Hello and thank you so much for booking a photography session with me in the heart of our gorgeous city, I am really looking forward to meeting you and capturing some special memories of you and your family. I have included some information below to help you prepare for your session and hopefully answer any questions you might have.
What can we expect?
It all depends on which package you have booked. If you have booked the single location shoot, we'll meet at the agreed place and spend our time having fun in some of the most iconic places in the world. My photoshoots are fairly informal. I'll direct you to stand (or sit) where the light and framing is best and then I encourage you to let go and be yourselves while I capture the magic!
For my personal paparazzi shoots, we will already have a rough idea of where you will be going and what you want to see and do. These sessions are far more documentary in style. I'll find all the angles and perspectives to take amazing photos of you while you enjoy the sights of London. At certain landmarks (and if I see a great photo opportunity) I may direct you to stand or sit in a certain place to capture some memories for you to treasure.
What should we wear?
This is the first question most people ask after booking their session. What you wear is important because it can really enhance your final gallery. I want you to feel comfortable in what you are wearing because that will ultimately show through in your photos.
There is a style guide attached to your welcome email, which contains lots of really helpful advice. And I am always on hand to help out you if you aren’t sure of your choices.
The first thing I suggest you do is have a look in your wardrobe and think about your own personal style. We all naturally gravitate towards certain colours and textures.
Pick your outfit and then co-ordinate the rest of the family around what you are wearing. It often helps to lay your outfit choices out on your bed (or some floor space) so that you can see how everything will look together.
Feel free to take a photo and email or Whatsapp me with your choices. I’m more than happy to let you know what will work well in your photos.
Bold, jewel colours (eg: red, yellow, navy) or soft pastels (eg: blue, yellow, purple) can all work very well. Try and keep your colour scheme to three main accentuating colours (too many more can be very distracting). If the thought of picking a colour palette induces panic, neutral colours such as grey, black, white, beige and navy are timeless and can be mixed and matched on their own or with one main, bold colour to great effect.
Textures such as linen, cotton, denim, corduroy, silk and lace always photograph wonderfully. Once you have picked your outfit, have a look at the rest of the family and co-ordinate with complimentary colours and textures.
I do strongly suggest avoiding the matchy-matchy look (everyone is black t-shirts and denim will seriously date your photos). Also try to avoid large brand names or logos on clothing as they can be distracting. These images will be in your family for generations to come - so it's definitely worth putting some thought into what you might like to wear.
You need to remember that we'll be doing a lot of walking and so being comfortable is essential.
I'm worried my children will not want to smile for the camera or misbehave
Please rest assured that I don't want your children to be anything other than themselves. I don't need them to sit still or 'be good', I have a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old who point-blank refuse to pose for me, I've become an expert in taking photos on the run and I have a lot of tricks to make sure that I get those lovely, connected family photos that you are after. Please do not bribe your children to behave for me, I find this never works (especially if sweets are involved). Of course you know your children best and if you want to give them something as a treat at the end of the session as a motivating factor, that is entirely up to you.
If you have toddlers or small children, please don't worry if they have a tantrum or a meltdown during our session. It's my job to make sure you get the kinds of photos you see in my portfolio and I can guarantee that melt-downs routinely happen at every single session I do (and sometimes that is just the dads!). If your child becomes upset, we'll take a break, distract them and make sure they are happy before continuing.
I find it helps (especially with toddlers and babies) if they have had a nap prior to our session and are well rested. It's always a good idea to have snacks and a drink on hand if we need to take a break for little ones to refuel. I generally let the children lead our sessions. I want them to be fun so that you all enjoy the experience .
What happens if it rains?
We all know just how unpredictable the great British weather can be. If torrential rain looks inevitable then we will rearrange the session at a time to suit you. If it is merely overcast then we will go ahead with the session. At certain times of day, overcast skies are actually preferable for photographers, those clouds keep the harsh sunlight off people's faces and if there are lovely flowers or bright colours about, they really pop in that even light. If it rains unexpectedly during your session,we'll find somewhere to take cover and continue our session there. London is full of hidden treasures, there are so many amazing places to take photos.
Are there any restrictions on where you can take photos?
There are some places where I am not allowed to take photographs for security reasons, and others where a permit is required. I will let you know if I have to put my camera down at any point. In some London locations, film and large photography crews are expected to pay an extortionate fee to carry out commercial work. As a small family photographer, I generally do not carry a lot of equipment with me and try to be as unobtrusive as possible, blending in with all the other tourists and families enjoying the most our city has to offer. I will always do my utmost to make sure I find creative ways to capture your visit to our great city!
When will I get my photos?
I promise to get your full gallery to you within 10 days of your session. I normally do an initial edit and I like to post some of my favourites on my social media accounts within a few days of our session, as this helps me promote my business. If you do not want me to share your photos, please do let me know. Your gallery will be live for three months so that you can download, save and print your photos.
One last thing before you go...
If you haven't already done so, please would you fill in the questionnaire I have sent you. Having your contact details, the names of your family members and knowing a little about your family in advance of our shoot helps me to get the most out of your session and capture unique images that reflect who you truly are, right now.
If you have any further questions or want clarification on anything mentioned above, please do not hesitate to message, call or email me. I can't wait to meet you and photograph your family!