6. When should we book?
Frequently Asked Questions
Before the Photoshoot
1. When is the best age to photograph my baby?
I have no strong feelings about when the best time to photography your baby is. Because my style is unposed and more lifestyle in approach, any time is good with me!
If you’d like newborn images, I would suggest within the first 2 weeks of your baby’s arrival. This is when they’re really sleepy, curly and more cooperative. I recommend getting in touch a few months before the due date to pencil in a date. I am very mindful that babies don’t generally appear on schedule, so I will of course be as flexible as I can.
After the newborn stage, there isn’t a perfect time as such. However, it might be easier to schedule in a time once the baby is able to hold its head up independently - and better still, once they can sit up unaided.
2. Do you use props?
No I don’t. My style is much more centred around lifestyle imagery, with a bit of documentary and portraiture thrown in. I therefore don’t provide any props such as blankets, hats, baby baskets etc. That said, if there are any special blankets (anything with texture works beautifully) or toys that your child has and you would like to appear in the images, by all means bring them along.
If we do a session on the beach, I think it can be nice to have a colourful scarf, kite or something similar to add another dimension to the images.
3. What is the best time for maternity portraits?
I recommend that a maternity shoot is scheduled close to your 32nd week. Give me a call in your first trimester to book.
4. Do you have a studio?
No - I’m an on-location photographer. I prefer to use natural light and to either shoot at the family home or at an agreed location outdoors.
5. How much will it cost?
Please visit my Pricing page for a comprehensive breakdown of my packages.
In order to reserve your session, a non-refundable down payment of 20% is required at the time of booking. Your proofing gallery of low resolution images will follow within 2-3 weeks of the session date. The balance is due upon receipt of your high resolution images (an invoice will be emailed to you with details). You will then be able to download and share your images to your heart's content. I will also hand deliver to you a goody bag containing your custom perfume USB drive.
6. When should we book?
I take on a limited number of commissions per month, so I advise getting in touch several months before you would like your photoshoot.
7. How can we prepare for the photoshoot?
Because my style is very natural and takes place on-location, there isn’t a huge amount you can do to prepare. In fact, I am the one who does most of the preparation! Upon booking a session, I will send you a client questionnaire asking you lots of questions about how you would like your session to look and feel.
If you have young kids, I recommend a few familiar toys to put them at ease. For those who are mums or mums-to-be, of course you want to feel good about yourself. Do whatever you fancy - whether it’s a new outfit, new lipstick, hair do… However, my biggest advice is to do whatever makes you relaxed and happy.
8. What shall we wear?
In one sentence: whatever makes you feel relaxed, comfortable and good about yourself. Please do not agonise over how to match colours and etc. It’s much more important that you and your family dress in something that makes you feel comfortable. As you can see from my portfolio, my focus is very much on genuine family connections, almost to the exclusion of anything else. So please don't stress about this!
Before the session, I will send you a Pinterest board containing clothing tips, but in general, try to avoid busy patterns and logos as they can detract from the image. The colours black and navy are also not recommended as they suck in light and don't look great on print. Do bear in mind that you want the images to stand the test of time - you don’t want the images to look dated in 10-20 years time.
I think it works really well to incorporate some "floaty" items of clothing in the images as it really helps to infuse a sense of motion and movement. Layering (eg scarfs) and accessories also work brilliantly.
In terms of make-up, less is definitely more, especially when it comes to foundation and fake tan. It is much easier for me to brighten skin and hide blemishes than it is for me to remove unusual orange colour casts :-)
9. What if I/we are shy of cameras?
To be honest, I think most people are camera shy to some extent. I am pretty camera shy myself when on the other side, so I will hopefully be well placed to make you feel at ease.
If you take a look at my portfolio, you will see that my style gravitates away from posed portraiture. As explained in the My Style section, I prefer to capture genuine expressions and connections rather than stiff poses. Because of this, most of my imagery will have no more than half of the family members looking directly at the camera at any given time. I will rarely ask you to look at the camera - in fact I actively discourage you to!
