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Where are you based?

We're based just 20 minutes north of Inverness on the outskirts of Avoch on the beautiful Black Isle, Scotland.

Do you travel away?

Yes, we're happy to travel to photo sessions provided they are on the UK mainland. Shoots that take us outside our normal remit however have to be booked well in advance, as often it requires blocking out at least three days.   Obviously travelling from our local area, does incur extra charges In addition to the portrait session fee, this is to cover our travel costs Time, and any overnight stays. There is also a minimum spend which is applied as a credit towards your order. We currently do not travel away from the UK mainland. (Covid Restrictions may apply)

Where do your photoshoots take place?

It really is your choice. we can travel to you and we take pictures at your home, out and about, at a favourite park, beach or woodland, or a combination of both indoors and outdoors. Of course, we offer studio sessions if you prefer a more formal style of portraiture.

We do love to visit places that have a personal connection for you as a family. This will produce pictures that will capture memories of childhood, not the actual day of the photoshoot: a summer spent playing at a park, The challenge of climbing a special tree, or hours on a beloved beach. These sessions are designed to capture treasured moments of your lives as you live them, so the choice of location is entirely yours. As long as there are no restrictions on photography, I’m happy to create family images pretty much anywhere.

Some locations will require a permit which we are willing to arrange if at all possible for you. Please note there is usually a charge for this service. As a rough guide, the locations that charge an entrance fee are the ones where a permit is usually required.

This documentary style of portraiture is becoming ever more popular and it's something I personally think is just amazing. Kids have no preset mode and they never fail to surprise especially when they are on an adventure, which is fabulous. 

How long will our portrait session last?

Most sessions tend to last around 2-4 hours, but it really can depend on several factors. if younger children are involved we prefer to start reasonably early as they are brighter, full of life and more inclined to be up for an adventure. Small children will need time to get used to us and that's understandable. This meeting time should be taken into account, however, we do have a secret weapon in my better half. Julie is amazing with young children. The kids just love her and she can get them to relax very quickly.

The whole idea is I want to become invisible so the images are as natural as they can be plus and by hiring us, no one is left out of the story. They are truly family photographs. 

We are creatives and we love taking and creating images that will become Legacy family portraiture. We’re happy to shoot sessions that are longer than the norm if we feel there is more to be had. Time allows us to do a variety of activities. This results in more interesting and diverse images for you. 

What time of day is best?

For outdoor sessions, the best light is first thing in the morning or late evening but of course in the height of summer that would be far too early or late for young children. That said the closer to noon we get the poorer the light unless we're in the midst of winter when the light can be quite soft all day, especially here in the highlands. In essence, the softer the light the better the images will be.

Do you use artificial light? 

We can and do use artificial light both indoors and outdoors though you wouldn't know it in the images. Artificial light can be useful at certain times and in certain instances but getting spontaneous images of young children running around outdoors means we normally rely on natural light. but that's rarely a problem. 

is there anything we should bring?

if were away from your home on location then all the things you would normally take for a day trip such as the children’s favourite toys, maybe their bike, a bat and ball or even a skipping rope. anything you would normally take.  Having snacks and a drink works well. (although it’s best to avoid the foods that create a mess.) We strongly advise bringing plenty of wipes. It’s amazing how many we get through on a photoshoot.

The main thing is to create an adventure for the family. you will be surprised at the number of images that will never be recreated, once the day is gone it's gone. you will however have the photographs and they will make you smile every time you look at them.  

If you have opted for a studio session then you will receive our what to do bring guide designed to help you get the best from your day 

What happens if it rains?

Light Rain or the odd downpour really does not make a difference and in fact, it can create opportunities. If it’s a torrential all-day downpour then we may seek to move to an indoor session (guidelines permitting) which is often just as much fun. we just get them to do things in your home.

Overcast days often provide more flattering light than the high contrast brightness of a sunny one. If it is raining remember to bring an umbrella or two and of course wellies. 

If all else fails then we can move to plan B and rebook the session 

Would you photograph us in our own home?

Absolutely in your home garden or on location, we can even mix it up so you have a great collection that tells a story. (please note restrictions may apply but please do speak with us for the latest information above all we put your safety first.)

What happens if one of the family is not feeling well?

Firstly If anyone is ill, then please let us know as soon as possible and we can postpone your session and rebook for a later date. in all cases, if anyone is suffering from covid symptoms you must inform us at the earliest opportunity so we can keep everyone safe. In such cases, again we will rebook your session. 

