How to Look Good in Your Business Headshots

How to look good in your business headshots | Clare Murthy PhotographyHow to look good in your business headshots | Clare Murthy PhotographyHow to look good in your business headshots | Clare Murthy Photography Over the last couple of months I've taken headshots for some lovely business owners, and I've also had some headshots taken myself. I now know first hand that preparing for a headshot session can be a little nerve-wracking! After all these photographs will become the face of your business, and you'll want to feel really proud to have them on your website, social media profiles or even in the press.

It's perfectly natural to feel a little nervous, but with a little preparation you can set yourself up for success, and walk away with some headshots that you love. Read on for my tips for preparing for your headshot session.

 

Choosing the right photographer for your headshots

If you want to be sure that you'll walk away with headshots you'll love, start by choosing the right photographer. There are so many options out there when you first start looking for a photographer that it can feel overwhelming - you could choose one who shoots exclusively in a studio, or one who will photograph you on location. You could choose the one who is cheapest, or the one who is most expensive.

Making the right choice matters though - find a photographer who's style you love, who you have good chemistry with and who you trust, and you're much more likely to love your photos. I recommend doing your research, and spending time talking to potential photographers on the phone or in person before deciding whether to book. Give yourself time and space to consider the different photographers you've spoken to, and what each offers before you make your decision.

Find my complete guide to choosing the right photographer for your business here.

How to look good in your business headshots | Clare Murthy PhotographyHow to look good in your business headshots | Clare Murthy PhotographyHow to look good in your business headshots | Clare Murthy Photography Looking great in photos is all about mindset

There are lots of things you can do to feel good about your appearance in photographs, but the most important thing is to feel good about yourself. If you are feeling awkward or uncomfortable it really will show in the photographs. So what can you do to change this?

This is definitely a time to invest in you. Think about what makes you feel like you can take on the world - perhaps it's a particular song, reading a motivational book, or your favourite lipstick. Whatever it is, make sure you have time before your session to do that thing and get into a place where you feel fabulous!

It can also help to practice being in front of the camera beforehand. If (like me) you're a little camera shy, you probably avoid being in front of the camera most of the time. But like anything in life, being in front of the camera becomes easier with practice so do it as often as you can before your session. 

You can find more tips for overcoming camera shyness in my Huff Post article here.

How to look good in your business headshots | Clare Murthy PhotographyHow to look good in your business headshots | Clare Murthy PhotographyHow to look good in your business headshots | Clare Murthy Photography

Choosing what to wear for your headshots

The dreaded dilemma of what to wear! A good place to start when choosing clothes for your session is to think about what you're planning to use the photographs for. Most headshots are for promoting yourself or your business, so what's the image you want to project? Most business owners will choose to wear an outfit that they would wear to meet clients - for some this will be a suit, for others workout gear, and for others something in-between. Each business is unique.

Whatever you choose to wear, it's better to go for clothes that have a bit of shape to them. Loose fitting clothes don't work as well in photos as well fitted ones do - they tend to look even more shapeless and hence less flattering. Opt for something that fits well, has shape to it and is not too loose.

It's also a good idea to talk to your photographer about bringing more than one outfit. Changing a top or other part of your outfit part-way through the session can give a completely different look and give you a wider choice of photos to choose from. You may also want to choose one outfit that you would wear in spring or summer, and another that you'd wear in winter - that way you can share seasonally relevant photos all year round.

How to look good in your business headshots | Clare Murthy PhotographyHow to look good in your business headshots | Clare Murthy PhotographyHow to look good in your business headshots | Clare Murthy Photography

Spend some time on your hair and make up

It might seem a bit OTT, but giving some extra time to your hair and make-up before the session can give your photographs a wonderful edge. If I think about those times in my life when I've spent more time on my hair and make-up, or had someone do it for me - such as for my wedding - I have loved the photos afterwards. And that's how I hope you'll feel about your headshots! 

Generally speaking it's better to wear a bit more make up than you normally would when you're having photos taken. As a guide, think about how you'd apply your make up for a special occasion. Some clients opt to have their make up done professionally before a shoot - there are lots of mobile hair and make up artists in my area so you may find the same in yours. If you're in London you could try Perfect 10.

If you have colour on your hair and are worried about your roots do get them touched up before your session as it's not the kind of thing that can be fixed afterwards. If you're planning a new hair style, book your appointment for a couple of weeks before the session so you have time to get used to it and feel comfortable. 

