Let me help you preserve a little slice of today, a day which will never be lived again, the youngest you and your children will ever be again.
Can I have photos of just my children?
Yes, absolutely! When booking, I’ll send you a questionnaire so you can tell me what you’d like from your session and about the people to be photographed. You don’t have to appear in the photos but you do still have the choice if you feel more inclined to be on camera on the day! I I often gently nudge parents to appear in at least a few images with and for their children, as sometimes it’s just that a little reassurance is needed. However, the choice is totally and respectfully yours.
I’d love family photos but is a family photoshoot the right experience for me?
Yes, if either of the following statements
- I take loads of photos of my family.
- I never take photos of my family.
Either way, you might like to have some professional photos because:
- They will enable you to forever capture the things that make your family uniquely yours.
- You can record and evoke memories.
- You can create personal artwork in your home that stimulates conversation, amusement
andnostalgia every time you walk past the photos.
- You can be in them (without a distorted selfie face).
- You would secretly love some admiration from your family and friends, a chance to shine and show your family in its best light, happy and close.
- You want to feel happy when looking at a photo of yourself. You want to feel the way you feel when you look at images of other people you admire.
- You’d love to have better photographs of your children,
reflectinghow you see them and as a reminder of this time in their lives with that smile, that hair, those eyes. You want to capture the personalities in your family and the essence of your relationships.
The value of your family photos, not just for you but for your children, will only ever increase.
Why hire a professional photographer?
All photos are priceless, no matter the quality, I absolutely agree. My photographs can’t and won’t replace yours. I bet I have as many phone pics as you (always running out of storage?)! You love your child, you love photos of them! Just flick through your phone’s camera library now and you’ll see that either you take photos of your family or you don’t, in either case you’d probably appreciate photos of your family!
Like me, perhaps you’re usually the one taking most of the photos? Or else you can’t ever get yourself looking reasonable in a selfie so you just hit ‘delete’?
You and your children will treasure photos of you all together when everyone is much older. I don’t just take photos of your faces, lovely as I’m sure they are, rather I try to capture the essence of your relationships – the happy times, the interaction, the things that make your family uniquely yours. For you, I want to create pieces of family art, heirlooms, historical records. Print your photos and walk by them in your home every day or let me craft you an album to show your children a slice of their childhood when they’re about to leave home to go to university. They make wonderful conversations and continually revive memories as time goes by and you all change and grow older.
You may think that you’d rather buy a new TV right now instead but in 10 years, when you’re looking at your 10-year-old TV next to a wall portrait of your child from 10 years ago, which one is more valuable to you now? Which one are you saving in a fire?
Hiring a photographer means you can fully embrace and enjoy the moment instead of trying to record it yourself. I am passionate about family time and I want to capture it for you so that you can be fully present in the moment. It’s about so much more than ink on paper or pixels on a screen.
You can, of course, get your friend to take photos for free. I’m sure they’ll hold much value. My photos are a bonus addition and from a professional perspective with equipment and experience to help you all look your best. You can probably cook your own dinner too but sometimes you just want to eat out so you can taste a new dish, relax, be served, and not have any washing up to do… you know?
I don’t just take photos of your faces, lovely as I’m sure they are, rather I try to capture the essence of your relationships – the happy times, the interaction, the things that make your family uniquely yours.
Which type of session should I choose?
When booking, you have the option to select one of three session types:
A Mini Session which is a 20-minute outdoor session in Sittingbourne, Kent. This yields around 20 images, 3 of which are included as part of your session fee. This is suitable for a single family of up to 6 people. It can include all ages, though for newborns and babies who are unable to sit unaided, there will need to be an adult or responsible child in the shots as this is not a specialist newborn session. This session is also suitable for headshots.
