FAQs

Planning your portrait session

 

Where will the portrait session take place?

  • Maternity: For your maternity portrait session, I’ll start off taking photographs in your home and then, if you want to, we can head outdoors (weather permitting). I usually take photographs in a few different rooms, making the most of the light and the space in your home. I can also take all the photographs outdoors if you’d prefer.
  • Newborn: Your newborn portrait session will almost always take place entirely in the comfort of your own home.
  • Family: We’ll start off taking photographs in your home and then after an hour or so head outdoors to your garden or favourite park. I usually take photographs in a few different rooms, making the most of the light and the space in your home.

If you’d like to have photographs taken in a park that requires a permit (for example a Royal Park or National Trust property), please note you’ll be responsible for arranging the permit and paying the associated costs.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?

  • Maternity sessions usually take between an hour and two hours.
  • Newborn portrait sessions take two hours, or three to four hours if you’d prefer the extended option.
  • Family portraits take two hours.
  • Christening and Baptism photography is for two hours.
  • Additional time is available for £100 per hour.

WHAT TIME OF DAY IS BEST?

The best time is when your children have had a sleep and a feed so they’re tired or hungry. Many families find a 10/10.30am or 2/2.30pm start works well but the timing’s completely up to you. Whatever works best. I only book in one portrait session per morning or afternoon so I can be flexible on the timings.

Newborn sessions tend to work best in the mornings as very young babies can sometimes become a little restless in the afternoons.

In autumn/winter I like to start before 2pm to make the most of the daylight.

MY HOME IS SMALL AND CLUTTERED – WILL I still get good results?

Yes, absolutely! Lots of portrait sessions take place in small homes amidst the usual clutter of any house. It doesn’t matter at all – I can always find a good spot.

DO I NEED TO CLEAN AND TIDY?

There’s no need to clean. We’ll probably end up moving a few things around anyway and if something’s lurking in the background of a shot, I’ll either move it myself or alert you that it’s there.

WHAT IF I WANT A STUDIO BACKDROP?

If you want a studio effect for your photographs, I’ve got a pop-up background with a choice of white or black backdrops. Just let me know beforehand if you’d like me to bring it.

How do I SCHEDULE A NEWBORN PORTRAIT SESSION?

  • When I book you in for your newborn portrait, I also save an extra session the week before and after that date giving us flexibility according to how you’re getting on.
  • In my experience, the best time to photograph newborns is when they’re 7-10 days old or at their six-week milestone.
  • If your baby is premature, I calculate your session date from your due date rather than the birth date to give them a chance to catch up a little. If your baby’s only born a week or so early, see how you feel at the time – your baby might seem calm, and happy, in which case we can bring the date forward. If your baby seems a little fragile or uncomfortable, we can keep the date originally scheduled.
  • If your baby’s born late, it’s a good idea to have your newborn portrait session at around seven days old as your baby’s growth spurt might come a little sooner.
  • Weeks 2-5 are generally best avoided as newborns can go through an uncomfortable phase with skin issues and digestive problems rearing their heads. If your newborn is very settled and doing well though, I can photograph him/her earlier than six weeks.
  • Six week milestone: newborns are generally much more settled at six weeks. Though still tiny and snuggly they’re more alert and open-eyed – and often starting to smile.

WHAT IF I NEED TO RE-SCHEDULE?

If you need to cancel or change the time of your session, unless you’re ill, I ask for 48 hours notice.

I’m happy to offer one re-schedule free of charge but please note if you re-schedule a second time, I will charge a new session fee.

WHAT IF THE WEATHER FORECAST LOOKS BAD BEFOREHAND?

Overcast skies actually create lovely soft light and are very flattering. It’s always possible to get beautiful photographs no matter the weather, so don’t worry too much about it!

If it’s forecast to rain and outdoor shots are really important to you, we can re-schedule your portrait session. Please be aware that I may not be able to offer a date for the same week as your original booking, and weekends can get booked up several months ahead.

 Getting ready for your portrait session

 

What should I have ready for young children?

For young children, pick out some favourite toys to distract your child and keep them entertained. Bigger toys are better for photos. Bubbles are a surefire hit as are noisy/musical toys.

It’s also worth having a wet wipe ready; a dribbly nose can be cute but you might prefer it wiped off for the photo.

For babies that aren’t yet crawling it’s a good idea to have some blankets handy that we can use for different backgrounds. A variety of colours and textures is great but anything that has a strong pattern such as tartan is best avoided.

What do I need for newborns?

  • A few blankets that we can lay your baby on. A variety of colours and textures is great but anything that has a strong pattern such as tartan is best avoided.
  • A change of clothes (or two!).
  • If you have one, a babygro without feet – so we can photograph your newborn’s tiny toes.
  • A muslin cloth.
  • If you can, trim your baby’s nails beforehand – it looks better for close-ups of tiny fingers and toes.

On the day of your portrait session

WHAT IF IT RAINS ON THE DAY?

This is the UK so I’m always prepared for the vagaries of our weather system. If it rains we’ll just go indoors for the session and keep an eye on what’s happening outside. If it stops, we can go out and carry on.

WHAT SHOULD I/WE WEAR?

Whatever makes you feel good is the easy answer. It’s best to choose clothes that don’t have a graphic or logo on. One plain colour is best although plain black or white clothes don’t photograph that well. A subtle pattern is fine and stripes or spots are ok but they can be a bit distracting.

