Baby sitter session

Is it almost time to book a baby sitter session?

If you have a young baby, you’ll know that sitting up independently is a HUGE milestone for your little one. In such a small amount of time they have achieved so much, bless them!

The sitting up stage – which usually happens when a baby is around 7-8 months old – is such a fun and exciting time. How clever they are at this age! Which makes this a brilliant occasion to have professional baby portraits taken.

If you’ve a little one approaching this landmark achievement, have you considered booking, what I call, a baby ‘sitter session’?

baby sitter session

The signs that your baby is almost ready for a sitting up photoshoot

If you’re considering having some updated professional portraits taken of your baby, but aren’t sure whether they’re ready, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have they mastered rolling and crawling?
  • Do they love jumping, bouncing and kicking their legs? (That Jumperoo is a godsend, isn’t it?!)
  • Are they rocking, swaying and shuffling forward?

Well, if so, these are all clues that they are on the verge of becoming a super-skilled sitter!

Perhaps they’re even mastered sitting up independently already. They may not stay up for long, but at least they’re trying!  In which case, it’s the right time to get yourself booked in!

baby sitter session by Sandra Cullen Photography

What is a baby ‘sitter session’?

A baby sitter session is perfect for little ones who have mastered sitting up independently. It’s designed with babies of this age in mind and is done to capture all your baby’s clever new moves and gorgeous smiley expressions.

These sessions are an ideal follow-on from a newborn photoshoot or as a precursor to a first birthday photoshoot or cake smash.

Baby sitter session with Sandra Cullen Photography

Why book a sitting up photo session?

My sitter session clients are mummies and daddies who realise that this adorable stage is short-lived and know that they want to capture these precious moments in photographs.

They also know that at this sitting-up stage, their baby is almost unrecognisable compared with how they were as a newborn – which is perhaps the last time they had them professionally photographed.

No longer snoozing peacefully for most of the day and feeding every other hour, they’re active for much more of the day and are interested in EVERYTHING!

They’ve become an adorable little person who spends much of the day smiling, gurgling and exploring. Innocent and playful, chubby and wide-eyed, babies of this age are becoming more aware and are interested in their surroundings.

Yes, that means they love to try and grasp everything within their reach (and usually put everything in their mouths too!).

baby sitter session

The significance of your baby sitting up for the first time

Sitting up independently will be a game changer for your little one. And once they’ve mastered it, it won’t be too long before the next stage – you guessed it, walking! (Eek!)

So, by booking a sitter session, you’re momentarily freezing time.

The photographs will allow you to remember this important stage in years to come, and you’ll love looking back at them in the future as they continue through their pre-school years and beyond.

What happens during a baby sitter session at Sandra Cullen Photography?

As a specialist baby photographer, based here in south-east London, I am fortunate enough to get to photograph so many gorgeous babies each and every year. I LOVE my job and getting the chance to work with clever, growing babies is an absolute pleasure.

In my photography studio in Woolwich, I have everything I need to create a variety of cute baby portraits for you to choose from, and which will make great family heirlooms, artwork for your walls as well as gifts for your close family and friends.

Baby sitter session with Sandra Cullen Photography London

My baby sitter sessions last approximately 30-45 minutes and the fee of £79 includes:

  • a pre-session consultation (I can put your mind at rest about what you need to bring on the day, and you can tell me of any preferences you have for the colours and styling for the photos),
  • your own fully-bespoke studio session
  • the time, talent and support of your photographer (me!)
  • and, the production of a minimum of 20 digital images which are lovingly edited images to review and order.

Digital images and photo products are available to view and buy (no images are included in the session fee) at your ordering appointment, typically between 10-14 days after your photo session.

Creating photographs that I know will be treasured forever by the baby’s family is an absolute joy. I love seeing my client’s faces, during the ordering appointment, when they view the portraits I’ve taken for them, the very first time. Happy faces all round! 😊

Why not also consider upgrading to a Baby Plan?

