The way that I photograph families is my point of difference. I create gut-punch images full of heart, connection, movement and life.
Life: Unmade is so much more than a family portrait session, it's a portrait experience. My clients walk away feeling so loved up, because they've just spent the most beautiful, quality, unplugged time together playing, cuddling and enjoying each other.
That's why my clients choose me and return again and again - they don't want stock standard posing and smiles and photos that don't show anything more than what they look like. My clients walk away with a story of who they are. Right now. My clients demand something different. Something honest, beautiful and unforgettable.
So, you wanna book in. What happens next?
Hoooray! Welcome to the cool kids club! Let's do cool people things! I was never actually that "cool" in school, per se. Although I happen to think anyone who read Harry Potter three times over is probably the coolest of them all. But, I digress. You have made a wise decision, and now let me tell you how it all works.
When you confirm a date and time you will receive a fancy schmancy email via my booking system with your session quote and a session retainer invoice (payable by direct deposit or PayPal).
Along with that, you'll also get a pretty detailed questionnaire with questions about your family, the location we’ve settled on, your routines, your quirks and all the other bits and pieces we will need to coordinate your shoot. The more information you provide, the more customised your session will be. If little Jack has a funny little laugh when you tickle that spot on his back, I want to know about it! You’ll also get the opportunity to ask me for anymore information, or share any concerns you may be having about your session.
Finally, you'll get a contract which confirms the details of our session, the dos and don'ts, what happens if someone is sick or it's raining and all the stuff you need to know about copyright. It thoroughly looks after us both. Ace!
Once all of that is sent back to me, you're in!
Location, location, location. Where should we have our photoshoot?
Most people think that outdoor family photos need to take place in a green-as-green park because a green-as-green park is almost as popular as that drab, grey backdrop in the studio where you had those classic awkward family photos as a kid.
The exciting thing for you is that there are actually SO many other options and you get something different and unique.
I have locations galore up my sleeve when it comes to photographing families outdoors - HUGE open fields, fruit orchards, plantations, forests, rivers, farms, marine sanctuaries, beach boxes, piers, mountains, the urban backdrop of your capital city. The sky is the limit and I treat every session as a choose-your-own-adventure. I love new locations were I can exercise my creative muscles so feel free to suggest something that will be perfect for your family.
My very favourite place to photograph families, however, is in my clients home.
There is nowhere on earth that is more comfortable for you that your own home, snuggled up on your own bed with your babies who have climbed in there with you a million times throughout their little lives. They have all their favourite toys and stories at the ready, you can bake, make pancakes, jump on the trampoline and the family dog can even be included. In your home, I can really capture you in your environment and show you just how beautiful your everyday is.
It can be a tough thing to decide, so think it through. Your location provides the backdrop for your images, so make it somewhere that is meaningful to your family.
Please note that I only photograph newborns and young babies at home.
What do we wear?
This is the most common question I am asked! First of all - aim for comfortable and something that reflects you. You don't want to feel anything but awesome during your photoshoot. I always say COORDINATE, but don't be matchy matchy. Think complimenting colours. Please please don't dress everyone in white shirts and jeans (pretty please!). Avoid large brand names scrawled across clothing - this can be so distracting and it can take away from the overall image. Think neutral with some pops of colour. Think TEXTURES, fun, interesting, REAL. I encourage my clients to send me through ideas of what they want to wear if they are having trouble deciding, and I can also suggest stores I LOVE if you are planning on shopping for special outfits beforehand.
So what happens at the actual session?
I usually arrive with my camera and a (very large) coffee in hand, kick my shoes off and ask for a tour of your home, if it's an in-home session, or together we explore the outdoor location to scout for the best spot. Here we will chat, go over the details we have discussed, I'll become BFF's with your kiddos, I'll get familiar with the space, the light and I'll give you a run down of the shot list and my plan for your session. At every session I follow the lead of the youngest kid - eg. if there is a toddler running around, they are boss for the day. Older kids and adults tend to be a tad more flexible! I have a loose order in which I shoot but I will change that up if I need to. I give direction and guidance to a point, such as positioning you in the best light, asking you to look at each other, set up games and cuddles etc but mostly I am just creating a space and opportunities for connections to happen naturally. Most sessions take around 1.5-2 hours.
When will we get our photos?
Photo delivery happens in two parts.
1. You will receive a password-protected, online gallery within two weeks of your session. Here you will be able to view all watermarked images from your session. You will be able to select the 50 images you would like (these are included in your session fee), or you can choose to purchase the entire gallery.
2. Your USB containing your high-resolution images as well as your web sized files will be posted to you within three weeks of your session.
Why is our session so early/late in the day?
