Today I’m continuing my series of blog posts that answer frequently asked questions, and am talking all about planning consultations – what they are, what they involve, and how they can help you walk away with photographs you love.
In short a planning consultation is just a conversation between you and I that takes place before the shoot. It can be on the phone or over Skype – whichever you would prefer, and generally lasts around 20-30 minutes. We’ll usually schedule it when you make your booking, Every one of these conversations I have is different, because every family is different but there are a few topics that we’ll cover every time. Read on to find out more about these.
What’s Important to Your Family
Whenever I meet a family for a photography session, it’s really important to me that I get to know them and find out what makes them ‘them.’ I love the fact that each family’s photo shoot can include a little of their personality and character. For most families investing in a photography session isn’t something you do on a regular basis so being able to capture the things that are important to you right now helps to preserve the memory of this time.
So what kind of ‘important memories’ do families include in a session? Here are some examples of special moments and milestones I’ve captured in sessions recently:
In newborn sessions families have brought along a special blanket from grandma, special cuddly toys and some thank you gifts that one mum had made.
In a recent maternity session my client chose her London neighbourhood as the location for her shoot, so that she could include a piece of her life before children
In one family session this Spring the youngest family member was just learning to walk so her parents brought along her walker so we could capture this special milestone. In other sessions recently families have chosen to include bicycles, musical instruments, football and rugby balls, books and even a trip to a favourite ice cream stand.
For newborn sessions the question of location is easy – they take place at my in-home studio in East Molesey. But for family and maternity sessions we have lots of options. Some families choose to have their session at home, some in an outdoor location, and some will split the time between both. When we speak on the phone this is one of the things we’ll discuss.
I always like to find out whether there are any locations that are meaningful to your family – if so you may like to take the photographs there. I can also make suggestions of lovely locations around Surrey and South West London and which might suit your family best, and during this conversation we’ll usually agree a location for the shoot.
If you have a baby I may suggest that we spend some or all of the session at your home. Find out more about shoots with babies here.
What To Wear
Top of most mums’ list when we have the planning consultation is to chat about what everyone will wear. When you book your session I’ll send you my digital guide, which includes lots of guidance on choosing what everyone wears, but the planning consultation gives us plenty of time to talk through options and for you to ask any questions about outfits before the shoot.
The planning consultation is also a great opportunity for you to ask any other questions that you have about the shoot, how to prepare, or what to expect afterwards. I always want you to feel well prepared and relaxed for your session so encourage you to ask as many as you would like! And if you think of any other questions after the call, you can always get in touch to ask me at a later time.
Over to you
I hope this gives you a good overview of what to expect from a planning consultation. What other questions do you have? I’d love to hear – you can drop me a note and let me know here.