A Full-length Session which is a 45-60 minute session at an indoor or outdoor location of your choice in Kent. If you would like to capture many more images of your family, with a greater variety and a choice of location, this session gives you that freedom. It’s 45-60 minutes. It gives us greater time to help children relax, and newborns are also welcome as we can more easily ensure your baby’s needs are met. Just as with the Mini Session, you don’t have to appear in the photos but you do still have the choice if you feel more inclined to be on camera on the day! I gently nudge parents to appear in at least a few images with and for their children, as it’s usually a case of a little reassurance about the images being flattering, but the choice is totally and respectfully yours. This is suitable for a single family, though close relatives are also welcome.
A Videography Session which is a 30-60 minute session at an indoor or outdoor location of your choice in Kent. This is for a 5 minute film set to licensed music. This is suitable for a single family, though close relatives are also welcome.
Which locations do you recommend?
My favourite outdoor location which a village in Sittingbourne, around 5 minutes from the Junction 5 of the M2, where there is a meadow, an orchard, a nature trail, ponds and streams, bushes and trees, benches, long grass in the summer, and a children’s playground. All Mini Sessions take place here. On set dates in the summer, I also offer Whitstable beach and harbour.
For Full Length sessions, your photoshoot can be outside or indoors and might add a sense of context and sentimentality to your images if the surroundings are meaningful or familiar to you and your family. Maybe your baby was born somewhere unexpected or you are selling your house and want some last family photographs there to take with you.
An outdoor location could be a woodland, field, park, beach, or even an urban setting.
Natural environments represent life, the cycles of seasons, weather and trees, which seems poignant when photographing families with their newborns right through to their elders. Outdoor spaces can help produce creative and varied images but are also ideal for children who prefer being outdoors.
Parks or beaches where there are swings and/or ice-cream, or the sea, are especially good because if you’re anxious about being in front of the camera, you needn’t fear having to ‘perform’ since we can treat the session like an afternoon out during which I join you with my camera!
For larger families especially where the number of adults outweigh the number of children, an outdoor session can feel more natural than an indoor session, so this is a great option if you want larger groupings.
Which locations do you cover?
Primarily Kent, but I’m happy to travel further afield (additional costs will apply).
Please note that for any parking costs above £5 or any permits required, you will be asked to meet this cost. This will be discussed in advance of the session so there are no nasty surprises!
What about bad weather or illness?
The joys of British weather, right? Not to worry though, we’ll keep an eye on the forecast and make a decision as close to the day as is practical (or on the day itself if necessary) as to whether we would be better to reschedule. There is no additional cost for this, of course. It happens.
If someone in your family is unwell, it’s always better to reschedule. We both want everyone to feel comfortable, relaxed and make the most of our time together. We want to get the best images possible. As a mum myself, I know that there is nothing more important than seeing your little ones well, so please don’t worry about your session. I also know what it feels like to be wrangling your children when you, yourself, feel unwell, so I will respect your decision.
There’s no additional charge to reschedule. Please just let me know the night before your session unless an emergency crops up over night in which case by the morning of your session at the latest. Not attending your session without giving notice, or leaving it until an hour or less before, will unfortunately forfeit your session fee.
How long does a session last?
Mini Sessions for children are around 20 minutes whilst for a Family Session we may need 45-60 minutes. Videography sessions usually take between 30-60 minutes.
I don’t schedule back-to-back sessions, always leaving a little breathing space to ensure we have a comfortable session. We’ll also judge how everyone is feeling as we go along, sometimes children take a while to warm up and others get stuck straight in and let us know when they’re done!
Your family is unique and so your session shall be!
What should we wear?
If you like my light and airy photographic images, then it’s best to follow this style and choose light, white, grey or neutral colours. Casual is great as it feels most natural. Getting everyone in clothing of a similar colour palette always looks best – it’s gorgeous and much more stylish than a mishmash. Avoid bright colours, bold patterns, logos and slogans to prevent the images dating quickly.
Occasion-wear, especially for children can look lovely too but we’ll discuss what you think you might like when you book your session.
