‘The ISO Collection’ preparation
Socially distant outdoor sessions.
- When I arrive I’ll have a look at where suitable lighting is for a range of photos. This may be poking over the front fence, sitting on front steps, looking through your front/side windows (So clean any suitable windows if this may be an option), on grass, up a tree, up against garage door etc.
- Keep newborns (and kids) inside in the colder months to ensure they are warm and comfortable and to keep their skin tone is even and in the warmer months, also keep them inside so they are not hot and sweaty before photos.
- Feed your baby before I’m due to arrive, so they have been burped and settled (as much as you can). This allows milk to reach the tummy, it starts digesting and they will either be awake for a little bit but content or go straight to sleep. Either way, I capture moments knowing where they’re at and pose accordingly. Have a plain baby wrap on hand to wrap baby in, I’ll bring my test doll todemonstrate how I would like them wrapped to help the photo.
- It’s always a good idea to tidy away unnecessary items from the photo area to keep the area photo friendly. Eg: prams, brooms, boxes, junk, shoes by the front door etc. I am taking portraits, focussing on expressions so please don’t worry if you think your home is not ‘attractive’. Some elements I love keeping in photos as it documents life as it is right now, so leave anything around that tells a story. I can always take photos using them then we can move them if need be for other photos.
- Have a look at where the shadows are at different parts of the day as this will help select a good time to photograph. I’ll look on google maps ahead of time anyway as part of my planning.
- Your front yard will most likely focus in your photos so pay attention to what it looks like. Do you need to mow the lawn? Is the garden hose in a big mess? Do you need to remove junk mail off the ground? Is the garbage bin in the way? Are their pets that will need to be moved for part of the session so they don’t distract the kids?
- Plain textured walls or less cluttered areas are useful for taking group shots.
- Have all clothes ironed and kids dressed ready for my arrival. The session, once I’ve started shooting goes by quickly and I want to maximise the kids attention for the duration. If you have beanies/hats/jackets that you’d like some photos with have them ready by the front door so it’s quick to access.
- For older children, have a think about what activities they love right now and I’ll incorporate them into some shots. Eg. Bikes, tricycles, scooters, kites, colouring in, kicking balls to one another, basketball, ipads, pushing dolly in the pram, etc
- Clothing choice is important to create a cohesive look. This doesn’t mean being all matchy-matchy, but it does help if there is consistent colour tones to unify you all especially for group photos. I suggest you pick an outfit you or your children will wear then pick colour tones out of that for everyone else to wear. For example 2yr old girl wears maroon and cream floral dress with navy leggings/tights, then mum can wear a maroon scarf, plain/white/cream top and navy jeans with boots. Dad wears navy jeans, blue top and plain classic jacket with canvas shoes. See more ideas here. Feel free to call to chat about this before your session. ;o)
- I’ll always ask what you would like me to focus on so I ensure I capture what you want, this always guides me as to how many photos to take in particular arrangements. If you don’t have a preference I’ll just do my thing and take a variety.
- Keep in mind, that despite all these tips, these sessions are documenting a time in history so expect photo journalism style images that stamp a moment into your family history. They are meant to be more ‘raw’ than typically posed portraits. So if you’re children are not cooperating, this is ok, in fact you might be surprised you like these photos the most!
- Do your hair and makeup as you would if you were going out for a meal or similar event.
- Consider loose clothing before the shoot, as elastic marks take a long time to leave the skin.
- Think about robes, pretty kimono-like jacket/cardigans, black or white singlet tops, scarves etc. (Make sure you wear a bra that is covered by your top)
- Matching bra and undies if you like this style of maternity photography.
- Cardigan, jacket or button down dress shirt to reveal your belly.
- Jeans (real ones with a button and zipper even if they don’t fit)
- Well manicured hands (they show up in lots of the photos)
- Ultrasound/Sonogram picture.
- Neutral tones always look soft and natural and look great with skin tones.
- For partners I suggest jeans, white and/or a black top. Always nice to have partners wearing the same colours so the focus is on emotions.
- A splash of bright bold colour looks wonderful also.
- Wear loose fitting pants that you don’t mind getting plaster on to wear while I create your cast. It can be washed out so don’t worry if some gets on. The top of your pants will be rolled down a bit and a towel tucked in to reduce plaster on your clothes.
- You can tuck or roll your top up under your bra so your tummy is clear. Singlet tops are great or simply wearing your bra is suitable.
