Everything you ever wanted to know about… Lockdown Photoshoots

Virtual shoots, remote shoots, covid shoots, lockdown shoots…whatever you want to call them, I’m here to explain how they work, why they are awesome, and what to expect.

It started as a little favour for a newborn client who was missing their shoot.  But the more lockdown photoshoots I do, the more I kinda love them!  I had my own lockdown baby in April 2020, and I know just how hard it can be – especially when you’re a long way from family. I would have loved a virtual photoshoot, and it’s so lovely now to be able to offer this to you.

So if you’re wondering whether this is for you, here are my top tips for acing your virtual photoshoot…

Q – How do you do it?!

A – Long story short, you download a free app to your phone which allows me to control your phone camera.  I direct you and set up the shot, and then I snap away!  All photos are taken by your back facing phone camera, which means they are the highest resolution that we can manage on your device.  They are then saved to the cloud, and I can download the best ones. 

(I can only control your camera; nothing else – don’t worry!)

Q- How is it different to a normal photoshoot?

A – In pretty much every single way possible.

Look, I’m not going to lie, virtual photoshoots are  H A R D.   In a normal photoshoot, I am constantly moving, changing my settings, and directing you every step of the way.  None of this is possible with a virtual shoot.

Once you’ve set up your phone in a stable place with great light and I am happy with the framing, then you are the ones who need to move.  From inside your phone, I will be directing you into position, and there is quite a lot of ‘half a step to the right, one pace forward, crouch down a bit’ to get you positioned properly! You’ll need patience to get the shot right, but it’s so worth it – you really can get some beautiful photos this way!

Q – Are the photos high resolution?

A – Yes.  The quality of the images we get is limited by your technology – but phone cameras are quite incredible resolution now. 

In terms of what phone you need, the newer the better; and Apple devices are more compatible with the app.  However, iPhone7s (and all more recent models) are equipped with a 12megapixel camera, which can in theory be printed up to 9×14 inches at 300dpi (that’s the standard for professional quality printing).  The app I use also allows me to shoot AppleRaw (a DNG format) on most recent iphones, which captures heaps more data than a JPEG.

All images will be capable of printing at 5×7”, and some even up to 8×10” without too much difficulty.  You should expect more grain than usual in your virtual photoshoot images. (But who doesn’t love a bit of soft grain anyway!)

Q- Will my gallery be colour or black & white?

A – Both, but I do tend to lean towards black and white for virtual shoots.  Even in a regular shoot it is always difficult to get the white balance right in homes.  With phones, this is even harder.  Colours are thrown off by your furnishings, walls, trees outside your windows…all sorts of things! 

Black and white strips the image back.  It elevates a memory.  It also works so much better with the grain that is inevitably present in phone images. Where I can, I will always provide a selection of your images in colour, but you should expect the gallery to lean towards the monochrome side.

Q – What do I need?

A – All you need is…

  • A free app
  • A phone
  • A tripod (if you don’t have one, a can of soup and a hair band works wonders)
  • A window with good light
  • If it’s a newborn session, some nice wraps, a blanket and a moses basket (if you have one)
  • Patience!

Q – Top tips?

A – Patience and trust are key.  It really does take a little while to get you all into position, especially for the first shot.  You’ll be listening to my disembodied voice through your phone, and depending on the quality of your wifi it can be hard to hear my direction sometimes. 

Slow and steady movements where possible.  Anything too fast will create blur.   I may ask one of you to pick up the phone at times, so that we have a bit more flexibility – you’ll need a steady hand when you do this, or you’ll create motion blur.

Get in close.  Snuggle up.  Distance never translates well in photographs, but especially with these virtual shoots.

Have reasonable expectations.  This is a lot harder than a traditional shoot, and the photos will not and cannot be the same quality that you’d get from a professional camera, or an in-person shoot where I can direct you easily.  However, I am LOVING the shots we are able to get.  If you’re missing out on a newborn, maternity or milestone shoot, this is a fantastic option.

Q – How much does it cost?

A – $150, for a 30 minute shoot and 5 digital images. Upgrade to your full gallery for only $49.

All images are edited using my professional software, just like a regular shoot. Images are provided via an online gallery and you’ll also get a mobile app.  You get unlimited digital downloads so you can share all of your photos with your friends and family overseas.

Q- How do I book?

A – Just head to my contact form!

  1. Jennifer Chen says:

    Looking forward to our session on Wednesday!

  2. […] a virtual shoot isn’t for you, then a doorstep mini allows me to shoot in-person at your home! They are […]

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