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Photos you should take of your children include baby, toddler and preschool portraits

Thirty photos you should take of your children

As both a baby photographer and a mum, you won’t be surprised to hear that I’m passionate about recording family moments in photographs.

And this is true to the extent that I literally don’t go anywhere without my camera or my phone and am always taking snaps of my two boys.

Whether it’s them playing in the garden, at their much-loved jujitsu class or when they are just goofing around after school, I believe it’s so important to capture everyday moments in photos.

Photographing family moments

You, like me, probably have thousands of snapshots of your children, yes?

After all, it’s so easy to grab our camera phones. So, we certainly have no shortage of photos of our kids.

Smiling toddler by Sandra Cullen Photography

But, in addition to those important everyday moments, there are many key milestones that I think are absolutely essential to record in photos during your baby’s first few years of life.

There are just so many photos you should take of your children.

 

Free checklist

Which is why I have created a downloadable checklist which is available to you for free if you join my mailing list.

My checklist includes no less than 30 photos that I would encourage you to take throughout your child’s early years.

It covers off all the key developmental stages from newborn through to that first day at school, listing my recommendations of what to photograph at each stage.

Photos you should take of your children

The idea is that you download and print off the checklist, pin it to your noticeboard or fridge and tick them off the photos as you go. Plus, there’s space to add your own ideas too.

Subscribe to my newsletter to claim your free checklist

The free checklist will be yours as a thank you for signing up for my newsletter.

As a subscriber, you’ll receive occasional news and updates about my products and services, plus useful photography tips to help you capture great photos at home.

Sign up here and I’ll then send you your copy straight away.

Once you’ve downloaded the checklist, I hope you’ll agree that it serves as a handy reference of what moments to capture and as a reminder to ensure that you don’t miss any of those key milestones in your baby’s early years.

Whether you opt to take these pictures yourself or choose to hire a professional baby photographer like me, it will certainly be time well spent.

Fleeting childhood memories

As we all know, time just flies, and children grow up so fast.

You’ll be taking sleeping pics of your curled up newborn bundle one minute and then before you know it, you’ll be chasing after your carefree toddler.

The pre-school years go so quickly! Which is why I created the checklist.

A first birthday celebration is one of the photos you should take of your children

I’m often asked what occasions are important for parents to photograph, and the checklist answers that very question by listing all the photos you should take of your children.

Of course, I encourage you to take photos of your kids EVERY SINGLE DAY, but I’d recommend that you’re especially careful to photograph the 30 photos listed on the checklist.

Photos you’ll just love to look back on

Based on my experience as both a mum and a professional baby photographer, these are the important moments that you’ll love to look back on in years to come and you won’t want to miss.

Photos you should take of your children include baby, toddler and preschool portraits

If you don’t take these photos of your children, your memories will be all you have left. And as we all know, photographs last far longer than memories, which can fade over time.

So, don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter in order to get your free copy of the checklist ’30 must-have pictures of your children’.

And if you’d let to get in touch to enquire about booking a professional photoshoot with me, please contact me at sandra@sandracullenphotography.com or call 07507 665493.

I offer a Baby Plan package which includes the opportunity to have your baby professionally photographed at three stages within their first year – you can discover more details here.

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.

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!

Sleeping newborn baby by Sandra Cullen Photography

How to choose a newborn photographer

You’re a parent-to-be and are considering hiring a newborn photographer. You want professional photos of your baby once he or she arrives because you have seen how beautiful these images can be.

But what are the criteria on which you should choose a newborn photographer?

After all, you only need to Google “newborn photographer” to realise that there are many out there. So how should you decide which newborn photographer to hire?

  • On reputation?
  • On price?
  • Or on something else entirely?

Choosing a newborn photographer

Sleeping newborn baby by Sandra Cullen Photography

Believe me, this is not a decision that you should take lightly. You’ll want to choose a newborn photographer that is the perfect fit for you and your family.

Each photographer offers something different to the next, and there are many factors to consider.  So, in today’s blog I’m sharing my top tips to help you choose a newborn photographer:

1: Ask for recommendations

It’s definitely worthwhile asking any new parents you know for their recommendations. Whether that’s friends or family, or even parents that you have met at your NCT or antenatal classes. Simply ask if they used a newborn photographer and, if so, who and would they recommend them?

You could also join Facebook groups for parents in your local area, and ask for recommendations in there. Most parents are more than happy to tell others which newborn photographer they used and are proud of the photos that they have had taken. Also ask for them to share examples of the portraits they had taken of their babies, as this will give you an idea of the end result.

Also look online for reviews – on Google+ and on their Facebook pages. These will give you an insight into how well they are regarded by previous customers.

