Family Portraits: Your Session Guide

family photography south dublin bushy park

Don't you love when you walk into a home and instantly get a sense of who people are as a family just by seeing their family photos on display? Isn't it wonderful being able to pull out your family albums and look back through the big moments as well as the imperfect everyday moments?

Maybe you've recently moved home and you'd love to freshen up the photos on your walls. Maybe you realised over breakfast that your kids grew over night again and something about them is different and you want to capture them exactly as they are right now. You want to freeze this moment of your family in time so you have it to look back on and remember.

Whatever the reason for wanting new portraits, I would love to be the one to help you design your perfect family portrait session. 

My promise to you is that I will create an unforgettable experience and beautiful images of your family.  Your family will enjoy and thank you for these images for years to come.

What does a family portrait session entail?

Once you're ready to book your family portrait session, you will receive a pre-session phone consultation with me. We will talk about your family and what you want from your session. Maybe you have a big event coming up (a birthday or anniversary?) or maybe it's been too long since you last had pictures taken of you as a group. I will help you design a family portrait session so that you get exactly what you need from your photos.

Family portrait sessions can take place either in the comfort of your own home or in a pre-arranged location. There are so many beautiful areas around South Dublin to help frame your images. Even though we're not always blessed with good weather there are so many locations to choose from. 

family photography south dublin newborn

family photography dublin st stephens green

How long does a family portrait session last?

Family portrait sessions last typically between 45 minutes and an hour. 


How much does a family portrait session cost?

Session fees are €75. Please visit my pricing page if you want to learn more about my sessions and products. 


What do we receive at the end of the portrait session?

A personalised reveal session of your final images is designed and presented to you in the comfort of your home. I will then help you decide which images you'd like printed, framed or put in an album based on your budget and design needs.  A full product price list is provided to you ahead of the session and there is no minimum spend or obligation to purchase. 

What happens next?

If you're ready to start planning you're family portrait session or have any questions please go on and head over to the booking page to start the conversation! Alternatively, you can email me on hello@nessarobinson.com or call me on 0876103505. I look forward to working with you!

Baby Update: Baby B is 4 Months Old

It's hard to believe that we're already at the point of Baby B turning 4 months old. Compared to his sister's 4 month update, it seems to have gone by SO much faster this time. But I suppose that's to be expected when you've also got a 2 year old to run around after!

Just like his sister, I'm already thinking about introducing solids because this boy is BIG! He weighed more at his 3 month check up then Baby G did at the 6 month mark. He is one hungry little guy. Still though, I think he needs to be a bit more solid and able to sit up before I start introducing anything other than breast milk.

Highlights over the last month:

  •  We've hired a sleep consultant! (Maybe a mix of a highlight/low point??). You might know that with his sister we had a horrible time with lack of sleep and Baby B is very much on the same path. So I hired a sleep consultant (more on her another day!) and you know what? We've had a few 4 and 5 hour stretches! I'm telling you, I just don't know myself when I've had more than 90 mins sleep. It's brilliant.

  • Trying to roll!! Baby B has been working hard at getting on to his side. His sister had already managed a roll by this stage but in fairness to my little guy, he's got twice the weight to throw around :) I know he's going to do it any day now - I'm already being extra careful with where I leave him down.

  • Christmas! Baby B had his first Christmas and it was so much fun having the two kids this year. 

Lowpoints over the last month:

  • Lack of sleep (see first point above!). I won't dwell on it too much because we're working to fix it, but my god not being able to sleep is just the worst feeling. The exhaustion with two kids under 3 at home AND a lack of sleep is beyond anything I've every felt before.
  • Come to think of it that's really the only low point with Baby B this month. He is such a chilled out, easy going baby most of the time - I really thank my lucky stars! Now if he'd sleep he'd be perfect...

And here's a little photo that's almost a direct comparison to his sister at the same age - I actually forgot all about her one, but love seeing them in the same pose! 

BabyB4MonthsOld

Baby Changing Room Awards 2016 with Sudocrem Ireland

Recently I was contacted by Sudocrem Ireland to do a commercial shoot for a fun project they were working on. They were announcing the winners of the Baby Changing Room Awards and wanted some cute photos to accompany the press release. Even though I'm officially on maternity leave right now I decided it was too much of a fun project to pass up! So, I packed up my camera bag along with the nappy bag and set off for the photoshoot - 7 week old baby and my partner in tow!

