Amanda Maree Photography » Amanda Maree Photography - Brisbane Newborn Photographer

The little things…the little moments…they aren’t little.”

Have you ever wondered what happens during a newborn session? How things….’flow’ as we say in photography talk! Some families that have come to newborn sessions with me have had sessions with other photographers before so they may have a little idea and other families are complete newborn photography session virgins! Obviously when we first get in touch I send you some general information about what to expect, what to do to prepare, and what we need to do to help create a session that exceeds all your expectations, that captures memories of your little love and your family at a time that you will never get back again.

Usually I have a standard flow that I stick to as I’ve found with experience it seems to work best for teeny tiny bubba’s. A flow that helps them stay snuggled and sleepy and calm, feel safe and secure and to capture those magic shots that your family will treasure for ever. BUT…the thing I always mention from beginning to end is that baby is always boss! Sessions are loosely timed over a 2-4hr period allowing time for baby to stop for settling and feeding etc. Sometimes we also mix up the session flow to suit certain family situations, sometimes siblings need to nap when we would usually be shooting the sibling component of the session so we do those images first and then siblings can head home. Sometimes, Papa’s need to be go back to work so we do family portraits first. No matter what we can always be flexible but here’s a quick sneak peak at what a run of the mill session looks like….

When a family first arrives we all make ourselves comfy in the lounge area…make coffee’s and get cookies. Make sure siblings know where all the good toys are and honestly make everyone feel at home and comfortable. We take a quick tour of the toasty warm studio to check Mumma and Papa are happy with what we’ve set up and add in any things the family may have brought to include in the session such as handmade wraps or blankets, special teddy bears and other sentimental keepsakes that will stay with these divine images for generations to come.

We unwrap bubba down to a nappy and feed them, best case scenario to milk drunk status! And then I head into the studio with a snuggly sleepy baby. I always tell families that I will work with baby as long as baby is willing and that if we have to stop at any time for feeds or settling then we will. Usually Mumma’s, Papa’s and siblings hang out in the living room or outside with the trampoline, scooters and swings while I work my magic. I’ve always been happy for families to pop in and out during the session to see their little ones at work modelling away but since Covid-19 we have made a few changes to practices in the studio and I have tried to go forward keeping the amount of people in the studio to a minimum as we move forward. I am still more than happy for families to pop in and out, then of course we have everyone in the studio at the end for the sibling and family component. Then after each session the studio will be cleaned and sterilized in between each family and there will be no back to back sessions.

I always start on the bean bag with the adorable ‘bum up’ pose which I can mix up with wraps, bonnets and tiebacks I adore this pose cause it begins with just plain old adorable baby goodness…all the rolls, smooshy lips, whirls of hair and cute little tooshies. Then we can transition this pose to side lying, taco or head on hands all while on the bean bag. Newborn baby boy sleeping on brown blanket with cream bonnet and cream knitted bear

Newborn baby girl sleeping on pink lacey blanket with pink tieback Smiling sleeping baby girl on brown blanket with brown bow tieback Newborn twin girls on pink blanket wearing pink tiebacksWe can also use the bean bag to capture some gorgeous close up detail shots….

Newborn baby boy sleeping on grey blanket wearing grey knit romper Newborn baby girl sleeping on pink blanket with pink wrap and white knitted bonnet Newborn baby girl sleeping on pink blanket with purple flower wrap and knit bonnetAnd some stunning angles… Newborn baby girl sleeping on cream blanket with rainbow knit blanket and rainbow felt hearts Newborn baby girl sleeping on white blnaket with mint knit wrap and tieback Newborn baby boy sleeping on grey blanket with grey wrapI usually do two different blanket drops on the bean bag then we move on to props on the floor.

I have several different props I use and what I use is shaped by what the parents talk about in the lead up to the session, what their style is…and sometimes if I have something gorgeous and new I want to try out. As I’ve mentioned before, not all babies will go in every prop or be comfortable in every  position and EVERY baby is always in charge! So then we just meander our way through the props, outfit changes, wraps. I use waaaaaay more props during each session than most of my colleagues but I’ve always done that and I feel like it’s my point of difference.

