Sessions, viewings & bookings

By Jo Frances – 2015 NZ Classic Portrait Photographer of the Year
All about booking a shoot, and viewing your photos

Photography should be an enjoyable and relaxing process – we won’t ask you to stand in awkward stiff poses and we won’t get upset if your child pees on the floor (this happens a lot!). We have lots of experience with kids and know that they can be shy, difficult, unpredictable and downright grumpy as often as not. It is our job to make it a fun experience for them too. To ensure your children are happy and comfortable each session is taken at their pace. We will start by giving them time to relax with us and during the session we will stop whenever necessary for breaks, feeds and changes.

Our approach

We specialise in capturing the relationships between people and the love you feel for each other. We will often get you to look at each other and get close – its our trademark to take photos that make you feel something – Mums often ask us for tissues at our viewings!

As child-rearing often leaves us feeling rather unglamorous, we will take the time to ensure that you are photographed in the most flattering angles and lighting possible. We are masters at minimizing the appearance of double chins! As part of our service, touch-ups of spots, scratches etc., are offered on all images ordered.

At Jo Frances Photography our prices are upfront and reasonable. If you contact us for a quote you will be given a clear answer and you will not be pressured to buy more than you are wanting to. We are a boutique photography studio and are focused on quality of work and client care, not quantity of clients. You can be assured that you will not be rushed at any step of the process. We use the highest quality archival materials in our products and work with the best framer in town!

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Session information

Here at Jo Frances Photography we like to start our sessions by asking you what you are looking for in your portraits. We have lots of images and ideas we can show you but we are mostly guided by you and your children. Beautiful moments occur naturally – we capture the little looks between people, the glorious giggle, the true personality of your child.

Sessions can be held in our studio or in a location of your choice. We have a large comfortable studio in Thorndon, Wellington which is suitable for both big and small groups. Our studio provides a warm, homelike environment where you will feel comfortable creating spontaneous, fun, personal, and intimate images. We work with you to determine the best time of day for your portrait session, ensuring that the naps, feeding times and your individual family needs are taken into account. Ten am sessions are the most popular as most children seem at their best in the morning.

We recommend that you book us as soon as you decide you want our services as we are often booked quite far in advance. Our busiest months are September to December and Saturday mornings are our peak time slots.

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When to come?

People always ask “what is the best age to have my child photographed?” We have several favourite ages.

In the womb!

We love creating pregnancy art. You only get to be pregnant with this child once so think about capturing it in a special piece for your home. We promise to make you look and feel gorgeous (and to not photograph any wobbly bits!).

Do bring any older children and your partner if you can. We have lots of fabrics and textiles to use in the shoot and will take the time to create something really beautiful for you to remember this amazing time in your life.

Visit our pregnancy photo gallery

Newborn

Preferably in the first two weeks. The younger your newborn baby is the more relaxed and sleepy they are which allows for more artistic poses. Don’t worry though – they all wake up at some point during the session and we usually get some images of them looking straight at the camera as well. Newborns are usually photographed nude. And yes they do often wee, poo and vomit everywhere and that is fine with us. We are quite used to doing a pile of washing after each newborn shoot.

We like to allow up to three hours for the newborn shoots so that there is plenty of time for babies to be fed and settled etc. We appreciate the trust you give us when you bring your new baby to us as one of your first outings. We will keep the session low stress and look after both you and your baby during the session. We also offer gorgeous thank-you/announcement cards from our newborn sessions.

Visit out newborn photo gallery

Between Sitting and Crawling – usually 5-9 months.

This is often the chubby smiley stage. This age makes for some of our easiest sessions! Bring any favourite items that you would like your baby to be photographed with and bring some lovely colour clothes that compliment their skin – a lot of people choose both B&W and colour shots of this age. These shoots take around an hour.

The first Birthday – bring a bunch of fun clothes and we will make this a real celebration of your little one’s first year. These shoots take around an hour.

Visit our baby photo gallery

We offer packages of shoots and images taken over the first year.

Toddling

15 months to 2 years – one of the yummiest bits of parenting. They love you to pieces, come out with the funniest things and are just plain cute. This is a great stage to do either an outdoor shoot or a shoot designed around a particular type of image – see our example of the little girl in the pink frame in our childrens section. Talk to us about any ideas you have prior to coming in so we can set up for them.

