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SPLS 2017 Sports DaySchool Sports Day 2017 – well done Neumann!  Another fantastic school sports day with lots of colour, competition and most of all, team spirit.  The photo gallery is full again this year with lots of action shots from the day.  Parents are welcome to download their favourite photos from the day.  Please refer to the school weebly to get the password and access the images.  This gallery will be available until Friday 5th May 2017.  See you all again next year!

 
Posted in Portraits
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Adelaide Childcare Photography

Cheese is delicious, not for the camera!

 

Where on earth did this expression “cheese” come from?  Really, it’s a wonderful edible delicacy that derives from dairy products – how did it end up as something we teach our children to say when they look at a camera?

Each and every year I photograph many hundreds of preschool children (I now tell people when they ask what I do “I’m a professional photographer and I specialise in photographing children under the age of 5”) it’s NOT for the feint hearted.  Working with young children is rewarding and keeps the child inside me alive.  My job requires me to get kids to relax in front of the camera and play instead of realising I’m there to photograph them, with some kids it’s easy, with others, not so much.

I’m after those genuine smiles, not the teeth grinding, stiff lipped, mum told me I HAVE to smile for the photographer today smile.  How do I achieve this?  It varies with every child, and as part of my daily workflow, I have about 1.6 seconds to work out.  Is little Jonny is excited, scared, shy or brimming with excitement to be my supermodel for a few minutes in front of my camera?  It has to be intuitive with each and every child I photograph.

My job is to capture YOUR child, give you a consistent professional quality photograph and pay attention to the little details that can make or break a photo that is going to be with your family for many years to come. It is a momento from your child’s pre-school years, and as time goes by, they become increasingly more and more precious.  That’s something I take incredibly seriously.

After more than a decade of working with young children, I still love the daily challenge of creating great preschool portraits.  I don’t just want to record your child’s childcare and kindy photos, I want to create amazing photographs that make you smile every time you look back on this fleeting time in your families life.

I photograph in preschool centres from as far north in the Barossa, Noarlunga in the south and  Murray Bridge in the east.  Here is a little more info about Photoplay Studios Childcare Photography service.

 
Posted in Weddings
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affordable-wedding-photography-adelaideWhat a way to welcome in the New Year!  I knew this wedding would be something special right from the start, Mr & Mrs S had chosen a wonderful location as their backdrop for their special day.  I traveled to the Clare Valley to spend the first Saturday of the New Year with this couple (and great family which I’ve had the privileged of getting to know over the past few years), and I loved every minute!  It was a warm day – the mercury sat between 39-41 degrees all day, but by chance we had some awesome cloud cover to save the day and help create some stunning wedding portraits for this wonderful couple.

clare-valley-wedding-of-the-year-2017Nikita and the girls got ready at Negals Retreat – a hidden gem of the Clare Valley.  The accommodation is brand new and I was spoilt for choice with great light to create the girls portraits.  I’m putting this place on my list to visit the first chance I get!  All the bridal party photos were taken within sight of this property, amongst the vineyards and the stunning roads that seem to go on forever – I could not have asked for more.  A special mention to the cars – these guys were happy to help in any way they could  – accommodating and professional all day long.

south-australia-wedding-in-the-vineyardsThe boy prepared at the ceremony location – The Clare Country Club.  The Willow trees on the waters edge created the perfect backdrop for the ceremony and the function room and food were second to none.  If you would like to view the amazing photos of the wedding day, please visit our gallery here – you will need to brides maiden name as the password to access the images.  If you have any trouble, please email me info@photoplaystudios.com.au for assistance.  Thanks again for allowing me to share your amazing wedding day with you both – I loved every minute!

 
Posted in Newborn
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Photographing your 2 week old baby

This is the age photographers class your baby as a “newborn” and like to have photographed your baby before its 2 week old birthday.  Between one and two weeks of age, your baby spends quite a large portion of the day sleeping and tends to doze off if they are content.  Newborn up to this age are also still curly and as a photographer, I love to curl them up and show just how small they are, as they are not this small for very long at all!

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Photographing your 4 week old baby (1 month old)

Your little baby is growing at a rapid rate, they are starting to get those gorgeous squishy rolls.  With most one month old babies, I don’t expect they will sleep for their entire session, some babies choose not to sleep at all – they are becoming more interested in their surroundings by the day.  I still like to wrap them up, it makes them feel secure and in many cases it helps get them off to sleep a little easier for a few sleeping photos.  Babies are not nearly as flexible at this age, it’s never a problem, but parents need to be aware that some of the “newborn” poses they like, simply won’t work on a 4 week old.  That being said, your 4 week old will still fit in many “newborn” props and in the studio I’ve got plenty of beautiful outfits to fit these “older newborns”.

