Top 5 Tips for a Great Professional Photography Session!
Top 5 Tips
…for getting the most out of a professional photography session
Booking a photography session is an investment, especially if you’ve rounded up the kids and grandparents for a special family photograph, so it is really important that you get the best from your time and photographer. Over the past few years I have found that there is a recipe for creating truly great images (and having a good time in the process!).
#1 Make sure you pick a photographer who’s style you love
This one sounds obvious but it is so important. Whilst having a clear budget in mind is always helpful, do go with someone who’s work you really love, not just someone who’s price is attractive. Remember you will have the images, whether digital image or printed photograph, for years to come and they should make your heart sing.
You might prefer natural and candid, formal or alternative and quirky so find a photographer that reflects this.
#2 Decide before hand what you want from your session
Location and timing make a big difference to the look and feel of your photographs. The setting you and your photographer agree on will provide the backdrop. We are very lucky to have so many wonderful parks and woodland in Surrey as well as beautiful beaches and urban landmarks within easy travelling distance.
The time of your booking will affect the type and quality of light. This is the most important aspect to me as a photographer. Golden hour (just after the sun has come up or before it goes down) produces magical warm, soft light but this can mean a late session in the summer which might not be best for very young children.
Similarly, scheduling a summer session for midday will mean you are likely to have very bright sun and a lot of shadows on faces.
#3 What to wear
Choosing what to wear is important as it adds so much to the overall look and feel of the finished images. It is well worth spending a little time to give this some thought.
It is a good idea to bring a few outfits along for family sessions. Lots of the children I photograph, particularly the smaller ones, need breaks or snacks and I have yet to meet a small child who is not drawn to puddles, so I always recommend bringing a change of clothes in case they get a bit mucky.
If possible avoid logos or too many fussy prints. Block colours, checks or simple prints work well, as well as a mix of texture. For girls, combinations like tutus and wellies in the colder months look great and mean you don’t have to worry too much about puddles and for boys simple combinations of shorts or jeans with a plain T-shirt or shirt. Accessories can really make an outfit, whether it’s a cute pair of braces or a straw hat in summer.
It is also worth thinking about how your individual outfits coordinate. I am not suggesting by any means that you match as this would definitely look odd, but rather that the outfits compliment each other. For example, different shades within a colour palette (pastels, neutral tones, navy and grey), if three of you are wearing white and one is in red this will be very distracting to the eye. I would strongly recommend not tying girl’s hair back into a ponytail as this can make them appear bald in shots at a certain angle!
Shoes are important and often overlooked. They are likely to be in most of your photos so worth thinking about.
If your child has a favourite teddy or toy or even a fancy dress costume they like (I have photographed Spiderman and a few princesses in my time!) you may like to include them in the pictures. All of these things have sentimental value and add to capturing the essence of their childhood.
The most important thing is that everyone is comfortable and enjoys the session.
#4 Don’t stress about the kids
Mum and Dad, if you are stressed about your kids playing up, guess what, it’s going to show in your photos. I am an expert at cajoling, bribing and distracting. With two of my own I have had to learn every trick in the book.
Most children take a little time to warm up, let’s face it, none of us are used to having a camera pointed at us! I like to meet my families and take a short walk to the exact spot we will be using. During that 5 or 10 minutes I get to chat to the kids and have often bonded over a shared love of Peppa Pig or the latest xbox game.
#5 Print quality
In the digital age most of us are guilty of keeping our photos on our computers and not getting round to printing them. My children are growing so quickly so I make an effort to print and frame at least one or two photos every year. If you are planning on displaying your images I can’t recommend strongly enough that you order your products and prints through your photographer. Print quality varies wildly and the colour range that high street print shops provide can make your image look completely different to the original. I like to offer my clients fine art prints that provide a depth and finish that simply cannot be reproduced on the high street.
My passion for photography started at art college, back in the days before digital when you had to spend hours in a dark room. Yes, I can remember that far back!
For me, great photographs should generate an emotional response. I want to be able to create an image that makes you smile, one that you will treasure.
If you would like to know more or enquire about a session please contact me on:
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