session faq

natural and candid melbourne family photographer

Thank you so much for taking the time to have a look around my website.

I totally understand how hard it is to choose and commit to a photographer – let alone prepare for a session and show up on the day!  So, you probably have a bunch of questions right!? OK, let me go through some of the most commonly asked ones for you.

Where are you based?
I'm based in the inner west of Melbourne - but I'm happy to travel throughout Melbourne and its surrounds. I'm also often in Torquay and lovvvvvve to do sessions down that way - hint hint, nudge nudge ! 

Why in the world should I book a session with you?
The most simple and honest answer is that I am so incredibly passionate about what I do!  I love capturing precious, beautiful, messy and REAL memories and I LOVE hanging out with fun, new people! I PROMISE to make your session as enjoyable and relaxed as possible.  I also have a current Working with Children Check and whooping cough booster – for some added peace of mind! 

What is your style?
I’m a natural light, lifestyle photographer.  What this means to me is, instead of taking photos of you all looking picture-perfect, smiling cheesily at the camera, I will guide you to be your natural selves and will capture the genuine love, emotion and connection between you and your family. Perfectly posed and forced photos are not what I’m about – capturing the real you in a meaningful way, that is my game !

What should I expect during a session with you?
Expect to have fun with one another !! Expect to laugh, cuddle, kiss, play with one another !  Forget about telling your kids to behave themselves and cooperate, forget about trying to force them to stay still and look at the camera!  Let them explore, play, jump on the bed and be silly – embrace the chaos and the crazy WITH THEM and lets capture moments that you will look back on that will make you smile, laugh and cry!  During the session, I might guide you into different positions, ask you to cuddle into one another or move you into spots where the light is the best – but that is about the extent of my involvement in directing you.

What time do the sessions take place?
For indoor sessions, the time is pretty flexible.  I always like to suggest a morning time (around 10am) as babies/young kids are usually a bit more relaxed and happy in the mornings.  But if you prefer afternoons, then hey, let’s make it an afternoon!

Outdoor sessions are another story. These take place during golden hour, which is the time of day just after sunrise or just before sunset - where the light is beautiful, flattering and, well, just generally pretty damn magical!  The time of this obviously changes quite a lot depending on the season, and in summer, this can make the start times either really early in the morning or much later in the evening. If you have really little kids I totally understand how off-putting that sounds! I have a 2 year old and 3 year old and I HATE messing with their sleep – but I can promise you, for this one day, it is totally worth the small disruption and will make your photos extra special! 

Allllllll of the images that you see on my website which are outdoors are taken to coinicide with either sunrise or sunset !

Allllllll of the images that you see on my website which are outdoors are taken to coinicide with either sunrise or sunset !

Where will the session take place?
The possibilities are honestly endless. I think we live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world – there is so much to explore in and around Melbourne ! The first thing I would suggest doing is thinking of somewhere that is meaningful to you as a family. Do you live for summer beach days? Do you love going on walks together at a local (or not-so-local) park ? Do you have a favourite café that you visit every day for coffees, treats and babyccinos ?   Do you love spending your days cuddling on the couch and playing in your cozy family home?

If you have some ideas, but want to talk more about a specific location – I’m more than happy to chat more and make some suggestions!

I would love to have a session in my own home…but how does that work?
Firstly, YAY! In home sessions are THE BEST ! There is something so special about capturing your family in your own cosy and unique space.

When I arrive at your home, I’ll have a quick walk through your house to find the rooms with the best natural light – we’ll generally use 2-3 rooms; often the master bedroom, living room and sometimes a kid’s bedroom – but this really is dependent on where the light is.  Please don’t feel like you need to spend days cleaning and preparing your home – it is helpful if you can do a bit of de-cluttering in the rooms mentioned as we don’t want anything too distracting in the images.  Your house doesn’t need to look like a show home!!

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Do you offer posed newborn sessions? And do you bring props along?
I don’t do posed newborn sessions and I don’t bring props. My focus is on capturing what unfolds naturally in front of me.  I am absolutely more than happy to include any special mementos, blankets or toys you have for your little one that are important to you and your family.