It was a full day - lots of different set ups and props. We were fortunate enough to have the incredibly talented Orla Neligan of Cornershop Productions to style the shoot and the images are just beautiful. Of course, I have to give a massive shout out to baby Elliott, the star of the images. I've never met such a well behaved 8 week old! He was the perfect little model for the day.

I'm delighted to see so much pick up of the awards and the images - all over the internet and in newspapers like The Irish Times. I was exhausted at the end of the day but it was well worth it.

SEE A SELECTION OF THE IMAGES BELOW

 

Sudocrem Ireland were announcing the 2016 winners of the Baby Changing Room Awards. Visit Sudocrem Ireland to see the full list of baby changing room award winners.

Sudocrem Ireland Baby Changing Room Awards 2016

Newborn Portraits - Why So Young?

People are sometimes amazed when I tell them that I like to take newborn portraits when they are between 6 and 10 days old. As someone who still catches herself saying “I just had a baby” (and she’s now 21 months old!) I completely understand why people might think newborn portraits can be taken at 6 months old.

First let me be clear – I take photos of BABIES AT ALL AGES! I have taken some adorable posed newborn-esque images of babies as old as 8 weeks. I have taken many portraits of babies as they learn to sit up and crawl. I take images of babies around their 1st birthdays. I will never tell you your baby is too old to have their photograph taken. If I could, I would photograph ALL the babies at ALL stages!

But, if you are after those deliciously sweet images of tiny toes and curled up bodies there is an optimal time to do it. Most newborn photographers will agree that the best time for newborn photos is when they are between 6 and 10 days old. Allow me to explain to you why this is!

  1. Firstly when babies are under 10 days old they are still nice and curled up and squishy from being carried inside the womb for 9 months. This means they are already in those sleepy, curled up positions and are easily posed on the beanbag.
     
  2. Secondly, a newborn baby’s skeleton is made up mostly of cartilage which means that they are flexible and are much more comfortable with their bodies being curled up than older babies. Did you know babies are born with 307 bones? By the time they reach adulthood, they only have 206. Bones start fusing together from day one – so the younger they are, the more flexibility they have.
     
  3. Thirdly, everyone knows that newborns love to sleep, sleep, sleep. Unfortunately for some of us (myself included), that doesn’t always mean they love to sleep at night! But newborns are only awake and alert for short bursts in those first few weeks and then they tend to sleep for long stretches in between feeds and wakeful periods. This means that we have a greater window for soft, sleepy images with minimal disturbance to the baby. I’ve had a few babies sleep for the entire session – so they never even knew the camera was there!

BUT DON'T WORRY!

It’s equally important to note that I don’t like to photograph the newborns too early either. Those first, precious few days are important for you and your baby to bond. There has been a lot of changes for both of you – neither of your worlds will ever be the same! It’s a unique time to bond and get to know each other. You’ll be amazed how even 5 days will imprint a sense of who your baby is on your heart. You’ll begin to recognise which noises mean they’re getting ready to cry and which mean they're about to poop. You’ll also need some time to rest and recover from the birth.

So it may seem a little unusual to take the newborn portraits when they are so new to the world but it really does make sense and you can create some beautiful, timeless photographs. Those first few weeks always go by in a flash and their tiny little features begin to change so quickly. If you truly want to capture your newborn in all their squishy newness, I recommend you book your shoot for when they’re 6 – 10 days old.

If you’re interested in booking a newborn shoot with Nessa Robinson Photography, please send me an email on HELLO@NESSAROBINSON.COM and I’d be happy to discuss everything in more detail with you!

Why Prints Are So Important

Sometimes people ask me if they can purchase the digital images instead of prints when they view the images from their portrait session with me. I completely understand the desire to have a digital copy of your images – especially with how much technology has become a part of our lives.

But I also want to explain a little bit more about why I think prints are important – and why I think you should always make sure you choose prints as well.

Late last year, my trusty MacBook Pro began to show signs of its age. After 7 years of working pretty flawlessly, it began to struggle to open applications and eventually started slowing down when I’d turn it on. I knew in my heart that I should take time to go through all my old files and photos and start to back things up – but the job was just so big I kept putting it off. The funny thing is, I know the importance of having backups for your images – all of my client sessions are meticulously documented and stored not just locally but also onto an external hard drive. That external hard drive is only used for client images and is put away when I’m not downloading or editing images. I keep it in its own box on a shelf that is out of reach so no-one can confuse it, take it, overwrite it, use it or lose it on me. I’m very careful with making sure I do not lose any of that work.

