Below, I've tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions that I get as a Kent Portrait Photographer...
What areas do you cover?
I have lived in SE London all of my life, so I know Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich like the back of my hand. I'm based in Petts Wood, near Bromley, so all three boroughs are easily accessible. I'm happy to travel to London as well as covering the counties of Kent, Essex, Surrey, Sussex, Herts and Middlesex. I'm happy to travel home or abroad as appropriate.
What is the best time for a shoot?
Generally, portraits are best either early morning or late afternoon/evening when the light is softer, golden and generally more pleasing. By contrast, a mid-day shoot outside in harsh sunlight will not get the best results.
Where would you advise to have the shoot?
Absolutely anywhere. It's all about you being comfortable and relaxed. The shoot can be done at home if you wish but I'd always suggest going somewhere. Somewhere fun. The park, the local nature reserve, a place that holds special memories for you and means something to you. The secret to portrait photography is being relaxed. I want you to be relaxed. Serious faces are banned. In my company, not many people have a serious face on!
Do you have a studio?
Yes, I actually do but to be quite honest, I'm not a fan of studio photography. Bright white background, hi-key photography is not really my style. Of course hi-key images have their place but I'm more about capturing natural images. I prefer natural light and only use speed lights (the technical name for a 'flash') to fill in harsh shadows.
What should I wear?
Two words. Simple and Neutral. Actually that was three...but never mind.
Deciding on what to wear for a shoot can be tricky, so I suggest keeping it simple. Wear something you would usually wear. Not too smart (unless we're doing professional head shots of course!) but certainly not scruffy. Simple and no patterns (when I say patterned I mean stripes, hoops, checks and no huge logos or motifs, these can all date the image). Colour-wise, plain mid-tones in Blue, Green and Purple work brilliantly. Try to pick something that accentuates your eyes. Black can work but depending on what mood/vibe you want to create, how about changing it up for richer neutrals like chocolate brown, navy, maroon or even forest green (these will accentuate your eyes really well). Avoid skin-colour tops in beige, cream, pastels or yellow like the plaque, as your face will begin to blend into your top! Also avoid bright reds and oranges, they look pretty naff in all honesty and you need an uber-amount of self-confidence to pull the look off! Don't wear anything brand new. Make sure you are comfortable in what you're wearing.
What else can I do to prepare for the shoot?
Well I don't know about you but if I have too many late nights, I get huge bags under my eyes. So try to get some sleep the night before to make these as minimal as you can. Hydration also helps keep your skin fresh and tight. A glass of water won't really help on the day but do try and keep your water intake up in the days before a shoot, this will help make you look and feel great.
What if I'm camera shy?
Ha, everyone is! It's not just you, I promise. They key to portrait photography is being relaxed. The more relaxed you are, the better the pictures will be. We'll take some time to sit down before I get the camera out of my bag to get to know each other a little bit. A cup of tea or coffee is great. Who can say no to a pint or a glass of wine? It's my job to make you feel at ease in front of the camera. You don't even have to look at the camera if you don't want to. The shoot will be fun and enjoyable. If not, then I haven't done my job properly!
What if the weather looks wet?
It's really up to you. We can either reschedule or we can embrace it. Its your choice. Overcast skies create great flattering light for portraits so there's no problem on that score. We can be creative with umbrellas, do you have bright coloured wellies? If so, great. Of course, we could always go inside.
What equipment do you use?
I shoot with Nikon full frame cameras. Most of the images that you will see on this website were taken with my trusty Nikon D750 but I've recently invested in the new Nikon D850. It is an absolute beast of a camera. I use a variety of different lenses, both primes and zooms, dependant upon the image I'm trying to create. I also use Godox speed lights and strobes to get creative when the natural light is limited.
Where and how do you store my images after the shoot?
I take data reliability very seriously indeed. Both cameras have a double memory card slot, which enables me to save each image created to two separate memory cards. I have never had a memory card failure but it does happen so I ensure I take every precaution. As soon as the shoot is over, I will save the images to a separate folder in my laptop as well as saving them to a folder in an external hard drive. Once your images have been fully edited, the final images are saved on my NAS drive, which automatically backs up to a cloud backup provider. I will, of course, upload your images to a proofing gallery from where you can download them if you wish.
Do you shoot JPEG or RAW?
Most definitely RAW. I like to get the image perfect in camera but by shooting RAW gives that extra flexibility when I'm editing the images in Adobe Lightroom and/or Adobe Photoshop.
What files will I receive?
The final images you will receive will be hi-res JPEGs with full usage rights (unless otherwise stated).
Can I have the RAW files?
No, sorry. I only supply JPEG files.
Anything else I need to know?
I have insurance. I have registered as a limited company and I pay the relevant taxes on any income I make. I provide a professional service and I ensure I do everything above board. If you see anyone offering the same service for cheaper (which would be a real challenge), I would question whether they are doing everything above board!