It’s Wednesday, I’m laying in the garden soaking up some rays whilst my little boy naps and I thought what better time to write this blog post. I’ve been meaning to start it all week but you know what lockdown life is like, every day just rolls into one and before you know it it’s the weekend again.
But this post is much needed because I find myself constantly being asked questions about my shoots and I feel that it’s my fault for not making things crystal clear. So that’s what I’m aiming for today! I’ve written down all your lovely questions and I’m hoping I can answer them and make you feel super prepared for you session with me. So let’s crack on.
Where do you shoot?
Ok so unless you’ve got your heart set on having your session in my home- studio in Swindon, I aim to shoot all sessions outside because that is the easiest in terms of light, and getting a variety of images within your shoot. It’s also better for young children who love to run and play and basically be wild. Which I love by the way, it’s the wild moments that make being a family photographer so flippin amazing so please never worry that your child is too wild or crazy during the shoot!
Last year I was lucky enough to try out an amazing location in Wanborough, where I captured two different sessions before the farmer cut the crops and ruined all my hopes and dreams of getting anymore sessions in. Obviously it’s his crop so I’ll let him off 😉
This year I’ve been super organised and I’m hoping to shoot here again before the cutting commences but I must stress that it’s completely out of my hands whether or not I will be able to do all sessions here so please bear this in mind. Also as a side note, once a field is cut it doesn’t mean it’s not useable. Sitting on giant straw bales in a sunset can make for great images.
I know a lot of gorgeous locations around Wiltshire that we can go to for your shoot. July and beginning of August are great for fields of crops so if you have your heart set on this type of shoot, you’ll want to book in for these months. I’ve also just recently found a great location called Westmill Wind Farm and this place works really well with dramatic skies so if on the day of your shoot it happens to be cloudy and windy, this is an amazing spot. However, if you’d prefer to cancel and reschedule due to bad weather I am more than happy to do so.
If you’d prefer something a little more adventurous and you’re happy to get your feet wet then you might like a location with a river instead. Again, last year I used two locations in Malmsbury for family and engagement sessions and they were both so much fun. If you have children who prefer to be doing something then I’d suggest a location like this for your shoot. Playing in the water is a great way to distract them from the camera and also capture the best natural moments.
Just a warning here, as you can see in the images one of the fields may have cows in and they drink from the river. During one of my shoots they came down to drink whilst we were in there. It wasn’t an issue at all and it was great getting images with cows in but I know some children may not like this.
These are my go to locations but I’d love to try a gorgeous woodland at sunset or (prays to the seaside gods) a beach shoot, but I think I’m pushing my luck here seeing as the nearest one is over 1.5 hours away. Anyone fancy a road trip?
What time do you shoot?
After years of hiding under big trees and praying for cloud coverage during shoots, I made the decision last year to only shoot during golden hour and sunset due to it being the best time for gorgeous, flattering light. Timings for these currently (July) are below:
Blue hour 04:10 – 04:29
Golden hour 04:29 – 05:49
Golden hour 20:35 – 21:57
Blue hour 21:57 – 22:16
Question is, are you a morning person or a night owl? Funnily enough, I’m yet to meet a family who’d like to book a sunrise session and believe me, I totally get this! I know how amazing it is when my kid sleeps in past 7am and I am not about to wake him just for photos.
But also if this is for you, I’m 100% there, coffee in hand and ready to shoot.
Golden hour with babies?
Having a late shoot with younger children and babies can be tricky for some parents and I really do get this. Each child is different and I think it really depends on your routine and how laid back your child is. My boy was a cryer when he got tired as a baby and he only ever slept in his cot so I think I would have found it hard. But I’ve had shoots with lots of babies and toddlers and they’ve completely nailed it. I always suggest to parents to try for a late nap in the afternoon so that little ones aren’t too tired come the evening. Also remember that when they are out and about playing in the crops or watching the river/cows/swans, they generally forget they are tired. I’m also more than happy if they fall asleep during the shoot and we can get some cute snuggly shots.
If however, you just can’t face waking them from their late nap and the thought of putting them to bed later than usual really isn’t for you, then daytime shoots are available but it would need to be on a cloudy day.
What do we wear?
I’ve just started collecting dresses for my client wardrobe so that you can borrow clothes that work well with my style of editing. I will be doing a separate post on this soon with images of the dresses I have. I’ve also written an entire style guide for clients so if you’d like to download it you can do so here.
How much are shoots & what do they include?
All shoots are £275 and include:
- Round the clock whatsapp chats about the shoot, location, weather updates, and outfit ideas. Although I do have the style guide, I like to help you as much as a I can and if I see anything suitable I’ll often send you a picture or link. I do also have a few outfits in my client wardrobe that you’re more than welcome to borrow but the choice is very limited currently! The burnt orange wrap dress featured in a few of these images is one that looks great on everyone.
- 5 digital images of your choice.
- A online gallery featuring ALL the images from your shoot edited in my personal style.
- A store front in the gallery where you can order prints, canvasses and albums.
I’m going to be 100% transparent here and explain to you how I do my pricing because I know us photographers like to all do it differently and I’m sure it can be very confusing at times.
The way I choose to price my work is by having a session fee that includes a limited number of digital images. This way everyone can have an affordable shoot and still walk away with 5 images if they choose not to purchase more. I currently sell digital files, which means you can pay to download extra files to your own computer and print them as and when you wish. I am also planning some packages for people but so far this is the way my clients seem to prefer things, but please leave a comment below if you think otherwise as all feedback is welcome.
So yes, there are technically hidden costs because if you’d like to buy more digital images, they are priced afterwards. What I can tell you is the most you will spend on a shoot with me is £600 and that would be your session fee plus all the images in your gallery, a 6×6 album and 5 8×10 prints. The average number of images I include in your gallery is around 70. Alternatively, you don’t need to purchase any digital files at all and you can choose to simply order prints through your gallery if that’s what you prefer.
My pricing is based on my photography experience & knowledge, the equipment I use during and after the shoot, business insurance, software for editing and planning shoots, including invoices and payments, the time I put into editing each session, the galleries clients receive that stay there forever and of course the session time itself, which is around 3 hours including travel. There’s a lot that goes into running this business behind closed doors and all of these costs I factor into my pricing.
If you’d like to book a session with me I’d love to hear from you. Please visit my contact page to get in touch.