It turns out though that for some reason my own life and documents and photos didn’t have such an importance associated with them. There’s something about being entrusted by someone to document their special moments that really makes you aware how valuable those images are. But when it’s your own every day stuff – it’s taken for granted that it will always be there. I still have photos from 10 years ago when I was a college student and I didn’t value the importance of a proper filing system or making sure that all file types are stored in one location that are floating around on my computer’s hard drive somewhere. I just blindly copied them across when I purchased my new laptop all those years ago and I never gave them a second thought.

Of course I printed out images after my daughter was born – but only a handful and after a few months I started grouping them into folders to print out another time.

But then my computer started to splutter and slow down. I knew that I should stop and take stock of everything – delete the things I didn’t want or need and make sure I copied across the things I did. One night, I started to upload my media folder to Google Drive but after 4 hours of uploading a few hundred images, I lost steam and decided I’d keep going over the next few weeks. Only, life happened and I didn’t.

Then one day the unthinkable happened. I pressed the power button and a little grey screen appeared. My computer was trying to turn on. But it didn’t. I told myself it was no big deal and I’d try again in the morning. But it still wouldn’t turn on. Quietly panicking inside, I decided to leave it until we got back from our weekend trip away. Maybe it needed a few days to re-charge.

But it didn’t.

When I got home and finally realised that it wouldn’t turn on again – I suddenly remembered all of the images I may never access again. Sure there were friends and family ones from 10 years previous that I wanted to keep. But mostly, I was horrified to realise that all of the photos I had taken with my iPhone of our daughter and moments from my pregnancy were gone. Yes, I am a photographer and I take portraits of my daughter. But I’m also a modern mom who pretty much keeps her phone to hand and uses it to document the little day-to-day details of life.

I couldn’t believe I had been so stupid – especially because I knew in my heart that this was going to happen one day. But one day just always seemed like it was far away and I never really contemplated what would be lost.

Luckily, there is a happy ending. I happen to know a pretty fantastic IT team through my old place of work – and with a quick (hysterical) visit, they took my laptop from me and hooked it up to all sorts of hard-drive reading machines. It had to be left over night, but eventually I was able to navigate it remotely from another computer and copy everything over to a new external hard drive. I only lost a few files to data corruption – and by some serious stroke of luck, everything else was saved. Those first few hours in the hospital with my first newborn? All there!

I always stress the importance of a printed image. I grew up in a house of photo albums that were kept in the main living spaces and regularly pulled out and enjoyed. As a teenager, I printed out countless images of my friends and proudly displayed them on my walls with blu-tac. As I began to settle down, beautifully framed photos began to decorate the mantel piece and dressers in the bedroom. Now my daughter has arrived, we have family portraits and baby photos decorating our home proudly showing ourselves and our guests who we are and what we value in life. I know that images stored on computers rarely get looked at and usually get forgotten. I know that images on your phone end up getting deleted to make more room for apps or new photos. I know that technology fails you sometimes. Technology also moves on. All you have to do is look at your CD or DVD collection and realise that they’re soon going to be obsolete – what will you do with the contents on them when you can no longer play them on a machine in your home?

You cannot underestimate the power of a printed image.

Something that is tangible, always to hand and something that can be looked at and enjoyed in your own home helping to create an environment that is personal to you and that represents what you value in life. It’s something that you can pass down to your children and family over time.

It’s wonderful and so so important to take the time to print and enjoy your images.

It’s also important to make sure you back everything up!!

Nessa Robinson Photography – Featured On HerFamily.ie!

In case you missed it all over my Facebook and Twitter yesterday – I’m absolutely thrilled to have been featured on HerFamily.ie as part of their “Meet The Mumpreneur” series.

Nessa Robinson on HerFamily.ie

I did the interview by email this past weekend and can’t believe how quickly it went up and how complimentary Sharyn was about my photos. Delighted doesn’t even begin to cover it. It’s so nice to feel like my name is beginning to get out there! In the interview I talk about how I’m working on my 5 year plan and hope that Nessa Robinson Photography will be the go to newborn photographer in Dublin.

It also gave me a right laugh because when it first went live they listed Eoghan as my second child. Even though it may feel that way sometimes (haha, sorry Eoghan!), it was corrected in a matter of minutes.

