how to prepare kids for a studio shoot

How to get the best out of your children during a studio photoshoot. Children & family photographer based in Essex also covering Suffolk, Cambridge & Hertfordshire

Studio shoots are not always that thrilling for young children: Kids are confined to a space, asked by parents to behave, sit nicely, smile but in a non creepy way and stop hitting their sibling.  Sometimes they just wake up from a nap and at times not even allowed that snack until the shoot is over because we (mum) don’t want crumbs on the new top.

I get it, from both sides. So let me give you these simple (some obvious) tips:

  • Do tell your child, especially if he/she is young that you are going to go somewhere to have pictures taken today. Its nice to get them involved but no need to ‘oversell’ the idea, just let them know you’d like some nice pictures and maybe give a couple to Nana too.
  • Bribery – of course we NEVER do that, right? But a little incentive – I prefer that term – goes a long way. It can be a little something they can get after the shoot but as a parent this is probably the most obvious tip we all have already thought about and put into practise for any other situations requiring your child’s cooperation.
  • For little ones, avoid booking a session too close to their nap or feeding time. Ideally plan it after their nap or in the morning right after breakfast.
  • Avoid more than 2 outfits changes and choose clothes that are easy to put on. Babies and young children can get easily frustrated at being forced into a roll neck – forget there’s reindeers on it and its for Christmas, the kiddos are probably already too hot and won’t be too impressed

That’s it really – You do not need to do anymore to prepare your child because I simply take care of the rest…

First of all I try to keep the sessions short so that no one gets bored. I work fast and respond to the childs moods so whether he/she sits still or runs around I adapt because more importantly you’ll get the most natural images. If you child is of the bouncy nature, there is absolutely no point in asking him to sit still.

I always introduce myself to the children and take interest in their likes. It is important to form a bond before I start snapping away, I need to establish that connection and gain their trust. I love getting to a child’s level – probably because I think they have a magical  life and I envy that or because I still haven’t matured quite yet myself?! – I find it easy to find topics of discussion with your little ones and usually get the most shy ones on my side eventually.

But THE most important tip I will give is that whatever the outcome of the shoot, whatever mood your child is in, do not stress or get angry at them. One because children pick up on parents emotions quite quickly and will never respond in the way we want them to, also because I want you to trust fully what I am doing and rest assured that I always get more than enough images for you to choose. I only need 125th of a second to snap that brief smile after all.

Young children will often play up – please do not stress, I have children I understand and I always allocate plenty of time for a session so you are not time limited.

And comes the very worst case scenario (which has not happened yet) we can always reschedule your shoot… All is under control

  • Grandparents, we know you mean well…

When it comes to the way I work I also ask parents to bring only those people to be included in the pictures – if possible. Only because it gets quickly crowded in the studio, too noisy or distracting for the little ones. Especially for young children, excessive stimulation of people trying to entertain during the shoot can get them cranky and tired very quickly. I also get the children to interact with me, with minimum people around it is much easier to establish that connection. As much as I found it once super entertaining to watch Nana dance, sing and do muppet theatre behind my back to make her grandson smile, it made it really confusing for this little boy to know where to look or even understand what was going on!

Ultimately what we have at the end of the session is kiddos who had fun and parents leaving happy.

To book a session in the studio, drop me a line at info@fairweatherphotography.co.uk

If you are subscriber to my mailing list, I have also just sent today a Special offer for Fathers Day, running between 8th May to the 8th June so check out your email or subscribe today and I will email it to you to pronto! I usually only send no more than 6 emails a year so you will never get bombarded by emails and I never share your details with third parties. Subscribe here:



I also often attend the Basking Babies massage sessions as a special guest offering a Basking Babies special tariff on the day I am invited. If you would like to enquire about baby massage and baby yoga I invite you to visit www.baskingbabies.co.uk and check out those awesome classes for mums & babies

Stéphanie Fairweather – Family Photographer 07854815859

 

 

Baby & children photographer in Essex, Cambridge, Hertfordshire, Suffolk 

Fun, relaxed and beautifully natural baby & child photography – Fairweather Photography – Family photographer based in Essex

‘Never work with children’?? You’re kidding me…

  • Between March 2017 and March 2018 I photographed 127 babies 🙌

Family shoots are most definitely one of my favourite type of assignments. Children rock.

I am often asked if I get lots of non compliant children. Let me tell you that children have their bad days like us, fact. A child who has not napped, been woken up, is hungry or coming down with a cold will understandably not be that willing to pose for pictures… combined with a new place and meeting a new face it wouldn’t be reasonable to expect them to be all smiles immediately.

