Session Preparation & Information
LIFESTYLE. location. home. studio SESSIONS
Whether they be Maternity, Family or otherwise are a way to document life as it is, in its raw state. Being a parent is about the crazy, the unexpected and the LOVE. Bella Arte Photography will aim to capture your story whether it's about having family time together or celebrating a new baby in the house.
What to wear?
TEXTURE - MUTED COLORS - COHESIVENESS - ACCESSORISE
The most important thing is to be comfortable, complimentary & cohesive. Greys, whites, creams & pastels in general are all a good choice for a base color. Layering can work a treat, so think about using hats, scarves, braces, jackets, bowties, leggings, hair clips etc.
Textures photograph really well so you might like to consider adding texture to your outfit or home if you are having a home session. You are welcome to have a change of clothing at the session unless its a 30 Minute Session as it might be difficult to find the time to change. If you would like to chat further about your styling, please feel free to contact me for some ideas.
I also recommend you bring a blanket to your session to use for both rugging up together in photos or sitting on when on a location shoot. If you are having a newborn session, be sure to have your favorite wraps handy also too again, considering textures and muted colors.
If your session is at the beach or any outdoor location, I will be looking to capture some movement in hair and fabrics. Dresses work well or soft draping fabrics for these sessions.
What should you avoid?
FLOURO COLORS - TOO MANY PRINTS TOGETHER - BLACK - SAME OUTFITS
Certain colors cause color casts so it's preferable if you can avoid, bright/flouro colors. Please still consider using reds/yellows/blues/greens etc but make sure they are a muted version. Pastels and matte colors are perfect. You want to avoid putting too many different prints together. If mum has floral on then keep all the other outfits a little less busy. Avoid solid black as it doesn't photograph well in group photos as it tends to blend in all together. Please also avoid having everyone in the same outfit unless it's for a bridal party or unless you have twins/triplets when it's actually kind of cute!
before your session
in studio sessions:- Be sure wear layers for studio sessions because it gets very warm in there. The temperature of the room needs to be on the warmer side for a successful newborn session.
all sessions:- As we know babies often vomit, drool or leak onto our clothes so have a change ready for anyone who will be in the photos just in case. In the early days your feeding routine is still being developed and I wouldn't like to interrupt this process during your photo session. Please feel comfortable to feed when you like at any point during the session. It's super helpful when a newborn has a feed at the session due to getting that lovely milk drunk sleepiness but if your bub isn't ready for a feed until later in the session, then we will start with awake poses and family photos rather than going straight to sleepy images. My sessions are very much baby led and allowing a couple hours for your session means there is no pressure to have it all done quickly. You are welcome to feed and change your baby whenever you like.
It will help if you can begin to prepare the kids before the session by telling them we’ll have a fun time with the photographer and maybe she’ll even let them take a couple of their own pictures! I’ll spend some time at their level before jumping straight into things to ensure they feel comfortable with me. Even with all our efforts sometimes kids will not have a bar of the photoshoot and at these times its great if you can have a few ideas up your sleeve for something you might do together or even treats to share after the session. Anything will help! If you are bringing a toddler to the studio, feel free to bring their drink bottle with them. Many families will bring grandma or friend to the studio to help with older siblings and even take them away after they have had a few photos and are not needed there. It can be a long time for them in a small space.
As you know the weather in Geelong is unpredictable which means if you have scheduled a LOCATION session, your session will be pencilled in on an agreed date and will go ahead provided it isn’t raining, even if it’s overcast. Should it be raining or even if its extremely windy, we may need to reschedule the session to the next available date.
If you or anyone in the family is feeling sick, please let me know at the earliest convenience so that we can find you a new session time. If there is a reason you cannot make it to your session, I would appreciate 48 hours notice where possible so that I can offer your spot to someone else.
DURING THE SESSION
Lifestyle sessions are gently guided but mostly I will be looking for interaction between you and your family members. This means you won't need to be looking at the camera much at all unless I particularly request it. Once we decide on a spot to start shooting, I will offer a suggestion here or there if anything needs addressing or moved. Just relax, enjoy the process and most of all, spend time with your family.
At a Home Lifestyle Session, I love to use a few rooms in the house to add variety to the session. Most commonly used rooms are the lounge, main bedroom and nursery/kids rooms. If there's a special feature in your home you would like to incorporate into the session, remember to let me know!
Again during a Studio Session, it's very warm and you will want to be prepared for this. There is less space to use in the studio than in your home or on location so I will be fairly specific in my guidance to help you through the session and to get the most I can for you out of a session in a small space. I will show you the back of the camera at times as we go along so you can be reassured that you are doing well and that there is a method to my madness when I'm asking you to stand in a certain spot etc.
I honestly believe that some images are BEST in black and white only and some are preferable in color. Sometimes when I shoot the image, I shoot it with black and white in mind and will set it up that way. This means you may have a mix of color and black and white or even a session that leans one way more than the other. You can be sure that either way, the choice is an artistic one. Having said that, if you have a preference about this issue, please ask and we can chat about it before I go ahead with your editing. If you see an image you prefer to change after seeing it and we can chat whether it will work or not at the Viewing & Ordering appointment.
Sessions at home
If you love a clean house then that's great, however a lived in home with it's imperfections is perfectly fine too. Imperfections can add to the story of your life at the time. If there is anything overly distracting, we'll sort that out at the time.
Where there are siblings involved, I will spend some time making sure they are comfortable around me. I may encourage them to get involved in the shoot sometimes if they seem ready and other times I’ll let them be and get them back in when the time is right.
It also doesn't hurt to think about doing an activity during the session if you think it may help your toddler/s. Maybe set up a little tea party or have a sink bath/baby with your baby and little helpers too! Perhaps making a snack together or playing with the pets. It's not absolutely necessary but it's lovely if there is something for your little one to look forward to or a particular memory you would love to have told as a story in your images.
Sessions on location
The choice of location and timing of the session are both important decisions which affect the outcome of your images so I'm happy to talk with you beforehand and go over some ideas. Early morning and early evening are amazing times depending on the weather and definitely lend themselves to more creative imaging which is great if you want something a little different for the walls than your usual family portrait.
I will make sure I spend some time with the little ones to help them adjust to the session. Occasionally this means I will stop shooting to give them time to chat or play or we may continue shooting others in the family until they are ready.
If you have young children, the sunrise sessions are fantastic as it's a great way to get them out exploring and they tend to be less grumpy first thing!
Newborn in hospital
I will visit you all in hospital as soon as you are comfortable to have me there. I find these are some of my clients all time favorite images. The raw emotion at this time, meeting your child and seeing your big babies meet their newest baby. We can capture the first feed, bath or even meeting the grandparents.
Please note some hospitals have specific policies on photography on the premises. Some areas are more strict than others so it's a good idea to check to be sure you have permission to have a photographer there on your behalf. You can do this at one of your regular check ups or if you are unsure, let me know and I'll find out for you.
Newborn in studio
Prepare for it to be very warm! Newborns cannot regulate their own temperature so there will be a heater going and every one will get very warm. Bring some water for the toddlers if you like and some snacks in case anyone gets hungry. The session is usually between 2-3 hours and there are spaces to feed and change baby. I will do the family and sibling photos first when there is a toddler involved so it's helpful if you can arrange for a friend or relative to take your toddler after we have finished their portion of the session.
Studio sessions are a mixture of posed and lifestyle, if you prefer one more than the other, feel free to mention this on your questionnaire.