My philosophy – I come to the client as I find children are a lot more relaxed in their own environment AND it’s less stressful for parents! All I need is a nice light space to work in with a bare wall/walls. Even a good outdoor area is fine. I always introduce myself to the kids and have a chat/play before shooting so that they feel comfortable with me and are nice and relaxed. I like kids to be able to play with toys, talk to each other or mum and dad or just get them to engage in something they’re interested in while shooting. This ensures I am getting images of kids just being themselves. I then work around the child/children not the other way round. I never pose children and try to avoid directing them as much as possible. I find just letting them get on with what they are doing produces the most beautiful and earnest photos.
Shoots normally last between 1-2 hours, 3 hours max. It just depends on the age of the kids and how they are on the day. Surprisingly the older the child, normally the longer the shoot. They just tend to be more conscious of the camera and can take a while to get them to ignore me!
I tend to shoot anywhere from 200-500 images on each shoot. 50% will probably not be portrait worthy but I think very important and actually sometimes my favourites. These will be images that may have something distracting in the background, the shooting angle might not be right, the child is pulling a face or just being silly but to me are still very special.
From there all images have a basic edit (cropping etc). I normally find from there that it is easiest for me to choose the best images and give them a full edit. This generally ends up being around 7-15 images. I am also happy to edit any extra images that I may not have done if client likes them better (up to 5) as part of the package.
ALL photos are supplied on a disc or USB or can even just be drop boxed. People can then do whatever they like with the images. I’m not afraid to show my work (good and bad) and feel all images of someones child are important. I find it really sad when I hear somebody has had to spend $1000 for a big print on their wall with no other images to show for it.