Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Inside a Family Photo-Shoot

This lifestyle family photo-shoot, with the lovely Johnson family, is a typical example of what goes on in a family shoot with me, Sammi Sparke Photography.

I usually start the shoot indoors which allows you and the children to begin to get used me there and the camera. This doesn't happen quickly so I will normally suggest a few posed shots to get us started and intersperse them with catching you guys naturally in-between these shots.

After a while I suggest we change the scene, which I will have chatted to you about before the day so normally you have a good idea of where we are going. Usually a short walk or drive to a nearly park or wood, just somewhere that is a bit green, will do.

And as we're getting ready to go, because this can take a while with big families, I normally make sure I'm snapping throughout to catch some lovely moments here too.

.....and we then try a few lovely group photos with the pretty backdrop.

When we arrive back at the home we sometimes take a few more family shots in various different arrangements before heading inside.

Back inside everyone is usually a lot more relaxed, which lets me take some of my favourite, natural, photos of you guys just being you!

.......and the sillier you guys are, the better :)

As you all wind down we wrap things up and generally that is my cue to pack up and leave. 

The family shoots are designed to last no longer than 2 hours and if small children are involved and need a nap I will endeavour to get photos involving them taken before they head off to sleep. 

One big tip to make these kinds of generational family shoots run smoothly is the following: When I arrive at a family home where different generations of family are gathered together especially for the shoot there are a number of things running through my head. My first thoughts and hopes are that if you guys have not seen each other in a long time, that you have had long enough catching up with each other before the shoot so you are at ease in each other's company

This really does make the whole process so much easier and fun. 

So if you fancy booking a family lifestyle photo-shoot then do it today! 

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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Inside a Children's lifestyle Shoot

This shoot, with the very sweet Scarlett, shows you what kind of photos you might end up with if you book a shoot with me and what you can expect during a child lifestyle photo-shoot.

I usually start indoors and I allow some time for the children to get used to me and grow less self conscious or shy. I do this by chatting with you and them while simultaneously taking photos at opportune moments.

In this shoot Scarlett was keen to play in the garden. Regularly however, we also use a child's bedroom as a backdrop for some photos because children are often quite proud of their rooms and the fun colours make for great pics, plus favourite toys can be incorporated this way too.

With Scarlett we did a number of changes of clothes but this isn't always necessary or workable during a shoot. A change of clothes is however a great idea to give you variety in the finished album.

Here Scarlett wanted to show us her ballet moves so if your child likes dressing up or does any kind of after school clubs (dance etc) it is fun to capture this.

After a while we move on to an outside change of location, here we picked a nearby park. 

I recommend a change of scene for all shoots, rain or shine. The outside light and natural backdrop gives you a diverse selection of interesting photos and the fun element for your children really helps me capture some happy faces and natural smiles.


The light outside, at certain times of year, can be a blessing for photographers. I don't use much artificial light at all, only fill in flash, but I always try to utilise natural light because I feel children look their absolute best photographed in this way.

At any point during the shoot, depending on you the parent(s), you have the option to get in on photo time yourself if you wish.

As you can see my photos are made up of a variety of different styles: Unposed, reportage, posed and photos with artistic enhancements.

.....And then we come inside and I usually get a few more snaps before I head off.

The shoots are designed to be receptive to the children's mood and attention span. They last no longer than 2 hours and if a child is too tired and a change of scene or snack doesn't help we will call it day.

So if you fancy booking a child photo-shoot then do it today! 

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