The main thing to know about my photo shoots is that they are based around the children. My aim is to capture beautiful, natural images, that show off your children’s individual beauty and personality. I’m not going to do that if they are forced to sit still, look at the camera and smile for ‘the nice lady’! So the first thing I will want to know when you book a shoot is when is the best time of day to get your children at their happiest and most energetic. I will also warn you to allow a few hours for the shoot, so that we have time for your children to warm up to me, for them to have snacks, feeds, breaks and naps as they need them, and, very importantly, for us to grab a cup of coffee and get to know each other! Oh yes, and to take some photos inbetween all that! In fact, we will usually start with the coffee, so that the children can get used to me and we can have a chat about any specific ideas or images you have in mind. If we are shooting in your home, we will have a look round to see which rooms offer the best light and settings for the images (be warned, it might not be the ones you expect!).
I generally do shoots at weekends, as then I know that my children are happy being looked after by their Dad and I have the freedom to give your family as much time and attention as required to get some great images without having to worry about mine. My style is mainly very natural, and I use natural light when I can. I will sometimes enhance this with some gentle flash or other light, to bring a bit of sparkle to the scene. I will always include images with the whole family, with siblings together, and with individual children and mum & dad. I know some adults hate having their photo taken, but these images will be so important to you and to your children in the future, and it is worth spending some time on these. For my part, I will try to create shots that you love, and will include a mixture of ‘straight’, fun and arty poses that capture your family’s personality and love.
babies & maternity
For babies, I will come to your house and do a mixture of indoor and outdoor shots, depending on the weather. I have a few props to help with posing and to provide an artistic look. I can also include anything you want to use – a favourite toy, a special blanket, or a gift with sentimental value. It’s a good idea to plan for a couple of outfits (and have some spares!), plus a snowsuit or some extra layers if we go outside, so that we can capture some different looks. For the younger babies, this would most likely include a sleepsuit as one of the options. Most people also like to do a few naked images, or I have some lovely snuggly nappies for the more modest babies. A shoot can be quite stimulating and tiring for a baby, so we take things gently, keep it all calm, and follow your baby’s cues for when he or she needs a break or a feed. Of course if he/she goes for a cuddle or a nap, I can still get some adorable images without disturbing him or her one little bit.
Good ages for photographing babies are in the first couple of weeks of life, when they are still very curled up and we can get some gorgeous sleepy poses (see a few examples from emily at 9 days old), capture tiny fingers and toes, and some beautiful & artistic images with mum and dad. Then at 3-4 months old, when they are smiling and interacting with the world and have that wonderful chubby babyness, we can get some fabulous wide eyed shots, some great tummy shots, as they can lift their heads up, and some lovely interaction with mum & dad (see lily at 12 weeks). The next good stage is around 6-7 months, when they are able to sit up and are very interested in playing with toys and what’s going on around them. It’s probably best then to wait until baby is walking, usually by around 13 months, as they undergo another change in their looks, and we can have lots of fun with the newly upright child!
We will be offering a first year baby plan to cover these key stages, so watch out for news of that coming very soon. Or you can book in for a single shoot at any stage through your baby’s first year. And don’t forget that we can create lovely maternity images (see edward’s mum 2 weeks before giving birth), which is a great way to start the baby plan or just to capture this moment in your life in a beautifully artistic way. The best time for having a maternity shoot is usually at around the 7-8 month stage, so that your bump is well defined and you are less likely to miss the opportunity if you have an early arrival. Everyone develops differently, however, so if you have a beautifully defined bump at 5 months, we can certainly do a shoot at that time.
toddlers and children
For older children, I can shoot in your home and garden or we can head out to the beach or the woods or anywhere else you like to go. I work with the personality and age(s) of the child(ren) involved, so I start by getting to know them and making sure they are comfortable with me. Some children are happy to dive straight in and some take longer to warm up, but this is a key part of setting up the shoot to be successful, so it is worth the effort to allow each child to become happy and relaxed in their own time. Once they’re ready, we will come up with some games that they would like to play and I will shoot around the activity. As the interest and energy wanes for one game, we come up with another. The shoots are great fun, and the children really enjoy themselves, so we get some brilliant natural expressions, laughter and interaction (see george, rory & annabel)
The older the children, generally the more energetic the shoot is likely to be, especially if there are 2 or more children involved, so it is good to have some space to allow for a variety of things to do or look at and different corners to explore. If the weather forces us indoors, having a few favourite games or activities available allows us to keep the children’s attention and get some great images of them at play. Again, a couple of changes of clothing is good for getting different looks, although it may be more practical to achieve this with clever use of layers or switching t-shirts, rather than full changes (unless your children are like my daughter who will happily go through 5 changes of clothes in a day!).
get in touch
Please get in touch with me for more information or if you have any specific questions. Once you have booked a shoot, I will send you more details and suggestions specific to the age(s) of your child(ren), and we can discuss any particular issues or concerns. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 07973 205 755.