Frequently Asked Questions

PLANNING

Family Portrait Sessions

Sessions are available midweek or at weekends. Just let me know when suits you best, and we’ll find a date and time that’s convenient for your family and that suits your child’s routine.

We’re after a time when your children won’t be particularly tired or hungry.

I recommend a 10am start as little ones tend to be at their best in the mornings, and the light is best then too.

The simple answer is any age! Don't worry too much, I’ve got years of experience with all ages and can take beautiful photographs no matter how old your baby or child is.

There are ages that work particularly well for portrait sessions, though – see this blog post for my recommendations.

I photograph families throughout the year. Each season has something special to offer, so my main advice here is not to worry too much about the time of year.

I’ll look for fairly similar lighting conditions, so even if it’s a very sunny day, we’ll find some gentle shade for flattering photographs.

If it’s a rainy day, we’ll keep an eye on the weather and go outside when there’s a break in the rain. It never rains solidly for hours! Umbrellas can be fun to incorporate in the photographs too, and we can head to interesting locations that provide cover.

Read more on the different times of year here.

Please bear in mind that my busiest times are April-July and September-November so if you’d like a session in these months, plan a couple of months ahead (at least) to avoid disappointment.

Once you’ve booked, I’ll send you an information gathering form to find out more about your priorities and what you’d like from the photographs, as well as some more information about your family.

We’ll then arrange a phone conversation to discuss your session and how to prepare for it.

I’ll give you a (short!) list of what to have to hand, and pointers on what to wear.

The simple answer is clothes that you feel comfortable and relaxed in. I want your photographs to bring back memories of your family life, so there’s certainly no need to go out and buy new clothes for the occasion.

I’ve put together lots of tips and pointers over the years based on what works particularly well, as well as some things to avoid - and will share this with you before your session.

We'll discuss this before your session. In brief, this might include favourite toys, storybooks, bikes, scooters, squeaky toys for babies, picnic blankets and a change of clothes in case of muddy puddles!

As well as this, it’s also a good idea to bring snacks and a drink with you for your children.

With maternity sessions, we'll usually spend the whole session outdoors - but we can also take some at home, if you like. We’ll discuss what you’d like from the photographs, and that will guide how we plan your session. It’s great to go somewhere that’s meaningful to you as a couple – a park you walk in often, for example.

With newborns, we’ll typically spend the session at home. With longer sessions, there's scope to head outdoors for a bit too.

With a family session, I suggest meeting at home so your children can get used to having a camera around where they feel most comfortable and relaxed. Once I’ve photographed your children playing with their favourite toys and taken some family portraits indoors, and your children seem happy and used to the camera, we’ll head outdoors. We can either spend time in your garden or your local park, or we can travel to one of London’s beautiful parks and commons. See my favourite locations for outdoor photographs here.

This depends on what kind of session you have. Maternity sessions are 1 or 2 hours; newborn and family sessions are 2-hours or 3-4 hours.

I’ll send you more information and examples so you can see what will suit you best, and I’m very happy to discuss with you to help you choose the option that’s right for you.

I usually spend an equal amount of time indoors and outdoors on a family portrait session.

If you’re particularly keen on one or the other, just let me know. My priority is to give you photographs that you love, so if you have any preferences, do tell me!

I follow your child’s pace, so when they’re ready for a break that’s often when we’ll head outdoors.

I totally understand feeling camera shy – I fall into this camp myself!

As a full-time photographer, I’ve developed a range of techniques over the years to help people who are nervous about being in front of the camera.

I’ll always make sure you feel comfortable, and I’ll never ask you to pose awkwardly – I promise you’ll never feel silly.

You can read more about how I photograph camera shy parents here.

No matter how camera shy you or your partner feel, focus on the main goal – meaningful photographs that will bring back memories of family life for years to come. Your children will cherish the photographs when they grow up, and won’t give a hoot about whether your waistline used to be more streamlined in your youth!

Christening Photographs

I always recommend speaking to the priest or vicar who'll be conducting the service - find out if they have any restrictions on photography. Some have preferences as to where the photographer can stand, if they can move around during the service, and sometimes have restrictions on which parts of the service can be photographed.

Reassure your priest that I don't use flash, and am very discreet.

This partly depends on your religion, but for Catholic, Protestant and Greek Orthodox christenings, most parents choose a white outfit for their babies.

If your child is being christened a little older, parents usually choose a smart outfit but not necessarily white.

