Little baby Sonny

Kathryn and John brought in 5 day old baby Sonny to the studio recently, and he was just absolutely adorable. I have a little feeling that he's going to be a very active little one because even in a deep sleep he was a little wriggler, giving us all the giggles with his stretchy toes and hands while he had a snooze in the studio.

With timeless black and white's, cute cover shots and some lovely wrapped images we can't wait to see the reaction when mum and dad get to see the full set of over 30 portraits from last weeks Newborn Session.

For Kathryn, John and family, thank you so much for bringing little Sonny into the studio, we hope to see him back soon and capture his development as he grows.

If you are expecting or know someone who is, get in touch anytime from your 12 week scan to secure your newborn space with us. 
Info@DavidMcIntoshStudios.com

Baby Gabriella's First Ever Photoshoot

We have had a wonderful time lately photographing so many adorable newborns. Here's a little extra sneak peek for Mum and Dad of Gabriella's session before the viewing session in a few days time! 

She was wonderful through the entire session and myself and Hayley absolutely can't wait to show Keri and her family the gallery of over 30 finished images of Gabriella! It's always such a lovely honour to be asked to capture these first few days and newborn sessions are genuinely our favourite type of studio session to have in.

From her tiny toes and little fingers to her cute little baby rolls, and even some lovely family images at the end of the session. We captured every little detail for mum and dad to look back at as she grows bigger every day.

Can't wait to her back in the studio again soon and hope all the family love their little extra sneak peek. If you are excepting or know someone who is, please let them know about our award winning sessions or maybe even get them a lovely gift voucher anytime from their 12 week scan.

www.DavidMcIntoshStudios.com
Info@DavidMcIntoshStudios.com

What To Expect When We Are Expecting You

The diary of a newborn and baby photographer is a complicated place! Nobody told your baby that they are expected to turn up for their portrait session and while some can’t wait to get here, some are fashionably late. 

This makes our diary a wonderfully fluid place! When you decide to book with us there will be a small deposit (£25) to reserve your place in my diary. We take a limited number of newborn sessions each month so that we can ensure we can fit everybody in and work around midwife and health visitor appointments once baby is here. We keep set spaces aside on weekday mornings every week so that we always have a space for our little ones.

Once your baby arrives and you have settled back in at home just give us a call or e-mail and we can then confirm the best date and time for your session. Your portrait session will take place in our comfortable purpose designed newborn studio and will probably be the most relaxing and lovely photography session you ever experience. Newborn studios are not like traditional photography studios - they are designed to be warm and comfortable. We want you and your baby to feel relaxed and comfortable so you are able to feed on demand and put your feet up with a magazine (We even have some new dads who take a quick nap!!).

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As newborn sessions need to be a warm environment, we have 2 main rooms so that we can keep the 2nd room slightly cooler for you with a sofa in each room. There's free wifi, bottled water, magazines, changing mats, muslin's, nappies, wipes and pretty much everything you could ever need already in the studio, so there's no need to worry if you accidentally left something behind, baby brain is allowed!

So that we can capture your baby perfectly while they are still so brand new, for most of the session your baby will be in their birthday suit, nappy or one of our lovely soft wraps. Newborn clothes never fit correctly so we don’t get to see all those beautiful details that say ‘hey I’m brand new!’ but don't worry, we have plenty wraps and always have spare tiny baby nappies in the studio without markings, pictures or patterns too.

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Being a newborn photographer means safety is the absolute most important thing during any session. That's why Hayley and myself work as a team on EVERY newborn session, attending workshops and constantly updating our training. We both hold certificates in emergency pediatric first aid, along with specialist training in newborn safety. While many photographers do newborn sessions on their own we personally do not feel that this is a high enough standard of safety for our studio. If I have to move a light or change a lens, Hayley is keeping a trained eye on your baby the entire time from inches away, If she moves to get a wrap, I am there doing the same. We are both parents and this gives its own set of instincts that you learn, but we always make sure to back this up further with training, workshops and constantly improving the studio with safety in mind. If you are still considering who to book with for your newborn images, please ask them what training they have. Everything is cleaned before and after a newborn session and we do everything possible to make sure the studio is the perfect environment for your newborns first images.     

