Welcome to your Family
Firstly thank you so much for choosing me as your photographer. I am so excited to work with you and your family and to capture some beautiful, natural moments that you can cherish. This session guide will tell you everything you need to know about a photoshoot with me and how you can prepare.
This is me, Leanne. mum of two, memory catcher, sunset lover, relaxed and natural newborn and family photographer covering Gloucestershire and The Cotswolds. I can't wait to get to know you too.
I take a very relaxed approach to all my sessions. My main aim is to make everyone feel comfortable and is very much child led. My style is a hybrid between lifestyle and documentary. This means that I do a mix of standing back and capturing what unfolds in front of me as well as offering little prompts here and there and directing you into the best light. I do minimal posing but I may ask you to sit or stand in a certain spot or light and ask you to hold and hug each other to get some detail and family photos but that will be all. I also have some fun tricks and games that will interest little ones and also in result in fun and connected images.
CHOOSING A TIME AND A LOCATION
My sessions are all about telling your story so think about where you spend a lot of your time, where you children are most comfortable and have the most fun? Is it at home or is it at a local park or even running freely in the countryside? Do you have any special places you like to go as a family? If you can't think of anywhere, don't worry, luckily we live in a beautiful part of the country and there are lots of beautiful Cotswold hills and meadows that I can recommend.
I would always recommend that the photoshoot takes place at the end of the day - about 2 hours before sunset - this is because the sun will be lower in the sky and we won't have to battle with harsh sunlight creating shadows and squinty eyes. It also means kids can run free without trying to stick to the shade. We may not always get a golden sunset but dramatic skies and softer light is just as beautiful. Sunset varies depending on the time of year but if you are unable to do this time for whatever reason, we will choose a location that will suit a time that is good for your family.
My photoshoots are completely tailored to you so using my pre photoshoot discussions we can work out the best time and location for you and your family.
OUTDOOR PHOTOSHOOTS - WHAT TO EXPECT
I will likely start taking photos straight away as I wouldn’t want to miss any natural moments. So I will start by asking you to walk to the spot where we take a majority of the photos and will be snapping away on the walk. All that I ask is that there is lots of contact and connection between family members as this will be my main focus for the whole session. Whether it be holding hands, pulling each other along, holding and picking up children, whatever feels natural to you.
Once at our location I will firstly try to get a photo of you all together where I will ask you to interact with each other or me so there are no forced smiles. I will ask children to sing their favourite songs or tickle each other. From then we will just play games and explore and I will capture and document natural moments that occur.
WHAT TO WEAR
The most important thing is that you must feel comfortable, otherwise it will show in the photos. You also want the photo's to represent you and your family. So you do you. However if you need a bit of guidance here are a few tips on some things that will make the resulting images feel more timeless and more pleasing on the eye.
Soft and neutral tones will always photograph well, e.g. pastels or greys/beiges/whites (not all white though)
Earthy tones will give a more vibrant feel and look great together (burgundy/greens/mustards/blues/burnt oranges)
Use variation in colours for each person as well as mixing up different textures (denim/cotton/wool/linen, etc) this will add depth and texture to your images.
Layering looks lovely in photos and can give you variation (scarfs/shirts/hats/cardigans/jackets – depending on weather)
Ideally stay away from too bright or overly patterned clothes as this will take away from what is happening in the images
I would also advise to stay away from big logos/brands printed as this will takeaway from the timeless feel of the images.
Don't all wear the same item of clothing or same colour, e.g. all jeans and all white shirts. This will look too contrived. We want each personality to shine.
During our pre-photoshoot discussions I am more than happy to help you with your outfit choices further and you are more than welcome to email me some ideas or any options that you have already in your wardrobe. Ideally I wouldn’t want you to spend where you wouldn't need to. I want you to feel comfortable and confident!
IN HOME PHOTOSHOOT - WHAT TO EXPECT
Home is where the heart is and what a wonderful way to document home life for your children by having your family photos taken in your own home.