We have baskets, bowls, beds and basically anything I’ve spotted that I think will be gorgeous with a sweet newborn snuggled in it! When I’m posing a baby in a prop my primary concern is and will always be safety but it’s also a time I really centre into myself. It’s a time I stop and let my mind imagine that just mere days before this teeny tiny baby was snuggled up under it’s Mumma’s heart, safely tucked inside her belly, hidden from the world. When I wrap and pose babies into positions I try to mimic that curled up position that were in just before they have come to the studio. It is part of the reason we schedule sessions in that early newborn period when they are at their smallest, curliest and newest…because these are moments you will never get back. I read somewhere once you have a newborn for literally two weeks. I want to immortalize that into images for families to hold on to for generations to come. When I look at a baby curled up in that foetal position my heart skips a beat a little. What privilege to witness life so new. Newborn baby boy in basket wrapped in mustard coloured blanket and bonnet Sleeping newborn baby girl in white and blue lacey romper on blue blanket in wooden bowl on blue lace blanket wearing blue lace tieback Newborn baby boy laying in brown fur and brown wrap sleeping with hand on his face Newborn baby girl sleeping in wooden log bowl with green curly felt and green wrap laying on wooden floor smiling Newborn baby boy sleeping on wooden log bowl wrapped in blue wrap with blue knitted bonnet and blue elephant on blue fur Newborn baby boy sleeping in wooden log bowl wrapped in grey wrap laying on grey fluff on wooden floor Newborn baby girl wearing pink romper sleeping in round cane basket with pink curly felt with pink flowers Newborn baby girls sleeping in white cane basket with white curly felt on white wooden floor wearing white lace rompers with white bonnetsThere’s just something so sweet about a baby tucked up in a bed too…

Newborn baby girl sleeping on pink cradle with pink crochet blanket and pink curly felt with flowers on the floor Newborn twin girls sleeping in brown wooden bed with green blanket and green tiebacks on green back drop Newborn baby boy sleeping on white wooden bed with grey blanket and gret and cream bears Newborn baby girl sleeping in white wooden bed on white wooden floor with pink blanket and wrap and lace blanket and tieback Newborn baby bpy sleeping in wooden bed with brown blanket and bonnet and bunny Preterm baby girl sleeping in white bed with pink blanket surrounded by keepsakes from her Intensive Care journeyThen once we’ve done the prop shots we move on to sibling shots. This can be different for every family. I always try and get two different set ups, one with a prop and one on a flokati on the floor but sibling shots are always dictated by the age of the children. I always do sibling shot’s at the end of the session as it’s given the children time to make themselves at home in my home. Usually by this stage they have pulled out every single toy my children own and when they come into the studio they are feeling comfortable, safe and excited about what’s about to happen. I find when we do sibling shot’s straight up….they’ve just entered a foreign place, there is some strange lady holding a big black box up to her face, their whole world has been turned upside down in the past two weeks with Mumma and Papa staying in hospital and them being sent to Nanny’s or a friends….and THEN this new baby has been brought home…they are noisy, the smell funny, they are taking up everyone’s time. This is the biggest time in their littlest world. So whilst always ensuring baby is safe, we work with the siblings as much as they are comfortable. Some kids don’t want a bar of the baby and we have lots of tricks up our sleeves to make it happen! Sibling sisters aged seven, eleven and newborn laying on cream fur with baby wrapped in cream wrap and tieback and sisters wearing cream dresses.

Seven year old boy in blue button up shirt holding toy bunny with newborn baby girl sleeping in white fur bowl wrapped in a pink blanket with a pink tieback and bunny toy Newborn baby girl wrapped in olive wrap and tieback cuddling sibling brother wearing olive overalls on cream fur Newborn baby girl sleeping in vintage pram with purple felt and wrap and flowers and tieback with sibling sister wearing purple tutu Three brothers sitting on cream flokati Sleeping newborn boy cuddling toddler boy sibling on grey flokati Newborn baby girl sleeping in vintage pram with pink fluff and tieback being pushed by her 3 year old sister wearing a pink tutu dress Newborn baby girl wrapped in white wrap with blue tieback being held by toddler girl sibling on cream fur Newborn baby girl sleeping in cane basket with teal curly felt and navy blue felt with teal bow tieback sitting beside older sibling brothers. Six year old girl sitting on cream fur rug holding sleeping baby boy sibling Newborn baby girl sleeping in cream iron bed wearing pink knit romper and tieback with pink sheepskin layer and flowers and bunny toy being kissed by sibling brother wearing blue jacket and jeans holding toy bunnyThen we move on to parent shots….Mumma first….

