Couples sessions are a great way to celebrate an engagement, an anniversary, or just a gift to each other to celebrate how much you love each other.
On location generally works best for these types of sessions, and I can recommend some great places to use around Adelaide
In these sessions, we usually have time for an outfit change, and depending were the first location is we sometimes even have time to include a second location
What to wear- please scroll down to see the what to wear guide in the information further down below
Family sessions and larger groups for these sessions I usually recommend on location or in your home, this gives us the chance to photograph you in natural surroundings and gives us space and freedom for different backdrops. Ideally we would shoot at a time of the day and at a location that allows lots shade or late evening light as this is the most flattering light to use for portrait photography
Maternity session Information and frequently asked questions
When- Ideally we will time your session to take place before you get too uncomfortable, I have found this is usually best timed to be around the 34th- 37th week, having said that, I have photographed right up to the 40 week.
I recommend if possible for your partner to be included in the session, & also if you already have children, then they are also very welcome to be included too, this opens up our opportunity for different poses and to record your family before the new baby arrives
Where- we have the option to do your session anywhere that you would like including, your own home, on location at a park or here in the studio at Highbury, or if time allows a mixture of locations close by to each other.
Outdoor sessions through out the warmer months are always best timed to take place late in the afternoon to take advantage of the best light, cooler months of the year when the sun is not so harsh we can usually time them to take place at other times of the day.
Clothing bring a few outfit choices, bring clothing that you feel comfortable in and that shows of your belly, if you want to do the fabric wraps then bring nude coloured underwear, or tube top that can easily be hidden. If you have an idea for a shot, or have your own fabric pieces etc. please feel welcome to chat to me about it so we can hopefully incorporate it in to the session. We also have a few pieces of fabric here at the studio available for use, so please don't feel you need to go out and buy fabric specifically for the session unless you actually want to.
For Dad's please avoid large logos on shirts and also watch out for T-shirts with large writing and slogans, as they really distract from the images, try and coordinate with each other, with out looking too matching. If you are considering printing the images and using them for wall art in your home, then think about the colours you have used in your home and the rooms that it might be used in, as inspiration for your clothing choices.
Photoshop editing I am often asked about removing stretch marks and some of the weight gain caused by the pregnancy, and wether I can you do anything about it? Yes in most case I can, I do however maintain the images to be looking as natural as possible, so I wont turn you into size 6 but I can do a certain amount to make you feel more comfortable.
Ideas for making your session great-
Ideally for newborn session we want the baby to sleep through as much of the session as possible, this can take some time if the baby is unsettled or hungry, so here a few tips that help
Try and keep your baby awake before the session for at least an hour, I know this is not always possible but the sleepier your newborn is during the session the more relaxed the session will be.
Try and plan to feed you baby at the time of arrival at the session, this will ensure your baby is happy and content for the session, newborns who are hungry will continue to look for food and be generally unhappy, so a short feed is not recommended
Although its quite ok for your newborn to be awake for a small part of the session, its not ideal if you want posed images.
If your child is hungry at any time during the session, we will stop, to allow them to feed, have a nappy change and get comforting cuddles from Mum and Dad, this is all built into the timing of the session
Understand that most newborn sessions take time, and we will need to allow at least 2 hours for your session. If you have other children included in the session then in most cases your session will take even longer (this is based on their ages and the amount of children)
Ideally newborn sessions are timed to take place with in 14 days of your baby being born, those first two weeks are ideal because your newborn will in most cases be a good solid sleeper, and they will be comfortable with a feeding routine. After this time newborns go though a new development stage were they want to feed more regularly and not sleep as much, or as soundly as they first did, this makes them a little more difficult to pose, Its also about this time when conditions such as colic and reflux can start to occur, all of these issues although very normal things for your baby to be going through, they can cause issues with having to reschedule the session as the baby will be too unsettled during the session
From experience I have found babies generally are more settled in the mornings, so I offer in studio newborn session that start at around 10.30am
If you are breastfeeding please be mindful of not eating any foods the day before that may cause upset to your newborns tummy
FAQ about newborn sessions
What happens if we don’t get a chance to book a session in those first 2 weeks? That’s fine, I photograph babies of all ages, its never too late to document and record the beauty of your child, just know that there will be some newborn poses we may not be able to achieve, but there will be other images we can attempt as your baby may have passed other milestones such as smiling and using their neck muscles and have clear focused eyes etc.
How may outfits should we bring for the baby to wear? one or two at the most, but honestly I find that babies really hate being changed from one outfit to another, they find it very unsettling, and it can take a really long time before we can actually start photographing them again, your babies beautiful skin is a timeless look for your images, so actually I prefer to work with your child with just a nappy on and then swaddled in blankets and wraps, the studio is usually really warm and the temperature is adjusted to the babies needs
Can I bring my own props and blankets? yes I welcome you to do this, its a great way to personalise your session, but don't fell like you have to as I can offer quite a few props and blankets here at the studio to choose from for your session.
