Oh hey there, thanks so much for having a browse! If you’ve landed here then Im assuming you’ve either booked a session with me or are seriously considering doing so, wonderful! I’ve put together some SUPER important info in regards to planning and organising your session that’s a MUST READ for all of my clients, so please take a few minutes to have a quick read below.
First things first. I always require a completed booking form and deposit payment to secure and confirm your session date. I cannot hold availability based on enquiries. Please contact me via the contact link to check availability and receive an online booking form and contract.
In some instances I book out some weeks/months in advance, especially over high season (October to April) so please make sure you contact and formally book early to avoid disappointment. I am only taking a limited volume of session bookings per month for 2021 so early enquiry and booking is absolutely essential.
Once your session is locked in we move to the planning phase. At this point we will settle on a date, if we haven’t already and time for your session. Unless it’s a newborn studio session (these are organised a bit differently ‘cos baby’s are unpredictable right?!- refer to the bumps and babes page for more on this)
From there we will discuss wardrobe styling and any other logistics. I generally send a final confirmation email about a week out from your session, this confirms all the details, time, location address, any necessary prep required, what to bring and how to prepare your children if they’re attending.
Your session fee balance will be due by the date of your session. Feel free though at any time to let me know if you have any questions or concerns about your session.
One of the most important aspects to the planning perfect session is location selection. Choosing the right location is SO important to the outcome of your session. Across my sessions formats I work with a range of location options:
My cosy home studio is located SOR in Aubin Grove, this is where all Studio Format Newborn, Sitter, Cake Smash, some Maternity and Kids Studio Sessions are held. My studio offers bright natural light, white walls and floors for a super bright + clean session. All studio sessions are held weekday mornings as this is when the light is on point in my studio.
In home sessions are fun, cosy & super candid (think fly on the wall). If you’re home bodies and love your space then this format is ideal. It works all year round and in any weather so this is also a plus. Your home is usually the best reflection of your personality and vibe so it’s a great place to really capture you and the genuine essence of your family dynamic. Generally speaking I don’t need a whole lot to work with here, one great window can go a long way! But typically I would work with the master bedroom, living area & nursery if applicable. Every home is different so I’ll work with the spaces that offer a combination of best light and space and sometimes a kitchen or bathroom or unexpected space will jump out to my photographic eye as offering a great opportunity. In home sessions usually offer a very fly on the wall perspective, so I encourage clients to consider some easy activities to enjoy / document during their session: feeding, bath time, cookie baking, bed jumping – I’m so down for this – lets brainstorm ideas during your planning phase to get the most FUN out of your session. All I ask clients to do to prepare is open all their curtains/blinds and remove any unnecessary clutter. Lived in is good, random/un-necessary clutter is not so good a quick tidy is all that’s necessary, I don’t expect hospital clean. These sessions are held week days during the day.
Ok, the most common thing Im asked for is greener than green local park locations. Sorry but we can do SO much better than that, we live in one of the worlds most beautiful cities, so lets think a little bigger. I hunt WIDE scenic spaces. Unless we are shooting an urban location, I look for natural outdoor spaces that are wide and uninterrupted by traffic, houses & jungle gyms. I can suggest a range of locations with different feels, colour tones. Your location and backdrop will impact your session look significantly, so I always discuss with clients their decor colour schemes at home, a client with a super white neutral home possibly wont wants giant green canvases adorning their walls?! Some locations are on our door step and some further ‘afield’ (you see what I did there! – total Mum joke) – it’s worth the drive trust me! Keep in perspective it may not be every year you get around to organising portraits that will last a lifetime so let’s make it count! Im also always open to suggestions so lets brainstorm this further if you’re keen!
Why is my session at Sunset (or sunrise)? Quite simply – light. I cannot produce the colour tones and beautiful soft aesthetic you see across my portfolio of outdoor sessions at any time other than golden hour – which is the hour before sunset. I realise at some times of the year this is challenging with you kids as sunset is quite late, however this is something I do not compromise on, as it ultimately compromises on quality. I promise that for one evening bending the “routine” with kids will be totally worth it. Most kids are totally fine and even the ones that aren’t you’d never know about from the galleries, because quite simply, I’m not bad at my job. I’ve done this before (a lot) so trust me to make it work!
