Amanda Maree Photography » Amanda Maree Photography - Brisbane Newborn Photographer

Today I thought I’d mix up the behind the scenes a bit and show you a day in the life of a newborn photographer. 1. Cuddle babies 2. Take cute pics 3. Get paid….that’s about the sum of it, right? Sigh…I wish!!! Anyone who has had a newborn session knows there’s a whole load more that goes on to making that magic happen, and even if you have had a session, there’s even more magic behind the scenes you might not know about! I’ll give you a clue…there’s more mess than fun 😉

Obviously the preparation begins when I first get in touch with a family and we begin planning the session but the actual getting into it starts the night before the session…once my little one’s are in bed I head into the studio and begin setting up for the session….choosing props, blankets, wraps, outfits and tiebacks that fit with what a family has talked about in their pre-session prep. This is definitely one of the fun parts. I have so many things to choose from and always love creating special set ups for every unique little one. Newborn photography props such as blankets wraps and headbands Newborn photography props such as blankets wraps and headbandsEvery family have such different styles…some families are sure about what they want, what style, what colours…other families leave it entirely up to me! Once the studio is all set up to go then I usually sneak off to bed!

The next morning I set up all the tiny details that make your session with me unique…a cute little chalk board with your little one’s name on it, a beautiful scented candle, my favourite coffee cups and the netflix remote to make you all feel at home in my home while I’m capturing the magic of your teeny tiny loves. Small blackboard with writing on in stating welcome baby Mysha with glass vase and pink flowers on small wooden table plus multi coloured coffee cup sitting beside bag of leaf tea I send my little one’s to their Nanna’s, turn on my shusher and heartbeat app and wait patiently for you to arrive!!

Now comes the next fun part…lots of snuggles…but also lots of poop and lots of patience! I had a client say to me last week…’you are so patient’ and it got me to thinking, that is definitely my most important skill as a newborn photographer. It’s not my 10 years of experience, my mentoring, training, workshops, conferences, my 17 years as a NICU nurse or 8 years as a Mumma myself, it’s not my focus on newborn safety or my concern for the comfort of my families….it’s my patience. Patience waiting for newborns to be born, patience waiting for new families to arrive (everyone is always late lol!) patience to settle newborns to sleep, patience to wait for them to feed, patience to get them into that perfect snuggly pose, then patience while we clean up all the poop (& there is so much poop!) and then achieve that perfect snuggly pose again, patience to wait for babies to smile, wait for that perfect shot and capture all the shots in between, it’s all about patience…and almost all sessions families comment on how patient I am so I know I am winning! Anyway, I digress….

We take lots of cute pics! Canon camera being held by lady in mustard dressSessions go anywhere from 2-4 hours but usually that time is filled with feeding and settling and pooping…plus some sneaky photos! And then you head home with your sweet new babe and my work continues. Usually I get changed first…because, like I said, poop! Then I start the mammoth washing! Everything is washed in between sessions with gentle detergent and sanitizer. Do you know how tricky it can be hanging out one billion teeny tiny hand washed outfits!! washing machine and dryerGosh don’t look too closely at my dirty laundry!!

Newborn outfits hanging on clothes hangersOk…these are adorbs! So much gorgeous in tiny little packages…all those little details!

After all the washing is on I sit down at the computer to upload all the magical images and get to editing. I prepare your gorgeous blog post sneak peak for the evening, a handful of each of the set ups we did during the session and a little teaser leaving not only Mumma and Papa wanting more but also all my lovely followers! I know that fix is what keeps y’all going! Usually I work till near midnight…the joys of wearing many hats…and then often, turn around and do it all again the next day. There’s blogging and emailing and advertising…planning and knitting and sorting! A girls work is never done! computer screen

A day in the life…hope you enjoyed a little sneak behind the workings of my day 🙂

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Twinkle twinkle little star,
do you know how loved you are?
like a diamond in the sky,
forever shining in my eye
twinkle twinkle little star,
Do you know how loved you are?

Today I had the most adorable little love in the studio…the biggest most all knowing eye’s and the sweetest little smile. This gorgeous girl missed her newborn session thanks to covid and the lockdown so I was super excited to hear from her Mumma and set to work planning her 9mth session! She was all kinds of gorgeous with lovely long locks and lashes to match! She wasn’t too sure about me or the studio…the joys of being raised in a pandemic but with Mumma and Papa doing lots of silly dancing, singing and snacks…we got there in the end. I am sure you will all agree…she is just divine.