If we’re outside, do think about the practicalities of your footwear. Whilst it’s best to arrive in your chosen outfits, if you choose to change upon arrival, please remember that there may not be anywhere private for you to do so, but if you’re happy with changing in your car, just make sure to allow time prior to your session.
Occasion-wear dresses and accessories are also available from me for a slightly more styled look, though this is not an exhaustive range so you will also need to bring outfits for your children from home. Many children love dressing up in my clothing and parents’ enjoy seeing their child in a beautiful and unusual outfit!
What happens if my children don’t engage?
As a former teacher, I know how to engage with your children, quickly gain their trust and elicit those relaxed, natural expressions you know and love.
Within your home, with familiar toys and furniture, the free-flow experience will feel organic and relaxed, and I’ve learnt that it’s far more productive to guide and invite, rather than pose.
When working outdoors, I steer family members to where there’s flattering light and a good background (e.g. on steps, in front/behind flowers, near trees, etc.) and then I give you ideas to encourage interaction which I then photograph.
We’ll go for a bit of a stroll and I’ll look out for natural interactions and expressions – your son trying to pull you away for an ice-cream, your baby peeping over your shoulder, the laughter as you respond to your daughter’s sudden urge to do a cartwheel, and so forth. If there’s a park to play in or logs to sit or climb on, that’s great too.
I follow the natural movement and momentum, regrouping or moving location as and when the time feels right (which can sometimes be dictated by your child!) and I capture the genuine expressions and little moments as they unfold.
There is just enough guidance to capture a few classic portraits but even these are very loosely guided and don’t demand too much time or rigidity, so hopefully your toddler won’t feel that I am intruding too much on the things he/she would do naturally.
You are welcome to bring games or amusements which will keep your child occupied. This fits perfectly with my style as I will be photographing a very accurate representation of life in your family, which will make the photos feel truthful and genuine and perfect if you’d love an album of your photographs to tell your family story.
Family life, however that looks to you, is wonderful, rewarding, challenging and tiring in equal parts and families come to me in order to preserve a little slice of their life together.
When we plan a session together, I aim to keep it timely for your children so that they remain engaged.
I take all combinations of family members so that in families with more than one child, each child has a chance to have a breather and the full attention of each parent.
…and even if your daughter still won’t smile, then that’s what we’ll capture, because after all that’s who she is right now and you love her anyway. You’ll enjoy giggling with her about her ‘serious face’ when she’s older!
Do you take traditional posed portraits?
Well, yes and no.
My relaxed style mimics real life with a blend of natural expressions, moments and interactions within a staged environment. To a certain extent, I do guide and direct to ensure we capture flattering angles, find the best light and create artistic compositions.
For families wanting a more traditional portrait, we may deliberately craft a grouping of you all together, though in most cases, families tend to want their ‘togetherness’ captured more naturally. Think of relaxing on a bed reading stories with your children, or sitting in the long grass having a cuddle on a picnic blanket. We’ll capture some images of you looking at the camera and others not.
With your children’s one toys at home, there’s plenty to engage them and thereby also capture natural moments and expressions and these will feel more candid than direct-to-camera images, though I will also try to elicit some eye-contact and happy expressions to-camera. I’ll challenge them to build a tower, race cars, show me a dance, blow bubbles or listen to a story.
Lots of people think they don’t want a ‘cheesy’ posed photo but can’t actually put their figure on what this really means. Looking at the camera doesn’t have to feel cheesy, smiling doesn’t have to feel cheesy, sitting still with your child doesn’t have to feel cheesy, being directed doesn’t have to feel cheesy, so essentially the session will be a case of finding out what works for your particular family.
Do you offer newborn photography?
Yes. I offer newborn photos in the context of a cosy, at-home family session, as your baby will want to see you in photos with them in years to come.
My style of newborn portraiture is quite in keeping with my natural approach, with a simple, true-to-life feel, free of elaborate props, outfits and traditional wrapping, which I don’t offer. Instead, imagine, your baby sleeping on a bed, or snuggled in a blanket in your arms in a chair, with close-ups of those little details you love such as their tiny hands and toes and first tufts of super soft hair!