Newborn baby boy sleeping naked in mums arms with mum smiling Newborn baby boy sleeping in tattoed mummas arms Newborn baby boy wrapped in blue wrap being held by mother Newborn twin boys wrapped in navy blue wrap being held by motherThen we add in Papa…

Newborn baby girl in cream romper being held by mother and father Newborn baby boy being held by parents kissing Newborn baby girl wrapped in cream wrap being held by mother and fatherAnd then we do Papa on is own… Black man holding naked white newborn Newborn baby girl sleeping in papas arms Newborn baby boy sleeping in dads arms Newborn baby boy sleeping in firemans hat being held by fireman in uniformAnd then of course the whole family… Newborn baby wrapped in pink wrap being held by mother with father standing beside holding sibling sister Newborn wearing cream romper being held by mother with father standing beside and sibling sister Newborn baby wrapped in pink wrap being held by mother with father standing beside holding sibling brother Newborn twin boys wrapped in blue wraps being held by mother with father and sibling brother and sister Newborn baby boy wrapped in blue wrap sleeping being held by mother with father behind holding sibling big sisterNow every now and then parents don’t want to get in photo’s…and I strongly try and encourage them, like I said, it’s not about what you look like, it’s about capturing this very brief moment in time, it’s about connection and love….

But I do have a few other tricks up my sleeve to at least capture that moment.

Newborn baby girl sleeping in her fathers hands Newborn baby boy sleeping soundly in mum and dads arms in black and white Newborn baby in parents arms in black and whiteThis moment needs to be frozen in time…I want families to look back for generations to come of that blink when your little love was at their newest.

So there you have it…a general session, sometimes it runs smoothly, sometimes bubba’s or even siblings have other idea’s but I’ve always been a go with the flow kind of person and let them lead the session. Some sessions fall on feeding frenzy days and then we end up doing lots of chatting while babies fill their little bellies, other days, babies like to be snuggled, lots, which I love, cause who doesn’t love snuggles but it does sometimes make for tricky newborn pics when it’s me they are snuggling! Sometimes we spend half an hour dancing around like clowns trying to get siblings to not drop the baby on the floor and look at the camera at the same time! Most importantly, we do whatever it takes to make sure your little one is safe, comfortable and happy, that we capture beautiful memories of your family during this special time during your lives and that you all have a special unique experience surrounded by my love and care.

 

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“I seem to have loved you….in numberless forms,

in numberless times…in life after life, in age after age,

forever.”

“My brave butterfly…your body may have died but your fighting spirit will forever be a part of me.

For as I carried you in my womb through your life, I will carry you in my heart through mine”

Newborn baby boy seeping in wooden bowl wearing blue knot romper and bonnet with cream blanket holding small knit bear and wool heart connecting baby to smaller wooden bowl containing cream wrap and small knit bear and felt heart and butterfly and urn and frame of deceased baby siblingI know I say this every session but today, my heart is literally so full, so broken, so hopeful, so loved I just don’t know if I can carry it in my chest any more. Every now and then people come into your lives and you just know they will touch you in a way you’ve never been touched before. I first met this gorgeous family in their darkest hours…just days after welcoming their divine twin baby boys they were preparing to say goodbye to their littlest love, Ethan. You see I was Ethan’s nurse that day, and I stood by their side in the darkness as he took his last courageous breath. From that moment on, a little piece of my heart went with Ethan to heaven but a little piece stayed with his big brother Harrison. Over the next few months I did my best not to give secret snuggles to Harrison when I was supposed to be busy working, I often failed miserably at favouritism…sssssshhhh don’t tell all the other special babies! And I had the greatest honour of caring for Harrison in his last few days in the NICU after a courageous 84 day battle…stomach surgery, eye treatments, blood transfusions, brain surgery…literally every hurdle a little guy born at just 25 weeks and weighing a mere 800 grams could endure before we sent him home to his Mumma and Papa. But you see…this guy has plans…big plans…and he whispered in my ear one night that he was going to fight every battle no matter what we threw at him to live in honour of his tiny little brother Ethan. And he has done just that. Emma and Ben…you thanked me for teaching you to be parents to your boys…but honestly, I am the one who should be saying thank you…your little men have filled my heart in a way I never knew possible. Every little life that is lost in the NICU touches me, so many I could never possibly remember every name, every moment, every word spoken….but sometimes…there are some that sneak their way into your hearts forever. We never imagined today’s session would happen, there were so many obstacles, but it did, and I’m pretty sure we have Ethan to thank for bringing this all together. Thanks little guy.

World….Meet Harrison.x.

Newborn baby boy sleeping on blue blanket with blue wrap Newborn baby boy sleeping in farmers basket with brown blanket and grey curly felt and wrap holding silver bracelet How divine is this little bracelet Harrison is holding….little H and little E included…and filled with love.x. Newborn baby boy sleeping in cane basket wearing brown knit romper and bonnet with brown owl toy and cream blanket on wooden floor Newborn baby boy sleeping in cane basket with navy knit layer and wrap on white wooden floor Newborn baby boy sleeping on cream blanket with blue wrap and bonnetI adore this gorgeous blue knit blanket Harrison brought with him for his session today….and who doesn’t love a good pom pom beanie!

