'...THE REAL OVER PERFECT. ALWAYS.'
Family, Newborn, Maternity & Motherhood sessions will forever hold a huge place in my heart. My passion has and always will be documenting moments to last a lifetime, and to me, there is nothing more special than the people around us, whether that is family by blood or family by pure love.
The way I capture moments is by purely documenting you as you are. Simply put...I'm a people watcher. Yet, I have a camera. Sounds a bit weird but I promise it's not.
I've always been a huge fan of 'natural photography' yet we all know that there is nothing natural about putting on a beautiful dress and matching outfits with our families to go and stand in a field or a woodland. That's just not what we naturally do, for obvious reasons. So instead of calling myself a 'Natural Photographer', I describe my work as 'The real over perfect. Always.'
Don't get me wrong, your tiny little team is perfect, but by this I mean that I capture the real moments, not the posed 'perfect' ones. I capture the moments that mean the most, the ones that are uniquely you. Sometimes strange, sometimes hilarious, sometimes totally unexpected...but always absolutely perfect because they are authentically you. And after all, that is the aim here right? To document you & yours in a way that can be looked back on for generations. A way that you will remember that exact moment, that exact belly laugh
and that exact cuddle, exactly as it was, even 5, 10, 20 years on. That is what I aim do, for you.
This guide holds all of my best tips and tricks for you and your closest to have a little read through in preparation for our session coming up. I honestly cannot wait to meet you & your people and capture your most authentic love.
WEAR SOMETHING YOU’RE COMFORTABLE IN
I would always encourage you to wear something that makes you feel like yourself, not what you think you have to or should wear, or anything brand new or fancy. Wear something you feel beautiful in. Ensure it’s an outfit you’ve worn before and you know its comfortable.
ALLOW FOR MOVEMENT
Throughout our session you will be moving a lot. You'll be throwing your little ones around and running after them. I'd always recommend a flowy dress for the mamas & a loose t-shirt or shirt for the dads with linen or jean shorts/trousers. Even if you are a mama-to-be on aMaternity Session you will still be moving. Plus, a long flowing dress can also be used as a prop to swish around, wrap little ones up in and cover any areas that you ate self conscious about.
CONSIDER THE LOCATION
Make sure to wear something that makes sense for the location, and terrain. You don't want to look out of place in the environment that you've chosen or be wearing stilettos in the sand.
I highly encourage you to choose colours that photograph well, hot pink may be your favourite colour but I can guarantee it will not photograph very well. I advise earth tones and neutral colours that aren't too bold or distracting. Beige, white, denim, rust, sage green, mustard, all look beautiful in the locations I generally shoot at and the studio - all of the earthy, natural tones. It's important to consider how the colours you wear will compliment the colours of the environment, without causing you to blend in or get lost.
Bloomers, shorts, dresses, rompers, dungarees and jumpers are amazing for the little ones, if it's chilly outside, layer up with knits, tights, etc - try to stick to a neutral colour palette as not to distract away from them. I always go for very classic outfits that will not date on photographs.
Stay away from any bold or distracting patterns and any large graphics or logos. I do prefer plain outfits but if you are someone who likes a pattern, I urge you to opt for minimal, smaller patterns as not to distract away from the rest of the photo.
COMPLEMEMT EACH OTHER
Avoid being too matchy, matchy - ideally your outfits will complement each other but not blend into each other, we want to see your different styles & personalities. As seen in the photo to the right, mutual coloured outfits in two different styles.
I advise against BIG accessories like big watches and make sure to take your phone and keys out of your pocket. Dad's this one is for you!
I highly encourage accessories like hats, scarves, jackets, jewellery, etc. We can make them work as props and change up the outfit for various different style photos. Make sure you look like you, bring your personality to life through your outfit!
I would always suggest to bring options and I can always be on hand to help with any outfit suggestions for any member of the family!
I terms of props, I'll always bring a variety with me that I think will suit your family (this is why the questionnaire is important). Some of these props may include blankets & cushions, seating, a Moses basket, hats, etc. Other ideas of things that may suit you and your family's style is bringing your dog, a camper van, a bike, a classic car, surfboard, guitar, etc. Bust please don't feel like you have to bring any of these as I will bring the essentials.
I always advise you to bring toys and snacks/treats for your little ones, however, these should only be used as a last resort as they can be very distracting and may not want to let go of them. If you have older little ones, a little bribery never hurt nobody so always have a back up plan of something you can entice them with.
I also am very aware that phones and iPad's are very popular in keeping little ones entertained, but again, this should only be used as a last resort as it can change the little one's mood and make them very uninterested in being present in the moment with you. Having said that, sometimes these things are very much needed so it's always good to be prepared! P.S. to the parents, please also try to stay away from your phone as this 1 hour is pure family time for you and yours, embrace that.
Treat this day like a date or a fun day out, easier said than done, I know. I recommend doing something together that day either in the morning or the evening - go to get ice-cream, go for a meal or just go to the park, dedicate this day to you and your family. But most importantly, let your little ones know that this day is about all of you, together.
Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get ready so you can relax and not feel rushed. If you feel relaxed, it will show in photos. If you feel stressed, that will also show. Plus, it'll radiate onto your little ones as well if they can feel your stressed vibes.
If your kids are naughty don't feel embarrassed or get worked up about it (again easier said than done) but the whole purpose of this session is to capture them as they are. Let kids be kids. Let them splash in the puddles and get muddy. Let them run into the freezing cold British sea and let them tackle each other to the ground (so long as no ones getting hurt, we're all good).
I am a middle child with 2 brothers. I've seen it all, I've personally experienced it all and I've heard it all. Just let them be, and I guarantee the session will be a whole lot more fun for you.
AFTER THE SESSION
After your session you will receive a sneak peek to hype you up a little bit and get you excited to see that final gallery. Your final gallery will be delivered to your email inbox within a few weeks of your session.
Thank you so much for this opportunity to photograph you & yours. I am SO excited for your session and please know that I am here for you, for anything you may need in the meantime!