I'm Hannah and I'm thrilled that you're considering me to capture your family.
I’m absolutely passionate about what I do and love creating and capturing genuine emotion and connection between families in my images.
A session with me is a relaxed, organic experience full of fun! We'll create memories together in pixels and print that will make your heart sing and give you a lasting legacy for you and your family.
This guide is for you to find out a little more about how I work, how my sessions flow, what to wear and what to expect afterwards.
I'm looking forward to meeting you!
Before Your Session
I love getting to know my clients personally so that I can authentically capture them. No two families have the same dynamic and part of my service is getting to know you a little beforehand so that I can hit the ground running when we meet.
All my families receive a questionnaire before our session so I can learn everyone's name, ages, what you like to do as a family, who's introverted and extroverted and if anyone's camera-shy. If you have any questions you'd like to talk about in depth, I'm happy to schedule a call to discuss these before your session.
Your Photography Session
My family sessions last between 1-1.5 hours. When we meet, first of all I'll spend a bit of time getting some more formal shots of everyone looking at the camera while everyone's fresh, then we can relax a little bit! (Grandparents still like the 'everyone looking at the camera' shot so they're useful to have anyway!)
I don't pose my families. Instead, I'll suggest little games and activities that will help your children feel entertained and in control. That can sound daunting, but when we let children lead the way, they will naturally be motivated to interact and play, and this helps to bring out the best, natural expressions.
Feel free to be silly with your family! Stay close - hugs, tickles and kisses (if they're up for it) are all encouraged!
What to Wear for your Session
One of the most common questions I get asked during the planning stages with my clients is "What should we wear?" I am more than happy to discuss your clothing choices, help you narrow down your decision or give you a direction to focus on as well as make sure that your clothing coordinates well with your session location!
Choose your colour palette
Pick a palette of 3-4 colours. Let this be your starting place. Think in terms of tones: earth tones, neutrals, pastels, etc. Everyone in the family can express their own sense of style within the chosen color palette, and your whole group will coordinate beautifully. Avoid everyone wearing the same colour.
My style of photography really suits neutral, earthy and pastel tones rather than bright colours.
Things to avoid...
- Bright cartoony prints, primary colours and logos on children's clothing that can date your images.
- Only include bright white in your palette if shooting outdoors at sunset. Off white and beige/cream are better.
- Avoid black and neon at any time of the day!
- Stiff collars and shirts that crease easily.
- Bulky coats and puffer jackets in colder weather - it's much better to wear lots of layers.
- Bulky and statement jewellery or fitness bands/watches that will draw attention away from your face!
Go easy on patterns
An outdoor scene already has a lot of texture and colour, and lots of busy or bold patterns can dominate the photograph and detract attention from the main subject - you! Keep most of your group in plain colours so that you 'pop' out of your surroundings and limit yourself to one pattern such as flannel or a light floral print. If you don't want to look too minimalist, you can use layers or textured clothing to provide the visual interest!
Texture, movement and layers
Pick fabrics that move and flow with you, which add a cosy texture or get picked up by the wind, filter the late afternoon sun, and glow in the morning light. Natural fibres like linen, cotton and wool are amazing for this.
Mums - I strongly advise choosing a dress with some movement in. They're flattering for photos and will give your shots a lovely dynamic, romantic quality when you move. If you don't want to look too formal in a dress, try layering it and pairing it with boots or flat shoes.
Layers allow a lot more variety in your shots and poses and you'll be ready for all kinds of weather (and in this country, we need to be!). Think jackets, cardigans, hast, scarves and headbands.
Makeup and Hair
Less is more when it comes to makeup and hair for an outdoor session. You might want to make a trip to the hairdresser beforehand but avoid having any complicated up-dos that a tiny bit of wind will spoil.
If you or anyone in your group has long hair, you might want to consider a half-up hairstyle to keep your hair out of your face. My candid style of photography captures parents looking down at their children from side-on and it's a shame if your hair hides your face! Bring a hairbrush in case hair gets wild during the session!
My recommended clothing brands
You might want to invest in some new clothing for your session - especially if you can wear it again afterwards! Make coordinating family photo outfits easy by shopping at the same shop or brand. There are a few brands that I think are great for more timeless kids' clothes and have great natural colour palettes (and some have adult ranges as well).
- Zara (amazing baby and toddler clothes, particularly cosy knits for autumn)
- H&M (great for summery natural fabrics, muted colour palettes)
- JuJuMoon (Oxfordshire children's clothing boutique)
- The Simple Folk
- Free People (great for maxi dresses)
- Pigeon Organics
- Kidly (great for plain colour kids' clothes)
(A little note on underwear...)
If you're wearing a top or dress with thin straps or no sleeves, consider wearing a strapless bra as it's very easy for bra straps to become visible when you're moving around with your children.
If your child is wearing a dress, consider adding a pair of cycling shorts or bloomers underneath so underpants or nappies don't end up on show!
My tips for a happy family session
- If your session is at the end of the day, keep the rest of the day low-key to save energy for your session! If you have little ones who still have naps, push the last nap a bit later than usual if you can.
- Give everyone a light meal beforehand so you're ready and raring to go.
- Make sure everyone has been to the toilet before you set off.
- Don't allow screens in the car or buggy on the way to the session - it's a surefire recipe for the grumps when you take it away. Instead you can talk to your children about what's going to happen, play some upbeat music and get them excited for their session!
- Keep outfits back for babies or toddlers who may have 'accidents' and dress them only when you arrive.
- Aim to arrive 5-10 minutes early for your session so you can get little ones dressed, and make any last minute adjustments to outfits/hair etc. It's especially important to start promptly for my sunset sessions as they are timed according to the precise location of the sun in the sky!
What happens if it rains on the day of our session?
I'll get in touch a couple of days before the session (after checking the weather forecast) and if it looks like rain we can reschedule. Please keep the following Sunday free in case we need to do this, as this is my back-up shooting day.
What if someone gets ill and we can't make the session?
I allow one reschedule free of charge for reasons of illness, and I'd appreciate it if you can give me as much notice as possible if this happens so that I can try and fill your session slot. Please do not reschedule for minor skin injuries as these can be fixed at the editing stage!
Can we bring our dog?
Pets are family, so I'm very happy to include them. However please be aware that getting dogs to behave for a photo can draw yours and your children's attention away from me and the camera so you may get less variety in your gallery of images.
What if my kids misbehave?
From tinies to teenagers, you might be worried that your children won't want to engage with me for our session, but I want to stress that there is absolutely no right or wrong way for children to behave during a photography session.
The best thing you can do is to feed them just beforehand and gently explain someone's coming to take photos of them. I can take it from there! I've photographed hundreds of families and can usually figure out how to connect with your child fairly quickly - that's when you get the really lovely natural expressions and images.
On thing you can do to help is to resist the urge to give your children direction at the same time as me during the session as children can often become overwhelmed and act out if they're being asked to do things by multiple grown ups! Think of me as a children's entertainer who you're all there to see and play along with! I'd be delighted to take shots you have in mind but please run them by me first so all direction comes from me.
If you feel you need to, bribes and snacks should be left until the very end of the session. This is especially important for children between the age of 1-4 who will only want snacks once they appear! They'll also probably be a bit more tired than normal afterwards, especially very little ones.
After Your Session...
About three weeks after our session, your edited images will be available for viewing in a private online gallery. If you have given permission, I quite often post sneak peeks on social media, so make sure you're following me on Facebook and Instagram!
After viewing the images your gallery will be available for 7 days, giving you time to decide on your favourite images and which products you'd like to purchase. You can upgrade to receive all your digital images from our session and place orders for prints, albums or wall art.