Congratulations on your new baby! Thank you so much for allowing me the amazing and rewarding privilege of photographing your new little bundle in their first weeks of life. Newborns are one of my passions and I consider myself truly lucky to be around these little miracles all the time.
This guide is designed to help you get the most out of your session. So have a read and let me know if something is not clear or you have any questions.
My studio is located in the top right unit of 162 Kendal Avenue, Burnside. There should be parking on the street outside and a sign on our door – no need to knock, just come on in up the stairs!
On weekdays, please don’t park out the back or outside the shops – there should be parking on the street.
Unless planned otherwise, aim to arrive at 10am. You can text me on 021 277 1987 if you’re running late, but don’t stress over 5-10 minutes.
Please refrain from taking any photos or videos on your phone during the session. I understand how hard it is to resist snapping a picture of everything when you’ve got a new baby, but now for couple hours you can just sit back and relax – we’ve got the photos covered.
My assistant Maddy will likely be taking videos throughout for our instagram story @hazelandcass that you can check out during and after the session. We will also put up a fully edited ‘sneak peek’ from your session on our Facebook page that evening or the following day. This will help tide you over until your full gallery is ready to view!
I prefer to photograph newborns the first 14 days of life.
The younger your newborn is, the more relaxed and sleepy they will be for their session. Don’t worry though – they all wake up at some point during the session and we usually get some images of them looking straight at the camera too.
If your baby arrives earlier or later than expected, this is no problem.
I understand that some of our sweet little ones need some extra time in hospital. In these cases, we can easily reschedule your newborn session.
Let us know if baby is having a tongue-tie fixed close to their session date.
Please advise so that we can reschedule, as I like to give them a few days to recover before the photo shoot.
What to expect
Sessions last for about 2-4 hours.
Sometimes longer if your baby is cluster feeding or just a light sleeper! If your newborn doesn’t want to sleep or is a bit cranky and you need to tend to their needs, that is more than ok. We are completely prepared to take our time with capturing their portraits if needed.
You’ll need to feed your baby throughout the session.
The easiest way to ensure a sleepy, happy baby is to feed them on and off during the session. We have a breastfeeding pillow available and a kitchenette to prepare formula.
You will have full access to my props and accessories.
Let me know if their are any props or set ups of mine that you’d like me to include in your gallery, and feel free to get up and have a look through my collections of rompers, headbands and bonnets! Don’t stress about your baby spilling, peeing or pooping on our blankets and props, it happens often and we are always able to wash everything out.
Your baby may cry or need a little extra time to soothe.
This is expected and completely normal. I take my time and there is no pressure when your baby needs to feed and settle again with you.
I sometimes need to use pacifier during my session to get the most out of baby.
Don’t worry if you haven’t used one before or don’t plan on using one, this is just for the few hours that I am posing your baby if they need a bit of distraction. They will not pick up a ‘habit’ from the session alone, but if you’d prefer I didn’t just let me know at the start of the session.
My sessions are ‘baby led’.
Some babies love being naked and on their tummies while others may hate it. Lt me know at the start or the session if there are any specific poses or set ups that you’d love to capture and I’ll do my best to get them for you, but I of course won’t force your baby into anything that causes them too much distress.
How to prepare
Feed your baby for 2 hours prior.
Also be ready to feed them right before leaving or as soon as you arrive.
Keep your baby awake for 1-2 hours prior.
Play with them, give them a bath, tickle their toes, let them have a kick with just a nappy and even let them fuss for a little bit beforehand. This will ensure that they’re tired by their session time and means that we get those squishy, sleepy newborn pictures for you! Don’t stress if baby isn’t asleep or doesn’t usually sleep during their session time
Dress your baby in loose, easy to remove clothing.
This makes it easy to undress them on arrival if they are asleep as they’re likely to fall asleep in the car journey. This allows us to dive right into posing until they need their next top up feed.
Dress yourself in cool, comfortable clothing.
We keep the studio very hot during the session, so make sure you dress appropriately. You will also be asked to remove your shoes a the top of the staircase.
Bring a spare bottle or two of breast milk or formula if you can.
This means that we can give baby a quick feed while they’re in a pose or set up if necessary.
Bring along some snacks or money for lunch.
We provide cold water and coffee, but you’ll need to bring something along for you to snack on as these shoots often go for at least 3 hours. There are also some food options including a bakery, dairy and sushi shop right beside the studio.
Bring any sentimental items you would like to include.
For example, blankets, shawls, special teddys etc. You will also have access to my props and accessories.
Sibling shots will be the first thing we do.
This is simply because it’s often the most important photo for you, and we like to take advantage of their shyness (aka stillness) when they first arrive. Be prepared that these can sometimes take up to an hour, so try not to stress if it’s not working out straight away as the kids can sometimes pick up on this and start to feel pressured. If needed, we will pause and get started on the newborn photos while your partner takes the child down to the small park beside the studio.
Bring along snacks and a treat
Please keep these snacks non-messy and small, something we can feed to them slowly if needed. Also bring along some kind of reward/treat in case we need to employ a bribe.
We can also take individual portraits.
Let me know if you interested in one or two of these as they only take a few extra minutes to do between the sibling and family shots, and it’s nice for them to have their own photos.
