I have recently added a new question to the questionnaire I send out before newborn photography sessions.
I love photographing touch - it's my love language - and that can be especially wonderful skin on skin. In additional to seeing some gorgeous baby skin, how do you and your partner feel about showing some skin?
And it's all because of this gorgeous session with baby Kit.
We'd been chatting and shooting for a while when I said I wanted to head into their bedroom to get some photos of their baby against Daniel's chest. It's my favourite way to show how small and fragile a newborn can be. Well, Mum Laura misunderstood me and directed Dad to whip off his shirt for the photos. I wasn't going to argue.
Those photos of baby and Dad, with all that skin and connection, are some of my favourites from this newborn session.
I'll admit, it doesn't hurt that Daniel is easy on the eyes. However, there is an intimacy that skin gives to a photo, that feeling of peeking into a private moment of pausing and appreciating the loves in your life.
So, if anyone feels like showing a little skin, sing out as I'd love to make it a part of my newborn photography session with you! (Or maternity photo session, couples photo session, family photo session with little kids...)
Also keep an eye out for Laura with her eyes closed, just soaking in her brand new baby boy. Talk about capturing a perfect moment! xx
What is a Fresh 48 session?
A Fresh 48 session is a style of newborn photography held within 48 hours of your baby's birth, generally in hospital but home births can be catered for too.
There is something so real and intimate about Fresh 48 sessions, when your little one is so incredibly new. The emotions, the love, it's all so immediate. There are gorgeous details to capture - those little baby wrinkles and toes, stretches and yawns, when they wrap their tiny hand around your finger - but it's the look in the parents' eyes that gets me every time. It's not until you hold your baby in your arms, you realise how much the world has now changed. That moment, that feeling, that's what I want to preserve for you.
This beautiful Fresh 48 newborn session with baby Millie was held at Melbourne's Austin Hospital. It wasn't my first time meeting this lovely family, as I've photographed a Fresh 48 and in-home newborn session for big brother Leo when he just a baby. I always feel like it's a privilege to share in and document this precious time for a family - it sounds corny but it's true - and getting to come back and meet another new addition to the family is just my favourite thing about being a photographer.
What is the difference between a Fresh 48 session and a 'normal' newborn session?
Simply, Fresh 48 sessions are more real and emotional while newborn sessions are a little prettier and planned.
Newborn photography ranges from very posed, studio photos through to in-home lifestyle sessions. Newborn sessions are generally held 10-14 days after the baby is born, with timing being more important for more posed styles. Although my heart (and newborn sessions) fall on the in-home lifestyle side, there are amazing photographers across the spectrum.
If you are debating between a Fresh 48 session and an in-home newborn session, I wouldn't want to direct you either way. There are advantages to each and I think they can compliment each other perfectly. (I even have a Collection specifically for people interested in both.)
A Fresh 48 session could be timed to capture first meetings with siblings, even grandparents if you wanted. There are so many firsts happening in these initial days as you discover more about your little one and being parents. It's real and emotional and wonderful.
Within two weeks, the general time of a newborn session, a baby has already changed so much. They feel less fragile, you feel more confident. An in-home lifestyle newborn session captures a peek into your life at home with a newborn. Feeding, settling, the nursery, snuggled up all together. It's loving and relaxed and wonderful.
If you were debating between a Fresh 48 session and a very posed, studio session, I would suggest the Fresh 48 session every time. Personally, it's the photos that capture the emotion and experience that mean more to me. I booked a studio session when my oldest was born and although the photos are beautiful, they don't reflect how I remember her as a baby. (I didn't bother when I had my second child.) The posed newborn style relies heavily on the baby being asleep, while the baby looking up at Mum or Dad, making eye contact with the camera, interacting in any form, are just incredible moments to capture in my mind. And don't even get me started on the value of getting ourselves in photos with our loved ones!
How do I book a Fresh 48 session?
Get in contact!
I suggest booking in 3-4 months before baby is due. Although I try never to say no to a newborn client, my session availability does fill up.
This is the stage that we get the formalities sorted, including a questionnaire that allows me to get to know you a little better, so that when you go into labour a quick text message is all that is required. I'll get my camera ready, schedule cleared, so that we're all set to schedule a time when your sweet little baby is here.
