Family Lifestyle Photography Albury-Wodonga - your questions answered

What is lifestyle photography, and what makes it different to your more traditional type of family photography?

Good question, and I don’t have a hard and fast answer. It’s a family photography session, but I try my best to make it as fun as relaxed as possible, and as less awkward as I possibly can. I will pretty much never ask you to look at the camera. I don’t want cheesy, fake smiles. I really want to capture you guys as naturally and as genuine as possible. I don’t want perfect. I want real.

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I’m worried my kid will be a brat, can we still get some nice photos?

Ohh, I get asked this ALL the time. And the answer is yes. Yes we can. And I’m not fazed at all my a little (or in some cases a lot of) unruly behaviour. And I’m not judging, I’m truly not. After all kids are kids. Show me a kid who is perfectly behaved for a whole session, and I’ll show you a sleeping baby! I’ve got 2 of my own kids, I’m absolutely used to all types of behaviours. I like to think I’m not too bad at interpreting kids, I know when it’s about to go off the rails and I’ll suddenly change what we’re doing and move on to a new activity. Kids get bored easily so I will keep the session fast paced if we need to to keep attention.

And is it after bedtime, and you’re worried that your kid just won’t cope? It rarely happens. And I get that often sunset sessions are after bedtime, particular in summer. But you’d be surprised at how well they behave. It’s something new, they’re allowed to run free, and they have your undivided attention.

But I do ask one thing - I also do need your help and assistance to keep your kids in check too! After all I can’t photograph them if they’ve run 200m ahead of us!

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What should I wear for our family photos?

Quite possibly the number one question I get asked when people are booking. Firstly, I want you to be comfortable and I want your photos to represent you and your family. By all means, use it as a great excuse to buy that new dress you’ve been eyeing off. But don’t go thinking you need to buy a gorgeous flowing dress if you never wear gorgeous flowing dresses. These photos are for you, not to impress the world on social media, and it’s quite an investment, so you want to make sure you love what you’re in. If you usually wear jeans and boots, then go with jeans and boots! Just make sure you’re happy and comfortable!

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Do you reschedule sessions?

Yes, I do. Because I know that life happens.

Sickness - either your family or mine. Particularly newborn sessions. I won’t risk coming into your house and passing on any illnesses to your brand new baby! If it’s an outdoor session, I’m usually far enough away that the risk of passing on anything is low, but if I think that my being ill will affect how I feel and shoot, then I will reschedule. And if you’re sick or any of your kids are sick and you just can’t see the session being any fun at all, then by all means call and we can discuss rescheduling.

Weather - lets face it, as much fun as rain is, my camera gear isn’t waterproof and therefore I can’t actually shoot outside when it’s raining! What happens if you had your heart set on a golden sunset and it’s cloudy? Sorry, but that doesn’t constitute a reason for reschedule. Overcast days can still make for some glorious photos! Extreme hot weather? Let’s move the session to the water and shoot away! Wind? I actually LOVE wind - it can make for some glorious movement in photos and unless there’s a galeforce warning, we will shoot away!

What about a family emergency - this is an absolute. Of course I will reschedule for family emergencies.

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How do I prepare my family for a session?

Got a husband/wife/partner who isn’t so keen on getting photos done? Kids just don’t want to come along? They aren’t the first and they won’t be the last. You can let them know that this isn’t like your typical photo shoot. My main aim is to create an atmosphere that lets you guys just be together, enjoying each other’s company, spending some quality time together without any distractions like phones, emails or tv (apart from the obvious camera and photographer following you around…). I will probably make some lame arse joke, I will make fun of myself, I might fall over, I will probably swear (sorry), and I might even bring along your favourite Spotify playlist, and if so, I WILL dance like fool!

