what is your photographic style like?
my style is photojournalistic, I like to think of my images as organic, relaxed and beautiful. I love to discover your story and my sessions are carefree and a lot of fun. Most of my clients end up feeling like my friends, and I aim to help you just enjoy your experience. Your images will be more storytelling by nature, and I will only direct slightly during your shoot with simple ideas. My eye is creative and a little quirky and I love to create something that is unique, just for you.
what is the photography investment for portrait sessions?
There is a $200 deposit required for booking a session with me and this remains a credit for you to use on products as you wish. I do not charge a session fee, however I do request a minimum spend of $500. You are welcome to spend this amount on products as per your liking and after $300 product value has been purchased, digital images are available to buy (and are offered as bonus periodically). Portrait clients generally invest between $500 and $2500 on beautiful products to suit their lifestyle.
when could we do our session?
most portrait shoots are in the beautiful afternoon light (usually starting at 4pm or 5pm in summer) except babies/newborns which are usually in the morning. However as a wedding photographer since 2004, I have shot at all times of the day so will work with what I am given if required. I am available Saturday and during the week by negotiation. Each shoot takes about an hour except for newborn shoots which I generally allow two hours, if settling and changes are required.
where could we do our session?
it’s really up to you, but we can choose one of three places. At home, at a favourite place you visit or at a new location that you are inspired by (like a forest) or want to explore together (eg. sideshow alley or zoo). If you have an idea of what you’d like but aren’t sure I am always happy to help with suggestions!
what are some location ideas?
A forest. A field. The beach. Up a tree. In a bubble bath. By a river. On a jetty. Deep in the city. On an old property. In a cubby house. In your PJ’s in bed with books and breaky for the family. At the library. At a gallery. At a sideshow alley. At a zoo. At the local park. On a trampoline. Inside a tent. In a cool old car. The list is completely up to you and I love helping you make new and unique ideas happen.
how many people can be in our session?
the standard portrait fee includes up to five people. If you’d like to add more you certainly can for $25 each per person. That is a one off fee and everything else regarding products remains the same.
what happens at our session?
I am a storyteller. I want to capture your story. To do this you don’t need to pose or feel awkward. You just need to be you! I may direct you a little at times if need be, but for the most part, it’s just a special time to be with those that you love. Just. Be.You.
what do we bring to our session?
feel free to bring along anything that is meaningful to you or inspires you. Old love letters. A box of favourite toys. Origami to do. A bike to ride around on. A board game. Water balloons. Your favourite dessert. A great rug to sit on. Family heirlooms to incorporate and activities to do during your shoot are great. If you’re booking a family session – ask the kids what they love to do or would like to try – no doubt they will come up with some wonderful ideas!
what should we wear?
a lot of photographers say ‘white t-shirts and jeans’ and while I do have clients who do this occasionally, I want to point out that my style is really about YOU. So if you love to be barefoot in a flowing dress with the boys in boardies? Do it. If you want to dress up in a suit and dress? Go for it. If you LOVE red, have everyone wear something red. If you like stripes – go all out with the stripes! Just. Be. You. The only thing I do recommend is to avoid commercial logos that might date quickly, and ensure that everyone’s outfits run along a similar idea. But other than that – be as simple or creative as you like!
can we professionally style our sessions?
you can definitely bring a stylist into your plans (or do yourself!) if you would like something unique. I am a creative ideas woman so if you give me some ideas, I can send you back a list of fun ideas to look at! I also have several event stylists who I can put you in contact with to plan your session.
how many images in my gallery?
I always promise a minimum of 20 images but more than often it is 30-50 finished images.
how do we order?
part of your session investment includes an online gallery. This is available for 2 weeks after your shoot and you can decide on your order. Payment must be received to commence your order.
i’m not very photogenic…any tips?
looking great isn’t actually that much about looking great, it’s about FEELING great. I have an artistic eye, wonderful equipment that lets in lots of flattering light and a beautiful editing style that makes you look really good. Your job is to just relax and have fun. If there is something that you particularly don’t like, I am super happy for your to let me know (side profile, back view etc) and I will work around it to bring out only the best in you. There is no such thing as a person without beauty!
i will have children and babies in our session – what if they play up?
i am a mum of three myself so I know what it is like working with children. And I love them! The best thing is to make sure they are fed and have been to the toilet before hand. Also have drinks and snacks on hand if you wish. Having something for them to ‘do’ is great and one of the reasons I encourage it – keeps them occupied. But mostly I love to play with them and discover their little personalities. I haven’t had a grumpy one yet!
i’m booking in for a newborn session – any special tips?