When I first arrive I will chat to the children a little and perhaps ask them to show me their toys and their room so that they get to know me and feel comfortable. I will take a little tour of your house and find which rooms I think would be best to do the photos in. Usually these are just the rooms with the best light.
Please don’t feel you need to tidy up or clean too much as I take a documentary approach it’s all about capturing your family for who you are and how you live so you can look back in years to come and remember exactly how it was at that time but just have a think about putting away anything that you don't want shown in the photographs.
Start with one outfit and go from there
Take a look at these colour combinations and see what appeals to you most
If you are going to buy something new - New look, Zara, FatFace and H&M are my go to's for something affordable but I also love Olive Clothing and Free People - Tu at Sainsburys is great for kids
HOW TO PREPARE KIDS
Talk about how you are meeting me to take photos of your family and let them know why, e.g. we want nice photos for you to look at when your older or because we would like nice photos of you on the wall. Tell them it will be fun!
What to bring - A favourite book, a favourite toy, mess free snacks and a drink, a spare change of clothes in case of spillages etc, warm layers in case they get cold, wet wipes, cream for stings or scratches (magic cream can make all the difference!)
What to do - Offer lots of tickles and cuddles. Smile and be happy (even if things are a little stressed) this will rub off on the little ones. Pull silly faces/silly voices to bring out genuine laughs and smiles
My house is a mess! - I know how hard it is to get on top of housework with a young family. I honestly don’t want anyone to stress before a photoshoot. Just work on getting yourself ready and we will work around any clutter or I will move it out the way of any shots for you.
What if my children aren't into it on the day? - Luckily with my style of photography, even if children aren't too keen on the idea of having photos taken to start with, they soon don't mind and start enjoying it. I interact with them lots, we play games, explore and they forget that photos are being taken. I can take cues on when we need a break or a snack if needed too. My photoshoots are up to 2 hours long so we have plenty of time to take it slow.
I'm feeling self conscious about having photos taken - don't worry, I know all the angles that will compliment you. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and you will look comfortable in the photos. You will not regret being in these photos with your family when you look back on them in a few years, I promise! As my style is more about connection, you won't be stood staring awkwardly at the camera - it is more about just spending time and having fun with your family and you will soon forget the camera is there.
What happens if it rains? - I usually try and stick to our date as much as possible but if it is really pouring down then that won't be fun for anyone so I am really flexible and rearrange to a different date.
What if my children don't listen to instructions or misbehave? - Honestly, don't worry! Even though this can be really annoying for you, just try and keep it light hearted (as the children will pick up on any stress) and I will take everything in my stride. My photoshoots are completely child led so we will just roll with it. In all my years experience (and with having 2 very cheeky children myself) we have always ended up with amazing photos no matter what the children have in mind.
WHEN IS PAYMENT DUE?
I take a £50 deposit upon booking and the remainder is due on the day of the photoshoot. I don't start any editing until I have received the full amount.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PHOTOSHOOT?
A few days after your photoshoot, I aim to send a sneak peak slideshow of about 10 images just so you can get a feel of the photos that we got on the day. I will then edit the rest of gallery and send you a gallery link to view all your photos within 2 weeks of the photoshoot date. This will be a proof gallery and I will make the finishing touches to your images (e.g. removing marks etc) once you have chosen your final images. I will aim to send your final images to download within 3 days once you have chosen. You will be able to download your images straight away in high resolution and also web-sized in order to share online if you wish.
You will then have access to my online shop where you can order beautiful professional lustre prints, photo frames and fine art photo albums. If you need help in deciding what sized photo frames you need or if you would like me to design your album for you, please get in touch and I would be more than happy to help!
All you need to do is to make sure your contract is signed, deposit is paid and questionnaire is completed in order to secure your session. Before your photoshoot date, I will arrange a phone call so you can get to know me a little bit before our photoshoot and I can answer any questions you may have. A few days before, I will check you are all ok to go ahead and I will send you any details on where to meet.
Please contact me with any questions at all! There is a contact form on my website or you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or my number is 07758833962. I am always up for a chat and I look forward to meeting you all on our photoshoot.