Baby sitter session

Capturing your baby’s first year in photos

 

 

Having a baby is nothing short of life-changing. As a parent, your baby’s first year is undoubtedly the most exciting and precious time in your life.

And in that short time, you’ll see them transform from teeny-tiny baby to walking and talking toddler. SO many changes take place in a baby’s first year. It’s just incredible!

Which is why the majority of the families who come to me to have their baby photographed as a newborn also choose to invest in my Baby Plan package.

What is the ‘Baby Plan’?

‘Precieux Moments’ is my Baby Plan package which has been created for parents like you, who value professional photography and who are keen to document how your baby changes as they develop and grow.

It’s an incredible value discounted package which includes three ‘milestone’ portrait sessions, held at stages throughout your baby’s first year.

Why ‘Precieux Moments’?

Well, I’m French and that is the French term for, you’ve guessed it, ‘Precious Moments’.

And indeed, how precious those memories are!

Why invest in the Baby Plan?

There are many reasons to choose the Baby Plan.

  1. You’ll have a professional-quality photographic record of your baby’s first year, so you’ll be able to remember how they were at different stages in that first twelve months – priceless!
  2. You have the flexibility to choose when you want your baby to be photographed. There are two options available (read on to find out more)
  3. By booking the Baby Plan, you’ll not need to worry about having to remember to book in for future photo sessions. We will pencil in a date in your diary for all three sessions at the time of booking, so you’ll have the peace of mind that the session is secured in my schedule.
  4. And, last but not least, you’ll save more than £500 on the photo sessions, images and photo products (see below) by opting for the Baby Plan, rather than booking individual sessions throughout the year!

The Baby Plan is a great value way of capturing your baby’s first year

With my Baby Plan, you benefit from:

Discounted session fees

You’ll pay just £95 (the cake for the cake smash is not included in the session fee) which covers all three photo sessions.

If each session was booked separately the cost would normally be £79 each, so this is a total saving of at least £115 on session fees.

Discounted digital images

For each of the three sessions within the Baby Plan, you’ll pay £400 to receive all the images I capture on the day (a minimum of 20 images). All images will be provided to you as digital downloads after each session, ready for printing and sharing with your family and friends. Then, all images from the three sessions are also provided on a USB at the end of the plan.

If you opted to purchase all the digital images outside of the Baby Plan package, the cost each time would be £449, so this is a total saving of £147 on images across the year.

A complimentary photo product of your choice worth £399

With the Baby Plan package, also included is a fantastic quality ‘end of year’ photo product, worth £399.

This can be either:

  • A beautiful nine-aperture frame which has room for you to display three of your favourite images from each of your Baby Plan sessions, suitable for hanging anywhere in your home.

  • Or, a bespoke print and USB box which can be customised to your preferences and can also be personalised with your child’s name. The soft-touch box is a great way to store your beautiful prints from the three photo sessions.

  • Or, a luxury, 40-page keepsake album with matching USB box which is a simply stunning way to display your favourite images.

Key milestones in your baby’s first year

The Baby Plan includes three ‘milestone’ portrait sessions, which you can take at any time. However, I recommend that you return to have your baby photographed when they have achieved a significant developmental milestone.

Option 1:

I could photograph your baby when they are aged 4 months, 7-8 months and one year:

  • At four months old, babies are typically starting to show an interest in ‘tummy time’. Or, if they aren’t fans of that, I can photograph them lying on their backs looking up at the camera, which is really cute!
  • At 7-8 months old, they have learnt to crawl and are now sitting independently
  • Then, by their first birthday, they’re starting to talk and, perhaps, even walk unaided. Aren’t they clever?!

Sandra Cullen Photography Baby Plan portraits

 

Option 2:

A second option is that I photograph your baby slightly later in their development. That way, the third and final session ties in with them reaching 18-24 months old:

  • The first photoshoot would be a ‘sitter’ session with your baby aged approximately 8-9 months
  • Next, I would photograph their first birthday with my ever-popular cake smash and bath splash celebrations –these are such fun!
  • Finally, in the third session, I can photograph your baby at aged 18-24 months along with other members of the family, for a lovely family portrait. Even the dog can be included if you wish!

