Superhero Photo Shoot

I knew that this would be a great idea.  After all, what child doesn’t want to be a superhero, what parent doesn’t want to see their child having the time of their life AND have amazing photos of it to treasure forever?  When he is 21 he’ll still think he looked cool.  What I didn’t fully comprehend was the ridiculous amount of fun I’d have doing it!  I really had no idea just how much it would mean to the little superheroes that came to my studio.

The sweetest thing (that actually made me feel a little bad) was that every single one of the superheroes that came back to my Sussex photography studio later with their parents for the viewing session and then to collect their photos wanted to have another go on the set…and it no longer existed by then as I’d had to dismantle it for other shoots.  They all wanted to have a look for themselves to make sure it was actually gone.  They all went and clambered over the one remaining part of the set – the “building” (wooden platform to you and me) they stood on.  Little Charlie even asked me if he could at least look at the capes and masks again.  George thinks he’s famous now, because some of his superhero images appeared on my Facebook page for his parents to tag and share.  I thought Oscar was going to burst with excitement during his shoot – too cute!  Ethan taught me how to shoot Spiderman webs properly – I was doing it all wrong.

In the planning stages I never thought about superhero siblings, but on the spur of the moment (if they came along to the shoot and were feeling left out) I included brothers and sisters for a couple of shots.  SO glad that I did, because the results were super cute!

super siblings

Every superhero was brilliant and produced awesome shots and it was so satisfying to capture the magic of childhood – the moment you can see when a child fully believes that they are who they’re pretending to be and everything around them is real.  Deciding on a winner was an incredibly difficult decision!  Once I’d made a final selection of 2 of my favourite photographs of each superhero, the photos were put to a panel to select the winner.  Super Ollie won the competition to be the Superhero Face of Jane Allan Photography.  He received a mask and cape of his choosing (from  and his photograph will soon appear in one of my studio windows.

superhero themed shoot

It is hard to say which superhero character was the most popular out of Superman, Captain America, Batman and Spiderman, but I think it might just have been Batman.  I loved that Jaeden’s dad wore a Batman t-shirt to the shoot in support of his son’s favourite superhero…he gets the cool dad award.

Also – I cannot even begin to tell you the workout I had over the three days that I ran the superhero shoot!  No, really, superhero photography should be an exercise class.  Try photographing (for hours) while holding Spiderman positions.  Kudos to every Spiderman actor ever (they must have the most toned thighs and buns ever!).

I cannot wait to do it all over again with more Sussex Superheroes!!

sussex children photographer

Why you need an experienced wedding photographer


Brides and grooms pray for wall to wall sunshine on their wedding day, but their wedding photographer dreads the concept. What?!  Find out why you need an experienced wedding photographer.

Yes, really, in the UK wedding photographers are more accustomed to shooting in overcast or at least partly cloudy conditions and, while beautiful blue skies look great in a photo, the harsh shadows created by direct sunlight will have many a wedding photographer scratching her/his head in frustration.  On a bright sunny day we look around for shade cast by a building or dense tree. Without it we really need to start thinking.

I like to shoot into the sun by positioning the bride and groom or group with their backs to the sun so nobody is squinting into the sun, they don’t have harsh shadows across their faces and they are nicely backlit.

Another major challenge is wind.  I’m happier with a rainy day than a really windy day.  It very, very rarely rains constantly all day long, so at some point in the day there will be an opportunity to nip outside and get some shots.  Wind on the other hand is usually constant and really messes with hair and clothing.

Now, add wind to a bright sunny day and the fun really starts for a wedding photographer, because as surely as eggs are eggs the wind will be blowing in the wrong direction.  You want to shoot into the sun, but the wind is coming from behind the bride and groom or group, which makes the ladies look like they’re moshing at a heavy metal concert.  Not a good look for a wedding.

Dave and Jade’s wedding in Brighton on a gorgeously hot, sunny day in May that was also incredibly windy is a perfect example.  The venue was a beachfront hotel with the sun shining straight onto the front of the building with no outside space at the back of the hotel for photographs in the shade.  We’d planned photographs in the bandstand, but as luck would have it a wedding was taking place there at the time that we’d set aside for photographs.  So, that left only a very crowded, very sunny, very windy beach.  What do you do?

Cue well trained assistant who battled the wind holding a scrim (frame with lightweight, translucent fabric spread over it) above her head to diffuse the bright sunlight and cast a soft shade over the bride and groom sitting on the pebbles, thereby eliminating harsh shadows.  I shot from above them aiming down to cut out crowds in the background.

You work with what you have.  In this case that also meant including the crowds, because it was rather lovely that the beach erupted with applause for the newlyweds when we first appeared.

And then finally….you never give up.  You step outside after the wedding breakfast and speeches are over and you find that most people have gone home, the wind has died down and you’re into the “magic hour” or “golden hour”.  That time of day photographers love, when the sun is lower in the sky and the light turns a beautiful golden colour.

And you get the shot.