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Shoot Preparation FAQs

On the day of your shoot, you can expect a fun and creative experience. So everyone can relax, please make sure to read the FAQs below. No question is too unusual for me. I've tried to address most of them below but please reach out if I haven't answered it here...

  • Why do you choose to work with children and animals?
    The best subjects in the world! When it comes to kids and a photo shoot, the overwhelming thing I’ve noticed is that kids are happy when they get to spend time with their parents. If they feel happy and safe, they’ll look content, valued and proud. When someone laughs because something’s funny, it's a very different smile from being asked to say cheese. They can be shy too, that’s never a problem, keep them close to you while they feel this. Or, kids can go big and show-off, that’s awesome too. In fact you’ll probably be surprised with what your family does during the session... and that is always so great for me, it adds so much to your story. To help make your kids comfortable, perhaps tell them that your friend is coming over with a camera to take a few photos. Keep it casual so they’re not nervous. Include things that are uniquely part of your child’s life at this time—the book they’re currently reading, a favourite doll or scooter or funny objects they use. Since we’re in your home, if things get messy you’ve got clothes for kids to change into (and I do like a bit of chaos). Pets are important family members too — I always want them to be part of your session. Don’t be alarmed if I end up snuggling your dog or cat, or lizard.
  • Do you shoot posed photos?
    Yes – but only a few, perhaps 10%. I really like when this image is done early because afterwards you can truly relax, be with your kids and that’s when the good stuff really emerges. I call these the ‘Nana will be happy' shots. I’ll help to direct your crew but it will still be a very relaxed arrangement. I’m not looking for perfection in settings — the real beauty is in the unexpected, when kids are blissfully uninhibited and when adults are lost in the moment. I think it’s important that before you book me, you understand that the majority of the images I shoot will not be posed. I’ll shoot both the details and the broader scenes of your family/friends hanging out, engaging, playing, chatting, cooking, tackling, grimacing—whatever naturally unfolds.
  • Can we meet before the shoot?
    Yes. In fact, at the very least, I make sure we schedule a phone call with both parents a few days before your shoot. This is my time to ask you a few questions about your family and it allows me to understand and prepare for how I'm going to photograph your story. It’s not super orchestrated, it just lets me ask you a series of questions to dive a bit deeper into learning about your family life.
  • How do you handle the reluctant participant? (my partner hates having photos taken)
    I’m compassionate and realise that not everyone loves having their photo taken. Honestly, it’s my job to bring out the best in you. I’m easygoing, patient and really experienced, so I know how to find the right light and I give you plenty of time. When I arrive I love you to show me around first and we can chat about... anything. I'll give you space to be with your family while I find my happy creative flow. And should a little coaxing be required, I’m a master of gently directing and styling my subjects. Meltdowns happen and that’s just part of life and being around kids (actually, did you know that adults can do this quite often too?). Those moments can often be the most amusing pictures from the session and I don’t shy aware from capturing it. Just remember, I’m flexible and I’ve worked with all sorts of families. I have a family myself, so I’m very good at just going with the flow.
  • How much does it cost?
    I shoot with a flat fee for all of my photo sessions. This means you will own all of the final, edited, high-resolution digital files. For my session fee, you'll find this on each of my services pages. A 50% deposit via bank transfer is due when you book your shoot. This secures the date and time but it’s also transferable should you need to re-schedule. The balance is payable on the day of the shoot (cash or transfer). You can certainly add some extras if you like, such as a box of prints or a custom-created book. This is purely optional. My advice... no one ever regrets, in years to come, flicking through the well-thumbed pages of their coffee-table book re-living that day, or touch beautifully printed photographs. This just wins by a mile versus keeping them trapped as digital data.
  • Do you offer mini shoots?
    I don’t because we all get the best out of this whole process when no one is rushed. I respect that this is a special time and I never want it to be quick. So much more of the story telling aspects of everyday life come out when people are allowed to have time. I like to leave up to 2 hours for all sessions. I find that the longer I’m with you, the more meaningful and honest the pictures become. Generally a shoot has it’s 'natural ending' - that’s why I set aside 1.5-2 hours as it’s nice to give a 30 minute window of extra time if needed.
  • If you shoot less images, can I pay less?
    I’m afraid that this never allows me to create my full art for you - again it’s not a rushed process, I put my heart and soul into every session. My packages are the same offering to all clients who value my approach.
  • Can I reschedule if someone is sick?
    Absolutely. I want everyone to feel good, so it’s fine to take a raincheck. Your deposit is transferable.
  • Do you shoot on weekends?
    I have two sessions only on Saturdays. Take your pick of an AM or PM time (no Sunday shoots - that's a day with my family). As you can imagine, these time slots book up quickly. I’m extremely flexible during the weekdays. You may want to consider a shoot after school or daycare, or an afternoon bath time for babies – really, these are some of my favourite raw and honest moments to capture in family life. I can also schedule as early as you like during the weekday mornings. You may get to work or school an hour later than usual, but I promise it will be worth it.
  • My child has special needs or health condition. Is this something you are comfortable working with?
    Absolutely. I have a lot of experience photographing families with children who have special needs. I understand the sensitivity of these moments with your family. I'm very passionate about this, so please reach out to talk with me about your needs.
  • What do I wear?
    Wear what you feel good in—that’s the most important thing. It’s totally up to you if you’d like an outfit change. My main advice is to avoid clothing with large logos or text on the front as this can compete visually in an image. Also try to create contrast between hair colour and outfits. (eg: if your child has dark hair, avoid putting yourself all in dark clothing). Also please don’t all wear the same colour. Use this time to show character and style. I also love it when kids get to dress themselves – it makes them feel so confident.
  • Can we have food during the photoshoot?
    Yes, it's a good idea to have food that everyone enjoys during the photoshoot. I want you to feel comfortable and at ease during the session. A full meal or nibbles to graze on can help keep everyone stay energized and happy.
  • What should we do with devices during the shoot?
    I recommend turning off your devices during the photoshoot to help create a relaxed and distraction-free atmosphere. This will help you stay present in the moment and capture natural, authentic photos. Instead, put on some music.
  • What if things get messy during the photoshoot?
    Don't worry if things get messy during the photoshoot! I love capturing natural moments and genuine interactions. Sometimes a little mess can add to the authenticity of the photos, so don't stress about keeping everything perfect.
  • What if we've had an argument with a family member that morning?
    If there's been an argument in the morning, I recommend taking some time to apologize, hug it out, and move on before the photoshoot. I want the session to be a time of relaxation and togetherness, so it's important to set aside any conflicts beforehand.
  • Can you start the photoshoot if we are still in our pajamas?
    Yes, absolutely! I love capturing the authentic moments of your family's life, including the cozy and comfortable moments at home. I love this part of the story. Don’t forget we’ll have a chat over the phone beforehand so I have already understood a lot about your family and I come prepared with ideas on what we want to capture.
  • When do we see our photos?
    You’ll receive your full collection of high-resolution images approximately two weeks after the shoot and it will be sent via email with password protection (via my website). I’ll also provide detailed instructions about how to download and save your gallery of images.
  • What do we do with our images?
    Please don’t let them stay as digital data on a hard drive. You don’t have to use my services for this, but take a look at the section additional options and consider adding a photography book or box of beautiful archival prints. It takes your images to a whole new level when they become tangible photographs, you’re able to touch and feel them over time and I honestly think this has a lot more value.
  • Can we add an Art Photography Book or Box of Prints to our package after the shoot?
    Absolutely! Simply let me know that you'd like to add on a Art Photography Book or Box of Prints, and I'll provide you with pricing. I want you to be completely satisfied with your photos and your final product.
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