Tips to prepare for your maternity photography session

CENTRAL COAST MATERNITY PHOTOGRAPHER

A maternity photography session is a little bit special. It is chance to acknowledge the amazing changes a woman’s body has gone through in growing a new little life. Whether this is your 1st baby, or your 4th, the weeks leading up to bub’s arrival are filled with anticipation. Here’s a few tips to help you prepare for your maternity photography session…

 

1. location is everything

You want to feel relaxed and confident during your maternity session. So it’s important to carefully consider where you would like the session to occur. If you are a little shy about exposing your bump, doing the session in your home is a great option to keep things personal and private. In home sessions means we don’t have to worry about the weather and your session can be held any time during daylight hours. In home sessions also means you can include the baby’s nursery, your pets and everyday routines.

If you feel confident getting that gorgeous bump out (and you totally should!) let’s go hit the beach or a nice national park for your session. Outdoor sessions allow us to get the beautiful natural light during sunrise or sunset, with lots of different backgrounds.

Make sure that wherever you choose to go, you choose somewhere that is meaningful to you and your family. If you want the best of both worlds, book a longer session and we can have time at your home as well as another location.

beach maternity photos avoca beach nsw
 

2. the outfit is important

Feeling confident in front of the camera is easier if you feel comfortable with what you are wearing. Choose an outfit that makes you feel beautiful and which you can move around in easily. Your location will have an impact on your outfit. A cute kimono with your bump out will look natural at home in your bedroom. Soft, flowing dresses are always a winner, whether indoors or out.

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3. bump out (or not)

Some mums to be don’t like exposing their bump. That’s totally fine. Stretch marks and previous c-scars can make the best of us feel uncomfortable. Personally I love seeing the bump exposed and being able to capture priceless images of pregnancy. I feel it is so empowering to celebrate the female body in all it’s forms. If you’re keen to get those gorgeous bump out images, its important to consider your bra and undies. If you’re having your session at the beach, a bikini will do the trick. Other wise opt for neutral coloured bras and undies - white, black, or cream coloured - keeps the look simple and elegant.

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4. Include your loved ones

Your partner and older children definitely should be part of your session, and I’m a big believer in including fur babies too.

maternity photographer central coast nsw
 

5. Timing is everything

The best time during your pregnancy to hold a maternity photography session is weeks 32-36. This gives you a little bit of breathing room in case bub makes an early arrival. If you’re expecting twins, the session should be held between 26-32 weeks as these little ones have a habit of arriving early. By holding your session during this time, you will have that classic baby bump silhouette and avoid the tired and worn out feeling that comes at the end of your pregnancy (or cankles!).

pregnancy photographer central coast nsw
 

So that’s my top tips on preparing for a maternity photography session. If you’d like to book in or have any questions click the button below.

short n sweet... with Nelli, Asti and Jelli

Central Coast Family Photographer

This is the third year I have photographed this gorgeous family - from the time Asti was just a bub taking his first steps and Jelli was a big ol’ bump in her mummies tummy - through to now, with these two sweet siblings running wild through the forest and down to the beach. It’s pretty special that we get the chance to do these sessions - these guys now live five hours away, but they always make time each year to catch up for a family photography session with me when they are visiting the Central Coast.

Sunset photography sessions are fraught with danger when you’ve got toddlers and preschoolers, it’s universally accept that this is the meltdown hour, and both the kids had fallen asleep on the car ride over. Lucky for me, they got into the spirit of adventure quickly enough and the promise of ducks to see and dogs to pat was enough to lift them out of their afternoon grumpiness. The chance to watch the birds, throw a few rocks in the water and then get wet themselves made for a great afternoon out. Mum Nelli is an old hand at these sessions, she’d packed towels and snacks so that when they had had enough of the water and were cold and hungry, she was ready to refuel their tired little bodies.

The sunset was sublime, making for more beautifully memories to add to their yearly family album.

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Short n sweet... with the Cutcliffe family

I think one of the things I love most about my photography business is being able to document a families journey through the years. This gorgeous family had a maternity session before their youngest was born. I then got to be there for Miss Tegan’s newborn photos. And now they have done another family session together. I love seeing the little changes - Theo is talking so much more, he’s much more confident. And the big changes - Tegan has grown sooo much!!

