Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ's


Who we are

Who are Mackney Photography?
Simon and Wendy Mackney are a husband and wife team who are both passionate about their business and understand the importance of recording timeless portraits for generations to come.

As photographers with over a decade in experience, they are a family business with a passion for portrait photography and fashion. Established in 2001, Mackney photography is an award winning boutique portrait studio specialising in people portraiture.

Why is it called a boutique photography studio?
We aim to give ALL our clients an excellent and memorable experience from start to finish, and since we're not a chain – we guarantee ALL our photography is done in-house by our award winning photographers.

Why are the awards so important?
Since photography is one of the only professions not regulated, we decided to challenge ourselves and enter national photographic awards to keep ourselves at the top of our game. We are fully registered members of the BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photographers) and the MPA who represent the very best of the photographic community, they ensure that their members produce only the highest possible quality. We're constantly entering images from every day shoots, with your permission of course – could you be in the next award winning photograph?

What camera equipment do you use?
Simon Mackney was first trained using film on the Nikon F4, then changed to Canon, but has now added the Nikon D4 back onto the list with other state of the art camera and lighting equipment to make sure the studio captures the very best in you and your family.

Are you CRB checked?

CRB checks are now called DBS checks – of which all photographers have been fully checked and certified.

Is there parking?
Yes – we have ample free parking right outside our studios.

What are your opening hours?
The studio is open Monday - Sunday 9-6pm, but it's on an appointment only basis, so it's highly recommended to call the studio on 01332 650 076 before attending without warning.

Have we seen you on TV somewhere?
We were on channel 4's property programme, Location, Location, Location – aired back in 2009 and revisited in 2012. It keeps getting repeated!!

Do you take on work experience candidates?
I'm afraid we don't currently.

Do you help charities?
We regularly help charities – though we don't like to "hide" behind them, so what we do is often under the radar, i.e photographing for calendars and donating portrait sessions and frames. Since opening our new studio in 2012 – we've raised over £9k for various charities, including, The Sunni-Mae Trust, Macmillan Cancer charity and St Augustine's School in Arusha. If you would like us to help your charity out – please contact us directly.

I'd love to work for you, do you have any vacancies?
We always have room for creative individuals to join our growing Mackney family – please email us at the studio with a CV, and the position you would like to apply for.

Where can I see more examples of your work?
We have a permanent stand at the Westfield Derby, located outside F.Hinds and Sainsburys on the ground floor Our lovely Mackney girls will be happy to chat to you in more depth if you are thinking of either our portraits or makeovers session.

Tell me more about your Westfield stand in Derby City Centre?
Our Westfield stand is permanently situated outside F.Hinds and Sainsburys, so that we can run special offers on our gift experience vouchers all throughout the year. The offers are available ONLY at the Westfield Derby, but it means that you can peruse through a larger selection of our fantastic work and have a chat with our Mackney team.

Newborn Photography

What's the best age to photograph a newborn?
The younger the baby, the better – preferably 2 weeks or younger. They are less likely to be disturbed while sleeping and are more "pliable" and less likely to have newborn acne which usually flares up around 3 weeks of age. The best ages we've found are between 6-10days old.

What age is classed as newborn?
Newborn is classed from the day baby is born to 12weeks max.

Why does it cost more then the other portrait packages?
In our experience – it takes longer, normally around 3-4 hours as a lot of the time is spent settling baby in and making sure they are comfortable. We tend to take a lot of sleeping shots, but it's a bonus when they're wide awake too!

How far in advance should I book the session?
As soon as you decide you would like us to do your photoshoot, please book your session, we can normally slot you in if it's last minute too!

What props do you have?
We've spent a long time researching and purchasing baby friendly props and backdrops, so we do have a lot to offer, call us for a chat if you have something specific in mind.

The Session

Can we have a quick portrait?
In order to get the best images, we spend around 2 hours working to settle you in and get the best shots. We don't do "quick" portraits but luckily you'll find many other studios out there who do this. In order to achieve our lovely award winning images, it does take a lot of time and patience. We work hard during the session to make sure we have lots of lovely photos to creatively edit after, so what you see is actually see in the viewing is our labour of love.

