10 Questions with Svetlana Watson

We interviewed on one of the most passionate and a highly sought-after newborn photographer, Svetlana Watson of Art of Heart Photography. Sydney based Svetlana is the founder and lead photographer at Art of Heart Photography.

Photographer - Svetlana Watson

10 Questions with Svetlana Watson

Business: Art of Heart Photography

Location: Sydney, New South Wales

Experience: 7 Years

Photography Types: Baby, Family, Newborn

1. What kind of experience do you have as a photographer?

I swear, I must have been born with a camera surgically attached to my hands! Okay, maybe not literally, but it sure feels that way. The obsession all began when I was a mere 12-year-old, thanks to my dear Mum and her introduction to the magical realm of film Lomo cameras. From that fateful day forward, I couldn't stop myself from capturing every moment I could get my lens on. My lovely family, bless their hearts, became my unwitting subjects, including my two wild sons, my patient friends, our mischievous spotted dog Mishka, and even our majestic horse, Scoobie. It's been quite the adventure, let me tell you!

In the years that followed, my enthusiasm for photography only grew stronger. I became a workshop enthusiast, eagerly seeking out opportunities to enhance my skills in digital photography, exploring both natural and studio lighting techniques. These workshops covered a range of subjects, including portraits and styled shoots with models.

I also graduated from CATC Design School which is part of Torrens University with a degree in Graphic Design, where I gained extensive knowledge of Photoshop. This has greatly enhanced my editing techniques.

In 2014, a beautiful fusion of my passion and skills blossomed, giving life to Art of Heart Photography.

Since then, I have had the privilege of photographing families throughout Sydney, creating cherished memories for my clients.

One particular couple I worked with for a pregnancy family shoot enjoyed the experience so much that they requested I capture their newborn daughter's arrival.

Recognizing the unique photography style required for newborns, I delved wholeheartedly into an online workshop, immersing myself in the art and techniques within a month's time. The outcome exceeded my expectations, and I discovered a deep love for newborn photography.

With a profound passion for photography and an inherent adoration for babies, I merged my two passions into a distinctive business. For over seven years now, I have been capturing the innocent beauty and tender moments of newborns, offering families cherished keepsakes of their little ones. It brings me immense joy to combine my skills, expertise, and love for this art form to create timeless photographs for my clients.

2. What type of photography do you specialise in?

My specialization lies in newborn photography, where I capture the precious moments of the earliest days of a baby's life. I also adore capturing the unique milestones of babies at ages 4 to 6 to 12 months and see how quickly they change.

Additionally, I find great joy in family photography sessions. Being able to accompany my clients on their journey as their families expand is a privilege. I love capturing the connections, love, and dynamics within a family, freezing those heart-warming moments in time. From the tender embraces to the playful laughter, I strive to create family portraits that reflect the genuine joy and love shared between family members.

By specializing in newborn portraiture while also embracing sitter sessions and family photography, I can provide a comprehensive range of services to my clients. It allows me to be there every step of the way as their families grow.

3. Where are you located?

Being Mum myself, I understand the overwhelming emotions that come with the first few weeks of having a new baby in your life. The last thing you need is the added stress of driving somewhere for a photo shoot. That's why I bring the newborn photography experience directly to your home. By doing so, we eliminate time constraints and any external pressure, allowing us to create the most beautiful and authentic memories of your baby and your family.

As a photographer, I exclusively utilize natural light during my sessions. This allows for a gentle and serene ambiance, ensuring that your baby feels calm and at ease. Most of the time, I work independently, allowing you, as a new mom, to have some well-deserved rest or even take a nap on the lounge.

To capture the most enchanting images of your baby, I always come prepared with an extensive collection of adorable props. These props add an extra touch of charm and help create stunning photographs that you'll cherish for a lifetime.

4. When should clients book their photography sessions?

There is no such thing as booking too early.

To ensure availability and to allow ample time for preparation, it's always best to plan ahead and reserve your session as soon as you have your due date confirmed.

I love photographing newborns within the first 5-14 days after they are born for several reasons. During this time, they are still accustomed to being wrapped and curled up in poses reminiscent of their time in the womb. They tend to sleep more soundly and for longer periods, allowing me to capture peaceful and serene moments. Additionally, their skin is often clearer during this early stage, resulting in beautiful and pristine photographs.

However, I want to assure you that no matter how old your baby is, I will always create beautiful portraits of your little one.

I understand that some clients may have forgotten to make a booking, left it until the last minute, or were unaware of the need to book early. In such cases, I will do my best to accommodate your request and find a suitable time for your session.

5. What kind of prices and packages do you offer?

To accommodate different budgets, I have carefully designed my photography packages with the increasing cost of living in mind. For newborn sessions, my Digital Packages start at $429 (incl.gst), while newborn sessions with family Digital Packages start at $539 (incl.gst). With my packages, you can rest assured that every aspect of your session is covered. From our initial email and phone consultation to the final delivery of beautifully edited images, I ensure a seamless experience. The Digital images you receive will be in high-resolution 300dpi, airbrushed, and ready for print.

I also offer consultations to guide you on the best options for printing your digital images. I can provide recommendations on reputable printing services and help you select the ideal print sizes and formats that will showcase your photographs in the most stunning way possible. In addition, you will also receive all the photos from your session in a smaller resolution of 28 dpi. These images will be lightly edited with adjustments to light and colour to serve as precious mementos of the day.

