Client prep guide
in-home newborn lifestyle
Photographer & Filmmaker | Adelaide
My style and approach to each session is natural, authentic and simple. I won't be posing you, it won't be awkward and your children won't have to be on their best behaviour. All I want for you is to enjoy your time together. Hug each other, tickle each other and play with each other - just be you. I want to capture all those moments that make YOU as a family special. All those moments your children will look back on and remember how much they were loved.
Her photos have a calmness about them which I just love. That calmness is very much in line with how Chantel is as a photographer. Instantly putting her subjects at ease and making them smile. Gently guiding and coaxing them to get such sublime photos. I have now had 3 different sessions with Chantel (family newborn and wedding) and will always ask her to capture any milestone that I may have in the future. Thank you Chantel.
Getting to know you
First off, if you’ve never had a photo session before - It’s going to be waaaay easier and more fun than you probably expect!
The first step is for me to get to know you and your family. Once bubs is born, I'll send you a questionnaire which will help me get to know a bit about you and your family's story. The answers to your questionnaire will help me to prepare for your session.
My job as an artist is to create work that is meaningful to you, and my best chance of doing that is if you open up to me about the things that matter the most to you.
By getting to know you better, I'll be able to create work that feels like stepping into a memory of your family's story as you are right now. This is the part of my process that sets my work apart from others.
Getting to know you
During your session all I need is you to be you. I don't strictly pose you and you won't need to make sure your newborn is sleeping and not grizzly. I've had 3 kids, I know how those early days are, and how unpredictable a newborn can be! I always allow for time to stop, settle and feed baby, or a change of nappy if need be. I always structure my session around your newborn and I very much go with the flow.
In this guide, I'm going to provide you with a bit of an overview of what happens before, during and after your session, and some tips to help you prepare.
How to prepare
Let the kids just be themselves... I actually love when kids do their own thing during the session.
It shows that they are comfortable and relaxed. I'm also very used to tantrums, sibling arguments and chaos. I have 3 of my own kids, so don't ever feel like I'm judging anything (trust me I have been there), and don't worry about how the photos will turn out if your kids aren't behaving as you wish.
Kids are totally unpredictable, and that's ok. Know that I am always looking for the beautiful moments and I often always find it within the hard stuff.
I always aim to capture it there. Chances are, they will have moments, because they are tiny humans with big feelings, and bringing a new baby home will often change their little world around.
I will be capturing it all, but i'm also respectful and know when to stop shooting. Most importantly, just go with the flow and try not to stress if the things don't go the way you planned.
how to prepare
Make sure your partner also knows what to expect...
From experience, our partners usually have different visions and expectations when they hear the words "photography session"
Have your partner look at my website or social media so they have an idea of what a session will look like or show them this guide
I find that showing your partner my work helps them to see that they won't need to stand and smile in awkward poses for the camera, but instead be themselves, and sets the tone for the types of genuine parent/child connections that we want to capture.
I hold a very special place in my heart for creating meaningful portraits of motherhood that encapsulate the honest, lived experience of a mother. If you want to capture intimate moments with your newborn during our session (whether this is breast feeding, bathing your newborn, cuddles to sleep etc.), please do not hesitate to ask about it.
We can plan for this by making sure we set aside a bit of time during your session to recreate whatever memory it is that you want captured. Talk to me about what you have envisioned in your mind or even just start the conversation about what it could look like, and we can create something beautiful and honest that will capture your motherhood experience.
What to wear
If possible, dress your baby in a nice, simple jumpsuit, preferably with a zip. This makes it easy to undress your baby and wrap them before they fall into a deep sleep.
I do bring with me some nice simple suits, if your baby doesn't like to be undressed, that we can use during the session if you wish as well.
I prefer to use simple colours and suits as this draws your attention to your baby and all their beautiful newborn features instead of their clothes.
As for yourselves, if you need any help and guidance with what to wear, I have a guide that may help here
A few extra tips
Your home doesn't need to be spotless or magazine worthy, this is your space, where all your new memories are being made, so this is what I'll document. I do however find that a bit of a tidy up and making sure any clutter you don't wish to be in the photos moved, helps before I arrive. I generally like to use your front door, lounge room, main bedroom and nursery to photograph in, (this is entirely up to you as well)
We can also head outside for some photos too if you like and the weather permits.
If possible try to feed baby not long before I arrive. I'm not too fussed whether they are asleep or awake when I arrive, we can go with the flow and I can structure your session around your babies feed/sleep pattern if they have developed one yet!
Have nappies and wipes handy for any quick changes if need be.
If you have other children, keep some snacks handy. If they start to get a little bored or grumpy, a quick snack can often help.
They are also more than welcome to play during the session, and I will bring them in when I need. There is no need to make sure they are sitting still and behaving. The more normal their day, the easier they are to work with. It's a big change for them and having a stranger come into their space can be quite confusing for them too!
On the day of the session
A typical session will start off by spending a few minutes together just hanging out. This gives your kids a chance to get used to me and let off a little bit of energy in the process. And then once we've gotten acquainted, I'll grab my camera and start capturing your family and new baby. Your session will be totally unique to you, but I generally like to try to get some family shots, a couple of different mixes of everyone together and baby alone. I then also like to get some more natural photos, of you all just being you.
The only thing I ask, is that you do not look at the camera unless I ask you to, and do not ask your children to look at or smile for the camera as well. That's it! Your session will go for about 1.5 to 2 hours and generally we'll start your session in the morning, I find this is the easiest time of the day for babies and young children.
After your session
After your session, I'll begin working on your photos. I usually like to post a sneak peek or 2 in the couple of days following your session on my social media (if you are comfortable with that)
Generally my turnaround time for your complete photos is about 3 - 4 weeks although sometimes during school holidays it might take a little longer.
The high res images will be delivered online for you to view, then once you've chosen a package that suits you best, they will be available to download and print at your leisure.
If you’d like help with printing, I’m more than happy to chat with you about that and can order prints/albums through my preferred pro lab. Your gallery also contains an online store where you can print straight from your gallery and your prints will be delivered straight to your door.
Rescheduling for weather or illness
As I live in a high fire danger area, I will check throughout the week before and day of your session and reschedule in the event of a catastrophic fire danger rating day.
As for Illness, please let me know as soon as possible if anyone in your family is sick, or showing signs of COVID19, and I will do the same.
I am always prepared to reschedule just in case, and I will always try to fit your session in as close as possible to your original date in any case.
Thanks so much again for booking a session with me! I'm so excited to work with you and your family. Please know that I'm here and happy to answer any questions you may have between now and your session, so don't hesitate to get in touch.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0417889657.
My office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:00am - 2:30pm.
I am also available on the day or your sessions if need be