Melbourne Maternity Photographer - By the seaside

I’m just gonna say it….

I have the best clients ever!

Honestly, Nhi & Joey could not have been more fun, more adorable or more adventurous if they tried !! Can you believe that this is what “we are awkward in front of the camera” looks like !? Ummmmm, say what now!?

Newborn photography and family photography sessions where there are babies and kids involved are a GREAT way to ease some professional photoshoot awkwardness - because they give the adults something to focus on OTHER than the camera. I’m not going to lie to you guys, maternity sessions where there are NO newborns or children involved can sometimes feel a wee bit more awkward…because it’s just us and your baby bump…no wild distractions…dum dummmmm.

My 2 biggest tips for dealing with those nervous butterflies and the photoshoot awkwardness are -


1. EMBRACE IT

Seriously, MOST PEOPLE feel awkward when a camera is pointing at them… I sure as hell do ! But if we can all just acknowledge that fact and then you can both laugh with one another about how you feel like complete nutters, you can do your most ridiculous zoolander poses and shake-it-OFF! Because honestly, all those awkward laughs and stupid jokes almost always end up in real genuine laughs and smiles once you’ve warmed up a little. Plus, you probably FEEL more awkward than you actually look - Joey & Nhi were so relaxed and at home with one another that any awkwardness they were feeling just didn’t translate into their images at all. Am I right or am I right !? (spoiler alert…I’m right #ialwaysam #askmyhusband).


2. Find a photographer who makes you feel comfortable

It’s OK to feel a bit awkward, but you still should feel comfortable and trust in your photographer!! A good photographer will help to guide you to be your most natural selves, help you to connect with one another, photograph you in a flattering way and reassure you along the way ! Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer to have a chat on the phone before you book with them, to make sure you will be a good fit for one another.

For me personally, my approach is light-hearted, fun and as I’m a bit of a dork (some may say that’s an understatement), this often helps people to feel a bit more relaxed! Plus, I make sure I get to know a bit about you guys before our shoot so that I can tailor the session to best suit YOUR needs! Oh, and I’m super clumsy, so if you’re one of those people that laugh at other people falling over or slightly injuring themselves (who isn’t?) you’re in luck!!

Anyway, back to my gorgeous clients…. would you look at them please!? The last magical light on a cold winters day on the Mornington Peninsula… and it could not have been more perfect!!

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Lols. Sorry Joey, but Nhi’s baby bump is way cuter than yours ;)

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How to choose the best location for your family photography session - Melbourne Family Photographer

One of the top questions clients ask me when booking their family photography session is “where should we have our session!?" and so it's made me think about the things I look for in a great location and I thought I would share my thoughts about it, here.

The four main points that I think about when trying to decide on a location are - 

SIGNFICANCE
DISTRACTIONS
PRIVACY
VARIETY

 

I'll chat a bit more about each of these points below, so please read on. 

Sometimes it's worthwhile venturing a little further out of the city for your family photography session - this session took place on the Mornington Peninsula

Sometimes it's worthwhile venturing a little further out of the city for your family photography session - this session took place on the Mornington Peninsula

SIGNIFICANCE

Think about places you go with your family and things you do together that are important and meaningful to you.   Do you guys love to go for adventures in the forest together on weekends?  Do you spend every evening in summer at the beach ? Do you visit your local café  so regularly that they no longer even ask you for your order?  Having your family photography session in a spot that is special to you and already holds its own memories in your heart are going to make your images just that much more treasured in the years to come!   

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DISTRACTIONS -

While it’s wonderful to choose a spot that has significance to you, it is also important to think about how practical the space is going to be for the purposes of a photo session. For example, if you want to do your session at your local park, but the only time you guys ever visit that particular park is for your toddler to play at the playground there, how do you think they will cope when we arrive and tell them they can’t play on the playground and that we’re going to go and do some photos instead!? If they’re anything like my kids, that probably won’t go down so well #tantrumcentral !!!  For that reason, I do try to avoid parks that have playgrounds, because once your toddler sees that, they’re never going to forget about it and you probably didn’t book a professional photographer to get 100x photos of your toddler going down the slide !  

