Why does documentary family photography make better family portraits?
The word "better" is of course very subjective, but for me, a family portrait needs to have personality, and it's very hard to capture personality through posing or contriving situations.  Spending a few hours with you instead gives me a chance to work out the dynamics, catch you all "in the act" and leave you with memories you will look back on for decades to come. 


What do I need to wear?
What you'd wear on any given day. Or maybe you have a favourite t-shirt you got given years ago that you want to feature in those photographs... remember, I am photographing you as you are, to celebrate the real and the ordinary. Wear what you'd wear. Be who you'd be. 


Do I have to look at the camera? How do I know what I need to do?
You don't need to do anything other than live your daily life. Many of my portraits do not have eye-contact; that's because ideally, I'd like to "disappear" and for you to forget I am even there... that way I have more chance at capturing the real you. HOWEVER, some of my best portraits have involved direct eye-contact from both children and adults. Eye-contact that is meaningful can be utterly beautiful in photographs. But remember, a smiley eye-contact and a "cheese" isn't going to help me help you preserve your real.


How long will you stay?
Depends on the length of shoot you have booked me for. For family photography, I will say that the longer the session is the better and more real the outcome, especially with children. They eventually do forget I am there and this is when the real work can begin. 


What if my home is really dark? Will you use a flash?
I don't use a flash. I sometimes use a small light if really needed but I only use natural light. This is why in winter months, I only offer morning sessions. Not to worry, though, producing memorable shots with a very small amount of light is something I am used to! This was taken in mid-winter on a very rainy day in a cosy home with small windows...


I would prefer it if you met us at a different location, is that possible?
Absolutely! I am happy to photograph your family anywhere given I have the permission to take photographs in said location. Your contract will stipulate the exact location of the shoot so that travel expenses can be taken into consideration. But other than that, I have even met a family in London Natural History Museum.  Mum wanted her 3 year old boy's very first experience of it captured. Here, this little boy is looking at the stunning 25.2-metre-long blue whale skeleton suspended from the museum's ceiling the museum's ceiling.

What if I don't want the photos you take to appear on your social media page afterwards? Do I have the right to decline consent?
Yes. Under the new 2018 GDPR regulations, I need your consent to publish any photographs taken of you or your children on private grounds (whether your home, someone else's home or a museum). Legally, I do not need consent for any shots where faces are not recognisable. My standard policy for my family photoshoots is that you have 5 days once I have sent you the photographs to decline consent (my birth photography policy is different). If I don't hear back from you with a specific request not to publish your images, I will assume that you are happy for me to use them. I do realise that personal wishes, philosophies are even circumstances vary greatly, so I do understand some people wishing not to give me consent. All I would say is that publishing your images plays a significant role in marketing my services. After all, how did you find me? Giving me consent can also allow me to enter some images into competitions which is another aspect of my work that helps me fulfil my vision.


What is your cancellation policy?
Cancellation within 2 weeks of your shoot will incur the full cost. Cancellations before then enables you to re-book at no further cost. Please bear in mind that the deposit is non-refundable.


Is there anything I need to do to prepare for your visit?
Absolutely nothing. There is no need to tidy the house, or come up with a new hair-style or even make the bed if you don't normally do so! I will turn up on the day, put down my bag somewhere out of the way, then start shooting right away, and before you know it, you'll start to forget I am there! 


How many photos can I expect and will you process in both colour and black and white?
This really depends on the length of shoot you have booked. You can expect anywhere from 50-200 images. I do process them in both monochrome and colour. I may decide not to process some shots in colour depending on lighting available as artificial lighting can distort colours greatly.
I’m really keen to have a photographer but my other half isn't convinced...
Why not spend a bit of time with your loved one going through all my photofilms and galleries. It may put their minds at rest if they are expecting a formal, bossy, awkward photographer... It might also help reading some of my reviews, many of which mention my general approach.

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I am Emily Renier, an award-winning photographer based in Hertfordshire, England. I am passionate about representing the real and the ordinary of our lives using a sensitive story-telling approach.  I am also a candid portrait photographer who delivers strong portrait images celebrating my subject's personality. I am therefore able to preserve memories and create keepsakes that can be looked back on in decades to come. 

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