Children pick up on parents stress or anger so a shoot can quickly escalate into a not so pleasant experience for all. Yet I love those shoots because understanding and knowing all of the above help you making sure it goes fabulous.  I am a mother myself. I sympathise with the mother on all aspects of motherhood and I admire children’s quirky personalities.

I love interacting with babies & young children. I respect their mood, I sympathise with them at times, I show interest in their likes and I give them space. Eventually they come around the idea of being photographed. But not everyone can do this – because you see, in my view, children are very shrewd and if you do not genuinely enjoy their company, they will pick up on it…./ 

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I’d like to think that my ability to connect with children of all ages is due mainly from this authenticity. Part of me believes that its also because I will always be a child at heart.

My son recently told me he didn’t want to get older because he loved his life as a child and that adults have lots of worries, not so much fun and they have to work. A conclusion he came up to himself or could it be something that I kind of implied in previous conversations? Not that it is what I think about adult life but I guess I wanted my sons to realise how awesome childhood can be and probably put more positive emphasis on the life as a child.

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  • I want my portraits to depict a happy moment, show ecstatic faces and huge smiles. I want them to be quirky, dynamic & entertaining. I want them to make you smile.

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Whether you choose studio shoots or outdoor shoots, remember that it is all about enjoying the experience. Your child isn’t in the greatest moods that day? just don’t you worry, I have tons of patience when it comes to children – other than mine that is. I will not judge your parenting skills or your child’s behaviour. I am a mother, I know what parenthood is….

…simply amazing right ? (with some not such great days in between, meh!) but WOW, you guys make such great pics together!

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To enquire or book your family shoot, click here

Baby and children photographer Essex

Stéphanie Fairweather – Baby & Family Photographer. And mother to 2 of these 4 equally crazy kiddos above

07854 815 859

Essex wedding photographer Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Cambridge, Kent

Bright & Bold bridal boho styled shoot with an awesome team of Essex & London based wedding suppliers – Location: South Farm wedding venue in Hertfordshire

I love weddings and I love boho so boho inspired weddings got my thumbs up. Teamed with vibrant colours and set in beautiful gardens, its even better. Boho has always been on trend and is probably one of the most (internet) searched styles for the cool & modern brides-to-be wanting a laid back yet elegant overall look.

For this styled bridal shoot, I met up with the super friendly Laura from Rock the day styling. She had the knowledge and experience I needed to put this together. We arranged to do the shoot at the beautiful Hertfordshire wedding venue South Farm which provided the team with a choice of outdoors areas perfect for Alex from Vintage Garden Weddings and Laura to style the sitting areas and macrame backdrops. I was lucky to have on board an array of wedding experts joining us..

  • It was a day full of colourful gorgeousness and creative magic which you can only have when you get such passionate wedding experts together.

Do grab a drink and enjoy perusing the images…

Happy wedding planning x

The dream wedding team:

Coordination & Styling – Rock the day styling

Wedding dresses 2 piece – Lucy can’t dance

Wedding dress – Rock The Frock

Headpieces & jewellery – PS With Love

Veils – Sash & Veil

Hair & make up – Knot your average bride

Outdoors props, tableware & backdrops – Vintage Garden Weddings

Wedding Stationary: Wonderland Invites

Florist – Stock Florist

Grazing platters – Grape & Fig

Marshmallows – La Maison Guimauve

Wedding venue – South Farm

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  • To create this stunning floor levelled grazing area, moroccan cushions were scattered on embroidered throws, the food platters were heavily laden with a great selection of mouth watering cheese, cold meats, nuts, fresh & dried fruits.

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  • Zoe from Knot your average bride used neutral colours for the model makeup with emphasis on darker lips to match the florals and bold colours of the overall set up. It complimented beautifully the dresses from Lucy Can’t Dance which 2 pieces gave us total versatility for mixing styles.

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  • The simplicity of the suspended macrame from Vintage Garden weddings certainly didn’t lack in style creating a magical corner. The off the shoulder dress from Rock The Frock oozed feminine style.

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  • The props from Vintage Garden Weddings transformed this simple table into a decadent dining corner.

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  • The menu crafted by Wonderland Invites with its exquisite scrawled calligraphy and unique hand painted watercolour design completed the set up perfectly.