Record your baby's first year in photos with a Baby Plan by Sandra Cullen Photography

Precious moments you won’t want to miss

My goal is to capture these not-to-be-missed moments in stunning professional portraits while documenting your baby’s growth.

The pictures I create at each session become lasting memories of this incredibly special time.

An investment you won’t regret!

So, while choosing to invest in newborn photography is undoubtedly a great decision if you want lasting memories of your child’s first few weeks of life. There are so many reasons to also invest in professional photography throughout your baby’s first year too!

To recap, my Baby Plan is a very competitively priced package which offers you three private portraits sessions for your little prince or princess, as well as significantly discounted studio time, photos and photo products.

Each session takes place here in my photography studio in Greenwich and lasts up to one hour.

Capturing your baby's first year

I’d love to help you capture your baby’s first year in photos

You’ll only get one chance to capture photographs like these while your child is small. My Baby Plan is a great way to get portraits of your child at a quality, unlike anything that you can create yourself at home.

The images are high-quality artworks in their own right – perfect for hanging on the walls at home and will give you years of pleasure (unlike the snapshots you might take on your smartphone and never print or look again!)

Yes, professional portrait photography is a great investment if you value being able to record and remember all those ‘Precieux Moments’.

While a newborn photography session is a great way to start a photographic record of your baby’s development, my Baby Plan captures all those adorable, not-to-be-missed moments in your baby’s first year.

Why not book your little person in today?!

For more details please call me on 07507 665493 or email me at sandra@sandracullenphotography.com.

Smiling baby during cake smash portrait session

Seven reasons to book a Short and Sweet portrait session

I hinted in my most recent blog that I’m launching some new portrait services in 2018. And it seems that the news sparked your interest as I’ve already had several enquiries about them.

So, with Christmas now done and dusted and the New Year in full swing, I wanted to give you the full details and let you know that these brand-new portrait sessions are now available to book!

What’s new at Sandra Cullen Photography?

There are three new services to tell you about. All are amazing value, so are ideal if you’re after beautiful professional portraits of your family but are on a set budget.

I’ve named them ‘Short and Sweet’, which is exactly what they are!  They are miniature versions of my full photography sessions.

Short and Sweet portrait session at Sandra Cullen Photography

Seven reasons to book a Short and Sweet portrait session

  1. Prices from just £150!

Whereas my photography packages have previously started at £395, you’re now able to experience a professional ‘Short and Sweet’ photoshoot with me at my new photography studio in Woolwich, south-east London for an amazingly affordable price. These new all-inclusive packages start from just £150!

This price includes the private photo session and five high-resolution digital images available for you to download. You can then arrange to have them printed, to the size and specification you want, ready for hanging on your walls at home.

2. Same quality service

You’ll get the same professional photoshoot experience that I offer all my customers. They’re simply shorter, pared-back and fuss-free versions of my full photography services.

3. Quick and fuss-free

The Short and Sweet portrait sessions won’t take long – you can pop in in the morning or afternoon and within an hour you’ll be getting on with your day.

4. Weekend availability

The miniature cake smash sessions (find out more below) are available on a Saturday – ideal if you’d normally struggle to get to me in the week.

Smiling baby during cake smash portrait session

5. Less hassle for you!

And since they’re done at my studio, there’s no cleaning up for you afterwards. Leave that all to me!

6. Lots of images to choose from

You’ll receive a good variety of images from your Short and Sweet portrait session. I’ll take lots of photographs of your baby and offer you between five-ten of the very best images, so that you’ll have lots of choose from.

7. Option to upgrade your package

And, finally, as well as the five digital images you’ll receive as part of your all-inclusive package, you’ll still have the option to top up your package to include your choice of prints, wall art and gifts if you wish.

I can arrange everything for you and will place your order with my professional print supplier, managing the entire process to ensure that your finished photo products are nothing short of perfect.

In fact, I highly recommend that you get your photos printed and up on the walls at home. That way, you can relive the memories and enjoy them every single day, while getting the maximum value from your investment in photography.

The new Short and Sweet portrait sessions

So, like the sound of all that? Great, let me introduce you to the new services.

