Archive for September, 2015

Where to do your family session

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

In the first part of this series of posts, I wrote about booking your session.  But where would you go?

Well, the simple answer is ‘anywhere’.

I’ve done sessions in many locations across the city and county and there’s never been a location that didn’t work out well.

There are however a few ingredients that make things easier for everyone.  The objective is to get a really good range of pictures of everyone having fun.  Choosing the right location gives us the a better chance of getting as many pictures as possible.

So here’s my guide to choosing a location:RLC_2445-1000px

Somewhere personal.  Do you have somewhere that your family visit regularly, somewhere you’ll look back on and identify strongly with this time in your lives?  These places are definitely the place to start.  Using a location which is part of your family history to create memories is very precious.

Feeling free.  RLD_7503Taking the photo session outdoors serves a number of purposes – it takes the pressure out of a studio session and everyone finds it easier to forget they’re being photographed.  Not many people have their private copse but many of the local parks and forests are quiet enough for us all to feel inhibited.

Backgrounds.  But the location will also for a background to RLJ_0400your photos – even though it may be deliberately out of focus in many of the pictures.  One of the reasons Autumn forest pictures work so well is that the trees are alive with colour and can be used to create stunning backgrounds.   Don’t assume your favourite location is deciduous though – many local forests are evergreen.  That still works but may not be what you expect.

Levels.  If you were to ask me what the hardest place to photograph is I’d say ‘in the middle of a fRLE_3094ield’.  It’s much easier to work with a range of terrain, benches, logs, trees, bridges, walls, summer houses etc to provide options for people to sit, stand and lean on.  It gives them something more natural to do (posing standing still is very unnatural) and it provides the opportunity for Small People to get more height and be closer to their parents (and Big People to hide a bit if they want).  The more things to climb and sit on the better.

Something to do. “Stand there now and look relaxed and happy”.  No better way to make somone tense and uncertain looking.  It’s all about providing a distraction and at it’s simplest it’s just walking, exploring, climbing trees or choosing colourful leaves.  But if you can think of other things that the kids love to do (without turning it into a competition) then we can work it in.  Most of the time they find something to do themselves and we photograph that.  Playgrounds sometimes work but they can be busy (and we don’t want other families coming in) and brightly coloured stuff can be distracting in the final pics.RLJ_6615

Cover.  The obvious concern about an Autumn session is the rain, but full sun is a problem too.  Either way it’s handy to have a bit of cover available to give options for shade as well as to keep out of cold winds.

Distances.  You’re probably going to have to drive to the location so just keep it to a managable journey.  If you’re all tired and cranky after the journey then it’s going to take longer to distract everyone out of it and we’ll get less opportunities for what we’re looking for.  Also consider how far we need to walk from the car park to the nicest spot and how old the kids are (bring the buggy if you need to but we don’t want anyone dozing off before we get some pictures).

In the next post, I’ll look at a few good locations around Cork that you might consider.

Thinking of an Autumn Family Photo Session?

Monday, September 28th, 2015

This has to be my favourite time of year to get out into the woods and take pictures of the kids.  In this series of blog posts I’m going to take you through the what happens in a family photo session.

We’ll start with the hardest part of all: actually booking it.

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It’s a great time for family photos

We get a lot of interest in family sessions and the pictures we have on the wall of the office, on the web galleries, facebook etc all ‘wow’ people who would otherwise be alergic to having a professional family photo session.  The pictures show families of young kids freely enjoying the woods and countryside.  Kids being kids: playing, smiling, laughing, enjoying themselves.

They are memories created of your family just the way you want to remember them.

The overwhelming feedback is that all the family enjoy the session.  Many Mom’s come in after the session saying their kids want to know when I can come and play again!

It’s also something that’s too easy to put off.  Unlike a communion or a birthday or another key date it could happen this week or next – and the reality of busy family life is that we are short of time at the weekends between clubs and matches and all that stuff.

But all it takes is an hour.

I try to be as flexible as possible: for many younger kids mornings are normally better for their routine but I’m generally available to suit your schedule.  I can do a Sunday session if that’s what it takes and I’m generally available on the October Long Weekend.

The school Mid-term is a great time to get a session done.

The weather is always going to be a factor but you’d be surprised how few sessions I’ve actually had to cancel due to rain.  The kids need to be warm and comfortable whatever the weather so as long as it’s not tipping down we normally go ahead with the session (I have done some great sessions in between showers too!).

So just go ahead and call.  Find the next weekend you’re all around and book the session. 

If you’re not sure where to go then I can come up with plenty of suggestions (more on that later) so don’t let that stop you either.

I’ll look ahead a couple of days before the booking to see what to expect and if it’s definitely going to be terrible then we’ll re-schedule.  No problem – just pick up the phone and book the session – 021 429 3714