Hello and thank you so much for booking your maternity and newborn photography session with me, I am really looking forward to meeting you and capturing some special memories of you and your family. I have included some information below to help you prepare for your session and hopefully answer any questions you might have.
What can I expect from our maternity session?
Most of my maternity sessions take place outdoors. We will have agreed a time and place to meet and I will email you with details of how to get to our agreed meeting place, and exactly where to find me once you are there, in the week before our session is due to happen.
Maternity sessions tend to be more posed than my other sessions because I want to make sure we show off your beautiful bump. I may direct you to stand or sit in certain places, according to where the light is best and I really aim to capture those natural connections between you that make your family unique to who you are. I'll take photos of you on your own and some of you with your partner and of course lots of family photos if you have other children.
It is really important that you are on time for your session so we can make the most out of the light. You are carrying a precious bundle and I want to make sure you are as relaxed as possible!
What happens if it rains?
We all know just how unpredictable the great British weather can be. If rain looks inevitable then we will rearrange the session at a time to suit you. If it is merely overcast then we will go ahead with the session. At certain times of day, overcast skies are actually preferable for photographers, those clouds keep the harsh sunlight off people's faces and if there are lovely flowers or bright colours about, they really pop in that even light. If it rains unexpectedly during your session, we'll take cover and see if we can resume our session as soon as possible.
What should I wear?
This is the first question most people ask after booking their session. What you wear is important because it can really enhance your final gallery. I want you to feel comfortable in what you are wearing because that will ultimately show through in your photos.
The first thing I suggest you do is have a look in your wardrobe and think about your own personal style. We all naturally gravitate towards certain colours and textures. Pick your outfit and then co-ordinate the rest of the family around what you are wearing.
Bold, jewel colours (eg: red, yellow, navy) or soft pastels (eg: blue, yellow, purple) can all work very well. Try and keep your colour scheme to three main accentuating colours (too many more can be very distracting). If the thought of picking a colour palette induces panic, neutral colours such as grey, black, white, beige and navy are timeless and can be mixed and matched on their own or with one main, bold colour to great effect.
Textures such as linen, cotton, denim, corduroy, silk and lace always photograph wonderfully. Once you have picked your outfit, have a look at the rest of the family and co-ordinate with complimentary colours and textures.
I do strongly suggest avoiding the matchy-matchy look (everyone is black t-shirts and denim will seriously date your photos). Also try to avoid large brand names or logos on clothing as they can be distracting. These images will be in your family for generations to come - so it's definitely worth putting some thought into what you might like to wear.
What can I expect from my newborn session?
Once you have had your baby and called me to arrange a suitable date, I'll meet you at your home at the time we have agreed and introduce myself to your family. I tend to do my newborn sessions in the morning as this is when everyone is most relaxed and the baby is less likely to be too tired and hungry. The reason I ask you to block off two hours for your newborn session is because I let the baby set our schedule. So if the baby is sleeping, I take photos of them asleep. If they are awake, we capture lots of lovely interactions with you and your tiny bundle. We take breaks for feeding and nappy changes and I make sure you are all feeling comfortable and relaxed!
If you have older children, it's helpful if you tell them that a friend will be coming around to take photographs of you all with the new baby so they know what to expect, it is best not to surprise them.
I am a natural light photographer, which means, when I photograph in your home, I use light coming in through your doors and windows to take my photographs. When I arrive I may have a look around your house just to see where the best light is. It would be helpful for me if you can make a note of which rooms have big windows or sunlight coming in the windows at the time when we will be having our session. These tend to be the best rooms to photograph in.
TOP TIP: The most helpful thing you can do is snap a few photos of your rooms on your phone and email those photos to me. This helps me plan our session and also gives me an excellent idea of where the light is best in your home.
Do I need to tidy up for an in-home session?
You do not need to de-clutter your entire home before a session, (after all your house reflects your unique personality which is what makes in-home sessions so great) but you just need to be aware that whatever is in the room will end up in the frames I shoot.
I'm worried my children will not want to smile for the camera or misbehave
Please rest assured that I don't want your children to be anything other than themselves. I don't need them to sit still or 'be good', I have a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old who point blank refuse to pose for me, I've become an expert in taking photos on the run and I have a lot of tricks to make sure that I get those lovely, connected family photos that you are after. Please do not bribe your children to behave for me, I find this never works (especially if sweets are involved). Of course, you know your children best, and if you want to give them something as a treat at the end of the session, that is entirely up to you.
I find it helps (especially with toddlers and older babies) if they have had a nap prior to our session and are well rested. It's always a good idea to have snacks and a drink on hand if we need to take a break for little ones to refuel.
When will I get my photos?
I promise to get your full gallery to you within 10 days of your session. I normally do an initial edit and I like to post some of my favourites on my social media accounts as this helps me promote my business. If you do not want me to share your photos, please do let me know. Your gallery will be live for three months so that you can download, save and print your photos.
One last thing before you go...
If you haven't already done so, please would you fill in the questionnaire I have sent you. Having your contact details, the names of your family members and knowing a little about your family in advance of our shoot helps me to get the most out of your session and capture unique images that reflect who you truly are, right now.
If you have any further questions or want clarification on anything mentioned above, please do not hesitate to message, call or email me. I can't wait to meet you and photograph your family!