How Does a Session Work?
When you book a session, you have the studio for an hour so we have plenty of time to get to know each other and try some different ideas at a relaxed pace. It also gives us time to experiment with styles so I’d recommend you bring along a few different outfits plus of course any props and accessories that you would like to include in your session to personalise it further.
At the start of the session, we take some time to chat so I can understand what you would like to get out of your time in the studio. Then I gently direct you through the session – you don’t need to have had any experience in a photo studio before. We work through different ideas, props and backdrops (not library) until we are done. Then you go home, relax and wait for a bit.
How Do we View and Order Images?
About two weeks after your session, you will receive a password and link to your private online gallery. All you need to do is enter this password into the page at the link and you will be able to see all of your shiny new photos.
Yes of course, you can order more digital images, prints and canvases directly from your gallery. There’s no viewing meeting or sales session to attend. You can see how much they all cost by clicking on this link.
Frequently Asked Questions
My online gallery should be fairly familiar to you if you shop online but in case you need a bit of extra assistance, you can click on the button below to access a help document that walks you through how to access your gallery, choose your favourite images and place an order. Of course, if you are having problems, just get in touch and I’m always happy to help.
You need to pay for your photo shoot when you book it. If your session is more than two weeks away, then you have the option of paying a £20 deposit with the balance being due the week before your session. Otherwise the full balance is due on booking.
My studio is a short walk from where you park and up several small steps. As such, I’m sorry to say that it’s not wheelchair friendly. I’m happy to help in any other way that I can though so if you have someone in your party who needs a little special attention to make the session fun for them, then just get in touch and we can talk over what I can do to make things work for you.
This is one of two things that people regularly say to me, this and ‘I’m not very photogenic’.
Well, you’ve got to the studio and so it was obviously important enough for you to get the pictures and so you’ve already done the hard part. All you need to do when you get into the studio is just relax and let me guide you through the process of creating your images. I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to create great images, I’ll tell you how to stand, sit and pose and gently walk you through everything you need to do. It might feel a bit weird for the first couple of minutes but I promise, it will be much worse in your head and after a really short period you’ll be right in the swing of it. You might even (eek) have fun – pretty much everyone does.
Plus, as I always say, the very worst thing that can happen is that you look at the photos and don’t like them enough to look at them again. That won’t happen but if that’s the very worst case scenario, then it’s no big deal right?
It’s difficult to answer this because airbrushing means different things to different people. I edit each image to make sure it’s looking it absolute best and I’ll remove any temporary blemishes like scratches, marks or spots. I don’t remove any birthmarks of anything that is part of your because that’s who you are, I don’t digitally enhance your body shape (we’ll sure as heck be using flattering posing and lighting though) or change the contours of your face. That’s not what I’m about and you’re perfect as you are.
Most kids if you ask them to smile or say cheese will pull a face that is nothing like their normal, natural smile. For this reason, I don’t generally encourage you to do this in the studio. Instead, we will work to have some fun and get them to smile naturally – this can involve, singing, dancing, saying silly things, shouting ‘poo’ or ‘knickers’ – whatever works to get your little one giggling.
Yes, we have time for at least one outfit change during a session so you can create lots of different looks.
That’s quite a common thing that I hear at the studio and I guess it stems from a fear of those old fashioned portraits where everyone looks very stiff and formal. There’s always going to be an element of posing in the studio as I’m there to make you into great shapes and I also need to light you but that doesn’t mean that the resulting images need to look unnatural. In fact, I quite often set you up as a group and then we just let the action unfold and capture it as it goes. When it comes to kids, because of the requirements for good lighting (after all you’ve come to me for professional images), it means they can’t just run around and play with each other. Quite often this will result in lots of photos of the tops of their heads anyway so we take the same approach. We set them up with a location and then give them an activity and encourage them to interact. Don’t be shy in the studio – we will sing, dance, shout ‘poo’ and do anything it takes to get the fun going!
We have the session booked for an hour for a family portrait photo shoot. That’s actually a really long time to be shooting for so we don’t normally need all of that to get your images created but it means that we take things at a nice, easy and relaxed pace.
My studio is really flexible and I have lots of different backdrops and lighting options to choose from. They’re very easy to switch between so we can simply create lots of different styles of images for you within one session.
Of course! I call this a ‘mix and match’ session. For example, if you are attending a session as two parents and two children, we can easily take images of everyone together, kids together, kids separately, parents together etc The maximum amount of images from one easy, fun session.
If someone in your party is ill, then you’re welcome to reschedule. If you can give me as much notice as possible then I appreciate it but of course that’s not always possible. I don’t offer refunds on sessions but I’m happy to hold your session fee as a credit so you can rebook at a more convenient time when everyone is back to full health.
