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Child-focused school portraits, Somerset

Natural school portraits with a sprinkling of fun

​​When you hear the words 'school portrait', what springs to mind? All too often it's stiff poses, ubiquitous backdrops and awkward smiles. But there's a better way. By taking children into the natural setting of the school grounds, I capture images that are relaxed, timeless and real.

 

My approach is nurturing and fun. I treat children with respect, and take time to put them at ease. This creates authentic portraits that are popular with parents and complement the ethos of your school. 

Why me?

I’m a mum to young children myself, and an experienced family photographer. This gives me the instincts and experience to engage with children effectively, and to work with patience, understanding and good humour.

 

Here are some of the other benefits of booking me as your school photographer:

 

A bespoke shoot. Before I pick up my camera, I take the time to learn about your school. I find out about its culture, ethos and timetable, and we plan the photographs in a way that works for you.

Personal service. I work with a limited number of schools. This enables me to deliver a professional and personal service, building good relationships with both staff and children.

Minimal input from school staff. I tailor my approach to make life as easy as possible for school staff.

Data protection. I take great care with the information I hold. Encrypted online photo storage and password-protected galleries mean that every child’s data is secure. 

No sales admin. Once a shoot has taken place, parents and families deal with me direct. Images are purchased via my online ordering service – so there is no need for school administrators to collect order forms or payments.

Wide choice of images. Time permitting, I aim to capture both posed and candid shots of each child. I also use creative angles and crops, to provide parents with a good selection of images.

Quality. I offer high-quality prints and digital images at competitive school photography rates.

Straightforward pricing. My price list is simple and accessible, so parents can choose what is right for them. If parents wish to purchase multiple images, discounted rates apply.

Data linking. If required, I can link portraits with pupil ID numbers – enabling each child’s image to be tied to the rest of their data.

A 'thank you'. I offer schools commission on profits, or alternatively my time to carry out photography for the school. This could be used to create images for school publicity, or to photograph events such as nativity plays and sports day.

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How I work

Before the shoot.

The first step is to get to know each other. I'll find out about your school's values, timetable and routines, and explore the grounds to identify good spots for photos. Then we arrange the shoot in a way that works for your staff and pupils. We'll work out all of the logistics in advance - helping to ensure that photo day runs smoothly.

With the shoot arranged, I provide a letter template for you to send to parents. This confirms the arrangements for photo day, and explains the image-ordering process.

The shoot.

Depending on the size of your school, the shoot may take place over one or two days (usually finishing before or just after lunchtime on each day). 

Typically, I will employ the help of a DBS-checked assistant from within your school community - for example a lunchtime supervisor or member of your PTA. Not only does a familiar face put the children at ease, but the assistant can also collect pupils from class in small groups. This has multiple benefits: teachers can continue with lessons, administrators can get on with their work, and children tend to feel less self-conscious.

The exact nature of the photographs I take will depend on the requirements of your school, and the time available. As a minimum, I aim to take five different shots of each child using different angles and compositions. But if time allows, I can also shoot against different backgrounds, or include more candid shots.

At the end of photo day, each child takes home a slip containing a unique access code and a link to my ordering system. Parents can register their details, to be notified when the photos are ready.

After the shoot

Once the photo shoot is complete, I select and edit the best photographs of each child and sibling group and upload them to a private online gallery. Each parent can then access the images of their children, and choose the images and products they would like to purchase. If parents have more than one child at the same school, they can view all of their children's images together and take advantage of package discounts.

Parents place their orders online and send any enquiries straight to me - removing this task from school administrators. Digital images are downloadable upon payment, and print orders can be sent in a batch to school.

If required, I provide a spreadsheet linking a portrait of each child with their pupil ID number - enabling each child's portrait to be linked to the rest of their data on your school's management information system.

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Kind words

I couldn't have been happier with the service we received from Sarah Gibson Photography. Sarah took care of everything and the whole experience was positive from start to finish. The photographs were just what we were looking for as a school, and really captured the children's true characters. We were delighted to be able to use our natural surroundings and utilise the school grounds, and truly believe that this contributed to the impressive outcomes. The children were happy and relaxed, and this shone through in the photographs. We have had nothing but positive parental feedback. If you are looking for a fresh approach to school photography you won't be disappointed.

- Ali Collins, Headteacher, Neroche Primary School

After having the same school photography company for over 10 years here at Neroche, we were a little apprehensive about how the parents would cope with the change. However, Sarah came in like a breath of fresh air! We had no need to worry at all. Sarah is such a warm and lovely person who really took the time to listen to what our parents wanted from school photos, and she developed her packages to suit the different requests. The way that Sarah has set up the ordering system for parents is fantastic and so easy to use. She has everything under control, thus taking the admin side of it away from our staff, which really helps! The photos were a huge success and the parents loved them. We cannot recommend her service enough. Thank you, Sarah!

- School Administrator, Neroche Primary School

Family and friends have loved this year’s school photographs. The children look relaxed, happy and at ease. Along with the natural soft colours in the background, your photos are very welcome in replacing the conventional stiffly posed, uncomfortable photos we are usually offered. Thank you Sarah.

- Year 1 and Year 3 parent

For a few years now there has been one company doing the school photos, which have been fine. But this year Sarah took our school photos and they are on a different level! I loved every single picture. My son looks so relaxed and comfortable, I ordered the whole lot! Thank you Sarah, you’re amazing.

- Year 6 parent

Sarah is such a talented and creative photographer. For the first time ever, my daughter actually enjoyed having her school portrait taken! Sarah put her completely at ease, and she looks happy and relaxed in every shot. It was also wonderful to have such a variety of images to choose from. Thank you Sarah, we will will treasure our photos forever!

- Year 4 parent