Hints, Tips and FAQ's

How to be picture perfect on shoot day, here’s what we recommend!

Here are a few hints and tips on how to get the best out of your portrait session with Merv Spencer Photography, we also have a FAQ’s section.

Chill out!

Most important this one. We’re all about relaxed, fun images that capture personality. So our photo sessions are relaxed and fun and won’t make you feel uncomfortable. This way, we get the best shots it’s also a good idea to arrive 10 minutes before your appointment as failure to arrive on time may result in a shortened session.


No matter what age, children shouldn’t be under any pressure to perform for us. Please don’t tell them that they must ‘behave well’, ‘smile’ when told, or ‘be good for the photographer’ etc. as this only serves to build up tension about what they are going to have to do.

Instead, why not tell them about the fun they will have playing games, let them bring along a favourite toy or two if they wish, and let them know how excited you are about coming for the session.
Little girls love their pretty dresses, but they’re not so practical when they sit down cross legged in front of our camera! Please bring along some jeans, trousers or leggings to change in to as well!

For younger children, feel free to bring along some of their favourite toys and cuddlies. It will give them something familiar to relate to in an unfamiliar situation, and can look lovely included on some photographs too – it’s all about showing their personality.


Give some thought about the look of your final photographs. Bright, punchy colours photograph well and look great, and a combined look (everybody in black t-shirts and jeans) is great too. White doesn’t show up too well against our backgrounds.


Smart casual is the order of the day if you’re unsure of what to to wear. You must feel comfortable in your outfit if you are going to like your photographs! Don’t forget you are welcome to bring along a change of clothes if you wish, and we’ll be happy to advise either before or on the day of your shoot. For families, consider going for a combined look (as above) or at least make sure you all decide together on your outfits beforehand. Otherwise, anything goes – show off your personality!


There’s a good chance you will be sitting on the floor for a relaxed look to your shots – if your skirt is short, it will be a lot shorter when you are in a sitting position! Consider wearing smart fitted jeans, trousers or leggings instead – and don’t forget you can bring a change of clothes too. Short to medium heels on either shoes or boots look great and will give legs shape and length, flat shoes won’t. In our experience, most ladies don’t like shots that show their bare arms, we recommend longer sleeves on any tops you might choose. We may well be shooting some photographs without shoes and socks, in this case, tights don’t look that great. Polo neck tops generally don’t give a flattering look.

Get some inspiration...

Studio Portraits

Our photography studio in Heanor is equipped to do some fantastic shots, whether its one person or a family! It’s amazing what we can do. Get some inspiration by visiting our photo gallery, save ideas or pin them to Pinterest and let us have them on the day.

Location Shoots

Sometimes the “Great Outdoors” is a fantastic place to do some very natural looking shots. Walking the dog or letting the kids climb some trees, our distinct way of photographing the subject will really show. Click the link below to see some of our location shoots.

Wedding Photography

We love Weddings and we hope you can see that from the beautiful photos we produce. 2000 weddings under our (camera) belt and over 30 years of experience. Although we use digital cameras these days, doesn’t mean we don’t know how to use a good old film! See our gallery.