Newborn baby boy sleeping in wooden bed wearing cream knit romper and bear bonnet with cream knit wrap and layer holding cream knit bearBoth of the boys absolutely loved holding onto things…everything that came into contact they quickly grabbed it. I was going to sneak this bear under the blanket with him but he grabbed his arm straight away and I just knew this was the perfect shot…just two little bears hanging out for a nap! Newborn baby boy wrapped in navy wrap with navy blanket on wooden floorMumma asked for a gorgeous gallery of neutrals and navy’s…just perfect for such a handsome little man!

Newborn baby boy wrapped in blue wrap on cream flokati being held by motherNow Mumma didn’t want to be in any photo’s…something I hear all too often but I convinced her to capture this special shot with her two gorgeous boys snuggled together…it turned out more beautiful than I could ever dream of.

Mother holding newborn baby boy sleeping wearing cream knit romperWell….then this happened. I begged her, I promised her she would never have this moment again. My heart hurt because I had said those words to her before when she held teeny tiny Ethan in her arms for the last time. Sometimes, life can be so unfair, but sometimes there is also beauty.

So much love for you Emma and Ben, and for the honour of caring for your beautiful boys Ethan and Harrison. The greatest gift.

 

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Today I had such a lovely session, truly surreal, you see when we were sixteen, my best friend had a baby…and today that gorgeous baby brought her very own baby to the studio for me to photograph! Other than feeling insanely old, it was so special to be able to photograph this gorgeous guy, especially since I have been by their side after a very rough couple of years. Last year this beautiful family lost their first little love. Nothing can begin to touch the sorrow that comes from saying goodbye to your much loved baby and I know their hearts will have parts missing forever now. But that beautiful loved baby sent a gift, a teeny tiny (actually chunky and lovely) little brother. I just know Asha was with us yesterday and taking that special sibling image literally made my heart fall open. It will never be the sibling image Mumma and Papa imagined but I know these boys will be bonded together for life and that this little guy will always know the story of the big brother who came before him. So much love for you Teigan and Dean.x.

 

“I lived my life inside you, cocooned in all your love…

so Mumma, Papa, please don’t cry, I’m still with you above…

I felt your every heartbeat, it’s my sweetest melody…

and for every heavenly bedtime, the angels sing it sweetly…

I know how much I was wanted, I feel so very blessed…

Of all the Mummies in the world, I got the very best…

You think of me in all your waking hours, & on those sleepless nights…

Just look out the window, & you’ll find me, the brightest star, the most dazzling light…

I’m that little breeze in the summer, & I’m that unexpected white feather…

I plucked it from my downy wings, so that you will remember we are always together…

I know how much it hurt your soul, when we had to say goodbye…

But I’m not gone, I’m always here, I’m your sweet little butterfly…

I’ve sent you a special gift, hand picked with love by me…

A baby brother for me to watch over, and you to hold with glee…

He’s not here to replace me, I know he’ll honour me…

He’ll grow and we’ll remain together, a special bond, you’ll see.”

 

World…Meet Ryland.x.

Newborn baby boy sleeping in cane basket wrapped in cream knit wrap with cream knit bear bonnet sleeping beside teddy bear holding siblings ashes on white wooden floor

Newborn baby boy sleeping on blue blanket with blue wrapMumma and Papa chose a gorgeous gallery filled with dark blue, greys and teals….and we may have thrown a little surprise in there at the end???

Newborn baby boy sleeping in grey cane basket with grey blanket and wraps and knit layer on white wooden floor Newborn baby boy sleeping in cane basket with teal wrap and blanket and curly felt layer on white wooden floor Newborn baby boy sleeping in wooden bed with grey blanket Newborn baby boy sleeping on blue flokati wrapped in rainbow wrap with felt rainbow heartThis moment right here…that smile…I just know it was Asha by his side.x. Newborn baby boy sleeping on grey flokati wrapped in grey wrap with grey beanie Newborn baby boy sleeping on wooden crate with blue blanket and wrap Newborn baby boy wrapped in mustard wrap with burgundy wrap and mustard beanie in wooden bowl on white wooden floorThis guy had some serious frowns…actually he made all the faces! I was so excited when mumma added at the last minute she loved the fig and mustard combo (my kids wear these colours on a regular basis for anyone who knows us personally!!!) Newborn baby wrapped in grey blanket being held and kissed by motherWe nearly didn’t get this shot…Mumma developed a terrible migraine just as we were shooting parent shots but I am so glad we did…she will never have this moment in time again. Teigan, it was an honour to be there for your Mumma when you arrived all those years ago but an even greater gift to watch you as a Mumma over this past year.