- The studio has a bathroom available for clothes changes etc
- Vaseline will be rubbed over your belly in preparation for the plaster. Please advise if you are allergic to vaseline.
- Ensure your baby is well fed prior to the session. There will be some time for a ‘top up’ feed if necessary. In the case of a newborn, sometimes keeping your baby up for an hour before your session increases the chances of your baby sleeping during the session.
- Ensure mittens are used in the days leading up to the photo shoot to avoid scratches.
- For newborn sessions: Please dress your baby in a white summer onesie (with short sleeves, and no singlet on underneath) so if they are sleeping on arrival I can start right away without disturbing them. This basic outfit is highly adaptable and I can get many shots without disturbing them to maximise chances of capturing sleepy poses. Keep baby warm using a blanket for travelling instead of extra clothes, again for minimal disturbance. Choose the smaller onesie if you have the choice of 2 so it fits best.
- Well fitting clothes are best otherwise your baby looks lost in oversized outfits. Newborns look so pure and soft at this stage so no need to bring clothes changes as babies are best photographed with simple wraps. I usually wrap babies in a soft blanket to be photographed for a family portrait so they look warm and relaxed seeing as you will both be clothed.
- Your baby (older than newborn age) can arrive dressed in loose-fitting clothing so it’s easy to change out of. Please no singlets on underneath.
- Keep the nappy loose to prevent nappy lines on your baby’s skin.
- Bring a dummy, extra food and anything sentimental you want in a shot.
- Wash faces and trim nails. Moisturise dry skin with sorbolene rather than an oil so there is no shine left on the skin. It’s especially important that the area around the eyes is clean.
- Keep a face washer on hand for baby dribble.
- A couple of clothes changes and/or nappy/nudie shots. I have nappy covers you may use to hide disposable nappies, but feel free to bring any of your own.
- Light pastel colours create a soft feel for babies so jumpsuits/onesies look lovely.
- Have items such as hospital wrist bands, beanie/bonnet/hat, favourite blanket, christening necklace, stuffed animal or their first pair of shoes packed if you would like them photographed.
- Wash and clean eyes, faces and hands.
- Clean and trim finger nails.
- Dry skin cleaned especially around the eyes.
- Keep a face washer/wipes on hand for sticky fingers or dribble.
- Wear and bring, bright colourful clothing. Avoid logos, excessive pictures and loud patterns.
- Bring any fun or unusual statement accessories (that would suit the location or expresses your child’s personality) like sunnies, first pair of shoes, favourite toy, funky boots, yellow gumboots, kids umbrellas, colourful blanket, trendy jackets, braces, ties, jewellery, oversized big floppy red hat, oversized beaded necklace for toddlers, mummy’s high heels, etc. Layered outfits look fabulous. Customise the clothes for the season you’re in so instead of a beanie, wear a sunhat or a light cardigan instead of a hooded jumper. Just remember keep layers so your photos show depth and interest. (This is where us adult girls can go crazy getting all the fun colours in a session without wearing them ourselves!)
- Have a squiz at my Pinterest board which showcases a great variety of ideas to easily imagine.
- Most of the session you and your child will photographed in bare feet, unless we are venturing outside or on location. Avoid sneakers, instead wear casual shoes like converse.
- If you’d like to give them a lolly treat at the end – those extra big coloured lollipops provide fabulous smiles!
- Bring any item that makes your child smile.
- Girls and boys wearing mixed colours AND layers look great.
- Do your hair and makeup as you would if you were going out for a nice meal.
- Good idea for dads to have a hair cut with a shaved tidy neck a week before session as often I pose newborns on dads shoulders.
- Remove all watches and hair bands from wrists (so there are no marks left).
- Try to ensure clothing is freshly washed and ironed and free of pet hair and avoid pilled tops.
- Most of the shoot you and your child will photographed in bare feet, unless we are venturing outside. Consider the possibility of chipped nail polish on toenails for bare feet shots, oh and shaved legs as sometimes I use parents legs to support their baby.
- Bring a change of clothing if you like and certainly bring a few different hats, scarfs, jackets etc which can add variety to the session.
- I recommend that you keep the choices similar in style, colour and tone, without being “matchy.” Eg: Light blue top on adult and blue striped top on child, but above all wear clothes you feel comfortable in.
- Have clean fingernails and keep polish to natural colours.
- Both adults look best in a similar colours, rather than opposites. For more detailed tips on what family or groups should wear in photos click here.