I have a gift voucher – how do I book in?
Just call the studio on 01332 650 076 or email us - if you have a specific date in mind, please book at least 6weeks in advance as our most popular dates are Saturdays and Sundays.

Why do I need to pay a booking fee?
Upon booking we require a £25 refundable deposit to confirm the date and time, it is a standard requirement at Mackney photography and will require 72hours for any cancellation/ movement of appointments. Your booking fee is fully refundable and refunded to you at the time of your viewing otherwise.

Who owns the copyright?
We retain the copyright on all of our images. However if you would like to use our images for commercial or other usage, we have licenses that can be issued. Please ask for specific details.

What if I need to cancel as I'm unwell?
If someone is unwell in your group (and we completely understand it happens) we need as much notice as possible, please try to give 3 days notice so we can then let other clients know of upcoming availability. We will then reschedule the shoot as soon as we can.

I'm camera shy help!
Don't worry, we will talk you through from start to finish and if you have any specific requests or queries, please do not hesitate to talk to us!! Our photographers have had many years of experience and their gentle approach will put you instantly at ease.

Can we bring pets?
Of course! We have our own studio pet – Trigger the Miniature Schnauzer who lives in the office – so please do say hello. We've had cats, dogs of all shapes and sizes, hamsters, reptiles and even a chicken in the studio.

Do you have a limit on how many people can come for a family portrait?
We have over 2000sq foot in the studio so more the merrier, this is YOUR family portrait after all. The largest family we've had at the studio is 18, ranging from the youngest at 2 months old to the oldest at 93 years old – can you be our new studio record holder?

Can we combine our vouchers?
Unfortunately not – it's strictly one voucher per family household per year.

Do I need to bring my voucher with me?
Yes please as this validates who you are and will give you substantial discount on your order.

Can I view my images after the photoshoot?
Unfortunately not, as we've probably taken over 600 shots and need to whittle them down so we only show you the best of the best of the best! Once your images have been taken, they are then cleaned and creatively edited and designed into unique photographic designs chosen especially for you, this normally takes our experienced editor a good couple of hours.

I want a location shoot but it's raining, what happens?
If we know it's location in Darley Park that you specifically want, we will reschedule your appointment for you at no extra cost – we'll keep you updated, so don't worry!


How many outfits should I bring?
The more you bring, the more the stylist has to work with!! Think of outfits as an "occasion", so bring 1 x casual outfit, 1 x glamorous outfit, 1 x party outfit….and so on. Don't worry – the stylist will normally walk you through.

Do you have any outfits or accessories?
We don't carry any extra outfits or accessories – so please remember to bring accessories like costume jewellery, belts and shoes! Don't forget the correct underwear too!

How important is my outfits?
Clothes WILL make your photos stand out better – so a good think about what to bring would be a good idea. If your not sure – just bring a selection!

Who's the stylist and why so important?
Wendy Mackney is the stylist at your shoot and has a BA hons fashion degree as well as over a decade of knowledge in the fashion industry. She's worked on magazine shoots in New York and London as a stylist with models of all shapes, sizes and age so knows the BEST way to pose you. Relax and enjoy the makeover.

Do you have changing and makeup rooms?
We have 3 changing rooms and 2 dedicated makeover areas to indulge yourself in.

Do you do makeover parties for under 21years?
Unfortunately not, we cannot cater for parties.

But I'm not young, thin or beautiful – I want to be just like those models on your website!
We're experienced enough in lighting, posing and styling that what you see on our website are actually REAL people. We can show you the Before and Afters if you don't believe us!

What to expect at the Viewing

How long does it take from shoot to viewing?
It takes 1-2 weeks

Can I bring my children to the viewing?
We recommend parents NOT to bring their young children between the ages of 1 and 7 into the viewing room, more for the comfort of the parents as there is not much to do during the viewing session for them and you do not want to be rushed into making the wrong decisions.