Family photos will follow
Straight after we have done sibling and individual shot, we will start on the family photos. Again keep in mind that it’s completely normal for these to take a while, so be prepared to be patient and understanding with your little ones. If you also want some nice individual with your new baby, we will return to these at the end of the session (see next page).
Someone will need to take them away after an hour or so.
Whether this be your partner or other family member, someone flexible will need to be able to take them away after we have finished all the shots with them. This is simply because they often become restless as the session wears on (usually another couple hours), and they can disrupt your newborn during posing.
We will dress older sisters.
I have a large range of beautiful dresses in the studio for girls up to 6 years old.If she’s older than 6, bring her along in a nice plain, light dress in case we can’t fit her into one of our bigger dresses. Keep her hair natural or in braids, free of any bows or headbands as we have our own selection to match our styling.
You will need to dress older brothers.
We may be able to dress boys around 2-4 years, but our selection is limited and we don’t have anything matching for two boys, so make sure to bring them along photo-ready. Dress them in a snug pair of jeans or tan shorts with a nice, well fitting top. We can also do them topless, but make sure to have a chat to your little guy about it before so that he feels prepared.
Be prepared to get close.
It may feel a bit strange being so close at first, but it photographs beautifully when you’re all connected. I’ll often simply move your heads and arms to where I want them, so just let me know beforehand if you’re not comfortable with being touched. We will likely shoot these towards the end of the session.
Dress in something cohesive.
While you don’t all have to be perfectly matching, you ideally want to both be wearing shirts of a similar style and tone. Take into consideration which colour backdrop you prefer, as lighter clothes tend to look better on our signature cream while darker clothes tend to look better on our rich brown.
Wear plain, well fitting shirts.
Ideally with some sleeves and with some nice detailing/trimmings if you wish. Avoid wearing any logos or loud patterns as these will stick out in the photo. You can both bring along a couple shirts along if you aren’t sure, as there is a bathroom to change in.
Wear some nice, neutral jeans or pants.
They may appear in the photo, especially if we are getting a larger family photo. You can also bring along an extra pair if you need to wear something more comfortable for the session.
Clean and trim your nails.
Please ensure that both of you have clean nails as they will make their way into the photos, and we may also use them for newborn poses on the beanbag. If you paint your nails, apply a solid, fresh coat a day or two before to avoid chips.
Avoid fake tanning.
The orange undertones of fake tan doesn’t photograph well and may wash your baby or even your partner out in comparison.
Other Bits & Bobs
My sister Maddy assists me.
She is there during every session to ensure safety, efficiency and comfort.
She also offers a simple Hair & Makeup service.
This is designed for those who don’t often do their own makeup, but would like to treat themselves for their parent/family shots. Let us know at least 24 hours before the session if you’re interested in this for an extra $30.
I will take a few macro images throughout the session of details such as
eyelashes, lips, hands, fat rolls and shoulders. Let me know at the start
of the session if you are interested in ‘The Details’ 9-hole frame, as I
will need to take a few extras in order to complete it.
Feel free to to bring along any sentimental items.
This could include handmade shawls, heirlooms, cultural symbols, special teddies, castings or mementos of previous angel babies.
Ask us about baby announcement cards
We have a selection of cards to have a look at during your session, along with the template menu of our designs. A set of 50 cards using a template from our menu is an extra $70.
Let us know if you are interested in a floral wreath.
Our signature wreaths are made using fresh flowers and greenery, and can be added to your session for an extra $150. Please note that these need to be requested at least 48 hours before your session (ideally when booking) as I need to source and order flowers the day before the shoot. While each wreath is largely determined by season, you can request different colourings and sometimes certain flowers. We put both girls and boys in our floral wreaths, though you can of course request a more simple green/white wreath for your boy. The flower wreaths always look so good framed in a big circle in our signature floral frame.
After the session
In roughly 2-3 weeks you will be invited back to the studio to view your images. We then discuss what you might like to do with your images. I have a gallery of different options and wall displays at the studio that will gives you an idea of the possibilities.
Baby announcement cards, I am able to design, get these approved by you and printed ready for you to take away when you come to your viewing.
You can pay on the day or I can provide an invoice for the outstanding balance. If you pay on the day, you will be able to take your matted printed images away on the day. Your digital negatives will be sent out in an online gallery.
Once we receive payment for your order it goes into production. Custom made frames and prints can take 3-4 weeks.
You are welcome to bring your newborn to the viewing session as well. The viewing session can take up to an hour so it is recommended that all decision makers are present as this appointment is designed for you to place your order
Baby Announcement Cards
These are personally designed baby announcements by myself (double sided) and 50 printed cards. I keep my designs classic and simple with your baby as the main feature.
I have many classic templates to choose from. You can have a look at them in the studio during your session. And fill out an order from there. Colours and fonts can all be customised to your liking. But also feel free to email me anything you love and would like me to draw inspiration on. I can do more custom options.
You are just billed for your cards when we do the rest of your order.
From the careful design and printing, to the custom build, this whole process is handled in-house by me and my husband/framer, Mike.
We have a hand-picked selection of the worlds most beautiful designs, which you can view online here and in the studio during your personal viewing session.
To finish, our frames with TruVue’s patented UltraVue; an archival, UV protected, museum grade glass designed to protect your fine art print for generations to come.
With your images you will receive a series of frames (depending on which image package you choose) featuring your favourite images. From here you can add on extras, or exchange them for credit towards a larger frame if you wish.