On the day, you might want to pop a change of clothes for yourself into your changing bag. Your newborn portrait session can take up to 3 hours and the reason for this is your newborn will need feeding, cuddles and changes throughout the session which is baby led rather than photographer led! 

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We hope you have a perfect studio experience and do all we can while you are in to help this. If you need anything at all please just ask. We hope this article answers the many common questions but if you would like to book or discuss a session please contact us by e-mail: Info@DavidMcIntoshStudios.com

Our favourites from 2016!

2016 has been incredible, we owe a thank you to so many people. It has been our busiest year to date and has given us so many opportunities! We thought it would only be fitting to round up the year with a look over some of our favourite images from 2016.

We had lots of requests for images that we had never tried before. Above is a perfect example of this The family had a very clear idea of the image they wanted, and we only had everyone in the same country for one more day to pull off the perfect image! (no pressure..). I loved every minute of the shoot, and love the final results even more.

 

Ok, we all know I'm a geek at heart, but that's not the only reason that this image set made it on the list! Earlier this year we were lucky enough to work with TayFM and Cash For Kids when we put together our superhero mini sessions day. Free mini shoots for everyone with a suggested donation going to charity. We also decided that every print order should 100% go to charity too, and with this in mind, we covered the production cost of every order so that the full amount paid by every person went straight to the charity. From one day of shoots we managed to make over £500 for Cash For Kids and we know what a difference this will have made to kids in the local area.

We also got to meet lots of mini heroes, play with superhero costume and have a great excuse for stickers and silly games!! Ahem... I mean, we work super hard at the studio... honest!
 

Everyone knows we love having newborns in the studio. It is by far my favourite session to do and I would happily be a newborn-only photographer for the rest of my life. This year we have been working heavily on our newborn sessions with countless workshops. During the shoots I have also been aiming to bring parent and baby images into the mix more, with a special soft spot for dad and baby images!
 

I would gladly build a second home just so I had enough space lots of dogs, I'm not even kidding! But when Harley was booked in for some pet portrait shots I think I fell in love that little bit extra. Cuteness just dosn't cover it!

While most sessions are studio based it was lovely to get out and about this summer and have sum fun on location. The image above is from one of my favourite location sessions of the year, full of family races, sandcastle building, playing in the sand, the water and we even got the family dog involved too! After a spring in the studio it as a fantastic session to remind me of the fun of outdoor shoots. 

It has been a year of super fun mini sessions and having plenty opportunities to let kids imaginations flourish in the studio. I loved how much all the kids enjoyed this years mini sessions and can't wait to build on this even further next year.

Over the year we have been investing a lot in handmade and bespoke props for the studio, the image above is one of my favourites as it was the first session we used our handmade moon prop which fitted perfectly with the starry night sky backdrop. 

As the year drew to a close we worked with multiple nurseries for their yearly and christmas photos. Rather than charge a fee to each playgroup and nusery we photographed all of them with no fee, and instead donated over £250 back to the Playgroups and Nurseries that we worked with. It was lovely hearing how each nursery used the funds, with one using it to buy every child at the nursery a christmas gift. 

This image sums up the connection between baby and dad that I have been very keen to capture this year. As a dad and newborn photographer I always see lots of lovely mum and baby images but I absolutely love getting dad involved and capturing a bond that isn't documented as often in newborn portraiture.

My last favourite image of the year is special because it captures some very rare time off. As a business owner I pour every day I can into my work, but I always try to take time out for my little girl as often as possible. Its always a tough balance to strike but looking back at images like this from days off remind me to work hard and enjoy the moments of rest in between.

Your Journey

A family photoshoot is an exciting time and we want to help you make the most of your experience with us.

