Short n sweet with... newborn baby Keelan

There is something about being greeted at the front door of a families home by two big boofy dogs that instantly puts me at ease. Having their woofers in the house and wandering around says so much to me about the family. The fact that they are relaxed animal lovers that include their pets in their day to day life builds lets me know I'm hanging with my kind of people. And boy have these dogs embraced the newest member of the family. 

Lauren noticed a change in her dogs as soon as she fell pregnant. The dogs used to sleep downstairs in the lounge room, but once she a had a baby on the way, Lauren had a furry shadow by her side throughout the night to keep an eye on her. Now that little baby Keelan has arrived the dogs have maintained their shadow status, happy to be close by him day or night. The dogs hung around during our session, keen to be with the newest member of the family. Their cat, however, was such a typical cat, totally uninterested in what we were doing and haughtily stalked away from the fuss.

Lauren and Bryce have done the most amazing renovations on their home. Their space was light, bright and airy - they've built their dream home up and around their old beach side fibro house. The gorgeous window light made for beautiful photos in every room of the house.

Keelan did the newborn baby thing - he fed, alot then he slept, alot. He was happiest in his mummy's arms, with his head nestled close to her heart. Lauren and Bryce were so relaxed in their status as new parents. They took everything in their stride, happy to follow Keelan's lead, just quietly and gently meeting his needs. 

I was grateful to spend time with this chilled out, loving little family. 

newborn baby cuddling with his mum long jetty nsw
breastfeeding newborn baby photography central coast nsw
puppy dogs and babies
newborn baby cuddles with daddy the entrance nsw
newborn baby cuddles with mummy and daddy
newborn baby in moses basket

5 ideas for your documentary family photography session

Documentary Family Photographer, Central Coast NSW

So many people look at documentary photography images and adore what they see... families interacting naturally and authentically in their own home.

However when they reach out to get in contact with me for a photography session they start feel awkward and ask "But what should we do together?!". Often people are worried that hanging out at home will be boring and not photo worthy. 

I totally disagree, the down time is my favourite time to photograph, however if you want an activity to help bring everyone together for your session here's a few ideas...


1.       Cook a meal together

Make breakfast pancakes. Bake choc chip cookies. The kitchen is the heart of the home, make something that brings the family together. Let the kids decide in advance which treat they would like to make and let them lead the way during the session. The messier the better!

kids cooking documentary family photographer central coast nsw
kids cooking breakfast relaxed family photos
kids cooking natural family photographer


2.       Play in the backyard

Trampolines, cricket, slip n slide, the swing set, your backyard is the perfect place for your kids to feel confident and at ease in front of the camera

central coast family photographer
scooter riding lifestyle family photographer copacabana nsw
slip n slide natural photos erina nsw


3.     Family games afternoon

 Monopoly, scrabble, uno, snap, go fish... games bring the family together and engages their attention so they won't even notice what is happening with the camera.

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playing uno in home documentary family photographer central coast
backgammon game relaxed family photos


4.     Morning routines

Snuggles in bed, brushing teeth, doing hair and getting ready for the day. Morning routines are an underrated part of our day. Our kids grow and become competent and independent bit by bit over time so that we hardly notice as they need our help less and less. I love capturing this time when our little ones are still dependent on us for help. Plus everyone feels more cuddly in the morning!

morning routines relaxed family photographer terrigal
cuddling dog lifestyle photographer central coast nsw
kids brushing teeth central coast family photograher


5.     Read books

Anytime we get to have our kids curl up on our laps for a moment of quiet is definitely photo worthy.

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reading with mum family photographer the entrance
kids reading lifestyle family photographer central coast


So there's some ideas to get you started with your documentary family photography session.

There's no need to have your session overly structured with a thousand activities, just pick one or two to have up your sleeve if it's needed.

Feel like you're ready to book a session? 