But what I love most of all is the things that don’t change - this family are so calm, peaceful and affectionate, there’s a lot of love in this small house.

And I may have mentioned once or twice how obsessed I am with Theo’s hair….

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Be in photos for your kids

Central Coast Family Photographer

I was putting together our yearly family photo album last year and I had a bit of a dilemma. There was only ONE photo of me.

One.

And it was a selfie my daughter had taken of the two of us.

Other than that.

Nada.

Oh dear.

As the mumma, the memory maker and photo taker, I had been so busy taking photos of the kids that I had not bothered to think about being in the images. And now our family album is decidedly lacking one member of the family.

So here’s my commitment for the new year. I will be in at least one image each and every week.

Sometimes I might be brave and share them on social media. Mostly I will probably hide them in the black hole of online storage that is my photo files. But definitely, when it comes to the end of the year, I will have at least 52 images that include me, so that in years to come, when I curl up on the couch with the kids to look at our photo albums, I will be in those photos too.

My children will see the love I have for them, in the way I hold them, in the way I dress them and do their hair, because I will take images of all of these moments with me in the frame.

So here’s a photo of my girl with her dadda - soon I’ll be in these photos too.

cuddles in the hammock copacabana nsw

How to choose the best location for your outdoor photography session

Central Coast Family Photographer

Families who are keen to get out and about for their photography session often ask me “where should we go?”. The options are limitless, so in the interest of making things a little easier, here’s a few points I think about when deciding on a location…

MEANINGFUL

INTENTION

SECLUSION

VARIETY

family photography central coast

MEANINGFUL

Think about your normal week or month with your family and the places you visit on regular basis. Are you beach bums like me, with salty hair and sandy toes? Do you have a favourite bushwalk you love coming back to? Maybe you spend every spare minute with your minis at the skatepark? Do you have a favourite café where they know your kids favourite milkshakes? When everyone is feeling relaxed in familiar surroundings, you’ll find your session is so much easier. You want your photographs and albums to be a reflection of who you are in this moment. When you look back on these images in years to come the memories associated with your special location will make the photographs seem that much sweeter.

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INTENTION

What are you hoping your family will do at this location? If your intention is for natural photographs in the bushland surrounding at the park, but your little ones spot the playground equipment and just want to play on that instead… let’s just say it may be that your intentions and the kids intentions are a little different. Awkward. In the interests of making life easy for you, if you’re looking for a nature based session, I generally avoid locations with a playground. There’s only so many photos of the kids going down the fireman’s pole that you need hanging on your wall.

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SECLUSION

Crowded places, like city streets or busy parks are some of the more difficult places for a family photography session. In these situations you spend a lot of time waiting for people to move out of the frame and will often have an audience watching your session, which can make you feel self-conscious and make it difficult to relax.  Fortunately for us on the Central Coast, finding a quiet location is not too hard to find. Even at our busy parks and beaches, you often only need to talk a few hundred metres and you’ll have the place to yourselves. Perfect.

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VARIETY

Your family photography session will last for at least an hour, so we want to keep your kiddos happy and busy during that time. For this, variety is the spice of life. When choosing a location you want a place that has room to move, play and explore. Many of my families choose to start their sessions at their local lake and then walk around to the beach. This gives the kids a couple of different locations to play and explore and adds variety to your finished images. Bushwalks also allow for movement and exploration, with a variety of scene changes. Rock platforms at the beach are another great option that encourage movement and provide different backdrops for your photographs. Remember though – if your session is near water, your kids will invariably end up wet. I’m up for that – so long as you are too!!

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So that’s my go-to guide for choosing a location for your family photography session on the Central Coast.

 

If you would like to book your own family photography session, please get in touch.

Father's Day 2018

Central Coast Family Photographer 

To celebrate Father's Day this year I thought I'd look back over my sessions from the past 12 months to pick out my favourite daddy photos. 

Here they are in no particular order....

 

Brendon and Hunter

newborn photography central coast nsw father and son

Brendon holding newborn baby Hunter has become one of my iconic images for the year. Seeing daddy's big, strong hands tenderly holding his newborn son - be still my beating ovaries. To check out the rest of this newborn session just click here

 

Dave and Charlie Rose

newborn baby girl cradled in daddy's arms

Did I mention I'm a sucker for a baby cradled in her daddy's arms? Charlie Rose had her first unsettled night before our photo session so when I arrived daddy Dave was still helping everyone get ready. He made his beautiful wife brekky, helped with burbing and changing Charlie Rose and just generally went about keeping things calm and peaceful. Here's to the dad's that keep things running smoothly while mum is stuck in the seemingly never ending cycle of feeding a hungry hungry baby. To see more of Dave and Charlie Rose click here.