 

Over to you

I hope these tips help you walk away with headshots you love. What other questions do you have about headshot photography? Let me know in the comments below - I'd love to hear.

 


Guildford Family Photographer

Guildford Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyGuildford Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyGuildford Family Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography Earlier this year I met this lovely Guildford family for a Springtime family session. This photo shoot was extra special - their first as a family of three, and a lovely opportunity to capture their son at 14 months. We had wonderful weather on the day, and a beautiful setting for our shoot - blossoms on the ground, bluebells popping up and even a few ducks to chase!

Godalming Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyGodalming Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyGodalming Family Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography Haselmere Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyHaselmere Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyHaselmere Family Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography Farnham Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyFarnham Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyFarnham Family Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography Woking Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyWoking Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyWoking Family Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography Milford, Surrey Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyMilford, Surrey Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyMilford, Surrey Family Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography Ripley, Surrey Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyRipley, Surrey Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyRipley, Surrey Family Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography As well as ordering the full set of digital files from their session, this family also ordered a large print of the photo above, which they're planning to hang above their fire place, and the gorgeous gift portfolio that you see below - a special gift for grandma!

Oxshott, Surrey Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyOxshott, Surrey Family Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyOxshott, Surrey Family Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favourites from this session. You can see more from my family sessions here

I am a newborn, baby and family photographer based in East Molesey close to Hampton Court. I cover Surrey and London, including Esher, East and West Molesey, Thames Ditton, Cobham, Weybridge, Haselmere, Farnnham, Frensham, Virginia Water, Teddington, Richmond, Kew, Chiswick, Twickenham, Chelsea, Fulham, Putney, Wandsworth, Wimbledon. To book your session or find out more, please do send me a message.


Take Great Photos of Your Kids Splashing in Water

Take Great Photos of Your Kids S Since we're going through a bit of a heatwave and my daughter has been in the paddling pool every day, I thought I would share a quick tutorial on photographing your kids splashing in water. Whether they're in the pool, jumping through the sprinkler or fountains, this heat is a great opportunity for some fun photos. Read on for my tips for capturing some splashy moments.

 

1. Seek the shade

I mention this in lots of my tutorials, but it's so important that I'll say it again! Whenever you're photographing your children outdoors do what you can to avoid direct sunlight. Direct sunlight is very hard, and creates lots of contrast on your child's skin, which is often seen as dark shadows and bright spots. On the other hand, light shade will generally a soft, even tone. 

On a very sunny day it can be almost impossible to find a patch of shade. Our garden is full of very young plants and trees, and we have very little shade all day so I do understand how difficult it can be! In the case of the photos in this post, you can see that the sun is very bright, but because I took the photo late in the afternoon the sun is low in the sky. As she's facing away from the sun and is shaded by the sides of the paddling pool, the sunlight isn't falling directly on my daughter.

You can read more on finding shade in my post about photographing your children outdoors.

Take great photos of your children splashing in water | Clare Murthy PhotographyTake great photos of your children splashing in waterTake great photos of your children splashing in water

2. Play with your angles

Try different angles to capture the moment. I always advocate getting down low to your child's level when you photograph them as it gives a more natural perspective, but if they are in a swimming pool or paddling pool it may not be possible. Try lots of different angles to see which works best.

 

3. Use a high shutter speed, and shoot in bursts to 'freeze' the splash

The thing that makes photographs of your children splashing in water, or running through sprinklers special is the 'splash' of the water - we want to freeze this to make it as crisp as possible. This is exactly the same as capturing any other movement, you need a fast shutter speed to do this. The other thing that will help you freeze the moment is shooting in burst mode - this is when your camera takes multiple photos in one go, meaning that it's much more likely you'll capture the moment. 

You can read more about freezing action with a fast shutter speed and burst mode in my tutorial on capturing your moving child.

 

Over to you 

I'd love to hear how you get on with this - let me know in the comments below or over on my Facebook page.

Find more tips for photographing your children here


Surrey Child Portrait Photographer

Surrey Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographySurrey Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographySurrey Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography This amazing summer weather has put me in the mood for some sunny photos, and I couldn't resist sharing this lovely brother and sister photo shoot with you today. Their session was  in Bushy Park in Surrey this spring, and this gorgeous duo's mum booked the session so that she could get some up-to-date photos of her children. I did manage to persuade mum and dad to get into a few of the photos too, but we spent most of the session exploring the park whilst I photographed these two.

