Frequently Asked Questions

How does the session work?

My goal is to capture the real essence of your family, making a snapshot of you all at this particular time: your personalities, your relationships and of course how you look! There will be some loosely posed shots but I also take a documentary approach, using my knowledge of equipment and natural light to create images of you simply being you. I will offer you prompts and ideas throughout the session, and generally ask lots of silly questions to get natural smiles.

Where will the session take place?

Together, we will decide on the best location for your photos. This could be out in the fields, a local park, or in the woods. The session could also take place at your home, for a more personal feel. I have a few favourite locations that I love to shoot at regularly, but if you have somewhere wonderful in mind then I would love to hear about it. Bear in mind that some locations, such as Hitchin Lavender, may charge an additional fee.

What time will the session be?

If you have young children, you may be starting to think about nap time and meal time. If we are shooting outdoors, your session will either be in the morning or late afternoon/evening, depending on the time of year. The light is usually too harsh in the middle of the day, and we may not be able to capture you at your best. If your children are a little older, or you’re willing to risk a late ‘danger nap’ then one or two hours before sunset is a fabulous time of day with beautiful, flattering light.

What should we wear?

My main advice is to wear something comfortable. If you are constantly worrying about a top riding up or a wayward strap, you will find it less easy to relax. Also, as many of my session are outdoors, nature might get in the way of a white outfit. I recommend that you try to coordinate your family’s outfits without being too ‘matchy-matchy’ – there is no need for everyone to be in blue jeans and white t shirts. You can look at my Pinterest boards or read my blog posts to get an idea of what I mean, but essentially I suggest that you consider the colour wheel (cast your mind back to secondary school art lessons!) and pick similar or contrasting colours.

Will you bring any props?

Although I don’t use props, I do have one or two things that I bring on request, including Fable Heart crowns and capes and willow wood star wands. I strongly encourage you to bring things that reflect your family – a favourite comforter toy, an instrument if you play one, even a kite if that’s what you love!

What if my children are naughty or my house is a mess?!

I am a parent to a 2 year old and a 5 year old; one of my fabulous daughters has special needs; we have a collie that seems to shed its body weight in hair on a daily basis; my house is generally covered in unicorns, train sets and dust. I was also a primary school teacher for 15 years and my passions were (still are!) outdoor learning and creativity. Hopefully this tells you all you need to know, but to be more specific: naughty children are the most fun to photograph and I may even encourage the smallest amount of mischief. Please don’t clean and tidy your home too much – do your usual thing, I’ll help you to choose a couple of the most light and spacious areas and we can move things as we go.

What if it rains on the day?

If the weather is bad, we can rearrange to a new date within the following four weeks. However, if you’re game, I am happy to go ahead in the rain! I have wet weather protection for my camera gear, plastic sheeting to sit on and a couple of fabulous umbrellas that look great in photos. Wellies and puddle jumping and happy kids are a great combination.

How many photos will we get from a session?

You can usually expect around 20 final photographs.

I am a fellow camera nerd, what gear do you have?

Much like Arsenal or Tottenham fans, photographers usually worship one brand until the day they die. In the battle between Nikon and Canon, Canon wins it for me, and I shoot with a Canon 5D mk iv, with a Canon 70d as a backup camera body. I use a range of prime and zoom lenses, but my go-to is a Canon 70-200mm or a Sigma 35mm art lens. I shoot in manual mode to best control the light and to achieve the dreamy background blur (known as bokeh) that you will see in my portfolio.

What edits will you do?

You will see from my portfolio that I edit to create a natural yet polished look. I shoot in a camera format known as ‘raw’, which always requires some editing to ensure the best colour, exposure and sharpening. On top of this I remove small imperfections, such as lint on clothing, distracting branches (we’ve all had photo with a tree coming out of the top of our heads!) or the remnants of children’s snacks! I do not edit to make you slimmer (although I can if you would really, really like me to do so) as I want to capture you naturally, but I might remove the odd pimple or knee graze or flyaway hair! I want you to look your best and feel great when you see your pictures! At the end of the process, I sharpen your photos and offer them to you as high-resolution jpeg downloads (for printing later) or low, internet ready, resolution for you to share online. Once you have seen the photos, if you require any further editing, I can happily do so at £20 per photo.

How will I view and choose my photos?

Once edited, I upload your images to a private online gallery. You are free to share the link with any friends or family that you think might like to see them. Each photo will be watermarked at this point. Once you have had a chance to look at them all properly, you can choose your favourites and order them directly from the gallery. There are four packages to choose from ranging from £90 to £350. There are also options to purchase canvases, framed prints, albums, cards and calendars. Any downloads or prints will have the watermarks removed. I use a print lab that is only available to professional photographers, and the quality is fantastic. If you would like to see a direct comparison of professional quality prints and high street prints, you can read my blog about it, where I also make recommendations on where to get more printing done if you choose to do so yourself.

Can I buy more of my photos later?

Yes! Your gallery will remain open for 12 months, at which point it will be archived – but can be reopened after this point for a nominal fee of £5. At any point, you can choose extra prints and wall art, or download photos that you didn’t originally choose. If you have agreed to me keeping your contact details, you may even receive some discount vouchers throughout the year!

Errr, so how do you pronounce your name?!

You're not the only one to ask. I have two notoriously difficult to pronounce names! Alannah rhymes with Hannah - it's an Irish name meaning 'sweetheart' (I know!) and I'm named after my great aunt, who is an absolute wonder and lead the most adventurous and exciting life. Hebbert, well, you can blame my husband for that one. Just know it is not 'Herbert' and you'll be fine :D

© 2018 by  Alannah Hebbert