1) Getting Ready

Once you have booked in for a shoot and have your session day and time set, please be sure to have a read over our 'What To Wear Guide' to help you plan for your session. It walks you through lots of tips to help you pick out the best outfits for your session. If anyone is having a hair cut around the time of the session, aim for a week before the session to give it time to grow in and look more natural. Also if anyone has any allergies or medical conditions we should be aware of please let us know in advance and we can try to accommodate as best as possible.

2) What To Bring

Props, Themes and Toys for kids can make a session much more fun and personal.  Please feel free to bring anything along with you on the day, just be sure to let us know in advance so I can start planning out all the amazing shots we can put together. If you have a fun hobby or a job that you would like to theme a few shots too, let us know and we can include it during your session. If you would like to, you can also bring along a 2nd outfit.

3) Before Your Session Starts

Family sessions in the studio are a lot of fun and a great way to capture some amazing memories. Before we begin with your shoot we will take a few minutes out to sit down and have a quick last chat over your session and some last minute info, this only takes a few minutes at most though! We then have up to an hour to go through different poses, lighting setups, outfits, individual and group shots.

4) At The End Of Your Session

After we have finished the session you will be booked in for a viewing session for around 2 weeks later. We spend the time between your session and viewing individually editing and retouching each image to make sure they all are finished to the highest standard. 

5) Viewing, Ordering and Beyond

During your viewing session you get to see all the finished images from your session. We will have a short chat over the images along with the prints and wall art that we can offer. At the end of your viewing session we will give you the link and password for your online gallery so that you can look over your images for up to 14 days giving you lots of time to decide on your order. Orders can be placed in studio, by e-mail, or directly through the client gallery. Orders usually take around 1 to 2 weeks but can be couriered from the lab to make things quicker. They are then hand gift wrapped with lots of care and are ready to be collected from the studio.

Once your artwork is sitting proudly on your wall, please do have a think over how much you enjoyed your experience with us. Our clients have an amazing time with us and most book again year after year. We pride ourselves on establishing long term clients and in the past few years have had families back in for their 4th, 5th and even 6th session.

We also survive largely on word of mouth, if you had a great time and want to share it please feel free to give us a review on Facebook or Google! 

Anderson Family Session

 

I don't think I'v seen as many newborn faces in one week before, and I have to say I have loved every single session! Don't think I can ever get bored of newborn sessions! 

For Emma and Ryan's session we went with a mix of High Key White and Low Key Black family shots, and even got some adorable individual photo's towards the end holding mum and dads hand! 

I absolutely cannot wait to show Emma and Ryan the full 40 image set, but until then, here's a little peek at 5 of the images.

What To Wear Guide

Your outfit can make or break your family session, so why leave it to chance. In just 6 steps we'll show you how to create the perfect outfit set for your family session.

1) Co-ordinate But Don't Match

Try to start out with a basic colour palette of around 3 colours for the whole family. Avoid stripes, loud patterns and overstated florals. Instead, aim for solid colours that stay within your chosen palette. You could try starting with one outfit or clothing piece as a main focus (say a little girls pretty dress) and build everything else around that with a similar colour palette and tones. Try to split up the colours between family members rather than having everyone wearing the same main colour.

2) Timeless, Not Trends

Whether its Batman, Cinderella, Nike or One Direction. . .  logo’s and brands aren’t just a distraction from the faces but might be out of style before you know it. You want timeless portraits that can proudly hang on the wall for years with the attention on faces not on clothing. If your ever struggling, denim jeans and nice tops can always work well.

3) Layers, Textures and Accessories

Layers and accessories work well in photographs. They give more detail to images and make them more interesting. Try adding little details to your planned outfit to help finish the look. Maybe you even have accessories that will also fit your chosen colour palette! Let the seasons be inspiration to you also. 

4) Remember Your Backdrop

It’s not just about the outfit you pick, but how it will work with the backdrop of your photographs. If you are outside will your outfits work well against the location you have chosen? If you are in studio. . .  Is the t-shirt you have picked out going to be lost against the backdrop?