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Photographing your 6 week old baby

By 6 weeks of age, I personally classify your baby as a baby, not newborn.  Their personality is starting to shine and you can get some great facial expressions during your session.  It’s also a week where some babies chose to have a “wonder week”, they can be unsettled for no obvious reason and at times can take a bit more comforting to settle.  It’s never an issue, I always work with each individual baby and go with the flow, ensuring baby is happy and settled throughout the session, sometimes this means having a little extra cuddle time with mum or dad before we start photographing again.  It’s a great age and if you haven’t had newborn photos as yet, make sure you book now before they grow up too much more and loose that “little” baby look.

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Photographing your 8 week old baby (2 months old)

Look out world, here I come!  Your baby at 2 months is great at giving eye contact, in most cases can handle small amounts of tummy time (not all babies like this at this age), and will be awake for their session.  Very few babies at this age will spend any time sleeping during their session – there are too many interesting things going on!  It make for gorgeous images of parents and baby interacting.  We still break as needed throughout the session as bubs will work up an appetite with all the interaction and changing poses etc.

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Photographing your 10 week old baby

Your baby is starting to explore the world and in most cases has discovered their hands and feet.  They have better muscle control and can spend a few extra minutes with tummy time.  They are wide eyed and love having a chat whilst we create some beautiful portraits.  A beautiful age.

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Photographing your 12 week old baby (3 months old)

Smiles are becoming more and more frequent and at 3 months of age, it’s a lovely age to capture.  Still a couple of months from sitting up, we spend time alternating from poses on the back to tummy, as well as photos with mum and dad.  I tend not to wrap babies at this age, they are far to strong to be held with a wrap, instead I’ve got a large range of both boys and girls rompers to use throughout the session.  Some families like to dress their babies in a special outfit for the photo session at this age.  Choosing clothes that have stretch, fit snugly and are comfortable for baby is extremely important.  Babies that are lying down during their session look uncomfortable in clothing like cotton shirts or denim jeans etc as it restricts their movement, and inevitably we get a great expression, but a shirt is not sitting right (they tend to scrunch up or gape constantly – and bub gets annoyed quickly when we are constantly adjusting a shirt instead of having fun).  The studio has a great range of appropriate clothing for your session, we have a chat prior to your visit to discuss your style and preferences to ensure you will love your baby portraits!

Baby Photography 4 months old

Photographing your 4 month old baby

The world becomes hilarious – well for this little one it was!  Very similar to the 3 month old in terms of the variety we can include in your photography session, however at this age, you can sit some babies up with support for a brief time to capture just how cleaver they are!

 
Posted in Weddings
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What an amazing wedding day!  Holly & Matt celebrated with family and friends on their special day at the stunning Ayres House in Adelaide’s CBD.  The day was picture perfect and the ballroom set the scene for this celebration of love.  Thanks for allowing me to spend your wedding day with you both, it was a beautiful day.  Family and friends, you are welcome to download and enjoy the images from the day, you can access the password protected gallery here.  Enjoy!

 
Posted in Weddings
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Affordable wedding photography in AdelaideThis stunning couple tied the know this week with an intimate group of family and friends to witness the ceremony.  Thanks for inviting me to share this special day with you both!  To view the images from Mr & Mrs R’s wedding day you can visit the gallery here.

 
Posted in Portraits
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What to wear to a family portrait session

Preparing the family for your portrait photography session

One of the most time consuming tasks in preparing for a family portrait session is getting the families clothes ready, it’s not a decision you want to be leaving until the 11th hour.  With careful planning and consideration, you will be setting your family portraits up to be timeless, something you will admire for years to come.

Creating your family portraits is important – lets face it, you finally got your hubby/partner to agree to being photographed, a little bit of planning for your portrait day will go a long way.  I’ve put together a list of suggestions, to help you select your family wardrobe.  The most important thing to remember is to stay true to your families personality as your photos will hang in your home for many years to come.

Before pulling out every dress your daughter owns (or getting online and finding that dream outfit you always wanted an excuse to purchase) consider your family decor.  It may sound like a strange place to start, but you are going to display your family portraits around your home, a cohesive look and feel in your portraits will stand the test of time in the living areas of your home.  You want a classic look and not a “moment in time” to remember that your son was a mad keen ninja turtle fan.

Staying Comfortable

During your photo shoot you are going to having fun as a family, snuggling and giggling with your kids.  Make sure your clothing choices for the whole family are comfortable.  I’m not suggesting you wear your yoga pants but please ensure you and the kids can move comfortably in your clothes.  Ensure your buttons don’t pucker, it’s just not flattering and if you are a little self conscience about your weight, wear sleeves that at least come to your elbow.  Your arms take up more skin area than your face, drawing attention to them.  Keep your jewellery simple so it does not detract from your face, wear a “normal” amount of makeup and if you are planning on having a haircut, arrange to have it done 2 weeks prior to your photo shoot.  On the day, choose a hairstyle suitable for the conditions on the day.  You don’t want to be constantly fighting the wind with stray hairs over your face for your beach family portrait session.  If you plan on a spray tan, please don’t overdo it as you will end up looking too orange.  If you have very young children, I would suggest forgoing the spray tan altogether, children have very fair skin and its quite noticeable if mum decided on a tan for the photo shoot…not a good look.