  1. Short and Sweet Newborn Photography

First up, there are my custom newborn photography sessions in miniature, which are an excellent option for babies aged 3-10 weeks old.

This service is perfect for those who parents who may have missed the true ‘newborn’ phase of up to three weeks. Since it’s available for babies up to 10 weeks old, you can still get the beautiful baby pictures you want without having to panic that you have missed your chance.

Short and Sweet Newborn Photography

They are designed for those who adore newborn baby photographs but have missed out on the short 3 week window for a newborn session.

The session is just one-hour long, so I focus less on the fine art sleeping baby poses that I offer in my full newborn photoshoots (which can take a long time to setup), and there is more emphasis on relaxed baby photos.

The small print

  • ‘Short and Sweet’ Newborn Photography is a set price package. For £195, you’ll receive a private photo session lasting one hour, and five high-resolution digital images for you to download.
  • The cost of the session is due in full in advance.
  • These sessions include one shot featuring a prop from my studio collection, one baby portrait, one family picture and a couple of ‘wrapped’ baby pictures which are the most popular and best-selling photo setups I do.
  • If you are still pregnant when you book a £100 deposit will be due, then when we set the date for your session the remaining £95 will be due. If your baby has already arrived, the full balance is payable to book.
  1. Smash Saturdays

Secondly, ‘my new ‘Smash Saturdays’ is a stripped-back version of my ever-popular cake smash portrait service.

Cake smashes used to be associated with babies turning one but they’re actually ideal for babies of any age from sitting independently to the toddler years! And these sessions are such fun – take a look at my cake smash gallery!

Short and Sweet Cake Smash portrait sesson

The small print

  • For one Saturday per month only, I’ll exclusively be offering miniature cake smash portrait sessions. There are just four slots available throughout each ‘Smash Saturday’.
  • Each session will last 45 minutes in my photography studio.
  • These sessions cost £150, which is due in full in advance.
  • I’ll photograph your baby in front of a simple coloured backdrop with their smash cake, which is an iced sponge cake. For more options, including a bespoke professionally made cake, bespoke and themed backdrops and use of accessories, as well as before and after cake smash shots including a bath splash, please book my full cake smash package.
  1. Short and Sweet Sitter Sessions

Since your baby grows and changes rapidly in their first year, ‘Sitter’ sessions are great for capturing them at the different stages.

Sitting, crawling, learning to walk – these are all hugely important milestones for you baby and ones that you’ll want to capture in photographs to keep the memories alive.

Toddler boy photographed by Sandra Cullen Photography

The small print

  • Short and Sweet Sitter sessions cost £195, which is due in full in advance.
  • Each session will last 45 minutes in my photography studio

All-inclusive portrait photography

So, to recap, these three new Short and Sweet portrait sessions are all available from just £150 and include the five digital images, with the option to upgrade further.

I really hope that you like the sound of them? I for one, can’t wait to get started on my first of these new sessions later this week!

Please note that I’m going to offering a very limited number of Short and Sweet sessions each month, so I’m anticipating that they’ll book up quickly. You can reserve yours by emailing me at sandra@sandracullenphotography.com.

Young baby boy smiling to camera

New photography studio to open this Autumn

I will very soon be opening a new photography studio which will become the permanent and official home of Sandra Cullen Photography.

I’ve literally been bursting to tell you about my plans for several months now. But finally, with a move-in date confirmed, it’s all starting to feel real!

So, why the move to a new photography studio?

Well, if you know me or have used me as your portrait photographer before, you’ll know that up until now I’ve been a mobile photographer.

I’ve been providing professional portrait photography services for several years, photographing clients and their children in their own homes across south east London and Kent.

And I just love capturing the unique personalities of your little ones and recording some of the most important moments in your family’s life.

Young baby boy smiling to camera

But while being a mobile portrait photographer in the Greenwich area has been wonderful and has given me great flexibility (and, truth be told, has kept the overheads of my business down), I’ve been yearning for something more permanent.

Why now?

Well, the word has been spreading about my portrait photography over the past twelve months or so.

I’ve been getting busier and busier and so it seems the right time to commit to a photography studio.

What are the benefits of the new photography studio?