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PRIVACY

Chances are, unless you’re a professional model, you’re probably not SUPER comfortable in front of the camera !! One thing that I think really helps during your photo session is picking a location that isn’t always packed full with people so you don’t feel like you are being watched by a group of 50 curious onlookers.  Crowded areas with lots of people can make it that much more difficult to relax! For example, inner city parks and beaches on a sunny afternoon = top destination for 99% of Melbournians ***!!  In summer, I try to schedule beach sessions for the morning when they tend to be quieter or I suggest that we venture a little further to some of the quieter beaches further out that have just a little more space.  I also suggest we avoid the really popular/well known parks and opt for quieter spots that are just as (if not more) photogenic !

(***completely made up statistic...from time to time I like to exaggerate to make my point)

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VARIETY -

OK, so you were thinking that the park across the road from your house has some nice greenery on the very far right hand side of said park….BUT it is bordered by roads / houses and/or car parking that is slightly less photogenic…. Because you see, the thing about my photo sessions is there is no WAY I am going to get you all to stand in once place for the entire time !  We are going to be moving around, your kids will be running around / playing and so if the location isn’t versatile enough, you’ll end up with a big bright blue station wagon in the background that is going to be distracting and take away from your images !!  As you can see from this session, the locations we shot at had SO.MUCH.VARIETY – it didn’t matter where we turned or what direction we were facing, it was all just so beautiful and that to me, is the ultimate test of a location !!

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A few final thoughts

- My outdoor sessions are always scheduled to coincide with sunrise or sunset, the time of day we photographers refer to as "golden hour". This is when the light is beautiful, flattering and well, just generally pretty damn magical !! The times of sunset and sunrise obviously change quite a lot during the year and it's not always the most convenient time when you have young children - but I can promise you, that for just this one day, it is 100000% worth the small disruption to their routine! 

- Pack lightly for outdoor sessions - please leave your pram in the car and handbags/sunglasses etc. at home ! We're going to be moving around a lot during your session and the last thing we want to have to worry about is moving bags/prams out of the shot. 

- Given we live in Melbourne, there is always the possibility that mother nature will have other plans for our desire to be outside on the day your shoot is scheduled - if the weather is looking dicey, I generally suggest we hold off making the decision to reschedule until the day of the session as the forecast can be so changeble. But we definitely won't be shooting in the rain ! 

- We live in an absolutely BEAUTIFUL part of the world, with endless natural beauty to discover! Of course we can find gorgeous spots close to home, but if you're up for an adventure, let me know and I'm always SOO excited to travel a little further out and explore new places!! 
 

So, there you have it, my top tips for choosing your outdoor location for your next family photography session.   Would you add any others to the list ? 
 

I would LOVE to know what your dream photo location in or around Melbourne would be.  Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know.  If you would like to book in your own family photography session, please get in touch and let's make some magic together ! 

Also, I couldn't help myself but do a big ol' overshare of this gorgeous recent family session on the Mornington Peninsula, only a short drive from Melbourne.

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Extended Family Photography Session Melbourne - Williamstown

When all of your family live in different continents (Australia + America + Europe), family get togethers are extra precious.  What an honour it was to be able to preserve this gorgeous family's reunion and give them memories to treasure forever.  Making it even more special was that this session was a gift for grandparents Jan & John who were celebrating their wedding anniversary. I know I'm biased, but I really do think the gift of family photos has got to be one of the most meaningful and timeless gifts you could ever give/receive!  

My extended family photography sessions are relaxed, fun and candid so that those unique and beautiful bonds between grandparents and grandchildren, aunties/uncles and nieces/nephews, parents and children and siblings can be captured as honestly and naturally as possible.

Extended family photography sessions make beautiful gift ideas and with Father's Day coming up soon, it's the perfect time for everyone to get in the frame and celebrate your love for one another! 

