Tel: 07815 864 884

How to get the best light for portraits

Light and how to use it

How can you best use light to create the best photos of your kids..  Here are a few tips that may help, this blog is part of a series of infographics designed to give parents helpful hints in how to get better photos of their kids without investing in years of training or expensive equipment.  They are great tips for using your phone camera..

The next blog in this series is about how to successfully distract children in order to get natural images of them without saying cheese!!  Lights, Camera, ACTION

How to use light for photography

If you still can’t get great shots, then I am available for bookings!!  Have a look at my children’s portrait work taken largely in London and the surrounding areas.



Amelia Brightman latest photo shoot

Amelia Brightman in the Studio

So if you don’t know me, you won’t know that my husband is a professional singer.  He has worked in a group called Gregorian Masters of Chant for a number of years on their tours and CD recordings.  The only female singer in the group is the rather fabulous Amelia Brightman and I’ve met her on a few occasions over the year.  So when she was after some new publicity shots for her new solo venture later this year I was delighted to get her in the studio.

So she arrived at my door with half a hedge and along with her brilliant make up/hair artist Alison, we started to transform her into her vision of the Mucha Moon portrait, helped by my sister Fiona McCosh we lit her and blew air at her and draped her and I think the results are rather lovely, Amelia was so excited with the images, I’m so pleased she likes them.  The following images will be used in her solo tour later this year and on her new Album, very exciting and always a pleasure.

Amelia Brightman publicity


Amelia Brightman publicity


Amelia Brightman publicity


Amelia Brightman publicity



If you are interested in having your Publicity Photos done by me give me a call to discuss things..

Susan Porter-Thomas Photography LSWPP


Family Photoshoot

A Family Photoshoot is never more poignant than when a new baby arrives. I have photographed this family before when it was just 2 children, and it was an absolute joy to see the new addition. I quite fell in love with them all.

I am lucky enough to meet the most gorgeous families and to be able to hold their precious newborn babies, which is always a real treat for me as I’ve left that phase of parenting far behind me now. So if you would like to do the same kind of photoshoot then we’re looking at the first month of life and preferably the first 2 weeks if possible. Older siblings need to have neutral clothing on or we can take tops off if they are young, this gives a lovely natural look to the images and stops any problems with colours clashing.

I want your eye to be drawn to the children’s faces and not to their t-shirts!! If you would like more tips from a photographer on clothing options for photoshoots then take a look at my blog with lots of useful hints.

Family photoshoots are special events and will give you the basis of your family memories, it’s so important to get them done.

Family photoshoot

Family photoshoots

Family photo shoots

Family photography

Family photographer

Family portrait photoshoots

Photography tips for Parents

Photography Tips – How to take better photos of your kids

I thought I would share with you my go to tricks for how to get children to relax when they have a camera pointed at them.  I hope they work for you, I use them in all my family shoots.  As soon as a child can understand what you’re saying, these hints will save you getting either horrible camera smiles or silly faces and I can honestly say that I’ve not had a child I’ve not been able to relax using these tips.


Photography tips info graphic

Maternity portraits in the studio

Maternity Portraits in the Studio in West London last week. You can see here how impactful the studio can be for maternity shoots, you don’t have any distraction around and behind, we can create beautiful lighting and take time to pose correctly to make the most of the pregnant form. This lady blew me away, she was stunning, perfect shaped bump, gorgeous skin, amazing hair and looked stunning no matter what I dressed her in. Maternity Portraits are such a great way to remember the brief time before your baby is born, get it done artfully and you’ll be proud to show off your bump to the world.

I have a good selection of materials and clothing in which to dress the pregnant form, but it’s always great to have something personal with you. This lady brought along her wedding veil which is the tan coloured chiffon she’s clutching, it’s such a lovely idea to have something from your wedding with you. Give me a call at 07815 864 884 if you would like your own maternity portraits, and don’t leave it too late!! Around 32-36 weeks is perfect.

If you’re needing convincing that this is the most artistic way to commemorate your pregnancy, then check out the competition – Really bad ways to commemorate your pregnancy

Maternity portraits in the studio

Maternity portraits

Maternity portraits in West London

Maternity portraits in the West London studio

Maternity photoshoots

Maternity photography in West London

Maternity Photo Shoot in West London Studio

What Mothers Really Want for Mothering Sunday


What Mothers Really Want


Fathers and Children, this is what Mothers really want for Mothering Sunday, Portraits of us with our Children…




For all you kids/dads/sons/daughters out there, this is what Mothers really want for Mothering Sunday.  They want images of their gorgeous children of course.  They don’t need flowers or chocolates, they want something that will last and will remind them how much they are loved by those they gave birth to.