Please note that I prefer to photography newborns/young babies in studio or in home only.
More on studio vs in home newborn sessions:
- If you want the “studio look” with simple props and wraps, then book the studio format, I do not bring props along to in home sessions. These formats are very different. Studio sessions are ideally done within 6-14 days of baby’s arrival to achieve those sleepy womb like poses. Please check my portfolio to see the differences and contact me if you are unsure of which option suits you best.
- YES I do shoot older babies in the studio – however parents need to adjust their session expectations accordingly to the age of the baby. Older babies will not fold into womb like poses, so pictures involve more awake/wrapped, & parent holding images.
- In home sessions – simple clothing for baby please. Plain onesies are ideal, we don’t want anything that will date too quickly style wise or has distracting pictures that detract from baby. NO I DO NOT BRING PROPS TO THESE SESSIONS… These are fly on the wall candid sessions. If you want props please refer to studio format.
- Studio Sessions, baby requires no “wardrobe styling” I will provide all wraps required.
- Studio Sessions: I will always book sessions in the morning (starting no later than 12pm). The time will vary depending on whether there are siblings, as generally young children are cranky from late morning – mid day these sessions are scheduled a bit earlier in the morning.
- Studio Sessions: If you are bringing along siblings I generally do all sibling + family shots within the first 30-45 minutes. After this time I do strongly recommend you have a plan for either dad or another carer to take the kids to the park or home, as the session is 2-3 hours this is a long time and in my experience its the least stressful and most comfortable strategy for all parties.
- Baby is number one priority – so if baby needs a break or a feed, we stop, it’s a great time for a chat or cuppa break too 🙂
More on siblings at sessions:
A few points to consider on younger aged siblings at sessions, in my experience this can be a difficult time for siblings specifically toddlers or children under the age of 3-4. Welcoming a new sibling into the family is a HUGE transitional time for them, they have likely just had time away from mum (while she is in hospital) and are then experiencing a new dynamic and routine at home with a new baby brother/sister as well as a distinct shift in attention. While a few do respond really well to these changes for most it is quite challenging and confusing and there isn’t necessarily and “instant” bond between siblings. It’s important to keep these things in mind when approaching the session and session expectations.
Firstly, while it seems logical to bring clothing for siblings and dress them at the session, I have time and time again seen this set off a melt down. The new environment and new face (mine) followed by a request to change clothing is disconcerting to them and lets face it, most toddlers are tricky to change at the best of times, so I would strongly suggest dressing them at home and just refrain from feeding them in the car on the way over or use a bib. I would rather remove a smudge on a white shirt in photoshop than have a sibling dissolve into a tantrum over getting changed at the start of session thereafter losing all co-operation and kicking off on a bad note.
Secondly it is of UPMOST importance that mum and dad remain calm, and keep it casual, kids will pick up on our anxiety and tension, so it’s really important that everyone arrives calm at the session. It’s also important to stay calm, even if they don’t seem to co-operate, or things aren’t going “well” with them – this is TOTALLY normal, I see siblings meltdown all the time (I have two kids of my own also), so there really isn’t anything they can do that I haven’t seen before. I will work with whatever they give me, but we all have to respect them as little people and work to their comfort. This said I don’t recommend overly exciting them with instructions and too much attention at the session, kids are smart they get very suspicious with this and generally play up to it. Be careful with bribery options (let’s face it bribery is almost unavoidable), while these can work they can also work against you as once they’re “out” they can be hard to put away. So save these for an absolute last resort and understand that once given cannot be removed. (So keep this in mind if you don’t want iPhones or toy trucks in photos lol)
Most importantly I will never force siblings to hold baby’s or pose in a way that is dangerous if they are not 100% on board. As much as I really really want and will work hard to achieve a beautiful smiling look at the camera shots for parents I will NOT put baby’s at risk to achieve this. Some siblings are very co-operative and this is easy, others not so much, this is just a reflection of personalities and quite normal. I almost always without fail do manage to capture some moments and precious memories so please don’t “stress” about this at all.