Visit our baby photo gallery

Two year olds

This is one of the most fun and most difficult ages to photograph. Bring snacks and be prepared to let your child lead this session. Feel free to bring a range of outfits, dress-ups and ideas.

Visit our children photo gallery

Three year olds

Three year olds are fantastic to shoot – they are often eager to please and haven’t yet become too self-conscious. Feel free to bring a range of outfits, dress-ups and ideas.

Four years and up. By four, kids are often becoming more self-conscious so we work towards getting a more natural response from them. You will see us being incredibly silly and will often be in hysterics yourself! Bring anything that you would like to incorporate in the shoot.

Visit our children photo gallery

Clothing for adults

You don’t have to wear blue jeans and a white t-shirt! Having said that please avoid words, logos and pictures. And denim always looks great. It’s helpful if you bring something dark and something light to wear. If you are coming with a small baby bring a change of clothing for yourselves too! It’s important that you all dress as if you are going to the same place – we like the summer beach picnic look. Its always summer in our studio so please avoid long sleeves if you can.

We have lots of cool props that we can use but do find that clients often choose quite simple uncluttered images. If you have any special items such as a specially knitted blanket, a favourite bear, flowers, a colourful trike, etc, you are most welcome to bring them.

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Viewings

After each session we schedule you a viewing time where we show you your images. It is important that everyone involved in the decision making comes to the viewing session as your images will be chosen and your order placed at this time. If for any reason someone can’t make this session we kindly ask that you reschedule.

We show you between 30 and 50 images on a large screen, depending on the type of shoot. While this may seem a large number of images to choose from, we have found that a greater selection allows you to choose the images that most capture your child, and we always have at least that many great images to show you. We help you narrow down your selection and our goal is that you end up with only the best images you will love looking at for years to come. All ordered images are archived indefinitely. All unordered images are purged after your viewing session.

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Frequently asked questions

Some of the questions people ask are answered below. I’m more than happy to chat to you about any questions you have – just get in touch by chatting (at the bottom of the screen), sending me an email or picking up the phone.

Questions and answers

For family and/or children photo sessions please bring different outfits you may want to use, a drink and a snack for little ones, favourite toys or special soft toys/bears and any special family heirlooms you want to include (grandmas pearls/handmade blankets etc.,). For pregnancy sessions please discuss this with Jo as it varies depending on the type of style you are wanting.
Sessions can last from 45 minutes to three hours depending on the participants. Newborns usually take between 2-3 hours and toddlers usually only last 45 minutes or so. We will take the session at your families pace and keep them having fun!
As I am only taking on two shoots a week this year, I recommend you book me as soon as you know you want my services. Saturday times are especially popular so book ahead if you need a Saturday.
I will pencil book your newborn session in approximately a week after you are due. We can then move the date earlier or later depending on when your baby is born. I always reserve enough time in my calendar to photograph my pre-booked newborns.
If your child is miserable please reschedule. Please try to give me 24 hrs notice although I do realize that this is not always possible with little ones! If your child just has a runny nose or a little cough but is happy in themselves then come along anyway. But please no contagious bugs! I will also do you the courtesy of rebooking you if I am unwell.
Absolutely not! I only do skin-on-skin shots if you are comfortable with that look. I do recommend it with newborn shoots as it can look a little odd if the baby is naked and dad has a business shirt on. If you would rather have a top on then I recommend a plain black and/or white singlet or t-shirt for newborn and young baby shoots. I have a selection of strapless singlets for mums which get washed after each shoot. I would also say that you do not have to be a size 10 model to rock this look – people of all shapes and sizes can look great with bare shoulders smooched up to their baby.
There is no minimum spend on products and you don’t need to decide what you specifically want until you come to your ordering session. I will give you plenty of time to look through the pricing menu before your session so you can start thinking about what you want. During the ordering session I will help you pick out the images you love the most and offer some suggestions as to how you may want to display them. Although it may seem daunting to choose from a big selection, the system and the software I use makes the process relatively easy. If for any reason one of the decision makers can not come to the ordering session, I ask that you kindly postpone.

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Bookings

Jo is committed to giving her clients the most gorgeous images and the best possible service. In order to provide her bespoke experience Jo takes on just two clients a week. As such, Jo likes to discuss your photography ideas and needs with you before booking you to ensure that there is a good fit between you and her.

How to make a booking

Making a booking is easy. Please contact Jo to arrange a session or have a chat about the options.

Contact Jo to book your sitting

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