My aim during all my maternity, newborn, baby, child and family photography sessions here in Cornwall is to connect with whoever I am photographing. Babies and children are infinitely giving and authentic - everything that is lovely, pure and honest in the world is reflected in them. I love spending time playing and allowing each individual character to be my guide. A session is more than simply taking photos of what I see. I want to create beautiful images from what I feel. More than anything, I want those moments to reflect the whole spirit and energy of who you and your little one are.
During sessions I encourage and invite all participants to let their hair down, drop those inhibitions and embrace the moment. I'll be there to help create the moments, but please don't expect that all you have to do is stand and smile at a camera. That is not how I work! I promise you'll have fun and the images will mean a lot more to you than a staged traditional portrait session.
My style can be described as natural, quite rustic, fresh and modern. Before each session I send out a prep guide, including a 'What to Wear' section. Along with the surroundings and light, choice of outfits is a key element in any image. If we're in a gorgeous location with beautiful golden light and everyone is wearing the right sort of thing, then the images will look beautiful with little effort. The same goes in the studio. Be prepared to spend a bit on some new outfits if necessary. It really does matter. I have a few things which might be suitable to borrow - let me know if you're stuck or want to find out more.
I like images that are rich in emotion and texture. The more candid the better! I prefer not to over-clutter or over-accessorise, and like to keep things simple with a few key props. The one tangible theme that I work with across every session I do is that it is all about the essence of the subject. I have various props, outfits and accessories for added texture and interest. Most of these are one-of-a-kind, handmade, and designed specifically for use during photo shoots.
If you are interested in having professional hair and make up done, this can be arranged - quotes on request. I am happy to freshen your make-up for you - I keep a make up bag handy with neutral tones to promote a natural glow. Prior to each session I am more than happy to talk through any styling considerations you might have - I love to be involved in your decisions and can give honest opinions.
I have limited availability so early booking is always advised to avoid disappointment. I generally have weekends open with the possibility of some mid week slots if necessary. These fill up quite quickly as I don't usually take more than 3 sessions per week.
Bump & Newborn photography sessions: ideally, newborn baby photography sessions in Cornwall are done at around one week of age (between day 6-10) in order to get the very best out of your session, but this is not essential. To avoid disappointment I recommend booking as soon as possible, way before your due date. For bump photos, the best time is around 7 - 8 months when your bump is noticeable and you're able to move comfortably.
A lot of my work is done outdoors on the beautiful beaches and natural locations on the Roseland. I am able to travel anywhere in Cornwall for your photography session. I occasionally do sessions at peoples' homes too, though for larger families I find that outdoors works best. There are plenty of great locations near me or an extra charge may apply for travel time and expense further afield. I am based in Veryan, about 30 minutes from Truro and St Austell.
For outdoor family photo shoots, time of day is key especially during the brighter summer months. The ideal time for photography sessions is one hour after sunrise or the last hour before the sun sets. I appreciate that during our British summer this is fairly unrealistic for those with little ones but as close as possible to this golden hour is a must, even if it means getting everyone up and at 'em early or delaying bedtime by an hour or two. Think picnic for supper, breakfast in the car, changing in or out of pj's at the location... there are little ways to minimise the impact on routine.
The weather... As we all know, the sun is not always shining! It is changeable and often unpredictable even with weather forecasts. I am flexible and we'll be in touch leading up to the session. If it's raining your session will be postponed, but I don't mind it being overcast. If you have your heart set on dreamy golden hour light then it might require more last minute changes of plans if conditions change suddenly.
1-2 weeks after your session we will get together again either here, at your home or somewhere inbetween. You will be able to view the images from your session and place orders for prints and products. This is a great time to discuss what will work for you and your budget - I'll have examples handy and can even demonstrate how an image will look in different sizes, so that you can make informed decisions.
Credit and debit card payments can be taken at this time, and I also offer payment plans so that you can spread the cost.
As soon as your orders are ready I offer a full aftercare service, which can include personally delivering and hanging your new wall art if you so desire.
I'd love to hear from you!
"Thank you Michelle! I booked a family photography day in October as a surprise for my mums 60th birthday. Michelle put us all at ease and produced superb photographs. These were of a very high quality and taken in our home so extremely natural. Will definitely use again for more photos later this year." - Claire