Once you have booked a session, I’ll contact you approximately one week prior to the date to discuss wardrobe / props / style and confirm location and time.
Typically a portrait session will last between 1 and 2 hours. I almost exclusively shoot in the time leading up to sunset, as since I’m a natural light photographer, this is the light I love. It’s soft and warm and flattering. Middle of the day natural light, when the sun is directly overhead is harsh and can cause unflattering shadows. Some parents of young children are concerned that their children aren’t at their best behaviour at that time of day, but from my experience I’ve always managed to have fun with them and get the shots, even if they’re tired and they missed their day sleep. It’s uncanny how even a toddler with a brilliant routine, will somehow not be able to find their sleep on the day of our shoot! I think they intuitively feel the pressure.
Unless your child is sick, in which case, I urge you to re-schedule with me, in all likelihood, they will be fine to be photographed. You will get the best images of your child when they are relaxed and happy. Please don’t threaten them that they better smile for the photographer! As tempting as it is, it will look horrid! In my mind, there’s nothing worse than a fake smile under duress. I, usually with the help of an amazing assistant, will pull out all the stops to get winning natural smiles. And, some of my favourite photos of children are where they’re not even smiling at all.
I have a bit of a process I work to, but the priority is gauging the child(ren) and working to their state. I may sit and chat or play with them without even holding my camera if I feel it’s required to build their trust in me. Or they may be off and racing so I’ll go with that. I will have a plan of positions / spots I’d like people to be in, but with young children I go with the flow. I will make capturing the moment a priority and all the while I’ll be considering light direction / background etc. Sometimes I’ll give gentle direction as a suggestion, depending on the age of the child, sometimes I’ll just be following them around on my hands and knees. Sometimes I’ll be quiet for a while and not say anything. It’s not because I’m thinking what to do, it’s because I know a moment is about to unfold and I don’t want to block it!
I will always do my best to capture children individually, children together (where applicable), parents together (without kids) and parents together with the kids as well as combinations of individual kids with individual parents. I would never aggressively attempt to force them and don’t recommend parents do either. If it’s meant to be, we’ll manipulate it together! From time to time I might ask you to stand directly behind me and get your child’s attention. Sometimes it really is a team effort, and always a lot of fun!