Archive for October, 2015

Halloween Dress Up for Crumlin 2015

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Our fourth Annual Halloween Dress Up for Crumlin is on this Friday. 23rd October.

We’ll be here from 10:30 to 4pm with the Den all set up for anyone who wants to call in for a Free Photo.

So bring the kids in their Halloween Fancy Dress.  We can take some photos with the pumpkins and our cuddly pet spider and they’ll all get a print.  There’s no charge for the photos or the prints but we’ll be collecting for Crumlin Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House.

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Preparing for your Family Photo Session

Monday, October 5th, 2015

So we’ve booked the session, decided where to go and now you’re wondering what you need to do before we meet for the photo session.

I’ll contact you shortly before the session to confirm the booking.  I’d normally leave that until a day or so before the actual session so we can get a more reliable look at the weather forecast in case there’s anything nasty definitely headed our way.  All being well you’ll get a text or a call from me to confirm time and place (but if at anytime you want to check, just give me a buzz).

Similarly if someone’s sick or something else comes up just call me and we can re-schedule the session.  I want to get the best images and that’s not going to happen if someone – especially a young child – is suffering with something.

Clothing

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Lots of girls want to choose their own clothes – it’s part of who they are

The most common question I get asked about is clothing.  There’s no absolute rules here but there are a few things to bare in mind:

  • Everyone needs to be comfortable and free to play.  So warm but not too snugged up, layers they can take off if they’re hot and something handy to put on if it gets cold.
  • Cute hats are generally good – especially if they’re used to them – but try to avoid anything that will hide their faces in the pictures: hats with a brim, scalves, body warmers with high necks etc.
  • Nothing too precious.  They need to be able to play freely without you or them worrying about getting a bit dirty.
  • While the ‘white shirt / t-shirt’ image is popular in the US, it can be quite hard on most Irish kids’ complexions – especially at this time of year.  It’s also going to be the first thing to show dirt (and it may be too cool in Autumn as well).
  • In general remember that we’re here to get pictures of you all and your faces are what we’re most interested in.  So avoid anything that’s going to compete with your expressions visually: heavily branded clothes, tops with characters on them (especially faces), very distracting patterns etc.
  • Brightly coloured clothing can work well in the forest but make sure it’s not too much (or clashing).  Again, the problem comes when the colours take away from the kids expressions.

 

Body warmer are handy but watch out for high necks that will hide their chins

Body warmers are handy but watch out for high necks that will hide their chins

For most people the session is about the whole family but there are parents who don’t want to come into the photos.  That’s a bit of shame but it’s OK.  Even so you might be asked to support your children getting up onto a tree or something or just holding their hand at some point so even if you don’t want to do a full family photo, make sure that you’re wearing something you don’t mind being photographed in (even if it’s your back or your arm).

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Mom and Dad need to get in on the act too!

Incentives

This is generally not something you think about before the session but getting this wrong in the middle of the day can make things harder than perhaps they need to be.  It’s often occurred to me that I should have talked to parents about incentives before the session because they have an significant impact on childrens’ behaviour (for good or for bad).

There’s actually quite a lot of psycology in taking pictures.  Offering a reward for ‘good behaviour’ with small kids can be hard to get right (and easy to get wrong).  It tends to work once or twice for a short period and you never quite plan for what happens next.

In fact, this is a big subject and I’m going to need a separate post but suffice it to say here that you should think more about positive re-enforcements (“how nice this is going to be”) and distractions (“what’s over there?”) than offering a reward for ‘being good’.  I’ll be doing my best to make the whole session fun and hopefully they’ll be happy and playful without the promise of a reward.

Food

You know your own kids.  If they don’t eat between meals, they’ll be fine.  If they snack then yes, bring food. Something small, clean, easy / quick to eat and not too sugary.  Bite-sized snacks that aren’t rewards are ideal.

Where to go in Cork

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

In the last article I looked in a general way at where to go for your location session.  If nothing comes to you yet then here are a few more specific ideas for where to go in Cork:RLU_3917

Currabinny Woods (51.812170, -8.304958) is an excellent location for family photos.  It has everything: it’s compact, good parking and not too far away.  It has plenty of options for kids of all ages in most weather conditions.

Fitzgerald’s Park (51.8962438,-8.4958268) is another good location and very handy from the city.  We normally start at the Museum end and work our way through the park.  Lots of options here including the trees, stumps, sculptures, benches etc.  They new playground is a lot more photogenic but because there are usually so many other kids there we leave that to the end after the session (sometimes it can be used as an incentive if you’re careful with it – more on incentives later)RLF_2006

The Japanese Gardens, Ballinlough (51.8863896,-8.4489809) may not be the most selubrious location but it’s very handy for the office and the lower part of the park offers enough options for a good family photo shoot.  There’s a nice bit of cover there, benches, trees and the quarry as backdrop so it has worked very well for me on many occassions.

The Lough (51.885795, -8.488243) is more limited in terms of stuff to sit, stand or lean on but there’s enough there to work with and the Lough itself looks nice as a background.  The far end is probably nicer than the Hawthorn end but we usually stroll around and see what works best.  The playground is very bright and can be busy for photos.

Ballincollig Regional Park (51.890118,-8.61589) is a bit further out of town and quite a large area.  The area closest to the car park is pretty open but there are areas near the river and down the far end that could be used.  It’s probably more suitable to older kids who don’t mind walking further.

Faran Woods (51.8888995,-8.75678) is even further out.  It’s a good location but there are a some of things to watch out for (apart from having to pay for the Car Park!).  The playground is on the way in so you can get a bit stuck there if you don’t manage things properly.  It’s a nice wooden playground but there’s more opportunities to be had in the woods themselves.RLJ_0384

Rostellen Woods (51.8446453,-8.1904122) is out the other side of the city but handy for Midleton or East Cork in general.  It’s a nice compact woods with options for views of the harbour is your kids can walk that far.  The ruins on the shore also offer some nice options for posing and backgrounds to add to the forest pictures.

Killeagh Woods (51.9427735,-7.9922103) is even further out East of the City but is a really nice compact woods with lots going on there to work with: a stream, bridges, woods, benches, all that.  Take the left behind the Thatched Cottage and left again to go up along the river.

Fota Gardens (51.8927924,-8.3058249) is a great location for photos with plenty of options for playing and forming informal groups: house steps, carved seats, fernery, rose gardens, orangery etc  Technically you may need permission to shoot in the grounds but I’ve never had a problem there.  Much of the Arboretum is evergreen so it works well all year round but if you’re looking for Autumn colour, it’s not your location of choice.