Last year I came across a whole stack of my parents’ old VHS tapes. It got me thinking about how precious these little gems from the 80s – 90s are and how sad I would be to lose them! I bought some digital transfer equipment, hooked up my old VHS machine, and have been busy copying over all their old memories to digital. Watching those old memories come to life on my screen has been wonderful and my children have enjoyed seeing their Mum as a dorky teenager!
What started as a job on my “to do” list has been growing as the word has been spreading around my network of friends and family.
VHS to Digital File Transfer Service Balmain Sydney Inner West
If you’ve got some old VHS tapes hanging around that you’d love to have converted to digital mp4 format, just let me know! It’s $20 per tape. The turnaround time is around 1 day with your file uploaded to Dropbox for you to download.
You are able to drop your VHS tapes off at my Balmain studio (Sydney Inner West) at any time via my secure mail box (I have a soft landing space to keep your tapes safe!). Please just ensure that your tapes are in good condition and that they are labelled with your name and email address.
When your tape has been successfully transferred, you’ll receive an invoice for payment via email and the link to download your file/s via Dropbox when payment is received. Easy!
One of the best tips I can give newborn photographers is to get into a flow of posing to make the most out of every session. New parents really don’t want to sit in a warm studio when they’d rather be at home relaxing (or catching up on some well needed sleep). Having a structure or flow to your poses – or at least a general idea of how to structure your sessions – can be a great help to make your sessions as time effective as possible.
Here’s a bit of an idea of how I tend to do my sessions (though knowing me this will change again in a few months!)
The Sibling Factor
The biggest factor for me when I’m thinking about how to structure my photo sessions is whether or not there are any older siblings who will be coming along. This is especially important when you have younger children (say 3 and under) who have a short attention span. I tend to have two different flows depending on whether there is an older sibling coming along or not.
Newborn Photo Sessions Without Older Siblings
Newborn photo sessions where there aren’t older siblings are definitely that little bit easier. You have more time to focus just on the newborn and the parents without the added complexity of a toddler or older child and their short attention span etc. For sessions where there is only one newborn this is the usual flow – the trick is to make the most out of each set up:
Baby undressed and wrapped in one of my textured wraps
Baby on the bean bag wrapped (and usually awake)
Potato sack pose
If still awake, parent shots (Mum/ Dad on their own with baby)
Family photos of both parents and baby
If baby is getting sleepy at this point then to the beanbag to attempt naked poses (I usually do “Tushie Up” first as it’s my favourite, then follow baby’s lead moving on to “Facing Forward” or “Huck Finn”)
If baby is still awake after the family photos then prop photos while still wrapped. They sometimes want a feed after this if they’re still awake/unsettled so we make time for this now. If they’re having a feed I undress them and pop a nappy cloth under them to keep Mum safe from explosive poos! This allows me to get straight to naked beanbag photos if/when they fall asleep while feeding.
Prop shots (if we haven’t already done these)
Newborn Photo Sessions With Older Siblings
Where there’s an older sibling I always do the sibling and family images first. This is because older siblings have a limited attention span and I want to capture them at their best before they lose interest in me/get bored sitting around in my studio. As sweet as they are, my aim is to get them photographed and out enjoying their day at the local park or I encourage families to arrange for Dad or another friend or family member to pick them up and take them home.
Photo sessions where there are older siblings usually go something like this:
Parent images (especially important if Dad is taking the sibling home/out so that Dad is no longer required at the session)
Then I tend to follow along from step 2 above (minus the family and parent shots of course).
I hope that this helps you along on your newborn photography journey! And remember that you should always be ready to be flexible during your session and just do what you can. Be ready to think on your feet to help make the most of each and every moment during the session.
Once of my most requested images by parents of more than one child are sibling photos. When a new baby arrives, parents are typically excited to be able to capture photographs of their children together. Be warned though – depending on the age and personality of your older child/children, sibling photos are probably some of the most difficult images to get. Never fear though! By following some of my tips you have a much better chance of success. Here are my top tips for success when photographing siblings:
Tip # 1: Always do sibling photos first
Sibling photos are always the first images I attempt – especially when siblings are aged 3 and under. I find that they’re usually at their best when they’ve just arrived at my studio as they’re still getting familiar with the new environment and boredom hasn’t yet set in. For this reason I like to get the sibling photo done first and then I move on to the family group shots. After these images are done the sibling isn’t required for any more photos during the newborn session. I always encourage my clients to have either Dad or another family member/friend take them out to a local cafe or home for the remainder of the session.
Tip #2: Build a rapport with them as soon as they walk in the door
My main focus when I’m meeting new clients is getting to know the older sibling as soon as they come in to my studio. I take the time to get down to their level and try to engage them. Maybe I ask them about their new baby brother or sister, or ask about something they’re interested in. I take the time to get to know their personality – whether they are shy or more outgoing – and use this to gauge how to interact with them for the session and what might work best for photos. You can usually tell quite quickly how mature they are and whether you’re going to have an easy or more difficult time in getting the sibling shots.
Tip #3″: Take your time and be respectful
Siblings are little people – not robots. We need to show them respect and take our time. Some might be slower to warm up to us, some might not like to take photos, some might be struggling with lots of big emotions. It can be easy for us as adults to forget that these little people are going through a big change to their home life with the addition of a new brother or sister. We need to take our time, be patient with them and show the respect of listening.
Tip #4: Always do safe sibling images
As a photographer there are different sibling poses that you may want to do for your clients. You should always err on the side of caution when deciding what images you should attempt – especially when the older sibling is under 3. I always start with an easier pose such as laying down next to each other on a flokati rug and move on to more complex posing only if I feel that the sibling is capable. Always have a parent sitting just out of shot as an additional set of hands should anything go awry.
