So, you've booked (yay!). What's next?
Well on my end there's many smiles, excitement and a very tiny little bit of dancing! I'm so excited, I can't wait to meet you and record some magic.
After all that let's get down to business ... just briefly. We will agree upon the perfect date, time and location. I will send you an email with your invoice, you will pay a $400 retainer to secure your date and time, as well as sign a contract outlining the do's/don't/what ifs/what nots to cover us both and keep all parties smiling. Around this time, you will also receive a questionnaire to help me to get better acquainted with you and your lot. Please remember nothing is too trivial. The more information you provide the better equipped I will be to customise your session. The way your husband's nose crinkles when he's thinking ... yep include that. The way your daughter's hair curls tightly around the nape of her neck ... yep include that. The crazy way your kids get during hide and seek ... yep, you guessed it, include that. I want to know it all. If you want to remember it, if you relish that moment, I want to know about it.
Send all of this back to me ASAP and you are good to go. Let's do this!
Where are you based?
I live on a cattle property in North Western Queensland, two hours from a small town that you have probably never heard of but since we travel for everything from groceries to doctors, I work throughout North Queensland.
Do you travel?
Do I travel?! What kind of question is that anyway?! Of course I travel, I love to travel. So where are we talking? Canada? Italy? Mexico?! Yes, yes, YES! Of course I travel within North Queensland as well.
The cost of travel is calculated at a rate of $80 per hour from Einasleigh, The Lynd Junction/ Oasis Roadhouse, Townsville, Cairns, Charters Towers/Mt Garnet. Travel is charged both ways.
Eg 1: If you live in Townsville - no additional costs. Same applies to Cairns, Charters Towers, Oasis Roadhouse, Mt Garnet and Einasleigh.
Eg 2: You live 1.5 hours from Cairns (or any of the other places). There will be an additional travel fee of $240 ($80 x 3, 1.5 hours out and 1.5 hours back).
Any travel fees will be added to your final payment amount after the photo shoot day.
I'm also very keen to follow you and yours throughout Australia and the world. Get in touch and we'll work out the ultimate itinerary.
Where should we meet?
Short answer ... anywhere you want. I shoot both indoors and outdoors, I can work with both. What I am really interested in, is somewhere that is vital to your journey. If you love the beach, let's go there. If you love the bush, let's do it. If you love being out in the paddock, we are there.
But, don't forget your house, your home, your abode. For a moment think about how much actually goes on in your home ... the seemingly boring mundane day to day things that aren't actually that small and insignificant at all, it's life. It is real, unconstrained, irrational, beautiful, perfect life - why not take photos there? That's where you play, laugh, cry, it's where you feel your greatest emotions. If you think about it, it's perfect.
Of course, if time permits I love to enter the best of both worlds. A little indoors and a little out. But ultimately, I want to go to the place that makes your heart sing; take me on a journey of your soul.
If you aren't too sure where you want to go, that's ok as well, I know a spot (actually a few). Just tell me what you're after and I will find the best location.
If we are going to be only outside or a mix of both then we will schedule for early morning or late afternoon. I am looking for that magical, golden light, you know the light that transforms the day? If you see it in the morning you are delighted because of it and in the afternoon, you realise that despite the day the world is still beautiful - that's the light I'm after. It might mean a disruption to your schedule but it'll be worth it, I promise. Have an easy day in the lead up to the session, pack snacks/water for the kids (maybe a drink or two for Mum and Dad) and a few toys/distractions for younger kids (only a few and they won't be used as props).
However, if we are going to hang out inside only then around 10am or 2pm but that's pretty flexible.
Rain ... no. Hail ... hmm probably not a good idea. Shine ... yes! yes! yes! I will shoot in almost any conditions ... except rain (and hail ... and cyclones - you get the picture).
How should I prepare my home?
Please don't stress about this too much. It's your home and I'm not coming to do a spread for House & Garden magazine, I'm here for you. I don't want a home that has been cleaned within an inch of its life and is no longer loved in. A general tidy, everything in its place, clutter removed, but forget the stress. However, if cleaning is your thing ... go for it (and when you're done my house is waiting). Whatever will make you happiest and most relaxed.
What should we wear?
Ahh ... the eternal question. First of all, something that reflects you, something that you are comfortable in and something that you feel amazing in (who doesn't want to feel amazing for photos?). I suggest starting with Mum. After finding the ultimate outfit for the queen of the house we can dress the rest of the tribe. Think coordinating, not matching. Think authentic, fun, textures, layers, flowy dresses or skirts. Think neutrals with pops of colours - accessories are great for this.