What clothing should we wear?

For studio session shoots we send out a helpful - what to bring guide, This has all the information you require, but in all cases, we suggest you keep it clean classic and simple. Plain-coloured clothing tends to work best, we recommend avoiding strong colours, bold patterns stripes, and checks. Because we predominantly shoot black & white images when photographing families, dressing in a mixture of black and white clothing on an outdoor session, (especially if it's sunny) can create distracting contrast within the image.

Outdoors especially here in Scotland, it’s often wet underfoot, we would advise avoiding dressing small children in white or light-coloured tights leggings and over suits as the chance of them falling getting muddy is extremely likely. The best advice is always to have a spare set of clothing for young children.

Were happy to advise on what clothes will work best, so please bring or feel free to lay out a selection of clothing if were starting at your home before we arrive. We can select with you which clothing will look the best before we start.

Do you remove imperfections from the images?

Were happy to remove the superficial spots blemishes and scratches that are an everyday part of everyone's lives. we prefer not to alter permanent marks but of course, will be happy to do so if this is a concern for you. Please tell us at your photoshoot.

Do you Provide unedited Images/RAW files?

We do not. An unedited/unprocessed image is essentially an unfinished product We only provide our clients with beautiful artwork images that you will be proud to hang on your walls. it would be a bit like walking into a restaurant and asking the chef just to give the raw ingredients it's just something you wouldn't do.  

Can we incorporate hobbies into the shoot?

I’ve photographed many different activities over the years and am happy to get creative on most challenges. All I ask is that you tell me about any specific hobbies in advance so I tell you if it's possible and can bring any specialist equipment needed to the shoot session. 

Can we include pets?

Of course, pets are part of the family. I was a wildlife photographer long before I became a portrait photographer so photographing animals is not a problem. 

Why is a Pet Sessions Cheaper? 

Pet Sessions are for pets and one family member only. They differ in that the shoot session is only 1 hour long.  Images you see in the gallery with family members have been shot as part of a family portrait session.

Location Charges for pet sessions are applied under the same criteria as family portrait sessions.

I hate having my picture taken, do I have to be in the photographs?

We know from experience that not all adults share an enthusiasm for being in front of the camera, Children on the other hand are generally more concerned with whatever it is they are doing. We aim to make the whole process fun and pain-free for everyone. Documentary photography is unlike studio photography we don't get you to pose for the camera, you’ll simply be spending time playing with your children. 

We know how to make sure you look your best. it's our job to do so. You will love the results and will not feel like you’re being put on the spot. Also, just one other thing to consider, you hired us to get pictures of your family. When your children are older, we know they would love to have pictures of themselves as children with their mum and dad or immediate family. I would advise you, do include yourself in the images because it’s important. You are their mother or father and they love you for who you are not what you look like. if your still unsure talk to us, we're here to help and guide you. we promise you will love the results. 

After the portrait session, How many images will we be able to choose from? We pride ourselves on producing a variety of images of an incredibly high standard. Hopefully, you have chosen us because you like what we do. no two sessions are ever the same and our reputation for producing beautiful, creative, imagery is we hope justified.

That said we find if we present too many images minds go into overload. and everyone will have a different opinion as to which you should select. we guarantee we will present a minimum of 25 images for you to choose from but on most occasions, it usually will be between 30 - 35 images.

Often our problem is keeping the selection down and choosing the images we think you're going to love. We tend to choose images that will be a great stand-alone image, but when viewed as part of a collection, they tell a wonderful story from your day and indeed this part of your life.

What's the most popular product you sell?

Folio boxes are popular, especially those with a hero shot lid. The majority of our clients will then add one of our many beautiful wall art products we offer to accompany their folio box. We will show you the choices at your presentation session. That said there is no right or wrong it's what you love in the style that suits you. 

What is the average spend?

Most clients spend between £750 and £3,000, usually on a combination of folio boxes looseleaf Prints, Photo albums, and wall products. There is no right or wrong amount. it's what's right for you. 

We have two ways of purchasing portraits. you can purchase a session and then select images and products at your presentation session or you can purchase one of four pre-selected pre-paid packages depending on your budget and needs. Some prefer this method as they know what they are going to get & spend before they start. Others prefer to create their own packages. Remember if you choose to purchase images this way and do so at your presentation session we offer you a 10% discount on the advertised price.  but it really is up to you. Purchase only images you love in a style that suits you and your budget it's that simple. 

