What is lifestyle photography?
Lifestyle photography is a style that lies somewhere between documentary photography (where the photographer is a fly on the wall and does not interfere at all) and classic portrait photography (where the photographer poses the subjects and gives them clear directions). In a lifestyle session you can expect some gentle guidance on posing but also lots of opportunities to simply interact so candid moments can be captured. In many images you will be looking at and engaging with one another and not with the camera.
What is the best time of day to be photographed?
The time just after sunrise or just before sunset, the aptly named golden hours, are perfect for outdoor photographs. While this is recommended I fully understand that these times may not always be practical for families with young children. As such I have several locations that can produce beautiful images in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon light.
In-home sessions are usually best completed mid-morning but this will ultimately depend upon the orientation of your home and its windows and is something that will be discussed and finalised prior to your session.
Do you provide information on suggested shoot locations?
Yes. For those who don't know the area or who are simply seeking inspiration I have written an online shoot location guide which contains useful information and sample images from a variety of my favourite locations in the Dandenong Ranges. The link to this guide is available on request.
What should we wear?
I encourage clients to dress in a way that reflects their own personal style and is "them". My mantra is that individuals within the group should complement each other without being matchy-matchy. I am available to review and give advice on outfit selections prior to the shoot if required.
Large logos and neon or fluro colours are best avoided as these can create unflattering reflections onto your skin. If you have a favourite accessory such as a hat, bag, scarf or coat bring this along as this can add variety to your images.
If you wish to wear high heels in your photographs I ask you to please bring a pair of flat shoes to slip into when walking to and between locations as these often involve uneven ground or unpaved paths.
What if it is raining or excessively windy?
If weather is presenting a potential challenge I will be in contact with you in the lead-up to the session to discuss whether you wish to reschedule, change locations or soldier on and embrace what the elements are throwing up at us. The final decision on whether to proceed on the basis of weather can be left until up to one hour before a scheduled session given weather can be unpredictable and can quickly improve, often providing amazing opportunities to capture incredible images.
For outdoor shoots scheduled during the winter months of June, July and August I give the option at the time of booking, at no additional charge, to reserve a second timeslot as a backup in the event that a session is rained out. Due to the often more complex logistics involved, by request, I can extend this option at other times of the year to extended family groups involving 3 or more households or to blended families where some or all children reside with the family on a part-time basis.
When is the best time to do maternity photographs?
It is generally recommended to schedule maternity photographs between weeks 32 and 36 of your pregnancy. At this time your bump is nice and round but you are not yet completely exhausted and possibly swollen, fed-up and over it. Booking at this time also reduces the likelihood of you missing out on capturing your bump if your little one makes an early arrival.
When is the best time to do newborn photographs?
Unlike posed newborn photography where it is generally recommended to take photographs within the first two weeks after birth, lifestyle photography can be scheduled at any time as it doesn't depend upon a sleepy baby, which is easy to maneuver into poses.
Can we include heirlooms or special items in our photographs?
Absolutely. Often things and not just people are part of your family's story and I love to incorporate these items to give extra meaning to your images. One of my passions is macro (extreme close up) photography and I can utilise this technique to capture shots of precious belongings. The sorts of things you may want to consider might be a piece of jewellery, an item of furniture handed down through generations, a handmade baby blanket or a meaningful book. One of my favorite photos from my own wedding was of me holding a tea cup that had belonged to my recently passed grandmother.
Can we include our pets in our photographs?
Absolutely, they are part of your family and your story. If you wish to include your dog please discuss this with me at booking so that we can schedule your session at a dog-friendly location. If you wish to have others pets or animals such as horses, livestock or chickens included I can come to you.
What are the requirements for in-home sessions?
You don't need a spectacular display home to capture beautiful in-home images. A little decluttering and one window that lets in good light is often all that is needed. Most often in-home photos will be taken in the master bedroom and lounge, and if you have a newborn and have one, their nursery. Prior to any in-home session I will liaise with you and have you send me some photos of your home so that we can establish at which times the light is best to capture images.
What if we have mobility issues?
If anyone in your family has any mobility issues or if you feel you'd like to bring a pram please let me know at the time of booking so that we can select a location with appropriate access.
What if a member/s of our family have special needs?
If your family includes someone with special needs such as being on the autism spectrum, ADHD, SPD, hearing, vision or any other issue please discuss this with me prior to the shoot. This allows you to advise me on the best ways to engage with your family and we can allow additional time on the day of the shoot if you feel this would be helpful.
Do you offer extended family shoots? What do they cost?
I love to shoot extended family sessions and I don't routinely charge any extra for additional individuals or households. At the time of following up your enquiry I will discuss with you the types of images we can achieve in a 45 or a 75 minute session so that you can choose the timeframe that will allow us to capture all the shots you wish to have taken. If required I can provide an individualised quote if you need or would like a variation to my base packages.
Due to the often more complex logistics involved with shoots involving 3 or more households I can, by request, reserve both a session time slot and a backup timeslot at the time of booking. I offer this so everyone knows well in advance a date we will reschedule to if our session gets rained out so we are not left scrambling to find an alternative date.
What if we are a blended family or one with strained relationships?
In this day and age families come in many, many forms. I encourage you to share any family dynamics with me prior to the shoot to avoid any awkwardness on the day. We can discuss any groupings you would like captured, or any you'd like to avoid, as well as the names by which the family refer to each other. If someone in your family is reluctant there is the opportunity for me to speak with them directly prior to the shoot to address any concerns or questions they may have.
Due to the often more complex logistics involved I can, by request, reserve both a session time slot and a backup timeslot at the time of booking for blended families where some or all children reside with the family on a part-time basis. I offer this as I recognise that schedules fill quickly when you may only be together every other weekend and I don't want you having additional stress if our session gets rained out and we are left scrambling to find an alternative date.
Do you have insurance? Are you licensed?
Yes, as a professional, I have $20 million public liability insurance. Proof of insurance can be provided upon request. Under Parks Victoria I am a licensed tourism operator and thus are authorised to operate in the National Parks and Gardens of the Dandenongs.
Do you have a Working With Children Check (WWCC)?
I do hold a Working WIth Children Check. I am willing for clients to cite my check to provide them peace of mind.
Are you vaccinated?
As someone that is working with newborns, young children and sometimes medically vulnerable individuals I am up to date with all vaccinations including covid, whooping cough and the annual flu vaccination. I am willing for clients to cite my vaccination record to provide peace of mind on this issue.
When is payment due?
A $200 nonrefundable retainer (deposit) is required at the time of booking to secure your session.
The balance of your package fee is required to be paid by one day prior to your photo shoot.
Payment for any upgrades or purchase of printed products is made after you have viewed your online gallery and placed your order.
Why do we need to sign a contract?
At the time of booking all clients are required to sign a contract. This is to ensure all parties have clear and agreed expectations of one another and of the process. I strongly encourage all clients to carefully read the contract prior to signing.
What equipment and software do you use?
I shoot with two dual-slot Nikon mirrorless cameras with genuine Nikon and Tamron lenses. I use the Adobe suite of software for postproduction including Lightroom and Photoshop as well as Topaz Lab software.
How soon will my images be available to me?
Unless otherwise stipulated and agreed your images will be delivered to you within 2 weeks of your photoshoot.