What to expect on your photo shoot
here’s 5 quick tips to help you get ready for your portraits on the Isle of Wight
Choosing the right photographer is a little like browsing for a new car. There are lots of expensive styles out there, we admire the archetypal British mini to the luxurious Aston Martin. We are swayed by sleek lines and high tech features. When we’re ready to take the plunge we visit the show room and take a car out for a spin. One hour later, we return a little breathless and wistful, is this the car for our family?
Knowing what to expect during your shoot will help you choose the right photographer, so I hope you find the below tips helpful and that you feel more certain about your choices.
Decide what you want
Just like choosing a car – you want to find the best fit for your family – does the mini have enough boot space or is the Aston flexible for a family of 5 (plus a dog)? Decide if you want a picture of the whole family together? Perhaps you just need group picture of the siblings or maybe you just want some nice photos you and your kids.
Look for a photographer that has a consistent portfolio and show cases images that reflect your families’ outlook. If you are an active family, a location photographer would suit your enjoyment of the outdoors. Perhaps you are seeking a classically posed group photo of all family members, then a studio photographer would be the best choice.
Select style over cost
There are as many great photographers in London as there are cars on the roads. Start by asking friends for recommendations, look through Facebook streams and see if there are services provided in local forums. The challenge will be to match the photographer to what you need, not what you can afford. Professional photography is expensive and it is an important investment.
You want the best for your family. The mini is iconic because it has delivered elegant, reliable and consistently high standards for a number of years. Find a photographer that has an established business and prides themselves on delivering bespoke services.
A good place to start is their review page, as well as older blog posts (see one 0f my first posts). Photographers are perfectionists, it is important to them that you *love* your pictures. They’ll work hard to make you happy using the style they have spent years perfecting.
Chatting with your photographer ahead of time is key. Pick up the phone – emails weren’t made for talking. Have a list of questions you might want to ask: time, day, clothing, locations, what to do if it rains – whatever’s on your mind. Your photographer will be eager to get to know you before the shoot, whether by chatting on the phone, early emails, or over coffee in a local cafe. Some photographers use questionnaires to break the ice, ask to see yours.
If you have the perfect family portrait in your head – let them know. Tell your photographer what kind of shots you’re hoping to get – mother & daughter, or individual shots of the kids, or everybody all together.
Share your fears
Everyone feels a little anxious about their portrait session, especially if you haven’t worked with a professional before. Let your photographer know what’s holding you back – are you worried about young ones getting restless?
Worried that the little one’s won’t get fed or might miss their nap? Is your husband a little reluctant to join in the fun? Do you hate having your photograph taken? Share your concerns, then take a deep breath – let the photographer worry the small stuff and work out a session that doesn’t overwhelm you or your child.
If your car has a worrying rattle under the bonnet, you take it to the garage – you hire professionals to do the job for you. This is just the same – let your photographer worry about what everyone’s doing or if Aunt Daisy is wearing her slippers again.
My mantra for the day is “personality, not poses”. Relax and have fun. You want to look at those pictures on your wall and remember how you giggled when feeding the ducks or swung each other round in the park.
The messy, imperfect moments in life are what it’s all about. Embrace your family time and be proud of your little quirks – you’ll enjoy pictures full of laughter and life. If you’ve been on a driving tour in your squeaky clean car, you expect to come back with mud-splashed wheels, and that’s OK.
After your session
The first thing you do when you’ve welcomed your new car home is take it for a spin. Once you receive your prints share them with your nearest and dearest. Twitter pics, montages, snail mail and SMS are great, like their business page on Facebook, tag your photos and blog about your photo session for all to read.
Share the news and spread the love. Nothing beats word of mouth and personal recommendations. Photographers are sensitive souls and love reading a new review on their guest book page.
Sharing your photos
Once you’ve chosen which photos to print into wall art, albums or canvas, ask your photographer which professional printers they recommend.
Don’t use Boots or Snappy Snaps, even if their prices are tempting or you’re in a rush during lunch hour. Your photos are perfectly exposed and lovingly processed, so choose someone who cares about crafting the perfect print:
Be sure to dip right in and share news of your own work, along with ideas and suggestions, in the comments. I’ll be posting more ideas next week, but for now, head over to part 2
For more advice on natural portrait sessions or to book a natural portrait by an Isle of Wight photographer, get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.
Call me for your session 0789 862 1187