Not sure what to buy?


She will want images of her with her babies no matter how old they

Buy a Voucher for a photo shoot


mothering sunday gift


If you buy a voucher you’ll get a lovely gift box with tissue paper and ribbon which can then be redeemed by them when she’s ready to book the shoot.  You can buy Vouchers here for a family photo shoot which can be used at a location near to your home at a time that suites you.


If she doesn’t want to be in the photos?


If she is camera shy or would just rather have images of her kids on their own, no problem.. a stunning portrait for the wall will be the envy of her friends and will be an heirloom for the kids when they’ve grown up.


If the kids are a bit older we can do a studio shoot for some more timeless images, but location shoots are also brilliant fun for kids, I’m happy to do both, so have a look at my family portfolios (Fine Art Children and Location Children) and you can decide on the style once we get to booking a date..

Children's fine art photography



If you’ve left it until the last minute, don’t panic, I can email you the gift card to print at home.  You can then be ready with a breakfast in bed and a gorgeous gift in plenty of time.

Voucher Form

Maternity photographer West London

For a maternity photographer West London has a wealth of mums to be, however this gorgeous bump came all the way over from Canary Wharf with her husband and mother in tow. Truly stunning, I thoroughly enjoyed this shoot, she had brought with her this gorgeous robe which swished perfectly. It’s always great to have your own clothing if you have anything suitable, it needs to be something that either fits closely to your pregnant body or drapes well and has a movement to the material.

If you need advice do say and I’ll talk you through a few ideas. I have plenty of materials and clothing for you to use here so don’t worry if you don’t have anything suitable though. A pregnancy photo shoot is such a great way to commemorate your pregnancy and perfect if you’re not too keen on plaster cast!!

Maternity photographer West London

Maternity photography West London

Pregnancy photographer West London

West London maternity photographer

Maternity photo shoots West London

Susan Porter-Thomas Maternity Photographer West London

Windsor portrait photographer

This little girl just blew me away, such amazing hair and freckles and clearly enjoying everything the studio had to offer. We had fun with the wind machine and she took direction really well. In Windsor portrait photographers have the choice of studio and location with some great locations for family photo shoots, with Windsor Great Park and surrounding areas.

If you think your children are old enough to take direction and you love the timeless studio look do give me a call. I also had Rosa’s 2 brothers in the session with her and took some family images to have some more for Mum to choose from. I have a few different background colours but I’m loving this dark grey at the moment, it’s very much in fashion and in people’s homes so it goes really well on the walls.

If you’re having a shoot with a great background then you can wear probably neutrals, white, cream, grey, even shades of brown and definitely soft pink look gorgeous against it. I do prefer the darker images, it’s probably a backlash against the Venture type images of just the high key white backgrounds that dominated for so long.

Windsor portrait photographer

Windsor portrait photographers

Windsor portrait photography

Windsor portrait photoshoots

portrait photographer Windsor

Location portrait photographer Windsor

Susan Porter-Thomas – Windsor portrait photographer

What to wear for my Photo Shoot

The most commonly asked question by my clients once they have booked is what to wear for my photo shoot.

Memorable family portraits take careful planning, and the clothing you choose is very important to your portrait’s success.  Planning your clothing for your family photo shoot will help us to create an artwork of  a very personal nature. As a decorative focal point in your home or office, it will serve as a reflection of your good taste, as well as a most appropriate expression of your personal style.  I hope the following guide lines will help you in preparing for your shoot and picking out clothing and props appropriately with the sample colour schemes.

General Clothing tips

  • Very simple garments always photograph best.  No frills or loud patterns.
  • For adults turtle necks or V-necks are flattering provided that neither is exaggerated in style. Avoid very wide or particular deep V-neck garments, as well as bulky cowl neck sweaters that completely hide the neck.
  • For children, make sure they can fit into the outfit and haven’t grown out of it since you bought it.  Something they feel comfortable in, ie not too starchy.
  • Long sleeves are essential for teens and adults, as bare arms call attention to themselves and will over power the face.  At the very least cover the upper arms.
  • Wear clothing that fits but does not pinch, you will look larger in tighter clothing, but tent like clothing goes too far!

Harmonious Colour Schemes – on location

In the same way as when you decorate your home, you need to be wearing the same colour tones and compliment each other with similar hues if at all possible.  Below are some ideas of colour combinations for you to try matching up to when you’re planning for a location shoot.  Choose clothing in the same tonal ranges so no single member of the family stands out because the clothing is too light or bright compared to the rest of the group.

