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Andy Nickerson photographs a Muddy…

5 reasons to get your kids photographs done in this studio!

Andy Nickerson photography kid's portraits
The market is saturated with photographers all wanting to capture those special moments for you, so why choose Andy Nickerson Photography? Andy and his wife Debbie specialise in photographing children (rather them than me), so Muddy staffer Carla took her Mini Mudsters along to be photographed and tells us 5 good reasons to take your kiddiewinks along…

Great preparation
Ahead of the shoot I was a bit apprehensive, I thought God help poor Andy! My Mini Mudsters are 5 years and 14 months and come with all the tantrums and moodiness that you would expect of kids this age. I had visions of the toddler screaming and my 5 year refusing to participate. Andy sent through some information to read to prepare for the shoot and made sure that he knew their names and ages too. I also made my own preparations by being armed with a variety of snacks to be used as bribery should the need arise!

Very welcoming
The studio is in the grounds of Andy and Debbie’s home in Brixworth Village, the sat nav took us to the wrong end of the road, but despite that it’s relatively easy to find. When we arrived Andy came out to greet us and immediately made us feel welcome and relaxed. He took us through to the studio which has a lovely seating area (not that I was able to make much use of it!), a chaise longue that Freddie immediately felt the need to drape himself across and a portfolio of beautiful photographs on the walls. The studio is perfectly sized for photographing children, not too small -so there is space for them to move about without fear of knocking things over, but not too large as to be intimidating. Andy was engaging and friendly to me and both children, my 5 year old, who can often act shy in front of new people (even though he’s not!) had no hesitation in making himself at home in the studio and was really eager to get in front of the camera. Andy explained to him what he was doing as he was setting up, he invited both of them to look at the camera and to push the buttons to show them what to expect when he was taking a shot so they were both comfortable.

Andy’s golden rules!
Freddie went first and couldn’t wait, he was totally at ease with the situation, and Andy just asked him to pull some funny faces. I was thinking that’s not going to make a great picture, but there is method to the madness – Freddie’s natural laugh after pulling the faces is the shot Andy is after, his golden rule is to never ask a child to smile or to ‘say cheese’ and it works! There were a few moody looks and acts of defiance, but Andy took it all in his stride. Next up – the dreaded Toddler! How on earth do you get a 14 month old to pose for a photograph and laugh on cue?

The answer is patience and persistence, which Andy had no trouble with. We had some attention seeking behaviour from Freddie now he was no longer centre of attention but Andy just tried to get him involved in helping to make Penelope laugh, naturally it took a bit longer with a younger child but that didn’t seem to phase Andy at all. I asked him why he chose to work with children, arguably the most difficult models, but he just loves it and it shows.

I’m sure every parent thinks their kids are going to be the worst behaved, probably not helped by the amazing pictures he has on the wall making it look so effortless, but behind every great picture is many more unusable shots. He said he’d seen it all before, even a full on melt down tantrum on the floor of the studio, nothing phases him.

The final stage was to get a picture of both of them together, by this time the kids were getting a little fed up and bored and as we needed them to both smile at the same time I was fearing the worst! Andy & Debbie work together for the majority of photo shoots, particularly maternity and newborn babies. As our shoot took place over the school holiday we had Andy’s sole attention with Debbie able to step in as needed… we did enlist her help for the final leg.. Freddie decided to hide from her (he does this a lot!), but she talked him round and without too much pain and along with a few bribery snacks, we got there!

So natural 
I love that Andy captures the natural beauty of children in his photography, and I love the simplicity. I had some newborn shots of Freddie done using props, and whilst I still love them, they do feel a little dated now as tastes and trends change. Andy advises you not to dress your children in anything too branded or that will date easily, so if you like dressing your children up then maybe this is not for you, but I believe the natural look combined with the black and white finish means that they will be timeless (note that portraits are black and white, so if you’re after the rainbow effect, these guys probably aren’t for you).

After the shoot you will be invited back to view the portfolio. Andy and Debbie specialise in hand-crafted artwork for clients using the portraits they capture so you can have truly unique pieces for your home (yup, I was excited).

The beautiful portraits & bespoke artwork
Well what can I say… I might be a little bit biased because they are my kids, but I think the portraits are amazing! I love, love love them and can’t wait to adorn my walls! You can see many more examples of his beautiful photography on their website or contact Andy or Debbie directly to arrange your own bespoke portraits or get a brochure or price list (01604 882 945).

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