Category Archives for "Photography"

How to Store Old Photos and Preserve Precious Memories

In 2017, people took 1.2 trillion digital photos in 2017. This figure doesn’t account for non-digital photographs. Behind every photo that an individual takes, there’s a story.

A picture will help you relive that moment when you made the most critical decision of your life. It also could be the moment your child took their first step. A photo could also capture members of your family representing four generations. 

Whatever memory your photos bring, it’s only essential that you know how to store old photos. You can frame some pictures or put them in albums. However, there’ll always be large piles stacked away in drawers and boxes. 

Here’s a guide on how to store such photos.

historic camera pictures

1. Always Lay Photographs Flat on Their Backs

Rolling photos should never cross your mind as doing so can cause the back and front to stick together. This will damage the photo’s primary purpose and cause further damage as you unfurl the photograph. Make it easier for yourself and other people to relive those memories by laying the photos flat on their back. 

2. Resist the Urge to Make Adjustments

Photos stored away in boxes or drawers may develop creases. Trying to flatten out such creases may cause damage that you may not notice immediately. Photo experts warn against the use of chemicals in trying to restore a photo. 

You don’t want to destroy the only proof of how amazing you looked in your beautiful wedding dress. Only go for professional services if you’ve got photos in poor condition that you’d like to preserve.

3. Label Your Photos

It’s essential to capture vital details about your photo before storing them away. Things like the date, venue, event, and persons in the picture will help enhance the memory. Label the back of the photo using an archival marker or a soft pencil. 

Avoid using a ballpoint pen to write on the photographs. The pressure from the pen will damage the photo. Besides, the ink might fade with time, watering down your labeling efforts. 

4. Use Acid-Free and Chemically-Neutral Materials to Store Photos

In the past, photo albums were made from magnetic or peel-and-stick materials. These materials were usually ordinary plastic, cardboard, and glue. If this is what you’ve used to store your old photos, consider using modern-type albums. 

When buying a photo album, look for one with an “acid-free” label. The safest place to find such is in a camera store or an art supplies shop. Chemically-free albums will prevent your photographs from acquiring a yellow discolouration. 

Before storing the photos, remove any staples, glue, tape, or rubber bands that may dent, scratch, or stain them. You may stack pictures on top of each other, but separate them using sheets of acid-free paper. 

5. Conditions for Storage

Your photos will only be safe and will last longer if you choose the right storage conditions. Photographs are printed onto paper using ink and various pigments. Their quality can become degraded or compromised over time, depending on the storage conditions. 

Ideally, when choosing a storage spot, think about three primary conditions as follows. 

leather case camera sepia pictures

I). Humidity

The National Archives and Records Administration recommend storing photos between 15% and 65% relative humidity. Storing photos in extremely dry conditions will make the paper brittle. A lot of moisture will create an environment for the growth of mold and mildew on the pictures. 

It will also cause the ink to fade and the pictures to stick to each other. Higher humidity also creates an environment for insect infestations. 

II). Temperature

The temperature of your storage space is essential to consider. This is because photos do well in low temperatures. The process of degradation is slow, and the paper ink doesn’t fade. The area should always stay below 24°C. 

Temperature fluctuations aren’t good, so garages are out of the question for photo storage. 

III). Light

Whether you frame your photos or store them in boxes, keep them away from direct sunlight. Dark locations are an excellent preservation measure as they prevent the ink and pigments from fading. Long exposure of photos to UV and fluorescent light breaks down images and cause them to fade. 

These storage conditions should also apply to your negatives if using film photography. Always clean your hands before handling photos and hold them by their edges. 

Take Away

Photographs tell a story that the owner may not live to tell. Their storage and preservation are of the essence if the memories are to be passed down to future generations. Photos during family gatherings, baby’s milestones, life events like weddings and birthdays are important to families. 

For proper preservation of photos, ensure you use acid and chemical-free materials. When stacking pictures, ensure you put sheets of paper between them to prevent them from sticking together. Other important considerations are humidity, temperature, and light intensity. 

By preserving your precious memories, you’ll have sweet memories to pass to future generations. 

Hope this helps!
Margherita :)

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Portrait Photography Hesitation: Why you don’t need retouching

Portrait Photography Hesitation is something many people experience.

Capturing moments in time. That’s what portrait photography is all about. However, when it comes to getting our pictures taken, many of us tend to be reluctant to get it done. We experience portrait photography hesitation. Perhaps we feel a bit old or aren’t too happy with our weight, blemishes, acne or other conditions we may be facing.

