When to come….now!
I hear a lot from parents, when this or when that but there really is no time like the present!
If you are looking at specific shoots then certain timeframes are good.
For example –
- Pregnancy shoot – best done between 30 and 35 weeks when you have a good size bump but yet you are still able to get around easily and are not too tired.
- Newborn shoots – these are best when your new baby is under two weeks old. Between 4 and 10days old is ideal, particularly if you are wanting the lovely sleepy curly newborn shots. I can photograph newborn babies when they are older (up to about 4 weeks) but they tend to wake more easily, are not as flexible and also run into issues like hormone spots.
- Babies – there are certain stages which are a real treat to photograph. Firstly the newborn stage, secondly when they get to between 5 and 7 months when they can sit with support or unaided but are yet to crawl or walk. This is a good stage to get lots of expression. Around 9/10 months old is one of my favorite stages. By now their little personality is really starting to shine and we can get some super cute photographs. Then of course one they reach a year old.
- Toddlers – between the ages of 18 months to 2 1/2 years can be some of the most demanding but also most rewarding years as a parent. They will make me run around after them and work hard for the images, but you can be assured that the photographs will be well worth it! The smile and the reaction you get at this age are just the most genuine!
- Preschoolers – your littlies will have their own personalities and options well formed by now and will probably let me know! It’s great to bring along anything that they love to the shoot and this can help them to really get into it.
- School age children – don’t stop taking family photographs just because the kids have a grown a little older. This is a magic time to photograph your family when we can capture the relationships between everyone.
- Teenagers – these shoots can be some of the best. It won’t be long before the kids are off and doing their own thing but family is still the core and it’s a great time to celebrate this. At this time we can really make the most of their interests and hobbies and build this into the shoot.
Is there a minimum spend?
No not at all! You are welcome to purchase as little or much as you would like from your session. My prints start from $75 and I have larger collections, including digital files which offer fantastic savings.
I am not into the hard sell at all, and only want you to have images that you love. I feel that the images should sell themselves!
I do like to get an idea of your budget before the shoot, so that we can tailor the shoot to your specific requirements – be that a simple shoot with a few images or a series of shoots that work together to tell a story. This way, you get what you want – nothing more and nothing less!
I don’t think I am photogenic, I need to lose weight first, I don’t need to be in the pictures…
We all have concerns (well most of us) about having our photographs taken – I hate it and still do! I don’t like my long nose, crooked teeth and funny smile! The great thing is that by visiting a professional photographer we know how to make you look your very best. I will use flattering angles and lighting, I will put you at ease and help you to relax in front of the camera. We will have fun at the shoot. I think half the battle is feeling relaxed and having fun, once we achieve this, the rest is easy! And yes, we can use a little editing magic if we feel we need it…
I think the thing to remember as parents is that it is important to be in the photographs for your children. They will want to see their family having fun, all together, framed and on the wall. They will love it and be so proud! For them you are their wholes world at this point in time. So cherish it, embrace it and reaffirm it by proudly displaying your family photographs as daily reminders for you and your children of just what a special little family unit you are!
I would like a newborn shoot but don’t know exactly when my baby will arrive?
That’s not a problem at all! I will make a tentative booking for you a week after your due date. We can keep in touch and you can call me when bubs arrives to make a confirmed time for your shoot. Don’t worry – I make sure I have time in my schedule to move your booking if need be! Very few babies arrive on time, so we do allow for this!
How soon do I need to book?
To avoid disappointment I do recommend that you make a booking as soon as you know you would like to use me as your photographer. Due to my other commitments I only take on a maximum of two shoots per week. Particular times of the year are higher demand than others (from September through to May), so do please book early for these times.
How do I book?
Easy! Just give me a call or drop me an email. We can have a chat about what it your looking for and set and time and date that suits your family.
My studio sessiona are available Weds -Fri 10am – 2.30pm and alternative weekends by appointment. Due the limited number of weekends that I work, I recommend that you book early to avoid disappointment.
Before the session
Before you come in for your portrait shoot it is great to do a bit of planning together to make sure you get the most from your session.