It’s wonderful when children are really excited to have their pictures taken but of course it’s not always the case. Lots of kids feel a bit shy or nervous of being in an unfamiliar environment, and so sometimes it takes a little while for them to warm up. Gentle encouragement from you as parents, and any amount of singing, dancing and silliness generally gets the job done.
When you buy a digital file from me, the copyright stays with me as it would with pretty much all other photographers out there. However, that’s just a legal term that I retain as the creator of the image. You’re able to print and share the image as much as you’d like to – the only things that you can’t do is sell the images or claim that you took them. Other than that, they are yours to do as you wish with.
This is question that I get asked a lot and it’s a really tough one to answer as it depends on so many things. If I’m photographing a baby and they’re in a great mood, then you have lots of photos where if they are finding things a bit difficult then you get less. Gun to my head, if I had to offer an average image count, then I’d say that you can expect to find about forty fully edited images in your finished gallery but that can vary wildly so it’s probably not a very useful statistic for you.
It’s a good idea to coordinate outfits for your family portrait session as that makes a real difference to your finished pictures. Of course you don’t have to all wear the same (although twinning is quite in at the moment), but it’s a great idea to match colours or tones. Avoid bold patterns and logos as they can be distracting and also they tend to date quite quickly – plain colours can give you a more timeless feel. In the finished photos, you want the eye to be drawn to your faces and so long sleeves can help with that. If you have any questions, then you are always welcome to get in touch and I’m happy to help.
All of my portrait work is studio based but luckily, my husband is also a professional photographer and he does shoot portraits on location. You can reach him at VisualChaos Studios and he’ll be happy to talk over your on location portrait requirements.
My studio is quite small (but perfectly formed) and so family portraits are great for groups of up to two adults and three children or five children. If you have a group larger than this, just get in touch and we can talk over what options are available.
A family portrait photo shoot in my studio includes your three favourite images and costs £95. There’s no sales or viewing session to attend, you simply view your images and order what you would like from your private online gallery.
My preferred method of payment is bank transfer although I also accept credit and debit cards through the PayPal facility. You don’t need to have a PayPal account in order to use this – you can just enter your card details as you would on any other online transaction.
My prop and accessory collection do change a bit over time as I like to keep things fresh but to give you an idea, I have a ton of bunting (and that really does keep on growing as people come up with new ideas), some very cute miniature chairs, an ivory vintage suitcase and a whole Harry Potter themed mini set (complete with owl) if you are a little bit of a Potterhead.
Yes, you can order a gift certificate for any of my photography services. You can order a personalised voucher by following the link below…
I love dogs and they’re welcome at my studio. When you’re combining a dog and baby portrait, the only advice I have for you is to wait until your baby is able to sit up unsupported as otherwise it’s very difficult to pose them together. Probably don’t bring them if you are having a cake smash as that’s probably just a disaster waiting to happen – even the best trained dog is probably going to be unable to resist all that cake!
I keep your images for 18 months following your session date and after this point, they are permanently deleted so if you are purchasing digital copies, I can’t stress enough to back them up safely.
My studio is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm.
I present all of your images in colour and then I’ll add in black and white copies of some that I think particularly suit it. Of course, if you’d rather have an image in black and white then just ask and I’m happy to switch it over for you.
I have a range of backdrops you can use for your child at a photo shoot and you can make a choice on what you would like when you arrive at the studio. However, if you’d like to take a look in advance…
Each of your images is professionally edited and so there will be a bit of a delay before you can see your images while I get everything ready for you. This can vary according to a number of factors but generally, it’s about a two week wait before your images are uploaded to your private online gallery. I’ll be able to advise you better on exact waiting times at your session.
There’s no minimum spend or nasty pricing surprises with any of my photography. You’ll already know the price of your photo shoot and what’s included and if you’d like to order more, you simply do so from your online gallery.
I believe in complete transparency when it comes to pricing so you won’t get any nasty surprises. You’ll already know what your session fee includes in terms of images, and you can simply order more from your online gallery if you’d like to – there’s no sales or viewing session to attend.
About two weeks after your session, I’ll have your images edited and uploaded to your private online gallery. There’s no sales or viewing session to attend. I’ll email you a link and a password and that will take you straight to your finished images.
Any digital images that you purchase will be sized at 10×8″ at 300ppi so perfect for printing up to this size or slightly larger (you have more flexibility on size when it comes to canvases as they are printed at a lower resolution). I offer a range of larger prints and canvases that you can order from my gallery if you would like them.
Sorry but no. Obviously you can use your phone for making and receiving calls but I don’t allow any videography or photography inside the studio. If you are caught recording or photographing the session, you will be asked to leave and the session will be terminated without refund. All in all, that’s a horrible situation for us all to be in so please respect my copyright.