Hello and thank you so much for booking me to document your most special of days! 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.
It seems like a lot to take in but what I really want you to know is that at my sessions all you need to do is just enjoy being with your children, and lets face it, as far as our little people are concerned, that is one of the things that we are the very best at!
What can I expect from our session?
My sessions are very relaxed and all I really want you to do is have fun with your children, while I snap away with my camera. For your outdoor session, we will agree a time and place to meet (if we haven't already done so). Please do be on time so that we can get the most out of our time together.
It's helpful if you tell your children that you are meeting a friend to take photographs of you all so they know what to expect, it is best not to surprise them.
I will have scouted out the location before we meet to find the best places to take your photographs.
I may direct you to stand or sit in certain places, according to where the light is best, but if you have booked me, then you are obviously not after stiff or overly posed photos. I take a more documentary/lifestyle approach (as you can see from my portfolio). I really want to capture those natural connections between you that make your family unique to who you are. So instead of having everyone posing for the camera for the whole session, I encourage you to play or engage in an activity together to get those natural smiles and big, belly laughs. I aim to get photos of the whole family together, as well as individual portraits so you have variety in your final gallery.
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 2-year-old and a 3-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, that is entirely up to you.
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.
What should we wear?
I want you to feel comfortable in what you are wearing because that will ultimately show through in the final photos. Have a look in your wardrobe and think about your own personal style.
I suggest focusing on complimentary tones and keeping things simple so that your personality can really shine through in your photographs.
My suggestion is that mum picks her outfit first and she then co-ordinates the rest of the family around what she is wearing.
Choose something you feel comfortable and great in!
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. Neutrals, pastels and loud jewel brights can all work beautifully depending on your own personal style. You can search for colour pallet ideas on Pinterest if you want.
Try to coordinate, but do avoid the matchy-matchy look (everyone is black t-shirts and denim will seriously date your photos). Also try to avoid large brand names 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.
What happens if it rains?
We all know just how unpredictable the great British weather can be. If 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, you'll either be entitled to a full refund (and I'll provide you with any photos I managed to capture, free of charge) or if it just looks like a passing shower, we'll take cover and see if we can resume our session as soon as possible.
When will I get my photos?
I promise to get your full gallery to you within 7 days of your session. I normally do an initial edit and I like to post some of my favourites on my social media accounts 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 email me with your mobile phone number, the names of your family members and (if you have the time) a little bit about your family. Knowing these things in advance 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!