You also have the option to combine a baby sitter session with two other photo sessions over the course of twelve months. By doing so, you’ll benefit from huge discounts on session fees and digital images. Find out more about My Baby Plan here.

Sandra Cullen Photography Baby Plan portraits

Do you know someone who has a baby who is almost sitting?

I would love to help more families in south-east London to capture these priceless and fleeting moments in photographs.

So, do you have a baby approaching the sitting up stage? Or do you know someone who is looking for a photographer who can offer a high-quality baby sitter session photoshoot experience in London?

If so, please get in touch or share this article with the parents you have in mind.

When you book a baby sitter session, I guarantee that you’ll love the photos and won’t regret investing in professional portraits at this important milestone in your baby’s first year.

To book a baby sitter session, or to gift one to someone you love, please get in touch!  To enquire about my availability simply complete this contact form.

The importance of family photos

The importance of family photos

I strongly believe in the importance of family photos, and here’s why.

I first came over to England in May 2000 and instantly fell in love with London. Within a month, I was living here and, well, the rest is history!

But the one downside of being a French national living in England (‘Bonjour!’ to all fellow Francophiles by the way!) is that I often miss out on important family occasions.

By living in London, I miss important family occasions

My entire family are still living over in France – in Marseille, where I am originally from.

And, since I only travel back there once or twice a year, over the years there have been a lot of things that I’ve not been there to experience and share with them.

There will also certainly be more occasions that I will miss in the future. My nan is 90 this year and my sister is also getting married soon – I’m sad that I won’t be there to celebrate these big occasions with them.

Family photos are so important

So, yes, although I live in England because I love it here, there are definite downsides to being away from family. Perhaps, if you’re living here but are originally from another country, you can relate?

Why sharing photos is a family tradition

Because I am living in a different country to my family, I’m sad that I miss out on important family occasions, like weddings, births and birthdays.

I’ve missed out on seeing my nieces and nephews being born and growing up. Just as my Nan, my parents and sister over in France have missed out on seeing my two boys grow up.

This is why, as a family, we really value photography.

Keeping the family connection alive

Although I regularly take portraits of my boys so that I can keep a record of them as they grow, I also make sure that I send these photos as gifts to my French family.

My boys in 2016

My boys in 2016

My boys in 2018

Growing up fast! Pictured in November 2018.

Every Christmas and on birthdays too, portraits of the boys, and the occasional family photo, are sent over to France. What’s great is that they do the same, and I just love receiving photos of my French family.

Having a physical photo of them in my home, not just a digital copy saved on my phone or hard drive somewhere is wonderful. By far, my favourite gift every single year!

For our family, photos help to close the physical distance between us. That is why they are so important to us.

Do you document your growing family in photographs?

Many of my clients are Europeans living in London, and they often say to me that photos are so important to them for the same reasons.

They hire me as their family portrait photographer because they want to have professional-quality photos to look back in years to come. But also because they want to share them with family and friends.

Whether they come to me for maternity portraits, newborn photography, or to have updated photographs taken of their toddlers, older children or, together, as a family, my clients appreciate the value of family photography.

The importance of family photos

  • Do you share this belief in the importance of family photos?
  • Do you have family members who you don’t get to see that often that would appreciate an updated photo?
  • And if so, would you like to have some child or family portraits taken?

If you’re looking to invest in professional family photos, whatever the time of year, I believe that you’d be making a great investment. I literally can’t overstate the importance of family photos!

I’d love to see you and your family in my photography studio soon so that I can help you capture these precious family moments.

Please get in touch to enquire about my availability by completing this contact form.

What to wear to your autumn family photoshoot

If you’ve booked an autumn family photoshoot with me, you’ll likely be wondering what you should all wear for the photos.

I know this because it’s often the very first question my clients ask me after they’ve made the booking. And I understand completely.

After all, for us ladies, deciding what to wear most days is hard enough, isn’t it?

