What kind of portrait sessions do you do?

Personal portraiture, childrens’ portraiture (all ages), model and talent portfolios, styled shoots, couples, personal branding, dance, family, friends and fantasy. I’m open to sessions that celebrate times and events in your life so if you don’t see what you need on my site, send me a message and we can talk about your ideas.

What does a portfolio/test shoot entail?

I often work with models or professionals who are only starting their journeys, so I am always happy to guide people through this process.

Before the shoot even begins, we will chat about your ideas and needs for the shoot, because this will determine a lot of how the shoot runs. We will discuss what it is you want to communicate, and then use this information to decide on what outfits you will wear and how you will be styled.

Generally, I like to work around 3 or 4 different looks so that we can maximise the variety of what the photoshoot yields. It is up to model to provide the outfits, and to do any hair or makeup beforehand. I will chat to you about ideas for this before the shoot.

We will then shoot at a single location where we will capture a variety of different shots (head shots, mid-mid-length and full-length). This will happen for all the different looks you’ve brought along to ensure you have a wide range of images to demonstrate all you have to offer.

Do you shoot with lighting in studio?

I shoot in a studio if your shoot requires this particular look, such as a dance shoot or during winter times. I don’t use studio lighting, though. I choose studios that have large windows with natural lighting.

What are documentary-style family photo sessions?

Photographing your family at home going about their daily activities can be a very powerful way of offering memories to your children when they are grown. Although I love to photograph families and childrens’ portraiture in woodlands and general outdoor locations, there is also something magical about having a photo that shows what your children were really like when they were engaged in play at their childhood home. Authenticity is the key to photos that demonstrate characteristics and help to flesh out memories in the coming years. Tantrums, oopsies and tired cuddles are just as precious as perfect giggles. For this type of shoot, I come to your home at a time that suits you, this could be early Sunday morning, after school and work on Fridays are weekday dinner time. We schedule around nap-times, daily family activities and your schedule that day. Shoots are between 45 minutes and an hour and aim to be the least-intrusive as possible.

Do you offer newborn sessions?

I love shooting little ones, yes! I don’t offer heavily propped baby sessions no, but I do offer sessions at your home in a more documentary style.

Do you do maternity shoots?

I am always honoured to be considered to capture this precious time in your family’s life. However, as with all my shoots, the photographs I create are always in my creative style.

Why do you shoot in natural light?

Natural light shooting is best suited to my style. Regardless of the location of our shoot, the way the light is behaving naturally will dictate a lot of how the shoot flows, and this is something I adore working with. I believe it makes images feel more authentic and tends to help show people in their natural beauty.

What time slots do you offer?

Mostly I will recommend shooting in the golden hour if shooting outdoors: the last hour of the light of day. This changes with seasons. For at-home sessions, we will discuss what is best for you and your family.

What locations can you suggest?

First, we can talk about what you would like to express in your collection and I can find out more about you and what fits your story. I love shooting in forests, natural reserves, mountain views and beaches. Solms Delta and Boschendal are my 2 favourite locations for outdoor sessions.

What should we wear?

My experience has shown me that comfortable models always produce the best photographs. It is worth noting though, that having a photoshoot done is to preserve a moment in your life forever, and so it’s a good idea to take some time to consider what you wear to a shoot. Get your hair done and think about putting some curls in for you and your little ones.

Family and couple sessions:

Dressing in uniform is definitely not what I’d advise, but it would be a good idea to wear outfits which complement each other. Classic design and muted colours are best as they don’t distract from the main focus of the shoots: the people in them! That being said, a red dress and denim shirt are always classics and if you love patterns or wish to do a formalwear shoot, we can discuss how best to style that.

Here is my Pinterest board with loads of ideas for Family wardrobe.

Children’s sessions:

I suggest up to 3 outfits that are special – sun dresses, party dresses and bright colours work well. No writing on clothing and if you have a tutu, please bring it! We can discuss the options based on what you have and I can advise you which outfits will work best. I love both natural as well as storybook type sessions for children. Fairy dresses, superhero outfits, flower crowns, dolls, books and teddies are encouraged.

Here is my Pinterest board with ideas for little girls’ wardrobe.

Here is  my Pinterest board with ideas for little boys’ wardrobe.

Fantasy sessions:

After discussions we can conceptualise the desired imagery and use your own wardrobe, hire costumes or purchase one or 2 pieces. Borrowing from friends is also an option.

What about the Weather?

Cape Town’s weather can be very unpredictable, so we will only know for sure if it’s going to play along for our chosen shoot date on the day. However, if it looks like mother nature isn’t in the mood, I will reschedule the shoot until we find a day where everything falls into place.

What will the shoot be like? 

While you will certainly get images that fit into the traditional portrait category, I’ve found that people are at their most beautiful when they are being authentic. The deepest laughs and broadest smiles come from someone who is relaxed and free from the worries of the world, not someone who is being asked to smile on demand.

I work hard to make sure that each shoot is a celebration of the individuals and their unique beauty, so I like to ensure that each collection is a clear reflection of you.

I always look bad in photographs…

If I had a bucket of water for every time someone said this to me, I could water my garden for a year!

Unfortunately it is often the case that people do not feel all that confident about being photographed, so you are not alone. However, in my very extensive experience, anyone can look great. My job is to capture your personal magic, and to help your most beautiful self shine through so that I can immortalise it through photography. I guide you step by step through the shoot and always aim to flatter.

I promise you that I do everything in my power to ensure you have a great experience at the shoot.

Do you supply props or costumes?

I do not provide props or outfits for my shoots, but if you have items you would like to include, by all means bring them along. Are you a musician? Horse-lover? Pet owner? I welcome the opportunity to tell your story.  If you would like a children’s fantasy-themed session, we can discuss and conceptualise outfits that will enable them to dress to enhance the fantasy. Please no balloons or general plastic propping for the children’s sessions. Mother Earth first.

How will I get my images?

A few days after the shoot, I will send you a few highlights which you can enjoy while you wait for me to finish the remainder of the album. I aim for a turnaround time of  +- 2 weeks.

Once all the images have been mastered, I will send you a link to an online gallery from which you will be able to download both high resolution images for printing and online resolution images for sharing.

If there are any images you would like printed, the quality of the files you will be sent will allow you to print. If you would prefer, I can also manage the printing process for you for a nominal charge. This is something we can chat about when we’re arranging the particulars of your shoot.

Will you travel ?

Gladly! I have been fortunate enough to have my camera take me to the most incredible places within and without South Africa, and jump at the opportunity of working with all the magic that new places have to share.

How do I book you?

Email me with your ideas / request and I will send you my rates.

claire gunn children portrait

Claire Gunn children mar1