Useful Information Before You Book
I am a full-time professional photographer with 11 years experience doing photo shoots. I've worked with people on The X Factor, The Voice and Britain's Got Talent, many magazines, and models who've gone on to work with Burberry, Versace, Julian Macdonald and Vivienne Westwood.
People regularly travel from all over the UK and occasionally abroad to work with me. Most are not models; they are normal people from all walks of life who want to work with a professional photographer who has the experience to make them feel comfortable and look great in photos.
This page offers more information and answers to the questions people commonly ask before you book.
The Unique Benefits of Working With Me:
• BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS - Would you rather have an established professional photographer with a great reputation who cares about the results, or an impersonal company that hires student photographers, offers no guarantee and only cares about getting as many people through the door as possible?
How It Works
You shoot can be any combination of styles, whether fashion, portraits, headshots, dance, glamour or something else. People often want to try some of each. When you book I'll send a confirmation email which has lots of suggestions of what clothes and accessories to bring. Some people have specific looks in mind that they want me to create; most just want a portfolio with my input on what styles would suit them. Either way, we will discuss it when you first arrive for the shoot and together pinpoint exactly what photos would be most beneficial and fun for you to do.
There is always music on while we do the shoot, and you're welcome to bring your own (iPod or CDs).
There's a lot of good looking people on my website, but you don't need to be a model - most people who work with me aren't, and the majority have never done a photo shoot before. Plenty of them are convinced they're not photogenic and certainly not all are skinny! I'm used to working with all shapes, sizes and ages. So don't worry if you're a bit camera-shy - that's another reason people choose me, because I'm good at making people comfortable. I'm not expecting you to have any knowledge of modelling or poses. I'll give you direction all the way through and make it easy for you.
What You Get
A couple of days after the shoot, you'll get a CD of all the images. These are the digital master versions of all the images taken during the shoot, in high resolution so you can have them printed or use them as often and in any way you like. There are no logos on them and you do not need to credit me when using them (although it's nice if you do!)
For just £20 extra on the day of the shoot, you can also have an additional CD with all the photos in black and white versions, which often looks more artistic and striking. If you've opted for that then you'll get both CDs together in the post.
After receiving the CD, depending on how many you want retouched (and it's optional, so you don't need to choose any), you simply choose the images you like best from the CD and email me with the numbers of the ones you want retouched. I then do the retouching work and send you a new CD, about a week later, with the edited, finished versions of your selected images (in both colour and black and white versions at no extra cost).
What Happens on the Day
On the day of the shoot you bring a variety of outfits/accessories/props that suit the looks and ideas you want to go for. (And my email when you book has lots of suggestions of what to bring.) If you're not sure exactly what styles of photo you want, we can discuss it, either on the day of the shoot or on the phone beforehand. When you arrive, we'll discuss the outfits/looks/ideas. Then you'll have make-up and hair done (if you've opted for a make-up artist). We'll do some warm-up shots to get you comfortable in front of the camera, and then proceed with the shoot. The photos always get better and better as we go along as you relax and discover the whole process is fun!
With each outfit/idea there'll be a different lighting setup, and you'll get a chance to review the pics we've just taken to make sure you're happy before moving on to the next look.
What If I'm Not Photogenic?
A large number of people I work with are apprehensive about having their picture taken because they're convinced they're not photogenic or they have always hated photos of themselves they've seen in the past. They're also worried they will somehow end up feeling silly on the day. This anxiety is completely normal! A bit of nervous energy actually helps.
An additional benefit of doing a photo shoot with me is that you will gradually unlearn all the negative conditioning you've had with photos in the past. So you can relax - I'll give you lots of direction, find your best angles and the whole shoot will be more enjoyable than you expected. You'll learn that actually you can take a great photo, and you'll lose your awkwardness around cameras in the process.
It's my responsibility to tell you what to do and make you look great. You just have to show up!
Do I Have To Be a Certain Age?
I work with people of all ages from 10 and up. It doesn't matter if you're a teenager or a grandmother; we will do photos that capture you at your best.
Do You Do Gift Vouchers?
Yes! Please ask when you email or call to book.
Am I Vain to Want Photos of Myself?
Of course not! Most people when they're older wish they had nice photos from when they were young and beautiful! The photos you take now will last forever and will also be useful whenever you need to produce a photo of yourself for work, an online profile or whatever. A lot of people come to me to 'capture their looks' before they get older. You don't need a reason to want nice photos!