There is something wonderful about spending time with first time parents of a newborn baby. Their amazement at what they have created is so apparent, and it's lovely to observe, photograph and preserve some of these precious moments for them.
I think Autumn has to be my favourite Melbourne season; a time of scarves and boots, wood fires, crisp mornings and the gorgeous colour of autumn leaves. There is something wonderful about a pile of crackly autumn leaves that brings out the playfulness in all of us. I challenge you to try walking past a collection of them on the ground without detouring for a crunch or two. It's impossible!
Running, jumping, lying in the them, throwing them - a great patch of autumn leaves is paradise for kids. And happy kids, autumn colours and light, movement and energy, it's all a perfect combination for an outdoor family photo session.
The weather being the fickle beast it is, an abundance of autumn leaves can never be guaranteed (I've head of fake snow, but never fake autumn leaves, although you can buy pretty much anything on Amazon) but in Melbourne April and May is a pretty wonderful time of year for an outdoor photo session. Added bonus, the end of daylight savings means that gorgeous sunrise and sunset light occurs at fairly reasonable, family friendly times of day.
I've already had quite a few people book in for autumn sessions this year, so if you're thinking playing with some autumn leaves is a great way to capture your family and kids interacting, laughing, relaxing and loving each other in front of the camera, I suggest you contact me to organise a session.
What to Wear for a Family Photo Session if you are Overly Curvaceous (Plus Size)
That's how I choose to describe myself, overly curvaceous, and man is it hard to find examples like me and my family when I look for inspiration before we have a family photo session. (Because yes, I'm getting in front of the lens even if my body reflects my love of carbs.) There are the generic tips - avoid logos and bold designs, consider where you are going to be photographed so you don't blend into the background - but I look at some beautiful image with a spaghetti-strapped, loose and flowing silk dress and I know that is definitely not the right style choice for me!
So, here are some tips for you fellow extra-curvaceous women trying to work out what on earth to wear for a photo session.
- Be comfortable. Aim for a more put-together version of yourself, but nothing that has you tugging, pulling or feeling awkward. Sessions will often involve taking some photos while you sit on the ground together, and if you have young kids carrying and cuddling them, so keep that in mind too.
- Show some skin. Wrists, ankles and collarbones are all very flattering, feminine parts of the body so let at least some of them show. I'd encourage short-sleeves over long too, and necklines that aren't too high, as being skin to skin is always going to feel more connected than if there is fabric between you and your loved ones.
- Create some shape. Not too tight and not too loose, you're aiming for that sweet spot in the middle. Think flowing dress with a narrow belt, or if you prefer an oversized top or knit, pair it with something fitted on the bottom. Wrap dresses can be incredibly flattering and layers are great, just not loose on top of loose. (Maybe you'll find some inspiration on my Pinterest board.)
- Be cautious of black. Black can be challenging for the camera as it struggles to see any details. All black dresses and tops, particularly when they are long-sleeved, can leave a person appearing as one big black blob.
- Introduce texture. Linen, lace, denim and chunky knits are all fabrics that can look lovely in photos. Clingy and synthetic is rarely going to be a good friend.
- Dress you, then them. Decide on your outfit first, then coordinate the rest of your family around it. You don't want matchy-matchy, but instead aim for similar colour tones. Think all jewel tones, or pastels, or shades of blue with a pop of something for contrast that is used more than once. If you've chosen a patterned dress, pull the colours from the pattern to dress your loved ones as you can already see those colours work well together.
- Don't forget your underwear. With your outer layers selected, try them on with the underwear you'll be wearing to make sure you don't have any extra lumps, bumps or bra straps claiming attention. There's also your accessories to consider, and it's a good idea to snap a quick photo on your phone to check what the camera will see.
Hope this helps! But my best advice - when your photo session comes around forget about all this, relax and have fun with your family. You and your kid's wont be looking back on these photo in the future with a critical eye; your genuine love and happiness is the best beauty enhancement money can't buy.
Photos of me and my loved ones, taken by Amy Rushbrook.
I love celebrating. Sure, as you get older birthdays (and Easter, Christmas, school holidays...) maybe aren't as exciting as they used to be, but why not celebrate them anyway? There's 364 other days of the year to have just a regular ordinary day so, given the opportunity, why not make this day special. We've even started a little half-birthday celebration tradition with our oldest daughter because I'd happily use any excuse for cake.
