What happens Before, During and After my portrait photo shoot?

5. Christmas

Before

Most of my portrait shoots can be done in the comfort of your own home or outdoors, however on some occasions I may need to ask you to come to my home studio. This really depends on the available space in your home, and the type of photography that you are looking for. If we are using a backdrop then a space around six feet wide and 4 feet deep must be available for the photography equipment, otherwise there simply won’t be enough room to position the lighting and people to achieve a beautiful result. If you are worried you won’t have enough space in your home, I can arrange a quick visit prior to our appointment to check and if not you will be invited to come to my home studio instead.

If you are looking for a specific type of shoot, or you really want to recreate a photo you have seen online, just send me a link in advance and I can let you know if it will be possible. Otherwise, pick out your outfits and any special or meaningful props of your own that you might like to feature and ensure they are ready to use on the day of your shoot.

During

If your shoot is taking place in your own home (around 90% of my shoots are done this way), then you will need to ensure you have a suitable space free from furniture and clutter before the shoot begins. Once I arrive at your home, I will need around 15 minutes to set up my equipment and get everything ready for your shoot. I’ve found that school age children often like to get involved in setup – and that’s completely fine as long as they are supervised by a parent or other suitable caregiver! I tend to bring smaller items that they can help carry and boxes of small props and toys that they can look through to choose their favourites.

The shoot itself is very relaxed and usually lasts around 1.5 to 2 hours – or until the children get tired. I like to involve the children as much as possible, and often let them have a go at taking a picture or two of mum, dad or siblings if they are curious about the equipment. The shoot will go at the pace of the child, and if that means we need to sing ‘twinkle twinkle’ or ‘if you’re happy and you know it’ whilst I’m taking their picture – well so be it. Happy children take the best pictures, so it’s really important to get them relaxed and help them to enjoy the experience.

Don’t worry about any eczema, baby acne, or skin problem breaking out on the day – almost all blemishes and imperfections can be removed post production, so it really isn’t something to get stressed about. From experience, happy and relaxed parents tend to lead to happy and relaxed children and toddlers, so the more at ease you feel the better! Don’t worry if your little angel throws a tantrum as nine times out of ten they will come round and still perform well enough to get a good amount of beautiful pictures. A lot of the most beautiful pictures happen when your child is fooling around and playing, so try not to worry if they aren’t posing for all of the pictures, or if you think they are being cheeky or messing around – if it’s a problem I’ll let you know!

Here’s a behind the scenes picture from a recent Christmas themed shoot

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After

After the shoot comes the post production process.  You’ll receive untouched proof images the day after your shoot so that you can pick your favourites – at this stage don’t worry about any problems with skin, blemishes, lighting or prop setup – you just need to pick your favourite images from the shoot in order for them to go through to post-production. During post production I will individually retouch your images before they are supplied to you digitally around one week after your shoot. The complimentary retouching process includes correcting and altering colour balance, skin imperfections, background replication, and adding or removing items from backgrounds as required. Any other retouching will be done on an individual basis, but each and every image that you choose to go through the process is individually worked on to ensure the most beautiful end result possible for your keepsakes. If you have ordered prints, they will be available to collect around three working days after you receive your digital images, or can be hand delivered around one week after you have received your digital images

Here are two examples of post-production techniques used in my editing process

Post Production Examples

Why do I need a professional photographer

Do I really need a professional photographer? My guests have smartphones…

I hear this question so often when customers are planning a wedding, special occasion or corporate event. Most people now own a smartphone, and with modern phones often boasting high megapixel cameras you might be thinking ‘Do I really need a professional photographer?’. This post outlines the benefits of using a photographer rather than relying on your guests for your special moments.

Let’s start with the obvious – how many of your guests will actually send you the images after your event? Most guests are happy to take a photo in the moment, but sending hundreds of images the day after an event takes time and patience, things that a lot of your guests just don’t have. Attaching large images to emails won’t work, uploading to the cloud takes time and putting them onto a memory stick or disk for you and delivering them – well that’s just far too much effort for most people to go to. Your photographer will ensure that all images reach you in a timely manner and in a format that suits you. Whilst your guests are nursing a hangover the morning after or just generally going about their busy lives, our job is to work on your images. You don’t have to worry about not receiving them, or whether you’ll even be able to use them when you do. You can simply sit back and relax knowing that we have everything in hand and that you won’t have to do any chasing.

Next up – image quality. Even though smartphone cameras are better than they ever have been, they still aren’t great in low light, bright light or changeable weather conditions. Your event photographer has expensive kit for a reason – it’s designed to perform exceptionally in all conditions. Say goodbye to grainy images of your evening event, dull images from a cloudy day or overly exposed images from a really bright day. Our cameras can be tweaked and altered to ensure that your images look amazing no matter what! By working with a professional photographer you can be sure that your images will be beautifully exposed and grain free, perfect for printing or displaying on your website.

Lets look at Social media next. Your guests will upload images as they take them. Some will be flattering, some less so and none have been vetted by you. Sometimes you’ll be tagged and be able to request copies, but often you won’t. Your event photographer checks and perfects each individual image for you before you receive them. Anything that shows you in a less than perfect light doesn’t make the cut. For corporate events, your branding can be added to each image and you control when they go live. For special occasions, lighting and minor imperfections can be corrected. Your guests will know to check your social media page within a few days to find pictures of themselves, driving traffic to your pages and increasing recognition and followers.

Moving on to variety – guests tend to take selfies with their smartphones, often in the same groups or of the same features. Your photographer is there to engage with your guests and ensure you receive a huge range of different high quality images, without a selfie in sight. Your images will be beautifully framed, well composed and capture all aspects of your event or occasion. Reportage style or group photos, the choice is entirely yours, but you can rest assured that your images will be beautifully diverse and capture a true reflection of your event.

Finally, your photographer will spend time looking at each image individually, and edit them beautifully to make the most of the subject. If you have a certain style of photography in mind, discuss it in advance with your photographer and we can ensure that you aren’t disappointed. The process can take several hours to complete but the outcome is a set of beautifully clear, well composed images that represent your event in its best possible light. You just can’t get that with a smartphone….

Contact me today to find out how we can help with your event, or if you still aren’t convinced, drop us any questions you have and we will do to best to answer them honestly and openly. Happy event planning!