So many people feel stressed and overwhelmed just thinking about having their portrait taken. I believe that your portrait session should be fun and relaxing; it should be an enjoyable experience that will conjure wonderful memories for years to come. I only book one appointment per day and will shoot for as long as it takes to capture the right moments and produce a stunning collection of images. My style includes both traditional portraiture and photo-journalistic style photography.
Location settings take place at your home, the park or any other favourite place. I prefer to shoot outdoors because the quality of natural lighting creates wonderful images, and your child tends to be more relaxed and comfortable..
I believe that your session should be fun and relaxing; it should be an experience that will create wonderful memories for years to come.
My photography may look effortless, but it is not. My heart and soul (and years of learning, practise and experience) go into every single image and I work hard to connect with each family, to relax them and draw their personalities out into my images.
I prefer to start shooting first thing in the morning when the children are fresh and the light is at its best. Most of my shoots last a full morning and we may combine time spent at home and in the garden with a visit to the park or woods. I only book one client per day and will shoot for as long as it takes to capture the right moments and produce a stunning set of images.
A look through my gallery will show you just some of the activities I have incorporated into my shoots – games of cricket and rounder’s, baking, table football, colouring, impromptu musical renditions, train sets, toy cars and Lego, as well as quiet time with books and cuddles.
During your shoot I will take a wide range of pictures including both individual portraits and full family groups, and every other combination you would like. I will get involved with your children and play with them but also stand back to observe and document what they do, without interference.
For sessions at your home, I like to arrive and meet your family, and perhaps enjoy a coffee – all before I unpack my camera and equipment. Your child needs to feel comfortable and relaxed with me – this usually happens pretty quickly as children are naturally inquisitive, but I am happy for it to take as long as it takes. You will be my only appointment of the day so you can be sure your session will never be rushed or hurried.
This is the ideal time for us to wander around your home and garden, deciding on suitable locations and for us to discuss any particular idea’s or visions you may have for your pictures.
Experience has taught me never to ask a child to smile or, worse still, to say ‘cheese’. These prompts never produce genuine expressions and I would ask that you resist using these or similar phrases too. Although well-intended, I also ask that you refrain from standing behind or next to me – my style of photography and the success of my images depends upon achieving strong eye contact with your child and I cannot do this if they are encouraged to look at you instead! In fact, I often find that with children around three or four years and upwards the best results are achieved when Mummies and Daddies disappear out of sight as a child often feels the need to perform in front of a parent, and that usually means un-natural smiles and expressions. However I am of course happy to work in which ever way you, and your child, feels most comfortable.
I always suggest several changes of clothes throughout your session, often from one simple outfit such as a plain, pale dress or shirt, through to more casual clothes. Often vibrant coloured outfits can look particularly effective, but I strongly advise you to avoid outfits with words, logo’s, or busy designs. If your child has a favourite outfit, or even a dressing-up costume that they would like to be photographed in, this is absolutely fine (but often best kept until last!)
My favourite footwear of all is bare feet. I am very happy to advise on the outfits and often a look through your child’s wardrobe before I begin will throw up some very successful idea’s.
Feeling Under the Weather?
If your child is feeling unwell, please call me to re-arrange. I understand that sometimes children do get sick, I want your child to enjoy the photo session, and a sick child may not feel like having his or her portraits taken. I would appreciate if you could call to re-arrange as soon as it’s apparent he or she is ill. Thank you for your consideration on this matter.
However, there is no need to worry if your child gets a small scratch or sore just before our session. Minor re-touching is included in my print prices (should you want to do this).
A full tummy helps keep babies and children happy and satisfied during their portrait session, but please be careful of what foods they eat before their session. Carrots and sweet potatoes can sometimes leave an orange tint on a child’s skin. This tint may not always be noticeable to the human eye, but the camera’s picks up on such skin discoloration. If your child has a cold, please be sure to wipe your child’s nose and mouth thoroughly, because again, the camera may pick up what eyes may not notice.
Newborn sessions often take up to four hours, which is fine, I am happy to work around the important jobs of feeding, changing and comforting!
My most popular images of newborns are those where they are wearing no clothes at all, and this is also my favourite. I highly suggest that an hour before I arrive for our session you increase the heating in your home. Some clients have even used little heaters that blow warm air to heat a room or a warm water bottle – all these tricks ensure that your baby is comfortable. Comfortable babies sleep, and a lot of the poses that I try with newborns work well with sleeping babies. But don’t worry, I love awake babies too!
Please feed your baby before I arrive so that they have a full tummy. Also, if you’d like shots of your baby undressed, please undress him/her and loosen the nappy, then wrap your baby in a blanket, and feed him/her. Otherwise, your baby may get upset at being undressed when they were so cosy. I prefer to photograph newborns in very few clothes, but feel free to lay out a few outfits that you may wish to include. I’m happy to advise you which will photograph best, if you wish. Please note that many clothing changes may upset your baby, so I find it is best to limit to one or two changes.