Common questions

What facilities do you have at your studio?
I welcome you & your family to enjoy a unique portrait experience.  Relax in a warm, private studio setting located in my family home. Kitchen & dining spaces are available for your use if required. There are toys and extra spaces for children to play when they are not required for photographing, or if they just need a break. In warmer weather, the outdoor area can be used for play and/or break times.

What if my children misbehave?
All children misbehave sometimes, especially when they are feeling under pressure or unsure of a situation. So it is very common for children of all ages to protest to some requests at some level. Toddlers especially can be unpredictable. Some kids love the experience of being photographed, some warm to it after a while, and others find it too intimidating. I’m a family portrait photographer who also has a 5 year old and a 3 year old. I’m used to expecting anything from kids, and I know it’s normal! I try to work with you to make your child feel safe and calm and enjoy the experience. I’m very patient with whatever situation arises.
Bribery always helps too!!

How long will my portrait session take?
There are different session times needed for different portrait subjects. Sessions involving toddlers and young kids will be half an hour to an hour. It really depends how long the kids last, so I try to be perceptive to when they are over it. Portrait sessions involving adults and older kids will be around 45mins to an hour. Business portrait sessions will be approximately 20mins to 40 mins duration. Often there will be time taken in photo sessions for clothing changes to get a range of different looks in the images.

Why do newborn sessions take so long? 
Newborn sessions can take up to 3 hours depending on the feeding and settling time needed to create a sleepy, relaxed baby. Some babies will sleep the whole sessions and others will need a lot of time out and never really settle well. Every newborn baby is different. Having a relaxed, non-pressured environment for both mum and baby helps the process greatly (The studio is kept at a warm temperature to ensure your babies comfort at all times). Various settings and positions for baby to be photographed in is desirable for the photo session. Working with baby to keep them settled and calm during this process takes patience. Ideally newborns should be hungry and ready for a sleep when they turn up for their session. A good feed and a sleep is exactly what we want to get the most out of their portrait session.

Should I choose a studio or location setting for my portraits?
There are a number of things to consider in making this decision. What style do you prefer? Studio portraits have a backdrop used with either studio or natural lighting so backgrounds are plain. The focus is on the subjects, their expressions and connections to each other (more than one person) or props that might be brought in to the space, e.g. a stool, toy, or personal, special object of theirs.  Location or environmental portraits are taken in either a special location to the subject, home or a picturesque setting. Subjects relate more to the environment they are in & may have the opportunity to interact with their environment. For some people this will feel more comfortable and natural if it is a setting they are familiar with.
If you are unsure I can help & make suggestions of possible local locations that would work well for your particular needs.

How should I prepare for a portrait session?
If your portrait session involves young kids try to make sure they have had enough sleep and they are not hungry. Hungry and tired kids are grumpy kids! Bring water bottles and some snacks just in case they need a refuel. Bring their favourite toy just incase they need some security. Make sure you have your nappy bag and all that you may need for young ones. I have changing facilities you may use. A change of clothes just incase of unforeseen accidents can be a good idea when bringing littlies along. We want the environment for them to be as stress free and as comfortable as possible.

Can I get my hair & make-up done for my session?
Yes, I can get my hair & make-up professional to come to my studio to do this for you. This is an extra service which is fantastic to make your experience all the more luxurious and enjoyable. You will love the results! This is an extra service, so will be an additional charge and extra time will be needed to complete this pampering service.

What should I wear?
The most important thing is to feel comfortable in what you are wearing. But other things to keep in mind are
Avoid patterned clothing (stripes, bold designs, Logos, etc) as this distracts the eye and draws the attention away from beautiful faces, reactions and connections that may be happening in the image. If more than one person, try to coordinate the colour tones that you are wearing. This means all wearing light colour tones, or all wearing dark colour tones. It doesn’t mean you need to be ‘matching’. Just lights or darks and similar colours. This is about not confusing the image too much also.
Treasuring these images for a lifetime is the aim. You will get more joy from them if your clothing is more timeless. Avoid clothing which will age in style too soon.

What should I wear for my business portrait? 
It depends on the type of business you are in and what you consider appropriate business attire for your work environment. You should wear what you would like clients or business associates to view you in. It’s all about presentation. Bring a couple of different outfits (jackets/shirts for men, blouses/tops for women) so we can capture a couple of different styles. This will give you more options to choose from. Avoid bright or bold patterns. Make sure your clothing is well presented and your personal grooming is at the standard you want it for images you may use for all types of presentation. Professional hair & make-up services can be arranged as an extra for your photo session. Just let me know if you are interested in this.

What is involved in the pre-photography consultation session?
This is a time for us to meet and for you to talk about what your desires and ideas are for your photography session so that I can best meet your needs. I’ll also take this time to get some contact details from you.  This can take place at my studio, your place, or a cafe over a coffee.

What is the viewing session?
This is the time that I show you the images from the portrait session. I usually present your images on a large screen (such as a tv) in the convenience of your home or at my studio. You will have the opportunity to select you favourite images and look at options for their display depending on your particular needs. I will work with you through this process. Coming prepared to order what you love at the viewing session ensures I can get onto creating your artworks for you straight away. I believe in a non-pressure environment for you to make your choices.

What is a full resolution digital image?
Each photograph from your portrait session or wedding is a digital file. When digital files are recorded in the camera they have enough information contained in them to print a high quality (not pixelated) large image. However, digital images that are suitable for display on the internet only need a very small amount of image information in them to look clear and good quality. They need less ‘resolution’ for a digital display device. But if you tried to print an image made for the internet, your image would come out very pixelated and very poor quality due to the low resolution. A digital file with ‘full resolution’ means that you can print it knowing that it will print well with smooth, clear results.  I offer ‘full resolution’ images that can be printed up to 8x10inch size before the quality starts to deteriorate. I’d be happy to make you web sized images specifically for sharing online if required.

What is involved in editing & post production of images?
This is the work that takes place with all of your images behind the scenes. I edit through your wedding or portrait session and pick out all the best ones where people look their best, beautiful moments that are captured or images that add to your story telling. I work through a process of adjustments to get the best from each image. Some images will require further post production using professional software and techniques. I believe in celebrating a persons specific characteristics but I will try my best to remove temporary blemishes and incidental elements that do not add to the true character of the person. Technical processes of resizing and preparing image files for presentation, framing and for purchase is also part of the post production.

What is the benefit of having an additional photographer at my wedding?
Double the eyes, double the angles, double the locations. Having a second photographer opens up the possibility of capturing two events and locations at once, such as the bride & groom getting ready at the same time in two different locations.  Two photographers at the ceremony means different angles can be covered when the important moments such as the vowels, rings being placed and the first kiss happening.  Unnoticed emotional reactions can be seen and captured, which one photographer might miss because they are focused on the moments happening withe the bride & groom. Two photographers can capture more moments of congratulations from your guests and interactions in the crowd. Double the viewpoints, angles and creativity during your bridal party and bride & groom moments. Same goes at the reception.  It’s definitely an option to consider for your big day.

Will you travel outside of Christchurch to photograph a wedding or portrait session?
Yes, I will. For locations that I can still drive to that are further than 20km from the Christchurch boundary (Belfast, Templeton, etc) I charge $1 per km to the destination and return. This helps to cover the extra petrol required and vehicle kms. For further destinations, the client must cover the travel and accommodation/catering costs.

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