Portrait Photography Hesitation

Many people have not had good experiences in the past when getting their portraits done. This is mainly because of the wide angle cameras that are frequently used by our family when taking snap shots. These cameras make everything look wide. Another issue people face is that it usually takes such a long time for someone to take a picture of us that our smiles drop, we look awkward and the picture captured is not as flattering as we would like. This seems to convince us over time that we are not photogenic and that we need retouching. However, this is often not the case.

Let’s eliminate all the bad photography for a second. These are some of the methods I like to use to make sure the process is fun, quick, clients are happy with the end result and don’t feel the need to retouch.

Proper Lighting is Everything 

A skilled photographer will know in which light to place you so that any flaws you may have are instantly made invisible. I like to make sure the light wraps around your face so that it is not enhancing any wrinkles or blemishes. Placing clients out of direct sunlight is also a good way to hide any flaws. Open lighting is often the best way to go when it comes to portrait photography.

Using a Long Lens

Long lenses flatten and flatter everything so that you look beautiful.

The Right Clothes, Makeup and Poses

As a female photographer, I know how to dress clients in what is flattering for their body shape. The right pose also has the ability to hide flaws instantly.

Creating a Comfortable and Relaxed Environment

A good photographer knows how to make their clients feel relaxed and comfortable. I believe and have seen that a client who feels comfortable with their photographer takes better pictures because they are actually enjoying the process and feeling confident with themselves.

At our studio, my approach is to first eliminate 99 percent of the flaws by using the above methods. People are often surprised at what the right lighting, clothes, makeup and poses can do for their portraits.

If after all of this the client still feels like some things need to be fixed, that’s when we resort to retouching.

For example, I had a client who had Bell’s palsy, which means that one side of her face was dropped a little bit. Although it was a mild case, she knew it was there. We are all very critical of ourselves and tend to focus on flaws that we know are there but no one else can see. In this case, I had the images retouched, having her face lifted up slightly on the one side. She was thrilled with the final result of the images.

I had another client whose child had scars from chicken pox. The lady had been putting off getting her child’s portrait done, hoping the scars would disappear quickly. Well, they didn’t. So instead of missing out on capturing this moment in the child’s life, I took pictures of the child and had them sent for retouching to remove the scars. The final result was pleasing to everyone.

Portrait Photography Retouching

I believe that retouching should not be over-done. The client should still look like themselves when all is said and done. If someone is dealing with permanent issues that won’t go away, or if they feel like they have put on weight that they don’t want to show in the photo, touch-ups can always be done by using our retouching service. But simply retouching a photo that can be otherwise fixed with proper lighting, clothes and poses is not necessary.

Portrait photography is meant to capture moments in people’s lives, and I believe these moments should be as real as possible. With the right photographer, you may just discover that you are perfect the way you are. If you have been putting off a photography session for whatever reason, contact me and we can discuss the best way to work around any issues you may have.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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Embracing Gap-Toothed Smiles and Braces Children’s Portrait Photography

children's portrait photography

Picture this: you have been aching to set up a professional portrait photography session, but one or more of your children just lost a baby tooth and is now sporting a gap-tooth smile. Should you wait for the adult tooth to grow in, or do you capture the cute but gapped smile? Personally, I love taking pictures of children with missing baby teeth. Doing so allows me to photograph the precious moments of childhood that will be over before you know it! I feel the same way about braces, believing that they should be included in photos because they are an integral part of your child’s life at that moment. If you are still on the fence about moving forward with your session planning, see if I can convince you:

Capturing a Sweet Smile with Missing or Gapped Teeth

Children typically loose all of their baby teeth during their primary school years, gradually replacing them with permanent teeth between the ages of about six and twelve. Because of this, you should expect at least one of their yearly school pictures to feature a partially toothless grin! This is an adorable part of childhood that reflects their sweetness and innocence. Unfortunately, this time in their life will also pass quickly. Your child’s cute, goofy, or mischievous grin deserves to be captured on film so you can look back on it in the future.

The alternative is waiting to have professional portrait photography pictures until your child’s adult tooth grows in. However, the chances are that another baby tooth may have fallen out by the time a new adult tooth appears! Plus, if your child has siblings, visits from the tooth fairy will be a regular occurrence. Instead, embrace their uneven or silly-looking grins and cherish this time in their lives.

Feeling Comfortable with Braces in Pictures

Having braces can be a touchy subject, even though they are more common than ever before. Some kids feel self-conscious, and you might think that most parents would hesitate to book a portrait photography session during this time. In reality, lots of mums have told me over the years that they do want pictures of the braces! Many mums recognize that wearing braces is an important part of a child’s life and that the resulting images will become adorable keepsakes.

