You can also order high quality prints, and fine art products directly through your gallery.
If you have a family film, you will receive both a link to an online version as well as an MP4 via dropbox.
Sharing is caring.
I'll double check with you first, but sometimes I like to share a couple of images or a blog of a session on my social media accounts. This is hugely important for my business as without images I don't have a product to market.
If you are sharing your images on social media I'd love a shout out too! Tag my business page or even just mention who took your awesome photos. ;) Word of mouth is how I get 90% of my business, and every little bit counts!
Please don't add filters to my work! I've developed my editing style over many years and I die a little inside when I see an Instagram filter added over the top!
Don't be afraid to leave a review to tell everyone just how much you enjoyed your session and love your photos.
“Thanks for the amazing photos! I love every single one! I can't wait to print them and put some up in our house! These are my favorite family photos ever. Thank you so much for capturing this special moment of us as a family. I'll treasure these photos for a long time to come. Thank you thank you thank you. :)”