Photographer - Elena Walsh
Business: Little Manly Photography
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Experience: 10 Years
Photography Types: Baby, Family, Maternity, Newborn
1. What kind of experience do you have as a photographer?
My photography career spans 10 years, in London, my native Lithuania, and now Sydney. Drawing on my experience as an editorial and commercial photographer and digital artist working on high-profile projects including Top Gear, Dr Who, Sherlock, and Serengeti, gives me the freedom to shoot in a free, loose way, knowing that the technical side is second nature. As a mum of two pre-schoolers, I now also have an understanding of the family dynamic and the important moments to capture for families and mums-to-be.
I am extremely experienced using natural daylight, and also offer in, and underwater shoots for clients.
2. What type of photography do you specialise in?
I specialise in natural, modern and authentic family, newborn, and maternity photography with a magazine editorial feel. My portrait style is candid and in-the-moment, so I use daylight rather than studio lighting to capture natural moments with families, in comfortable, natural settings, that are unexpected, and my images aren’t set up or at all formal.
3. Where are you located?
In Manly, in the Northern Beaches of Sydney
4. When should clients book their photography sessions?
When is the right time to book a newborn photography session?
We usually book on your due date, and block off a couple of weeks around it. Newborn baby sessions work well between 1 and 2 weeks old, though it can be later on too.
What are your peak booking months of the year?
November and December are busy as clients like to book photo sessions for Christmas gifts, otherwise babies are born throughout the year!
How quickly do you get booked in advance?
It really varies, but generally people will book 2-3 weeks in advance. Days of the week or months of the year that get booked fairly quickly Weekends are busier as families are together then, but otherwise we’re able to accommodate people, especially newborn sessions, as we keep due dates in mind and block out time either side of the due date, just in case the baby arrives early or late.
When should clients book their photography session?
We offer an online booking system, so you can choose your date and we can discuss the best time of day that suits you and your baby, and the natural daylight where we’ll be shooting.
5. What kind of prices and packages do you offer?
We have a simple photography package to make the decision easy. A one-hour session with 100+ hi res digital photographs plus a $50 voucher for prints is $550.
6. How should customers prepare for their photography sessions?
Preparing for your newborn photography session is simple – have some favourite onesies to hand, or a special outfit, plus a blanket or two for your baby to lie on or be cosy with. For parents, have an outfit or two ready. I usually do newborn sessions in your own home so you and your baby feel comfortable and you can feed, change, or do whatever your baby needs, with ease.
Here’s a quick checklist to run through before your session:
- Plan to do most of your session in the lightest part of the house
- No need to clean the house from top to toe - just a quick declutter will make you feel on top of things
- Try to feed your baby before the session so they are happy, full and satisfied. But if you need a break to continue feeding, no problem!
- If there are older siblings, let them know I’m coming to take photos – mention me as a friend, and they will know what to expect when I arrive.
7. What should customers expect during a photography session?
A newborn shoot takes about 1.5 hours, and that includes time for the baby to feed, be changed, be unsettled and settled again. I work quickly and easily to capture newborns and their parents and siblings so no one feels self-conscious, gets bored or nervous. I go with the flow and suggest ways you can sit or cuddle your baby to make a lovely shot to make the most of your baby in the natural daylight and surroundings.
I always engage siblings with fun and interesting things to do and look at, or ‘help out’, and the feedback from clients is that they love the experience and really come out and blossom on the day, especially if they are shy to begin with.
8. How do you ensure safety of the newborn during the session?
The newborn baby is always with their parents, usually in their arms. If not, they are in a safe place to lie down, always supervised by their parents. My style of photography is very natural, so we don’t do any posing at all, nothing complicated, no props are involved, wrapping, propping up or photo-shopping so it’s simply the baby lying on a blanket, in parent’s arms, or somewhere safe, where the parent’s feel comfortable.
9. How soon will customers be able to get their photos?
Customers will receive their edited digital gallery within 2-3 weeks of their photo session, which included hi-res images in colour and black and white.
10. Do you have anything else you would like to tell us?
Little Manly Photography has had exceptionally lovely feedback from clients, who say their photos ‘exceeded their expectations’, and would recommend Elena to anyone interested – or who hadn’t considered having photos done of their newborn and family – to organise a session with her. Her sensitivity, understanding as a mum, and natural photographs are memories to be treasured.