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A fun packed but also very busy day with fabulous results. Stock Florist created flower magic in the gardens with little instructions, decorating the arch, the bridge, the gypsy caravans and tables as well as providing the gorgeous wedding bouquets.

No boho goddess looks would be complete without the beautiful bridal headpieces and jewellery from PS with Love and the veils from Sash & Veil.

A veritable oasis of vibrant colours, beautiful boho styling and carefree summer feelings, it’s full of lush ideas for couples who want a day that’s as laid-back as they are but still packs a total punch. As quoted on the awesome blog on And So To Wed

Our gorgeous models for the day Jess & Natalie, who showed tons of patience and endured a rather cold day but stayed all smiles throughout!:

And a little behind the scene:

Stéphanie Fairweather – Wedding & Portrait photographer

Email Stephanie

 

 

New parents: why newborn & family portrait sessions in your own home are more relaxing – Essex based Family & Baby Photographer, Fairweather Photography

New to parenthood? I’ve been there.

As a mother of 2 not so little kiddos, I (vaguely) remember those first weeks after my return from the maternity, it was a mixture of elation and exhaustion. I felt immense pride whilst it seems too unreal a the same time to think those 2 human beings were mine and there to stay.

A a new parent it takes some adjusting to this new life and routine with a baby, most of us wish to record these first moments, we’ve been told it all goes so fast… So whilst it is on the mind of a lot of parents to capture those first weeks it is also a real chore for any new parent to travel to a studio for a shoot. There is just so much to bring, we feel tired before we even left the house.

And this is why ‘at home’ shoots are getting so popular. Most newborn shoots that I am booked for are now shoots arranged in the parents home. From a parents prospective it is a lot less stressful and everything that is needed for baby is on hand. I will fit around the feeds or midwife appointments, I will not rush you in any way.  Plus I am happy to travel anywhere and all my equipment is portable. I adjust to any surroundings and only need a short glance around the house to see what areas to use for the shoot. It is that simple.

And you don’t even need to tidy your house or make me a cup of tea! Remember, I’ve been there.

I want this to be a positive happy enjoyable experience. I am there for you and your new family, I will advise you on what works best picture wise and once you are happy with the number of images, I will leave you in peace.

Its  always such a privilege to be invited to people’s home to photograph the parents first weeks with their newborn. I simply love capturing those moments and take a lot of joy in observing how the mother & father bond with and adapt to their new arrival. To book a newborn shoot I advise you contact me as early as possible in your pregnancy to book a provisional date shortly after your due date. I will of course keep the date flexible as newborns rarely arrive on the due date! Newborn shoots are best booked 7 to 10 days post partum. Wishing all new mums-to-be a healthy pregnancy and look forward to meeting lots of new babies in 2018!

For this ‘at home’ photoshoot below, I was asked to travel near Oxford and spent just over a couple of hours with the parents, the new member of the family and Neve, the ever so sweet family boxer pet who took on her big sister new role very seriously… x

Baby & family photographer Essex, Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, UKBaby & family photographer Essex, Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, UKBaby & family photographer Essex, Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, UK   

Stéphanie Fairweather – Baby & Family Photographer covering Essex and the UK

For newborn shoot it is advised to book approx 7 to 10 days post partum although not essential.

Fancy viewing another relaxed at home shoot, head over to this ‘at home newborn shoot’

To enquire about prices, gift vouchers or to book a session please call me on 07854 815 859 or email me at info@fairweatherphotography.co.uk

  • I have the privilege of working regularly with the Basking Babies offering during some of their sessions mini photoshoots for mum and baby. This massage group offers new mums the opportunity to learn about the benefit and technics of baby massage. If you’d like to enquire further, do check them out: http://www.baskingbabies.co.uk

 

Modern wedding photographer Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridge, Suffolk, UK

1920 Gatsby inspired bridal vintage styled shoot with an awesome team of Essex based wedding suppliers – coordinated by Fairweather Photography – Wedding Photography covering Essex and all of the UK

I love the 1920s period, for its art deco shapes and fashion glamour. My great aunt who lived till the great age of 103 and was an important part of my childhood, adolescence and young adult life, was born in 1899 and therefore lived the 1920s in her twenties. She was such an elegant lady – smelling of rose powder, even in her older days, I can only imagine she looked fabulous at that time.

Bridal Looks: There are so many bridal styles that I totally love (boho, ethereal, modern…), it would be almost impossible for me to choose just the one if I was to get married these days but I have come across some 1920 inspired bridal blogs and I particularly like this look for a bride. The make up is bold, strong and sexy, the hair is elegant, oozing femininity and glamour.

