There's absolutely no need for the house to be spotless for my arrival (trust me, mine isn't!) but do try to declutter some key well-lit areas. The most important factor is light - we need a nice bright room, without direct sunlight. Ideally, I'm looking for a full length window. Pull up all the blinds as far as they will go and throw open all the shutters. I will bring sheer curtains to diffuse the light. Put a neutral, light-coloured doona on the bed in your master bedroom (that's often where you have the best light). Clear the clutter from your bedside tables. Fresh flowers always look beautiful in the background.
When I arrive you'll show me around every room. If we need to rearrange some furniture to create the best space for your images, we will do that. My style is very natural, but we are aiming to capture images that you want to look at for years to come, so let's show your home at its best!
That's ok! I've had two of my own, and I know as well as anyone that things don't always go to plan. If baby does fall asleep before I arrive, make sure they are just in a fresh nappy and wrapped warmly in a neutral blanket. If they are put to sleep in a onesie, it's likely I will wake them up when undressing them. If, despite all your best intentions, baby is awake and ready to party when I arrive, we will just start with a different section of the shoot.
Try to keep baby up for an hour before the start of your session, and start a feed around 30 minutes before I get to you. Even if they aren't ready for a full feed, it's best to give them a nice big top up.
They should be in a fresh nappy and nothing else - undress them for their feed and wrap them in blankets to keep them warm.
In an ideal world, baby will be fed and ready to fall into a nice, deep sleep when I arrive. But babies are unpredictable - so just do what you can!
Things with a new baby rarely run to schedule. If you aren't all ready when I arrive, that's ok. Take a little uninterrupted time to finish your hair and make up with a cup of tea. I can start with baby's portraits, sibling shots, or photographs with Dad.
Newborn babies are unpredictable. I don't for one minute expect them to work to any particular schedule. They will need to be fed and comforted, and changed and rocked to sleep at various times during our session. We follow their pace and cues. There is no time pressure; I will stay with you until we have captured everything we need to capture.
Organise your outfits early. A week before your shoot, lay them all out and check they work together. Set them aside - including underwear, shoes, socks, and accessories - so that nothing gets lost or dirty.
Get yourself ready early because the last hour before your shoot flies by. Better still, book to have your hair and make up done for you!
Don't get yourself into your outfit until the last minute.
We want bub to be cosy and sleepy, so crank the heating and warm your place up. If you're not sweating, it's probably not warm enough!
Toddlers lead the session. The best way to get older siblings to cooperate is to be present, be patient, and work quickly. Games, songs and cuddles are the order of the day. Don't be afraid to take the initiative and do things you know they love. Focus on getting them to have fun and enjoy the experience. Be flexible in your expectations of what the sibling shot is going to look like. Please don't get stressed or upset with them, it never helps. A smile makes every shot look better! Once we have what we need from your toddler, I might suggest that Dad takes them outside - into the garden, or to the park. Toddlers will not focus for 2 hours and we will have more success with the newborn portraits if things are calm and quiet.
We are here to capture this fleetingly beautiful moment in time.
Your session will be entirely baby-led, which means your gallery will be beautifully unique to you and your family.
stacey rolfe photography
I'm a Sydney family photographer, newborn photographer, maternity photographer and pregnancy photographer. I work in the Eastern Suburbs, Sydney CBD, North Shore and Inner West.