A lot of the families I photograph choose to do their shoot outdoors; in a local park or a favourite place. I live in Sydenham, South East London so have a few of my own favourite parks nearby like Crystal Palace Park and The Horniman Gardens. But I find myself travelling all over London and discovering new parks all the time! If you choose a park I don't know, I'll generally arrive a bit early and do a quick reccie of the most photogenic areas, and will make a session plan to ensure whatever we do we have great backgrounds. You may not even notice this until the images are ready! We are lucky living in London to be surrounded by such incredible green spaces, so there are plenty of lovely locations to choose from.
Families with younger children and babies, or just when its very cold or wet outside, choose to have their sessions at home. This can be a great way to capture kids in their own space, where they feel comfortable. I also like to use plain walls to create a studio look to the photos without having to do the shoot in a studio. Some people like the black background look - we can do this for some or all of the shoot, just let me know in advance.
If you invite me to your home for the shoot I will ask you to show me around the areas you're happy to use, and I'll pick the best rooms - generally the ones with most natural light. I am very creative and can use any space, so don't worry if you think your house is too messy, or too dark. I've worked in spaces big and small, dark and light and always find a way to make it work so that we get beautiful images.
'Jane, they are absolutely beautiful. They make me want to cry!!' Anna, family shoot.
Sessions last approximately one hour - having done hundreds of family shoots I generally find this is the optimum time for most kids before they get hungry, cold, grumpy or bored. There is nothing worse than having to ask a kid to smile when all they want to do is go to sleep....!
Wherever you decide to do your shoot, the session will be very relaxed. I tend to follow the children lead, suggest a number of activities, and see where that takes us. The most important thing when photographing young children is to do something they are happy doing. Some of the best images happen when they are doing something that we would;t have thought of. My rule of thumb is happy kids, happy photos. As a mum of two myself I am more than happy to play, chase, make dinosaur noises, or look for fairies in the cracks in the wall if it makes your child smile!
I understand that not everyone enjoys having their photos taken (me included!) and I am very good at making people feel relaxed, and able to enjoy themselves. I can't count the times I've been told their child (or husband!) hates having their picture taken. So if this is you, don't worry. I am extremely patient, and I have lots of tried and tested tricks up my sleeve to help ensure everyone is relaxed and I capture lovely images of you all.
Throughout the year I offer a number of 'mini shoot' days in set locations. Please contact me for the next available date.
What to wear, and tips for getting ready for your shoot
Once you have paid your deposit, I will email you a tips for getting ready information sheet to help you decide what to wear and what to bring!