Portrait Photography Guide – Frequently Asked Questions

Congratulations! You have decided to get some family portraits.Most people don’t even reach this stage but later regret not having any decent family photos. I’m sure you will find this a positive experience and get something really wonderful at the end of it. Here is some extra information which you may be interested in.

Where will the portraits be taken?

Pictures can be taken either my studio in Bournemouth, your home or on location. Really natural pictures can be achieved by going out on location such as the New Forest or a beach location. However you may prefer the convenience of having pictures taken in your own home or garden.

It’s worth remembering that while a trip to a location may be more time consuming it may produce more distinctive and natural results. However it is also weather dependent.

Studio photographs tend to be less time consuming and more straightforward and are usually taken against a white background. Professional lighting will make a big difference to the final product and you will be surprised at how good you all look.

You won’t commission a photographer to take your photos that often so it’s worth spending a bit of time thinking about what is best for you.

Advice on clothing

There’s no need to dress up for your portrait. It’s much better to wear the kind of clothes you feel relaxed in and usually wear. After all clothing is very much a part of your character.

In terms of suitable clothing I would suggest that you avoid wearing white tops and clothes with shop logos/large bold writing etc. Plain clothes usually photograph better than busy patterns. Toning colours in a family portrait is also a very good idea. However bold colours can look great on children and avoid the portrait looking bland.

In the studio, I would recommend wearing darker colours against a black or a white background Darker clothing tends to be more slimming too!

With adult groups try and look equally informal so that no one person stands out. It’s a good idea to discuss this amongst your group before the photo session.

How long with the photo session take?

Roughly about an hour maybe less but it’s hard to be exact. It depends on how many people are in your group and how many different photos you want. New born babies can take longer to photograph as they may need to have a feed or a change of clothing during the session. Some people like to bring a change of clothing with them especially for their children. Other people arrive as a big group with say 10-12 family members so this can make the session longer as people want different groups taking etc. With small children I tend to work quite quickly, starting them off with a few toys to play with and then getting the key shots. They soon run out of patience so speed is everything.

How/When will we get to see the photographs?

If you are having your photos taken in my studio, you will see what sort of products I can offer you. These include canvas wraps, box frames and hand made multi frames I will give you a price list to go away with so that when you come back to view the photographs, you will have a figure in mind that you are happy to spend.

I will need a week to ten day to work on the images after which you will need to come back to my office for a sales preview. It will be easier for you if you don’t bring the kids with you but try and bring someone else with you as it’s nice to have someone to discuss different choices and options with etc. Photography is very subjective and what looks good to one person may not look as good to another person.

Before coming to view your photos it’s worth thinking about what wall space you have in your house to display your favourite photograph(s). It’s also worth thinking about the size of photo you would like and whether you would like a framed picture, a canvas or something really modern like an acrylic.It’s also a good time to think about whether other members of your family would like a copy of some of the photos. You could buy some pictures for them as a birthday or Christmas gift.

Once you’ve made your decisions, I will need about three weeks to organise everything with my suppliers after which you will be overjoyed with the end results I’m sure.