How many pictures can I expect to see?
It depends on how well the session goes, but on average we showcase over 100 images, each one digitally cleaned, colour corrected and lots of extra ideas for you to see how you can present your "wall art" in your own home. We are all about the quality not quantity.

How long is the viewing?
Our viewing sessions normally lasts up to 2 hours (or more!)

What is creative editing?
After the shoot, we have an experience digital artist working on your photos. We clean up scars, spots, dribble…the icing on the cake as they say. We also work on a few variations like black & white and vintage tones to show you as well as selecting a few photographic designs that we think you might like. Finally, we select OUR favourites and spend a few hours working specially designer "layers" and really showing your photos, as we like to see them, as photographic masterpieces.

What is Wall Art?
If you think of photographs as pictures to browse through on your computer or to be burnt onto a CD and shoved in the drawer, then perhaps we're not the right photographers for you. However, perhaps you just need some help to visualise the potential your images may have.

Capturing the image is only the first step in a very involved process. We believe your images are art pieces in their own right and should be proudly displayed in the right frames on your wall or lovingly presented in our albums.

The photographs that we carefully craft for you will be in your family for generations and we want your frames and albums to be proudly displayed for years to come.

Is there an obligation to buy after the shoot?
Of course not, but can you really resist our beautiful images? Our images are always intended as Wall Art to be proudly hung on your walls.

Can my relatives come to the viewing?
Please feel free to bring your partner and other family member so they can enjoy the show too.

What payments do you accept?
We accept most major credit and debit cards, if your unsure please ask the studio to find out which ones we can accept.

Do you offer payment plans?
We offer 12 months interest free payment plan – great for spreading the costs whilst enjoying your wall art in the comfort of your own home.

What should I bring to the viewing?
We only offer discounts and packages at the first viewing not available online, as it's part of your gift experience, so please be prepared with where you "see" your wall art in your home to help make a steadfast decision. Feel free to measure up wall space before coming to the viewing with images taken on your smart phone so we can "show" you what your final pieces will look like in your home.

How many times can I come in and view my images if I haven't yet placed an order?
Viewings take a lot of our time up, though we don't mind showing you your images again and again. The first viewing is part of your voucher and we only offer discounts and packages at this first viewing. The second viewing we don't offer any discounts or packages. Any viewings after which you'd like to book in for costs £20 per hour. If you've already placed an order, there is no charge for further viewings.


How long does it take for my order to be ready?
We only use the highest quality of products to showcase your images. For prints – these can take 6-8 weeks. Wall Art takes 8-10 weeks and Albums around 10-12weeks. For our bespoke premium products, this may take up to 10-12weeks. ALL of our products go through our own high quality control to make sure you only receive and display the very best.

Do you deliver?
We don't recommend delivery, as you know the courier or postman can be rather heavy handed and we can't be responsible for damaged goods this way. We would recommend collection in person so we can go through your good with you personally and see your first initial reaction to our beautiful finished products.

What is your Customer Recommendation scheme?
A great way to receive all the prints you wanted but couldn't afford to purchase all at once is to join our customer recommendation scheme. When you recommend a friend or relative to us and they come in and have a session with us you will receive a 'credit' towards additional images from your session.

When can we come back in?
You can come back in anytime, but to get the most out of your time, money and children, we recommend you see us very 2-3 years. Households are limited to use one voucher per family per year.

How long do you keep the images for?
If you place an order, we keep the images on file for 12 months. If no order on images, files are only kept for up to 3months. If you would like us to hold onto the images for a longer period, a retainer will be required – please ask at the studio for more information – you'll need it for our customer recommendation scheme!

I've not collected my order - can you store it for me?
We'll happily store your order for up to 6months, but after this period we will need contact from you to let us know when you'd like to collect your order. After 8 months, any payment already made will be used to cover the cost of it's production and the order will then become the property of Mackney Photography.

Is there a guarantee on my wall art?
All wall art is guaranteed for a lifetime, please contact the studio if you need any advice on cleaning or hanging the product.


Mackney Photography