Nigel Atkinson Photography blog - Nigel Atkinson Photography

Nigel Atkinson Photography blog

Documentary & Art Style Portraiture

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Conventional studio Portraiture is not the only way, in which to own beautiful images of yourself.

A lot of people don't want conventional portraits for a number of reasons which we won't go into here but we have noticed that some times people prefer images whereby they are not recognised or are small in the frame. Sometimes women who want to be a little daring but are uncomfortable with striping in front of strangers are a lot happier say wearing a bikini or underwear. it may be as simple as pulling a hat down over the eyes as above or a shot of the family walking the dog on a beach with them small in the frame.        

More people are now requesting portraiture on location, either in their own homes, a favourite place or even for business at their place of work. This has a number of benefits for you the client. Firstly People often remain relaxed in their own surroundings or those they are familiar with, which means often we can get great images from the Start, without having to get you into what we call the photo zone. Great portraiture in the home allows us different options and can appear more natural rather than posed images, plus we have the option for a more documentary style portrait session, creating images of you doing the things you would normally do. 

There are other benefits. No need to bring your wardrobe to us, everything you own is right there with you. and less hassle getting yourself and everyone involved in the studio.

For business clients, they can carry on with their busy Schedule, especially when multiple members of staff are needing headshots.   

There are some Constraints which you will need to assess if you want this style of portraiture, especially indoors.

Number 1 is space. Photography is all about the light, and if it is just one person we need to light then usually there will be no problem, however large or extended families or numbers of people require more lights and if space is limited it can be a problem. The more people in the image the more space you are going to need. Just don't think room size either. Good light comes from a higher perspective so ceiling height can also be important. Conventional ceilings restrict our lighting choices 10ft or more is great, less than that can be worked around but will offer limitations. 

It all boils down to the style of portraits you would like. you need to think carefully what it is your looking for. Social media sites like Pinterest are a great resource, save the images you love and ask us. We will always advise you, so you can make the right decision for you and your family.  


Why hire a photographer to take your portraits?


Whenever we receive an inquiry, 99% of the time, the first question asked is always is how much? and that is understandable as everyone wants to know how much money is needed to get your portraits.

However, it is not as straight forward as it may appear, because everyone is different and the variations are many.

If you walked into a garage and said I want a car how much? there would be a host of questions being pinged back at you, such as what type and size of a car are you looking for? What level of spec would you like, do you want petrol, diesel, electric or hybrid? or even would you want a service plan, do you want to purchase it outright or take finance or lease it?

Ask any photographer how much and you may find yourself with more questions than answers. because they will not know the number of Portraits you actually want. You may just want a large framed ready to hang beautiful wall portrait.  

Maybe you would like a collection of images in a folio box, what size of images would you like. Are you looking for studio or location shots, the list goes on and these questions need to be answered if you want an accurate answer? 

You may just want a couple of headshots for your social media, business or self-promotion, it may be a complete makeover or even a family shoot, will you want both hair and make-up, what day would you like your photoshoot on. all these questions will have a bearing on the final outcome. 

Any good photographer will be happy to tell you your options but you need to know what you want before you ask that question, It seems we often place cost over value.

Now that’s not to say that cost should be discarded if you are quoted a price and you cannot afford it then the decision is made for you, and not everyone can. you would not walk into a Mercedes garage and expect to get a car for the same price as a Dacia, But if you are looking to get beautiful family portraits there is going to be a cost. if you are hiring someone who knows their craft and does it to put food on the table then that cost is not going to be low, and you would be wrong to expect it to be if you're looking for professional results.

4th generation images offer a window which the next generation will treasure.

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We had a lady once who told me that taking snaps (as she put it) wasn't hard, just get everyone in the frame and push the button, she said. So why had she hired me to get her portraits done, She had to laugh at her own statement saying "point taken". 

But this set me thinking. What does a photographer offer you that you cannot do yourself If it’s so easy? The answer is not as simple or straight forward as one may think.

Take a photo of someone who is not family or a friend (a work colleague maybe) with your phone. Print it, to a fairly large size, say 10x8, then Mount and matt it, present it to your subject and ask them if they would like to buy it.

Now the price at which you offer it has to cover all your costs, such as time (your Hourly rate) this should also include your time sourcing the products and the Cost of professional Printing lab or home printing such as inks and paper.

Don’t forget to add in the cost of the Photographic Mount and matt and remember you have to make you a profit so you can pay bills. Remember to include any postage, & packaging. you will also need to pay income tax on any profit and national insurance. If you want a pension when you retire, that will need to be included as well.

Now if you're offering your print @ £40 or less you are losing money. And that’s taking the picture with a phone and not investing in any other equipment.

