Family shoot guide

Family shoot guide



Family shoots have now become such a large part of my work and I have fallen back desperately in love with them. It fills my heart and the far reaches of my soul, when couples reach out to me and ask me to make memories of their growing families. That's some good endorphins right there. So thankyou for putting your trust in me, please know it means so much. x



I am hoping that you have chosen me to photograph your family because you have seen my photos and really enjoy them. Hopefully not only the way my photos look, but also the way they make you feel. In all of my images I try so hard to capture connection and the real raw truth of being a family. To be able to do this, I need you to be open to being real and raw in front of my camera. I want all of you to just relax and enjoy being together, where the strains of every day life can be forgotten for an hour or so. Be you, but be that whole you, a bit more snuggly, a bit more silly and a bit more able show all that love you have for each other. All in all, I really want you to enjoy the adventure and the experience of being together, of exploring a new place or just re-living well loved things at home through new eyes.

Sometimes, you can have preconceived ideas about what you want your photos to look like. Your kids aren't behaving as well as you would like, the weather isn't as good as you thought it might be but please trust that the photos are about you all and the connection between you. Don't worry if things aren't 'perfect'. They very rarely are, a bit like real life, so go with it and just let it all fall into place naturally. If the kids are having an off day, don't force them to be anything other than how they feel. Too much pressure and they'll pull back, let them discover whatever they want and hold their hands while they explore. If they want to cuddle and not leave your side, that's natural too. Just embrace it all.

Also please don't prep your kids beforehand to smile. Embrace the moment and they'll smile naturally if they feel like it because they are enjoying their time with you. Photos don't always have to have smiles. Some of my most favourite photos of my children are them just looking, just being. Smiles don't make good photos, authenticity does.

Let it all be and it will fall into place and be a true and beautiful reflection of your family.

Lets talk about what I do

The way I work is very relaxed and carefree. I really don't give too much direction. I like our adventure to spark your kids imagination and your eagerness to help them explore. We will have time when we walk and times when we sit and cuddle, I will shoot it all. When I do give direction it's things like "sit in that light and just have a cuddle", I don't tell you specific poses as I want you to find your natural rhythms with each other, this is what makes it all so authentic.

There might be times when I don't shoot much because I need your children to learn to trust me and being in front of my camera. Sometimes that means putting it away for a bit and making a sandcastle with them or looking for tadpoles in the water. This is all a process, I have three kids myself, so I do understand that these things aren't always easy. I will help you as much as I can to get what we need. Sometimes it can be that last ten minutes of the shoot where it all falls into place and we get the shots we want. Again, just go with it, I've got your back.

Lets talk about lighting.

I am a lover of sunset. I adore the light play of shadows and sun and will use whatever available light I have to create artful, considered portraits. The light I use may stray a little further from soft family portrait lighting that you may see used by many other photographers so I want to give you a heads up before the day, so that you know exactly what I am looking for and how I shoot.

So as a photographer that considers light one of my most beautiful tools I want to play in it and see what comes. If we have a shoot in that hour or so before sunset the light will change dramatically during that time. We might have lovely soft light, followed by that real orange glow of last light and then falling back to softness. I aim to utilise all these variances of light and different spaces we can shoot it in within the area. It's valuable and worthwhile for me to explore these stages of light and transition in mood, perhaps from playfulness in full sun, to a softer, calmer feeling of love and cuddles as light falls behind the horizon.

Sunrise light is equally as beautiful. It's just the reverse of sunset right? You have that beautiful soft glow of light rising and maybe some sleeping kids and a cuddle in a blanket and then as the sun rises, so does their mood and their energy levels. You won't get that warm golden glow at sunrise, but you do get a sense of softness and calmness that always feels different to the end of day. Whether you choose sunset or sunrise will depend on your family. Make the most of what you've got in terms of family schedules and energy levels. Do what feels right for your family.

LIGHT IS NEVER THE SAME FOR EVERY SHOOT so you need to be open to what comes. A cloud filled day can be just as magnetic as a photograph full of golden light. It's actually easier to work in and will create softer looking images. A little sprinkle of rain can be fun and playful too, so don't let that deter you from having a shoot in the rain. There are so many ways to make all the light work. If you have any concerns about lighting for your shoot please just ask.