2: Ensure that you love the style of their portraits

How to choose a newborn photographer

All photographers offer something different, so it’s important to choose a newborn photographer whose work you not only like, but love.

Have a good look at their gallery or portfolio on their website. If you find that you adore almost all of the images on there and would like that style of photo for yourself, then you have found a good match.

  • Do they use colours that you like? I use neutrals and dusky pinks, greys and beiges most often in my newborn portraits – are those the colours you like?
  • Do you like the props they use? Most newborn photographers use tiny headbands, hats and outfits?
  • Do you like how they have positioned the baby in the photo?
  • Would you be happy if the photographer produced that photo featuring your baby?
  • And do you love their work enough to want to hang it on your walls at home?

If you’ve answered yes when reviewing a potential newborn photographer’s gallery, it’s a safe bet that you will love the images they could produce for you.

3: Consider your available budget for newborn photography

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

Newborn photography is now a popular way of celebrating the arrival of a new baby into the family. But, just because it is popular, that doesn’t mean it is cheap.

In fact, newborn photography is still relatively expensive. After all, it is a highly specialised service. Photographers will have gone through lots of expensive training and will also have costly equipment and business costs to cover. The price of newborn photography naturally reflects that.

So it’s important to do your research about the prices newborn photographers charge. You need to know that you can afford at least their most basic package BEFORE you book.

As with everything, there are some photographers who are more expensive than others so it’s important to shop around and find one that matches your budget.

While I wouldn’t recommend that you base your decision solely on price, do review the pricing of the photographers you are considering. It’s usually somewhere on their website – or request a price list if you can’t see it online.

If a price seems too good to be true though, there is usually a catch! I strongly recommend that you beware of cut-price newborn photographers! Low prices could reflect the fact that the photographer is inexperienced, and the last thing you want is an amateur to be handling your precious newborn baby. Use a professional and experienced newborn photographer or you may regret it later!

4: Check what products they offer as part of their packages

Continuing on from the last point, make sure you check two further things.

  • What products they offer as part of their packages. What’s included and what isn’t?
  • And what specification of products will you be able to buy after your photoshoot?

All photographers price their services differently so it’s important to understand what is included in the packages of the photographer you choose. This helps to avoid any surprises later.

Photo Packages

It’s worth pointing out that most photographers charge an initial session fee – anything from £50-150 usually. This covers their time for the photoshoot, but nothing else. No photos – whether digital files or printed photos or albums – are usually included in this price. Presuming you want to buy the photos afterwards, there will be product packages for you to choose from which are charged in addition to the ‘session’ or ‘booking’ fee.

So having a firm idea of the maximum budget you have available will allow you to decide what photo prints or albums you can afford once you have done the photoshoot.

Awake baby by Sandra Cullen Photography

Product Quality

And, it’s also important to check that you are happy with the range and quality of the photo products that are available. By that, I mean the albums, frames and wall art.

I know that my clients want to hang their baby photos on the walls at home and that they want something high quality and far superior to what they can find on the high street. They don’t want a cheap looking frame, or something that reflects the light or will fade over time. And they want something different – a real WOW piece.

So I offer aluminium wall art, and this is my best selling product.

What products do the newborn photographers you are considering offer? Would you like these in your home?

5: What level of customer service can you expect?

How to choose a newborn photographer - tips by Sandra Cullen Photography

Finally, the level of customer service can vary from one photographer to the next. Every aspect of the process is a chance for your newborn photographer to differentiate themselves from the competition, and to offer an exceptional level of service.

Will your newborn photographer rise to that challenge? Will they take care of everything from the moment you make that first enquiry until the day your photo artwork is complete, making you feel like a V.I.P.? Or is their service more basic?

  • Will they keep in touch with you as baby’s due date approaches?
  • Will they provide tips on how to prepare for your newborn photoshoot or tell you what to expect in advance?
  • Will they allow you to customise the photoshoot or not?
  • Do they offer extras when you are at the photography studio like free refreshments or nappies, wipes and milk?
  • Do they take care of all the ordering of the photos and photo products?
  • Will they deliver your completed artwork or will you need to collect it from the studio?

You’ll get an idea of what level of service is on offer from looking at their websites and reading reviews from previous customers. You don’t need to go for a V.I.P. experience, but you’ll certainly want to choose a newborn photographer who offers excellent customer service.

How to choose a newborn photographer

Choosing a newborn photographer is not as straight forward as you might first imagine! So I hope that these tips are useful to you as you start the process yourself.

And if you would like any further information about my newborn photography services please visit my newborn gallery and my pricing page and find out more about me here. Or call me on 07507 665493, email me at Sandra@sandracullenphotography.com or complete this form.