Frequently asked questions
These are questions that I am often asked, but every family is different. If you have any other questions, please contact us.
Please click on the questions to reveal the answers.
Your portrait session
I am based in Crouch End in North London.
Yes, I am happy to travel across the UK for photo shoots. In addition to our portrait session fee, shoots outside London require an additional charge to cover my travel costs and a minimum spend, which is applied as credit towards your order. If an overnight stay is required, then an additional fee will be added to take into account the extra time away from home.
For shoots outside the UK, quotations are made on a case-by-case basis to take into account the time and logistics involved, and the client is responsible for arranging the necessary work permit.
All my sessions take place on location - I travel to you and we take pictures either at your home or out and about, whichever you prefer. We usually combine some pictures at home with images taken at your family's favourite places – such as the park, the beach, or the woods – and I have photographed in a variety of locations, from National Trust properties to a local garden centre!
We recommend visiting places that have a resonance for you as a family, as this will produce pictures that will remind your children not of the day of the photo shoot, but of the summer spent playing on the bandstand, or the beach you always went to, or their favourite climbing tree. The sessions are designed to capture your lives as you live them, so the choice of location is up to you – as long as there are no restrictions on photography, I'm happy to take pictures pretty much anywhere.
Sessions tend to last a morning. We start early, usually at 8am, to make the most of the best light and also to ensure that the children are wide-awake first thing in the morning. I usually stay until around lunchtime. By having plenty of time, it gives us a lot of leeway if we need to take breaks for naps or snacks, or a bit of quiet-time part way through the morning. Younger children tend to need a mid-morning nap and we can have a cup of coffee during this time.
I love taking pictures and it's great to have these sessions that are slightly longer than the norm as we get to do a variety of different things with the time, and that results in more interesting and varied images for you.
If we are shooting out and about, then we would take the normal things you would have with you for a day at the park - the children's favourite toys if they always have them with them, perhaps a ball or a cricket bat; also snacks (although it is best to avoid the organic carrot flavoured crisps that cover children in luminous orange goo!) and a drink; wipes (please bring lots of wipes - it's amazing how many we get through on a photo shoot).
Operating a photographic business in the UK for over ten years has meant that I am totally confident shooting portrait photographs whatever the weather! Many of my best pictures have been taken either playing indoors or outdoors on damp days in the beautiful, soft light that results from cloud-cover and drizzling rain. It's a cliché, but photographers tend to prefer a dull day to a bright sunny one when shooting portraits, as the light is often more flattering.
If it is pouring with rain on the day of your shoot, then don't worry - we shall still capture a fabulous set of pictures, and often the added challenge of thinking outside the box results in some of my very best work.
If your child is ill, then we ask you to let us know as soon as possible and we can postpone your session. We wouldn't dream of forcing a sick child to have a photo shoot, as this would be miserable for everyone involved. It's much better to wait until they are feeling better and we can all have an amazing time taking your pictures.
Simple, plain-coloured clothes tend to work best, as well as clothes with a subtle pattern. It's best to avoid bold stripes and checks as these don't work well in pictures, and try not to have half the family dressed in white and the other half in black as the contrast in the images can be distracting.
If it is wet underfoot, please avoid dressing a toddler in white tights as the chances of falling over and muddy knees is high.
If you would like to have a selection of clothes for your children laid out, I'm happy to advise when I arrive. Should anyone be wearing something that I don't think will work well in the pictures, then I'll mention it to you before we start so there is an opportunity for a quick change.
It is no problem to remove the superficial spots and scratches that are an everyday occurrence in children's lives.
Can we incorporate some of our children's cool hobbies into the shoot, such as waterskiing/surfing/horse-riding/archery?
I'm happy to photograph pretty much anything, and have photographed a dazzling array of different activities over the past eleven years. We simply ask that you tell us about any specific hobbies in advance, as some activities will require me to bring specialist equipment and if it is something we haven't encountered before, we will want to research it thoroughly to ensure I can capture the very best pictures for you.
If your child is a great swimmer, we cannot photograph in public swimming pools but I am more than happy to shoot in a private pool if you have access to one - again, do contact us to discuss this further.
After the portrait session
I pride myself on producing a variety of images that are of an incredibly high standard, and I have worked hard to gain a reputation for producing beautiful, creative, imaginative pictures. On average, I will present you with sixty images to choose from - all of which will stand alone as beautiful images in their own right but that will also, when viewed together, tell a wonderful story from your day.
The majority of our clients choose a number of images for the wall - either as framed prints, or one of our acrylic or aluminium-mounted products - and also purchase an album which will include all your images in fabulous layouts that really capture the spirit of your family. We are confident that you will like all the images we present to you.
Most clients spend between £2,000 and £7,000, usually on a combination of albums and framed prints for the wall.
I retain the copyright to all my images. However, you are welcome to buy individual images or the complete set of print-ready digital files on a disc, which can be taken to any lab for reproduction. You will be granted a license to reproduce the images for your personal use, or to give to family and friends. You are not permitted to enter the pictures into any competitions, or to sell them onto third parties such as stock libraries.
Yes, all of my photographs are taken in black and white.
I've been a professional children's photographer since 2003, but I have been passionate about photography for considerably longer than that. My father gave me my first camera when I was very young - probably about 8 years old - which was a fully-manual Russian Rangefinder camera, and from that time onwards, I developed and printed my own pictures in our darkroom at home.
My mother ran a nursery school from the basement of our house, with twenty-five children every morning during term time – just imagine the noise! I photographed the children during my school and University holidays, and then sold the hand-printed black and white images to the children's parents. It was an unconventional entrance into the industry, but a wonderful one. I am very proud of the fact that I still have a number of regular clients who I first met when photographing their children at my mother's nursery.
I have not taken any formal photography qualifications; instead I have two degrees in Medieval History, from Cardiff University and the University of Cambridge. My photography tuition came from my Dad as I grew-up, with hours spent in the darkroom, and days out and about learning about light and composition - I have written in more detail about my Dad's influence on my work in this series on my Photoblog. As a student, I discovered landscape photography and I travelled extensively pursuing this love – a love that shows in the way I incorporate the wider world into my images today.
I have been mentored by many of the best photographers in the business, and now I help others as they learn their craft. I am constantly improving my photography by studying the history of the medium and the work of the masters, practicing whenever possible and improving my work year-on-year to keep my work fresh for my clients – and also because I love photography and the creative process of producing images that I am proud of.
Whilst I have no formal qualifications, I am a constant and dedicated student of photography, and long may it continue.
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