- For mums, I suggest wearing a top that covers your chest well as when you hold your baby, low cut tops tend to get lower! It also allows me to take photos from above as you look down at your baby.
- Wear something that makes you feel wonderful. If you feel comfortable with how you’re dressed, you will exude the confidence you want in front of the camera.
- Darker colours are more flattering and slimming.
- Vertical lines are also slimming – eg. long jewellery, shirt with decorative pattern or slits down arms.
- Don’t wear clothes that are too tight – you won’t look your best and you don’t look as relaxed in the photo.
- Sleeves usually look better than sleeveless or short sleeves.
- For a family portrait, make sure the colours coordinate and that one person’s outfit isn’t going to make them stand out from the rest.
- Layer: Clothes photograph way better when you have layers and patterns, not just one shirt in one colour. Layers add depth and something for the eye to be attracted to. Think Country Road catalogues. So bring your accessories – scarves, semi see through t-shirt over a singlet, fun shoes, jewellery etc.
what to expect during your session
- A session with Photobaby is relaxed, casual, and fun! The pace of the session is dictated by the child; there is some time for a break, a snack or a clothing change. I am not looking to create the traditional perfect portrait. Life is hardly perfect and I intend to capture your life.
- The studio and equipment will have been set-up in advance for your session.
- Children have short concentration spans, so I have many ideas and techniques to guide them through the session to keep it interesting and fun for them. I use simple games, tickles, jokes and swap things around for your child to maintain interest. Helium balloons are a welcome prop (for age 2 and up)! So please bring helium balloons if you would like them in some photos. Whilst some props are used, they are not in every photo, I use them to get the angles and shots I want whilst maintaining a happy and interested child.
- Sometimes I ask parents to take a few steps back and allow me to spend some time alone with their child (yet within sight).
- During a newborn session, I work with how the baby is on the day. I never force certain poses so it’s a good idea to be flexible with your expectations. Babies will be babies and I aim to get the best from how they are at that moment.
- Expect to ‘top up’ your baby with extra milk. I usually hear ‘they are not due for a feed now’ or ‘I just fed him’, but posing and moving them during a session is unfamiliar so they seek comfort, and to them comfort is milk (or a dummy) so have these on hand. Also the studio is warm so they may become thirsty earlier just as we would.
- Get ready to LOVE your baby, children and partner even more. The most beautiful photos are those where parents show love and affection to their newborn and one another. Don’t be afraid to get close to each other. I usually ask you to cuddle your baby close to your face to create an intimate feel.
- I don’t use an assistant (that is just one more person that can distract a child) so I may need help. It would be great if Dad/Grandma was around to help occupy a sibling whilst I concentrate on the baby for example. I may ask one parent to walk outside or sit on the deck with the toddler so it’s quiet while I focus my attention on the baby.
- During my session I ask that you don’t take photos using your phone, camera or video camera. I spend a lot of time preparing your baby and kids and any distractions may disturb them. It is also distracting for me too!
- I don’t have eyes in the back of my head (I could take twice as many photos if I did!) which means that you need to watch your children while in my studio. It is child friendly however kids still get up to mischief!
If not at Photobaby’s studio.
- Select the largest space in your home. I often lie down on the floor for babies.
- Ensure the room is very warm (my studio is quite warm at 26-28 degrees for newborns to ensure they are comfortable and their skin tone is even)
- Feed your baby just before I’m due to arrive, so they have been burped and settled (as much as you can). This allows milk to reach the tummy, it starts digesting and they will either be awake for a little bit but content or go straight to sleep. Either way, I capture moments knowing where they’re at and pose accordingly.
- It’s always a good idea to tidy away unnecessary items from the photo area to keep the area photo friendly and the less distractions for a baby the better. Eg: prams, brooms, boxes, etc. I am taking portraits so don’t worry if you have a busy house.
- Blank walls or less cluttered areas are useful for taking group shots. If you have a painting in the best spot, I may see if you can temporarily remove it for some photos.
- If you intend on having extra people such as friends or family in your photos, please let me know ahead of time so this can be worked into the photo shoot session accordingly. I may ask that they leave the photo area temporarily to avoid distracting the children.
- Spread out all items you are interested in using ready for me to sort through on a couch or bed etc- baskets, blankets, hats, headbands etc.
- Have all clothes ironed.
The ISO Collection
what to expect after your photo session
After the photo shoot there are hours spent sorting, backing up and creating your Online Gallery. It will take approximately 2 weeks for your Online Gallery to be available for selecting your favourites.