Information and Frequently Asked Questions:
My studio is in Woolwich Arsenal in South-East London and if you're driving, I have a parking space you can use. It's also very easy to get to on the Docklands Light Railway with direct links to Bank and Stratford on the Central Line, as well as Canning Town on the Jubilee Line. There are also direct overground trains from Charing Cross and London Bridge.
My studio location is a beautiful historic naval area (Royal Arsenal) right next to the river Thames, which we can use if you want some photos outdoors. The address is:
Do you live outside London or on the other side of town? People have come for shoots from as far away as Norway, Pakistan, Switzerland, Lebanon and Dubai. Even for maternity shoots people often travel a couple of hours to get here, which is truly humbling.
Fundamentally, if you're going to go to the effort and expense of having your photos done, it's worth going to someone whose work really appeals to you, even if you have to travel a bit to get there. Photographers aren't interchangeable like plumbers, where the nearest and cheapest one will do. Please don't come to me because I'm near you - come because you love my work and want the best!
What You Get:
Frequently Asked Questions (click to expand):
— Do you provide outfits?
I don't provide outfits as people come in all different shapes and sizes and like a wide variety of styles. The shoot is entirely customised to you, so the photos are unique and special, rather than a factory line where everyone gets identical shots in the same clothes. It's much more comfortable, hygienic, safe and practical to be in your own clothes that you know fit and are clean, rather than trying to squeeze into something potentially dodgy!
For maternity shoots, you probably won't need to order anything especially for it. A typical maternity shoot might be some in a dress, some in leggings and a boob tube or sports bra, underwear with artistic lighting, and some wrapped in billowing fabric (which I have). Please have a look at the gallery on the maternity page to see lots of examples and why you don't need to bring much. I'll also make lots more detailed suggestions when you book, in case that's useful.
— How do I get the photos and how soon?
You'll get the photos late the same evening of the day of the shoot. I'll email you a download link which will let you view and save all the images from the shoot. You'll be able to download the whole lot to your laptop, PC or Mac, and also view them on a phone or tablet.
They will be conveniently sized for emailing, phones and anywhere you'd use them online. If you also want any in huge resolution (e.g. for printing or sending to a graphic designer), just let me know which and I'll transfer them straight over to you, completely free. (The huge resolution files are too big to upload all of them initially, and generally less useful for people.)
If you'd rather I post you both huge and internet sized versions of all the images on a USB stick through the mail, that costs just £10 to cover costs.
Any professional editing you want then takes just over a week from when you let me know your selection.
— Do you offer prints?
In this digital age most people don't even want prints, but if you do, ordering them is very easy and cheap to do - just 10p for a normal size print from a company like www.photobox.co.uk.
(If a studio is offering prints with their photoshoot, you're paying a massively inflated rate for them.)
— How many photos will I get?
Part of the magic of good photography is taking lots of variations of any one pose so that you have lots of options when choosing the best ones you want to use. Most studios only let you have a few of the photos, but I find that people really like having the outtakes too, as there are often lots they like and want to use. So you'll get all the photos we take.
The number of photos in a shoot varies with how long your chosen package is, and other factors like how long you spend changing, whether you're changing your make-up, etc. We'll take at least 100 variations, though, and you'll get to keep all of them at no extra cost.
— Are the photos really all included?
Yes! Makeover studio companies usually charge £60+ per photo, after advertising a meaningless price for the shoot itself. Their entire business model depends on misleading you about how many hundreds of pounds it will actually cost you. They have salesmen whose job it is to pressure you during a "free private viewing" into spending a minimum of £700, and often more.
Not so here! Within 24 hours of the shoot, and usually the same evening, you'll get ALL the images from the shoot, at no extra cost.
— Do you do shoots for children / families?
Sorry, I don't do any kind of group or family photography or work with children. (Couples or two adults or teenagers is fine.) Family photography is a different set of skills to what I'm good at, which is working one-on-one with an adult to gently ease them into looking comfortable and give them lots of individual guidance in a way that just isn't possible in family shoots.
— What happens on the day?
On the day of the shoot you bring a variety of outfits and accessories. I'll give you lots of detailed suggestions of what to bring when you book, based on the styles you want to do.
When you arrive, we'll have a quick chat about what photo ideas would best suit you and your needs. Then 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, to make it look as good as possible.
You don't need to have any experience or know poses. It's my job to tell you what to do and make you look great. You just have to show up!
— Do you have different backgrounds / sets?