I will often attempt to do sibling and family shots upon arrival so Dad is free to take older siblings to the park or home after the first 45 mins to an hour if that is preferred and advisable, I find a lot of parents find this the least stressful format for the day.
The second most important thing to consider and plan really carefully is wardrobe. What you wear to your session will again be the difference between good and amazeballs in terms of session outcomes. Obviously your session format and location will play a part in this, it’s wise to consider the colour tones of your backdrop firstly, from there plan a “colour scheme” to dress to. Now Matchy-Matchy isn’t necessary, think complimentary tones of a similar colour or colour combination. We don’t want the “twinning” look, and we definitely under no circumstances want the “white t-shirts, blue jeans” look circa 1990’s! That’s done, to death, and simply doesn’t photograph well. We also want to avoid any logos, brand labels, or graphics. These are distracting. Stick to plains or repetitive patterns. Layers, textures, accessories & details… all look great! I recommend wearing clothes that fit your normal style and reflect your personality. Light neutrals are the best go to easy colours to style with.. I encourage clients to include me in their wardrobe planning, send me your ideas and I’ll happily provide feedback and suggestions of where to source and how to co-ordinate. For maternity sessions, I generally encourage my clients to organise clothing that showcases that bump “show us your bump”! So either a stretchy dress, or full length flowy maxi! Crop tops and skirts look ace also! I’ll also as you to bring along some nice lingerie, and a kimono or loose cardigan, (if we are at the beach bathers!) as I will also generally do a mixture of shots in this attire. I do have a couple of lace gowns for milk baths and studio, but I do tend to stick to more “civi” styling as a preference. Once you have booked in with me I will discuss your wardrobe planning in depth and provide inspiration images/style boards and resources.
Yes of course, but a few points to consider on this. Firstly any additional people (6+) or outside of your immediate family incur an addition charge. Contact me for more info on this.
Also be aware that adding additional attendees to a session can alter the vibe and format of the session. Intimate storytelling becomes a lot harder when the group extends beyond the immediate family unit. I have also noted these sessions can become long lists of “family formal” stand and smile combinations. This is not my jam! SO if you do want an extended session with me, please come prepared to NOT shoot this way. Sessions will be more candid, attendees will be expected to play + interact + cuddle with one another!
Spectators however are not allowed. From experience this just makes things weird, and subjects feel uncomfortable. Your friends/family/mum etc will have a beautiful gallery of images to review after the session!
I service Perth and surrounds but anywhere outside of Perth or 45minutes+ from Aubin Grove will attract travel fees. I am a sucker for a great location or opportunity to travel – so I will make a point of trying to keep it a win win for both of us. As these situations are usually quite unique I will quote on a case by case scenario. Please get in touch if you would like more information or want to chat about some options!
Ok the biggest thing I hear from clients is “I hate having my photo taken” followed by “my husband hates it even more” or “we are super awkward in front of the camera” I get it, I totally get it! I think this is quite a natural response to some degree, but please be assured, Im going to work super hard at your session to overcome this, I’m not going to leave you hanging, I will guide you through the session step by step and we will probably share quite a few laughs along the way.
I like to dive straight in, so usually I’ll arrive pretty much ready to rock and roll. At in home sessions I’ll cruise your space a bit and work out the best spots to shoot and look for any hidden gold or light pockets. On location we generally move straight to the first spot and get cracking, I’m conscious of kids and attention spans so I find it best to just get started. But I’ll be chatting with you all along the way, doing my best to break the ice and get you all relaxed (and maybe even start to get hubby more on board!)
At all sessions I have a loose workflow I like to follow… I’ll usually do any group, or “stand and smile” obligatory shots out of the way first. I like to capitalise on the kids attention span and co-operation. So I’ll always take some “safe shots” to begin, that way if the wheels kinda fall of for whatever reason and little Johnny subsequently refuses to sit still and smile, we’ve covered that base. From there, I’ll work on a few “combination” portraits, siblings, and parents etc. I’m always keeping in mind young kids generally have a very short timeframe for the sitting and smiling or following instructions so I like to keep this part of the session short and sweet and get it done fast!