I would pick no more than 3 colours for your groups clothing

Spring photo shoot

When being photographed in a green park in spring, it’s best to stick to neutral hues and soft tones.  You cannot compete with the greens so you need to pick colours that don’t jar with it.  If it’s a shoot with bluebells or daffodils for example, you could introduce some soft blue or yellow into the garments but again neutrals also work in these environments too.  This means creamy dresses/tops for example.

This is a colour scheme based on the bluebell woods, so any of these colours would work

colour pallete for bluebell woods

outdoor photo shoot

Summer photo shoot

For a summer photo shoot where the trees are a deep green and the grass can be straw yellow, you should choose neutrals/creams/beige, if the grass is still green then you don’t want to clash against it with any solid colour so stick with something that will compliment the greens or at least not jar with them.

Here is a colour scheme for high summer, you can also consider a highlight colour if there are some great pink flowers out at the time or red poppies for example.

what to cloth your children in

Autumn photo shoot


For park photo shoots in Autumn, you have a lovely rich colour pallet to choose from, from browns and rusts to navy and dark green.  Compliment the changing tree colours, any autumnal colours in your wardrobe bring them along, just remember scarves and coats need to be in this scheme too.  These are not pallets that you have to match every colour in your outfit, just see if you can find clothes that have mainly these colours in to get the best fit.


 London Children's Photographer


Winter photo shoot

Winter shoots are more to do with browns and greys so go for the darker colours which will make your faces stand out a bit more.

winter clothing pallet

Family photo shoots in Hampstead

Urban photo shoot

For urban scenes, it’s best to go for darker hues, again nothing too loud in colour or pattern.  Maybe navy and brown with neutrals.  All black looks good too in urban environments, but this is not to say that a little girl in a red coat won’t look amazing amidst the grey urban environment.  So give me a call if you’re not sure.

Urban colour pallet

Contrasting Colour Schemes – on location

The above colour pallets are aiming for blending in with your environment and maybe highlighting colours that occur in nature.

You could of course decide to have a more dramatic impact by choosing the opposite colour to the overriding hue.  For example in the summer grasses which are predominantly yellow/straw coloured, you could really stand out in a Purple top. Another example would be, wearing a red coat in an overriding green image.

Look at the colour of the environment in the colour wheel and see what is exactly opposite…these colours will stand out the most.  So in the autumn, against a rust coloured tree, you could wear blue to stand out.

Stand out colours

family photographer chiswick


The Studio colour schemes

The goal of any fine portrait … is to direct the viewer’s attention to the face or faces in the portrait. Simple long sleeved garments in medium to dark tones of brown, rust, burgundy, green, or blue are pleasing choices when photographed against a dark background (the studio has dark brown and dark grey backdrops so these will be perfect here).

Proper clothing allows the face to dominate the portrait. all other elements should be secondary.

  • Bold stripes, tartan, checks and prints are confusing and do not photograph well.
  • Especially bright colours, such as red and orange will completely overpower the face and ruin a portrait.
  • Light colours look fab against the darker backgrounds however you should avoid light colours that approximate your own flesh tones such as peach, beige, tan, pink, white, and yellow. Choose a colour that compliments your skin…I know that I cannot wear peach to save my life (I’m a red head with freckles..and peach looks deathly on me).  Darker shades look great against the paler backdrops.
  • Siblings should choose simple garments within the same tonal ranges. So they should all be wearing beige and white rather than 2 of them in this neutral kit and the other one in a darker outfit.  Light and dark tones together create visual confusion, as one subject comes forward and the others recedes so tell the group to aim for a specific colour range and maybe send them this blog

The Studio has a dark grey backdrop which is great for putting softer colours onto, so don’t go for bright blues or reds, soft tones of browns and creams, soft pink or soft blue are fine too.

grey backdrop in studio

The brown backdrop at the studio can handle warmer colours but again keep the tones down, we don’t want any bring colours as they will overpower your face and even the background.

Children's Portrait Photography Ideas

I don’t normally use the white backdrop except for maternity shoots as I find it not so forgiving, but if you wanted to use the white, then dark colours look fab on it..

white backdrop

So I hope this has given you an idea of how you can find clothing that will work for your shoot.  Give me a call if you need to discuss your options.  Do bring props, scarves, hats etc that fit the colour scheme as they will help to make the portrait your own.

Susan Porter-Thomas London based family photographer LSWPP

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Contact Details

Susan Porter-Thomas LSWPP
31 Wellington Road
W5 4UJ
07815 864884

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