Here’s a screen grab – I’m also delighted that it’s been shared more than 200 times in 24 hours. Head on over to HerFamily.ie to check out the article in full!

Newborn Portrait Session with My Little Babog

My Little Babog Newborn Session

Earlier this month I had the absolute pleasure of visiting Kellie in her home to take some beautiful newborn portraits of Baby Kadie of My Little Babog.

In case you missed it, Kadie made quite the stir when she was born! It’s not every day that you have to have the fire services out to the house to help you deliver a baby. You can read more about Kadie's birth story here.

Clearly Kadie is a little lady who knows what she wants. She must have been exhausted from all the excitement though because when I first walked into the house, I didn’t even see her sleeping peacefully in her rocker. She stayed just as peaceful for the entire newborn portrait session and I was so impressed with her. She's an absolute natural.

Kellie has two other beautiful kids (I’m always amazed at how easy people make it look having more than one kid!) so we were able to have a lot of fun throughout the portrait session. I was impressed with how at ease Kadie was even with her bigger sibblings running around! You can head on over to Kellie’s blog My Little Babóg and read all about how she found her newborn portrait session experience too. Thank you Kellie for the kind words, it was an absolute pleasure to be able to capture Kadie while she is still just so new to the world!

3 Days in Copenhagen with a Toddler

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a weekend city break with a toddler is just not a good fit. It’s hard work. But sometimes hard work can also be fun. Or you just forget how "hard" hard work can be so you keep putting yourself through it. We decided spontaneously to book flights to Copenhagen a few weeks ago when we saw a deal on RyanAir for the 3 of us to fly return for only €130! Neither of us had been before and both of us love to travel – so we figured it would be a brilliant family getaway. We'd be been putting so much effort into all the house hunting that both of us needed a break. When we saw the deal, we jumped at the chance.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I'm so glad we went. I always wanted to go and we had a fabulous time and saw lots of incredible things. But we also struggled a little (lot) and were both flat out exhausted by the end of it. A city break is designed to be jam packed with sightseeing, walking around, crowded places and not enough time to fit everything in. Adding an 18 month old with the tail end of a bad cold into the mix? Yeah, that can make it pretty hard work. To the point where we actually changed our flights so we could fly home early so we'd arrive home into our own beds by midnight and enjoy a day at home recovering from the madness before heading back into work!

Still, I’m so glad we went – we learned a lot (like maybe not to do a short city break with a mobile baby) and we did have a lovely time. Well, we got some great photos out of it anyway! You know I love a good family photo. I’m just glad to be back home, drinking a hot cup of tea at my kitchen table looking back over the beautiful photos now instead of still traipsing around with a broken stroller.

If you’re planning a getaway to Denmark, I’d highly recommend it. If you’ve got a toddler with you – read on for my tips for surviving 3 days in Copenhagen on a city break.

CONS

  • Hello, money! Copenhagen is very, very expensive. Luckily it’s a beautiful city so there’s plenty to see and do for free – just by walking around – but a burger and chips could easily set you back about €30. Each. So even though we only had 3 days in Copenhagen, we spent a small fortune.
  • There doesn’t seem to be much etiquette for letting people on and off trains/buses. Even with a buggy and two suitcases in your hands, people will still stampede on ahead of you/through you to get a seat first. Be prepared to stand your ground!
  • Most places don’t open before 10am which can be frustrating when you’ve got a little rooster who likes to wake up by 6am. You may need to find ways of feeding and entertaining little ones for a few hours while the rest of the city wakes up.
  • Opening times at various museums are not at all in sync. One museum may be open on a Monday while another is closed. While this may not seem like such a bad thing, it does mean if you only have 3 days in Copenhagen and haven’t planned ahead you may miss out on some attractions! (Like when we turned up at the Design Museum on Monday afternoon only to find it was closed…sad face.)

 

 

PROS

  • The airport is extremely easy to navigate! You walk out of the arrival gates and straight to the top of the metro station.
  • The city is incredibly family friendly. There are lifts everywhere. Trains and buses have designated buggy parking. There are parks at almost every corner – and most of these have some sort of playground included (for free).
  • It is a small and compact city so it’s easy to get around – you can pretty much walk anywhere.
  • Their public transport system is amazing. Buses and trains connect every tourist spot you’d want to go to and they run every 5-10 mins too. We bought a 3 day travel pass for €50 so we just hopped on and off as we needed to.
  • It’s incredibly beautiful. There is something to look at on every street.
  • Everyone speaks English. While it can be a little ignorant to just presume you can speak English anywhere in the world and people will understand you – it’s also incredibly helpful when you literally have 2 Dutch words between you. I went up to one lady hoping for directions and asked “Do you speak English?” and the woman replied “Of course.” Love it.
  • There are baby changing stations in almost every toilet – even in the men’s rooms (major bonus points there!)
  • There are plenty of open spaces with birds in it! This may not be a pro for many of you – but since Baby G is going through a bird obsession right now, this made her very happy.