Since my newborn images are non-traditional, there’s no need to feel the pressure of timing and booking of a session in those first two weeks when your life is turned upside-down. Just book when you feel ready. ‘Nearly’ newborn is just as beautiful, promise!
You are welcome to book a 20-minute Mini Session for outdoor images (Sittingbourne) of your baby with you as new parents or with a sibling, or else go more in-depth with a Full Length Session at home where we have more time so that you can feed and change your baby as required.
What if I don’t like the images?
I’ll never put pressure on you to buy anything that you don’t love or want. If you don’t love your images, there is no requirement to purchase them or pay anything further than the session fee you’ve paid upon booking.
There are no pushy sales, and no further purchase beyond your original session fee is necessary if you don’t wish to keep any of the images from your session.
Whilst you are welcome to walk away with your included images only, most families typically wish to purchase a package to make savings which include all the digital images with something extra to make the most of their photos, such as wall art. Very few people have the luxury of unlimited spending and I fully respect that you should remain in control of how much you spend.
Essentially, you’ve made the effort to book and attend a session and you want images to love and enjoy. Life can get so busy that we often put off decision-making due to lack of time, so we’ll agree in advance the best time slot for you to view your online gallery at home. This is the best way to help you set aside an hour to actively make and pay for your choices. You can then get back to life knowing it’s all taken care of.
You do not have to set aside time to visit a studio to view your images under pressure at an in-person appointment.
HOW WILL YOU HELP ME FEEL LESS SELF-CONSCIOUS?
I know you probably never think you look nice in photos. I can’t name a single person I’ve worked with who hasn’t described this feeling. Most of us feel insecure about our appearance for one reason or another so, I promise, you’re not alone.
The truth is, we never feel slim enough, look less tired than we feel, or have enough time to get our hair and make-up just right… but if not now, then when? Will we then just start telling ourselves we’re too old?
With a professional photographer, you’re in the hands of someone who knows about lighting and posing to ensure a more flattering photograph than you may be used to seeing. When you’re a busy, always-on-the-go mum, I bet you’ve simply just forgotten how good you can look and feel about yourself.
What I can do for you is find the most flattering light, retouch any temporary blemishes or shadows, create the best angles to play-up the things you do like about yourself.
Airbrushing/Photoshopping/Editing is such a controversial issue in today’s media-driven society, particularly when it comes to personal body image. I’ll discuss this with you but my opinion is generally everything in moderation! By getting as much right in-camera with good lighting and angles, we can reduce how much ‘Photoshopping’ I do, but ultimately I want you to feel comfortable when looking at the photos, secure in the knowledge that it’s mostly as shot but with a little helping hand to eliminate any temporary or circumstantial issues such as blemishes or shadows. I want you to recognise yourself and be pleased about how flattering a photo is whilst not being able to pin-point exactly what’s changed!
I make an artistic judgement on each photo and aim for a cohesive collection. Each portrait is creatively edited to my signature style to ensure that editorial finish.
In ten years time, you’ll look back and think, “Wow, I was actually pretty hot!” You are far more likely to regret NOT having had those photos taken. It’s about so much more than how you look, truly.
Now you can have your very own set of beautiful images like the ones you see on Pinterest and in magazines! Instead of admiring them, you’ll be IN them! This is your chance to shine and feel great!
These photos are one day going to belong to your children, they are as much for them as they are for you. Let them be the judge, as through their eyes, you are the world.
When it comes to your children, I tend to avoid any obvious retouching to their appearance. I edit to suit the look we are going for, so in some styled shoots, for example, I’ll adjust for a little magic. Otherwise, children come as they are, in my opinion, and I enjoy capturing their unique character and natural innocence. I draw the line at bogeys though – they go. We’ll discuss how you feel about things – many parents ask me to erase temporary scratches, bumps and signs of a late night, but this should totally be your choice not mine, though most families are very happy to leave it to my discretion.