So, in short, don't be shy or concerned. I'll just gently guide you through the session and put you at ease.
If you have any specific concerns, please let me know and I will be very happy to talk them through with you.
10. How long will the photoshoot last?
It depends on the type of session, but a standard lifestyle and newborn session takes approx 90 minutes. Any session starts with me just hanging out with you and getting to know you as a family.
I particularly like to spend time early on with the kids, just chatting and swapping stories. I find that doing this helps me to develop their trust so that I can really capture the "real" them. If the kids are particularly excited and "bouncy" it is helpful to have the extra time so that they can burn some of the energy off!
11. If the weather is bad, what do you recommend?
I want you to be happy with your images and if the weather isn’t looking too great, I will happily reschedule. Luckily, in the UAE we don’t have many days of really bad weather, but we do have days where visibility is poor, which can be problematic for beach sessions. If we do decide to reschedule, please note you may be required to reschedule to a weekday slot.
12. If my child is ill, can we reschedule?
Absolutely. I am flexible and happy to reschedule free of charge up to one session. All I ask is for you to give me as much notice as possible and no less than 24 hours.
After the Photshoot
13. When will we receive our proofing gallery?
Approximately 2-3 weeks after the photoshoot, I will send you a link to your private online proofing gallery containing low resolution copies of your digitally edited images. Upon receipt of the balance of monies due, you will have access to the high resolution downloadable images. A short while afterwards you will receive your custom USB and print release. From there you can decide which products to choose à la carte. If you have any queries regarding suitability of an image for a particular product, I would be delighted to help.
14. How many photographs should we expect?
After your session I cull the images right down to a gallery of approx 35-40 images (depending on the session you have booked).
15. Can we buy the digital files?
I find that clients generally want digital copies of their images - especially clients who are living overseas, as they are easy to share with friends and family.
Because of this, I provide digital negatives of all images. Printed artwork can be purchased separately following receipt of your proofing gallery.
16. How long will it take to receive my order of printed art work?
Usually within 4 weeks. All of my products are made in a leading professional lab in the UK, so in addition to the production time, they have to be shipped to the UAE. I proof them first to check for quality and accuracy of colour and then I will deliver them to you.
17. Do you provide black and white images?
I am a lover of the raw emotion and timelessness of black and white imagery. So yes, I will certainly include some in your gallery. Some images lend themselves more to black and white, so the number you receive will very much depend on the photoshoot.
18. Tell me about your editing style
I hand edit all of the images I take. My style is artistic and I treat each image as a standalone piece of art. I spend a lot of time assessing the colours in an image, whether it is an image more suitable to black and white, how to draw upon the emotions and connections present and how to use tools such as grain and sharpening effectively. That being said, I am not a big “photoshop-er” - I don't add in skies, I don't head-swaps and I don't smooth skin heavily. Your images will look authentic and will feel just as the moment felt when I pressed the shutter.
If you have any specific concerns regarding skin blemishes or anything like that (it happens to the best of us!), please let me know and I will be mindful of it during the editing stage. Of course, kids habitually have runny noses and the like, and I can easily remove these blemishes for you.
19. Tell me about the gear you use
I am a Canon girl through and through. I currently use a Canon 5D mark IV (my fourth baby) and a Canon 5D mark III. My go-to lenses include a Canon L-series 24-70mm f2.8 and a Canon L-series 35mm f1.4. For personal work I also use a Canon f85mm f1.8, a Canon L-Series 135mm f2 and a Lens Baby Velvet 56.
For post-processing, I use my Dell XPS 15" laptop, a BenQ monitor (SW2700 PT) and an i1 Display Pro by X-rite for colour calibration. I always shoot in RAW format, and upon upload, I do 70% of my edits in Lightroom and then export to Photoshop for further enhancement and a polish.
Please get in touch if you have any further questions.