I had the most dreamy afternoon sunlight to work with, and of course the beautiful backdrop of the park. One thing that's a common concern before a photo shoot is what you should wear, and in this case I think mum really got it right - don't they look lovely! You can read more about what to wear for your family photos here

I hope you enjoy these favourites from the session as much as I do.

Cobham Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyCobham Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyCobham Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography Guildford Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyGuildford Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyGuildford Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography WokingChild Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyWokingChild Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyWokingChild Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography Kingston Upon Thames Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyKingston Upon Thames Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyKingston Upon Thames Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography Richmond Upon Thames Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyRichmond Upon Thames Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyRichmond Upon Thames Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography Camberley Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyCamberley Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy PhotographyCamberley Child Portrait Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography

 

See more from my family sessions

I am a newborn, baby and family photographer based in East Molesey close to Hampton Court. I cover Surrey and London, including Esher, East and West Molesey, Thames Ditton, Cobham, Weybridge, Haselmere, Farnnham, Frensham, Virginia Water, Teddington, Richmond, Kew, Chiswick, Twickenham, Chelsea, Fulham, Putney, Wandsworth, Wimbledon. To book your session or find out more, please do send me a message.


A Photography Project for Kids: Photo Scavenger Hunt

Photography Scavenger Hunt for Kids | Clare Murthy PhotographyPhotography Scavenger Hunt for Kids | Clare Murthy PhotographyPhotography Scavenger Hunt for Kids | Clare Murthy Photography This week I'm continuing the theme and sharing another photography project for your children to get involved with. (In case you missed last week's silhouette portrait activity you can find it here.) This week's activity is a scavenger hunt and provides lots of opportunity for your kids to get creative and create compositions of their own.

Here's my step-by-step guide to setting your photo scavenger hunt up...

 

To Set Up Your Photo Scavenger Hunt You Will Need:

A list of items to photograph (find my list below, or create your own.)

A camera (it doesn't have to be fancy - a point and shoot or even your old phone would work just fine.)

Awards or prizes (optional.)

 

The List

I've deliberately kept the items on this list open to interpretation, to encourage creativity. If your child is younger you may want to substitute some of the broad topics with more specific ones.

1. Flower

2. Insect

3. Self Portrait

4. Family

5. Blue

6. Home

7. Celebration

8. Action

9. Food

10. Green

Photography Scavenger Hunt for Kids | Clare Murthy PhotographyPhotography Scavenger Hunt for Kids | Clare Murthy PhotographyPhotography Scavenger Hunt for Kids | Clare Murthy Photography

How The Photography Scavenger Hunt Works

The basic premise of this activity is that you provide your children with a list of things to photograph and a camera, and depending on their age you can either give them space to find the items on the list and create their photos, or work through the list with them. Here are my tips for making it fun, and encouraging your child(ren)'s creativity:

 

Tailor the timing to your child's age: You can either work through the list in one go, or you could choose one item on the list for your child to photograph each day, and spread the challenge over a couple of weeks of the school holidays. I think age and interest level will factor your decision on how you do this - young children will likely move through the list very quickly and gain enjoyment from taking a quick snapshot and ticking each item off. Older children and teenagers who enjoy being creative could spend half a day composing one photo - encourage them to try different angles, perspectives, and to think creatively.

 

Help your child get creative: If your child is interested in photography, or having difficulty coming up with creative ideas give them a little help. There are lots of wonderful collections of photographs online that they could look at for inspiration - I love The Guardian's photography pages, and The Telegraphs Photographers' Pictures of The Year. Alternatively, why not make a day trip of it and take advantage of the wonderful, free museums we have in London. The National Portrait Gallery is a great place to start.

 

Create a gallery: After your child has finished photographing the items on the list, why not print their photos and create a gallery with them. Lots of photo printing sites like Photobox and Snapfish offer free prints when you first sign up - this is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of these offers, and I'm sure that your child will love seeing their creations in print.

 

Have an awards ceremony: Add a little fun and excitement to the activity by putting on an awards ceremony afterwards. You could award prizes or certificates for different categories - most creative, most colourful, most unusual. The list goes on.

 

Over to you

I'd love to hear how you get on with this activity, and how your children get creative! Let me know in the comments below. 

 

Find more photography tips and tutorials here.