Can I request certain poses and images to be taken? There are number of poses that I regularly use, and that I know work well with newborns, and I will happily take on your ideas and thoughts for the session, and what you would like to achieve. However I do prefer to keep the style of the sessions fairly natural, and my main concern during the session is always for the safety and welfare of your child, so if I feel that any proposed poses are unsafe, I will respectfully refuse.
Can we bring our own camera to the session to take pictures? No other recording devices are allowed during the session, unless in the employment of Marina Birch Photography.
My child has dry flakey skin will this be edited out? Its quite normal for your newborn to have a few patches of flakey skin and some minor skin sensitivity, and if its not too severe I can edit the images to reduce or remove it. Sorbolene works a treat on babies flakey skin, even using instead of baby soap will often eliminate it altogether. If however your newborns skin is excessively flakey or if the child has cradle cap, severe milk acne, or conjunctivitis etc. please contact me to discuss it as it may be better to set a new time for the session as in the more severe cases there really is not a lot I can do to fix it
I think my baby is sick, should I just go ahead with the session anyway? A sick grumpy baby does not photograph well, and neither do the parents who have had the worst night sleep. so if you or your baby are sick, or if you or your baby have had a really bad night sleep prior to the session, then please call and reschedule ( please note Facebook is not a great way to contact me, please use the phone, I often find messages on Facebook that have been there for months without me seeing them)
Marina takes very serious the health of your newborn child, and will contact you to reschedule if she is unwell.
As the studio is located in Marina's House where she lives with her family, please respect her by not, knowingly bringing in sick infectious family members or asking her into your home for the session if you know that members of your family are unwell.
If you do need to reschedule, or think perhaps you may possibly need to reschedule please be considerate of Marina's Time and give her as much notice as possible, as setting up and preparing the studio for a newborn session takes quite a while
What to bring to the session and "what to wear"
For family and newborn sessions please feel welcome to bring special sentimental items that you would like included in your images to your session, this is a really special way of personalising your session, but also know that we have a large range of props and blankets to choose from as seen in the sample images on the website. For older children, often they develop interests in music, dance or sport etc.. so please comfortable in bringing items along that they might like to include in an image or two such as guitar or ballet shoes etc as memento of their interest
With newborns please remember to bring a few spare nappies, I often find parents under estimate how many nappies and baby wipes to bring, also if your child settles quickly with a pacifier please bring it along to the session, as soon as the baby is settled I remove it for photos.
If you are bringing other children to the session please bring a few snacks & a drink for them, keep the snacks easy to eat foods that wont leave sticky/stains on clothes and or skin, equally not high sugar so that your child is relaxed during the session and not on a sugar high
Clothing choices for adults, try and coordinate without looking to matching, if you are considering creating wall art from some of your images, think about the colours you have used in your home and the rooms that it might be used in.
If at all possible avoid tank tops and thin strap tops, also avoid T-shitrs with large writing, logos, slogans or pictures, as this will not only date your images very quickly it will also detract your eye from the baby. Avoid heavy make up and spray tans, post edit it can be very difficult matching your skin to your partner and or children. If you have tan lines that show with your clothing choices you may need to look a different clothing options as tan line removal is a long and tedious job and not included in your edits
Babies first year and beyond
I am often asked when are the ideal times to book a session during the babies first year
I highly recommend the following to record you child's milestones
At around 4 months your baby will be able to lift their head during tummy time, and will be full of smiles, and be very playful, this an ideal time to do a mini session as they don’t generally have patience for a long session
8-9 months your baby will be able to sit up possibly unaided, and also possibly be crawling, this is a great age to capture as your baby will look so different to the newborn they once were, they will also be displaying their personality. I also recommend this age because once they get on the move either crawling or walking they become much harder to photograph as they don’t stay still for very long
12- 15 months -this is an amazing change for both you and them, as they are now into everything and discovering the world at lightning speed, its important to document this change because its about now that you realise that your little baby is gone and is now a toddler
With all of these sessions I request that you please bring a few snacks & a drink for them, keep the snacks easy to eat foods that wont leave sticky stains on clothes and or skin, equally not high in sugar, so that your child is relaxed during the session and not on a sugar rush. I also will request that we work around your child's preferred nap time so we can capture them at their happiest, and finally I ask that if your child is unwell that you take the time to contact me and let me know to see if we can reschedule. As I have very little chance of getting the images you want from the session if your child is tired, hungry or unwell.