Timeless, maternity, baby and cake smash photography, covering Andover, Basingstoke, Newbury, Salisbury, Tidworth, Stockbridge, Southampton and surrounding areas of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire

Putting you at ease in front of the camera

As a portrait photographer with years of experience, I’ve learned that making my subjects feel comfortable is just as important as the technical aspects of photography. Whether it's a maternity photoshoot, a family portrait, family shots taken during a newborn baby photoshoot, or a headshot photo, the camera can be intimidating. It's my job to ensure that the person in front of it feels at ease. Here’s how I help my clients conquer their nerves and bring out their best selves during a photoshoot.

Two young children playing in the bluebell woods with their dog, looking at the camera and smiling.

I hate having my photo taken but Helen puts everyone at ease and makes it enjoyable. I'm amazed at how good the shots were when the kids were messing around and doing their own thing!!"

Laura McCulloch

Building Trust Before the Shoot

Initial Conversation

Before the shoot even begins, I like to have a conversation with my clients. I ask about their expectations, their vision for the photos, and any concerns they might have. This helps me understand what they’re looking for and gives them a chance to get to know me, which is crucial for building trust.

Pre-Shoot Consultation

A pre-shoot consultation can be incredibly beneficial. We discuss outfit choices and any specific poses they have in mind. I also provide tips on how to prepare for the shoot, like getting a good night’s sleep and staying hydrated.

Setting the Scene

Creating a Relaxed Environment

On the day of the shoot, I strive to create a relaxed and friendly environment. My beautiful garden photography studio is cosy and comfortable. I burn good quality relaxing essential oils, usually Serenity from Bloom Remedies, to make the space smell amazing. People often say it feels like a spa in my studio. If we’re shooting on location, such as on one of my bluebell photoshoots or lavender field shoots, I make sure to give detailed directions. I am there to meet you when you arrive, with a big smile.

Warm-Up Shots

We start with a few warm-up shots. These are low-pressure photos that help my clients get used to being in front of the camera. I usually keep the conversation light and engaging, which helps to distract from any initial nervousness.

During the Shoot

Guided Poses

I provide gentle guidance on posing, but I also encourage my clients to move naturally. I might say, “Try looking over your shoulder,” or “Give a gentle smile,” but I’m always watching for those moments when they relax into a pose on their own. Those candid moments often result in the best shots.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is key. I make sure to give plenty of positive feedback during the shoot. Comments like “That looks great!” or “You’re doing an amazing job!” can boost confidence and help ease nerves.

Engaging Conversation

I keep the conversation flowing gently. Talking about shared interests, telling a funny story, or simply asking about their day can make a huge difference. The goal is to make the photoshoot feel like a fun yet relaxing experience rather than a stiff and formal event.

Special Techniques

Music and Movement

Sometimes, I play music that the client enjoys. This can help them relax and even inspire some spontaneous, natural movement, which can be great for the photos. Encouraging clients to move—whether it’s a roll of the shoulders, a little stretch or just shifting their weight—can also help them feel more at ease.

Breathing Exercises

For clients who are particularly nervous, I recommend a few deep breathing exercises. Taking a moment to breathe deeply can help calm the nerves and bring a sense of peace before we continue shooting.

After the Shoot

Review and Feedback

I like to show clients a few shots on the camera during the shoot. Seeing good photos right away can boost their confidence and excitement. After the session, I always follow up to gather their feedback and ensure they’re happy with the experience.


Making someone feel comfortable in front of the camera is an art in itself. It requires empathy, patience, and a genuine connection. By building trust, creating a relaxed environment, and offering plenty of positive reinforcement, I help my clients overcome their nerves and truly shine in their portraits. After all, the best photos come from those moments when people feel confident and at ease, letting their true selves shine through.

Take a look through some of my client testimonials, which I hope will give you an idea of the vibe in my photo studio.

To book a free consultation by phone, over Zoom or in person, please get in touch.

Your Forever Family Photographer

I help busy parents like you to create timeless, natural, printed photographs of your family for your beautiful home, taking away the hassle of choosing and ordering quality prints, artwork for your wall or quality albums, all the while ensuring the whole family has a memorable experience.

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