Create some magic

What should we wear?

This is the question I get asked the most.

Choosing what to wear for your family or child portrait photography session is important as it adds so much to the overall look and feel of the finished images. It is well worth spending a little time to give this some thought.

It is a good idea to bring a few outfits along for family sessions. Lots of the children I photograph, particularly the smaller ones, need breaks or snacks and I have yet to meet a small child who is not drawn to puddles, so I always recommend bringing a change of clothes in case they get a bit mucky.

If possible avoid logos or too many fussy prints. Block colours, checks and a mix of texture work really well. For girls, combinations like tutus and wellies in the colder months look great and mean you don’t have to worry too much about puddles and for boys simple combinations of shorts or jeans with a plain T-shirt or shirt. Accessories can really make an outfit, whether it’s a cute pair of braces, woolly scarf or a straw hat in summer. Layering is also a good idea particularly for mum and dad as this adds some variety to your gallery.

It is also worth thinking about how your individual outfits coordinate. I am not suggesting by any means that you match as this would definitely look odd, but rather that the outfits compliment each other. For example, different shades within a colour palette (pastels, neutral tones, navy and grey), if three of you are wearing white and one is in red this will be very distracting to the eye. I would strongly recommend not tying girl’s hair back into a ponytail as this can make them appear bald in shots at a certain angle!

Shoes are important and often overlooked. They are likely to be in most of your photos so worth thinking about.

What location would you recommend?

Location makes a big difference to the look and feel of your images. The setting you and your photographer agree on will provide the backdrop. We are very lucky to have so many wonderful parks and woodland in Surrey as well as beautiful beaches and urban landmarks within easy travelling distance.

A bluster beach or woodland can have a more dramatic feel, whilst meadows and lavender fields are great backdrops for those dreamy images.

Is there a better time of day to have the shoot?

The time of your booking will affect the type and quality of light. This is the most important aspect to me as a photographer. Golden hour (just after the sun has come up or before it goes down) produces magical warm, soft light but this can mean a late session in the summer which might not be best for very little ones. Similarly, scheduling a summer session for midday will mean you are likely to have very bright sun and a lot of shadows on faces.

The best time of day is morning or evening, both because the light will be at it’s best, but usually locations are not too busy at these times either.

What happens if it rains on the day of our shoot?

I keep an eye on the weather right up to an hour or two before my shoots (not that I don’t trust the weathermen!). If it is going to be pouring I will always suggest that we rearrange for another day, let’s face it, none wants to have photos where everyone looks like a drowned rat!