Portrait FAQ

Family & Children Photography FAQ – Horsham, West Sussex

I have included some information here to help answer many common questions you might have about your Children and Family Portrait session.  If your question is not answered here please do get in touch, I will be more than happy to help you.

Q: How do I book?
Send me a message via my contact page and I’ll get in touch to discuss your photography needs and arrange your booking.

Q: What type of sessions do you do?
I am a lifestyle photographer rather a “traditional” photographer.  Forced smiles and poses are not my style. I like to focus on the natural moments of your children, capturing those spontaneous expressions, natural smiles, and the sparkle in their eyes. Even their playful mischief can light up a photograph like nothing else. My goal is to capture your child or family in a true-to-life way that is fresh and natural.

Q: When should I book a newborn session?
As soon as possible, and preferably while you are still pregnant. Newborn photography sessions are best within the first 2 weeks after birth while the babies are still very sleepy and curly! I would suggest booking 5 days after your due date and if baby is early or late we can rearrange as necessary.

If you haven’t booked and your baby has already been born, you’re welcome to contact us and see if we have any spare dates.

Q: When do I need to pay you?
A non-refundable retainer fee of £50 is required at the time of booking to secure your date. The reservation is deemed to be secured only when this retainer fee is paid and the contract is signed by both parties. The remaining balance of the photography session fee must be paid in full no later than two weeks prior to the contracted date. Payment for all additional products ordered is due at the time of ordering.

Q: When is the best time to take photos of my baby?
Newborns:  Newborn photography should be done within the first two weeks after birth.

Baby: 4-5 months
Babies get giggly at this age and can hold their head up whilst on their tummy but cannot yet sit up by themselves – which is great for photos – and who can resist tummy time shots?!

Baby: 7-8 months
Baby at this stage will be grabbing for toys, laughing, and even sitting up but not yet on the go. They are very expressive and often still have lots of baby chub and you can get adorable shots at this age.

Baby: around 1st birthday
At this age, your baby will be interacting in lots of fun ways, standing, walking and ready to take on the world.  One fun way to celebrate this milestone is to do a “cake smash” 1st birthday photo shoot. Location shots in a park or beach are great at this age and beyond.

Q: Can I buy a gift voucher?
Yes! Gift vouchers make the perfect present for friends, family and loved ones. Whether it is weddings, birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, a new baby or a very special thank you every single one of our bespoke gift vouchers can be designed for whatever occasion fits. You can choose any of the packages on offer or in any and I will make up a personalised gift voucher for you.

Q: How far will you travel?
I live in Horsham, West Sussex and I can conveniently serve East Sussex, Surrey, Kent, London, and Hampshire. I’m also happy to travel anywhere throughout the UK and Europe if required. Anywhere over 50 miles round trip will incur an additional travel charge.

Q: What if my child is sick and I need to reschedule the photo session?
Life happens, please call or email us with any questions or concerns that arise between the time of booking and your session date. If your child is unwell we are always happy to reschedule your session. All we ask is that you let us know as soon as possible

Q: Can parents be in the photos too?
Yes. We are happy to include parents and grandparents in your photo session. However, there is an addition £25 per person charge if the number of people in the family photo session is over 5 as large group takes extra time and effort to organize.

Q: Can we have the photography session on the weekend?
Yes you can, as both parents will very often want to be there. However, weekends get filled up faster so require more advance booking.

Q: Where do photo sessions take place?
I do all photo sessions on-location.  I prefer your child to be free to explore and play.  My style also reflects the use of natural backgrounds along with the colours and textures of the environment. All kinds of places can make great locations – a piece of woodland, a city street, a derelict building, your favourite park, or your home. I am open-minded. Essentially the location is up to you depending on the type of session, the style of session you prefer, and it is important that it will suit you and your family.

Newborn photography session typically is hold inside the comfort of your home where it is cosy and warm.  We can also venture outdoors if you would like and the weather permits.

Q: What is the best time of the day for our photo session?
Due to my preference of natural light I schedule outdoor sessions in the early morning or a few hours before sunset. Indoor session can be schedule at any daylight time that is best suitable for your child.

Q: What if it rains on the day of our photo session?
Don’t worry about the weather. Overcast or cloudy days are often perfect to work with and can produce a lovely even light for your portraits. If it rains we can either have your photo shoot indoors, go outside and let the children stomp in puddles or reschedule the shoot for another time.

Q: How long will the photo shoot take?
Each session will vary in length but can take anywhere between 1 to 3 hours dependent on various factors including your child’s age and mood.

Newborn and baby sessions may take up to 4 hours as they don’t always like to fit snugly into a given time slot. I won’t be taking pictures all the time during the photo session. There are breaks for any necessary nappy changes, feeds, naps and cuddles.

Q: What should we wear?
The clothing you wear will significantly affect your resulting image. Think how you would like your photos to turn out and choose something appropriate.  It is best to avoid strong colours, busy patterns or any large logos as they tend to detract the focus on the subjects in the photographs and can date very quickly. The ideal clothing is plain, classic and comfortable. Muted natural colours such as blues, browns, creams, whites and pastels will create a timeless look.

Group and family portraits are most pleasing when the colours complement each other – colour variations in clothing add interest without being overpowering. I would also suggest bring more than one outfit.

For children’s shoots, costumes and dressing up is encouraged. Accessories such as hats and scarves always make fun photos as does the inclusion of their favourite toy!  If mum and dad want to be in the pictures, neutral colours work best as background colours.