If you add in the cost of a Pro camera, plus lenses, a studio and studio flash lighting. Remember the studio will need heating plus electricity (all things need charging) don’t forget your assistant (who rightly wants paying, remember nobody works for free) add in the cost of a computer plus any software and your time and skill to retouch the image. Don’t forget the internet and phone call charges plus any marketing of your business and you can see where this is going. That assumes you have built up the knowledge to operate use and get the best from the equipment so your client will want to purchase the images. No point in trying to sell images which anyone could get on a phone right.

Will a professional photographer be value for money, well only you can answer that, but if those images of your family bring a smile to your face, spark a memory or touch your heart then the answer has to be yes?

Portraits are a record of your past. They will never be lost or outdated on a device because as photographers and we make actual photographs, and whilst we always give you the digital file with your images it’s not what we're about. Digital files are just that, nobody ever fell in love with a file (at least not to my Knowledge) a Photograph however you will treasure at some point in your life. 

Our passion is creating something tangible for you to hold, smile at, love and pass on to future generations. They will love them because they are part of their history and because in many cases you are in those photographs. Those images will get more precious as time moves on and their original cost will fade into oblivion because they cannot be replaced.

No one has ever said to us they regretted buying their portraits. Regrets are for those who didn’t or couldn’t see their value. who thought portraiture was expensive, but have nothing to share with future generations.

Only you can decide whether it matters to you, because in life you have one chance, and we all know it flies by at an alarming rate. So the next time you ask someone how much, make sure you also ask what it includes, as this will help you understand whether it is value for money or not. Then you can make a more informed decision about its value to you.

That old saying “that a fool is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing” certainly ring’s true.

Oh, and the lady who said it was easy, she purchased a collection of images which she adores.

We love our animals, they are part of the family. Makes sense to have their portrait taken.

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  • Mysterious sorceress in a beautiful blue dress. The background is a cold forest in the fog. Girl with a white owl. Artistic Photography
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Save with our new Referral programme. 

The biggest compliment anyone can give us is a referral. When clients come to us and we ask how they found us.  Occasionally the answer is you were recommended to us, by Mr A or Mrs B        Knowing that previous clients love what we do enough to recommend us is completely awesome and we cannot thank you enough.

This set us thinking we should reward you lovely people and so we have come up with a referral programme and it works like this.

Because you have taken any photoshoot with us in the past, you are automatically included the programme.

if you recommend us to your family or friends who then book and take a photoshoot with us, we will provide you with an extra mounted and matted portrait image from your previous session to add to your folio, plus we will add an extra image for every £250 They spend on images. 

So for example if your friends or family were to have a photo shoot and then purchase our base Collection you would get 3 extra images from your previous Session as a thank you gift from us.

Plus as a bonus any future photo sessions* you take at our studio will be reduced to just £20 (normally £69) On top of which The people who you refer to us will receive a 10% discount off any collection they purchase from us. So it’s a win-win

All they have to do is mention you by name and confirm your contact details at the time of booking their photoshoot to qualify. It’s that easy.

If you would like more information help or have any questions we would love to hear from you.

*T&C's apply 


Yesterday Our Autumn competition draw was made all names were dropped into the hat and we're happy to announce that the lucky winner is Susan Carson 

 Susan wins a photo shoot for two with makeup and a voucher towards print products for £155 each total value £500.

A massive thank you to all who entered. We genuinely would love you all to win Better luck next time.


The perfect gift every mother will love.

If there is one thing a mother loves, it's Spending time with her family.

A family photo shoot is an amazing gift because not only will she have fun with you the people she cares most about,  but of course, she gets to keep some amazing pictures of you all together, which she and you for that matter, will treasure forever.

A beautiful gift for all.    

The perfect gift every mother will love

Why wouldn't you want to have a fun day with your mum. One day you will be glad you did.

Images such as these will be loved because they include you.

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Do you take pictures of your kids? More importantly are you in photographs with them?

One thing I have found over a number of years, many parents are happy to have their kids photographed but seem less enthusiastic, about being in the images themselves.

Why is that?

It appears we see our flaws and not our strengths. Trouble is, those flaws (if they exist) are of no interest to anyone else, especially those you love.

You should be in pictures with your offspring. and those images should be actual Photographs such as the ones above. They will be loved by you now and Over time, your children will come to love these images.  When the time comes and they have their own families, they will be shown to the next generation, who will also love them. Why, because it’s their mother as a wee girl or young lady, and their grandmother shown in a completely different time. Precious images indeed. So make sure you in the photographs.

Book a photo shoot with the kids before the end of September and get 10% of any collection. Plus certain collections you will get your shoot fee back.

Remember this is important as you can never go back and as I also say regrets are for those that failed to act. 

Why are we different


Quote “I truly love my photographs.  Thank you all so much” 

Portraits you will love.