One thing that’s worth bearing in mind. If we’re taking a group shot and you’re all wearing the same colour, it’ll look a bit staged. A mix of colours looks more natural.

  • Maternity: To best show off your bump, choose a snug top that clings to the contours of your bump. An open shirt also works well if you’d like a photograph of your skin but would prefer to keep your top on. If you’d like a photograph in your underwear or nude, I can take those too. If I’m taking photographs of both of you, it’s best to avoid wearing the same colour as it can sometimes look a bit staged
  • Newborns: Collars can often flap open and cover a bit of your baby’s face so probably best to avoid them. Have a few changes of clothes to hand as your baby’s unlikely to make it through the whole session in the same outfit! A babygro without feet works really well for photographing their tiny toes
  • Girls: dresses look cute and work really well but have some trousers ready too; if your daughter feels like sitting down, dresses can show more nappy than intended so it’s handy to have an alternative.
  • Boys: pretty much anything goes; just avoid clothes that have a big graphic on the front like a dinosaur or tractor.
  • Mums: I suggest avoiding sleeveless tops. A plain top and jeans or casual trousers work well.
  • New mums: if you’re conscious of baby weight, a loose fitting t-shirt or shirt work well.
  • Dads: a plain shirt and jeans or casual trousers is the most common combination. Avoid text or graphics on your clothes. Shorts are also best avoided unless it’s a scorching day.

SHOULD I WEAR MAKEUP?

I like taking natural photographs but I want to get you in your best light so if you feel comfortable with makeup on, please go ahead. If you usually go without that’s absolutely fine too. 
Most women photograph better with a dab of face powder and a smear of under-eye concealer. A pale eyeshadow also photographs well.

DO YOU PROVIDE PROFESSIONAL HAIR AND MAKEUP?

Yes. I work with Jessica, a professional make-up artist who normally spends around 45 minutes – one hour getting you ready for the camera. Jessica brings all her own top brand products and equipment to your home.

Jessica works in TV, film and advertising. Her skill is in making people not only look good but feel great too, everyone from brides to stars like Matthew Perry and Cara Delevigne. Originally from Yorkshire, Jessica now lives and works in London. She uses high end products such as Dermalogica, MAC, Chanel and Laura Mercier.
Jessica has public liability insurance.

SHOULD I WAKE MY NEWBORN BABY FOR THE PORTRAIT SESSION?

No – hopefully I’ll catch them awake at some point during the session but newborn babies photograph brilliantly when they’re asleep and it’s best to keep to your baby’s normal routine. It’s true what they say about never waking a sleeping baby!

WHAT IF MY CHILD’S CRANKY ON THE DAY?

Don’t worry – we can spend some time cheering up your child. I’ve got lots of experience in getting the best out of little ones and it doesn’t usually take long to win them over. Even if your child seems to be acting up or not co-operating, there’ll still be a lovely set of portraits to look through afterwards – I promise!

It’s sometimes hard to resist telling your child to be good for the photographs but in my experience when they’re having fun and being themselves, the photographs always come out brilliantly.

After your portrait session

 

Ordering products

You can see your edited photographs about three weeks after your session at our viewing appointment. If you need the photographs earlier, I can have them ready within a week for an extra £50.

At my comfortable Clapham Old Town meeting room, we’ll look at your photographs on a large screen and also look through sample products to help you choose.

If you order your photographs at the viewing appointment, I’ll give you a 10% discount. You can also order products online or over the phone at a later date (remember to add on 10% to the prices in the product guide).

Prints and frames will typically be delivered to you within four weeks. Albums take a few months. If you need the prints, albums or frames ready earlier, please let me know and I’ll find out the fastest express deliveries currently available from each supplier.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FINE ART GICLÉE PRINTS AND HIGH STREET PRINTS?

Fine art prints are a world apart really: colours are richer and the paper is archival – plus my computer is calibrated to the printer’s profile for colour control. You can find out more here: www.louiserosephotography.com/difference-high-street-prints-and-giclee-fine-art-prints

DO YOU PROVIDE RETOUCHING?

All my photographs are lovingly edited to bring out the best of the colours and if you’d like any little scratches or spots removed from your children’s faces I can do that free of charge. More intensive retouching is also available – photoshopping features like correcting roots or reducing wrinkles is charged at £85 per hour (minimum charge £50). There’s no charge for retouching any images that are being framed.

Please let me know if there’s anything you’d like retouched and I can give you a quote for the additional editing work.

I want you to feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible during our session so if you have any sensitivities about your face or body such as a birth mark or scar just let me know. I can work around you and choose the best angle to minimise the feature. If you want to talk about anything before you come along, feel free to email or call me. Remember, I want you to get the most out of our session and am happy to discuss anything so don’t be embarrassed to get in touch.

Additional information

WHAT if I have OTHER QUESTIONS?

Just ask me – I’m more than happy to answer any little concerns or questions you might have.

HOW CAN I BOOK A PORTRAIT SESSION?

Please contact me by email, call me on 020 8133 9722 or text me on 07949 764 022. I look forward to hearing from you.

WHAT ARE the TERMS & CONDITIONS?

Please see http://louiserosephotography.com/terms