Questions I'm often asked
Here are a few questions I'm often asked about my portrait photography services. It's by no means exhaustive, so feel free to drop me a line if you have any others.
We've never had professional photographs taken before - what should we expect?
I will do my best to make you all feel completely at ease, making friends with your children so they feel relaxed and just be themselves in front of the camera. Children rarely like to be told what to do (!), and I don't want to stifle their natural energy so I encourage the parents to relax their normal rules just a little so that the kids can really feel they're being themselves. There's nothing like the face of a cheeky monkey who knows they're getting away with something normally never allowed to make a great photo! With pregnancy photography, I will show you ways to stand and hold yourself to show off your bump in the best light possible, so there's a little more guidance there.
Are you qualified & insured?
I hold a qualified Licentiateship (LMPA) with the Master Photographer's Association and have full public liability insurance for your peace of mind.
We've booked a location session. What if the weather's awful?
Snow, rain, sometimes these can make beautiful shots, and the most atmospheric. Just think of jumping in muddy puddles with a groovy umbrella! We'll earmark an indoor backup location just in case, such as your home or the studio, but in the case of a beach session we might have to reschedule.
What if we're ill?
I have no desire to coerce a poorly child in front of the camera...it's not fair on them, and you'll always remember that they were ill when the photos were taken - which is not the memory I want you to take away from the experience! Calpol and cuddles is a much better option. If you can let me know either the night before, or first thing in the morning, I am more than happy to reschedule to another day when they're feeling better.
When is the best time to photograph our baby?
Ideally, before he or she is even born! Being pregnant is such a brief, but life-changing period in a woman’s life and documenting how you felt is often overlooked with the anticipation and planning for the new arrival. Now you can have a reminder of how amazing you looked and have some beautiful images to show your child when they are big enough to understand where they came from. The best times to photograph your baby are when they are newborn, still squishy and sleepy, before they are 2 weeks old after which time they start to 'uncurl' and be much more awake making it far harder to get those gorgeous shots. After that, at about 6 months, when they are sitting up confidently, grinning and able to hold things, and then again at 12 months when they might be crawling or standing, before they're properly on the move (when you'll need eyes in the back of your head and a pair of trainers to chase them in!). How about a 1st birthday shoot when they can get deliciously messy - getting stuck into a birthday cake?
What if our baby or child doesn't want to perform for the camera?
Don't worry, I always allow around 2-3 hours for our photo session (often more for newborns) to ensure we are relaxed and unhurried, allowing for feeding/snack breaks as needed. The last thing I want is to be watching the clock instead of focussing on creating gorgeous portraits. I tend to schedule photo shoots in the morning when kids are at their sparkiest and so that we can carry on as long as needed and a re-shoot won't be necessary.
What should we bring/wear?
As a general guide, something you all feel comfortable in, although clothing without logos on are better as they won't date or be too distracting. With pregnant mums and babies I usually like to photograph as much skin as possible, so clothing is optional! Mums might like to wear a little more eye makeup than usual, and have their nails done before a pregnancy shoot as I often do close-ups of the hands & bump. A change of clothing for little ones is often a good idea, not only does it give variety to the photos but allows for a bit of muddy rough & tumble play, or chocolate, dribble, baked bean juice, whatever! Often clothing with some texture such as chunky knits, cute coats & hats, fluffy skirts or groovy boots look fantastic, and for group shots, similar colour tops are usually better. I can also suggest colours for clothing that will complement the environment we plan to photograph in.
I'm so excited to see our photographs! When can I see them?
I will lock myself away in a dark room and edit all the pictures, but this does take some time as I painstakingly retouch out all the snot, crumbs and anything else that might show up in the images. Rest assured the end result is all very natural. I usually try to arrange a viewing session two weeks after the shoot date, where you are most welcome to my studio where I can show you a beautiful bespoke presentation on the large screen. I will also put them onto a web gallery afterwards so you can show them to family & friends.
Why don't you supply prints larger than 12x8?
There's a good reason! Photographic prints larger than 12x8 can get very easily damaged and are notorious for kinking and creasing due to the size and weight of the photographic paper. I know, I've done it many many times! Once that has happened, the print is irreparably damaged so for that reason, I always supply photographs larger than A4 already framed to ensure they remain in tip-top condition.
How long until I receive my finished photo frames/albums?
It takes 3-4 weeks from the date you place your order, as each photo you've ordered goes through a final edit, then hand-processed for printing, framing or designing into a bespoke album. I will endeavour to keep you informed throughout the process, and let you know when you can expect delivery. I will usually hand-deliver to Salisbury addresses, or arrange fragile overnight courier service to wherever you are.