Anyway, back to my point.
Kate and John are a young couple who wanted to celebrate being together for five years with a couple's photo session. Exactly my type of people! (Although my husband and I basically forgot our last wedding anniversary. Don't judge.)
We decided on the lush Pound Bend site, in Warrandyte State Park. Kate and John are local to the area, telling me they often enjoyed a beautiful evening with a walk along the Yarra River bank. I think there was mention of icecream too. Told you, totally my type of people!
Meeting just before sunset, we laughed and chatted, wandered, explored and let their personalities show. There were moments of calm, moments of silly, inside jokes and time simply spent together as we captured some lovely images that showcase their relationship.
Them, as they are right now.
Kate and John, thanks for inviting me to celebrate your 5 years together, with you.
Newborn photos are giving me ALL the feels at the moment. My little baby Emma is almost 8 month old already and where the hell did that time go?
If I stop and think about it, Emma was only 3 months old when we bought our new house. Queue packing up a house, moving, unpacking and fixing up our old house to get that on the market, while we were already fixing up and selling my old unit turned investment property. Add in a whole host of Christmas activities in between, including hosting two large Christmas family events, and it's no surprise these last 4 months have disappeared.
Now though, I have a baby who loves to eat, says mamma and gets frustrated that she can't quite crawl yet and I'm left asking where my little newborn disappeared to when I wasn't paying attention! Talk about Mummy guilt.
I see newborn photos online and I feel such pangs that I've missed my chance to get a photo of my Emma like that. Looking so wrinkly and scrunched up and new. Of course I have photos of my baby girl - lots of them - but I don't think I will ever feel like I have enough. Hey, everyone is allowed one neurosis right?!
So this is my reminder to you - get photos! Of your baby, of your family, of you. Grab out your phone, pick up a camera, book a photographer - cough, cough, bet you can't guess which one I recommend, cough, cough, link to my contact page - but capture photos of you and your loved ones. As you are right now. Don't wait for the perfect season or time or weigh. Our kids change too darn fast and we can't get this time back.
And speaking of time disappearing, I'm just a touch behind on sharing some of my favourite photo sessions. This adorable newborn, three week old baby Liam who gave the most amazing facial expressions, is over 1 year old now. As I said, just a touch behind.
There is never a 'wrong age' to take newborn photos.
Sure, if you're after the very styled, baby sleeping all curled up and posed newborn photography then that's a bit different, but for photos of you loving on your new little baby - natural and genuine, capturing that sense of amazement and wonder at this little person that you have created - there is NEVER a wrong time. There is something wonderful to be documented at every single age in your child's life.
Baby Zac was two months old when I photographed this lovely family at their home in Mernda.
Still sleepy and snugly, but that look on his sweet little face as he gazes up at his Mum... Families loving on each other is what I want to capture, youngest and furriest family members included in this case.
So often I walk away from a photo session thinking, 'It's this. This is my favourite type of session.' Because I genuinely love my job. I get to meet incredible people and be welcomed into their homes and lives to witness and capture love. Seriously, it's awesome. But when I get to photograph clients for both a maternity and newborn session, be still my heart.
I get to share in their anticipation and apprehension at our maternity photo session, because who isn't a bundle of feelings as they await their little one. Then I get to see them as fledgling parents at our newborn session, still adapting and learning but consumed with love for this tiny new person.
I was privileged to witness this transformation in Emma and Stu when returning to meet baby Owen.
There is something so lovely about photographing a couple who are about to become parents for the first time. The optimism and anticipation. Their hopes and dreams. Their knowledge that their lives are going to be forever changed soon, but for now all they can do is hurry up and wait.
I remember that feeling, waiting for my daughter to be born. The plans and ideas my husband and I came up with as we tried to strategise our way through our world changing. I wouldn't say we were totally wrong, but becoming parents isn't something you can really prepare for. I don't think you can truly understand until your little one is placed in your arms are you just are.
This maternity session was held at their lovely home in the north-east outskirts of Melbourne. Although I'm sure there were many other things Stu would have preferred to be doing, he snuggled in for his Emma.