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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Sunrise on the beach - Melbourne Family Photographer

Torquay Family Lifestyle Photography session

In the height of summer, beach sessions can sometimes be a little tricky for families with young children. Because outdoor sessions need to be scheduled to coincide with sunrise or sunset (as that is when we get this MAGICAL and flattering light), and in the middle of summer that can mean start times of either 6am or 7:45pm ! Not exactly ideal when you have a little one that sleeps 7pm - 7am (side note; if you have one of those babies - please share your secrets with me!!).

But by the time March/April comes around, often we still have beautiful, warm days AND the days are getting shorter, so the start time for sessions is soooooo much more reasonable. Honestly, I think at this time of year, sunrise sessions are my favourite because, 
1) kids have generally just woken from a good sleep and are slightly more refreshed than the hour before they go to bed during a sunset session (in our house, we refer to this hour as crazy-o'clock), and,  
2) at a popular beach like this one, it's just us and the dog wallkers (whereas, at sunset on a warm Melbourne day, half of Melbourne's population is still often on the beach enjoying the warmth like it might be the last chance they ever get!!). 

For this session, we arrived on the beach a few minutes before sunrise and the majority of these photos were taken within the first half an hour after sunrise... isn't the light just magical!? Not only that, but it's also so so flattering - no harsh shadows, bright spots or squinty eyes !! Also - what better way to start the day off right with your kids than a trip to the beach at 7am!?   

If you would like more information on booking your own family photography session, please get in touch !  Also, did you know I now have a mailing list !? If you would like to receive exclusive offers and updates AND discounts that are ONLY available for mailing list subscribers - sign up here. 
 

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Melbourne Family Photographer - Summer Beach Sessions

My husband grew up in Auckland and across the road from the McEwan family.  Marrying into the Worrall family, really also meant you needed to marry into the McEwan family, as there is not a story of childhood or life that doesn’t involve these guys. Thankfully, for me, the McEwan’s are one of the most fun and loving families I’ve ever met and are just such a joy (and completely hilarious) to be around!!   

So, when we went back to NZ for Christmas, I really wanted to get to some of Auckland’s west coast beaches for a sunset family photography session and I knew that Victoria, Fred, Hawaiki and Tawa would be the PERFECT people to take there.  Victoria was initially hopeful I might just want to take photos of her boys alone, like soooo many mums (including me!!), she wasn’t super keen to get in front of the camera… thankfully, I can be very persuasive !!    Because really, as sweet and gorgeous as the boys are (and they really are!!), the LOVE between those boys and Victoria and Fred is something that needs to be treasured, documented and held onto forever. Wouldn't you agree??


Jess Worrall is a Melbourne based family and newborn photographer. Jess travels to NZ once or twice a year and releases a limited number of family photography sessions whilst there. If you would like to be the FIRST to know about upcoming NZ travel dates and sessions (as well as get access to discounts and other fun stuff), sign up to the mailing list !!  *Jess also sometimes likes to talk in the third person.
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Sunset maternity session - Melbourne Maternity Photographer

My best friends are having their first baby.   We decided to make their maternity session extra special and head down the coast. Although, to be fair, we could have done their session in a office cubicle and they still would have made it freaking stunning !  

Did you know that I offer a discounted rate when you book in a maternity session and your 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 really important to get in early to avoid disappointment - get in touch!

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Thanks for this 'behind the scenes' snap Harv's - it cracks me up because it has PERFECTLY captured my relationship with Bree... always looking at each other like we're slightly crazy (because, let's face it.... we are).