When it comes to high schoolers or adults who wear braces, the best thing to do during a shoot is to relax. Smiling naturally will look much better than trying to hide the braces. Doing that often results in a tight and awkward smile, not to mention the posture that comes from feeling uncomfortable about one’s appearance. Plus, you can always get updated images once the braces are off. In the meantime, however, there is no reason not to document and cherish this time and experience.

Finally, do not worry about any possible reflections or glares from the braces themselves. I am well versed in setting up shots so that there are no unwanted glares off of braces, glasses, or jewellery. The right lighting will keep every image looking great.

Celebrate Milestones and Make Fun Memories

Whether someone in your family has braces or is missing teeth, the image will be uniquely you, at that moment. You can look back on them and remember that time in your life, along with the fun experience of the session. You can also have extra, high-quality portraits printed to send to far-away family members who may miss out on these little milestones. I offer plenty of on-location advice and guidance to help everyone feel at ease. The portrait photography session will not be overly formal or complicated, and you will not have to perform or pretend to be having fun. In fact, I welcome and encourage kids and families to giggle, play, and have fun together during a sitting.

The more comfortable your family is, the easier it will be for me to capture your unique personalities, relationships, and bonds.

In addition, booking a session will help show your child that there is no reason to be ashamed of having braces or sporting a goofy grin. After all, no one else is really concerned about these things! If you waited until everyone family members teeth were perfect, you will miss their entire childhood. We can always take some non smiling relaxed images as well. Embrace all of the traits and features that make you “you,” and encourage your children to do the same. When you are ready, talk to me about booking a session. I cannot wait until you see the resulting portraits!

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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Portrait Photography: Getting Young Children to Cooperate

getting young children photos

Photo shoots involving children can be a challenge, whether the little ones are extremely active, camera-shy, or have a very short attention span. Thankfully, there are many ways to help make your portrait photography session a success. Keep scrolling to learn more:

Choose the Right Timing

A word to the wise: please, never book a photo session in the middle of your child’s usual naptime! After all, tired and hungry individuals tend to be grumpy and uncooperative, making it difficult to get the type of shots you want. Although some of the best outdoor lighting can be found in the morning, for example, it is essential to make sure your session does not conflict with naps and meals. Similarly, the light of late afternoons and early evenings is stunning, but such late hours may conflict with your child’s usual bedtime. A late night combined with the excitement of a trip may prove to be overwhelming. For best results, make sure everyone is fed and well-rested, and bring along a few snacks as well, but only bring them out as a last resort.

Pick a Fun Location

Children are much more likely to smile in photographs if they are happy and comfortable in their surroundings. Pick a location where your kids can play. The right location will help kids from getting bored and allow your photographer to capture a variety of natural, playful shots. Personally, I love being able to allow a family to relax and play with each other in the right setting and lighting, maybe amongst the trees?

Bring Shy Kids Out of Their Shell

If possible, arrive at the session a bit early. Doing so will give your children a chance to investigate their surroundings and interact with the photographer. Speaking with the photographer ahead of time, in particular, may help them warm up in front of the camera. Once the shoot has begun, let the photographer take the lead. Avoid over-coaxing or admonishing your kids, as neither method will result in great shots. In fact, trying to control the situation may lead to tantrums or emotional shutdowns. In these cases, I prefer you just chat normally as if you were at home. Don’t tell your kids to smile. That only results in fake grins. If you are cheeky and playful and make it fun, your kids will smile real genuine smiles that show off their true personalities.

To help your child feel more comfortable quickly, you could do something like ask funny questions. The resulting facial expressions and reactions are often priceless! You could also consider including your family dog in the shoot, or making sure that mum or dad is close by and in several shots with your shy little one.

Use a Bit of Bribery

Sessions should be fun, but your little one may need a bit of encouragement along the way. We will make the most of the time they pay attention on set, but you could also try to extend that time with the help of a few small bribes. For example, consider packing a few treats or a “treasure box” with inexpensive goodies as an incentive for your children to cooperate. Ahead of time, you could let them pick out a special outfit or some props that they get to carry and be responsible for during the session. A bit of external motivation often goes a long way in improving behaviour and staying focused.

Portrait Photography: What Not to Do

Although you will want your child to feel comfortable during the photo shoot, try to avoid talking about it for days on end. Discussing every detail can actually increase stress, as children tend to get worked up with anticipation before a big event. Instead, mention the session a couple of times and then give them more details the day of the shoot. On that day, be clear that the session is about having fun and that there is nothing to be nervous about.

During the session, avoid the ever-present impulse to tell your child to smile. Although this advice may seem counter-intuitive, telling a child to smile often results a forced, cheesy grin. Natural smiles come from being comfortable and having a good time, which is the goal of your session.

