Your photo session is an investment and a special event. It’s not just an appointment booked to take a couple of photos, but a day when you will create vivid memories for you and your family to look back at in years to come. Making sure that everyone is happy and relaxed allows the unique personalities of your family to shine through so that your portraits capture the magic between you.

We hope this Guide will help you through all the major steps to get well prepared to your session, so that you can enjoy your experience at Photographic Synergy, and create some truly special photos for your family.

Clothing

Your photographs will be unique to you, reflecting your personality, moods & connection, and your clothing is one of the things that helps expressing it all to capture in photographs. Try to coordinate colours as much as possible, and avoid anything too patterned or any large logos. If one person is wearing something exceptionally bold it can be distracting, or throw off the balance of the finished photograph. Given that these photographs will live in your family album and adorn the walls of your house, you may also want to give some thought to whether the clothing choice is timeless and if the colour of the clothing would work well in your home, generally speaking the simpler the better.

However these are only rough suggestions, and depending on your personality and preferences you may wish to choose something more expressive giving a better statement to your family’s character.

Maternity

If you are getting ready for a maternity session then rest assured we will have a variety of beautiful maternity dresses prepared for your arrival at our St Albans studio. The only thing we ask is to make sure you have two sets of underwear with you. One set in nude shades and strapless bra, and one in black. This way we will be able to match the dresses perfectly creating a perfectly balanced composition. And if you’ve already prepared something special for your maternity session, please bring it along! It will make for a wonderful keepsake adding a personal touch to your gallery.

Newborn

We have to say newborn outfits and accessories are our absolute favourite to collect and after several years of photographing newborn babies, we now have an impressive stash of props! So when preparing to your newborn session, please don’t stress too much, we will discuss all the details regarding your preferred colour palette and we will work around your baby’s needs, choosing poses and props comfortable for our little model, to create some truly stunning compositions!

Family

When preparing to a family session we always recommend to bring at least one extra outfit for each family member. Having an extra outfit at hand means we can be so much more creative with the number of set ups and capture some truly special photographs for your family.

We have a changing room that opens straight up into the studio for your convenience. And note our studio is air conditioned so we’ll always get it at the right temperature for you, whether you wear shorts and football tops, karate kits, ballet costumes, smart casual or go fully dressed up.

Your family photos will stay with you for many years to come. Some will be displayed on your walls and some will create pages of your family album. Don’t rush with your decisions and give yourself plenty of time to plan the colour palette of your gallery.

Morning of the Shoot

Before heading to the studio, make sure everyone is well-rested and fed to avoid crankiness (this goes for adult members as well as the littles!) 

If you’re getting a haircut or any beauty treatments before your shoot, it’s best to do those at least a few days before your scheduled portrait session to make sure you’ve got to grips with styling the new cut and that your skin isn’t blotchy from a facial. 

If you choose to wear makeup, it’s often best to go with a pretty natural look. The camera will enhance the contrasts on your face, so avoid anything too heavy. And if you’re not used to it now is not the time to go experimental with makeup as you want to feel and look like you. Remember that small blemishes can be easily edited out with Photoshop, so don’t stress too much if you have a rogue pimple or two, or the kids have a bruise from the latest playground fall.

Make sure you arrive at the studio on time or even a little bit early so that no one feels rushed since this doesn’t lend itself well to natural, relaxed photos. To make sure you’re not in a rush, give yourselves some extra prep time before heading out.

How to Prepare the Kids

With young kids, the key to a good family photo session is getting them excited for it. Kids usually prefer knowing what lies ahead, so best not to surprise them with the studio visit as you’ll want to avoid any tantrums when you arrive at the studio. Tell them about the photography session well in advance and remember that an excited, enthusiastic attitude is often contagious!

It’s important kids feel relaxed and not under pressure to perform when they’re in the studio. Being able to be a little silly means their real personalities shine through in the resulting shots and they’ll be something you’ll all love to look back on in the future.

Packing some yummy snacks and drinks is also a good idea. Favourite treats also make for excellent bribes and rewards to get them to stay in zone for just a wee bit longer. Avoid anything messy like chocolate that could end up down their shirts or smudged all over their little faces. For adults, we’re always happy to provide copious amounts of tea and coffee to help chill it all down.

Finally, planning something fun for after the shoot, like a visit to Willows Activity Farm next door or to get some ice cream gives the kids something fun to look forward to the entire day so that they don’t look at the photo session as an annoying chore or something to be nervous about. In fact it becomes part of the perfect family day out.

For further details, please do get in touch! We are always happy to help!

It’s a girl! After years of heartbreak and loss, Greg and Josie welcomed their beautiful rainbow baby girl in March 2022.

Welcoming any baby into the world brings promise and hope, but rainbow babies have a particular poignancy for new parents and families. The joy and excitement can be viciously turned into the exact opposite for some families when they get hit by the heart-breaking news of miscarriage, stillbirth or an early loss of the bundle of joy they so passionately awaited.

In March this year a ray of sunshine shone over Photographic Synergy as our very own Studio Manager Greg along with his wife Josie, welcomed into the world their beautiful rainbow baby – Emily Hope Cusick.

Like so many couples, their journey to become parents hasn’t been an easy one. Over the past few years, Greg and Josie have suffered excruciating heartbreak and loss. When Josie first fell pregnant in 2000, it was identified at a 20-week scan that their precious little boy had a serious heart defect and was diagnosed with a rare condition called Kabuki syndrome. Utterly devastated, Greg and Josie sadly lost him.

More heartbreak followed when a second pregnancy also ended in sadness when Josie miscarried.  So, when the couple were blessed with a third pregnancy last year, it was such an incredible moment. A pregnancy which was understandably fraught with conflicting emotions, and even more so during a global pandemic!

Having taken beautiful images of babies for lots of families over the years and having seen the joy on the faces of parents, Greg knew first-hand how important it is to celebrate the birth of a long-awaited baby after the crippling loss, it was only natural that Josie and bump were photographed every step of the way.

A maternity (or baby bump) shoot is a fantastic way of recording your pregnancy journey, and we often get couples coming back once the little one has arrived for a ‘before and after’ style shoot. We take special attention in perfecting your maternity photos for you to cherish this precious memory of the days when you held your little miracle so close to your heart.

So on the 26th March 2022, a rather frantic call into the Studio sent Greg into a panic (who was in the middle of a viewing at the time) – Josie was in labour!!! The wait was finally over, their precious baby girl was on the way, and a week early!  Emily Hope Cusick arrived safely into the world weighing a healthy 6lbs 7oz. Her name given to symbolise ‘hope’ that a rainbow baby brings after the storm has passed. 

A rainbow baby doesn’t mean your loss should be forgotten. It is actually quite the opposite – your rainbow baby will carry the torch of the love you will always have for the child or children you lost. The team at Photographic Synergy are absolutely thrilled for Greg and Josie, and Emily has already made an appearance in the studio – check out these adorable Easter bunny shots.

If you’re expecting If you want to find out more about our maternity photography to capture those magical 9 months, please give us a call on 01727 809 140 and we’d be happy to chat. Alternatively, you can book a maternity shoot online at https://photographicsynergy.com/portfolio/maternity

WHAT IS A RAINBOW BABY?

Rainbow babies are those born to couples who have experienced a previous loss due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death.

It is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravage of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean that the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds.

‘Rainbow babies’…a ray of light after the storm! 

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