Newborns and babies are best photographed in nothing but their birthday suit. You can add your favourite blanket, Teddy, family heirloom and toys.

We have collected some ideas of what to wear for photo session on our pinterest board. You are welcome to have a look here.

Q: How should I prepare for my shoot?
I will provide some suggestions for you in advance of your photo session by email or over the phone in a private consultation.

Q: Do you have props for newborn or baby photography?

Yes. Currently we have a few backgrounds, blankets, hand-made hats, cocoons, soft toys, baskets and boxes and you are welcome to use them.

Q: What should we expect during the shoot?
Well expect to have fun and laughs in a relaxed atmosphere! A session generally doesn’t go well when parents ask their children to “sit still” or “smile”. The more relaxed a parent can be, the more relaxed their kids will be and the better your photographs will be! I want nothing more than to capture the types of images that drew you to my work in the first place.

Sometimes I need you to entertain your children, but remember I want your children’s attention to be on me! Often times parents try to entertain their kids, and while the children are looking at their parents, I get no smiles.  Keep in mind we want you to interact with your children, but be mindful of where you are. If you are in front of me, I’m capturing you. If you are to either side of me, I’m capturing your children’s side.  Please stay directly behind me, that way I am able to grab their attention where we want it most!

Q: We have busy children and we worry that if we book a session they will misbehave.
A: Before the session we will have a chat about each one of your children! This will help me understand your unique family dynamic and what makes them tic and puts them off. You can tell me any concerns you might have and how we can work them out.

I don’t expect children to be perfect during the photo session!  I expect some interruptions, nappy changes, outfit changes, food and drink breaks, and of course sometimes a few tears!  This is all part of the fun!   I want your children to be children and sometimes children take time! As a mum I understand busy, energetic children and I have a lot of patience and understanding that helps me capture your children’s personalities.

Q: Should we bring treats for the children?
Yes, please bring some treats but only use them as a last resort.  It would be better if the treat is used as a special award (bribe!!!) to actually finish the photo shoot instead of every other shot. Please avoid strong artificial colours and chocolate.

Q: Can I use my own camera to take some photos during my photo session?
Sorry, no. Please do not use any camera, video or audio recording device while the session is still underway. This includes mobile phone and iPod etc.

Q: What happens after the shoot?
Once the photo session is complete, I will make the initial edits before presenting you with the best images within 2 weeks of the shoot date. I will aiming to fully retouch at least one image from each mini serial to provide a clear guide to the look of the final images.

Your proof images are previewed either at an in person viewing session or in a secured online gallery. We prefer to set a viewing session, as not just you can view the images at their original sizes, but also we can help you on photos and products selecting. After the viewing session, we will upload your images in a secured online gallery for you, your family and friend to view and select photographs.

Once your selection has been made your images will be fully retouched and made available for print, download or sent on CD.

Q: What happens on a viewing session?
We prefer to arrange a viewing session with you rather than just provide an online gallery. Once your images are ready for preview, we will contact you to arrange a viewing session. We recommend that you arrange a viewing time when all the decision makers can be present. You will be able to view the photos and look at our products choices: frames, canvases, glacial blocks, photo books and other presentation products. We will help you selecting the images and right products that suit you.

Q: How many images will we be able to choose from?
I will take many photos during our time together to capture your children and family’s story. After our session, I will select only the very best to edit and bring out their full potential. The number of images I present you can depend on the package you have chosen. For a standard portrait session I expect to present you with between forty and seventy images. This will be a mixture of the shots taken.

Q: Are you able to remove imperfections from the images?
We can remove spots, bruises and scratches for free however we reserve the right to deal with other specific requirements as additional work.

Q: Can we purchase our images on disk?
Yes.  We have a digital package and our A Day in the Life package includes all the successful images on disk. You can also buy individual digital files from any other packages. You will receive a non-transferable license by us to print any of purchased images for personal use. We retain the copyright to all of the images.

Q: How long will our orders take to be delivered?
With digital files orders can now be delivered as soon as payment has been received. Prints can be delivered within 2 weeks after payment has been received. The average time to receive your other custom products is approximately 4 to 6 weeks. Quality takes time, it will be worth the wait!

Q. How long do you keep our images?
Your images are kept for 2 years however I usually archive each session 90 days after all product orders have been delivered. Should you ever wish to view the images again or place any further orders just let me know, but as they are stored offsite there will be a £25 charge to retrieve them. Images with no orders 90 days from the proofing date will be purged from our system in order to make room for new clients.

Q: When do I need to decide what prints or products to order?
Preferably within 2 weeks of the images being posted, as due to website capacity I cannot keep client galleries live after that time. However, I will keep a copy of your photos offline for longer should you need it.

Q: Can I make copies / scan my prints or make prints from your online images?
It is illegal (and not nice!) to reproduce professional photographs in these ways. Some people mistakenly think that it’s fine to copy a print once they have paid for it or that copying is permissible if they don’t plan to sell images.  Copying images without the artist’s permission is illegal. Scans create embarrassingly low-quality images that can unfairly harm our reputation.  Same as make a print from our online images. Online images are optimise for screen viewing and can only make very low-quality prints. Print from online images is illegal and can greatly harm our reputation.

Q: Who owns the copyright?
The 1998 Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act assigns copyright of the photographs to the Photographer. All images taken by us are the copyright of QVision Photos. Their sale is restricted to private use and they may not be printed from the screen, copied, distributed, published or used for any commercial purpose without the written consent of QVision Photos.

Q: Do you have a terms & conditions that apply to portrait photography? 
Yes I do. Please check our Terms & Conditions here.

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