Need More Advice?

If you are still concerned about how your child might behave during a portrait photography session, reach out and contact me. Whether your family includes multiple, active little ones, or a child with special needs, I will work with you on an individual basis to capture beautiful images. Book a session today or contact me for more information.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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Where to Hang Your Family Portrait Photos

Where to hang your family portrait photos

Hanging framed photographs can liven up boring walls, personalise your space, and keep fun memories close at hand. However, not all walls and rooms are created equally. Your family portrait photos may begin to deteriorate if they experience too many extremes and variations in light, humidity, and heat. Here are several tips for hanging your images in a way that both protects them and adds to your home’s décor.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Although bountiful sunlight is a selling point for many homes, those large windows and open blinds can wreck havoc on your framed images. The ultraviolet radiation in light can cause fading and discolouration. Start protecting your images by using conservation glass or another type of frame glass proven to help reduce UV rays. Next, reduce direct exposure to light, including sunlight, fluorescent lighting, and incandescent lighting. There are specialty bulbs that have UV shields, but at the very least you should avoid, for example, placing a floor lamp directly beside a framed image.

Protect Against Humidity

High humidity can encourage mildew and mould growth, even around and within framed pictures. Thankfully, there are several little tips you can use to prevent this type of damage. For starters, check the humidity level in your home. Seasonal high humidity can be controlled with the help of air conditioners and other dehumidifiers. Next, try to avoid hanging any framed art in high-humidity areas such as bathrooms and small laundry rooms. Then, make sure the space you choose has good airflow to help minimize humidity fluctuations. Finally, avoiding hanging the frame close to or directly underneath a heating or air conditioning vent.

Although low humidity does not pose as many problems, it could contribute to frame damage and structural weakening. Wood expands and contracts anytime it experiences extremes in humidity. Consider, for example, how your front door swells when it rains and may stick a bit in the doorframe. The swelling and contracting may not be noticeable in a small picture frame, but it could weaken over time. In seasons of low humidity, consider setting up a small humidifier in your home.

Limit Exposure to High Heat

kiss photograpyPhotos can be greatly affected by variations and extremes by heat as well as humidity. Excessive heat can cause deterioration, contributing to fading and cracking. You may think that preventing heat exposure is impossible, especially if you turn on the heat in the summer and open doors and windows in the winter. However, the key to protecting your images is avoiding large temperature fluctuations. If your home is kept at a relatively constant temperature, your images will stay in top-notch condition. Additional tips for reducing fluctuations in temperature include:

  • Hanging items in areas with good air circulation
  • Keeping frames away from heater vents
  • Checking your fireplace and chimney for proper insulation before hanging images
  • Hanging pictures out of direct sunlight

Once you have your lighting, humidity, and heat relatively under control, the next step is finding the perfect places to hang your images.

Best Ways to Feature Your Family Portrait Photos

The options for displaying pictures are endless, including gallery walls, staircase, hallways, living rooms, kitchens, and more. For example, consider combining one to three images with the rest of the room’s décor, including furnishings and other accessories. Alternatively, choose multiple images and create a gallery wall dedicated entirely to this purpose. There are many ways to display multiple frames. If you want a collage of frames, however, plan everything out on paper and by laying the frames out on the floor before hammering nails into the wall!

When choosing the frames themselves, try sticking with a single colour palette or texture. Here are a few examples:

  • Use all the same style and type of frame
  • Use different styles of frames in the same colour
  • Mix and match colours within a set palette
  • Choose all wooden frames, or another texture

No matter how you arrange your images or the types of frames you use, however, make sure each one is fastened securely to the wall. This is especially important in homes with children. Hallways see a lot of traffic, and other rooms experience jumping, playing, and furniture being pushed against the walls. Keep in mind that your new display can be changed up as often as you would like. You can rearrange the frames or rotate in new images every few months.

Need New, Frame-Worthy Photos?

Do all of these tips and ideas have you dreaming about your wall décor? Book a session today for professional couple, maternity, infant, or family portrait photos that are perfect for displaying in your home.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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Did You Eat Too Many Easter Sweets? 4 Tips for Your Upcoming Photo Session

4 tips for your upcoming photo sessions

If you are like me, you may have nibbled on a few too many chocolate treats last weekend and in the days leading up to Easter. The only thing that makes this overindulgence worse is the knowledge of an upcoming photo shoot and the insecurities that may come with it.

However, don’t despair! There is no need to reschedule.