With a new photography studio, I will be able to serve more clients (I’ll be spending less time traveling around south London and more time behind the camera). Which will bring lots of benefits for my clients too!

Cake Smash birthday baby

More convenient for you

Firstly, you’ll no longer need to worry about preparing your home for your photo session or have to move furniture around in order to create the space I need to work in!

A more streamlined experience

Secondly, portrait sessions will be quicker since I won’t be needing to set up my equipment each time – everything will be setup ready for when you arrive at the studio.

Shorter photo sessions

For this same reason, I anticipate that newborn sessions, which usually take several hours, will become quicker. Since I will have space within the new photography studio to have two setups ready, the transition between shots will be easier and the process will be smoother and faster overall. (Which means more cuddle time for you and baby after the session!)

More choice for you

Having the new photography studio will also allow me to offer a greater variety of portrait sessions, so there will be more choice for you.

I’ll be expanding the range of services I offer as well as introducing new packages and special offers going forward. For example, I’ve plans to offer maternity sessions at a special price for clients booking in conjunction with a newborn photoshoot. Watch this space for more details!

Where is the new photography studio?

The new Sandra Cullen Photography studio will be at Thames Side Studios, Trinity Wharf, Harrington Way, Warspite Road, Royal Borough of Greenwich, London, SE18 5NR.

There will be plenty of free customer parking outside the studio.

Sleeping baby in mother's hands by newborn photographer Sandra Cullen

When will the new photography studio open?

I get the keys on October 1st and will be making it my own for a couple of weeks. My plan is to officially launch and open the studio in mid-October.

After that, all future portrait sessions – whether maternity, newborn, older baby or child or cake smash – will be held at the studio. I will no longer be offering mobile photography.

What will the new photography studio be like?

The new photography studio will be a cosy, warm and welcoming place for you and your children.

It will be custom-designed, complete with comfy seating, refreshments and all the facilities that you could possibly need during yours or your child’s photoshoot.

My intention is to create the studio in a way that makes your entire time with me enjoyable and relaxing. Your photography experience should be wonderful, and it’s my intention to ensure that it is!

Come and visit the new home of Sandra Cullen Photography

So, will you be visiting my new photography studio? I hope you will!

I’ve been dreaming of having a permanent studio and finally, that dream is becoming a reality. So, as you can imagine, I’m really excited about this next step in my business journey and really hope that you will be part of it.

I’m so looking forward to welcoming clients, old and new, to my new photography studio and hope to see you there very soon!

Up-coming photo sessions available to book now

I’m already taking bookings for sessions in the new photography studio so get in touch today to confirm your portrait date and time.

In November, these will include my Christmas mini sessions. These are great value, and are a chance to get up-to-date family portraits for use on personalised Christmas cards or to give as Christmas gifts!

Plus, I am offering Autumn photo walks which are a great opportunity to capture relaxed family portraits in the great outdoors.

Special rates apply for early bookings and to those who book both sessions!

Two boys in the woods during Autumn

Please get in touch for more details and to book.

And if you’re looking for something sooner than that, I do still have some spaces available in September and early October – for these I will travel to your home.

You can contact me on 07507 665493, email me at sandra@sandracullenphotography.com or complete the contact form on my website.

Sandra x

Professional-baby-photos-South-East-London

Why are professional baby photos so expensive?

One of the most common questions about newborn photography that I see people asking online is “why are professional baby photos so expensive?”

Now, one person’s idea of expensive is obviously hugely different from another person’s.

But I believe that it’s a question that goes through the minds of a lot of parents-to-be. So I wanted to address this in my blog here for you today.

Why newborn photography is ‘expensive’

Professional-baby-photos-South-East-London

Professional newborn photography can be perceived to be expensive.

But here are just some of the reasons why the prices being charged could be justified:

Specialised service

Professional baby photography is a specialist service. There is a lot of skill required, and those skills are developed over time. So while you can find cheap baby photographers, they will likely be cheap for a reason!

It may be that they are inexperienced and are wanting to build up their portfolio – meaning that they haven’t done many baby photoshoots before. (Which I would add, should be a warning sign to you as parents-to-be).