It's always asking your church if they have any guidance on this.

As well as any required items for the service itself (e.g. a towel, christening gown, necklace), it's well worth bringing toys that your baby can play with during the service - something that will hold their attention. A picture book can be a surprisingly good option.

Do also bring extra nappies, and snacks for older children.

It's well worth packing a spare outfit for all your children, so if they spill something, you can change them into a smart alternative.

A basic booking covers half an hour before the service, and half an hour afterwards - so there's plenty of time to photograph your friends and family arriving, and to take some group shots afterwards.

You're welcome to add extra time to your booking to cover getting ready photos, or photos of the reception afterwards. This is booked by the hour - we can discuss what you have in mind and I'll recommend how much time you'll need.

Headshots

Sessions are available midweek, at a time that suits you.

If you'd like natural light, I recommend a 10am start. If you're happy with studio lighting, we can do the afternoon.

Once you’ve booked, I’ll send you a set of pointers on what to wear, and makeup tips too if you wear it.

We’ll then arrange a phone conversation to discuss your session, and what you'd like from your headshots.

The simple answer is clothes that you feel comfortable in, and that you'd wear to meet a client.

I’ve put together lots of tips and pointers over the years based on what works particularly well, as well as some things to avoid - and will share this with you before your session.

Bring a spare change of clothes, just in case what you're wearing doesn't work well. Likewise, if you're wearing jewellery, it's worth bringing some options.

If you wear make up, bring your make up with you for touch-ups.

Bring a hairbrush or comb.

If you wear glasses, leave your photochromic / adaptive pair at home! We don't want them suddenly turning dark 🙂

We can either take your headshot in your workplace, in your home, in a studio in Brixton or Angel, or outdoors in your favourite park.

Headshot sessions last around half an hour.

I totally understand feeling camera shy – I fall into this camp myself!

As a full-time photographer, I’ve developed a range of techniques over the years to help people who are nervous about being in front of the camera.

I’ll always make sure you feel comfortable, and I’ll never ask you to pose awkwardly – I promise you’ll never feel silly.

“Louise is such a pleasant photographer to get along with: very accommodating, warm and thoughtful. And, of course, she took amazing photos for us.” Selina

ON THE DAY

Family portrait sessions

I totally understand the myriad of bugs that little ones pick up, and build flexibility into my schedule – I keep two days free each week to accommodate the unexpected.

Please note that if anyone in your family has a cough, fever or feels unwell, we will need to rearrange your session.

Your health is the most important thing, and protecting you is an absolute priority for me.

I'm double vaccinated and have had my booster jab, and am taking regular lateral flow tests.

I'll wear a face covering throughout, and I'll wash my hands and sterilise them as soon as I arrive at your home.

You're welcome to open the windows for ventilation, and we'll maintain social distancing throughout your session.

Absolutely! I’ve got years of experience photographing children, and can promise you that no matter what mood your child’s in on the day, I can take gorgeous photographs of them.

I let your children set the pace so they’ll never feel pushed into doing something they don’t want to do - and I make a game of the experience so children just feel they’re having a fun morning.

Parents of newborns often worry about what will happen if their baby has a bad day. Don’t worry! There’s plenty of time built into the session for feeds, nappy changing and settling your baby. There are always windows of calm between all of that, and that's when I'll take the photographs!

I’ll also provide guidance as to the best dates for your newborn, to minimise our chances of taking photographs when colic or digestive issues can be problematic.

And even if your baby is experiencing problems on the day, I can suggest some tips that might help – I work with newborns week in, week out so nothing phases me.

Yes! I totally get that pets are part of the family, and that you love them too.

We can incorporate pets when the moment feels right – with a parent close by, just in case.

Christenings

Don't worry, I totally get that these things happen.

Just let me know as soon as possible, and I'll do my best to transfer your booking to your new date (subject to availability).

If I'm already booked on your new date, I'll refund your booking and can recommend another photographer.

Your health is the most important thing, and protecting you is an absolute priority for me.

I'm double vaccinated and have had my booster jab, and am taking regular lateral flow tests.

If you'd like me to wear a face covering, just let me know.

If we're taking getting ready photos, or at the reception, you're welcome to open the windows for ventilation.

We'll maintain social distancing throughout your session.

Nope! Pro cameras and lenses can function in even the lowest level of lighting, so dark churches pose no problem.

We'll discuss your priorities beforehand, so I'll know whether to be mostly photographing your immediate family, or guests, for example.