World…Meet Mysha…she’s 9mths!

Literally a real life little doll…. Nine month old baby wearing white knit romper and bow on cream furShe wasn’t super excited about staying still either and very proud to show us all her new tricks like crawling and climbing and standing!! Nine month old baby sitting in cream vintage iron bed wearing mint vintage romper and bow with mint lace wrap and knit layer Nine month baby girl wearing mustard knit romper and floral crown sitting on cream furShe looked just stunning in this mustard yellow colour… Nine month baby girl sitting in cane basket with pink knit blanket and flowers wearing pink bow or knit bonnet Nine month baby girl sitting in cane basket with dried leaf and flowers wearing cream knit romper with cream doily and wrap on cream fur Nine month baby girl sitting in wooden bowl with teal knit wrap and white doily wearing cream knit romper and bow on cream fur Nine month baby girl wearing mustard knit romper and floral crown sitting on cream furShe just learnt to poke her tongue this week…isn’t it adorable???? Nine month baby girl wearing pink romper with pink flower halo and pink blanket crawling on floor Nine month old baby girl sitting in cane basket wearing pink romper and hair bow with lace doily and pink knit wrapThose eyes…that smile…sigh… Nine month baby girl wearing white feather romper sitting in cane basket with lace wrap and white bow or knit bonnet Nine month baby girl sitting in bright coloured woven fabric basket wearing yellow knit romper and flower haloThat teeny tiny tongue….

Chandni and Himanshu thank you so much for finding me and bringing your gorgeous little love to the studio…I am so glad we got there in the end!

Mysha you are divine…and I can’t wait to see you for your first birthday!!

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It always surprises me when my personal posts get so much interaction on social media…turns out y’all are hanging around for more than cute newborn photo’s!! At the end of the year I did my Instagram Top 9, there were a few different apps that showed you the cute collage, but one of them I did was literally almost all personal posts…how neat is that? I always love a good behind the scene’s…a sneak peak into the goings on of the studio…a personal project…and maybe you guys do too? So I’m going to make a conscious effort to give you more of me this year. I don’t know that I’ll be posing my almost 4yr old as a newborn like we did last year, my kiddo’s are getting less and less keen for photo’s but we’ll see how go! I don’t have a personal Instagram so there’s no cute top 9 and I couldn’t choose just 9 to share so here’s a little recap of our year.  2020…well, what do you say really? So many highs, for most, many more lows. It was a tough year for us despite covid and lock down…home schooling, yeah that was fun! We started out the year bidding farewell to my youngest brother and his family, who moved interstate, no one could have predicted just how far away Sydney would be in 2020, and we ended the year with him being deployed overseas before we could actually catch up with border changes. He’s still away but we were spoiled by seeing his wife and children over Christmas, and that definitely helped. Who knows what the world will look like when he comes back later this year but we are all hoping it involves a visit! Anyone who knows me knows we are a super close family! collage of family photos

Then of course came lockdown, which wasn’t too bad for me personally, I still had to go to work in the NICU and got to see my friends there, and my kids were kept safe at home. We actually flourished as a family, lots of nature projects and walks and my big boy thrived without the pressures of society and school. Speaking of my big boy, this year has been our hardest yet, being diagnosed ADHD and severe anxiety in 2019, this year lead us to an Autistic diagnosis so we’ve had some huge challenges to say the least. We spent the year navigating our new new, appointments, medications, and way too many tears from both of us. He loved homeschooling and going back into the school system was horrendous but we made it! He started Karate which has actually been the biggest blessing, he’s thrived and collected so many new skills along with a yellow belt and two awards! He also celebrated his 8th birthday and who doesn’t love that! My tiny baby turned 3…waaah! He also started permanent family daycare two days a week and absolutely loves it. He’s super social, unlike my big boy, and has loved being around other kids and an amazing teacher. We celebrated his birthday with a visit to the firestation and his little mind literally exploded!