5) Plan Ahead

Start thinking about your session weeks in advance, not a day or two. You are always welcome to e-mail us with your idea's for your session in advance, we love tailoring our sessions individually to each family. Planning out your outfits can be fun and makes a great excuse for a lovely new outfit. Start thinking about themes, fun session idea's and get excited. You could even make a day of it and plan some fun activities or a family meal out for after your session.

6) Let Your Personalities Shine

This is the most important part of it all. The aim is to capture stunning photograph's of people, so let their personalities shine through too! Forcing children to wear outfits that are uncomfortable and unfamiliar to them may make them more stressed and less relaxed during sessions. Same goes for adults. 

For a little bit of extra inspiration, here's an example set that would be perfect this Autumn! A lovely colour palette of reds and neutrals, tied together with denim will make for stunning timeless portraits. 

6 Tips For Choosing A Family Photographer

Choosing a photographer for your Family Session can be hard, if not verging on impossible! I take lots of photograph's of my (soon-to-be) 3 year old daughter, but choosing another photographer to capture the entire family always proves to be a huge struggle. There are so many of us, so many price points, styles, experiences and end results.

So how do we even start? I thought I'd share my 6 top tips on how to choose a photographer when booking your next Family Session. 

1) Ask Around! 

When trying to find out who is available, ask friends and family, do a Google search, have a look on Facebook. Whatever the method, make sure you have some choice on the table. So many of us go with the first photographer we find, and then wonder why we weren't 100% happy with the end result. We wouldn't buy the first car we came across, or go with the first available house just because we found it first. Family photographs will stay with us for as many years as a house or car, sometime's a lot more, so why settle for the first one we find when, with just a little bit more time before choosing, we could truly fall in love with the images that come out of it.
 


2) Look At Their Portfolio

This might sound a little strange, surely it seems obvious that you would check the work of a photographer before booking? But so many don't... we take a friends recommendation without checking, or are taken in by a offer or discount and before we know it, we have booked instantly. Any professional should be able to show you more photos than you can handle to prove their ability and style. Do they have clear, sharp, consistent photography? Do they have a good contrast and tone? Do they photograph in a style that you like? 

If you look through a portfolio and see bleached out images, harsh shadows, washed out images, colour's sitting very off or even worse... photo's out of focus.. then no matter the price or offer, its just not worth it and we know we just won't be happy with the images.

Also, does the photographer have a portfolio in print? Online portfolio's use very small versions of the images. Check a printed portfolio as any mistakes will show up a lot more in print. I always have a printed portfolio album in the studio, along with framed and canvas work up to the 30 and 40 inch mark. I would expect the same from any other studio, and at least a good sized portfolio from any non-studio photographer.

3) Studio, Home Or Location

Photographers may shoot in studio, on location or come out to your home. Some only do one, and some do some or all of these. You may not have already made the choice yet, but if not, its worth thinking about as the results can be very different.

Studio will generally be a bit more posed, shoot times can be more flexible as you aren't waiting on perfect lighting and weather doesn't stop or effect the session. You will normally have a choice of backgrounds and the photographer will have a set style that they consistently shoot. Studio portraiture is my favorite type of shoot, and there is barely a day goes by that I'm not in the studio.

Some photographers have mobile setups that can be set up in a clients home or at an event. Children might be more relaxed in their own home, however the photographer has never set up in this space before, and doesn't have the same freedom to move lighting around or have the same space for group shots. The results can vary more depending on the available space. 

Location Sessions can be beautiful, can be full of character and can be taken places that mean something personal to you, but you are always at the mercy of the weather, the available sunlight on the day and anyone else using the same space outdoors. 

Have a think over what you would prefer as this may be crucial in choosing your photographer. While I love a nice location, I am in Scotland, so I have to be realistic that weather will not always be on my side! 


