Sweet London Family Photography in the Press

Otalia Onta Photography in the Press

Sweet London Family Photography in the Press / Otalia Onta Photography

It’s such a pleasure to find that some of my work has been featured in the press and just recently the Today’s Child Magazine have showcased some of my family portraits and published my portrait photography tips. I am thrilled to be associated with such a prestigious publication and delighted to showcase some of the beautiful children I have been fortunate enough to photograph. You can find the Today’s Child Magazine feature here (pages 26-27) and the full version of the interview “Are professional family portraits worth the money” below in this blog post:

Why is it important to get professional children and family pictures done?
1. Reliving memories
I grew up in a family where having family portraits taken was a must. Almost every year, my parents arranged for us to have our picture taken by a professional photographer. These are the images that my siblings, my mum and grandparents still have in our family albums and we cherish them dearly. It’s absolutely wonderful to have pictures to look back on and I am especially grateful we own them now, because I lost my dad at a young age. Family photography is like a time machine that allows us to revisit those wonderful childhood memories.
2. Documenting growth
Children grow up too fast! Their beauty, humour and personality constantly amaze us and parents strive to preserve that in a timeless way with family portraits. A family photography session allows parents to spend quality time with their babies and children, and then have everlasting beautiful “printed memories” of those natural and authentic moments that slip by all too quickly. Every picture contributes towards telling a family’s story and encapsulates just how joyful each period of a child’s life is.
3. The beauty of everyday life
I’ve found that the most touching moments are the ones that come up spontaneously. Whether it’s a typical day around the house with your baby or a visit to the park with your children, capturing those smiles and the emotion makes my job so special. There is so much connection to be captured within every family.
4. Having all family members in the photo
As a London-based portrait photographer, I often organize shoots around London landmarks with families who visit our beautiful city. When investing in a family trip, it’s nice to have tangible memories which include all the family members; and people acknowledge that professional photography comes in handy for that purpose. Usually Mum or Dad are behind the camera and are “missing” from most pictures; therefore it’s a real advantage to have the professional doing their job whilst everybody enjoys the sightseeing together and the family as a unit is having fun around the town. Children are dynamic and full of wonder, and it is a delight to capture great images of their natural reactions as they discover new sights with their parents.
5. The perfect gift for family
We live in a globalized society with people relocating and traveling all over the world. Unfortunately, that means that the days when a family grew up within a few miles of each other are long gone. Consequently, professional portraits and fine art albums are the perfect gift for grandparents and extended family as they bring everybody closer. These are pictures that will be looked at and cherished for generations.

What is the key to finding a good photographer? How do parents know they are getting value for money from their photographer?
1. Storytelling and editing style
When looking for a professional family photographer, the main question you need to ask yourself is “What would I like to show?” A photographer’s style comes from what his/her creative eye is trying to communicate. A lifestyle family photographer will only shoot on location and capture everyday life and the bond between parents and children; and also the unexpected small details that make this bond so special. Personally, as a lifestyle photographer, I strive to capture the vibe that shows what the subjects are feeling. Lifestyle photography on location, especially in parks, offers a terrific diversity of backgrounds and the end result is that parents have a full album with memories to cherish. Also, in order to get the best results, parents have to “work” alongside the photographer. Parents know best what their children enjoy and what is relevant to them; and if they bring their best to the shoot, the photographer will know how to capture and freeze all the genuine moments.
However, if you are looking for a simple and classic children and family portrait, you could also consider using a studio photographer. In some cases, a studio shoot is a less expensive option for professional photography.
2. Quality
Another important aspect when choosing a family photographer is to establish the quality of the final product. If you are aiming for printed products, make sure you are investing in fine-art albums and prints. They may be a little more expensive, but it’s a quality that will last a lifetime and even your grandchildren will be able to enjoy them. If you are looking to purchase digital files, you may want to check with the photographer if he/she provides high resolution files, as these print better at large sizes. For these and other reasons, family photography can seem like an expensive option, but you have to consider that it’s impossible to cut corners in order to obtain great photos. It’s important that your photographer has invested in good gear and modern editing software, and can supply high quality printed products. They must also allow plenty of time for the editing. However, the most critical aspect is to have a good relationship with the photographer – if the photographer puts you at ease, has a flexible rescheduling policy and responds within appropriate timeframes, then you will most probably like working with him/her.

How can parents prepare children for a photoshoot?
A good photographer will always be ready to help parents prepare for the photo shoot. For example, I always discuss the event beforehand with my client and even send them a PDF file with tips and visual examples of what to wear on the day of the shoot. It’s perfectly normal for people not to know what looks best in portrait photography and a little professional advice is always welcomed.
It’s also very important for everybody to be rested and well fed. If the children are happy, the shoot will be a blast. After all, great photography is about smiles, fun and exploring new things. I usually try to incorporate an activity that the family loves to do together into my family sessions. If there is something that the children love to do and that brings authentic smiles to their faces, then I will definitely use it. I will ask parents to bring favourite books to read, to play football with the kids, bike and race around the park – the ideas are endless. The main idea is for everybody to have fun; and, as a photographer. I always let my clients know that it’s best to focus on interacting with the children and forget about looking at the camera. When families are engaged in doing something that they really enjoy together, that’s when I know I will have the opportunity to capture beautiful portraits.

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