If you have decided on an outdoor session, it is vital that we only shoot during certain times of the day. At midday, the sun is smack bang in the middle of the sky, which causes ghastly shadows under eyes, squinty kids and harsh, dappled light on the ground. I shoot EVERY outdoor session during golden hour at the beginning or at the end of the day. Obviously this varies throughout the year, but you can expect it to be anywhere from 7am in the morning, or from 4pm onwards in the afternoon (it can even be as late as 6-7pm in Summer). It's not ideal for kids, I know. But I promise you this - shaking up your routine for one day will be so, so worth it. Prepare your kids. Bring lots of snacks/water. Bring toys for young ones.
What if it rains?
I will shoot in any kind of weather, EXCEPT rain. If it happens, we will reschedule.
But we're having an in-home session - what time will it be and how to we prepare our house?
In home sessions have a lot more flexibility for time - because we are indoors it leaves us open to photograph at any time of the day. I usually schedule these sessions for around 10am in the morning, or 2pm in the afternoon. To prepare your home I always suggest clean, decluttered, but don't stress! I love "lived-in" homes, but the reality is that you don't want anything too distracting in your images. You also don't want sterile. Find the balance that is right for you. I specialise in HONEST photography and your home should reflect that. I looooooove a messy bed with a snuggly family lost in the sheets. I love a kids room with toys scattered around the place. The main spaces I shoot in during a session are the master bedroom, the kids rooms and the main living area so these are the areas you should focus on when preparing for your session. Again, if you need some guidance you are more than welcome to send me through some images of your spaces for advice before your session. Ultimately I will only shoot in the areas with the best natural light.
What if my toddler has a meltdown, my pre-teen has his grumpy pants on and the dog is tearing the sheets off the line?
FACT: all of these things happen! As a Mumma to a toddler, I get it. I really do. I get that families are chaotic and messy and crazy and intense. Instead of fighting and trying to make everything appear perfect, let's get real and just embrace it. While I always aim for a money shot (SMILLLLLLLLEEEEE) for you to send to the grandparents, my job isn't to make you all appear perfect. It's to capture a time in your lives that's real and authentic - your family as it is right now. I don't want you to look back on your images and see cheesy, forced smiles. I want you to remember your two year old's pursed little lips, and dimply little hands on her hips when she's crazy mad about something. I want to find the beautiful moments within the chaos and show them to you, to let you see how much there is to be grateful for. It's my job to set the stage for real connections to happen - it's what I'm good at! So please, don't stress about the crazy - I'm a pro!
What if we are all snotty and sick on our session date?
If you're sick, we reschedule! I make a point not to photograph families, particularly those with new and young babies, if I have even the slightest hint of a cold. If I'm sick, we will also reschedule. There is no fee to reschedule your session, provided it is rebooked and takes place within 60 days of the original session date.
Will you retouch our photos/make me look skinnier/whiten my teeth?
Short answer, no. All of my photos are professionally and carefully edited to bring out the absolute best in colour and tone. If you would like any additional high-end editing done such as skin retouching, teeth whitening etc, this can be done at an extra, hourly rate. All photos that you see on my website have been edited to my standard, and this is what you can expect when you receive your photos.
Can we bring grandparents along to our session?
Yes! I flipping HEART HEART HEART grandparents! But please be aware that anymore than 6 people at your session will attract a fee of $75 per person (unless they are your immediate family).
Tips for newborn sessions:
Life: Unmade newborn sessions are very different from studio/posed newborn photography. It is more relaxed and free flowing with a focus on simplicity, connection and storytelling. I specialise in natural, honest newborn photography, servicing Melbourne and surrounds. I am also available for sessions Australia and world wide.
- If you want sleepy newborn photos then 6-12 days is an ideal time to book your session
- If you want more interactive photos with your babe's personality shining, then any time up until 12 weeks is great for a newborn session
- Have a few outfits handy for baby - a simple wonder suit, a beautiful print and a wrap or special blanket on hand. We can use a few different options throughout your session.
- I will always attempt to book your session time around the time you think baby will be most settled
- I allow plenty of time for cuddle breaks and feeds, so we are never rushed.
Do you offer a baby plan for more images within the first year?
Yes! You can book in a series of "mini" sessions within your baby's first year at various milestones. Usually at 4 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months. Mini sessions go for around 30-45 minutes. You can also book in a maternity session as a mini. Pricing and info can be found here.
How far will you travel?
I service Melbourne and surrounds but anywhere outside of Melbourne will attract travel fees. I keep these reasonable, as I love love love to travel everywhere, but I do ask that part of my expenses are covered. I will happily travel to your remote farm, your NSW beach side town, Thailand to capture your family holiday - seriously anywhere. Please get in touch if you would like more information!
What if we want other products, such as large framed prints or albums?
Once you have viewed your online gallery of images you can place further orders for printed products with your selected images. I offer large, framed prints, wall stories (a collection of various sized framed prints), custom designed boutique layflat albums, birth announcements, thank you cards and a range of other premium products depending on your individual needs. You will get 10% off any of these products as part of your collection.