 

Darren and Elsie

daddy holding toddler family photography kincumber

Darren is one busy daddy. This seemingly quiet and peaceful image is hiding the chaos and joy of his three other wild ones running amok at Kincumba Mountain. I absolutely love photographing the madness of big families, but my favourite thing to do is find those moments of calm and stillness in mayhem. To see more of Darren and his beautiful family click here

 

Mat and Jack

relaxed family photos central coast nsw

This one is such a sentimental favourite. Dad Mat is in the background, holding his son Jack and laughing with his Nanny Nola. Sweet Nanny Nola passed away just five days later. Here's to the dad's that hold their family close and appreciate every special moment together. To see more of their session click here.

 

Lee and Leni

little girl cuddling with daddy copacabana nsw

Leni took a moment out of the chaos of her 3rd birthday to come and snuggle quietly with her daddy. Again, in the mayhem of a preschooler's birthday party, it's the moment of quiet connection that I gravitate to.

 

Kain and Abbie

natural family photos central coast nsw

Gorgeous Abbie, full of sass, is just her daddy's girl. I know she's doing it tough at the moment with her daddy away with the army. Here's to the dads that don't get to be with their kids every day, but when they are together, they hold them close and let them know they are loved no matter where they are in the world.

 

Sean and Oscar

newborn baby photography long jetty nsw

Sean gazing adoringly at newborn baby Oscar is another of my favourites for the year. Sean was happy sitting around and snuggling with his newest child, but when baby Oscar's big sister Eli came looking for attention, Sean was just as keen to jump and play on the scooter with her or push her on the swing. I love seeing dads who embrace all the phases of childhood with their kids. To see more of Sean and Oscar's newborn baby session click here.

 
father and daughter ettalong nsw

This little munchkin skipped her nap at preschool and was not a happy camper at the beginning of our session. Luckily, cuddles with daddy helped to brighten her up again. Here's to the dads that can bring a smile to the face of their child. To see more of their session, click here

 

Andrew and Sienna

Newborn baby photos Bensville NSW

Little Sienna all chubby and squishy, held safely in daddy Andrew's big strong hands. Andrew had preempted that I'd want to get some nuddie shots of his baby girl so he had the heater cranked up on this cold winter's day. Here's to the dads that know what their kids need. TO see more of their session, click here.

 

Josh and Sonny

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Dad Josh was happy to hang with baby Sonny during our session. He just went gently along behind mum Ashley as their toddler Finn led the way on an adventure round the lake. Here's to the dad's that let their kids take the lead. To see more of their session click here.

 

Rhys and Sienna

newborn baby photographer woy woy nsw

Rhys was so calm during our session together. He was relaxed hanging with his newborn baby girl Sienna, but his was also very conscious of the fact that his eldest son Frankie was desperate to get outside to kick the soccer ball with him. Here's to the dad's that are able to help their children develop patience (without losing their own!). To see more of their session, click here. 

 

Brad, Chase and Tyler

cowboy birthday party kincumber nsw

Brad and his family came back to the Central Coast to celebrate his son's 9th birthday party. They are currently travelling around Australia seeing all that our amazing country has to offer. Here's to the dad's that are brave enough to chase their dreams, showing their children that they can do the same. 

 

Andrew and Parker

underwater photography beach central coast nsw

Daddy Andrew was just so easy going during our session. He was happy to jump in the water with kids so Parker could go body boarding and Nina could have a swim. Here's to the dads that enjoy play just as much as their kids do. To see more of their session click here. 

 

Dave and family

teenage photography central coast nsw

Dad Dave, pictured in the centre, is facing major changes in his life. His children are leaving home and our session was a last get together before everyone went in their own directions. This one is for the dads that can take comfort knowing that they have put in the ground work to help their children develop into confident, respectful adults. To see more of their session click here.  

