So I was initially going to write a blog about this image because I love how it turned out. I love how the butterfly and the feathers around her fit with the theme and the image. I love the styling in this. However, having thought about it a lot, I decided this blog would better serve as an example of just how much work goes into creating each individual fine art portrait and how I get to a final image.
Below are two completely unedited images that are part of the composite that made up my final image. I actually used more layers than this, to enhance the shawl, add the butterfly and even change the direction of her gaze (she was looking at me next to the camera as I was holding it to my right).
So how long did this portrait take me to create in total? Planning and outfits aside, I spent about an hour in the studio photoshoot and another two to three hours editing. That's just for this one portrait. I will explain briefly what that editing entailed:
The photos are not all this different from the original, and there are some which are even more so, but I guarantee the work that goes into making an image this refined is a similar process in terms of time and skill. I've shared another example below, where I had the outfit and expression I wanted in camera.
You may wonder why I needed to do all of this editing and not 'just get it in camera'. While I do usually get a lot of what I want in camera, my priority on the day is to create a fun enjoyable experience for all - including and especially the children, some of whom are very young! I tend to prefer to refine the details in post that would affect the mood of the photoshoot. For example above, I knew that I could have covered the t-shirt under Finley's cloak, but I preferred to make sure I captured the pose expression he had at the time and did not wish to ruin that!
Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom allow me to create and enhance outfits and styling, which really helps, especially in family photos, where it is difficult to coordinate outfits to a professional photograph standard on the day eg. consistent colours throughout. These photographs, after all, are intended to be artwork you can hang on your wall for generations to come!
I was very excited to team up with Robyn's Bridal-Hair Occasion-Hair for this photoshoot! This was the first part of three styled shoots that I did with her three daughters. I also did a few sibling portraits with them.
I was very excited to do this shot and am glad I planned the lighting setup in advance! I have a small octobox positioned camera right, slightly further back than the model. It could have benefitted from a strip box camera left at the same level to give her a rim on that side.
These were my main idea for the photoshoot. I wanted to explore the idea of self expression with anonymity.
The first image is titles 'Stepping into the unknown' and I used split lighting to highlight that mystery. Robyn was amazing and when I explained to her exactly what I wanted to achieve and showed her my sketches, she managed to pull of the hairstyle exactly as I had planned.
I adjusted this image afterwards as I wanted her to be looking into the light. As well as this creating a more pleasing lighting pattern on her face, I also love how the message of this image seems more positive as if she is moving forward.
I then got creative with the styling in the image and decided to add these beads and butterflies. I was starting to look at freedom and captivity, which I explore further in my newest project!
I was very excited to work with SJM Beauty Beautique last year to show off her pink rainbow tutus. Having seen photographs of her tutus, I would see they were very beautiful and well made. When the tutu arrived I was even more surprised by just how poofy it was!
I did some flatlays and some studio photographs of Jessica wearing it. It was so adorable and I realised it would be perfect for cake smash photoshoots! Jessica then wore it to her brother Finley's cake smash photoshoot - she even tried to get in the bath with it, but I quickly got it off in time!
I always like to do a range of photographs for small businesses so I also did an outdoor photoshoot when we went on a walk to the woods. It was absolutely the perfect tutu for outdoor photos. Most tutus would probably go unnoticed, but not this one, with all it's poof! I also love how the colour looks outdoors and it was so cute watching Jessica toddle around in it!
When I decided I wanted to do a themed cake smash this year for Jessica's cake smash, I knew I would want to have her in the most adorable outfit I could find. SJM Beauty Beautique was the first place that came to mind and what they put together was amazing! I explained what I wanted and what she sent to me was even better than I imagined.
One of my milestone's clients informed me that she was putting together ideas for her little one's cake smash, I knew SJM Beauty Beautique would be the perfect recommendation for her outfit. It turned out beautifully and I absolutely love what they came up with.
I even managed to get a photo of our little girls in their beautiful dresses together!
I offer commercial and branding photoshoots as well as collaborations with businesses which compliment my photography. Please get in touch for more information.
When planning what to wear for your family photoshoot, it can all feel a bit daunting. So I have put together a guide to help you feel more comfortable and confident in choosing your outfits.
Firstly, It's important to know that I do keep a range of outfits in my client wardrobe, so don't panic if you don't have anything to wear! My wardrobe is constantly expanding, but mostly consists of 0-3 boys and girls formal and fine art outfits, a range of ladies gowns (including maternity), some menswear and other children's sizes. If you have a session booked with me, be sure to ask what I have in your family's sizes.
Important things to remember:
Things that are suitable for a photoshoot (which may not be elsewhere):
This post is specifically for family photoshoots, and I will soon add some posts about how to prepare for newborn, maternity and child portrait sessions. If you have a session coming up, please feel free to let me know your family's sizes and I can let you know what outfits I have in those sizes.