Review 2015: Ideal Imaging, Lifestyle Bespoke Family Photography by Alistair Jones

Alistair runs Ideal Imaging and I met him a few years ago, via NorthHantsMum. I’ve been desperate to have a photography shoot with Alistair for a couple of years now but the timing has never worked.

Alistair has always been very supportive of NorthHantsMum and when I saw that he was running a special offer earlier in the year, I leapt at the chance.

I’ve been following the Ideal Imaging facebook page since I met Alistair. I’ve seen many of the pictures that Alistair has taken and thought they all look fabulous. I love that the pictures are taken at several different locations including Tylney Hall, a beautiful hotel near Basingstoke.

Pre Session briefing with Alistair

About a week before our shoot, Alistair came to our house to talk us through what to expect and to advise on how we should prepare for the shoot.

We discussed what to expect, what we should wear and the pre session also gave us a chance to introduce Miss NHM to Alistair, so that she knew who he was when we saw him a week later.

It also gave Alistair an opportunity to meet us and to understand the personalities involved and to stress that he wanted to make it into an “adventure” for Miss NHM.

We talked through what to avoid (big logos and high heels!) and what to bring with us on the day (wet wipes was a key thing to remember!) and Mr NHM and I learnt about the colour wheel and how important this can be to ensure that the colours we were wearing didn’t clash with the colours of Spring at Tylney Hall.

Mr NHM also asked questions about the weather. Alistair explained that if it’s bad then we’ll simply re-schedule but said that 95% of the time it’s fine. We learnt that you don’t really want bright sunshine on the day of your shoot as this can cause shadows, squinting and the sun can wash out colours. It’s actually much better for the photographs if the weather is overcast as the colour come out better. Not really difficult with our English weather! :-D.

At the end of our initial pre-shoot session Alistair gave us a few print out’s that reiterated what we had talked about, just to ensure that we got the best out of our experience. This was great because it meant I didn’t have to remember everything, I had a handy sheet reminding me of it all! Lol.

I really loved the Pre session briefing with Alistair. It gave Mr NHM and I a chance to ask lots of questions and helped put my mind at ease as to what to expect on the day.

Photo Shoot at Tylney Hall

On the day of our shoot the weather wasn’t great. However, we weren’t worried as Alistair had already mentioned that this wouldn’t be an issue when we saw him at our Pre-Session.

If you have ever been to the hotel before, you will know that it is a very grand location and the drive up the main road to the entrance is beautiful. We met Alistair in the car park to the side of Tylney Hall.

I took a couple of outfits with us because I’m like that (no comment!). When I asked Alistair which outfit he thought would be best, he chose the same one I wanted Miss NHM to wear so I should really have just gone with my gut instinct. So we did a quick change for Miss NHM in the car.

Alistair then pulled out his teddy bear assistant and Miss NHM chose a name for the teddy bear and we were off to start the shoot.

I’ve only ever been in the hotel for Afternoon Tea and a work do, so never spent time in the gardens at Tylney Hall. They are Stunning!! It’s the perfect backdrop for some gorgeous photos. There are lots of different areas that you can walk around so you get a lot of variety in the pictures taken.

I have to admit that Miss NHM was a bit of a rat bag during her photo shoot. She really wouldn’t do anything we wanted her to and Mr NHM and I found it very challenging. Mr NHM and I even reverted to reverse psychology which seemed to work really well. If we asked Miss to do the opposite of what we wanted her to actually do, she would then do it!

Alistair took it all in his stride. He did a great job of letting Miss NHM do her own thing whilst he captured the best of her character and natural personality. When I look at the pictures now, I’m amazed that they came out so brilliantly. It just shows how good Alistair is, at what he does.

We walked all over the grounds and the photos tell the story of our experience. The shoot lasted about an hour which was just the right amount of time for Miss NHM. We finished in the daffodil area and despite Miss NHM getting tired at this point, you can see that the pictures are still fantastic.

Reviewing the pictures

Alistair came to our house about 10 days after the shoot and we looked at all of the pictures on his laptop. It must be wonderful for Alistair to do this because literally every picture we saw we were saying things like “Wow” or “Isn’t that fab”.

I was very nervous about reviewing the pictures. I was still worried about the fact that Miss NHM had been a rat bag on the day. However, I should have trusted in Alistair’s professionalism because I’m not lying when I say that every picture was brilliant. We had over 50 pictures taken during our shoot and every single one is just perfect.

As the pictures were taken outside and not in a studio they aren’t staged, so the expressions on Miss NHM’s face are really natural. I love this! I will always be able to look at these pictures and remember her at four years old, having the time of her life running around outside! Lol.

Alistair brought a number of samples along with him, to show the pictures at their best. One thing I really like all is that all items purchased are built to stand the test of time and become family heirlooms. For example, the Wall Art is all UV protected and stain resistant.

There is no obligation to buy but when you see the pictures it’s very difficult not too want all of what’s available!

Final Thoughts

When you book a lifestyle session with Alistair you get the complete service. I really liked the idea of having the pre-session briefing and then the follow up review. I was very impressed at how Alistair goes out of his way to make you feel comfortable and relaxed. It was clearly very important to him that we got the most out of the whole experience and had some fantastic pictures to take away from the experience.

The pictures themselves are just perfect. We couldn’t have asked for any better.

You can find out more about Alistair’s Lifestyle Bespoke Family Photography at:

Website http://www.idealimaging.uk.com/family-lifestyle-portraits/

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/idealimagingphotography

AND Alistair has kindly agreed to give all NHM readers 20% off his Family Lifestyle sessions! Simply quote NHM when you book (expires 31st December 2015)

Thank you very much to Alistair for a fabulous experience and for the wonderful memories that we have of our shoot!

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Ideal Imaging. Our photography shoot was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own. 

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2 thoughts on “Review 2015: Ideal Imaging, Lifestyle Bespoke Family Photography by Alistair Jones

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