4) What's Your Budget?

So, we have found our available photographers, and are happy with the portfolio's of a select few. Where do we go from here? There are 3 more points that will help us get the right photographer for us.

First of all, decide on your budget. We need to be honest and realistic at this point as there's no point paying for amazing images with the world's best photographer if we can't afford to buy a single image for our wall. At the same time, this is an investment in artwork that will brighten up our home for years to come. There isn't a day that I don't wake up and smile at the images hanging on the wall as I get ready in the morning. 

When deciding on your photographer, don't just look at the session prices. Be clear on what you want from your session, and when speaking to photographers, ask them for a quote inclusive of the wall art, prints, albums or high-res files that you are looking for from your session.  Even if you aren't entirely sure on the end products, ask for a price list. Photographers can very greatly on these costs and it's good to be aware of them before booking. It may be worth asking about the quality of the products also. Varied prices don't always match up with the quality you receive back.

Another thing to take note of at this point, is the sales process. Are you going to be pushed into sales with very short timescales or pitched to by a salesperson until your ears fall off? Does the studio charge more for later orders, or only back up the photo's for a short period of time? These all happen often, and its worth taking note so you know in advance. I personally back up all sessions for 7 years, and have no time limit on orders. With this in mind I always look for photographers who give a more relaxed sales process.

5) Ask About Qualifications And Experience

As a photographer I am always learning. I put time aside every week to test out new lighting idea's, new ways to process images, or just try my hand at a new type of photography in my off-time. The unfortunate realization though, is that in order to be a family photographer you don't 'need' any qualifications or training. In fact there are no laws to stop someone picking up a camera tomorrow and being a 'professional' by Thursday. In my eyes, anyone charging for sessions should be experienced, able to deliver consistent quality and know what they are doing.

It can be worth checking how long a photographer has been shooting family photography, or how long they have been professionally taking pictures for in total. Have they had any training at College or University? Do they attend Workshops or training days? There are many good photographers who have not went through years of formal education, but they should still have many years of experience and have some form of training. This is especially true with Newborn Photography and I urge you never to book a newborn photographer who has not completed some sort of training. Newborn poses done wrong can be highly dangerous for your little ones health. It's always worth asking about their training, qualifications and background.

6) Insurance And Safety

I can't stress this enough. Does your photographer have the right insurance? It doesn't matter if they shoot from a studio, on location or come out to your home, every photographer NEEDS to be insured. Ask them if they have Public Liability Insurance. I am personally covered for up to two million pounds, and I wouldn't expect any less with anyone else I am booking.

Just think of it this way, if you book a photographer to come out to your home and they knock over your new TV, do you think an uninsured photographer will manage cover the damage?

The same goes during session, don't ever let a photographer put yourself or your children into a pose that you personally deem unsafe or are uncomfortable with. On my first Family Photoshoot with another photographer, he wanted to put our 10 month old on a ladder for a pose. When it comes to safety, ask in advance but don't forget to find your voice during your session either!

As a last little extra point... remember... Have fun!

Make a choice your comfortable with. Don't force yourself to book someone you aren't entirely satisfied with. Have fun on your session and have a great time. There's a lot been covered here but the main thing to keep in mind is this should be a great family experience from start to finish. Make the most of your day, maybe even free up some more of the day and plan other fun things after your shoot. Let the kids get excited and the images show their personality.

 

I hope this helps you when you are next deciding on a Family Shoot. Let us know what you think of this post, and maybe even add your own tips in the comments below! For anyone considering us for their next Family Session, you can reach our Studio Manager by e-mailing Info@DavidMcIntoshStudios.com

Kofo Commercial Shoot

It's been another busy week in the studio, and again it's brought all sorts of different sessions through the door. I had a blast at the weekend photographing my first prom, we've been testing out new backdrops and I'v also been doing another few commercial sessions and thought I'd share a couple of shots from our studio shoot on Friday with Arbroath retailer Kofo.