I will invite you pop into the studio for a consultation or arrange a time to call you, so we can have a chat and work out what it is you are looking for. I can show you some past shoots to give you an idea of my work, but I also invite you to bring along your own ideas and suggestions.
The first thing to consider is – what are you looking for as an end product? Is it a large framed piece for the wall? A collection of images that show your family and the relationships? Images to gift to grand parents? An album of your pregnancy and babies first year? There are so many options available and it’s a great help if we have something we are working towards. If you really don’t know, this is also fine as at your viewing session I can show you lots of ways to display your images.
Secondly, what do you want to bring along or how do you need to prepare for your shoot? If you are having a pregnancy shoot you may want to get your hair and make-up professionally done so that you look and feel extra beautiful. If it is a family session how will everyone dress? Do you need to schedule the shoot around nap/school times? If it is a newborn shoot, do you need to someone to help with an older child? These are all questions that I can help you with at the consultation.
In terms of the style of photographs, what do you like? Do you like dark and moody images? Light and bright images? Fun and bold? You may want to bring along accessories or props that complement the look you are hoping to achieve.
Do you have an idea of what you would like to invest in your portraits? This is something that is really important to factor in. I can quite happily take enough photographs to fill a whole album and wall gallery or if you would prefer I can concentrate on getting the key shots for you. There is nothing worse than being shown a hundred stunning images to then only be able to choose a few, or conversely if you were wanting to put an album together and not having enough range to tell the story fully. I like to tailor my shoots to each client to make sure the whole process from the shoot to the viewing is easy and painless!
My child has just got a bruise/scratch – should I still come?
Children will be children and they are always up to something, especially at the toddler age! If your child has a wee bruise or scratch, then this is not a problem at all – we do have Photoshop to fix these little things!
My child is unwell?
If your children are unwell then I do ask that you reschedule your booking. We don’t want to spread any bugs, especially contagious ones! If it is just a little cold and are on the mend and they are quite happy then you are welcome to keep your booking. From my experience, I find it always better to get them at their best, and if that means rescheduling then that is fine!
I will also reschedule if I am unwell and have any contagious bugs!
During the session
After your consultation I will put together a plan for your shoot based on what you are hoping to achieve. I will be gently directing you and your family throughout the whole shoot, so you need never need to worry about what to do!
After working with littlies for so long, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve for getting the most from them. I do ask that you take a step back and let me work on getting your child to interact and play with me. I am more than happy to be as silly as I need to if it gets the reaction I need! If you have any favorite toys, or anything that can make them laugh then do feel free to bring them along. Children can get easily distracted if there is too much going on, so do please feel free to leave to entertaining to me and take a chance to sit down and relax! I will ask you for any help is needed and will give you specific instructions to that we can get the shots we need.
Please don’t stress if you think you child is not behaving or if the shoot isn’t going well. Children are unpredictable and have their own ideas about how things should be! Most of the time, it is in the in-between moments when the magic happens! Often the shoots that parents think have gone really badly end up with the most amazing shots. The key is to just relax, enjoy it and take everything in your stride! And be prepared to just go with the flow!
The Viewing session
After your session we will arrange a time for you to come back to the studio to view your images. I will show you a slideshow to give you an overview of your photographs and we will then go about selecting which ones are your favourites. Don’t worry if you think it may be hard to choose – I have some awesome software that makes the selection process a doddle!
From your selection of favourite images, we will then put together the order for your portraits. If you have already indicated what you would like as a finished piece I will show you some options for this, with the images I think will work best. If you are not sure what you are looking for I will show you some examples of how I think you can make the most of your photographs.
I do request that everyone who is responsible for purchasing and making the decision is present at the viewing session, as we will finalise your order at this time. If for any reason not everyone can make, then I do kindly ask you to reschedule.
The viewing sessions can take a bit of time so I do suggest that you leave littlies with a friend/relative so that you are able to fully concentrate. Alternatively you are welcome to bring along toys/iPad for them to be entertained.
Once payment is received I will start work on your order. My turnaround times for custom artwork are between 6 and 8 weeks.
After you have collected your artwork I would love to know your thoughts on your experience with me. I also have a fantastic referral program, that I would love you to be part of. Details can be found here – http://sharisseeberlein.co.nz/professional-family-photography/referral-programe/