What are you known for? That is something that I often think about and a question I am often asked by other industry professionals. What is it that makes me stand out from my fellow photographers? What makes me different from them and how would I define myself?
I think back to when I think people really started to notice me, to enquire on a regular basis and book me... that was for my Bluebell Mini Sittings.
My Bluebell minis are the first sittings that I booked out completely and are the ones I have consistently done year after year... This is by far my most successful time of the year for minis!
As I get ready for this year's sittings I wanted to share a few of my favourite images with you and some hints and tips about how to make your photos the best they can be x
The Bluebells are only around for a few weeks. They start to bloom in mid April and usually last until the end of May, possibly into the first week in June. This all of course depends on the weather, if it is cold it will delay the bloom and they will come out a lot later.
I start taking bookings at the beginning of April and I usually photograph in one of three locations around Lowestoft and Gorleston. The three locations that I use are very different from eachother and I believe that they give very different results... and all of them are beautiful!
My style is very relaxed, fun & informal. I like to get a few posed images to you have something to print & frame for your Nanny, but for the rest of the time we will be playing, running about and generally acting silly. Interaction is key to getting relaxed portraits which is why I ask you to do certain things in your sitting. I will ask you to play, sing songs, tell stories and snuggle up... these beautiful images come from trusting the process. In a very short time I will build a relationship and a connection with you and your family which allows you to let your personality to shine through.
Looking at the camera isn't a necessity... as you can see from the images above that some of the best family moments are caught when you are not looking! In fact I am often told that the photos that people love the most are the ones where they aren't looking at the camera.
I will start with asking you to sit together while I move away from you and take photos from a distance. This is the best way I have found to put my families at ease. If you are a new client the last thing you need is for me to start poking my camera in your face and expect natural, beautiful images. I give you that time to settle in and get used to me.
Don't forget, toddlers and young children have a very short attention span, it's ok for them to want to get up and run about. The only thing I ask with the Bluebell Minis is that we are careful with stepping over the Bluebells as they are a protected species. As I have said above, I encourage play and as much as possible. We have to be more controlled in the Bluebells as they are fragile and can be damaged easily.
most importantly, you have to be yourself. You need to look back at your images and remember the memories created making them!
You may have some questions about your Bluebell Mini Sitting, I have collected a selection of my FAQ's here:
*What happens if the weather is bad?
As long as it's not raining we will be good to go. The Bluebell Woods are pretty sheltered so winds aren't generally a problem.
*What should we wear?
These are your images that will hopefully live for a long time on your walls and in your memories so what you wear will ultimately be your decision. This is just my opinion and should only be used as a guide.
Strong greens and purples will be the background to your shoot and will be very prominent in your images so your clothing choices shouldn't compete with them. Try to stick to plain clothing with minimal or no detailing that are neutral tones. If the whole family are going to be in the images then I suggest you base the colour scheme around one or two colours maximum, such as whites, creams, pinks, reds, yellows, blues & oranges. Please avoid green and keep the blues to a minimum. I always think that solid, block colours are the better choice but if you are wearing a pattern then make it subtle or have just one person wear it and everyone else in plain clothing. A little texture is always good too, a frilly top, chunky jumper or denim jacket etc!
*Is there anything we should avoid?
I would suggest that you stay away from strong & loud patterns bright colours and logos.
*My child is quite shy, what can we do to make the photoshoot a little easier?
If this is the first time we have met then it may take a little while for your child/ren to warm up to me, and as it is a mini session we don't have an awful lot of time to get to know eachother. Tell your child/ren that we are going to have a fun photoshoot together and that we are going to the woods to play and have fun. Please try not to coach your child to "CHEESE"!! I know it is what you would naturally do, but when they "say cheese" their faces are forced into an un-natural wide mouthed but clenched teeth smile and squinted eyes! This is not what we want! I have lots of tricks up my sleeve to try and get them to smile, and you know what, smiling isn't everything! Some of my favourite images are non-smiling ones!
You can always bring their favourite teddy along aswell, if you don't want it in the images you can use it to distract them and make them smile.