 


Hampton Court Family Portrait Photographers

Hampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy PhotographyHampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy PhotographyHampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy Photography I have a lovely family photo session at Hampton Court to share with you this morning, and I have to say that seeing this happy face is a lovely way to start the day! I photographed this happy family at my Springtime mini sessions in March. Despite it being early spring, we had a lovely sunny day so our coats soon came off, and we were able to enjoy the beautiful setting.

Since starting my business I have fallen in love with the seasons even more than before - I love how we move from crisp winters days, to the blooms of spring, through to long summer days and then those crunchy autumn leaves. Each season gives it's own wonderful backdrop for photographs, and for this family's shoot we had daffodils, blossom and a stunning magnolia tree to work with.

I hope you enjoy these favourites from this family's session. If you'd like to see the difference the seasons can make, and find your favourite season for a photo shoot you can find an autumn photography session here and a winter photography session here.

Hampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy PhotographyHampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy PhotographyHampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy Photography Hampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy PhotographyHampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy PhotographyHampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy Photography Hampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy PhotographyHampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy PhotographyHampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy Photography Hampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy PhotographyHampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy PhotographyHampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy Photography Hampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy PhotographyHampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy PhotographyHampton Court Family Portrait Photographers | Clare Murthy Photography See more from my family sessions

I am a newborn, baby and family photographer based in East Molesey close to Hampton Court. I cover Surrey and London, including Esher, East and West Molesey, Thames Ditton, Cobham, Weybridge, Haselmere, Farnnham, Frensham, Virginia Water, Teddington, Richmond, Kew, Chiswick, Twickenham, Chelsea, Fulham, Putney, Wandsworth, Wimbledon. To book your session or find out more, please do send me a message.


Create Fun Silhouette Portraits With Your Kids

Create silhouette pictures with your kids | Clare Murthy PhotographyCreate silhouette pictures with your kids Create silhouette pictures with your kids

This month on the blog I'm going to be sharing some fun ways to get your children involved in photography. I'm a big believer in taking regular photos of your children so you can document their days, weeks and years, but sometimes it's good to get creative and have a little fun with it too!

Today's post is a tutorial for making some fun silhouette photos with your children. My two year old daughter loved making these silhouettes (or as we called it - taking photos of her shadow), and the older your children are the more creative you'll be able to be. 

 

To create your silhouette photos you will need:

Your camera

A large window 

A white sheet or shower curtain, and something to tape or hang it up with

Dark coloured clothes for your child(ren) to wear

Props to add interest to the silhouettes - for example fairy wings as we used, or some hats

Preparation

To create a silhouette you need a plain, bright background which is lit from the other side. At home, a large window with a white sheet over it is one easy way to create such a backdrop. Start by hanging or taping your sheet over your chosen window. It's ideal if the window you use runs all the way to the floor - for example on patio doors. But, you can still make some fun photos with any window. I do recommend ironing the sheet before you hang it up. As you can see mine had some creases in it when I first hung it up, and these will show in the photos.

Dress your child in some dark coloured clothes - black is ideal. Depending on what kind of shapes you're hoping to make, you may like to use well fitting clothes, such as leggings, to give your silhouettes a defined shape. If you don't have any black clothes just find the darkest you can. As you might be able to spot in the photos in this post, my daughter's dress has a small pattern on it - despite it being white, it is hardly visible - so don't worry if the outfit isn't all dark.

If your window doesn't stretch all the way to the floor, you could stand your child on a step so that the whole of their body appears in the bright part of the frame. Or, you can just keep it as is. I didn't feel comfortable balancing my daughter on a step without another adult around (and with me behind the camera) so I just left it as is. After all, this was just a fun activity for us both to do so it didn't need to be perfect.

The last thing I did was to put a piece of masking tape on the floor where I wanted my daughter to stand. She didn't stand on it all of the time....but more often than I had expected!

Take Silhouette Potraits of Your Kids a Tutorial | Clare Murthy PhotographyTake Silhouette Potraits of Your Kids a TutorialTake Silhouette Potraits of Your Kids a Tutorial

Taking the Silhouette Photo

To achieve a nice, dark silhouette you'll want your background to be well lit, and your child to be underexposed. Depending on your camera and settings, there are a few ways to achieve this.