Choosing a photographer with limited experience of handling and photographing babies could lead to you not getting the kind of images you want. And if they aren’t safety trained, this could even mean that you are putting your baby into the hands of someone who doesn’t know how to handle newborn babies safely.

Which leads me onto my next point…

Professional training

Despite what you might think, a photographer doesn’t just decide to start offering baby photography services one day and off they go!

Being confident handling tiny babies and knowing how to soothe and pose them, in a way that is comfortable and safe for the baby, are essential skills that every newborn photographer must have.

A lot of technical training is required in order for a professional baby photographer to operate safely and professionally.

And that training costs a lot of money – hundreds if not thousands of pounds! The very best photographers also recognise the need to continually invest in training to stay on top of their game. So training is an ongoing cost to the photographer, and this is likely to be reflected in their fees.

Professional-baby-photos-Bexley

Expensive equipment

Professional photographers also need to buy a lot of expensive camera equipment, lighting aids and backdrops.

They have the overhead of a photography studio and all the operating costs that come with this. Or, if they are a mobile photographer, they will also have car insurance, fuel and travel expenses to consider.

You’ll likely also be offered the option to have your baby photographed in adorable miniature hats, outfits or wraps, and in tiny props such as baskets and boxes – again, all these cost money!

So why are professional baby photos so expensive?

Well, now perhaps you can see that the price you pay for your photography session is contributing to all these things that photographers need to buy in order to be in business.

Professional-baby-photos-London

Other things that contribute to the cost of your newborn photoshoot

And then, on top of that, you are paying for the professional photographer’s time and expertise.

This includes:

  • The time spent liaising with you to arrange and confirm the booking (and you could argue, the time and money they have invested in marketing their business in order for you to have discovered them in the first place)
  • The time spent preparing for the photoshoot – buying props, styling the studio and generally getting everything ready for your arrival on the day
  • The time they spend doing your baby’s photoshoot

Newborn photographers typically allow up to 2-4 hours of studio time for each photoshoot, and most don’t do more than one session per day. You’ll be offered exclusive use of their studio and their focussed attention for the duration of the session – time which they usually include in a ‘session fee’ of approximately £50-150.

  • Then after the session, the time spent editing the photos. This is often a misunderstood part of the process since it’s done behind the scenes, but it’s an essential step in order for the photographer to complete the gallery of photos and make each individual image ready for you. It can take as long as half a day or more for a photographer to complete a gallery of images and to digitally finish the photos to their trademark style.

Professional-baby-photos-Greenwich

Do professional baby photos seem so expensive now?

So, having considered all this, perhaps you can now appreciate that a lot goes into a typical newborn photography session?

Hopefully the things I have listed above help to clarify why professional baby photos can be perceived to be expensive?

A professional photographer is running a business after all, and has many business costs that they need to charge onto customers in order to be able to run it successfully.  That’s why their prices may be higher than you initially expect.

Avoid choosing a newborn photographer based on price

Just because newborn photography is really popular nowadays, don’t expect it to be cheap. (And to be honest, if it is cheap, spend some time questioning why that is before you book).

There are lots of professional photographers offering newborn photography services, but choosing the right photographer for you is really important.

I would urge you not to go with the photographer who is the cheapest necessarily, but the one who offers you the reassurance of a professional service and who feels like a good fit for you.

Definitely go with a photographer who is experienced, professionally trained and can demonstrate how they safely create the photos. And, don’t forget that it’s important to choose someone whose work you love!

Professional baby photos are worth their weight in gold!

Professional portraits by a newborn photographer capture those precious first few weeks of your baby’s life and every detail from their delicate skin and super soft hair to their curled up body and their precious little fingers and toes.

As a mum of two boys myself, I can tell you that the portraits you have taken after your baby’s birth will become so precious to you, you’ll never regret hiring a newborn photographer!

Awake baby by Sandra Cullen Photography

Any further questions about newborn photography?

It isn’t easy choosing a newborn photographer, but I hope that this has helped you to understand why you might think professional baby photos are expensive.

Let me know in the comments if you have any further questions about newborn photography. I would be pleased to help.

And, if you want to speak to me about booking a newborn photography session you can either complete this form, call me on 07507 665493 or email me at Sandra@sandracullenphotography.com. I look forward to hearing from you!