What advice would a Devon Photographer give anyone having a photo shoot? DSC_2289

(All subtly wearing some blue.)

I am constantly being asked questions by parents prior to photo shoots booked with me. So I thought it may be helpful to write some answers down for anyone who was wondering the same questions! I know Devon can be unpredictable with weather so this might not apply to every single photo shoot.

What shall we wear?

  • Colour? – I love red, it always looks great in photos and stands out well in a forest setting, which the majority of my photo shoots are. But don’t go for just one colour, you don’t want to look like a tomato! Mix it up a little -But not too much! A navy blue jumper/coat, jeans, brown boots and a red scarf always looks great if you’ve gone for a woodland setting. Alternatively if it’s a indoor shoot you’ve gone for, you want paler colours. I only really do indoor shoots when it is a baby to photograph as it’s too chilly outside. This is why paler colours look best, you don’t want anything to garish to take away from the innocence of a newborn baby. But you do need something to brighten it up, either go for a lovely red/tweed blanket as the backdrop with then white and cream outfits or the other way round, a nice red and cream outfit with pale blankets.
  • Matching Outfits? – Yes and No. Yes to a running theme like everyone has something the same colour. But that doesn’t mean everyone wearing the same item in the same colour (Unless it’s just young children wearing the same thing I think that looks lovely!). This might be sounding a bit confusing so I’ll try and simplify it. Say you have a family of four: two parents and two children, one child 2 years and the other child 4 years – it would look great having the children in the same item of clothing, for example the same check shirt (love them!). But as parents don’t wear the same for you, wear something else, say a jumper instead of a shirtand wear one that is one of the colours from your child’s check shirt. Or you can do this another way round and wear the same item but different colours. You want to make it look like you accidentally wore outfits that go together not that you spent a hour deciding what to wear whilst reading a blog a photographer had written about ‘what to wear on a photo shoot’ 😉 .
  • Footwear? – As I’ve said it’s mainly woodland photo shoots and often farm photo shoots that I photograph. So it is always great to wear footwear that relates to what you’re doing. So if it’s farm, chuck those wellies on and look the part and if it’s in a forest go for wellies or boots (they always looks great!).

(* I’m no fashion expert and please don’t feel you have to dress a certain way, make sure you are still you and most importantly comfortable!

This is just for those who wanted to know what I would advise.)


(Here you can see they are wearing similar items so it goes together well but all slightly different so doesn’t look to purposeful.)

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(Farming boys showing off how well check shirts, with matching jeans and boots photograph)

What age?

  • Just had a baby? I’m always getting messages from new parents asking what age is best to photograph their child: completely up to you, everyone wants different photo styles. At 1 week old your baby will no longer be all wrinkled up, will sleep lots, still be very small and, of course, mums, you’ll have started to feel better and you both will be used to having a little one. 8 weeks: great your child will be smiling and have a bit more personality than 1 week but will still be looking newborn. But from my point of view you get the best photos when they are a little bit older and have a bit more of a character and smile lots. I did a photo shoot yesterday and the baby was 16 weeks: this was great as she was still small, cute and cuddly but also had strength to push herself up and smiled a lot. But as I’ve said this is down to you and the type of photos you’re wanting.

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(1 week old baby)

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  (16 weeks)

How to keep a toddler happy?

  • Early to bed – This is a big one! I won’t try and teach you something you will already know but toddlers need sleep and it’s something you might not have thought about the night before (this is something photographing many toddlers and also being a auntie to 6 children all under 8 I’ve learnt!) I now realise sleep means make or break with a happy child.
  • Breakfast – It can be a long a walk sometimes for little ones, so make sure they’ve got plenty of energy.
  • Bribes – Dare I say it bribes might just be your best friend, bring whatever it is your child (& sometimes the husband!) sees as a real treat! Be is chocolate, biscuits or a toy (one you don’t mind being in photos!) But don’t peak too early with these, because if they are given it at the beginning of a photo shoot they will want it the whole way round.

(*Disclaimer, I am not trying to tell you how to be a parent – I take my hats off to you all! – But I know you might not have a chance to think of everything so I thought this might help!)

Family photo shoot - Devon Wedding Photographer

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(One very happy toddler!)