I am a photographer but I’m only a small part of the team that helps me create beautiful wall art for our clients and their loved ones. Our aim is simple, we want to create the best images of you, you’ve ever seen. Images you will want to hang on the walls in your home. Something you can look at hold and love. Images so powerful they bring a smile to your face. They will become legacy prints for next generation who will love them even more because they are of you. Beautiful and special. A record of a moment, you shared together. Images that young Katie here will want to show her own children. They, in turn, will love them because it’s their mother and grandmother. 

This time next year both of these beautiful people will look different. One can never go back, they will never regret purchasing these images. Regrets are for those who never find the time. that’s why what we do is special. It’s why I love being a portrait specialist.

Legacy Wall Portraits


How much Does it cost?

Photoshoots are Start at £69  Make-over photoshoots start at £99  

We operate a system where you only initially pay for the photo shoot then Choose your photographs. This system allows our client's maximum flexibility as we only want you to purchase images you love. If you don’t like your images just walk away at least you will have had a fun day.   Our Al La Carte Wall art Images Start at £99 and we have beautiful folio collections from £495. Our Ready to hang framed Photographs in a range of frames Start at £199.

Make-up is £35 per person. Hair styling from £35 per person 

Girls Day Out Min 2 Max 4 persons.

If you fancy day out with a difference, why not treat yourself to one of our girl’s makeover day.

Yourself and up to three friends can share a photo shoot it includes Make-up for everyone and two outfit changes each. you will have a fun day out It's a great way to spend time together with lots of laughter and even an excuse for a spot of pre-shoot shopping for that glamorous dress.

Location Art images

Prize winners for our glam the dress contest 

Ella Simpson has won Glam the dress prize draw. She wins A photoshoot for two including make-up, and a 15x10 framed print for her and her guest from her session.

Helen York, Mairi Murray, Kelly McDougall,  All win a photo shoot with make-up, and a £50 discount off any print purchase. Congratulations to you all, we look forward to creating some beautiful images for you.  

£50 discount Off a photoshoot goes to Karen Macleod, Kimberly Phillip, Steph Hurst and Cheryl Moir 

Want to learn how to take great pictures on your Phone


Learn how to Utilise your phone's camera

to get the best images 

March  18 

Would you like to learn How to take great Photographs on your phone?

Then click here to get some amazing tips

on how to get the best from the camera that's always in your pocket 


Competition time again. Galm the Dress

February - March 18

Wow, it's been an amazing twelve months, and believe it or not it's competition time again. Every year at this time we launch our competition and this year it's a cracker. The theme this year is - Glam the dress.

Select a dress you would love to be photographed in. It doesn't even have to be a dress you own. Buy, Borrow, Rent, whatever it takes just so long as it's a dress you absolutely love. Then just Click here to enter it's that easy. 

The prizes this year are bigger and better than ever before and are worth over £1600. One lucky entrant will win a photo shoot for two with make-up for both you and your guest and a 15x10 box frame wall portrait each. This prize alone is worth close to £600.00. We are also offering 5-second prizes for a photo shoot plus make-up and £50 voucher towards any print product of your choice. Worth over £200.

To be in with a chance of Winning one of these fabulous photoshoot prizes all you have to is click the link above. Fill in the very short form, That's it.

Competition closes Sunday 25th of March

The winners will be notified on Thursday 29th March. 

Someone has got to win this fabulous prize and with this only going out to the Inverness area you could be in for a day of fun with a friend, your mum, daughter, or sister. Don't delay do it now. The lucky winners are going to have a fabulous day being made to look stunning. all on us. Good luck.  

Usual Terms & Conditions apply, For a copy please email us 

Portraits for business or personal branding

January 2018

Never before has your image/profile been more visible. Clients and even friends want to see your profile. it just says so much about who you are, whether it's your business, social media or personal branding you should have somewhere on your website or social media have an image of your face clearly shown. In fact research now suggests, if you dont have a visable profile then that alone can arouse suspicion, and we all want/need in this age to project our profile in one way or another.

Creating your image, could be argued has never been easier. Everyone has a phone (well almost) with a camera on it. The selfie is here to stay and it has a place. That's not to say we all can take a good picture. Just because you have a pen, it doesn't make you an author.

When you're trying to project an image of yourself, the last thing you need is to be getting it horribly wrong.  

You only have one chance to create a first impression and a bad image is just like saying actually I don't care. that's not the sort of thing you need to be doing if your trying to project yourself or your company. 

For a business, a bad image could be potentially damaging. Many companies are now realising the importance of high-quality portraits & headshots, for company profiles. They go into reports, on websites and company social media pages, even in brochures and printed marketing. 

A good profile has alway's been important, but the way in which others now reach us has changed dramatically. One should never judge a book by its cover, but the fact remains, it has a large bearing on the choices people make. If you don't project that professional image, and those around you do, then you're already at a disadvantage, and in this competitive world,  great photography plays a massive role in helping you promote youself, your business and your brand, The cost of great photography far outweighs the cost of looking unprofessional  and whats more is supprinsingly cost effective. 

To Find out more Click Here

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