Do you have a minimum spend?

Not for local sessions, (Within 50 Miles of our base.) You are welcome to spend as much or as little as you like. We pride ourselves on quality imagery and with good reason. Our photography is a legacy product. it is something which will grow in value to you year on year, so you are going to want your purchases to last. All our prints are produced by print specialists and our products are hand-made to the highest standards. If you don’t like your images you can walk away.

Please note for sessions out with the local area a minimum spend is required and travel costs are added once we surpass 100 miles round trip.  Please contact us for more details. 


Who has copyright to the images, and can I buy the photographs on a disc? Like all professional photographers, we retain the copyright to all the images. When you purchase an image from us it comes with a lifetime license which allows you to reproduce the images for your own personal use or to give prints away to family and friends. you can of course put them on your own social media platforms.

The license does not permit you or any third party to gain financially from the images, for example, you may not sell them to any third-party vendors such as magazines or stock agencies, or enter the images into any competitions. 

Digital Files

Digital Files are provided with your print at the same size as every print product we sell unless of course, you opt for a print only product. You are welcome if you so desire to take only the digital file but please be aware, the price remains the same as the print product you choose, as our costs skillset and time is the creation of the file  

Other information

Do you only photograph in black and white?

No, we do a lot of work in colour (take a look at our colour gallery) We however do love to photograph in black and white especially children. With black and white images it's about the story and the emotion. Fewer distractions are leading your eye away from the subject and of course, black and white imagery is a timeless piece of art that will be treasured for generations to come. That said at your presentation you will see a mixture so you can choose for yourself. 

How long have you been a photographer?

I first picked up a camera in 1971 and it’s been a passion in one form or another since then. We switched in 2014 to become Portrait Headshot and Branding photographers and I’m proud and pleased to say we have many repeat clients who choose us to be their photographer regularly.

Did you study photography?

I don’t have any formal photography qualifications. nor have I ever been impressed with such qualifications. Our art is of course a visual art and just by looking at a body of work I can tell whether it appeals to me or not. I have favourite photographers whose work I love and to be honest, I don't know if they have any formal qualifications. Their images simply appeal to me, that's all I need to know.      

My early photography days (1978-83) were spent photographing amateur motorcycle racing. Which quickly turned into my first picture sales. I didn’t make any money, the proceeds were spent on getting better equipment (For those of a certain age I had a Praktica MTL3 Camera) and paying for the trips around the UK, and keeping our beat-out old van on the road so I could get to all the race circuits, it was tough going but great fun. though I was only 18. I'm not sure sleeping in a freezing van full of holes appeals anymore.

The natural world had always been a passion of mine, as a child and after about 5 years I started to photograph wildlife and landscapes. I had always wanted to go to Africa and in 1992 the chance came to join a group of photographers on a trip to Kenya. This was a life-changing moment resulting in my move to upping my game and selling images on a regular basis. I would return to Africa on many occasions before heading to the Americas, Scandinavia and even both polar regions. These adventures were often accompanied by different professional photographers from around the world many of which became good friends travel companions & in some cases mentors. 

They taught me, about light, composition, patience, and timing. My photography skills grew year on year and I would often win local competitions. For several years, I joined the speaker circuit and would travel around the midlands speaking and presenting my images to different groups such as RSPB, National Trust, Natural History societies, and photographic societies. Eventually, I and another photographer created Wildwatch. A wildlife-based photographic tour company. We would take clients around the world showing them the wildlife and landscapes and teaching our own clients how to use their cameras.

This is how found Scotland where of course I now live. I still teach today but more on a one-to-one basis rather than in groups. (Click Here) if you would like to learn how to use your camera)

In 2014, I was asked to photograph a family which I thought would be a disaster, but the opposite happened. and the rest they say is history. You never stop learning in this business. The Technology in digital photography is advancing at a rapid rate. I never tire of this medium and I love to see the reactions of the people when they see their family images. For me, there is no greater joy.  

There is one thing that always makes me smile. when people say "bet that camera takes good pictures". my reply no pen ever created a best seller.  

How do I book a portrait session or ask a Question?

Please email me at nigelatkinsonportrait@gmail.com or use this contact form or of course you can call me on 07515 948355. We would love to hear from you so you can tell us all about your family and we can plan the perfect photoshoot to create your family story.


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