 

3 days in copenhagen nessa robinson

My Tips When Travelling for 3 days in Copenhagen With Kids

  • Bring snacks! While the city seems to be set up for kids – you’d be surprised how difficult it is to find snacks to keep them going. I barely saw any fruit on sale. If you wanted to buy a banana you had to find a supermarket and buy a whole bunch (which is fine because – we were there for 3 days after all). The kids menus weren’t great either – so we ended up feeding her off of our plates instead.
  • Stay with AirBnB. Let’s face it, evenings out in the city are non existent when you’ve got toddlers on the trip so you’re going to want to be able to hang out, relax, feed yourself and maybe watch some TV – all without waking the baby. So unless you’re rolling in the monies and can afford a hotel suite with multiple rooms, I suggest renting an apartment instead. We were able to put Baby G down to bed, close the door and put our feet up without much fear of waking her.
  • If you are going to use AirBnB then I suggest paying attention to the photos first – does it look baby friendly? We chose a minimalist style apartment (not hard to find in Copenhagen though, let’s be real) and we confirmed with the host BEFORE booking that the building was family friendly. I’m not just talking about noise levels either – but think about having to walk up multiple flights of stairs etc. Cover all your bases first and you’ll be well set up for your stay!
  • Plan ahead. This seems pretty obvious – but we found ourselves caught out once or twice when she wanted to eat or nap because we didn’t factor in travel time between destinations. It’s hard to know before you go somewhere how long these things take – but knowing you’ll be near a restaurant when the hanger hits the kiddo is always a good idea. 3 days in Copenhagen may not seem like enough time to do everything you want – but if you plan it out first, you’d be surprised how easy it is to get around! Just take the time to look at the maps properly first 😉
  • Bring warm clothes. Even if it looks pretty mild out, the air there is really cold (though we were there in October!). Everyone seems to bundle their kids up in ski costumes – so we had Baby G wrapped up in multiple layers of clothes at all times.

My Tips When Travelling for 3 days in Copenhagen Without Kids

You’re reading the wrong blog if you’re looking for those kinda tips, my friend. Sorry!

 

What Impressed Me Most

  • The Tivoli Gardens. All I can say is wow. You have to pay to enter (kids under 8 are free, adults are approx. €14) but once you’re in it’s like a wonderland inside. There are rides, restaurants, shopping stalls, lakes and just so many things to entertain the kids! They’re directly opposite Copenhagen Central Station so it’s really easy to get to – and to find. In fact there would be something wrong with you if you couldn’t spot it or hear the screams from the kids on the rollercoasters. We were so lucky that it had been transformed into a Halloween festival while we were visiting – so there were plenty of pumpkins and fun things for Baby G to look at that were much more baby friendly! We also saw it once at night (on our way back to the airport) and it looked gorgeous with all the lights. I’d love if Dublin had something like this – it would be a great place for keeping kids entertained on the weekends.

     

  • The National Gallery of Denmark was incredibly family friendly. They had a selection of these fancy Stokke buggies that you could use for free. Their cloakroom lockers were free. The public art gallery was free so you didn’t have to pay to walk around and look at those collections. They provided colouring pencils in the cafe to keep the kids entertained while you had a cup of coffee and a snack. I would highly recommend making this a stop on your itinerary if you’re interested in art!
den bla planet copenhagen nessa robinson

 

  • The Aquarium “Den Bla Planet”. (Children under 3 are free, adults are about €22). We took a bus out to the aquarium on our first full day and it was just incredible. Not only was the building itself a spectacle, but inside was really beautiful. Plenty of sections and aquariums for kids to run around and look at and I have to say it kept the adults entertained too.

 


So there you have it! Have any of you ever been to Copenhagen? I’d love to hear about your experiences of city breaks with young kids by your side – please tell me I’m not the only one who finds it exhausting? I think next time we go away, we’ll find somewhere with a quiet beach where she can run wild while I sit down and watch!