Hayley Lehmann Photography Blog


Wednesday November 9th 2011

On Sunday I photographed Gina & Mitchell’s beautiful wedding at The Park Lane Hotel. For me it was a double pleasure as I had previously photographed the groom’s mothers wedding in 2005. The question is, in these days where parents are often divorced and remarried, how carefully do I have to tread as a photographer when covering such an event?

The Park Lane Hotel 111106 5015 300x200 RelationshipsIn my planning meetings I always ask if parents are together or not. If not, I enquire about new partners, how my bride and groom feel about their step parents, and whether or not the divorced parents are amicable.

When photographing family groups I aim to get a photo that will keep everyone happy. Bride and groom want photos with their birth parents. Divorced parents want photos with their new partners. I swing birth parents and their new partners in and out of my groups as I build them up so that no one feels left out. This is a skill that I have developed over many years of working as a photographer, and family groups are summoned from memory and without any lists in front of me on the big day.

Luckily for me this Sunday, Mitchell’s parents and their new (well….not so new) partners were extremely amicable. In fact Mitchell’s Dad made some very tasteful and amusing references in his speech to how both his ex-wife and his new wife were both smiling and happy to be together today, and how happy he was to be sharing the day with his ex-wife’s new husband.

This contrasts starkly with some weddings where ex’s won’t even be in the same room as each other, let alone sit on the same table or be in the same photograph. This is the rich fabric of life which I am privileged to capture as I photograph my way through my clients functions. It is also something that I will be mindful of when one day my two beautiful daughters get married! Did you hear that Fred?

Portrait sessions and Christmas presents

Tuesday October 25th 2011

Now is the time of year when I am booked to photograph lots of family portraits. Often the family decides to have portraits taken because it is a significant birthday for a family member, or a wedding anniversary etc.. but it never ceases to amaze me that coincidentally these portrait sessions are always on the run up to Christmas.Portrait of Little Girl 111022 1059 200x300 Portrait sessions and Christmas presents
So what does a portrait session with Hayley Lehmann entail?
First off is planning the time for a session. If it is with little ones this normally involves early morning or early afternoon sessions to coincide with the end of meal and sleep times.
The next most common question is “What do we wear?” I always tell people to think about coordinating items like everyone wearing muted colours, or parents in black and children in bright colours. Normally I ask clients to bring a change of clothing so that there is some variety in the photographs.
The big day arrives and more often than not I need to manage parents’ expectations. They say that one shouldn’t work with children or animals, but perhaps that should be rephrased to one shouldn’t work with children’s’ parents or animals. Mummies and Daddies often get fraught if the child is not beaming in every photo, and the distress that the parents feel is soon amplified by the child’s behaviour. Yet some of the most beautiful portraits come when I politely ask the parents to be quiet and we just let the child revolve in their own little world.
Hayley Lehmann Portrait Session 111009 1077 200x300 Portrait sessions and Christmas presentsAfter the session is over we review the images on the computer and decide what we are going to do with them. With little ones running around it is often easier to do this on a separate day. We can present images in all kinds of wonderful wall displays, design albums or even sell good, old-fashioned prints to go in frames. Whatever the budget, our portrait clients leave here with memories to cherish. Please see some of our recent testimonials for confirmation.

Post Processing

Saturday October 1st 2011

Most Wedding and Barmitzvah clients see a photographer like me shooting at their function and equate the photographer’s fee to a very nice hourly rate. They forget about the physical goods included within the package such as an album or prints, and they have absolutely no idea about the time spent post processing the images or designing the album.

Before 200x300 Post Processing

Dentist Dad with gaps (before)

Post processing, is the behind the scenes work to enhance or improve a photograph. In the olden days (well, in photographic terms, only a decade ago) a photographer would have given their unexposed film into a lab who would have developed it and printed it. The skill of the printer to try and get the best out of the film negatives was the equivalent of the photographer who nowadays spends as long, if not longer after an event in post processing on the computer than they do shooting in the first place.

The art of post processing is to make the images look great and natural, after all a wedding is a wedding not a Vogue photoshoot. Some photographers fiddle and photoshop their images to death. The images become so arty that they become far removed from the reality of the couple. The other issue is the clients who think photoshop is the magic and cure all for everything. I had one bride say to me last year “I didn’t go on a diet before my wedding because I knew you could slim me down”.

After 200x300 Post Processing

Dentist Dad without gaps (after)

The reality of post processing for me is that I’m quite fussy about the way my images look. The final images always look real, if not a bit colourful which is my personal preference, but they aren’t processed to death. I tidy up blemishes and hide shine and sweaty bits, but I don’t turn my brides into Angelina Jolies or my grooms into Brad Pitts! One day when I shoot for Vogue (P.G) my style might change, but until then….