 

Chris, Tyler and Kaden

central coast family photographer wamberal nsw

These little guys were two bundles of energy during our family photography session at Wamberal. Daddy Chris was more than happy to help them burn energy. He chased them up and down sand dunes. He acted as a speed hump for the boys to jump over as they ran down the sand dunes again. He laughed when the boys had an impromptu swim and kept his calm when a certain photographer suggested the boys use daddy't t-shirt as a towel and then they proceeded to get in the shirt together, ruining the t-shirt. (ah...sorry Chris!!!). Here's to the dad's that know that boys will be boys. To see more of their session click here. 

 

Bryce and Keelan

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This is the newest daddy I've photographed this year. Bryce is obviously loving his new role as a dad, keen to help his Lauren with burping, changing and burrito rapping newborn baby Keelan. Here's to the dad's that whole heartedly embrace this new role is their life.

 

Paul and Malachi

father and son fishing avoca beach

My favourite dad photo of the year is this one. A little biased? Yeah, maybe. But seeing Paul take Mal out to do what he loves most just makes my heart happy. Here's to the dad's that spend their fishing session baiting hooks and untangling lines, just to see the smile on their little ones faces when they finally land a whopper. 

Happy Father's Day to all these awesome dad's. We are grateful for everything you do for our families.

A little bit longer with... Dionne, Lee, Leni and Xavi

Documentary Family Photography, Central Coast NSW

Buying a block of land to build your dream home. Sounds awesome right? That's exactly what this gorgeous family have done and they had me come round to document this time in their life for them.

With views over the ocean and plenty of open space and natural bush surrounding them, this land is a place for their young family to grow together. The kids were so busy the whole time we were there. Jumping on the trampoline, playing on the swing, rolling down the hill, climbing fences, jumping on rocks and playing hide and seek. Clever mum Dionne had thought ahead and packed a beautiful picnic lunch to fuel these active little bodies. 

I loved hearing all about their plans for the block and their hopes for their future here. Most of all I loved the sense of peace and tranquility that being in nature brings. I'm so excited for these guys who have worked hard to make their dreams a reality. 

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A little bit longer...with Zena and family

So many families book sessions when they are on the cusp of change. Sometimes it's to welcome a new baby into their lives, other times it's to sneak a session in before one of the kids starts losing their teeth. This family booked a session because their kids are about to leave home. With their eldest son at university, their second eldest leaving the following week for a gap year travelling the world and their youngest in high school, life was certainly about to change for this lovely family. 

We spent an afternoon at their amazing holiday house overlooking the point at Copacabana. Apparently the kids were dreading me getting them to do dorky poses or asking them to hold hands and skip down the beach. Ha! They quickly realised that's not my style (although we may have snuck in a posed shot or two just for mum!) and then we were able to relax, wandering along the beach, climbing the rocks and generally chilling out on this blustery winter afternoon. The whales put on an awesome show for us, breaching and playing, passing close by the point. It was beautiful to watch snuggled up inside by the windows with these incredible beach views. 

Hanging out with this cruisy family was easy and I was so pleased to be able to document this time of change in their lives. 

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A half day in the life... with the Ashcroft clan

Central Coast Documentary Family Photography

This session was a little bit special. Tash had originally booked me in to document her mother-in-law Carmen's 60th birthday party. Unfortunately only days before her birthday, Carmen's husband Greg was hospitalised and all party plans were put on hold. Fast forward a few months and a healthy Greg and part of the extended family gathered at their holiday house in Copa for a relaxed afternoon together.

I felt so honoured to be able document this family during this time in their life. Their holiday house had been lovingly renovated to accommodate the three generations of the family. They made time for handball in the kitchen, bird feeding in the back yard, a hunt along the passionfruit vine and drinks on the back deck. The adults were relaxed and allowed the kids to space to have their own fun, but they were also willing and happy to join in when the kids wanted to include them. 

It was beautiful to watch the ways in which the kids interacted with the adults. Parker invited attention through play - he was into handball, footy, bodyboarding. He was active and he engaged the adults through his games and activities. Nina was so tactile, often reaching out and touching an adult lovingly as she went by. There was lots of cuddles and snuggles for this sweet girl. 

A lazy Sunday afternoon in the holiday house, a relaxed walk to the beach and a splash in the rockpool to finish things off, spending four hours with this loving family allowed me to really capture who they are at this moment in their lives.

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