Family Photographer in Chichester, West Sussex 

Beautiful Contemporary Portraits on Location or at Home

 

I am a family photographer who produces natural contemporary portraits on location around West Sussex and Hampshire. Every session is shot at a relaxed pace and I am very experienced at putting people at their ease. 

I tailor each sitting individually. Some children (and adults) are naturals  in front of the camera. Others are more reticent. I take this into account and make each session to suit the sitters. Before I make a portrait, I like to talk to my clients to make sure they get everything they want out of the session. I’m happy to share hints and tips on how to dress and what to bring. Most good portrait photographs are a collaborative effort.

Family portrait sessions usually take between one and two hours. I work at a relaxed pace and and don’t rush things. Patience is an important skill for a family photographer, especially when working with little ones!

Family Photography Sessions start from £199 with a £100 credit included. Please use the enquiry form at the bottom of the page to get a quote and find out about availability.

I run portrait offers and events regularly please follow me on facebook if you’d like to hear about them.

 Portrait Photography Tips

How To Prepare for your Portrait Session

I have am a very experienced family photographer. However, portrait photography is always a team effort. These simple portrait photography tips will help you get the most out of your Portrait Session. This simple check list will ensure you arrive looking great, feeling fresh and are ready to shoot!

Scheduling the Portrait Session.

One of the most critical things to ensuring a family portrait session runs smoothly is making sure to schedule it at a time where your children are usually well rested, fed and happy. If we’re shooting outdoors, we need to pick a time when the light is good. The best light for photographs is in the early morning or late afternoon. Generally, it is best to avoid the harsh light in the middle of the day. For small children morning is usually better, or after nap time in the afternoon. If you want to shoot outdoors I normally confirm everything a few days before. If the weather is not looking good I reschedule a date within two weeks of the original one. In cases of illness, it’s usually best to reschedule too unless it is a family get together that can’t easily be repeated.

How to Dress for a Family Portrait

I don’t like to have too many firm rules about how to dress for a portrait sitting, but these are some guidelines that can help. It’s a good idea to wear solid colours. Secondly, make sure everyone co-ordinates but doesn’t match too closely. If it is overdone it can look a bit false, like a cross between a catalogue and a religious cult!

Avoid patterned clothes like narrowly striped shirts or herringbone patterns. Often,they cause funny optical effects at certain print sizes. Also, logos have a tendency to date quickly so it’s also wise to be cautious with them. If you are buying new outfits for your children check that they are comfortable in them beforehand, and that shoes don’t rub. This is particularly important with small children who won’t able to soldier through a shoot. If they are unhappy they’ll let everyone know in no uncertain terms!

If possible, keep some changes of clothes handy just in case. Remember to dress for the weather, don’t wear clothes that will make you sweat in the summer, or freeze half to death in the winter. Make sure that if you are shooting in cooler weather you have enough clothes to keep warm while setting up or between shots. It can often be cooler than you think in exposed areas. Sometimes, if you’re waiting for the light to change or moving to a new location, the cold can quickly catch up with you.

Remember – if it looks a bit creased in the mirror, it will look very creased in a photograph. Please make sure your clothes are well ironed and sit well on your frame.

Grooming and Make up

If you want to get your hair cut for the shoot, it’s best to do it a week before the shoot date. It is the same for any beauty treatments liable to leave you looking blotchy. Natural make up is best, remember that photography tends to enhance colour and contrast. Therefore, avoid heavy or strong coloured make-up and remember spray tans need time to fade a little. I can easily remove small blemishes, cuts or spots in Photoshop. So, if a pimple appears on the morning of the shoot don’t panic! As a portrait photographer I prefer the more natural look. Family portraits will be up on your wall for many years to come. On balance, always style yourself slightly conservatively to make sure you pictures are timeless.

Drinks and Snacks

Keep a supply of drinks and snacks handy for younger children. It keeps them happy and you can use them as bribes if need be! In addition, remember not to bring anything too messy that could bring the session a sudden halt.

Have Fun!

Make sure you tell your children how much fun they are going to have. Children invariably pick up on things. If you issue dire warnings about bad behaviour or offer them bribes for being good beforehand, they will think of a photo shoot the same way they think of a trip to the dentist. Emphasise that the shoot will be a fun experience. Most of all, let them know can play and run around, and there is no need to pose and stay stock still. I try not to shoot children’s portraits under time pressure. Therefore, there is plenty of time for young ones to warm up during a portrait session. I shoot enough portraits to know not to panic if it takes a little while to get a great shot.

Sometimes, everyone has to work their way into the shoot. It’s important that children don’t feel pressured into performing, as it can really knock their confidence and makes them uncomfortable. Most of all, be patient. The great shots will come with time.

Follow these simple tips and you will get photos that you’ll really love. Better still, your family will enjoy the experience too!

 

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