If you’re like most people you might feel a bit spooked at the thought of booking a photo session. Unless you are a celebrity A-lister, being photographed is way outside of most people’s comfort zones. Being in front of a camera feels like exposing all your flaws to the world right?
And we are all too aware of our own flaws – our double chin, a bald spot, the way our ears stick out, our teeth, our hands…everyone has something they don’t want the camera to pick up. We home in on it in every photo someone takes, and discard anything which we deem unflattering.
Then there’s the cringeable fact we mostly look like we’re up before a firing squad, or worse we look like a grimacing serial-killer from a dodgy US crime show every time we try to smile ‘naturally’ for a portrait.
Well relax. Honestly? I take loads of shots. Shed loads in fact, and I am not even going to show you the ones where you look anything less than amazing. We’ve all seen the celeb photos where the paparazzi catch them off guard, in an awkward pose, minus make up, wearing their saggy jogging bottoms. I would hate to take images like that. What a horrible way to make a living, sapping someone’s self-esteem. My job is to make you feel and look like a celebrity A-lister in Hello Magazine. I’m not showy, or shouty, I just watch and see the little moments where you are being the best you; those little moments where you glow.
So what happens when you book a session?
Well, first we arrange a consultation. This can be over the phone, or via email, but it’s always nice to arrange to meet face to face at your place*. That way I can meet you and maybe your partner and / or children and we can chat about what sort of photographs you’d like. Perhaps you might show me the wall space where you’re hoping to hang a large print, or a series of smaller ones. We can talk about whether you might prefer a more formal posed session or informal shots, or a mixture. You might even want a documentary-type shoot. You might have a specific outdoor location in mind. You might want the shoot to take place in your home or at another venue. This consultation is where we thrash out ideas and discuss what will work for you.
For ideas about types of images click here.
At this point we book your session and take a small deposit to secure it. The date is not set in stone, but it does mean that we’re committed to doing the shoot.
This is the fun bit for both of us. Before the shoot I’ll send you a little hint list so that you can make the most of my time with you. We’ll meet wherever we’ve arranged and work on making some magical moments you will want to display on your walls and in albums. Shoots are booked for 1-2 hours but really we’ll take the time we need to capture the shots you’ll love.
After the shoot
This is the fun bit for me! I get to sort the shots and find those which best capture you and your family. All the chosen shots need very careful processing to bring out the best in them. This is time-consuming when done properly. It will take a several hours to polish all the selected images so that they really sparkle. I really love this bit…and it’s worth the wait.
This is the fun bit for you. You finally get to see all your images. There will be at least eight, but more often twelve or so. I will come to you and hand them over. There will be prints but also a memory stick with two sets of images on it. The first set will be those sized and sharpened for print so that if you want to send images to grandparents or aunties and uncles you can. The second set are sized and sharpened for use online. It might sound strange that you need separate images for this, but the weird algorithms which sites like FaceBook and Instagram use to handle photographs mean they can look muddy and slightly fuzzy round the edges. So my extra little gift to you is a set of images you can proudly splash all over social media, and know you look as good online as you do in print.
Many photographers charge very little for a session and make their money by marking up prints. There’s nothing wrong with this approach but it’s not how I work. I figure half the fun of having lovely photographs is making gifts for your family – a canvas print for Grandma, a calendar for Granddad, an album for your mother, extra prints for aunties and uncles and friends abroad, mugs and even cushion covers. There are loads of online sites where you can create everything from coasters to posters! I think your images should be yours to use as you please**
I am however very happy to help you source canvas, brushed aluminium, foamex or framed prints, or to create albums if you are not confident doing this yourself. These would be priced separately to the shoot and would depend on the time involved.
* Subject to distance
**Images are for your personal use only. Copyright of the images remains with me.