Lets talk about what to wear

Let's not be shy here, clothing is really important, We pick our clothes each day based on our mood, how we want to feel and the activity that we are doing. Choosing clothing for a shoot should be no different.

First and foremost here I say PLEASE BE YOURSELVES. The whimsical floaty linen dresses that are the flavour of the day are pretty darn lovely to look at but they are not something that everyone would wear in everyday life. If you wouldn't wear it 'normally' or wouldn't wear it again do not buy it for your shoot just because everyone else seems to be doing it. PLEASE WEAR SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD. I want the clothing you wear to be a reflection of who you are as individuals and as a family unit.

Having said all that, there are some pointers in how to get your outfits to being out the best in each other and the location that you are in.

I think the best way to move forward on outfit choices is to first pick the person who is going to be the most picky about their outfit, or has found something fabulous to wear. In all honestly, this is usually you mum, so go with it. Or quite often you will have a kids outfit that you love and want then to wear, so base your choices around that. I'm super aware of looking cheesy and very matchy, matchy. I personally don't advocate for that at all. I think the most important thing when moving from one piece, towards outfits for the whole family, is picking complimentary colours and patterns. And beautiful, beautiful textures.

Too many patterns can create havoc with the eye. PLEASE DON'T WEAR THIN STRIPES (LIKE A MAN'S BUSINESS SHIRT STRIPE) they can flare terribly on camera depending on lighting, so I always think it's best just to steer clear of those. While we are on what not to wear, black from head to toe is not my favourite for family shoots. It obviously can be quite dark and draws the eye straight to it. So instead of wearing something fully black, break it up a little. This little family above has dad wearing dark jeans, but have matched it with a light shirt with then matches in with mum's clothing choice and little Darcy ties it all together with his very clever choice of jumper. I say lay them all out on the bed and see how you go, mix and match and swap til you feel like it's you. But if you're an all black family, go with it. Just try and balance it somehow. If all else fails, lay it out on the bed and send me a pic. I am happy to advise you.

So things to think about are:

: TONES - earthly tones work well in natural landscapes.

: TEXTURES - a mix of textures, like linen, denim, wool

: COLOUR - if you love it, wear it!!!


Location makes a family shoot what it is. For me, I like it to be an adventure, a story that you can re-live when you look back on your images. So something to think about is what type of story do you want to make? Some families choose an epic seaside adventure with rocks to climb and water to wet your feet in and sand to scrunch up between your toes. Some prefer the connection to home. There can be a real calmness that happens there, a different vibe, to what might happen outdoors in a new environment. Children can sometimes be calmer (or possibly the reverse is true?!) but I do love a home story of you all, just as you are. Then there is the combo shoot where we can do a little bit of both. This works exceptionally well when you live close to a beach or outdoor area that you love. So have a think. If you need any ideas, I am certainly happy to put out some ideas about what situation and location might suit your little family.


What do I do if one of us is sick ?

If you need to postpone the shoot, it's not a problem. Life with kids can be unpredictable and quite often full of sickness, so postponement for illness can be quite common. Please just let me know as soon as you can if you do need to postpone so I can try and fill your spot. Then we will work out an alternate date.

What about bad weather?

I am actually all for embracing weather that isn't necessarily ideal. Wind can be amazing, so don't be afraid of a windy day, or even a little bit of rain. Of course if the weather is torrential rain we can postpone. I usually get in touch if the forecast is looking dreadful and we can come up with an alternative time for the shoot if we need to.

How long until I get my photos?

It can take me up to 4 weeks to process your photos and pop them up on the gallery.

What do I get in my package?

What is in your package depends on what package you purchased. All galleries have the facility of being able to download the images straight to your computer. An on-line shop will be available soon. In the meantime. products such as albums, framed prints and prints are still available, just let me know. if you're keen and I can get you some information.

If there is anything else you would like to know
please contact me for more information.