WHAT TO EXPECT

 

I am  a 100% natural light photographer offering custom and lifestyle portraiture in a relaxed setting in order to capture life’s precious moments.  My photography style is relaxed, artistic, and candid, and I will never ask for forced smiles or awkward poses, especially with children.  The smiles and giggles, funny faces, pouts, and tears are all details that make your child or family unique.  I take pride in letting my clients relax allowing their natural personality come out.  It makes the very best photographs. 

 

Newborn sessions customarily take place at my home studio in Mohammed Bin Zayed City in Abu Dhabi.  Outdoor locations are available and encouraged when weather permits. 

 

Maternity sessions are taken primarily indoors for privacy reasons.  Outdoor locations are great and encouraged if in a discreet location in order to maintain proper respect for local laws and customs. 

 

Outdoor locations work great for family and children portraits and there are plenty of great locations in the city of Abu Dhabi and the surrounding area that provide a wonderful backdrop for photo sessions – beach, urban city streets, a grove of palm trees, under an overpass, in the desert, local parks.  Many of the hotels in the city afford a variety of backdrops both indoor and outdoor which provide options during the hot summer months.  Early morning and late afternoon/early evening light works best for photographs taken outdoors. 

 

Photos will be generally edited for blemishes, bruises, and scratches.  Skin will be smoothed a bit so it looks naturally soft.  This will assist with wrinkles on mature adults.  However, I do not believe in extreme photo enhancing.    Too much processing takes away from the realism of the person and gives a fake appearance.   After all, the idea is to capture someone at the moment, not make them look ten years younger.

 

Booking sessions early is encouraged as this gives the photographer time to prepare for the various sessions with props and location decisions.  The best time to book a newborn session  is while you are still pregnant.  Your due date will be penciled in on the calendar.  Then, as soon as the baby arrives, call and let me know so an exact date and time can be scheduled.   Maternity sessions are also good to book well in advance of 32 weeks. 

 

Model releases will be required prior to the photo shoot.  This can be done in person at the time of the shoot or online via the website.  Although I have exclusive copyright to all images, written permission is preferred, and must be obtained in order to post images on social media and the internet in the UAE.  Every precaution is taken to respect your privacy.    

 

Newborn Sessions

The best time to photograph a newborn is within the first three weeks, preferably between 3-14 days old.  The earlier the better because newbies tend to sleep more, are more easily posed, and tend to curl up easily.  Newborn acne and colic tend to flare up at around two weeks of age as well.  Newborn sessions to tend to last three to four hours allowing plenty of time for feedings and comforting.  Camille and Company Photography supplies all the props for your newborn session such as clothing, baskets, blankets, beanies, etc.   You are welcome to bring special items of your own and we will incorporate them into your session.   Talk to me about any special requests prior to the shoot and I will do my best to make it happen.  

Do not be discouraged if you cannot schedule a session in the preferred time period.  That does not mean you cannot capture your newborn.  Birth recovery and adjusting to parenthood can be daunting.  Schedule a session when you are most comfortable getting out with your baby.

To ensure your newborn session goes well, please review the following suggestions:

  • Try to keep your baby awake for at least 45 minutes prior to your session and feed your baby about 30 minutes prior to your session so baby is very sleepy.  Give baby a bath, arm and leg stretches, tickle their feet, even while they are sleeping to prevent them from getting too deep asleep before we start.  We want them to fall into this deeper sleep during our session.
  • Baby will be photographed au naturale so the temperature in the room will be kept warmer than usual.   Parents might want to dress accordingly.   We’ll be using warm blankets and providing white noise to help soothe baby during the session.
  • You might want to bring an extra change of clothes.  Babies mean little surprises!  You may be asked to assist during the session by holding poses, soothing and settling baby, moving props, etc.
  • Dress your baby in clothes that do not need to go over his/her head.  Something that snaps or zips up the front is best or bring baby swaddled.  Baby will be unclothed or swaddled the entire session. 
  • Peeling/flaking skin on newborns is quite common.  Massage baby lotion on baby’s skin prior to the session in order to reduce flaky skin.  Make sure to rub it in well as we do not want a sheen to the baby's skin.  
  • Safety is number one when it comes to photographing babies.  Your baby will never be forced into poses that he/she does not comfortably or naturally adjust into.  Someone will always be a few inches away out of camera range to ensure baby’s safety.  Every precaution will be taken to keep baby safe, however the responsibility of your infant’s safety is your own.  Should you feel uncomfortable with anything during your session, please feel free to speak up.  We will make adjustments. 
  • The most important thing is for parents to relax.  Babies can feel your tension.  We want baby to relax and sleep comfortably.  Do not worry if your baby does not sleep or cries during the session.  Some of the most beautiful newborn photos are with eyes wide open and a crying shot is always fun to have in your gallery for “old times sake.” 
  • All props are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized and soiled linens washed after each session.  Hands will be thoroughly washed prior to handling baby and sanitizer will be available for use during breaks in the session. 
  • Should  me or anyone in my household have an illness, you will be notified prior to your session and the session rescheduled.  Session fees will be refunded for sickness if the session cannot be rescheduled within a reasonable time period.

