Thank you for choosing Stephen O'Sullivan Photography for your Family Portraits. I have put together a quick guide here to outline the process, end-to-end. Before I get into the detail below, I would like to emphasise that my style (and the atmosphere of all sessions) is very relaxed and informal. This will be a fun and memorable experience for you and your family, and the images we create will be treasured by you all for many, many years.
Shoot First, Ask Questions Later? Nope…. Not a camera in sight, but the Pre-Portrait Consultation is actually the most important part of the entire process – it ensures that the session runs smoothly, we know what we want to achieve and ultimately it ensures that the quality of the photographs are stunning.
This usually works best in your home (or via Zoom under the current Covid restrictions), at a time that suits you. It will take around a half an hour. We will discuss your preferences for location(s), timing, style, groups to cover etc. – basically we map out the whole session. We will also discuss the final output – the Wall Art. Having this chat in your home means that we can use samples to see how the various sizes fit in your space (it is much cheaper to figure that out beforehand rather than realising when it is too late and we have already printed). Also a home visit means I can check out the lighting and advise on some locations if we decide to shoot in the home itself. Which brings us to…..
Location, location, location…
There are only two primary things to consider here – we want to choose a venue with plenty of light that will present a nice backdrop to the images and we want to choose a venue where the family feels comfortable. The best setting is usually in your own home or a favourite place where the family spends time and can relax (e.g. a local park or woods). Keep it simple, the main focal point will be your family.
You don’t need to do much here, just be ready in the clothes / hair / makeup that you like best. One useful tool to have to hand is a hairbrush. On a similar note, if it looks like it will be breezy (and the shoot is outdoors) have a think about headwear and hair-ties to keep all the faces clear.
We can discuss clothing during the Consultation, but at a high level it is best to avoid ‘busy’ patterns. If the clothing is simple & low-key it will keep more emphasis on the people in the images. Crisp, simple clothing works well. For family portraits it can be fun to dress the same (e.g. black trousers, white shirt) – sometimes we can do a quick costume change. It is best not to wear clothing with large branding / labelling – it just doesn’t age well. The only other preparation is to relax, the pressure is on me to perform, not you ;-)
This is the fun part. Whatever the location, we will start off with some posed shots. Kids (and adults) quickly get tired of posing. I will give you some simple & gentle direction, it is 'just' a few photographs, we will take our time and keep snapping until we are done.
Once we have that in the bag, what works very well is if we get the kids (and adults!) engaged in something fun. For example if we are in your home and you have a nice table in a bright room get the kids baking or painting or playing a game or something creative (building a fort in the living room has been brilliant, and a pillow fight can be hilarious!). Everyone will forget I am there and I snap away. Nice and relaxed. If we are outdoors then maybe playing hide and seek in some trees or chasing a ball or playing catch - anything that lets them have a bit of fun. I don’t rush the sessions, and I take a lot of shots, there is always a lot of magic captured along the way.
The Big Viewing
About a week later I will again call, armed with a slideshow of spectacular images. This is where you guys decide which are your favourites and, of those, which ones to turn into Wall Art and in what sizes. Usually this Viewing involves some difficult decisions and many cups of tea.
Generally within three weeks (subject to the complexity of the order & framing) you will receive a package with your Wall Art. Sit down, unwrap & enjoy. You will love it. Your walls will love it. You will want to show your friends and family. They will love it. Make sure you tell them who made it. Oh and make a space for next year’s collection!
The fee for the photo shoot itself is €200. This includes one 30cm X 20cm print and I offer a range of additional Fine Art print options including Canvas Prints and Framing, we will talk through this during the Consultation.
How to Book