 

If you're using your  DSLR camera's 'Auto' setting: When you take a photo on the automatic setting your camera will do all that it can to achieve an even exposure across the whole image. This is not what we want when creating a silhouette though - we want a lot of contrast. To 'override' this setting point your camera at the brightest part of the scene (in this case the white sheet) and press the shutter half way. Keep the shutter pressed halfway, and turn the camera back to your child. Press the shutter down completely to take your photo.

 

If you're shooting in manual mode: meter for the brightest part of the photograph so that the sheet is well exposed and your child is not. After taking one photo check the back of your camera to see if you're happy with the contrast. I found that I needed to over expose the background to achieve the right balance.

 

If you're using your phone's camera: most phone cameras give you the ability to adjust the exposure of your photograph before you take it. To create your silhouette photo, point your camera at the brightest part of the sheet, and tap the screen on this bright part. Use the exposure function to increase the exposure so that the sheet appears white and your child appears as dark as possible before taking the photo. You can read about how to adjust exposure on your phone camera in this tutorial.

Create silhouette pictures with your kids | Clare Murthy PhotographyCreate silhouette pictures with your kids Create silhouette pictures with your kids

How to Edit a Silhouette Portrait

Now that you have your photograph it's time to edit it to create the perfect silhouette. To edit the photo you see above I took the following steps:

1. Converted it to black and white

2. Increased the contrast to the maximum

3. Pulled the blacks all the way down

4. Increased the whites and highlights

In other words I added as much contrast as I could.

In  some of the photographs in this post I also removed the creases that were still visible in my sheet. I used Photoshop to do this, but most editing software gives you the option to do this. You can even clean up the background on your phone using the Healing Brush in Snapseed. (Read more about editing photos on your phone here.)

 

Have some fun with your silhouette pictures

Now that you've mastered creating silhouette photos, have some fun with them. You can try different props, shapes, and adding movement. The older your child, the more creative you can be. It can also be nice to keep a little bit of detail in the photos when you edit, such as in the photos below.

 

Create Silhouette Photos Outdoors

You can also create some lovely silhouettes outdoors. Sunset at the beach is a wonderful time to do this - the sky provides the bright background that you need, and the sun lights your subject from behind creating the appearance of a silhouette. Again, you want to expose for the brightest part of the image (in this case the sky) so that your child appears as a silhouette. 

Silhouettes on the beach | Clare Murthy PhotographySilhouettes on the beach | Clare Murthy PhotographySilhouettes on the beach | Clare Murthy Photography

Over to you

I'd love to hear how you get on creating these silhouette photos with your children. Let me know in the comments below.

Find more photography tips for parents here

 

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A Family Photo Shoot With Grandparents in Surrey

An extended family photo shoot with grandparents in Surrey | Clare Murthy PhotographyAn extended family photo shoot with grandparents in Surrey | Clare Murthy PhotographyAn extended family photo shoot with grandparents in Surrey | Clare Murthy Photography I've spoken to lots of families recently who are planning an extended family photo shoot with grandparents - often to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary - so I thought it was a great opportunity to share this extended family session from the Spring with you today.

This was my second time photographing this family. I first photographed them at my mini sessions in Esher last Autumn, and you can see the highlights from their first session here. This year they decided to come back for another session and bring their grandparents along too!

This Springtime session was in The Woodland Garden in Bushy Park. It's one of my favourite places for photographs, and was full of Spring flowers and sunshine for our shoot. I hope you enjoy seeing some of the highlights from their session.

Family Photography in Surrey | Clare Murthy PhotographyFamily Photography in Surrey | Clare Murthy PhotographyFamily Photography in Surrey | Clare Murthy Photography A Family Photo Shoot with Grandparents in Surrey UK | Clare Murthy PhotographyA Family Photo Shoot with Grandparents in Surrey UK | Clare Murthy PhotographyA Family Photo Shoot with Grandparents in Surrey UK | Clare Murthy Photography A Family Photo Shoot with Grandparents in Surrey UK | Clare Murthy PhotographyA Family Photo Shoot with Grandparents in Surrey UK | Clare Murthy PhotographyA Family Photo Shoot with Grandparents in Surrey UK | Clare Murthy Photography A Family Photo Shoot with Grandparents in Surrey UK | Clare Murthy PhotographyA Family Photo Shoot with Grandparents in Surrey UK | Clare Murthy PhotographyA Family Photo Shoot with Grandparents in Surrey UK | Clare Murthy Photography

See more from my family sessions here

I’m a family, baby and child photographer based in East Molesey, close to Hampton Court. I photograph happy families across South West London and all of Surrey, including Esher, East and West Molesey, Thames Ditton, Cobham, Weybridge, Haselmere, Farnnham, Frensham, Virginia Water, Teddington, Richmond, Kew, Chiswick, Twickenham, Chelsea, Fulham, Putney, Wandsworth, Wimbledon. To book your session or find out more, please do send me a message.

