What to expect on your life-style photo-shoot

Before the day:

Preparing parents and families for their photo-shoot goes a long way towards making things run effortlessly on the day. I start by chatting with you over the phone or email, and here we cover the main areas that you need to think about for your shoot.

On the day, shoots in the home:

Smiley happy babies, children and families

  • On a baby or child shoot timing is essential to get the best possible photos so ideally, photographing little ones when they are fresh and not too tired is preferable. With this in mind it is important that we schedule a shoot, when possible, around their and their naps and meal times. I am happy to attend shoots as early as 8am (depending on your location) if this will result in a refreshed baby or child up for some smiles and play.

  • On a family shoot based in the home shoots flow better when families are relaxed and happy to chat amongst themselves and let me be a fly on the wall. If family members haven't seen each other for a while before the shoot it is definitely worth them spending some time together and catching up before I arrive. This way everyone is comfortable in each other's company and as a result the photos are much more natural.

Clothing

  • Children and babies tend to look their most fabulous in bright colours. This really adds something to the photos. With baby/toddler and children photo-shoots it is worth, for variety in the photos, maybe selecting a change of clothes or even a couple of changes of clothes for your little ones. These can be minimal such as a change of top or involve a number of outfit changes including dressing up clothes. It all depends on the individual baby/child and your own time and patience.

  • With family shoots however there is no particular type or style of clothing which works best. Some families have dressed up for their shoot and others keep it casual. These will be your photos so make sure that you are happy and comfortable in what you are wearing. It is worth chatting amongst the family so that you are all in agreement before the day with regards to what you wear.

Props

  • Does your baby or child have a favourite toy? Have you spent time decorating their bedroom? Would you like a photo of them on their first bike or roller skates or even with something sentimental and important to you like a special photo? All these things add a dimension to the photo-shoot, often bringing colour, fun and some emotion to it too.

Backdrop

  • Probably the primary task, and one that does actually make a difference with shoots in the home, is the amount of clutter present in the background. Photos are certainly improved when the backdrop is clearer. Don't however put pressure on yourself to do a massive spring clean, it is not necessary, all we really need is one or two rooms that we can use and we will get some wonderful photos no matter what the backdrop.
  • However, one of the bonuses of using the backdrop of the home means that with babies and children we get to use their bedrooms, which in my experience are often colourful and personalised and work fantastically to inject a bit of personalised style, colour and fun into the photos.

Lighting

  • I stay away from large amounts of artificial lighting, occasionally using some fill-in flash but primarily I try to use natural light, which complements baby and children photography best and captures your little one's personality as naturally as possible.

On the day, shoots out of doors:

Location

  • I will ask you to pick an outdoor location that you love, near to your home or easily accessible and that we can use in addition to shooting inside. Sometimes families will pick a specific location such as a beach, forest or the peaks (in Sheffield) where we will base the shoot entirely.

Clothing & Weather

  • It is very easy to forget the most practical of things for an outdoor shoot when you have other things and people to organise. Basically, and just in case, have warm coats, hats, scarves or blankets on standby in the colder months because we may be outside for longer than planned, and make sure that sunscreen and hats are accessible for the warmer months. Also, always have an umbrella or wellies on hand, the more colourful the better for the photos.

After the shoot:

Once the shoot is over I work on each individual image to guarantee that little faces are clean and that eyes sparkle.

During editing I often pick out a couple of specific images from the shoot that I feel would particularly suit a more stylistic and artistic enhancement, which I hope you will love. The entire editing process normally takes up to 2 weeks but during this period I often send families and parents a few photos from the shoot to keep them going.

Once ready, your images will be displayed on a private online gallery from which, depending on the package you have opted for, you can choose the images you want to have as prints and/or to download or have made into photo gift products.

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