Can I Bring a Friend?
You're welcome to bring a friend or parent to watch. Just make sure it's someone you'd feel comfortable with watching you and not someone who will put you off.
If you're a dancer, it's useful to bring another dancer, as they can give you feedback on your technique ("point your toes", etc.)
How Many Outfits Should I Bring?
The exact number of looks we can do depends on how much time we spend on each one perfecting it, and also how much time we spend on make-up. It's entirely up to you how we spend the time. The confirmation info I'll send when you book has lots of suggestions appropriate for the package you book.
Doing/changing professional make-up takes about an hour. So, in the full day Deluxe package shoot some people want just four very specific looks, each with unique make-up, and fine tuning each pose to get it perfect. At the other end of the scale, some people bring ten different outfits, go with a single make-up look throughout, and get a wide range of pictures without spending too long on any one look.
Can I Do Semi-Nude Photos as Part of the Shoot?
Many people want one or more tasteful semi-nude photos as part of the photo shoot, although of course you don't have to! If that's something you think you might like to try (and you're over 18), I have lots of reference images you can look at when you're here to find styles and poses that you want to do. There are lots of things you can do that give the impression of nudity without actually showing anything, and you can check all the way along to make sure you like the way they're looking.
Any photos we do are completely private, just for your use, and will not be used anywhere (including my website) without your permission.
Can I Bring Alcohol?
Sometimes if people are nervous or camera shy, they like to have a glass of wine at the start of the shoot to help them relax. It can make a huge difference to your confidence and the naturalness of your expressions. So feel free to bring a bottle if you feel that will help. You wouldn't be the first!
I live and work in Ealing, in West London. It's near Ealing Broadway station, which is on both the Central and District lines, and only 10 minutes from Paddington by overland train. (If you'd rather work on location somewhere else (indoor or outdoor), let me know what you have in mind.)
My studio location is in a pretty residential area. The full address is 3 Marchwood Crescent, Ealing, London W5 2DZ. Then it's the buzzer with my name on.
Directions from Ealing Broadway station:
Take the road across the middle of the green (where the bus stops are), and continue straight after passing the traffic lights. The road you'll find yourself on after the green is Castlebar Road. Then you take the second right off it, which is Blakesley Avenue, and after about five minutes you'll see the abbey, which is the entrance to my road, Marchwood Crescent. My place is a short way along on your right. (3 Marchwood Crescent).
It takes about 10 minutes to walk there from Ealing Broadway station, or 4 mins by taxi. There is a taxi rank right outside the station.
Make-up for Men and Women (Optional)
I only use the best, fully trained professional make-up artists. Professional photographic make-up will make you look your best in the photos, and you can also ask for a glamorous and exotic make-up style that you wouldn't be able to do normally. She will do whatever style you prefer, including very natural if you're not used to make-up. Booking a make-up artist is optional, because sometimes people prefer to do their own make-up and hair, or to bring a friend to do it, either of which is fine.
Professional make-up takes longer than everyday make-up, and will take up the initial portion of the shoot. The packages are designed with this in mind. If you are good at doing your own make-up or have a specific way you like it, then you could opt to do it yourself, which will mean we'll spend a greater proportion of the shoot time taking photos. People often like to do this as it means you will save money and get extra photos. If the photos are for professional use, however, a make-up artist is probably worthwhile.
Men often wonder whether it's normal for them to book a make-up artist on a shoot. The answer is yes, just as you would have make-up done on TV or in a movie. The make-up will be more subtle than on a woman, and will enhance your features and skin complexion without looking like you're wearing make-up.
Basic retouching is an important stage in the image making process, and is what gives the photos a polished, magazine feel while still looking natural. It removes skin blemishes and lines, plus subtly slims any body parts that need it. If you want to look younger or slimmer, retouching is what does that (but still in a natural way). Whatever you're insecure about, retouching can help improve. Typically people want 5-10 images from their shoot retouched, but itís entirely optional.
How to Pay
In order to book I'll need a non-refundable deposit from you, and then the remainder you just pay on the day of the shoot. (Or earlier if you prefer, for example if it's a gift.)
My prices do go up periodically, so book your shoot now to avoid paying more.
I get booked up 1-2 weeks in advance on weekdays. I can also do weekday evenings and weekends. Please bear in mind that weekends tend to get booked up the fastest, as much as 2 months in advance. Ask me for my availability if you have specific dates in mind.