When is the best time to have a newborn session? What else should I know about these sessions?
The best time to book in for a newborn session is during the first 6-12 days – but because lifestyle sessions do not depend on bubs sleeping through, we can schedule a session for anytime in the first 3 months after baby is born. Sessions almost always take place in the morning, (around 10am) as babies tend to be more settled in the morning and start loosing the plot come afternoon – if your baby is the exception to that rule, don’t worry, we can do a different time!  I like to allow 1.5 hours for newborn sessions so we have time for nappy changes/feeding/settling. Be prepared to do some extra feeds on the day of your session as a baby with a full tummy is generally so much more content – well I mean, aren’t we all ;)

Oh god…what should I wear?
The ultimate goal is that you FEEL amazing in whatever you wear, which means you also need to be comfortable. But, without a doubt there are choices you can make about what to wear that will make your session that little bit extra special to look back on. Some tips -
- neutrals are timeless!
- flowy skirts / maxi dresses or simple, classic basics matched with textured overlays (scarfs, kimonos, cardigans) photograph really beautifully. 
- pretty, pretty please don't wear shirts with big graphics / logos, / lettering - or mixing too many different patterns… and most importantly… please ditch the classic matching white or black t-shirt and jeans combo
- it’s always nice if your family can wear complimentary colours - but not matchy-matchy!!  Mum, it’s great if you can pick your outfit first (take this opportunity to go out and buy yourself something you love and feel aaaaaamazing in!) and coordinate the rest of the family around YOU.
- Try to avoid blacks and really dark colours if you're having an in-home family or newborn session OR if you’re having a maternity session (as black can hide your beautiful bump!)
- for newborns, keep it simple – a plain white onesie  (which doesn’t cover their tiny little fingers and toes) paired with a beautiful swaddle or blanket. Oh, and for newborn sessions, always safe to have a couple of back up outfits – for you and bubs – just incase…
- Consider the location where you will be having your photo session when choosing your outfit - eg. shoes and socks for a session at the beach is not going to be practical!

If you’re feeing completely uninspired by your current wardrobe but can’t afford to purchase something you really love, you can also consider renting a dress ! I work alongside with Mama Rentals Australia who have an absolutely STUNNING collection of dresses (suitable for maternity, newborn or family sessions) and have offered all of my clients a 15% discount off the cost of their dress rental. I highly recommend checking them out!

Still stuck ? Pinterest is your BEST FRIEND – I have started a "what to wear" inspiration board to help you out - check it out here ! 

My favourite outfits for newborns are SUPER simple - plain white / neutral singlet onesies so that the focus is on THEM and highlights their beautiful features. You can add textures and colour/personality with beautiful wraps and muslins!

My favourite outfits for newborns are SUPER simple - plain white / neutral singlet onesies so that the focus is on THEM and highlights their beautiful features. You can add textures and colour/personality with beautiful wraps and muslins!

What if the weather forecast is looking awful and we have booked an outdoor session?
If it is raining, we will reschedule your session. If the forecast looks wet, we can either make the call the night before, or play it by ear and wait til morning. I’ll be in contact in the days leading up to the session to chat about our options.

What about if one of our kids or one of us is sick?
We’ll reschedule if you guys are sick, and we’ll also reschedule if I’m sick!

My kids are… rather spirited… what happens if they throw an epic tantrum, refuse to cooperate or go completely cray cray on the day ?
Well thank god I’m not the only one!!!  Seriously, I get that young kids are almost NEVER going to do what they’re asked and that sometimes the most innocent comment to a 3 year old can send them over the deep end. Please don’t worry about the what ifs -  we can have as many snack / drinks / tantrum breaks as your little ones need.   But also, the fact that we’re not making your kids stand still and smile at the camera for an hour and aren’t forcing them to do things they don’t want to do, usually means the kids end up having a pretty good time ! I do also have a couple of cheeky little tricks up my sleeve if things go pear shaped!

Can you photoshop me to make me look a few years younger and a few kilos skinnier?
Sorry – but nope ! I’m all about embracing imperfections and celebrating our bodies as they are. I individually edit each of your photos to correct colour / contrast / exposure, and I will fix minor skin blemishes and marks if you want me to. If you would like additional retouching, this would incur an additional hourly charge.

How long before I get my photos?
Within a few days I will share 2-3 photos from your session as a sneak peek onto Instagram / Facebook. Feel free to tag yourself or share with your friends/family.

Within 3-4 weeks of your session, you will receive your secure online gallery.  You will be able to view all watermarked images from your session and from there you can either select the included images you wish to receive as part of your original package, or upgrade to purchase the entire gallery (please note, I always strive to deliver images within 3-4 weeks, however during busy periods this may occasionally take a week or two longer).

Holy moly… that’s a lot of information! But Jess, I still have more questions!
No problem! Please send me through a message and I will happily answer any questions you might have.

OK, to hell with it – I want to book a session! What happens now!?
YAY! Send me through a message and I'll be in touch to work out all the fun stuff ! 

Once I have a few details off you, I’ll send you through a quote and client contract via my online booking system. To secure your session date, all you need to do is have a read through the contract – sign it and pay a 50% deposit (with the balance due 7 days prior to your session date for a family photography session or 7 days prior to your estimated due date for a newborn photography session). I’ll also send you out a little questionnaire to help me get to know you a bit better before your session - this way, your session can be tailored to suit your wonderfully unique family!