Meet the Photographer - Morgan Ellem
Business: Morgan Ellem Photography
Experience: 10+ Years
Photography Types: Baby, Family, Maternity, Newborn,
1. What kind of experience do you have as a photographer?
I have been in the photography industry for just over ten years now. After having my first son in 2010, I found myself with lots of spare time while on maternity leave and decided to teach myself photography, so I could take better photos of my own family. Friends and family then started asking me to take photos for them, and it all kicked off from there! I've been incredibly lucky to have had so many returning clients over the years who also recommend me to their own friends and family, helping my business organically grow well beyond my expectations.
I never imagined I would ever be working with children or in an artistic field (in my past life I worked in medical administration and studied nutrition at university), but I absolutely LOVE what I do, and I'm so blessed to be able to call it a full-time "job". I definitely feel like I've found my calling in life!
2. What type of photography do you specialise in?
The majority of my work is with newborns, which I absolutely adore. I also shoot maternity, baby, family and boudoir sessions.
3. Where are you located?
I have my own home studio in North Lakes, Brisbane. It's a relaxed space with lots of natural light, and although it's not huge, it's the perfect size for what I need. Clients are often amazed at the variety of work I can produce in such a small area!
I've recently started offering in-home lifestyle sessions, particularly for older newborns or clients wanting to incorporate a larger/extended family. These sessions are even more relaxed than my usual newborn sessions, with no set posing - just a big emphasis on family connection and documenting parts of baby's everyday routine, like bathing and feeding.
I also shoot family sessions outdoors, in and around north Brisbane. I love photographing in the late afternoon sunlight, which also works perfectly in the Queensland climate.
4. When should clients book their photography sessions?
I advise my clients to book a newborn session at least 6 weeks in advance. Although I am sometimes able to fit in last-minute bookings, weekends tend to book quite quickly, so if you need a specific date it's usually best to book well in advance.
I find my newborn bookings to be quite steady throughout the year, and I like to book a maximum of 2-3 newborns per week.
I usually schedule newborn sessions for when baby is between 1-3 weeks of age, although I'm happy to work with "older" newborns as well. I wish there was an exact age where a newborn was guaranteed to be sleepy and not fussy, but alas each baby is so completely different! As a general rule, younger newborns tend to be more sleepy and easier to pose for photos - however I've worked with some 4-5 week old babies who were a dream. So for that reason, I'm happy to take newborns of any age, so long as parents don't have any set expectations.
5. What kind of prices and packages do you offer?
I have designed my pricing structure to be very simple and affordable. I only have one package for each session, and it is all-inclusive - meaning the price you see is the full amount you will pay, with no hidden extras. All of my packages include all the fully edited, high resolution digital images, so there is no need to come back to select photos or make a rushed decision on what to print. All the images are yours to keep, and are able to be printed and enlarged in any format you wish, in your own time.
As of July 2020, my Newborn Package is $700 all-inclusive (60+ images).
I also now offer Afterpay for approved clients.
6. How should customers prepare for their photography sessions?
Prior to a newborn session, I send clients a detailed Session Guide that contains all the information they will need in preparation for their photos. I don't expect a lot from new parents - it's hard enough just to leave the house with a baby!
I have everything here at the studio that is needed for a newborn photo session. Since my style is very minimalist and neutral, I have a white backdrop and a white wrap that is used for every session, which makes it really easy and fuss-free. Clients don't need to bring anything special, unless they want it photographed (for example, a baby blanket from Grandma, or a sentimental toy).
7. What should customers expect during a photography session?
My newborn sessions generally take about 2 hours - sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less! Since I only have one studio booking per day, there is never any rush.
I'm very relaxed and down-to-earth, and I try to keep my sessions that way too. I will usually do sibling & family photos first, then work mostly with baby - but I do keep the family involved in the rest of the session, as I love to incorporate hands into a lot of the posing. And you never know when a grumpy toddler will have a momentary change of heart and jump in the shot to cuddle their new sibling!
A lot of parents worry that baby will be too unsettled/awake for their photos, but please don't stress! I have years and years of experience with settling babes and I have a LOT of patience. Even with unwilling toddlers!
And even if baby is awake for all of the session, we can still capture some amazing images. The beauty of my relaxed style is that it's so flexible, and I'm very comfortable following baby's lead. My clients all book with me for this exact reason.
8. How do you ensure safety of the newborn during the session?
I pride myself on newborn safety during my photo sessions. Due to the relaxed nature of my posing, baby remains in a comfortable and natural position for every image, and I routinely check their breathing, temperature and circulation when posed.
I am fully vaccinated, insured, and trained in newborn posing safety. My studio is smoke-free and pet-free, and thoroughly cleaned and sanitised after every client.
9. How soon will customers be able to get their photos?
Clients are always so excited to see a sneak peek of their photos following the session, so I will post a few on my website and/or social media a few hours after they leave the studio. I always feel so happy & grateful when I receive their feedback, and it definitely grows the client's excitement to receive the full gallery!
The full collection of edited, high-resolution images is sent to clients via digital transfer approx. 2-3 weeks following their session. These are quick and easy to save to a computer, and can then be printed and shared however the client wishes.
10. Do you have anything else you would like to tell us?
It is really important to choose a newborn photographer who aligns with your own personal/home style. All of my clients choose me for my minimalist style and use of hands in my newborn images. With no bulky props or distracting colours, my images keep all the focus on your beautiful new babe and your new family connection.
If you want newborn photos that will:
- never be out of style
- match any home colouring/decor
- keep your baby safe and comfortable at all times
- show a natural family connection
.. then I am your photographer! With over ten years experience, I adore creating genuine memories with a relaxed feel. I would love to welcome you into the studio and capture some amazing images for your family, too.
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