Many of us do not like how we look on camera, but are you only judging yourself based on quick snapshots and forced poses? There are many ways to ensure your photo shoot results in the best family portraits. Here are four tips I have picked up through my years of experience with professional photography in Brisbane.

  1. Choose Slimming Outfits

I want you to feel completely comfortable and happy during your session, even if you think you picked up a few pounds during the holiday season. If you dress in a comfortable yet slimming way, you will feel more confident and have a much better time during the shoot. Although you might think that wearing baggy clothes could give you something to hide behind, they will often make you look larger than you actually are. Patterns can be similarly misleading, and may be more of a distraction for the camera.

Instead, opt for a close-fitting dress or blouse that highlights your natural curves without making you feel as though you are being put on display. Basic black is always a good option, and it is easy to coordinate with other people’s outfits. Another idea is wearing a mid toned button-down shirt, perhaps with a pop a colour like a scarf, to add visual interest and keep the eye moving. The button down shirts don’t cling to tummies.

  1. Consider Your Posing Options

siblingsThere are many different poses that can help elongate your figure and create a slimming effect. There is no need to worry about any of this as I will be there to help get you totally relaxed and looking natural so you will look fantastic.. It’s best not to think about it too much or you will be uncomfortable and un-natural.

I will make sure we hide anything you may want to hide and accentuate your best features, and that is your relaxed happy genuine smile.  I will usually pose you behind someone else or while holding one of your children or even the family pet. Leaning forward helps your arms and neck look great and if you think about how much you love your kids and family, that will complete the atmosphere.

My experience with professional photography in Brisbane means that I will be there to help guide into poses that feel comfortable and look great, so do not stress about this beforehand.

We will take a moment to shake everything out and try to find your best natural posture. Relaxing your shoulders and getting you to breath helps.

Short Versus Long Lenses

Most of the photo’s you don’t like have been taken on a smart phone. These use very wide angles lenses which have the horrible effect of making everything appear larger and rounder. Just what we don’t need. Top that up with someone that takes forever to click and by the time they do, everyone is feeling awkward and you thats it! You have the formula for terrible photo’s.

A professional will use long lenses to capture you at your best. Quickly and in a fun and relaxed way, in the right light that makes your eyes glitter and your face glow. I promise you will be surprised at how good you will look after a professional takes your portraits.

  1. Retouching

Professional photography in Brisbane often includes retouching services. Retouching allows you to relax on set and not worry about what the camera sees. We have an affordable professional retouching service if you want to look younger, thinner and taller etc… They can adjust heavy wrinkles, minor blemishes, skin discolouration, scaring, wounds and more. I have helped people with Bells Palsy get portraits they adore by sending their portraits away for retouching.

However, most of the magic happens with the correct lighting and lens choice, which can make everyone look better! So rest assured that you will look completely natural and radiant.

Contact me today to book a session or discuss your insecurities or uncertainties, I will help you look and feel confident.

Besides, the best family portraits are all about capturing smiles and relationships, not how many chocolate Easter bunnies you recently ate! I hope to hear from you soon.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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Guidelines for Choosing Newborn Photography Props

newborn portraits

Infant portraits sessions typically occur in the first few months of birth, when the baby will sweetly sleep no matter his or her surroundings, outfit, or pose. Although there are many different toys, blankets, and other objects that you could include in the shoot, it is better to start simply. After all, you want all of the focus to be on your infant and not anything else. Here are some great tips for choosing newborn photography props.

Clothing: Think Muted Tones

Although I love photographing older babies and toddlers outdoors, we can schedule infant photo sessions indoors if you prefer. Doing so allows us to create a cosy, quiet, and temperature-controlled environment to take photos, especially if you want some unclothed shots of your baby curled up. However lovely old tree roots look gorgeous with new babies so I’m happy to meet you outdoors as well.

Choose clothing for your baby that will be comfortable, and try not to plan a huge amount of outfit changes. If possible, keep baby wipes on hand and remember that clothes are washable in case of an accident!

When picking an outfit, strive for muted tones rather than very loud and bright colours. Although reds, yellows, oranges, and bright blues are fun and joyful, they can also be distracting in a photograph. The same goes for busy patterns, which may not photograph well.

Blankets: The Base of Your Background

Follow the same guidelines for clothing, but also try to avoid choosing blankets with commercial characters or printed text. The exception is a monogrammed or personalised blanket, which we can put on display for a few shots. Since the blanket is part of your background, think about how your baby’s clothes and skin tone will appear against it. You may want to have a few pillows handy, or even a basket.