“It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow

does not negate the ravages of any storm…

When a rainbow appears,

it does not mean the storm never happened

or that we are not still dealing with its aftermath…

It means that something beautiful and full of light

has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds…

Storm clouds may still hover

but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of

colour, energy and hope.”

Newborn baby boy wrapped in blue wrap in wooden bowl with cream wrap on green leafy backdrop with rainbow of butterfliesRyland…you are all kinds of lovely and I am so grateful to Asha for sending you to help towards healing your Mumma and Papa’s broken hearts.x.

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Haaaaalp….I don’t know what colours to choose for my newborn session??

Don’t panic families….this is something I hear ALL the time and luckily, I’m here to help you out!

When you book your newborn session with Amanda Maree Photography I send out a little questionnaire to better help me plan your session. I want to know your colour ideas for the session, if your nursery has a theme and if you want to bring anything to include in your session, and with all of these tips, I work my magic to create a beautiful session that you will adore for years to come. I want you to print your images, I want you to hang them big and grand throughout your home and I want them to fit in with your life. Some families know exactly what they want…give me all the pinks…only pinks and I like a vintage feel….or I like natural neutral colours….or bright modern colours….But sometimes…these questions can be overwhelming! So I’ve put together a few little pics to give you an idea of all of your options…because honestly, I can’t wait to create some beautiful images of your newest little loves.

If your home has an earthy feel and you use lots of natural neutral colours in your furniture, cushions, curtains and decor then it’s likely that not only your nursery will have that same feel but that choosing those sort of colours for your session will work perfectly when you hang that canvas on your wall. Neutral colours like creams, white, beige, greys and lights browns are timeless and never date across the years or through your changing fashion tastes!

Collection of newborn babies in neutral colour palettesSometimes though, the nursery has nothing to do with the rest of the style through out your house and you have very clear ideas about how the session will go. Her nursery is filled with beautiful soft pastel pinks or purples and you love flowers….or you have the most divine soft blue elephant that has been passed down from your father to you and now to your son and you are basing the nursery on that. Sometimes soft pastel colours are everything that little babies are about.

Newborn babies in pastel coloursAnd other times you prefer bright and bold…your house is filled with rich and bright colours….your favourite colour is yellow. Your little one is sharing a room with their big brother who has a bright blue Thomas The Tank Engine room and you want all the images to tie together. Sometimes you have a favourite quilt filled with bright happy colours that you want to include and you shape the session around that.

Sometimes….your session looks like a rainbow

Newborn babies in bright colours of the rainbowSome families haaaaatttteeee colour…and that’s ok too! Browns, chocolates, mustards and earthy tones are your jam. There’s just something about sticking to all the earthy naturalness of a newborn.

Newborn babies in brown earthy colours

 

But do you know what the most important thing is, that the session is exactly what you want it to be. That we work together to capture your beautiful new baby in all of their sweet, small, newness and it’s in images that you will adore for many years to come. I have aaaaaallllll the colours and all the colours go with boys and girls, there is no magic rule about who needs what and who goes with what. Let’s work together and make your session everything you’ve hoped for.

I remember with my first baby I didn’t know the sex, but I loved owls and I had so much fun setting up the nursery in soft greens, grey’s and whites. When he turned out a he, I had no real idea what sort of colours I wanted for my newborn session. My gorgeous friend and colleague Luisa from Luisa Dunn Photography captured both of my sweet babies newborn sessions and she is renown for her work with colour so I kind of just told her go for it! I loved olive green but otherwise I trusted her judgement. My second pregnancy, another surprise gender although I was confident it was also a boy, I let my love for mustard run through. He is almost 3 (gasp…I’m in total denial) and he has never had a room of his own. He had a basinette in my room in the beginning and then a cot shoved in the spare room which is mostly filled with studio props up until just a week ago when we made him his own room. BUT…all of the things I had for him during my pregnancy were rich mustard’s & terracotta colours. Of course, as we all know, he turned out to be a he and I included olive and burgundy into his newborn session and those images too now adorn our home.

Ultimately, it’s all about you and what you love. Thankfully I have loads of images on my website, Facebook and Instagram for you to stalk and get an idea. And hopefully this post helps too! Sometimes though, you have no idea, and that’s ok. You decide when you get here, or you roll the dice and let me have free run! Sometimes your session is shaped by one small family heirloom, or a soft toy you bought when your first saw those special two pink lines. Your session, is just that, YOUR session.

Let’s work together….I can’t wait!

 

 

 

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