The first 4-8 days are best for newborn sessions, the earlier the better as they stay cute and curly. But more importantly when you feel a little settled and bub is feeding okay is best too. I adore new parents too and have worked with many professionally and personally over the last five years. During the session we don’t rush, I will just go with the flow – your shoot session can have as many feeds, poops, cuddles, kisses and shushing as needed. There is nothing I haven’t seen or dealt with after having my own little ones. If you feed and burp your baby just before I arrive that is best. Also try and keep them awake earlier on if you really want the sleepy shots (but I’ve had many a cute baby with eyes wide open so don’t stress). If you would like any nudey shots, please make sure that their nappy and clothes are on a little loose so that they don’t get crease marks on their skin and ensure there is a warm area to work in.
i’d love to do a pregnancy shoot, when is the best time?
the perfect time for a bump session is during weeks 32-36. When your bump is big enough to be a definite baby bump, but when you are still feeling lively and comfortable. You are free to bring a few changes of clothes and you are more than welcome to include hubby and siblings if you want to as well.
i’d love you to capture my baby but they aren’t a newborn anymore, what is the best age during the first year?
to me, babies are cute at ALL stages and I’ve photographed them at varying points during the first year. As a recommendation, when your baby can sit up on their own is a fantastic time to capture their little personality (and before they can move too much!). You are welcome to have a few outfit changes and bring along babies favourites things to play with too or pick a fun location to make your shoot really unique.
how long until my images are ready to view?
your online gallery is usually ready to view within 2-3 weeks of your shoot. If you like, for some clients I post a sneak peek preview image. If you prefer an at-home appointment I can arrange this for you too.
how long until my products are ready?
Generally 3-6weeks. Sometimes I can arrange prints a little quicker and at other times products like albums can take up to the full six weeks.
what is portrait-of-a-lady?
these shoots are designed for women of all ages to capture the beauty of the woman within. There are two types, carefree and sensual. carefree sessions are great for a graduation gift, 18th or 21st present, model portfolio or just to feel beautiful and have a wonderful historic collection of images. Think: fun, quirky, fashionistic. My “sensual” sessions are designed for mature female portraits. They are not full on boudoir, but are more relaxed and teasing of what you can’t see. Think flowing hair, skin, beautiful fabric, textures, and relaxed, sensual images. I also create ‘little black books’ which are a mini album contain 20 pages of your favourite images – perfect as a surprise gift for your lover!
do you shoot weddings?
From 2004-2012 i photographed many weddings and had a busy but delightful time. However after the birth of my children from 2008 and when the bookings kept increasing I knew I had to make a choice. I wanted a better life balance with my young ones (and hubby’s busy career) so I decided to put the pressure of weddings on hold for a few years. It was a hard choice to say no to many brides in the six months after announcing my change in direction, but I know in my heart I made the right choice. And these days I am having a ball capturing so many unique and wonderful portraits every week so it’s really been a fantastic choice for me (and my cuties!).
how do I book?
a deposit of your shoot fee will confirm your booking and we can lock in the date and time. If we aren’t sure of the timing we can just book in the date and confirm the location and time later on.
how far out do we need to book?
I book 1-6 months in advance for portrait shoots, so getting in touch at your earliest convenience is best. If you are booking in for newborn portraits, an ETA is fine and I will make sure I leave room in my schedule for your shoot (we all know babies can have their own schedule!). If you think you’ve left your run too late for an important date, please enquire anyway as I may be able to fit your shoot session in and then the images can be edited and presented at a future date.
how do we plan our shoot if we want something really unique?
think of it like you are writing a book about your family. Characters – who do you want included? Themes – give your story a focus – our family and the seaside” “our favourite cafe” “a morning at the markets ” “a picnic with my lover” Scene – where do you want it held? Somewhere that you love to go. Somewhere that inspires you. Somewhere that you love the idea of. Props – it’s always great to bring along something that you love to do together. Sharing ice-creams. Flying a kite. It can be something that you often do together, or something completely new and interesting!
how do we pay for our shoot and products?
You can pay by cash, cheque or credit card. And payment plans are also available. Some clients make deposits in the year leading up to their shoot so that it’s all paid for in advance. There is a payment plan option available too and if required you can make payments for your order over 3 months.
What does the name etta mean?
I liked it for a while and it kept coming back to me, plus it was short and catchy. But ultimately I chose it for it’s definitions – “she” : that’s me the creative romantic and feminine storyteller ”keeper of the home” : that’s me the mama and wife “beautiful” that’s what I want to find and capture in your story.
what is your photography journey?
I studied a few electives in highschool and took photos of friends and a few bands in my teens. I always loved it but never thought of doing much with it until my mid twenties when I began shooting friends portraits and weddings. i worked in advertising and business management while shooting a handful of weddings each year from 2004 onwards. I never really studied photography apart from those highschool courses, but I am a fairly driven person, so I just read and learnt online, playing around until I got want I wanted. Then after my little girl was born in 2008 I decided I wanted to be able to work from home and so I began etta photography officially and I haven’t looked back! In 2012 I decided that I wouldn’t shoot weddings from 2013 onwards. It was a big decision as I do love a wedding day story, but my business had grown to a point where to go to the next level, I needed to let something go. So I decided that my love of portrait photography and commercial work was more suited to my lifestyle.
what inspires you?
I am a curious person. Always wanting to learn, always wanting to create. i love people and I love the world we live in. I’m always looking for stories and what makes people tick, their dreams and inspirations. I love to include that in my shoot sessions. I guess it makes it a harder type of photography – to shoot on the fly, always in different places and always doing new things – but I think I love that about what I do. If I was stuck in a studio doing the same thing, I think I’d quietly go mad. I also love that I get to give clients something new, just for them. I’ve shot in some locations several times, so I’m not against that, but I always try to give a new perspective on the same location too.
i have another question, how do I get in touch?
feel free to shoot me an email at maddie @ ettaphotography.com.au. I can’t wait to meet you! Maddie