Toys and Mementos: Be Selective to Avoid Busy Shots

I love creating simple scenes, which is why we will not need lots of toys or other items around. Still, there are many different ways to include other objects in a photo shoot. For example, we could pose your little one snuggling up to an oversized teddy bear, or have him or her hold a smaller stuffed animal or toy. This is also a great time to include a gift from the grandparents or another family member.

newborn photographyInvolving Others: How to Make Sure You Are Prepared for a Session

Although solo shots of the baby are a necessity, you are welcome to join in the shoot as well. There are many ways that you, your partner, or your other children can be involved. Ideas include:

  • Cradling the baby
  • Parent/s and baby
  • Resting the baby on your stomach or arms
  • Holding hands
  • Letting the family pet lay down nearby
  • Photographing your children holding their new sibling
  • Photographing your children as they peer down at the baby in your arms

In addition to these basic shots, there are countless angles and close-ups I can explore to highlight your family’s bond and connection.

Again, focus on words like simple, natural, and understated. If you want some close-up shots, then consider getting a manicure but skipping the polish or wearing a neutral tone. Simple jewellery can be a nice touch, but remember that all eyes should be on the baby.

How Many Newborn Photography Props Do You Need?

Although most babies do well during a photo shoot, there is no need to drag it on all morning or afternoon. You may be surprised by the vast variety of images I can capture in under an hour. Choose a few items that you might want to include so that we have options, but let me know which ones are prioritised. For example, we could photograph the baby in a parent’s military or work uniform, or wearing part of a seasonal costume. Or, if Grandma knitted a special outfit and you want to send her pictures, photographing that could be a priority.

Contact me today about booking a professional newborn photo session, as these are the most precious moments that you will absolutely want to remember forever.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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4 Things to Know About Maternity Portraits

maternity portraits

Do you only capture your growing baby belly with a quick weekly selfie? Do you wish you had pictures taken during your first pregnancy and plan to do so this time around? Although the chances are that you already made your formal pregnancy announcement to friends and family, there is still plenty to celebrate. Professional maternity portraits are not just about highlighting the baby belly but capturing your glowing smile, loving relationships, and the beauty of your growing family. These photo sessions do require sensitivity and careful planning, but these ideas and tips will help ensure yours is a success:

  1. Choose the Right Timing

Three trimesters may seem interminable right now, but these moments will go by quickly. Many mothers have told me that they regret only having one or two casual snapshots of them while they were pregnant. When you look back as your little one enters toddlerhood, I guarantee that you will be glad that you had professional photos taken! To get started, we will try to plan your photo session at a time in your pregnancy that you look and feel your best.

Although you can schedule a photo shoot anytime during your pregnancy, many photographers recommend booking a session around the beginning of the third trimester. Many women have a beautiful, full shape at this point, but still have enough energy to move around or get up and down easily. I have also photographed women within a month or so of this range, so it is really up to you! You can also consider the season and current weather when deciding whether to book immediately or plan a month out. I love photographing pregnant mothers outdoors, which brings together both their natural beauty and the beauty that is bringing new life to the world.

  1. Creativity is Welcome

There are certain “standard” poses that many pregnant women are keen to have, and I am happy to oblige. At the same time, however, I love taking a mix of shots, both formally posed and more lifestyle or casual. These could include different angles, abstract shots, traditional portraits, close-ups, and more. I will also take both close shots, to highlight your happiness and capture details, and wide shots, to capture you against a stunning background.

  1. Tips for Clothing and Preparation

Your clothes can help dictate the style of a maternity portrait session. For example, bright colours feel fun and lively, while more neutral tones feel calm and harmonious. Either way, plain-coloured clothing photographs much better than stripes, dots, or big prints. To enhance your silhouette, try a form-fitting blouse or dress that has some stretch. Try to avoid t-shirt length sleeves; otherwise, sleeveless, long sleeve, and spaghetti strap tops all photograph well. Finally, feel free to add a pop of style and colour with a scarf or some jewellery.

In addition to choosing your outfits, there are a few other things you might do before your session:

  • Drink plenty of water for healthy, glowing skin.
  • Avoid wearing too much makeup, as I will use the camera to highlight your features.
  • Moisturize any skin that may show, including knees and elbows. However, apply lotion at least an hour before the session so it does not glare.
  • Consider booking a manicure or applying some light-coloured polish for close up shots of your hands around your belly.

Gauzy fabrics can be gathered easily to show off your figure, but you can also show your bare tummy for some shots if you would like! To avoid any clothing or elastic marks, be sure to wear loose-fitting clothing to your session.

