Family Photography Common Questions and Answers
How the Shoot works
The main thing about booking a photoshoot is how the shoot is going to work – what sort of images are you looking for. I don’t use a studio, I come to your home or we get out and about somewhere and try to have some fun. Got some questions – well here are some common questions about how my family photoshoots work.
How long does the shoot last?
- Newborns – 3 hours.
- Babies and Family sessions – 1.5 hours.
Newborn photography sessions last about 3 hours. I don’t want to rush but I also don’t want to tire anyone out. My newborn photoshoots are very much baby led. The sessions take place in your home. This works great for most people (you don’t have to go anywhere), everything you need is readily available, your baby is familiar with the sounds and smells going on around them, and nursing/feeding breaks are possible and relaxed.
My other baby or children photography sessions last about an hour and a half to two hours. I tend to suggest that we don’t book anything in too close to those times as feeling rushed is not nice for anyone. I do like to stay as long as I feel we are being productive – often there is a natural break (food or warmth.)
Do I need any props?
I tend not to use proper props… I don’t really want to do the same shot with different babies again and again. I do have some hats, crowns, hairbands and nappy covers – which may or may not be to your taste. I will bring some fabrics, rugs, white noise, heater and a couple of bowls for my newborn photography sessions. Generally I’m looking to try and get natural but professional shots of your newborn (and you.) This might be that we’ll have some skin or skin, some with your baby posed but without too much – “look at the cute hat”.
For babies, toddlers and children. I have a few things like fairy wings, wands, pirate swords, and other things – but generally I would prefer that you accessorise your own photos – for instance Furzey Garden’s in The New Forest is a beautiful fairy garden – if your child loves fairies – dressing up with wings you’ve bought and can colour co-ordinate with or perhaps wings, wands and crowns we make together while we are there – would all be for the better.
When a lot of my clients hear the words props – they think of certain studio type photography – I’d rather not try and get those type of images.
What do I need to do to prepare for the photoshoot?
Relax. By far the best thing to do is to try and chill out and just treat the shoot as a play date. Try not to amp up your children or yourselves. Some clients instead of saying that a photographer is coming tell their children a friend is coming. Some don’t mention it at all. Each family is different, but stand off’s and tantrums could come from building up something to young children and it not being as they imagined.
I’ll send through some general tips when you book too.
What if I’m camera shy?
Don’t worry – most people are, it’s quite normal to not love having your photo taken. I usually take some time to have a chat / coffee or tea first before I take out my camera. I am easy going and want us to all just have fun and a nice enjoyable time.
I don’t want to tell you that I’m amazing at putting people at ease and that I take photos in such a great and different way that you’ll not even realise you are having your photo taken – that would be all pushing the truth – I do try my best to make you as comfortable as you can be and for the shoot to be relaxed and painless as possible. I do get told a lot that the shoot was fun and much better than they thought. The shoot should feel more like a play date with a friend, than a formal photo shoot. You won’t even have to look at the camera if you don’t want to. I want to capture natural and authentic moments, so just focus on having fun with your family and I will capture it all as it happens.
What if my child is ill?
It happens – don’t worry – give me at least 24 hours notice and we can re-arrange. I allow two rearrangements, before there is an additional charge. It is really common for running noses, the odd scrape and other minor blemishes to be there on the day of the shoot, so don’t worry about that too much – often they can be removed in post production. If you have any doubts about whether you should go ahead or not, get in touch and we can discuss it. I want the shoot to be fun and successful – battling against an illness is no fun for anyone.
What if the weather looks to be wet?
It’s a cliche but portrait photographers do like overcast and grey skies as they can produce a beautiful flattering light. Every other weather is absolutely fine for us to shoot in – apart from pouring rain. A light drizzle could be good – think brollies and wellies and muddle puddles. In the days before your shoot I will keep my eye on the weather forecast if it looks iffy we have the following options.
1) Change plans – hold the shoot indoors at your home or other location.
2) Embrace it – get some brightly coloured wellies.
3) If you are set on outdoor shots then I’ll happily reschedule the date.
What should I wear?
Broadly speaking it would be best to go for simple, non-patterned clothes. Subtle patterns can work well but I find that bold patterns, checks, stripes and large branding can be very distracting and are a definite NO GO.
As I’m not trying for formal photos of you and your family, try not to dress super formally. I don’t want you to look back at the images and think – look at that scruff bag – but also I don’t want you dressed up for dinner when we are playing in a park. You can read a bit more about my tips on my What to Wear page.