I suggest that you let your kids know that you’re doing photos, and that you expect a certain level of cooperation and behaviour. I want them to have fun, but like I said above, if they’re 200m ahead I can’t actually get them in the photos. Bribery sometimes works! Promising a treat after the session has been used on MANY an occasion - many families like to make a day of it and head out for dinner or icecream when we’re done. Some bring along lollies - though it’s best not to use these until right at the end. We all know what a sugar high looks like, and it makes my job of getting them cooperative and in the photo pretty darn hard! And I will often have bubbles in my camera bag, which I can bring out if it all starts to go south. After all, who doesn’t love bubbles?!

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How long does it take to get my gallery back?

I usually deliver the gallery within 2 weeks. If for some reason I can’t get it done within this time frame I will let you know before the 2 weeks is up that it might take a little bit longer. On a rare occasion, I might have unexpected things happen which means that I just can’t dedicate the time to sit down and get them done - after all I am a one woman work-from-home show, with 2 young kids.

How far in advance should we book our session?

This really depends on the time of year you’re looking to have your photos done, but I do suggest you get in as early as you can. Typically autumn is booked out months in advance (often booked out before the previous year has even ended) and spring and the lead up to Christmas is also a very busy time. Winter does tend to be a bit quieter, but I also offer fewer sessions over winter, so it also can book out as well. Once I’m booked out, I’m booked out!

What is the best age for my baby to be for photos?

Any age!! This is one of the best things about lifestyle photography. If you’re after newborn photos, you can book them in from as early as you like - from days old, up to any age. But obviously at some point they stop being ‘newborn’ photos and become ‘baby’ photos! But it doesn’t affect me, or how I run my sessions. Some people prefer to get photos done when their baby is still teeny tiny. Other people are happy to wait until life has regained some semblance or routine or normality. Some people feel 100% days after giving birth, other people might have had a traumatic experience and just want some time to recover. If you’re unsure I will usually suggest booking a date 2 weeks after bub is due, that will give us enough time to reschedule if you happen to go over. Or if you do have your baby and find that you just can’t face up to having photos done, just contact me and we can discuss alternative dates.

If you’ve got an older bub I actually get this question a lot. There is no perfect age. If you’re doing in-home photos or outdoor photos there are some things to consider. What time of year will it be, how cold/hot will it be, how late in the day will it be (hint - if you’re after sunset photos they occur at sunset - which in summer is late!), if bub is walking yet, or will you have to hold them the whole time? These are all things for you to consider, but I don’t have a perfect age - any age comes with their advantages and their quirks!

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What is the best time of year for family photos?

Any time!! Albury-Wodonga and North East Victoria, as you’re probably aware has some pretty distinct seasons! In truth I really do love shooting all year round, I love the variation that we have in our seasons here, and how distinct they are. I love how the light changes from one season to the next, and colours of the outside world change, and of course the temperatures changes!! All seasons have their advantages and disadvantages.

Summer - it’s bloody hot, there’s low chance of rain, you can pick a location near water and splash and swim, if you want long grass there’s a chance of snakes! The sunsets are super late in summer - sessions don’t start until 7:30pm.

Autumn - it could be hot, it could be cold, it might rain… Who knows?! The sunset is earlier than mid summer, it’s generally cooler, but usually not freezing (thought sometimes you get the odd freezing cold day), the sunsets can be SPECTACULAR, particularly if there has been some burning off and there’s some smoke in the atmosphere, there is often some cloud, which makes for gorgeous sunsets and much nicer light than the harsh summer sun.

Winter - I won’t lie, it’s often bloody cold. BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t do photos. I adore photos of families all wrapped up in woollen beanies and snuggled under a warm blanket - sunset is way early - sessions start around 4:30pm. I often find a lot of families choose to book an in-home session during winter. It means staying inside in the warm and dry, heater on and family snuggles on a bed! And then there’s snow… If you’re a keen skiing or boarding family, hit me up! I’d love to take your photos in the snow!!

Spring - it can be deceptive. Honestly, I usually have most reschedules due to poor weather in spring. It is the season of unpredictability. It can be windy, raining, sunny, hot, cold and all of the above in one day. But I LOVE shooting in spring. Everyone always seems energised, happy to be outside and exploring during spring. The grass is green, there are flowers everywhere!

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