 

Maternity Sessions

Maternity sessions are a great way to capture the excitement and anticipation of a new arrival.  It is also a time when your body is at its most feminine.  Maternity photos are best shot after 32 weeks and will be customized just for you.  Exposing your growing belly is a big part of a maternity session.  These sessions are done in the privacy of my home studio and afford you to be in various states of undress without worry.  Maternity sessions outdoors are also quite beautiful.  In the UAE, it can be difficult to photograph outdoors with your body exposed due to local customs and laws.  We can work around this by shooting in discreet locations or outdoor walled locations that afford privacy.  If exposing your body is not comfortable for you, there are many ways to document your pregnancy and take beautiful shots of your growing belly without showing skin.   So don’t hesitate to think outside the box.  Talk to me about it.  I have lots of ideas.  

 

Children Sessions

First and foremost, our goal is not to capture perfection, but a good representation of who your children are at this point in time in their lives.  This is why it is called lifestyle photography.  Children will not always cooperate.  This is just a fact of life so do not let this stress you.  It is not uncommon for children to become shy when a stranger is behind the camera.  We will find ways to bring out the best in your child.  If we don’t, then we’ll capture that too!  Should your child become very unhappy and overly uncooperative, then it is best to reschedule the shoot. 

 

To ensure your child’s session goes well, please review the following suggestions:

 

  • Try to make sure your child is well rested and fed before the session.  Give them at least 30 minutes down time to relax and regroup if your session follows school or extra curricular activities.

 

  • Bring along some of their favorite snacks.  These can be used as “bribery” or snack time during a break in the session. 

 

  • For toddlers and young children, bring along a bag of favorite toys, that special blanket or cuddle, a sippy cup of juice, or something you know comforts your child.  This works especially well when the session includes multiple children and individual photos are taken during the session.  

 

  • Camille and Company Photography provides props, headbands, and some clothing items and/or jewelry.  Clothing can be discussed prior to the shoot and will depend on the nature of the photo shoot (urban, vintage, beachy, sports theme, etc.)  For clothing tips and ideas, take a look at my Pinterest page.  Personal props from your home or favorite toys of your child are welcome to be used during the session.  There are many children's clothing websites that provide unique and custom styled children's attire.  Please let me know in advance and I can share some of these sites for mail ordering.

 

  • When working with children, it is always a good idea to have something for them to look forward to at the end.  I always try to think of something that children will enjoy doing and save it for the end of the shoot.  It can be used as encouragement throughout the shoot so they know something fun will result.  I usually  do a funny face portion of the session to lighten things up.  Kids love making faces and being goofy for the camera.  Let me know your children’s favorite things such as toys, TV, hobbies, etc.  so we can talk about these things during the session as well. 

 

  • The best shoots with children are outdoor locations that allow them to roam around, play, and be children.  The best way to capture good shots is to let them go, do their own thing a bit,  and follow their lead.  Parks and playgrounds are good locations.  Many hotels in Abu Dhabi have good locations outdoors with great backdrops for kids.  I have  a few good indoor locations that provide good light and big windows with lots of streaming sunshine should the weather not permit an outdoor shoot.  The summer months are difficult for outdoor photography in the UAE, but I have ways to work around it. 

 

Family Sessions

Most of the same rules apply when it comes to photographing families.  Make sure everyone is fed and well rested.  This prevents crankiness and sour facial expressions.   

A family session should be a fun experience with lots of natural smiles and laughter.  Cut up with each other, make funny faces, or whatever it takes to relax the group.  Most of all, be yourself and let your individual personalities shine through. 

Check out my recommendations about clothing and color coordination in What to Wear.  Do some research on the internet looking at professional photos of families and see what style you like and color combinations appeal to you. Let me know if you need help.  You can check out my Pinterest page for clothing ideas and articles about coordinating group clothing.

Bring snacks and toys for young children and water for everyone. 

 

Headshots

Today photos are commonly used on CVs, resumes, websites, and social media such as Facebook and Pinterest.  Everyone needs a photo for something these days.  Why not make it professional and uniquely yours?  A headshot does not have to be taken in a studio with a white or black background.   Non-traditional headshots can be personal and express who you are and/or what you do professionally.  Thinking outside the box will make your headshot stand out in the crowd.  Take some time to think about the image or images you want to project  - you can change outfits or styles in order to use your headshots both personally and professionally.  Check out my suggestions in What to Wear.  

 

Gender Reveal Sessions

Finding out the sex of your child is exciting and something you want to share with family and friends.  Gender reveal sessions can be fun and add to the excitement of expecting a baby.  This is an opportunity to be creative and use fun props to get your message across.  Check out my Pinterest  for creative ideas or come up with some of your own.  Either way it is sure to be a session packed with fun and excitement.