10 Questions with Prim Chieng

BabyInfo Interviewed one of the most popular and a highly sought-after newborn, maternity & baby photographer from Victoria, Prim Chieng of Together Nest Photography. Mulgrave (Melbourne) based Prim is the founder and lead photographer at Together Nest Photography.

Photographer - Prim Chieng

10 Questions with Prim Chieng

Business: Together Nest Photography

Location: Mulgrave, Victoria

Experience: 15 Years

Photography Types: Baby, Cake Smash, Family, Maternity, Newborn

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

Hi! My name is Prim. I am the photographer behind Together Nest photography. My love for photography started 25 years ago when I was just in high school. The idea of capturing the moment for people to look at and admire for generations to come was just so fascinating to me.

Growing up middle class in Thailand, I couldn't afford a camera. So instead, I worked part-time as a retoucher for a local photo studio for many years. My passion to be a photographer had never left me. I then worked as a freelance photographer until I relocated to Melbourne and met my husband. We have 3 children together. I loved taking photos of my children which is when newborn and baby photography really sparked my passion.

I started Together Nest studio when my youngest daughter was just 1 year old and have been operating full-time ever since.

2. What type of photography do you specialise in?

I specialise in Fine Art newborn photography. The majority of the sessions I do at the studio are for newborns, follow by maternity and cake smash. I don't travel to clients' homes or shoot outdoors. Currently, I only offer in-studio sessions. Recently, I started tapping into painterly portrait style and I love it! I hope to offer that style to my clients in the future. I am a digital-only photographer with an optional add-on album purchase.

3. Where are you located?

My studio is located in Mulgrave, Victoria, South East of Melbourne. 20 minutes from CBD. I don't shoot outside my studio.

I currently have 2 shooting spaces, both are in my own home and used solely during photoshoots. The first one is a lifestyle studio, it is set up as a boho living room. I shoot lifestyle sessions there. The rest of the sessions are done in my main studio. The combined space is about 35 square metres. Just a perfect size for what I do.

I do have plans to move into a commercial space in the future.

4. When should clients book their photography sessions?

The best time to book is when you are about to reach the third trimester. I normally do the maternity session 2 months before the due date so that gives me enough time to schedule the maternity photoshoot.

The very minimum is at least 5 weeks before your due date for a newborn session. That would likely get you a spot with me. I feel very sad when I have to turn a potential client away because I'm fully booked. However, overbooking is one of the factors that can lower the quality of my service so I strictly only work within my capacity.

October through to March are the peak period. During these months, booking a session as soon as possible is recommended. I offer Saturday morning sessions as well as after-hour weeknights starting at 6 pm. These spots have an extra surcharge and get filled up very quickly. If you require an after-hour or a weekend session, I recommend booking at least 3 months in advance.

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

I like to make things simple for busy mums. I use the add-on pricing structure. My current base newborn package price (Sep 2022) is $550. You get a certain number of digital images with the package. You then will be able to purchase extra photos after you see the proofs. I offer a special bundle price for extra photos (10 and 20 extra photos) as well as an individual price per photo. The 10-extra-photo bundle is the most popular one.

A photo album add-on is also available for clients who purchase extra photos or book the bundle maternity and newborn package.

All my sessions include family photos except the cake smash. You can however add family photos to the cake smash session for an extra fee.

6. How should customers prepare for their photography sessions?

For a newborn session, I recommend clients bring extra feeds for a formula-fed baby and a newborn-size soother. I provide everything else. My studio has everything to ensure my clients have a stress-free experience, from nappies and wipes to a bottle warmer/steriliser.

I also provide dresses for maternity and lifestyle clients. I partner up with a reputable professional hair and makeup artist who comes to my studio to provide her service for an extra fee.

7. What should customers expect during a photography session?

The newborn session is for 3 hours. The session starts with family photos, I usually spend around 30-45 minutes on the family/siblings photos then the rest of the session is for the newborn. Days before the session, I would ask my client to choose their favourite newborn setups via an online gallery. We then would finalise the setups either by email or in person at the start of the photoshoot. During the session, clients can feed, settle or change the baby. I prefer to let the baby lead the workflow. Within the 3 hours, I guarantee minimum 3 setups. Usually, I can achieve 5 setups within the 3 hours 90% of the time.

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

Safety is my number one priority when it comes to a newborn session. Every pose I perform have been thought through and planned ahead of time to ensure a safe environment for the baby. I have completed a newborn safety course for photographers and have an up-to-date paediatric first-aid certificate from Royal Children's Hospital. My immunisation is also up-to-date for whooping cough, flu and covid.

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

I hand edit every single photo myself. The entire process from start to finish is customised to best suit the images I work on.

Clients can expect to receive their photos 2-3 weeks after the session. I deliver all my images via an online gallery. Clients can choose to download them in full original size or a smaller size for social media purposes. I am proud to say that 100% of my photos have been delivered within the promised timeframe.

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

I am very thankful that I get to do what I love every day. That is why every time I step into a photoshoot I give it 110% When I'm not working in the studio with a client, I am always finding ways to improve my skill and service. I believe as a photographer, it is not only about producing beautiful artwork but delivering the entire experience in the most special way to clients including before, during and after the photoshoot.



Recent Interviews