I mostly use 'seamless paper' backgrounds as they look the most professional and magazine-like, the same as you'd see in any celebrity shoot. My studio also has wooden flooring, exposed brickwork and sofas that we can use. I also sometimes use chairs, stools and various fabrics, duvets and rugs which are great for lying on.
Most makeover studios use clichéd and gimmicky sets as a substitute for good photography (and do identical poses on them with everyone). Yet if you look at studio shots in magazines they are generally classic and plain so the emphasis is on you, not using tacky sets like a circular hole in the wall.
If you browse my image gallery on the relevant page, you'll get a good idea of what we can do and how good you can look in a glamorous yet natural way.
It's also easy to do one or more of the looks in the historic area outside my studio for added variety if you like (as long as it's dry and there's daylight) - it's right next to the River Thames. That's great for more natural style shots for things like dating profile photos.
— Can we do some photos outside?
Yes! Most of my work is done in the studio as the lighting is nicer, it's private and the weather isn't a factor. However, I often do one or more of the looks in the historic area just outside the studio, which is great for a natural look. It's right next to the River Thames. So yes, we can do that as long as there's daylight and it isn't raining. You can see my Natural style gallery and packages here. (It's also fine to do a mix of studio and outdoors.)
If you want to go further afield, I have a specific Outdoors package for that. Please ask.
— What about make-up?
Over many years of doing this (full-time since 2007) I've found that people consistently prefer photos when they feel more like themselves, so my shoots are now all 'own make-up'.
In my experience women always assume they'll benefit from a make-up artist, but because professional make-up feels much heavier than you're used to, it feels 'caked on' and will tend to make you look older. Then if you don't like the make-up, it will ruin your photos.
I promise you that you'll like the photos so much more if you do your own make-up because then it's 'you'. This is also why my prices aren't several hundred pounds more, so you'll save a lot of money as well.
Whatever you'd do for an evening out will look fine, whether that's loads of make-up or none at all - the important thing is that it feels comfortably familiar.
I recommend the Standard or Deluxe package because they include some professional editing, and editing is what fixes skin blemishes and the things that people typically hope make-up will improve, but in a much more subtle and natural looking way.
— What if I'm not photogenic?
Almost everyone I work with starts off nervous, and plenty are convinced they're not photogenic. 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.
All the time people tell me they aren't photogenic or normally hate having their photo taken. They've looked uncomfortable in photos in the past and mistakenly concluded there's something wrong with them, that they just weren't blessed in the genetic lottery. But this is a tragic misunderstanding. Everyone looks uncomfortable in photos until they learn how to look comfortable, which I'll show you how to do. I've been doing this a long time and all the insecurities you think are uniquely yours, everyone has.
— Can I bring a friend?
You're very welcome to bring a friend or partner 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, as I don't have a separate waiting area. They can even be in a few of the photos too, at no extra charge.
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.)
— What is your availability?
I shoot every day of the week, usually in the afternoon, and I only do one shoot per day so that I can be flexible with timing.
Weekends tend to get booked up the fastest, often 1-2 months in advance. Weekdays and weekday evenings I can usually do within 1-2 weeks. But let me know when you're available and I'll do everything I can to fit you in.
— How do I pay?
In order to book you just pay a small £40 deposit. The rest you just pay at the end of the shoot (or in advance if that's easier for you).
Please start by filling in the form on the booking page so I have your details to arrange your photo session for you.
— What if I want to do more outfits?
Although the packages suggest a limit on the number of outfits you can bring, that's actually just a guide. If you've done a photoshoot before or you take to it naturally then you may have time for more. The exact number of looks you can do depends on the length of time of your chosen package, and also whether you plan to change your make-up or hair mid-shoot.
The confirmation info I'll send when you book has lots of suggestions appropriate for the package you book.
With all packages it's usually possible to extend by an hour for just £60 - please ask.
— Can I do artistic nude or semi-nude photos?
Many people want one or more tasteful photos with some degree of nudity as part of the photoshoot, 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're comfortable doing.
There are lots of things we can do that give the impression of nudity without actually showing anything, such as a bare back or beautiful silhouette lighting where your body is in shadow, and you can check all the way along to make sure you like the way the photos are looking. When people do feel brave enough to show a bit of skin, they almost always like those photos the best, although it will of course limit who you can show those ones to.
— Will the photos be used anywhere?
No. Any photos we do are completely private, just for your use, and will not be used anywhere (including my website) without your permission. I completely respect you wanting to keep them private.
Normally I keep a copy for 3 months, in case people want any edited or lose them, and then after 3 months I delete them. If you'd rather I delete them as soon as you've received them, or keep them longer, that's absolutely fine, just let me know.