Let alone, when you are going to be photographed by a professional photographer!

Your outfits are an important consideration

Autumn family photo walks in London

The common challenge parents have when it comes to family portrait sessions is deciding what the whole family should wear so that you all look good. (Although let’s be honest, it’s usually mum who is in charge of sorting the outfits, right?)

You’ve booked a family photoshoot because you want an up-to-date picture of your family. But you know that the clothes you’ll all wear on the day will impact the overall look of the photos, so you want to choose wisely.

You don’t want the photos to look dated in just a few years’ time.

And, ideally, you want to look the very best possible versions of yourselves. You want to hang the best photos from your session on your walls at home and be proud to look at them every day.

Well, your luck’s in because today I’m sharing my top tips for what to wear to your autumn family photoshoot.

I want to help you avoid the stress that can come when trying to decide on the outfits. I don’t want you to go into a tailspin about this!

What to wear to your autumn family photoshoot

1. Consider the colours of the season

My first tip is to consider the seasonal colours that you’ll be photographed amongst.

The lovely rich reds, oranges and browns will likely be the backdrop to your photoshoot, so I’d suggest you take the lead from nature. Use this as inspiration for the clothes you choose to wear for the portrait session.

So, colour-wise – anything that complements these gorgeous autumn colours will work really well.

That means warm neutrals, creams, tan, beige, orange, mustard yellows, and light and dark browns. Navy blues, greys and warm berry colours also look fantastic at this time of year.

Family portrait in London

2. Aim to create a coordinated look

Once you’ve chosen a colour palette, the next thing to do is aim to carry that through the clothes of your entire family.

You won’t want to make this look like you’ve tried too hard. But a subtle, underlying theme running through all of your outfits will create a coordinated look.

So, just avoid putting your daughter in a bright pink cardigan for example, if the rest of the family are wearing creams and browns.

For variety, wear different patterns and introduce different textures in your clothes to make the colour scheme not look too contrived.

Outdoor family portrait

3. Layer up!

Although we are often spoilt with beautiful and mild autumns, here in the UK, I would still suggest that you get cosy and layer up for your autumn family photoshoot.

I will be taking pictures of you for only a short while, but I don’t want you to come underdressed and potentially catch a chill if the weather isn’t at its best.

Nor will you want to look cold in the photos – chattering teeth and huddled shoulders will not look good on the photos!

So, bring a coat – you can always take it off if it’s mild and you really don’t want to wear it. Also, wear chunky knitted jumpers that look great in autumn. And accessories – scarves, hats, gloves – these are all great for portrait sessions at this time of year too.

Young boy during Autumn photo walk

4. Wear suitable footwear

One thing that can easily be overlooked is what footwear to come in for your autumn family photoshoot.

I always suggest you bring along a pair of wellies if there has been rain ahead of your photoshoot. The ground can be wet.

But, if you can, wear only plain coloured wellies and that includes the kids – bright colours and patterns will distract the eye and be the focus of the picture, rather than you.

Otherwise, ladies, come in ankle books or knee-high boots over jeans, men can wear smart canvas pumps or shoes – whatever they feel comfortable in. Kids look great in boots or smart shoes or pumps. Just avoid sports trainers if you can.

Inspiration and examples of what to wear to your autumn family photoshoot

If you’ve booked one of my limited-availability autumn photo walks, or whether you have booked an outdoor family portrait session, to be held at a venue of your own choice, what you should definitely do is give plenty of thought to your family’s outfits beforehand.

Take a look at my Autumn clothing inspiration board on Pinterest– I’ve created it especially for you. It’s packed full of examples of chic family outfits that would work really well on camera.

I hope it helps to give you lots of inspiration for what to wear to your autumn family photoshoot this year.

Do post in the comments below about what colour scheme you have decided on, or feel free to contact me on 07507 665493 or complete the contact form on my website if you need any more help.