Short n sweet with... baby Oscar, Eli, Leah and Sean

Central Coast Newborn Photographer

There is something so lovely about the early days of a newborn coming home. Everyone is so sleep deprived, a little bit dazed, a little bit shocked, yet the overwhelming feeling in the home is one of awe. Awe that a new life has been created. Awe that this precious new life is now a member of the family. And awe that you can love one little being so much, instantly. Big sister Eliana was a star on the day of our session, joyful and unaffected as only a not-quite-two-year-old can be. Eli held court throughout our time together with mum and dad lovingly joining her in each activity as she went. Sweet little Oscar slept almost the whole time and was oblivious to the kisses and cuddles that rained down on him.  

Mummy showering kisses on her son 
Daddy adoring his son
Mummy and Papa gazing at their son
Big sister gives her baby brother a kiss
Newborn baby safe in mummys arms

A little bit longer... with the Mallyon family

Central Coast Family Photographer

I was greeted at the door with a big smile and a huge hug from the lovely Lisy. She’d obviously gone to some trouble to be ready for my arrival, wet hair and fresh clothes, hinted that she’d been up early to be presentable.

Little boy watching TV

Her boys were chilling in front of TV when I walked in, with only a little complaint when the TV was turned off. They quickly went and entertained themselves. Kaden elaborately told me about his lego collection and his new lego reward daddy was buying him later that day.

Little boy playing with Lego

Lis continued cleaning and organising benches as I followed the boys around. I let her know it wasn’t necessary for me. She kindly told me the cleaning was for her, that’d she feel better if the house was clean. I totally get this as I often go into a cleaning frenzy before visitors arrive. When Lis went through her online gallery of images, she told me she was disappointed that the kitchen bench was a mess. I think as mums we are so hard on ourselves about living up to our own expectations. I believe we need to give ourselves permission to accept our imperfections and embrace the chaos of this time in our lives. Because in 20 years time our kitchens will be clean, but our homes will be empty. When I look at this photograph, I see a father and son working together. I'm not worried about how tidy the bench is.

Father and son washing the dishes at the kitchen sink

I knew Tyler is a bright child, but during this session I discovered he is exceptionally gifted. He studiously read through his solar system book and copied down details about the sun and planets on his white board. He was happiest when questioning my own knowledge of this topic and gleefully filled me in on the many things I didn’t know.

Little boy drawing pictures of the sun

A little guy with big ideas and big emotions, he still reached out to mum for some downtime, reading together.

Mummy and son cuddled up reading

Kaden was ALL ABOUT DAD. He followed dad around the house and was constantly finding ways to engage him, building lego and drawing superheroes.

Little boy telling dad a story
Father and son drawing superheroes together

For a mum surrounded by boys, Lis has embraced the rough and tumble of everyday life. They introduced me to a game of ‘crack the egg’ which elicited giggles followed by some wrestling on the trampoline. I had a beautiful morning hanging out with this cruisy family.  

Playing crack the egg on the trampoline
Mummy playing rumbles with son on trampoline
Little boy laughing on trampoline

A little bit longer.... with the Smith family

Central Coast Family Photographer

The house was very quiet when I arrived for an early morning session at the Smith household. Only mum was awake. Dad and the kids were still snuggled up in bed fast asleep. This was excellent as it allowed me to capture images of the kids as they gently woke up for the day. Ashton was all about cuddling with mum, staying in her arms as she prepared his bottle and not leaving her side for the first hour. 

Toddler snuggling with mum

Tahlia was very pleased with herself when she woke up. She had stayed in bed until her 'sun clock' let her know it was ok to get up, earning herself another sticker on her chart. 

Rewards stickers on star chart

Soon enough the kids were ready to venture outdoors to feed the chooks.

Family walking in back yard
Toddler laughing at rooster on henhouse

Followed by the obligatory picnic in the cubby house. 

Kids playing in cubbyhouse
father and son picnic in cubby house

A relaxed morning at home, going about their everyday routine, made for a very cruisy session with the Smith family.

toddler trying to climb onto trampoline
little girl laughing on swing