preparing for your studio Session


useful information on preparing for your portrait session

May we offer the following advice so that you are informed and prepared in advance for your professional photographic portrait session.

What you will see when you arrive and what will happen

And that’s it really; if you have young children, or even nervous parents, we are expert at settling you all in so you’re all ready to have fun…so…

Relax and Enjoy

We usually have a set way of working to start with, to get people comfortable in front of the camera, and thereafter we’ll see how the mood takes us! There’s no rush and we are especially good at relaxing young children & introducing them to the studio lights & cameras in a creative way.

Our aim is to capture the spirit of your family, everyone will definitely have fun and we’re good at setting a relaxing and enjoyable mood during the session. The more at-ease everyone is, the better the photographic outcome. Please raise any concerns that you or any family members have immediately and we’re sure we’ll be able to resolve them before we start.

What to Wear

The most important advice is to be yourself and don’t wear anything that you wouldn’t feel comfortable with normally, as it will easily show in your body language in the photo. We prefer a relaxed, comfortable environment, so you’re not obliged to wear formal gear such as suit, tie, etc, but there are no rules, just guidelines - just be you. We usually shoot against a white background, sometimes black.

  1. Soft pale colours are good; bright patterns, stripes and clashing colours usually stand out too much and ‘take over’ the picture, where really we’re aiming to capture the mood and personality of the individual/group.

  1. It's nice if everyone wears similar colours, so that you all tone in together, but not essential; greys & whites work quite well.

  1. Black isn't good as the studio lighting can show white undergarments and also is not very forgiving with lint on the garment, etc.

  1. Pure white isn’t recommended, too, as you may blend too much into the background, but it’s OK for some white.

  1. If you’re all a bunch of rebels and don’t like to follow the rules, then hey - don’t mind me - it’s your show so bring a change of clothing to impress me! Definitely bring a change of clothing for younger kids.

  1. Clothes with logo's are not recommended as they can infringe copyright, etc.; besides, whichever label is in this year will be ‘sooo out’ next year…so avoid the flash-backs!

  1. You will be asked to remove watches as they can reflect the studio flash

  1. Trousers are preferred, as you may be sitting on the floor a lot (depending on the session chosen); jeans are perfectly OK.

  1. We will ask you to take your shoes off so make sure your socks are clean or your bare feet are well-manicured!

  1. Wearing jewellery is normal, please may we ask you to consider not wearing shiny jewellery, as, like watches, they may reflect the flash.

Foundation Make-up

It’s often good advice to have some foundation around to dab out perspiration marks on the face if it gets a bit hot under the lights; we deliberately don’t bring our own, recognising that some people may have allergies, etc. Again, this is not essential, but our feedback is that previous clients have appreciated this advice up-front.

Babies and Children

If we are shooting children under 5 years old, we will require your prior-written permission to use the studio-flashes. We will not use studio flash for children under 3 months or children sensitive to flash, however, in these cases we simply use standard lighting or even natural lighting from a window to obtain the perfect light. Make sure you bring your child’s favourite small toy or blanket, etc to relax them. Children move fast and won’t sit still, so let them play their own game and we’ll get some magical images for you.

Props - musical instruments - favourite toys - hats - sporting gear

If they can get through the door - bring ‘em!

What Happens After the Session

After the session, it takes about a week to process all the images. We then present you with a portfolio of images for you to look at for a few days via a private internet link; it’s important that you take time to look at the portfolio over a period of time so that you know your final choices are the ones that will stand the test of time. We don’t do hard sell - we give YOU the room to select the pictures that YOU like, that YOU want in YOUR own time.

  1. It’s important that you see the final portfolio images in the best quality - no ‘thumb-print’ images that you can’t see properly -  so, we give you access to a secure internet website page that has all your images on so you can browse in the comfort of your own home; we can also show you full-size images on our pro-laptop if you prefer for your final choice – this is often useful to give you a perfect colour rendition as our laptops are professionally colour-balanced and calibrated and will give you an accurate view of what you will see in the final print.

About 2 weeks after your session I book a time to visit you to go through your final selections; I can bring frame and picture samples for you to look at, plus we can discuss different image styles etc. and can show you these directly on the laptop, so, again, you see exactly what you get before you order.

After you have made your final choice, you fill in an order form with the image number & print size, and sign the form so that we know you’ve made your own choice. If you’ve purchased additional products, you can enter these in too and pay in advance. Depending on the products you have ordered it takes about a week for them to be printed and passed directly to you and your family.

Any Final Burning Questions?

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask, there really is no such thing as a silly question. Either phone me or email me on

     Take the duvet off your bed to reveal your white sheet. Place all the clothes you intend to wear for the shoot on top; go and have a cup of tea for 15 minutes and return to the bedroom. If the laid-out clothes blend together you have the perfect combination – if certain clothes clash or colours jump out at you then you’re going to get the same effect in the session images, so possibly consider another combination!

cheshire portrait photography

When you enter the studio venue we will have already set up our equipment, which will be 2 large rectangular light-boxes with flash-heads inside them, a large white draping backdrop with another set of flash-heads that are used to blanche out the background - and there will be me with some big cameras and maybe a tripod. We use radio triggers to set the flashes off in sync with the camera so there will be very few cables around, normally just the power leads.

We set the colour balance and exposure of the flashes before you arrive, but we may have to stick some light-meters infront of you occasionally and a grey card and colour chart that are used to balance the colour back at the computer-end. You really won’t notice the flash guns when we shoot; these are not like the ones attached to your camera, they are not in your line of sight and definitely don’t dazzle you or leave spots in your eyes; the big light boxes diffuse the light significantly.

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