  1. Feel Free to Bring Your Family

Including your partner or children in your maternity portrait session will help make your session even more about emotions and relationships than your current figure. The tender relationship between partners, in particular, is incredible to capture on film and something that you will cherish for a lifetime. In addition to portraits alone and as a couple, you can also include your children snuggling up to you, further reflecting your growing family. Another popular choice is to bring along the family pet, which may indeed become quite a jealous “sibling!”

Above all, I want to help capture images that will bring you back to that beautiful, exciting, and whirlwind time in your life. Your pregnancy is miraculous and unique, and something you will want to remember. Focus on the excitement and joy of your pregnancy, and let those emotions show on camera. Give me a call today to talk about scheduling a session, and be sure to let me know when your little one arrives!

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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Discovering Damaged Portraits: How I Saved a Family Photo

photo restoration

I was recently at my mother’s house in the country, and I found a huge box full of photographs. Luckily, it was a plastic box with a plastic lid, so we can assume that most of the creepy-crawly things out in the country might not have gotten into the box to make a mess and chew on the precious images. But while I was there, I went through all of the photographs and discovered a beautiful portrait of mum’s five kids, my siblings and I. Unfortunately, the family photo had not been framed properly, so it did not have a mat board between the image and the glass. The mat board is essential to keep the glass off of the image and protect it over time.

What I picked up was just the photograph and the glass, and the image was stuck to the glass. The worst part about the discovery, however, is that the portrait had fallen off the wall at some point and smashed into lots of pieces, as you can see. There were numerous, shattered pieces of glass stuck to the emulsion of the photograph. The emulsion is the light-sensitive coating on photographs, and if it is peeled away then the image can be completely lost. In this case, the glass was both shattered and stuck to the photograph, and beginning to peel away the valuable emulsion.

Step One: Determining What to Do

damaged family portrait

This is the condition of the print when I found it.

I was determined to save the image if I could, because it is a beautiful picture and a lovely memory. However, simply pulling at the glass would have ripped off the emulsion and completely ruined the image. Plus, the glass was quite sharp, broken apart, and sticking onto the print and cutting it. Since the emulsion was stuck to the glass, I had to find a way to release the adhesiveness without ruining the faces in the photograph. I filled a small tub with pure, filtered water, because it is softer and has fewer impurities than tap water and would not damage the emulsion.

Step Two: Patiently Waiting for Results


Here’s a close up of the damage.

The process of letting the family photo soak took about a week, as the water slowly worked its way under the glass. With this method, I hoped I could get the glass off of the emulsion without that thin coating actually peeling off the photograph itself. This part of the process was really quite distressing, because the glass was stuck to many of the faces. Three of our faces were not too bad; however, my face down on the left end, and that of my baby brother Daniel, were both completely stuck to the glass.
I continued to soak the image, and every day I would have a look and see if anything was beginning to lift. The secret to doing this is being very patient and not trying to force anything. If you try something similar, do not rip or pull at the glass. Instead, just let it sit and let the water work to get under the glass. Slowly but surely, I noticed that some of the shards of glass were coming up, lifting off the face on the bottom left and my face. Each day, more and more small shards could be removed, and after three days I realized that I could save all of the faces and that they were going to be okay.

Step Three: Removing the Rest of the Glass and Surveying the Damage

damaged pictures

Tentative steps…the first piece of glass removed.

Saving the faces in the family photo was the most important part, but there were a few other spots where I knew the glass was severely stuck.






Big relief, I managed to save my face from the broken glass

You can see this in the images, including the bottom left corner where my arms were around my brother. After several days of being patient and occasionally, very gently moving the photograph around to try and get the water under the glass, I managed to lift it all off. Peeling it off was a slow, painstaking process with plenty of trial and error, but it was successful for the most part.

broken glass on print

It’s a patience game for the last stubborn bits of glass

You can see in another picture here where the photograph is soaking in the tub of water, and there are a few places I could not save. In those places, the emulsion scratched and ripped and is still stuck to the glass, or left some discolouration. In fact, if you look at the bottom right side, you can see where the emulsion has been completely ripped off and is gone. You can also see other patches of removed emulsion and scratches, but they didn’t worry me as much since our faces were safe. Just to save those faces was so important, but I did manage to repair a few other minor spots. You can see where a bit of my forehead, my hands, and my brothers arms are damaged, but I managed to eventually soak the emulsion back off the glass and stick it back on the picture.

Step Four: Drying and Scanning the Print

restored family picture

Success. All the broken glass has been removed

In the final image I have shared, you can see the dried print laying on a tea towel. It is still easy to tell how much damage was done because of the shattered, mat-less glass, but I am pleased to say that, for the most part, the faces have been saved and the image has been saved.

