What's lifestyle photography?!
It's relaxed, informal, and not heavily posed. Lifestyle is a mix of two classic photography genres: documentary/photojournalism and traditional studio portraiture. As a result, it offers the best of both worlds: mostly observational and unforced 'fly-on-the-wall' style photography with gentle guidance and direction as needed.
Why would I choose a lifestyle photographer?
The thought of rigid posing and studio lighting makes you cringe, and the comfort and convenience of being in your own home (or meaningful place) sounds ideal. You appreciate the craft and skill of baby-in-a-basket photography but it doesn't appeal to your personal style. You don't want stiff, smile-at-the-camera family photos. Instead, you want a collection of images with connection, feeling and meaning that combine to tell a story of your life right now: your family, your home, your love, and the way it all combines into a beautifully imperfect mess that's all yours!
What's a home session?
A professional photo shoot at home. Instead of travelling to a photography studio or shared public location, a home session allows you and your newborn (and/or family) to conveniently stay in your personal space to be photographed. Few places will have more meaning for you than your own home. Few places will make things easier for you and allow you to feel most comfortable. And those factors combine to create the ideal environment for capturing newborns and their family in a very relaxed and intimate way.
Is a home session right for me?
ABSOLUTELY if you're: comfortable in your own skin, your own space, and happy to be photographed in a mostly candid and informal way. A home session will be ideal for you if you want to have your connection with your baby and family captured (rather than a studio portrait of how your baby looks), and if you're happy to have seemingly ordinary things and happenings in your home photographed. PROBABLY NOT if you: want your baby photographed with props and costumes, you prefer things to appear 'perfect' (including your home) and find it difficult to relax unless they are. A home session may not be right for you if you're very self-conscious OR don't want to be photographed unless you're always smiling, perfectly poised and looking at the camera.
Can siblings be included in our home session?
Absolutely. I photograph family-focused newborn home sessions so whomever your immediate family includes: a single parent, a couple, multiple children, your dog etc. Home sessions are photographed mid-week however so if you have school-aged children you can either give them the morning off or book a limited weekend session during the school holidays. Please contact me ASAP for availability.
How can I book a newborn home session BEFORE my baby is born?!
Easily...and I recommend booking early in your pregnancy to ensure availability. Contact me to make a booking and your session will be secured upon full payment of your session fee. Let me know where you live and your estimated due date, and I'll make sure to accommodate you come the time your baby arrives (knowing that some babies come early, some 'on time', and some 'late.') Then, once your baby is born, we'll coordinate a specific session time for you on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday within the first two weeks after baby's birth if possible (and usually around mid-morning, starting between say 9:30-11:00am depending on where you live.)
Do I have to clean up before our home session?!
No! Two things: 1) life with a newborn is busy and cleaning will likely be towards the bottom of your list of things to do (as it should!) and 2) how your home looks is nowhere near as important as how it FEELS. As long as there's a loving and connected family inside, that's all we need for a successful home session. If your home is tidy and stylish, wonderful. If your home is lived-in with dishes in the sink, washing on the couch, toys all over the floor and so on, wonderful. Seriously. As long as you're comfortable, it works for me (and it'll reflect in your photos.) Don't forget too, as an experienced professional I can elevate the look of any location so things that seem underwhelming to you, can often photograph really well.
Where will you go in my home?
All over and wherever you spend most of your time. Typically that means the living spaces (lounge and kitchen etc.), the nursery, siblings' room/s (if relevant) and the master bedroom. Weather permitting we can go into your outdoor space if you'd like. The idea of home sessions is to capture a snippet of your life at home with your baby and/or family, so whatever that entails, I'll photograph. You'll have the opportunity to advise me in advance of anywhere you don't want me to go but generally, I'll go wherever you do (except the loo!)
How experienced are you?
By the start of 2020 I'd photographed more than 120 home sessions. I also have plenty of first-hand experience dealing with babies and children as a mother of three (and aunt of six.) Over my decade-long professional photography career, I've photographed dozens and dozens of weddings, 15 births and about as many maternity sessions. I was a faculty photographer at (Monash University) for two years and have photographed countless corporate events and headshots. I also regularly have my own family professionally photographed at home (thank you LJM Photography!) so I know exactly what it's like being on the other side of the camera too...and trying to wrangle sometimes delightfully unruly children! I know parenthood and both sides of the camera well. You're in safe, experienced and empathetic hands.
What formal qualifications do you have?
I'm an Accredited Professional Photographer Associate of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AAIPP.), have a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism (LaTrobe University / James Madison University), a Diploma of Arts in Applied Photography (Melbourne Polytechnic), and a Certificate IV in Small Business Management (RMIT University.) I also have my current Working With Children Check (WWC.) That's all the fancy pants stuff but perhaps the most valuable education I've got going for me is being a mother of three...so I get it! I know the joys and struggles of it all and that, I think, is my most relevant experience.
How long does a home session go for?
Allow two hours. If your home session involves just you and your baby, it'll likely take the full two hours. If you have another small child or children in your family, I'll stay for two hours but the 'formal' part of the session itself will likely take an hour as younger kids tend to go hard...and then crash! By that, I mean they often get super excited, 'show-off' and tire themselves out. We usually tell them I'm finished so they relax and carry on with their day and I linger around casually taking more photos.
Can I buy the high res digital files so I can DIY print?
Yes. If you'll use them, high res digital files offer excellent value...but if you worry you might not have the time, patience or know-how to organise DIY printing, you're better off investing in ready-made professional products from your online shop. A number of high res digital files are included in each collection: five (5) in the BASIC collection, ten (10) in the POPULAR collection, and the complete set in the PREMIUM collection. More information can be found on the pricing page.
Do you photograph families who don't have a newborn?
Yes but only on weekdays (excluding school holidays) or limited weekend sessions during the school holidays. Early evening weekday sessions are also available during daylight savings (early October through to early April.) Please contact me ASAP to secure your date as (especially school holiday weekend) places fill fast.
What payment options do you offer?
Session fee payments are made via your private online client portal by credit/debit card or direct deposit via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT.) Your online gallery and shop (where you'll choose and pay for your collection and any additional purchases) accepts credit/debit card payments only.