We had a blast and I owe a huge thank you to Jamie and Caitlyn for their amazing modeling and styling on the day. Now for a well deserved cuppy before a weekend of Newborn and Pet sessions! :)

Claudia's Family Session, Wooden Backdrops and Vintage Looks!

It's been a busy month at the studio. I'v been teaching 18 hours a week, have been off learning new things at workshops, secured my spot for going back to college after summer and have had an unusual amount of amazingly cute pet sessions in! It's been amazing.

The biggest change though, comes with the new backdrop that I'v spent my spare hours over the last week building into the studio. And I'm so excited to show you all the results!!

It was finished yesterday, and I couldn't have asked for a better first session. I'v covered a Christening, a birthday, a cake smash and some birthday studio photo's with Claudia's family before and it's a pleasure to see them every time. So when she came to me with her vintage idea It made perfect sense to have them in as a first session on the new setup!

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Unlike most of my family sessions, I went with just one light cutting across the image. Lots of lovely shadows and contrast to make everything pop! We pulled out a little crate and everything was set. I honestly cannot thank Claudia and Beto enough for their efforts on the outfits either.

Cannot wait to show the whole family the entire set later today. As a little added extra to try and make things even more vintage looking I did my first ever Wetplate Edits. in this session too.

Here's a little peek at how the first one came out. 

New Look High Res USB!

It's been an exciting time for the studio recently. We've made so many upgrades this last month that it's hard to keep track. From the website, to our bright new viewing room, it's all changing! 

Today we got our first delivery of new High res USB's and I couldn't be happier, so I just had to let you have a little peek! Can't wait to show off all the other changes we have in store over the next few weeks also!

The engraved USB comes complete with its own matching engraved box ready to be loaded with all your lovely images form your session!

Dog Whispering!

It's been such a fun day in the studio today with pet sessions all afternoon! I always love showing the finished pictures but today I thought I'd do something a bit different and give you all a little look into some of the work that goes on after the session. 

The first session of the day had 4 boisterous dogs, all different sizes, ages and colours and all full of beans! While it has it's challenges, I love sessions like this because it lets me use a technique that I always love. Composite Editing. 

For part of the session, we shot each dog separately so that we could composite the shots one by one together during editing. Here's a little look at how our first image was made, step by step. We started with the base image of the Yorkies, and added the others in one at a time. Afterwards, the backdrop was extended out, red lead removed and a few final adjustments.

Composite Photography is always tricky, but with good preparation and some extra time spent in editing it can open up options that weren't available before. 

I can't wait to show you some more shots from this session later in the week! 

Kelly and Ruari Dalgetty's Wedding

Nothing is more rewarding than being invited to share in someones special day by photographing their wedding. Kelly and Ruari both gave me this wonderful opportunity a few days ago on the 24th of May when they tied the knot at the lovely Forbes Of Kingennie.

Everyone was absolutely lovely and I can't thank family and friends enough for making me feel so welcome on the day. As a little early thank you, here's a little sneak peek of a couple shots from the big day. There's around 250 more images that I cannot wait to share in around a weeks time and it has been an absolute pleasure.

 

I would also love to say that Forbes Of Kingennie have been, to date, the nicest and most accommodating wedding venue I have shot at. Someone must have let the venue know that free tea on tap over the day is definitely the way to my heart! haha

A special extra mention must also be made to all the kids, mini Batman and Captain America were even guarding the cake until the Cake Cutting!

Once again, Kelly and Ruari, thank you! 

New Website!!

I'v been hard at work behind the scenes building the new website and I cannot wait to hear what everyone thinks.

With the new website comes a new blog, packed full of first looks at sessions, setup and pullback images and a little glimpse into the studio during our second year as a busy independent photography studio.

With all that's going on behind the scenes here, I thought there would be no better way than to let you see a little behind the scenes shot from one of our location sessions during winter. We went with a combination of natural light shots and softbox lighting to give our amazing little poser's portraits that something extra!