The final part of this process will be to take the photograph to a professional with a flatbed scanner to have it digitally scanned. I am not going to put it through a roller or feeder-style scanner, because in some areas the emulsion is already lifting and is quite damaged. The rolling action of a scanner could actually tear the emulsion off and make it worse.

restored family photo

The final result, one precious family photo saved and preserved.

So, I’ve let the image dry now for a couple of weeks, and following the flatbed scan I will get it retouched and make extra prints for my brothers and sisters. It has been a tedious but extremely rewarding journey from my initial shock and dismay at finding the original, damaged image to now. This image is something that is precious for us. It is a beautiful memory of us kids at Jiggi School in Northern New South Wales can be preserved forever, for all of us.

How to Preserve Your Memories with a New Family Photo

As much as I loved finding and preserving an old memory, I also love creating new portraits for families to help them capture their own memories on film. My sessions include a mix of both formal, posed shots and more casual and fun lifestyle shots. If you have any questions or would like more information about session options, feel free to call or email me for a prompt response.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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5 Reasons to Choose an Outdoor Photo Shoot Location Instead of the Studio

outdoor photo shoot

Studios have numerous benefits for portrait sessions, including full light and climate control. However, since you have the option to book an outdoor session, have you ever considered that it might be preferable? From the variety of backgrounds to the natural joy that comes from being outside, here are five reasons to consider booking a non-studio session:

  1. Takes Advantage of the Season

Although the summer season is winding down, there is still plenty of time to book an outdoor session at a park, on the beach, or in another scenic setting. Thanks to our typically mild winters, I do regularly shoot outdoor shoots during cooler weather. Still, planning a session during the summer or early autumn months means not having to worry about dressing in warmer layers. Plus, if you have little ones, they are also more likely to enjoy being outside if the temperature is milder. Ideas for comfortable clothing that still looks great includes sundresses, light button-downs, and solid-coloured t-shirts with jeans.

  1. Stunning Scenery

I schedule portrait sessions in all sorts of locations, making sure that couples and families have a striking background for their images. Although the background is not meant to be the main attraction, of course, there is no shame in showing off your stunning surroundings! If the only pictures of you and your family are at holiday celebrations or other casual events, it is high time for an upgrade. A few wide, scenic shots mixed in with your posed portraits and casual lifestyle images will make quite the frame-worthy, share-worthy collection.

  1. Increases Variety of Shots

outdoor photo shootHave you ever looking through a friend’s personal or online photo album, only to find that most of their shots were taken in the same location? Outdoor photo shoot locations provide endless options for alternate shots and backgrounds, increasing both visual interest and versatility. We can take a group shot in front of a huge tree, turn around and capture your children walking through a field, or zoom in and capture smiling faces against a cloudy blue sky. Some additional ideas include posing in front of:

  • A bridge, gazebo, or other structure
  • An open field with green trees in the distance
  • Your new home
  • A beach or the sand dunes
  • Big tree trunks or a small forest of bamboo
  • Large boulders, rock formations, or old buildings or other structures

Fences, lampposts, and park benches are also possible ready-to-go props that can keep your images fun and varied.

  1. Makes For a Fun Excursion

Consider taking the day off and making your portrait session a fun family event. Packing a picnic, bringing games, and wearing comfortable clothes helps everyone feel more happy and relaxed. If you have any shy children, the chances are that they will be more excited about going out to play on the beach or on a playground than sitting inside of a foreign studio.

I also photograph pets, including dogs and horses. We can plan a shoot at the stable for a variety of memorable shots. Alternatively, talk to me ahead of time about bringing along your family dog, which, with a bit of planning, can be included in both posed and candid images. The result of a morning or late afternoon spent together is a bunch of natural, genuine smiles and laughs that will make your photos worth keeping and sharing.

  1. Outdoor Photo Shoots Can Help You Relax and Let Go

Booking a non-studio session may require a bit of letting go and managing some wind-blown hair, but it is completely worth it to capture beautiful images you won’t get elsewhere. Indoor shoots can make people feel stiff or formal, but outdoor shoots help everyone focus on capturing personalities, smiles, and relationship bonds in the moment. Picture a casual, very natural setting, with you in comfortable clothes and wearing simple makeup. When your family is comfortable and at ease, it is even easier for me to capture a mix of both posed portraits and candid lifestyle images.

Ready to book an outdoor photo session?

If you choose to book an outdoor photo shoot session, I will help you find a time and location with minimal car and pedestrian traffic. Taking photos outside requires some advanced planning and day-of flexibility, but I guarantee that you will not be disappointed with the resulting shots! I have years of experience photographing couples, engagements, maternity, children, and families. Contact me today for more information about possible locations or dates.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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