Sandra x

Autumn family photo walks in London

Six reasons to join me on my 2018 Autumn Photo Walks in London

Autumn will soon be here! And so I’m delighted to announce that I’ll once again be offering my popular autumn photo walks in London for six local families.

Will you be one of them?

Autumn Photo Walks in London

My autumn photo walks will be a one-day-only event and will be held at my favourite park in London, Shrewsbury Park, SE18,

You can join the waiting list here to be kept up to date with more details as I announce them.

My autumn photo walks are an opportunity for you to have family portraits taken in the great outdoors, among the beautiful autumn colours.

You’ll experience an informal, relaxed photoshoot and receive professional family photos that you’ll love.

Autumn family photo walks in London


There are so many reasons to join me on an autumn photo walk

  1. Beautiful autumnal colours

Autumn is a photographer’s dream.  The beautiful colours of the leaves create a stunning backdrop for outdoor portraits, and nowhere more so than in Shrewsbury Park.

I’ve always loved going there with my boys and my autumn walks last year worked out brilliantly.  Which is why I’ve chosen it as the location for this year. It’s one of my favourite places to visit in London during autumn.

The vibrant reds, yellows and burnt oranges are simply stunning. I just love autumnal colours! Don’t you?

Autumn family and child portraits


  1. Relaxed, cosy sessions

During one of my autumn photo walks, there’s no need to stress about what to wear or to worry if you need to lose a few pounds before having your photo taken! (But if you want to plan your family’s outfits, you might find my Pinterest style guide useful).

Otherwise just come in your chunky knits, coats, scarves, hats, gloves and welly boots. That will be just perfect!

As someone who totally understands that having your photo taken can make you feel self-conscious, I’d encourage you to get really cosy in your winter warmers and just focus on enjoying yourself and your family!

We’ll take a relaxed walk together and I’ll photograph you as you kick among the fallen leaves and enjoy the fresh air and the great outdoors.

  1. Great value

My autumn photo walk sessions are priced just £99 so they won’t break the bank. And this price includes a private 20-minute session with me, plus five digital images!

I’m offering just this one super simple package which offers you great value professional portraits, and right in time for Christmas.

Two boys in the woods during Autumn

  1. Natural family portraits you’ll love

Sitting for a photographer in a photography studio environment isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But my autumn family walks are really relaxed and great fun!

You’ll be outdoors enjoying the fresh air and the large open spaces of Shrewsbury Park, and that makes for great, natural pictures.

I’ll capture you and your family as you really are. And you can even bring along the dog if you wish, too!

  1. Short sessions so you can get on with enjoying the rest of your day

The sessions are just 20 minutes long, so are short and sweet.

This is plenty of time for me to capture some great family photos but not so long that your children will get bored of posing for the camera!

There won’t be any need for you to spend a long time outside if you don’t want to. Although I wouldn’t blame you if you did want to hang around in the park, as it’s lovely there at this time of year.

  1. You’ll beat the Christmas rush

Yes, the shops may be stacking their shelves high with Christmas goodies, but autumn is still only the start of the countdown to Christmas.

So, if you come on one of my autumn photo walks, you’ll have plenty of time to order your portraits to be printed and framed, or made into canvases, before Christmas. They’ll make perfect Christmas gifts, after all.

I’ll send you a link to view your images after the session and then you can choose your favourite five. Once I’ve received your selections, I’ll send them over to you as digital files – quick and easy!

Autumn photo walk with Sandra Cullen Photography


Book your autumn photo walk today

If you’re interested in my autumn photo walks, join my waiting list here and I’ll keep you updated with more information about these sessions as it becomes available.

You’ll be among the very first to know when the sessions become available to book. I’ll also give you priority access to the booking form so that you can secure your preferred time slot.

Remember, I am only offering these sessions on one day and there are just six sessions up for grabs, so join the wait list today. Based on how popular they were last year, I’m anticipating that the six sessions will sell out fast!

If you have any questions about my autumn photo walks in London, simply complete this contact form to get in touch. 

Sandra x