I’m so happy you are here and that you have entrusted me to photograph your family. It’s a privilege I do not take lightly.
I promise you that I will give you an enjoyable and relaxed experience and beautiful, meaningful photographs when we are finished. I appreciate and understand how valuable your time and investment is and therefore this guide is to help you make the most of your time with me and prepare you for your session.
Scroll down to find information on the type of session you have planned with me. I can’t wait to capture you and your family.
Your Family Session
WHAT IS LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY?
It’s taking real life moments, of love, laughter, emotion and joy and freezing them forever in photos. It captures who you are, not just what you look like.
It sits between traditional posed portraits and documentary photography (where nothing is guided or touched). It involves gentle guidance and direction, moving you into the perfect light and subtle prompts to bring out those real, emotive moments. Sometimes, I will lean towards a documentary approah when something is working, I’ll just stand back, observe and record the moment.
While I do always strive for a family portrait of everyone looking at the camera, the goal is to capture a collection of precious moments that show the true essence of your family.
CHOOSING YOUR LOCATION
I will recommend locations based on what you like to do as a family, that suits your style, the look you are hoping to achieve and ultimately what you intend to do with your photographs.
If you have adequate natural light in your home we can shoot there. Many families with small children love to stay at home for photos as the children feel very comfortable and its very personal and intimate. It also documents part of your life story as a family to show a home where you all lived together.
For outdoor locations, I have a few spots that I love to shoot at regularly but I am always open to new location suggestions and for travelling to any chosen location.
Locations in Galway include; Connemara beaches, Barna Woods, Salthill (Circle of Life) Park, Renville Park, Coole Park, Lakes & Mountains in Connemara. For a more urban vibe, Galway City can provide a great backdrop with lots of great landmarks and things to do.
WHAT TIME & HOW LONG?
For in-home sessions, the morning is best as the natural light is most available during this timeframe as it moves around your home. For outdoor sessions, morning or evening is more desirable. The light is typically harsh around mid-day and this can lead to a lot of contrast and shadows in your photographs. The best light is either the first hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset, this is the golden, flattering and very romantic looking light that looks good from every angle. Sometimes it is worth keeping your children up a bit later for one evening to avail of the magic evening light.
How long does a session take:
I allow up to an hour for an outdoor family session, however I rarely need a full hour. A typical outdoor session lasts approximately 45 minutes, which I find is the sweet spot where children leave happy and not bored or over-tired. I shoot very fast and within a 45 minute session, I capture on average 800-1,000 frames so trust me when I say you will have a gallery of 75-100 gorgeous images to choose from.
An in-home session moves at a slightly slower pace and typically last 90 minutes. We move from room to room depending on the light and where you are most comfortable.
I work fast and in the best available light
Mornings in home or outdoors as well as early evening outdoors work best
children are rarely bored and love being a part of the session
WHAT TO WEAR
Firstly and most importantly, whatever makes you comfortable. Make sure you can sit and move in your chosen outfit. I recommend starting with mum, its the hardest one to choose. Then coordinate your family around your outfit. Compliment and coordinate rather than matching. Choose tones that suit your location. If your home is light and airy, choose light, neutral colours that won’t look too harsh. The most important tip I can give on wardrobe styling is, wear what you feel good in and that represents you. If you are someone who never wears dresses but decide to for a family photoshoot, you won’t feel like yourself and when you look at the photos, you won’t feel it’s a true reflection of you.
Below you will find some inspiration on in-home and outdoor wardrobe ideas. I offer guidance and often mums will send me photos via WhatsApp of their planned outfits and I will advise.
Pinterest Boards for Inspiration
I have put together some boards to give you some wardrobe inspiration whatever your personal style may be
Beach Photoshoots: https://pin.it/3CIYopm
In-home Photoshoots: https://pin.it/3QSDIVs
Park / Woods Photoshoots: https://pin.it/78hRrYV
- I try to operate a “no discipline” session for children during the session. It is best not to tell them to pose, smile or be still but rather encourage them to relax, play and be themselves. This helps to capture their true character. Don’t worry if your child is running about and being very active. I move a lot to capture children at their level, where they are at. When everyone is relaxed, I will get the family shots by encouraging everyone to simply be together and then we move and tweak positions from there. Families come away from a session with me feeling relaxed and full of love and laughter after enjoying a time-out together.
- No phones. Please remove phones from jeans pockets and do not hold them either. They are a distraction and are not needed. A photo session is a time-out from the outside world, soak up your family and forget everything else for one hour. That’s all I ask of you.
- Ensure children have adequate snacks and water and are well rested.
- Bring tissues, wipes, sunscreen, a change of clothes and shoes (just in case).
- Stay close and connected as a family, avoid gaps when posing together. Connection can be anything from touching your child’s face, putting your hands through their hair, holding hands, hugs etc.
Your Newborn Session
Relaxed, Connected, Beautiful
That is how I want your newborn session at home to look and feel. It’s not about trying to make this moment in your life look perfect, but about showing you how beautful it really is.
The session is baby -led which means that if baby needs to sleep, be held or feed that is what we photograph. This type of session does not put any stress on your baby and you’ll find they are very content being in your arms and you can just soak it all in.
WHAT TO EXPECT
For in-home newborn sessions, the morning is best for two reasons; babies tend to be less fussy in the morning and the natural light streaming through your home is optimal. In Spring / Summer months, late morning / early afternoon also works but it can depend on the position of your home and windows. If you are in doubt, just send me a photo of some rooms in your home and I will tell you. Any room with a decent window for light will allow for well lit photos.
I recommend feeding baby before I arrive, wind and a nappy change so they are content. I always recommend a plain white vest, a simple and not too distracting babygro and some nice swaddle blankets. I do like to capture baby feet so I will ask to expose their feet but you can keep them wrapped up until I get there.
If you are breastfeeding, choose something that is easily accessible but also photo friendly like a button down top / shirt or a breastfeeding top. Scrunching up a jumper does not photograph as well. Also, I love to photograph a breastfeeding moment but I will always ask you first if you feel comfortable with it. What I say is “this one is for you because you are going to want a photo of this in years to come”.
If you have other children, I let them observe and come and go for a while until they are used to me and what I find is that without pressure to be in the photos and smile, they are naturally curious and want to be a part of the session.
Session lasts approx. 90 minutes
We go with the flow of your baby and take breaks
Connected, real moments with you and your baby
WHAT TO WEAR
See the link below for styling ideas for your in-home newborn session
In-home Photoshoots: https://pin.it/3QSDIVs
We love them!
We have watched the slideshow so many times
Aww Siobhan your photos are amazing and brought tears to my eyes!! We love them.
I am also extremely grateful for the slideshow. We have watched it on the TV here so many times.. and the children were dancing around the room and have been singing the song all day.