From here we move to the fun stuff. This is the part where I encourage my clients to PLAY and have fun. I can’t capture those genuine interactions if everyone is sitting stiffly smiling at the camera. So be prepared to play chase, throw kids in the air, roll around on picnic rugs, bug & treasure hunt, tickle, cuddle you name it. We will also MOVE I also like to get the most out of your location so we will generally move around, chasing adventure, backdrops and of course sweet light! By now hopefully your husband has realised the camera won’t bite and this photo stuff actually aint to bad and everyone is relaxed and having fun!
Generally I will give some general posing direction, but every client is different and some people are naturals and require little if any instruction, cool, other people are less natural and need more priming, thats cool too… I’ll read your vibe and instruct accordingly. We aren’t shooting for Vogue so don’t panic if you think you’re super camera awkward. The key to looking good in photos is to relax and have fun!
Expect your location session to take about 1 hour.
So you’ve just had your photos, your itching to see them I know! I’ll do my best to get a Facebook preview up within 24 hours (unless I have been advised previously if you do not wish for this to be done)
From there your session will be edited, I will forward a gallery via email within 2-3 weeks of your session date. This will have all of your edited files from your session. At this stage you will then have 2 weeks to review your gallery and make your selections for included files/package upgrade if applicable and also your included prints. If there is any additional upgrade payment required, this will need to be settled in full before a download pin will be provided.
Reality check – kids are just that kids. I have two of my own and working with families have a super REAL expectation of kids and family sessions in general. I don’t expect kids to sit ‘stepfordly’ and smile for two hours. If I get ONE of these Im stoked and you should be also. I want them to play and be themselves. I’m seeking the real smiles, not the forced ones. The belly laughs. But I also realise all people whether they are bigger or smaller have moods and personalities. That’s kinda what makes you guys you. I’m going to work with whatever your tribe brings on the day. Sometimes, that’s a super cranky/sassy toddler who ain’t smiling for all the chocolate bars and briberies in the world. I respect that they are people too and maybe feeling a bit anxious, so we capture them as they are. One day many moons from now, the frowning toddler will be a cheerful smiling young person, whom you forgot had that little wrinkle in their brow, pouty lips and precocious posture. Bottom line – forcing co-operation simply doesn’t work. My advice to all parents is to stay calm & relaxed regardless of the kids perceived co-operation. More often than not we as parents feel more sensitive to this than others, and please trust me that I WILL get beautiful images in amongst the wonderful chaos. Most important is to have fun, it’s just photos – let’s make it an adventure and an experience!
Unless we are shooting indoors, outdoor session times are ALWAYS in the 1 hour prior to or around sunset (we can do sunrise also, but I find most peeps aren’t all that keen on the early wake up). I realise that this time of day is not always ideal for young kids. HOWEVER, light is something I will not compromise on – period. It basically comes down to the ultimate session result. You simply CANNOT achieve those golden tones and soft light at any time of the day other than sunrise or sunset. During the course of the day – the sun is high and the light is hard. It’s going to mean squinting faces + lots of super un-flaterring hard shadows. Im assuming you possibly don’t get around to doing family photos as a regular thing, so as with location and stretching outside your comfort zone, time of day is just as important and worth breaking the routine a bit to really achieve session magic. Let the kids have a later nap, feed them well before you come and all will be well. I promise we will all walk out alive and happy!
Sunset times vary greatly throughout the year so do keep this in mind when deciding on time of year to book your session!
If it rains we reschedule. I usually don’t like to make a final call on this until the day, the weather man LIES and so forecasts for rain, can mean twenty minutes at lunch time and have no impact on your actual session so you can postpone unnecessarily. If the weather looks dicey & I’m worried I will be in touch beforehand to discuss options.
If you, your kids or I are sick, or have conjunctivitis or any other contagious lurgie, we postpone. Sick session attendees are not at their best, it isn’t fun, and likewise I don’t wish to share germs with you or your kids (so not cool!) Likewise if little Johnny or baby Sue has a wicked case of conjunctivitis or some other mass producing mucusy bug Im not going to attempt to photoshop every image to try and “fix it” lets shoot them at their best and pick another date!