Mom and dad are swinging a little girl in a green dress. Dad's head is not visible. Mom and daughter are laughing. Portrait photographer Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire. Family, children, headshots, branding.
What to wear?
Something comfortable and weather appropriate. Remember, this is not a fashion shoot and your pictures need to reflect who you are. 
It is better to avoid black clothing near faces, anything with bold prints (like faces or text) or anything shiny. A bit of glitter is fine, just avoid fabrics that reflect a lot of light. It looks nice if the whole family are wearing colours that compliment each other (see the colour wheel), but it is better not to match outfits. 
Keep in mind your chosen location. You do not want to blend in with the background, so, for example, avoid browns, yellows and reds for autumn forest, or greens for taking pictures on your lawn. However, all this is less important than everyone being comfortable and happy in their clothes. 
Finally, I know that children are often very particular about what they wear (at least, my two certainly are). I would rather be taking photos of happy children in their favourite football kits and princess dresses than of sulky ones in “perfect” outfits, so let them wear what they want.
Where sessions take place?
I will come to your house and we can be in your garden or indoors if it is raining. Alternatively, we can go for a walk around your neighbourhood or meet somewhere special. It is entirely up to you. I can suggest some suitable locations in the Fleet area, however, it is preferable that the place has meaning for your family. Good locations should have plenty of space to move around and some background without cars, signs and other people. Nature is always best, but even a brick wall might do as a backdrop.
What happens during family sessions?
The very first thing I do is chat to the children to put them at ease and to get a feel for what they are like. Sometimes children take charge straight away and we just follow their lead. Some children are a bit more reserved, in which case I will do more directing during the session. 
Then I take one standard family shot where everyone is looking at the camera (I call it “one for the grandparents”). We do that first before everyone is tired or the children are bored. 
After that, the session is very free flowing. I will encourage you to move, play, dance, read - just have family time. At the same time, I will be directing all the time, asking you to adjust poses slightly and to look at each other. I aim to get a variety of shots: individual children, siblings together, mum with children, dad with children etc. 
Towards the end of the session, when the children start losing focus, I send them off to play and take a few of the parents together and the mum on her own. Sorry, dads, but you are usually well-represented in the family albums, while mum is always behind the camera!
What if children refuse to cooperate?
The most difficult task is photographing my own! Other people's children are usually much more cooperative, I find. I will do my best to keep them engaged. Some little ones like to have a go at taking a picture, some like to see how the photos come out, some like to direct the session - whatever works. Some just want to do their thing and that is absolutely fine. We will work around their needs and their mood. I am comfortable working with people with additional needs too.
However, in the very unlikely event that a child absolutely refuses to take part, it will be necessary to reschedule. Unfortunately, I will not be able to refund your session fee. I will try and make use of the time you paid for working with the rest of the family. 
How long does it take to see the previews?
I aim to have your preview gallery ready within a week. An hour shoot may result in as many as 700 photos. It takes time to look through them all and select the good ones. I apply minimal edits at this stage. What you will see in your preview gallery is exactly that - previews. So do not get discouraged by some of them not looking like what you see on my website. At this stage you should look for content, not quality: face expressions, poses, and most of all - emotions. 
How long does it take to see the edited photographs?
After you have chosen your package and your favourites, I aim to finish editing within 2 weeks for 5-10 photographs, or up to 4 weeks for more. Please note, these are only guidelines and will depend on how long my editing queue is. Also, I have two young children and mainly work while they are at school, hence your photographs might take slightly longer during school holidays or if my girls are unwell. Rest assured, I will do my best to deliver your images as quickly as possible. 
What is “editing”? 
Editing involves adjusting contrast, brightness, colours etc to make the photographs look and feel like what I saw and felt on the day. I apply very delicate retouching to the skin to keep it natural, but to get rid of any temporary imperfections (e.g. blemishes, redness, or a sneaky smear of chocolate on a toddlers face) or signs of tiredness (e.g. shadows under the eyes). I want you to look good, but still human with skin texture, stray hair, and a twinkle in your eye.    
What is your cancellation policy?
Once you have paid the session fee, your booking is secured. If you cancel less than 3 weeks in advance for any reason, the session fee is non-refundable, but we can find another date that will suit you. If you cancel more than 3 weeks in advance, I will refund your session fee. 
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