Bree Hulme Photography Sydney Photographer

How to Choose the Right Photographer for You

When you first decide that you want to get some family photos taken - whether that is for a new baby coming into your lives, celebrating a milestone birthday, or because your kids just keep growing so quickly - you will very soon realise that you have plenty of photographers to choose from! So how do you decide which photographer is going to best suit you, your family and your needs? There is the added pressure if it is a milestone session like a pregnancy, newborn, birth, or birthday that you may only have one chance to get it right!

So let's talk about how you can find the right photographer for you and get it right!

First Impressions Count

At first glance, you have gone on Facebook or Instagram, jumped on a few websites, asked your friends for referrals even. Now it’s time to review those photographer’s portfolios to assess their style and see if they align with your preferences. You need look at the different elements to find those that meet your own requirements and preferences:

  • Location - Outdoor sessions (Beach, Parks, Urban, Gardens, etc.) or In Studio sessions
  • Aesthetics - Light, bright and vibrant images vs Darker, moody and more dramatic images.
  • Image Style - Candid, Posed, the client looks comfortable, and the range & type of images
  • Look and feel of the Business - Branding, Colours, Messaging (do you connect with what they are saying), Do they have a website, are they accredited, reviews, great quality of work, your location, etc.
  • Consistency in images quality and style

Once you have this initial look and you will have a few photographers on your short list and it is time to reach out them. Now it's time to narrow it down to the details. But you aren't really sure what you need to ask. Hence the saying - ”You don’t know what you don’t know.”

Bree Hulme Photography Sydney PhotographerHere are some factors to consider when selecting your family photographer:

Personal Connection

For me, this is one of the most important factors! It’s essential to feel comfortable and have a good rapport with your chosen photographer. A personal connection can contribute to a more enjoyable and successful photoshoot. I know in the sessions I have had with my own kids, they loved their photographer every time. They connected right away, laughed, giggled, and it made the session super fun. As a newborn photographer, you need to make sure you are completely comfortable with your choice of photographer and trust them with your new baby.

Family shoots can sometimes be chaotic, especially when working with young children. A patient and friendly photographer who can connect with your family members (from toddlers to teenagers) and make them feel at ease will be able to capture more authentic and relaxed moments.

Good communication is crucial when working with a family photographer. Ensure they are responsive, listen to your ideas and preferences, and are open to discussing your vision for the shoot. A photographer who communicates effectively will be better equipped to capture the essence of your family. This is super important if you have children or members who have certain quirks or personalities. ie, is shy, overwhelmed easily, or have additional needs.

This is why it’s ESSENTIAL to CALL YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER! Yes you can DM or email, but you need to pick up the phone and SPEAK to them. As you will discover very quickly if you gel or not. Equally important is to call them back if you miss their call. 

Once you have connected then check the photographer’s availability and ensure they can accommodate your preferred date and time.

Recommendations and Reviews

This is one of the key factors that people look for when seeking recommendations from friends, family, or trusted sources who have worked with a family photographer before. Additionally, read online reviews and testimonials to gauge the photographer’s reputation and the satisfaction of their past clients.

These can be found on Facebook as recommendations or on Google reviews. Make sure you read the comments-  the good, the bad and the ugly. You will quickly get a “feel” for the photographer when keywords keep coming up, “They made us feel so comfortable” “Our kids had so much fun with our photographer Bree”.

LifeStyle or Posed

Certain photographers specialize in the “Lifestyle” approach, which involves capturing candid and natural images. These sessions have a fluid and storytelling nature, aiming to document the precious moments shared between family members. The photographer focuses on showcasing the connections and relationships within the family, incorporating a variety of combinations. Whether it’s capturing the tender moments between a parent and child or the energetic dynamics of siblings, the goal is to reflect the unique personalities and connections within the family. The session may include a mix of close-up shots and environmental portraits, particularly when outdoors, to highlight the location’s significance.

On the other hand, some photographers specialize in posed and formal portraits. These sessions typically involve a more structured approach, with the photographer meticulously crafting and positioning each pose to perfection. The focus is on creating artfully composed portraits with precise attention to detail.

It’s worth noting that a session can incorporate elements from both styles. By communicating your preferences and desired outcomes, you can work with the photographer to strike the right balance between candid and posed images that best reflects your family dynamics and individual personalities.

Bree Hulme Photography Sydney PhotographerThe Photographers Experience

When selecting a photographer, it is important to find someone with specific experience in the genre you wish to be photographed. While a generalist photographer may excel in various genres, collaborating with a specialist in your desired genre generally yields better results. For instance, when it comes to family photography, the dynamics can be complex, and an experienced photographer understands how to work with children, manage group shots, and capture genuine emotions. Similarly, professional and experienced newborn photographers have done extensive training on safe handling and posing of newborn babies to ensure your precious baby is safe and comfortable throughout the session.

Experience holds significant value. With 10 years of photographing families, I have encountered and successfully navigated through a wide range of situations. This allows me to problem-solve swiftly and adapt to any circumstance, always prioritizing the best outcome for the individuals I am photographing. Such insight is acquired over time through practical experience. 

Therefore, when considering a photographer, be sure to inquire or read their bio to learn who will be the actual photographer on the day of the session. If they are part of a photography “company,” ask specifically about the assigned photographer for your session to ensure you are aware of and comfortable with the individual who will be capturing your photos.

Location and Setting

Take into consideration whether you have a preference for an outdoor shoot at a specific location or an indoor shoot in a studio or your own home. It is important to discuss your desired locations and settings with the photographer to ensure they can accommodate your preferences.