The Photoshoot: For this styled bridal shoot that I arranged in my studio, I wanted to involve a few local wedding suppliers whose products and services would suit this 1920s style I was after. Beverley from PS with Love makes beautiful delicate bridal headpieces & jewellery, she was happy to join us and supplied me with a range of intricate hair accessories that complimented beautifully the overall look. Michelle Lacey from Bumblebee bridal did a fab job styling the hair and make up for my model Alice. After setting up the studio accordingly, adding the stunning art deco backdrop made by Alex from Vintage Garden Weddings, I was excited to be putting it altogether once I decided on the look I wanted to achieve for my model. Bev and Michelle provided great assistance with the realisation of the vision.

I am leaving you now with the images from this fabulous collaboration hoping they will provide brides-to-be with some inspiration if this era is one they would love to incorporate and recreate on their special day x

The wedding suppliers:

Headpieces Jewellery: PS With Love, Colchester – http://www.pswithlove.co.uk

Hair & Make Up: Michelle Lacey from Bumblebee Bridal, Braintree – http://www.bumblebeebridal.co.uk

Art Deco backdrop & prop: Vintage Garden Weddings, Braintree – http://www.vintagegardenweddings.co.uk

Bridal Gowns: Eliza Jane Howell gowns http://www.elizajanehowell.com from MiliMili, Colchester – http://www.milimili.co.uk

Concept, Styling & Photography: Fairweather Photography

Model: Alice

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Stephanie Fairweather – A lover of weddings and everything pretty!

2018 or 2019 bride? I’d love to hear about your special day. To book my services or to enquire and arrange an informal non-obligation chat, just contact me at info@fairweatherphotography.co.uk or call me on 07854 815 859.

Alternative Lifestyle Wedding Photographer Essex, London, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, UK

The crisp and sunny Spring wedding of Helen & Mark at the pretty Widford St Marys church & Houchins wedding venue in Essex – Stephanie Fairweather, wedding photographer in Essex & the UK

I very much enjoyed the early Spring wedding of Helen & Mark. First for its people – friendly and loving, second for its atmosphere of the day – relaxed and fun.

Helen and her girls got ready at the beautiful Houchins venue on the morning of the wedding until being picked up by her father in a vintage Daimler car who drove them both to the pretty St Mary church in Chelmsford. Following the ceremony all guests enjoyed drinks on the church gardens before travelling back to Houchins for the rest of the festivities. Helen and Mark’s venue decor was inspired by their love of travel and most of the DIY decorations were the results of love for attention to details.

I thoroughly enjoyed this day – mostly because Helen & Mark are an incredibly friendly bunch. But the added surprise  for me was when I was asked a few weeks later to do this all over again for the wedding of Helen’s little sister who has now booked me for next summer – its got to be the best feedback ever!.. And as the groom is ‘francais’, there’ll be mixed conversing in both languages so Vickie (my dear assistant), you’d better brush up on your French as I’ll be testing you next month.

Wishing Helen & Mark an amazing life together x

Alternative Lifestyle Wedding Photographer Essex, London, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, UK Alternative Lifestyle Wedding Photographer Essex, London, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, UK Alternative Lifestyle Wedding Photographer Essex, London, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, UK Alternative Lifestyle Wedding Photographer Essex, London, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, UK Alternative Lifestyle Wedding Photographer Essex, London, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, UK

Church: St Marys Chelmsford

Wedding Venue: Houchins, Coggeshall

Make Up: Zoe Cornwell – Knot Your Average Bride & Leanne Green – LM Make Up

Hair: Claire Louise Hair & Zoe Cornwell

Bridal Gown from The Wedding Shop, Colchester

Bridal shoes: John Lewis, Rainbow club

Bridesmaids dresses: ASOS

Grooms suit: Ted Baker

Best man & usher suits: Next

Caterer: Sweet Success

Evening Band: One Two Step

Flowers, cake, table decorations, outdoor entertainment & stationary: Family friend

Fancy finding out why I always work with an assistant at weddings? Then head over to this blog ‘the role of a wedding assistant’

Stephanie Fairweather – A lover of weddings & a professional photographer

If you just got engaged or are planning your wedding and would like me to photograph your special day, I’d be happy to hear from you. Contact me either by email at info@fairweatherphotography.co.uk or by phone on 07854 815 859.

Currently taking bookings for 2018 and 2019