I'll photograph the key events, as well as the little moments in between - everything that will bring back memories in years to come.

If you'd like group photos, we can take these after the service - usually at the altar, or outside the church.

Headshots

Don't worry, I totally get that these things happen.

Just let me know as soon as possible, and we'll find a new date for you.

Your health is the most important thing, and protecting you is an absolute priority for me.

I'm double vaccinated and have had my booster jab, and am taking regular lateral flow tests.

If you'd like me to wear a face covering, just let me know.

You're welcome to open the windows for ventilation.

We'll maintain social distancing throughout your session.

Nope! Natural light is so soft and flattering, there's no need.

If we're taking the photos in the afternoon or evening though, I'll bring studio lighting to create a natural light effect.

No 🙂 Remember that you won't be being photographed for half an hour straight. We'll walk around a bit, choose some nice locations, and you might also want to change your clothes. You won't be smiling at the camera for lengthy periods.

The way I work is to help you relax, so you'll feel comfortable in front of the camera.

If we're taking photos outdoors, we'll choose locations that are quiet so you don't feel passerby are watching.

After Your Portrait Session

I’ll send you the link to your password-protected online gallery a week after your portrait session, or two weeks after a christening.

With headshots, I'll send you the unedited photos the next day (sometimes the same day) for you to make your selection from. Once you've chosen the photos you'd like to keep, I'll edit those and return them to you within 2 working days.

Your photographs are fully edited (eg colour corrected, any cropping necessary to straighten an image slightly) and gently retouched.

I’m very happy to remove the little scratches and spots that life throws at us.

More detailed retouching is available (but rarely necessary), charged at an hourly rate.

Yes – I provide every photograph in both colour and in B&W.

Maternity, newborn and family sessions: you can expect around 20 photographs from a 1-hour session, 40+ from a 2-hour session and 70+ from a 3-4 hour session.

Christenings: you can expect 60+ digitals from coverage of just the service; and 150+ digitals from coverage of the service plus reception.

Headshots: you can expect 20 photographs in your gallery.

No, because this isn’t my finished product – the high-resolution, edited and print-ready jpeg is.

When I take a photograph, I know how I plan that photograph to turn out – I choose the camera settings accordingly, that will allow me to get it there from the Raw file.

It’s part of the service provided that the Raw files are expertly edited before being provided as jpegs - in the same way that a restaurant provides a cooked meal and not just the ingredients!

Absolutely!

My previous role managing a photography gallery means I can provide you with expert support in how to display your photographs beautifully.

If you’d like to frame prints, I can create a scale mockup so you can see exactly how the prints will look on your walls.

See also this blog post on how to hang your framed prints like a pro. 

Digitals are available to download immediately, fine art prints and frames will be with you in two weeks, and albums will be with you a month after you approve the layout.

Of course, I totally respect your privacy.

I send every family a form to complete about how and where their photographs can be shared (e.g. on my website or social media).

It's completely up to you which permissions you give, and if you'd prefer to keep your photographs completely private that's absolutely fine.

Other questions

One of the most qualified family photographers in London, I have an MA in photography.

I’ve been a full-time family photographer for ten years, and am very experienced with photographing children of all ages.

You can read more about me and my professional experience here.

I have a simple pricing structure and no hidden surprises – please contact me for a breakdown of all the options available.

Headshot pricing can be found here (scroll down towards the end of the page).

I totally get that there are a lot of photographers out there, and it can be confusing choosing the right photographer for you. I’m not the most expensive photographer out there, but I’m also not a cheap option – I offer only the highest quality products, and both my photography and customer service are award-winning.

To give you an idea of investment, most families choose to spend between £650 and £2,500 – including the session fee and any digitals or products. On average, most families invest £1,200.

Just get in touch - I’ll send you more information about my approach, my prices and what to expect.

If you feel I’m the right photographer for you we can get you booked in!

We’ll find a date and time that’s convenient for you, and I’ll send you the booking links to confirm the date.

Once you've booked, I'll send you an information gathering form, and we'll arrange a time to discuss the practicalities of your session.

Please bear in mind that my weekends fill up several months ahead - if you need a weekend, it’s best to arrange a date as soon as you’ve decided you’d like me to be your photographer.

Yes – I have elegant gift vouchers so your loved one can have something nice to open.

newborn portrait East Dulwich

Anything else?

Just contact me and ask, I’m more than happy to chat it all through and to answer any questions you might have.