A day in the life of a portrait photographer

A day in the life of a portrait photographer

People often ask what it’s like to be a photographer and what a typical photo shoot looks like so I would like to share a behind the scenes, real life example with you.  Join me below as I meet Christine, Keith, Sam and bump (now Lauren!) for a photography session to celebrate a significant milestone in their lives!

It’s all in the prep

There’s a tonne of prep to do before I actually meet Christine, Keith, Sam and bump!  There is all my equipment to check as a starter for ten, batteries to recharge, spare (and empty) memory cards to prep, lenses to clean and props that you see in the final photographs that all need organising.   In addition, I am also obsessed with my weather app which comes in handy for outdoor sessions.  I then spend time working through the types of photographs that I think we can capture using my experience of my clients and also the venue, Alexandra Park in Oldham, which I know really well.

Arriving ahead of time

I always arrive early to make sure that I can organise myself!  As well as assessing the light and weather, I take some test shots to ensure that I can achieve the right exposure and composition from our first port of call, which in this case was the Chinese Gardens.  Also, I also have a wander around as I like to find new nooks and crannies that may be great to test.  I am a believer in experimenting with new compositions and having fun along the way – sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t but I am always led by my clients.  For example, we tried to compose a quality image of everyone’s feet but it just didn’t work out so was obviously not meant to be.

Hello Clients!

When Christine, Keith and Sam arrive we spend a bit of time chatting through the session – I want everyone to feel 100% relaxed and at ease before we start.  Therefore, we take our time as we explore Alexandra Park and take in some of the things that they enjoy doing, such as capturing Sam on his new trike and stopping to play on the swings.    Regular breaks are important, especially for the little ones and it often surprises clients to know that this can be the best time to capture a moment, such as this one of Sam and Daddy playing with his car.


sam with his car in alexandra park, oldham

I always ask along the way how Christine, Keith and Sam feel to make sure that they are still enjoying the session – that’s truly important after all!  We finish up just as Sam is ready for his dinner and this is when my excitement to just get home and upload the photographs really kicks in!

Time to review

I feel so excited at this point.  I usually can’t do anything else until all the images are on my PC, there is just something in me that screams ‘quick, just have a look!’  Typically I can take 300-500 images so I go through them first and take out the photographs which haven’t made my cut.  This could be because of eyes blinking, the exposure not being quite right, people moving or quite honestly, it just doesn’t feel right.  I then choose a few images to edit that I feel best sum up our time together.

Sneak peek

I enjoy sending my clients that first sneak peek.  It’s hard to explain how it feels whilst you wait in anticipation for their reaction.  On this occasion, it was close to Christmas so I worked really hard to shorten my lead time so the family could use their photographs as soon as possible as I knew that they were keen to use some as Christmas presents.  Surprisingly, literally as soon as I’d sent the email,  Christine replied to explain how much she loved the photographs!  A great feeling to leave me with before bed which really is an incentive to wake up extra early the next day (before the kids wake up!) to crack on with editing the remaining photographs.


baby bump

If you want to see what my clients really think of my work, head over to my feedback page for more information:

If I have inspired you to celebrate your family life through photography, why not get in touch for an informal, complimentary chat to see if I can help.




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