Choosing Clothing

Lets start with shoes.  You can put the most adorable outfit on the kids but if you don’t give consideration to their shoes and throw their everyday sneakers (which didn’t get cleaned after a trip to the river last weekend) on as you are walking out the door it can spoil the outfit.  You don’t need to purchase new shoes, however please ensure they are clean and neat prior to your session.  If you are having a photo session in the studio – forget the shoes altogether – we use flokati rugs etc and the kids look great in bare feet.  Please choose clothing without branding or logos, it’s just not going to stand the test of time on your lounge room wall.  If you have little girls (under 2) in your family and you plan on putting them in a dress, consider how the dress sits on them when they sit on the ground.  In most cases it’s best to put a cute little nappy cover on them as inevitably we end up with the most beautiful smile, but they have not yet learn’t “how to be a lady” and we end up with them flashing their nappy – spoiling the shot.

Colour Selections

Clothing colour choices make the portrait and you want them to be a non issue.  Avoid bright reds oranges, neons and hot pink (any bright colours really).  These can overpower and the portrait session is about the people, not the clothes.  Choosing solid colours, muted tones and similar tones for both tops and bottoms works great, it’s easier to see all your faces and no individual person stands out. If you chose a white top and dark pants, it will make your top look bigger, the reverse will make your butt look bigger.  It helps to choose a base colour and then build one or two accent colours from there for your group portrait – you want clothes that go well together but don’t exactly match.  Knits photograph well and collars frame the face.  Its a great idea to “google” family portrait photos and scroll through the hundreds of photos  – you will soon see what images you are draw to and which images don’t suit your family style.  It also helps to show you a visual of which colours and tone work well together.  Classic colours that work for both genders are cream & beige, both light and dark grey tones, blues and greys.

I hope this info has helped narrow down your family clothing choices for your upcoming portrait session.  So long as no-one turns up in a neon spacesuit or paisley “onesie” you will look great!

 
Posted in Newborn
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photographing-older-babies-informationMany newborn photographers will tell you that babies need to be photographed during the first 2 weeks after their entrance into the world.  This in theory is great but what happens if you have only just realised you want those adorable newborn baby photos and your baby has already had their 3rd week birthday?

Don’t despair, yes it’s great to see babies in the studio for their newborn photo session before they become a lot more aware of their surroundings, BUT photographing beyond that 14 day mark opens up a whole world of opportunity for different images.  Your baby will be more alert during their session and in most cases we manage wide awake baby photos with little ones engaging with the camera.  Funny expressions and chubby cheeks are some of the delights of photographing newborns and babies that are that little bit older.

Not all older newborns will curl into tight little balls but after years of photographing baby sessions in the studio, I’ve become pretty handy with wrapping older babies – there are not too many Houdini’s out there that manage to get their little hands out when I get my super wrapping skills on.  Working with babies of any age is all about embracing their individuality, working with the babies personality.  If your little one is happy and enjoying the cosy warm studio, many beautiful photos are begging to be taken.

Lots of mums I speak to before their session say “I hope my baby sleeps and doesn’t cry during their session”.  Very few babies arrive for their newborn photos asleep, but rest assured I’ve got lots of tricks up my sleeve to calm and relax your little one – and I promise not to bribe them with a freddo frog….  The best thing any parent can do to help achieve beautiful baby portraits is to stay calm and relaxed on the morning of their photo shoot, arrive at the studio without any preconceived ideas and enjoy the experience.  A baby who cry’s is just telling us they are hungry, tired or need attending to.  Once we give a baby what they need, in almost all cases they are content and we can move on with the session.  This is true whether your baby is 7 days or 7 weeks old.  Your baby is incharge of their session, we are there to meet all their needs.

If you are a parent who has already welcomed your little one into the world, I’d love to hear from you.  There is no such thing as “too old” for a photo session.  If you would like to see some of my adorable “older newborns and babies” take a look at the baby gallery.  The little man in the photo on this post was 6 weeks old at the time this photo was taken , just divine!

 
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Adelaide Hills Wedding PhotographySo much fun!  This wedding was a blast.  I met the girls in the city for their photos, followed by the boys at the Belair Country Club.  To view all the photos from this stunning wedding, please view the gallery here.

 
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Adelaide Botanic Gardens Wedding PhotosLoved spending the day with this great couple – so much fun!  Thanks for letting me tag along on your wedding day and capture all the fun, excitement and odd happy tear.  To view the highlights gallery be sure to take a look here.