Tip #5: Genuine laughs make the best expressions
There’s nothing worse than a young child who does the “cheese” smile. As photographers what we are wanting are genuine expressions in our images. Talk to your young clients and try to make them laugh. I have been known to tickle, make silly faces and noises – anything to get the shot!
I hope that some of these tips help you in capturing some beautiful sibling photos!
I’m getting so many emails at the moment from panicked parents feeling sad and upset that they weren’t able to have professional newborn photos done over the past few months due to COVID. Never fear! All is not lost. Here are a few options for you to help make the most of your baby’s first year. (Please keep in mind that I’m an Australian newborn photographer in Sydney, NSW where social distancing measures are easing – the following information may not be relevant to you if you’re living in another place where Coronavirus restrictions are still in place).
Newborn Photography up to 6 Weeks
Whilst it’s true that newborn photography is best done very early (usually between 7 and 12 days after birth where possible), if you miss this window of opportunity you can still get some beautiful newborn photos up until about 6 weeks. The older your baby gets, the more likely it is that he/she will be more wakeful, less flexible and able to go into more complex poses. This doesn’t mean you can’t get anything at all. It just means that you need to be a little more open to less “posed” photographs of your newborn baby and being comfortable to have most of your images with your baby wrapped.
I typically encourage people who contact me after their baby is 6 weeks old to wait until their baby is 3 months old for their photos. This is for a variety of reasons. Mainly that babies usually reach “peak fussiness” at around 6-7 weeks. This means a lot of unsettled time, crying, fussing and general unhappiness. Around this time they also tend to have skin rashes which break out due to hormones etc and are difficult to work with as they are very wakeful but not yet at the beautiful smiley stage at 3 months.
If you are living in an area where newborn photography cannot take place due to social distancing requirements, you make like to download my video tutorial where I teach parents to take their own baby photos at home.
They’re not as popular as newborn photos but 3 month sessions are some of my favourites. By 3 months old babies are typically very alert and smiley. They aren’t able to sit so almost all the photos I do of them are taken on their back with perhaps one or two shots during some quick “tummy time”.
Three month olds are very different to brand new newborns so there is no real posing. For me as a photographer it’s more about capturing their sweet smiles and faces in gorgeous lighting.
If I had to pick one older baby age as my favourite, this age group would be it! When your baby reaches the milestone of being able to sit by themselves but aren’t yet on the move (all babies reach this stage at different times but for most babies this is usually around the 7 – 8 month mark) this is THE time to get their professional baby photos done. Babies of this age are perfect to photograph as we don’t have to chase them all around the room trying to capture the perfect photo. They’re usually very happy, smiley and very content with themselves being able to sit on their own. Being able to sit also gives us lots of flexibility in being able to photograph them in lots of different ways – on their own, in a prop/basket, perhaps even some nudey bum photos.
As a specialise in babies – first birthday sessions are the oldest type of baby photography that I take. This age group are similar to the 6-8 month babies except that they’re usually a lot more mobile and quicker to move! This means that I have to really be on my game as they have a shorter attention span and really want to roam all around the room exploring everything. It makes it harder for me to capture them but the results are always well worth it!
To celebrate their birthday, parents usually like to bring in a birthday cake that I can photograph your baby sampling (and just making a great mess with in general!). Afterwards I have a mini clawfoot bath that I fill with warm water and some bubbles. This is an awesome way to finish off as it makes for gorgeous photos and it also helps to clean them off after their cake time as well.
Wow! What an incredible few months it has been for everyone. I have been receiving so many questions about COVID-19 and whether newborn photo sessions can still go ahead.
There has been little specific guidance as to whether posed newborn photographers have been able to operate with many discussions in forums etc that I’m a member of. Whilst there was never any specific directive from the NSW Government to close, I felt that as I could not comply with the 1.5m social distancing requirements, that closing my business over the past few months was the most responsible thing to do.
Posed Newborn Sessions Are Back… with extra Coronavirus precautions
As of today (1st June) I am offering posed newborn photo sessions at my Sydney Inner West photography studio. This is in line with the Government’s recommendation that is now allowing hairdressers and similar services where people need to touch clients.
Of course, the health and safety of my little clients (and my own little ones at home) has always been my number one priority. Due to COVID-19, I have added some extra precautions to help keep everyone safe:
No shoes in the studio
Immediate family members only at the session (parents and siblings only)
Extra hand sanitising and mask to be worn by me when I am required to be within 1.5m of my clients/when required to pose your baby
These are in addition to my normal precautions that I have always taken (eg. never photographing when sick, sanitising the studio and props between sessions, good hand hygiene etc).
By hiring me as your photographer for your posed newborn session, I do ask that you complete an extra clause in my contract which outlines the additional measures we must both take to keep both our families safe at this time.
If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me!
- Academy of newborn photography certified photographer
- Over 8 years experience
- Current CPR & Infant first aid
- current whooping cough vaccination
- multi award-winningexperience & Safety
Hi! I'm Amy Tong. I'm a newborn baby photographer in the Sydney Inner West surburb of Balmain, Australia. I'm Mum to 3 little ones, and wife to my best friend of almost 20 years. I've always been creative. A lover of music, art and history. Photography has been an important part of my life since I first picked up a camera as a hobby back in 2008.
I began my career as a professional baby photographer back in 2012 and have had the honour of photographing over 300 babies since then. To me, photography allows us to preserve moments in time for future generations. I can't think of any better job in the world. I'd love to hear from you and help you hold on to these special moments too..