If you desire additional images from the session, you have the option to enhance your package by purchasing extra images. Moreover, for a small cost, you can include any number of family members in the basic package, capturing the beautiful moments of your entire family.

If you wish to transform your digital photographs into a beautifully Lay-Flat crafted Album, I provide album design and printing services. I understand the importance of preserving your cherished memories in a tangible and timeless form. With my expertise in album design, I can curate a stunning layout that tells the story of your special moments. From selecting the perfect images to arranging them in a cohesive and visually appealing manner, I take care of every detail. Once the design is finalized, I work with trusted printing partner to ensure the highest quality production of your album. The end result is a professionally crafted Lay-Flat album that you can cherish for years to come, flipping through the pages and reliving the precious moments captured during our photography session.

6. How should customers prepare for their photography sessions?

Before your in-home newborn session, I will provide you in email with a comprehensive Preparation Guide to ensure everything is ready for the shoot.

Here are some of the key points covered in the guide:

*Choosing the right area in your home for the photo shoot and preparing that space accordingly.

*Information about my arrival time and how I will set up the photo shoot area.

*Guidelines on the feeding schedule for your baby before my arrival to ensure they are comfortable and content during the session.

*Suggestions for a cohesive colour scheme and examples of different set-ups for the newborn photo shoot.

*Options for makeup and hair for Mom, to enhance her confidence and appearance in the photographs.

*Suggestions for clothing choices that will coordinate well for a family shoot, creating a cohesive and visually appealing look.

During the session, I provide a range of outfits for newborn and milestone sessions, including beautiful handcrafted dresses, pants, overalls, headbands, bonnets, and wraps. I also bring a variety of backdrops in popular colours, as well as some unique options.

Once everything is set up, you can relax and enjoy the experience, knowing that all the details have been taken care of. Too easy!

7. What should customers expect during a photography session?

Mornings hold a special magic, and around 10 am, I will arrive and begin setting up for the photo shoot. The atmosphere during the session is slow-paced, creating a tranquil and relaxed environment. While the typical duration is approximately 2 hours, I am flexible and will stay as long as needed to capture a variety of precious moments, as every baby is unique.

Based on my experience, I highly recommend organizing the day of the photo shoot without any other commitments or visitors, allowing for a serene and undisturbed atmosphere. Babies are sensitive beings, and they can sense any tension or disruptions in their surroundings.

During the session, I mostly work independently, allowing you, as a new mom, to have some well-deserved rest or even take a soothing nap in the lounge.

The connection I share with babies is truly extraordinary, and they instinctively sense my calming and nurturing presence. They become my guiding stars throughout the photo shoot, prioritizing their well-being above all else. I don't watch the clock; my focus is entirely on creating a loving and memorable experience for your little one.

8. How do you ensure safety of the newborn during the session?

First and foremost, I want to assure you that your baby's safety is my utmost priority. Here are some of the measures I have in place to ensure their well-being during the session:

*Safe posing: I have received extensive training in safely posing newborns and would never force a baby into a position that is unsafe or uncomfortable for them.

*Stable props: The buckets and bowls I use for posing are carefully chosen to be stable and secure, minimizing any risk of tipping over.

*Constant supervision: Babies are never left unattended during the session. While capturing a few trickier poses, such as in bed, Froggy pose or in a bucket with hands under chin, I may ask Mom or Dad to sit nearby and provide support, ensuring the utmost safety.

*Immunizations and First Aid: I am fully immunized, including vaccinations for diseases like whooping cough and COVID-19. Additionally, I have undergone First Aid training to handle any unforeseen situations.

*Hygiene protocols: All props used in the sessions are meticulously cleaned and sanitized before and after each session to maintain a hygienic environment.

*Limited sessions: To minimize exposure and ensure thorough cleaning, I only schedule a limited number of sessions per month. This allows me ample time to properly clean and sanitize everything, ensuring a safe environment for your baby.

Rest assured that I take every precaution necessary to provide a secure and protected environment for your little one during our photography session.

9. How soon will customers be able to get their photos?

Within a couple of days following your photo shoot, you will receive all the photos from your session in a small 28 dpi resolution. This allows you to cherish the memories of the day and make your selections for the Final Collection from the comfort of your own home, without any time constraints. Typically, I allocate a period of 7 days for this process, which is usually sufficient to complete the task.

They will be lightly edited with light and colour correction.

Once you have made your selection for the Final Collection, please allow approximately 14 to 21 working days for the processing and delivery of your HI-Resolution, Airbrushed, Ready for Print Images. The exact timeframe may vary depending on my current workload. You have the option to receive the images via File share, which is a free and convenient method, or they can be posted to you on a USB via registered Australian Post

When it comes to Lay-Flat Album Design and printing services, the typical turnaround time is approximately 4 weeks after the completion of the Final Collection. This allows for the careful design and production of your personalized album, ensuring the highest quality and attention to detail.

10. Do you have anything else you would like to tell us?

Over the past 7 years, I have had the privilege of working as a Newborn Photographer and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Along this journey, I have had the pleasure of meeting extraordinary families and forming lasting friendships. It brings me immense joy to witness their families grow and be a part of creating their cherished memories.

As part of this journey, I also rediscovered my childhood passion for knitting and sewing, which has allowed me to create my own unique handcrafted props for photography sessions.

I can honestly say that I am a lucky Lady and Love what I do! If you have any questions or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to reach out.

I am here to assist you and would be delighted to have the opportunity to work with you and capture precious moments that you will cherish forever.



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