 


My Huff Post Article: What To Do If You're Camera Shy

What to do if you're camera shyWhat to do if you're camera shyWhat to do if you're camera shy I'm thrilled to let you know that you'll now be able to find some of my photography tips over on Huff Post. My first article over there is my guide to dealing with feeling camera shy. Somewhere along the way lots of us lose that ability we have as children to feel comfortable being ourselves in front of the camera, and start to dread having our photo taken. In my post I share eight strategies for feeling more comfortable in front of the camera. Find the post here: What to do if you're camera shy.


How to Get Your Home Ready for A Family Photo Shoot

At home family photo shoots in Surrey and London UKAt home family photo shoots in Surrey and London UKAt home family photo shoots in Surrey and London UK Having a photo shoot at home is such a lovely thing to do, preserving the memory of your family's home life together forever. But wherever you have your family photographs taken, the backdrop can make or break each photo, so it's worth having a think about the best backdrops in your home beforehand.

When I'm looking for backdrops in the great outdoors I'm looking for backgrounds that will enhance the photographs, but not distract from the people in it. Choosing backdrops at home is no different. Here are my tips for getting ready for an at home session with me. You could also use them when you're taking your own photographs at home.

 

1. Find the best rooms to photograph in

First of all, don't worry about getting the whole house prepared - it's unlikely we'll use every room. Typically there are three spaces I'll use - the living room, the master bedroom and (if there's a baby in the family) the nursery. Focus your energy on preparing these two or three spaces. 

What if you don't want to use one or all of these spaces? Not to worry - let's have a chat about the other spaces we could use and find two or three that you'd love to have photographs taken in. I don't recommend having only one room where we photograph - it won't give us enough variety in your photos, but we could use one room at home and then head out to a local park or beauty spot for the rest of the session.

 

2. Preparing the bedroom

I love using the master bedroom for sessions - the bed provides a wonderful, big space for everyone to snuggle on. So that your lovely family is the main focus of the photographs I recommend using neutral bed linen - white works particularly well. Having said that, it's also nice to have a little pop of colour - perhaps from cushions or a throw in a contrasting colour. 

The other spots to check in bedrooms are bedside tables and backs of doors. I'm guilty of always having a not-so-tidy bedside table, and as much as that is life, it doesn't make a pretty photograph. I recommend keeping the tables as clear as possible and perhaps choosing a few books, a candle, alarm clock or flowers to keep out. 

In home family photo shoots in Surrey and London UKIn home family photo shoots in Surrey and London UKIn home family photo shoots in Surrey and London UK

3. Check the other rooms for clutter

Clutter is usually an inevitable part of family life, so before the session check the rooms we'll be using for anything you wouldn't want to appear in your photographs - paperwork, laundry, remote controls, laptops, games consoles...etc. My aim is to give you a memory of the best bits of family life, and having these bits and pieces out of the way will make those memories all the sweeter.

 

4. Find a Safe Hiding Place for Toys

It can be hard for young children to enjoy a photo shoot when they can see all of their favourite things out of the corner of their eye! Having said that toys and books can make a wonderful addition to photographs. I suggest choosing some toys and books that you'd like to include in the photographs (hard back books and wooden toys work particularly well) and then make sure everything else is safely tucked away out of sight.

You can find out more about preparing your children for a photo shoot here.

In home baby photo shoots in Surrey and London UKIn home baby photo shoots in Surrey and London UKIn home baby photo shoots in Surrey and London UK

5. Pop the Heating On

This one is just for families with young babies. Usually when there's a young baby in the family we'll focus some of the session on capturing the lovely details that you'll want to remember - chubby thighs and their lovely baby feet to name a few. When we do this your baby will usually only have a vest or nappy on, and a nice warm house will help to keep them happy!

 

Over to You

I hope you find these tips useful as you get ready for your photo shoot. I'd love to know what other questions you have about having a family photography session with me. Let me know in the comments below.

 

Find the answers to more frequently asked questions here