Portrait Photography

Looking to experience the perfect portrait?

Mackney Photography are a boutique photographic studio, winning national awards for their work in both portraiture and the studio.

We are lucky to be based in the beautiful English heritage site of Darley Abbey (only 5mins from the main City Centre of Derby) in our purpose built photography studio. Inspired by our experiences in London and New York – the 2200sq foot studio offers the perfect combination of high ceilings for better lighting, picturesque outdoor park locations just seconds away and an abundance of ideas to really capture you and your family.

The right time

Will there ever be the right time? Maybe you'll wait a while as you need to lose weight, grow your hair, your daughter can start walking, maybe you'll have another baby….then before you know it your son's turning 18years of age and getting ready to leave home…and you'll sit there wondering "where has all the time gone?"

We always say that time is of the essence and whenever you decide to have your photo taken, the resulting images will always turn out so beautiful they will take your breath away. Whatever stage in life you are at, we will always capture that special moment and turn it into a piece of art, so the right time? Is right now…

Your session

Objects of quality take a lot of time and planning and each session is unique. Since no two people are the same, why should each session be? This is especially important where young children are involved, as bringing the right outfit will enhance your session and create the stunning images you see in our portfolio.

As a team, we are dedicated to delivering you an exceptional experience, therefore we have limited availability so we can maintain the highest level of excellence in all areas of our photographic studio including excellent customer service, superior attention to detail and emphasis on quality over quantity.

Before you even visit our studios, we will call and give you a telephone consultation to find your likes and dislikes, hobbies and what you REALLY want out of the portrait session. Whether it's in the studio or out on location, we will advise you on the best outfits and any props you may wish to bring in this initial consultation.

On the day, we sit down and discuss any special requirements you may have over refreshments and more importantly this lets the children and yourself get used to us being around. Your portrait adventure will typically last between 2– 3 hours, each session being unique and we ensure that your experience is suited to who you are as a family.

What to wear

The amount of panicked phone calls we get on what to wear has always amused our fashion design expert Wendy, so to help you out, we've dedicated the next few paragraphs on the best clothing to bring for your portrait shoot.

1/ COLOUR: First things first - decide where you plan to position your portraits at home, whether it'll be in the living room, bedroom or dining room – it's a good start.
See what colours are in that room already, for example if you plan to hang your portrait in a family room that has a busy wallpaper of red and gold, and you planned to wear purple and brown, it won't work very well…talk about a colour clash!
If your room is neutral, this will make your colour choices quite endless, you may want some "colour" to come through in your choice of clothes either in brights, pastels or bold prints.

Narrow down your palette to 3 colours to work around, greys, white and blacks do NOT count as colours, but bring them along as "highlights" to compliment your colour choices.

2/ CENTRE PIECE OUTFIT: If colour is not your forte and still undecided what to bring, then select a "centre piece", i.e your favourite piece of clothing, it can be a patterned piece you adore, a little girls bridesmaid dress or a boys checked shirt - you only need to find that one "centre piece" to help plan everything around that. If you are bringing children to the shoot, then let them be the focal point and start outfit building round them first - the colours can then be taken from their prints, checked shirts or even a flouncy tutu.

3/ ACCESSORIES & LAYERS: Most importantly, layers and accessories add depth, texture and dimension to the overall look, as well as easily "changing" the look during the shoot by removing a cardigan or a t-shirt under a shirt. Think about necklaces, headbands, scarves, tights, hats, ties, belts, waistcoats, cardigans - anything that can be added onto your outfits!

4/ BUILD IT: If you're still unsure of what to bring and what to wear, you can take a look at our Pintrest. OR if you're super organised, lay the outfits on the floor with the accessories and don't forget footwear! Take a photo of your outfit choices and email them to Wendy, who will then call you to advise if you've got it spot on, or missing a few bits. Normally the right shoes or headpiece can dramatically change the look of your outfit from "everyday" to award winning portrait!

Make sure you start this planning as soon as you've booked your session as it may take a few weeks to gather everything together, especially if you're a busy mum looking after the kids!

What to bring

What hobbies do you or your kids have? Ballet? Karate? Football? Reading? Personality is important to capture and what better way than through hobbies and interests! As a bonus we have a drive-in studio so bring your vintage car, VW camper van or motorbike -at the end of the day it's YOUR photo session – let's liven it up!

Don't forget about your pets - they are often an important member of the family too and we've photographed everything from dogs, parrots to even hamsters.


And now comes the thorny subject of cost. A large part of our success is repeat custom and recommendations. Photography is an expensive and a time consuming occupation, what you're actually paying for, is the photographer's expertise and time from your photo session, editing time and finally the viewing.

Can you book a portrait package for cheaper elsewhere? Yes, you most certainly can, but we offer 5 star quality and an exceptional experience in order to create images to be proud of. Not only do we pride ourselves on the stunning photography we create, but also a guarantee that from start to finish you'll have an amazing adventure. If you compare us to hotels, would you expect ALL hotels to have the same price regardless of the star ratings, the rooms, the facilities, the location? No…we certainly don't.

Our business is based on quality from customer service right through to our products, we focus on your portrait experience as if nothing else mattered. The reason our portraits look amazing? Time, experience, the right equipment and an artist's eye. Ours is a labour of love and creativity to give you images to remember and share.

We present our photography as wall art or printed expertly onto bespoke, handmade albums – both fantastic ways to showcase your own personal artwork for years to come.