Please get in touch here if you would like to chat more about preserving your own families memories! 

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Melbourne Maternity Photographer - a beautiful world with boys

I have a boy and a girl at home. Everyone ALWAYS says how lucky I am to have a "pigeon pair" (what a strange saying!?). I AM lucky, but not because I have a boy and a girl, because I have two beautiful, hilarious, healthy children. They are completely nuts the majority of the time, but those first 3 things I just said are also true.


You know who else is incredibly lucky ? Mums of BOYS, and I have the undeniable proof right here – THIS FAMILY ! Seriously, the love, energy and hilarity in this home was off the charts. These boys!? Cuddly, loving, playful, hilarious… just a joy to be around! There is something just so special about the mother/son bond and capturing that has to be one of my favourite things in the world.

I'm also pretty lucky as I get to come back to this beautiful family in January and capture them welcoming home their newest arrival. #lovemyjob

Side note - how freaking HIL-ARIOUS is Jack’s door sign !? Yes Jack, I would like a pizza  ! How did you know?! 

Are you raising all boys !? Tell me, what is the best thing about being about being a mum of boys?!

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Did you know that I offer a discounted rate when you book in a maternity session AND newborn session at the same time!? You can check out all of my pricing and packages here

Sessions book out a month or two in advance, so it’s super important to get in early to avoid disappointment - get in touch!

Natural melbourne newborn photographer - Jessica, Hamid, Ayla & Reza

I had the pleasure recently of photographing Jessica Smith and her gorgeous family after they welcomed their 4th member of the family, little baby Reza, a few weeks ago.  Jessica is (among many other things) a former paralympian, author, passionate advocate for raising awareness of mental health and positive body image - oh, and not to mention, a wonderful wife and mama .  Jessica shares so much of her inspiring journey through life and motherhood on her instagram an facebook pages and when I read this post earlier in the week, I connected so much with her message, I knew I had to share it here too: 

One photo that I will never share, is a before and after baby image of my body. So, Let's talk about body image. 

As many of you are aware I have struggled with negative body image my entire life. Born missing my arm and then sustaining horrible scars after an horrific accident with boiling water. Growing up I knew I was different, not only did I look different, but society told me I was different through the language they used to describe me. 

I hated my body. I tortured my body because I had no respect for myself. Depression, bulimia and anorexia were my coping mechanisms... that almost cost me my life. 

It took years to retrain my brain to be respectful, but thankfully I now appreciate my body for what it can do, not what it looks like. 

Ironically, it's my differences and perceived imperfections that have provided me with so many opportunities in life... I'm celebrated because of my differences not in spite of them. 
As a new Mum I too feel the pressure to conform to society's ridiculous idea of what women should look like post baby.. but thankfully I won't allow myself to fall into the trap. The trap that becomes a vicious cycle for so many woman, believing that the quicker you lose weight and regain your body ... Well to be honest I don't even know what it symbolises or represents. But what I do know is that I'm saddened by all the before and after photos shared on social media. Don't get me wrong I'm not for one second saying that these women shouldn't be proud of their body's transformation... Rather I'm appalled at society for sending a message that women need to do this at a time when we need to recover!! It's been almost a month since I had Reza, and no my body is not back to what it was, nor should it be.  I'm still carrying about 10 extra kilos... and so what. I'm not going to rush back into anything before my body is ready. 

I hope that one day all new mums feel the same, and society learns to support women rather than set unrealistic expectations during such an emotionally and physically challenging time. 
Jessica Smith
 

Don't you just want to hang out with this amazing woman and talk to her all day!? I must admit, I had to remind myself a few times during our session that I was there to take photos and not just chit chat all day log !!

As you can see, her family are also THE SWEETEST and it was such a joy capturing some precious memories of the fleeting newborn bubble and family life for them.

If you would like your own family memories captured, please get in touch and let's chat about organising your own newborn or family photography session ! 
 

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