Garden and outdoor sessions
Sinéad Feeney Photography
I am really looking forward to photographing your family in the coming weeks. As you know, due to Covid restrictions I can only work outdoors for the time being. However, outdoor photography is really beautiful and fun. The major downside is the weather but more on that in a minute!
Most of you have chosen to use your gardens which is great. Other locations are absolutely fine too. Just keep in mind that public outdoor spaces are very busy at the moment. Give me a call if you are unsure and we can chat it over.
I think it’s a good idea to prepare well for the session so that we can get the most out of the time that we have together. The information below is a collection of tips, tricks, ideas and suggestions. Some you will be able to organise and some you won’t. That’s absolutely fine! They are just ideas.
1.Preparing your garden. There really is not much to do here. Just clear up anything from the grass or background that you wouldn’t want to immortalise in a photograph! Don’t forget I also have the wonders of photo editing, so afterwards I can fill out shrubbery, replace a dying plant, remove an old washing line….etc!
2.Preparing your family… just as easy I promise! (bruises, snots, scabs can all be edited out too!)
•Please have everyone ready to go for when I arrive. There’s no need to mention photographs or photographer to younger children. It’s really strange but they often don’t even notice the camera. They are too distracted by the interactions and fun.
•Clothing. It would be great if we could work without coats. Try find nice colours that will work well outside. Avoid anything too patterned because it can all be a bit busy with everything else going on in the background.
•Have some hats available if you can ( winter and summer), umbrellas, wellies (I’m hoping we won’t need them but they can look great in pictures), fairy wings, ballet clothes, Dress up?.. all just ideas.. not necessary at all.
•If it’s windy I would recommend tying hair back if possible.
•Have a read on my preparation page on website for more info too.
3.Props and items that may or may not be handy!
•I love to sit children up on a table or a bench. It’s a really great way of keeping their attention and getting some great shots. Can you think of a small table or bench from indoors that you could take out to the garden? If not, absolutely no problem..
•Please have some blankets and maybe even a rug or two so that the children can be on the ground and not muddy or wet.
•This is an odd one, but I often use mirrors in my shots. I love the interesting images you can get. Do you have a bedroom or hallway mirror that you could take outside safely? Again, only an idea and not mandatory.
•Bubbles can be great. They can also be a big disappointment! Worth having to hand though (maybe don’t tell the children about them in case we don’t need use them).
•It might be nice to have some teddies/soft toys to hand. They can often be great props.
•Story books are great too. I often pick out the more “photogenic” books , if you know what I mean! Think ‘Guess how much I love you’ or ‘ Ten tiny toes’ etc but favourite books are fab too.
•Do you have blocks/trains with the child’s name on it? I often use these too. Framed items don’t work well though.
•Do your children have one of those lovely tepees in their rooms? If so, why not bring it down. It could work well.
•Any other ideas or suggestions are most welcome. We can decide on the day if an idea will work or not. But have anything to hand that comes to mind.
•Oh… a nice red apple or two is a great prop to keep 1 year olds still for a few minutes!!
•As always I would avoid offering well intended treats or sweets to incentivise children to engage (It’s soooo tempting I know). But it’s really not needed. They will be absolutely fine once I arrive. If sweets are mentioned then all my usual tricks may not work as well because they are just too focused on the treats. So leave it to me and enjoy the session. It will be really lovely
That’s all I can think of for now. Regarding weather - sunny, cloudy, very light rain, and gentle breezes are all absolutely fine. Sometimes cloud cover is even better than full sun. However, if it’s really raining or very windy we will need to postpone. We will cross that bridge if we come to it!
If I think of anything else I will email again. Please feel free to call me if you want to chat things over. There is more info on my website about how I work and the different age groups (Preparation page) so I would recommend that you take a look through it.
Garden sessions tend to be a bit shorter than indoor sessions. I work really fast and with lots of energy so I will get loads of pictures without needing you to be outside for ages. My guess is that thirty five to forty five minutes will be the average length of the session but it depends on the children on the day and how long they feel happy to be outdoors. My regular sessions are rarely longer than 50 minutes to an hour anyway so it’s actually not that much different .
After the session I will carefully select the best shots from the day and edit and finish each of the images individually. This is quite a time consuming process so it may be a week before your pictures are ready. I would expect to get at least 40 great pictures from the session but possibly more.
I will check in with you again a couple of days ahead of your booking but in the meantime please feel free to email or call with any questions.