Sadly we lost my Nan unexpectedly this year, on the other side of covid thankfully, which meant we could celebrate her life and the beautiful person she was. A sudden loss though, always confronts you with regret…not enough time together, not enough moments…not enough memories. It’s moments like these that make me appreciate the gift that I give with imagery. So many people lost loved ones this past year and the change in dynamics of lock downs just added a whole new layer to the grief. I had friends welcome new babies, I had friends heartbreakingly say goodbye to their babies. Loss during covid made everything even more broken.

Another hard part of covid was definitely the closure of the studio for a large section of the year. It broke my heart to turn away so many new families, having them miss out on capturing that brief but special time in the journey of new parenthood. Losing my livelihood was also a challenge and not something I would like to go through again in a hurry. I spent lots of time sorting and folding and rearranging the way too many bonnets and wraps I have! We reopened in July and madly rescheduled as many people as we could in and it’s been all go since then. My heart goes out to my colleagues interstate and overseas though still affected by covid and it’s lock downs, and the many families missing out. My favourite quote has always been…you never know the value of a moment until its a memory…this year has definitely taught us that.

My NICU work has remained insanely busy which is always a challenge, and whilst I welcomed many new little miracles, there were also way too many farewells. We ended the year combining both of my loves, and with Heartfelt I photographed all of the sweet little ones stuck in hospital in the NICU during the festive season. It’s something I’ve done for many years and always gets you in the feels, giving me the strength to step back into all those challenges with a little bit of happiness and joy. 2020 I also struggled with my own health, having multiple surgeries and procedures on my back, one during the middle of covid, which was really hard and add to that being a single Mumma it made life that little bit extra complex.

Buuuuut we made it out the other side…woohoo! And who’s excited for a new year and a bazillion new possibilities? Me, me, me! I can’t wait to meet many new little people making their way earthside this year, I can’t wait to capture your special memories, and I can’t wait to share a little more of me. Let’s all hope for more highs, hey?

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Snuggle you up in my arms baby dear…

keeping you warm, keeping you near…

this time it is precious, tiny and new…

never to doubt, my love it is true…

Holding you safe, my life is complete…

with your tiny fingers and your tiny feet.

 

Can you believe it’s a new year? Last year was such a blur but here we are fresh and new in 2021! I thought I’d take the time while I wait for all our January babies to make their way earthside to give you a little behind the scenes of just what goes into a newborn session and what you can expect when you come to the studio with your newest little love.

Today I wanted to talk about the studio itself, and more importantly how snuggly and warm it is in there! Anyone who has been to the studio or seen me do a live knows it can get super toasty in there but did you know there is a very important reason behind that? Did you know your newborn can’t actually regulate their own temperature until they are around 2yrs old? Crazy hey? I’m sure you read when you were expecting all those fun facts about how to dress your little one, nursery room temperatures…to add one extra layer than what you are wearing. There is so much advice around how to prepare when bringing a newborn home. But the studio is a whole other story in itself…your little one is nudie rudie and therefore needs a little more support than you would imagine. We have the studio set to around 25-28degress to support your little one when they can’t otherwise support themselves. For an adult the temperature might be a little too toasty but the risks to a bubba getting cold…like restlessness, low blood sugar, poor feeding or worse are not things I am willing to risk. Your little ones comfort and safety will always be my priority. Neonatal thermoregulation graphicWithout getting too sciency…that’s totally a word right? The above graphic from http://www.cmnrp.ca  shows the modes but also how easy a newborn without protection loses heat. Without the support of an external heat source or layers, heat loss can be quick and catastrophic. As a NICU nurse but also an experienced newborn photographer I take my role very seriously. Often families haven’t even left the house with their newborn yet, they haven’t let anyone meet or hold their newborn and here they are in a total strangers studio expected to hand over their most prized possession, literally their heart in a tiny little being, to someone they have never met. It is not a privilege I take lightly and an honour that isn’t wasted on me. I want you to feel safe, I want you to feel comfortable and I want you to feel confident that you have chosen the right person. Put your faith in me and you will not only be rewarded with beautiful images to treasure for eternity but also a lovely experience leaving you with memories of such a magical time in your newborns journey.

Have you had a newborn session with me? I’d love to hear about your experience below…. Newborn baby girl sleeping in white wooden little bed wearing pink knit romper with pink flower tieback with pink and white bears sitting beside the bed with a pink lace wrap and on cream fur being supported by female photographer with dark hair and wearing black clothes

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