If you come unstuck and need a little help, that's what I'm here for. I love to see snaps of outfits before hand and if you are going shopping, I can help with that too.
But beware there are some no-nos. No too thin stripes. No too bold logos/brand names. No too matching outfits (all in denim & white shirts). Other than that, it's all good.
Check out my Pinterest page for some ideas I've already saved, here.
Please keep in mind that will ask you to sit on the ground, run, play, climb and if the moment (and location) calls for it ... get a little wet. I will ALWAYS choose the moment over keeping people/clothes pristine, this is after all a family/couple photo shoot and not intended for a catalogue.
But ... my family's a little crazy.
Oh I hear ya, so's mine! But crazy's real right?! I have two kids myself and I totally get what life's like; but a little distance will help you see how wonderful it all really is. Don't fight it, it's raw, pure life, let's embrace it. I will aim to get that one shot of everyone looking for grandma but after that, there is so much truth in imperfection. It's my job not to make you appear magazine polished but to harness the significance of you and your clan right now, craziness and all.
What about extras? And not the movie kind.
Awesome, the more the merrier. There is however an additional $50 per extra head outside your own tribe (eg, Mum, Dad and children). Also, we will still only stick to the allotted time, after that all kids (big and small) tend to lose interest and play up.
What should I expect?
Whether we do an outdoor or in-home session I like to keep things relaxed. I want to you have fun and be yourself (as much as you can with a stranger poking a camera in your face).
There are rules and here they are:
• Don't look at the camera, unless I ask you to of course.
• Don't feel like you have to smile all the time (or at all) or smile because I asked you to look at the camera.
• Let your kids run wild, as long as no-one is getting injured. Let them be themselves and if that means crazy, then crazy it is. Also, and this drives me insane as a parent, they will most likely behave better for me than you would expect (no promises though).
• Have fun!!!!! This one is very important.
A word of warning - I might look/do/act very silly sometimes, it's all part of the process, just don't question it and when you get your photos back you will see what I saw.
If we are doing an in-home session be prepared for me to climb on your furniture and possibly move a few things around, if there is something super-duper special that you don't want me to touch, let me know!
I follow the baby and the baby leads the way. There is no fighting a newborn. I photograph when they're awake, I photograph when they're asleep. If they are hungry, then they shall eat. I schedule extra time for these sessions so there is plenty of time for whatever your tiny person may throw at us. We will never be rushed and there is always time for cuddles.
However, there is a 'perfect' timeline depending on the style of photos you are after.
• A fresh 48 is within the first 48 hours of life in the open. This will capture the crinkly newborn skin, maybe a first bath, weighing, measuring and maybe even meeting a sibling or another family member. These can take place at home, hospital or birthing centre. I had this for my second born and it trumps any other newborn photos I have of her; they are magical.
• If you are after a sleepy newborn session then sometime during the first 12 days.
• If you are looking for a more interactive baby, more expressions, more awareness then between 12 days and 12 weeks is your time.
It's all up to you but it's a new baby so it's all enchanted.
How long do we have to wait to see the magic?
I will endeavour to share sneak peaks via email within 24 hours but no later than 48 hours post shoot. For the rest however, you're going to have to wait a little longer. Between two and three weeks will see your online/downloadable gallery ready and waiting for you.
While I get my pictures in both black and white and colour?
No. A lot goes into the decision to make an image either colour or black and white, including and not limited to the light, location and surrounding colouring, while deciding I also consider the moment, emotion and story that is being conveyed. I promise you that a lot of thought has gone into making your images perfect and I have used my judgement as an artist to do so. However, if you feel that the editing is does not suit you then I am happy to re-edit any files for an additional $15 each.
Will you make my teeth whiter/my eyes brighter/my waist smaller/my husband Channing Tatum (say what?!)?
No sorry I won't. You are perfect/amazing/incrediable/radient/real/awesome, so no, I won't change any of that.
What if we want more? Prints that is. Or albums or framed prints.
After viewing your gallery you are more than welcome to upgrade to any of the additional products. After seeing all that gorgeousness, I can't really blame you. Still after more? Shoot me through an email and we will work to make your printing dreams a reality.
Camilla French || Lifestyle and Landscape Photographer
North Queensland // Townsville // Cairns // Charters Towers // Georgetown // Tablelands // and all great places in-between.
Available for travel across Queensland, Australia and the world.