It is worth noting that most photographers have their preferred and carefully chosen locations, kept confidential for the best possible outcomes considering the lighting conditions and suitable time of day for the genre being photographed. These locations are selected based on their suitability for the desired aesthetic and ambience. Therefore, it is considered inappropriate to contact photographers solely to inquire about their secret locations and then proceed to book another photographer.

Indoor studio sessions typically take place within the photographer’s studio or home studio, where everything is set up and readily available, including props, dresses, and equipment. This controlled environment offers a warm, cozy, and homely atmosphere for the shoot. However, for a more lifestyle and photojournalistic approach, some photographers may offer sessions in the comfort of your own home. You will need to discuss lighting options with your photographer when choosing your own home as a location.

If you are unsure about what would best suit your family, discuss this with your photographer who can guide you through different options to help you make the best decision.

Bree Hulme Photography Sydney PhotographerThe Photography Experience

You will quickly see that not all photographers work the same, there is no right or wrong way. Many photographers will offer a full photography experience as well as the opportunity at set times of the year to book in for a mini session. Deciding which experience will suit you best is important:

The Full Photography Experience Encompasses a comprehensive approach, starting with a design consultation to carefully plan the entire session and determine the desired outcome. During this consultation, discussions will revolve around various aspects such as location selection, clothing colours and choices, specific images and personalities to capture, and the involvement of different family members and their ages. Additionally, there will be a focus on understanding your goals for the session and what you ultimately wish to achieve. The photographer aims to shoot with the end products in mind, ensuring that the images created align with your vision.

While you may not have a precise idea of what you want, it is the photographer’s responsibility to help uncover your preferences and create something special and unique specifically tailored to you.

Once the photography session is completed, your photographer will guide you through purchasing your images, artworks and albums either in the comfort of your own home via an online gallery viewing or by coming back to their studio.

The Mini Session Experience typically refers to a brief 10-20 minute photography session, which is often priced significantly cheaper than a full photography experience. It follows a quick and efficient approach, capturing a few shots within the allotted time frame and then concluding the session. The process may involve an immediate selection of images on the spot or receiving a link at a later time to choose your desired photos. Mini sessions are commonly offered for specific occasions such as Christmas, Mother's Day, popup sessions, and similar events. It is important to note that experience plays a crucial role in successfully executing mini-sessions, as the photographer must work efficiently within the limited time available to capture meaningful shots and deliver a satisfying outcome. Mini sessions are usually at a prescribed time with a photographer and it is seen as discourteous to ask a photographer for an ad hoc mini session. Mini sessions do not usually involve consultation with the photographer about what to wear, specific details about your family or personalised props and locations.

Inclusions for the photography experience – Props, Equipment, Dresses, Hair and Make-Up, Outfits

It is advisable to inquire with your photographer regarding their provision of props, blankets, equipment, dresses, outfits, and other related items. Each photographer has their own approach and perspective on this matter. Some may have an extensive collection and setup to offer you a range of options to wear and use during the session. Conversely, others may encourage you to bring your own items, ensuring a more personalized touch that aligns with your unique story and style. Therefore, it is recommended to ask your photographer about the available options to determine what works best for you.

What do you want?

If you have specific ideas or preferences in mind, it is essential to communicate them to the photographer rather than waiting until after the images are delivered to express any missed shots. By proactively sharing your vision and desires, you can ensure that the photographer understands your expectations and can work towards capturing the desired images.

If there is a particular image that you truly desire, it is highly encouraged to inform your photographer explicitly. Avoid leaving it to interpretation.

For example, if you have a specific shot in mind of your kids looking at the camera with their big brown eyes, with nice smiles while standing up, it is crucial to communicate this to the photographer. As the photographer, they may have intended to capture the kids in a more natural setting with laughter and giggles.

Another example is I wanted an iconic wide shot, environmental landscape family portrait walking along on our local beach. The photographer could of just captured an image of us sitting down together at the beach in the long grass.

However, if the shot you envision is different from their approach, it is important to let them know by requesting, “Can we make sure we capture this specific style of shot, please?”

Open communication between you and your photographer is key to ensuring that your expectations are met and that the final images reflect your desired vision.

Printing your Digital files

It is crucial to exercise caution as a buyer. It’s important to note that these digital images are often calibrated specifically for the screens of the photographer and their preferred print labs. Consequently, when you print the images yourself at other print labs or through department stores, there is a higher chance of variations in terms of brightness, darkness, colour shifts (such as more blue, magenta, or yellow), and overall quality.

This is precisely why it is highly recommended to print your images with your photographer. While it may be more expensive than using a department store or generic print lab, the benefits are significant. Printing with your photographer ensures that the images are produced using their preferred print lab, which is calibrated to accurately represent the intended colours, tones, and overall look of the photographs. The investment in professional printing services provided by your photographer is undoubtedly worthwhile, as it guarantees the highest quality and fidelity to the original image.

By opting to print with your photographer, you can be confident that the final printed products will accurately reflect the artistic vision and intent behind the images, resulting in a superior and more satisfying outcome.

What are you going to do with your images?

As a client, you may have a clear vision of what you want and where you intend to display the photographs in your home. Alternatively, you may have no specific ideas and simply desire all the digital files. In either case, it is the responsibility of your photographer to ask the appropriate questions to understand your preferences and help guide you in making decisions. This information is crucial as it will influence the way the photographer approaches the session, considering the intended end products.

By asking the right questions, the photographer can gain insights into your desired outcomes, allowing them to tailor their approach and capture images that align with your vision. Whether you have specific ideas or require guidance, the photographer’s role is to facilitate the process and ensure that the photography session is conducted in a manner that best serves your preferences and intended use of the images. It is important to note that any questions asked be answered fully and in a timely manner before your session to ensure both you and your photographer as best prepared on the day.

For instance, let’s consider a recent session I had with my own family . I had a clear idea of wanting a collection of images showcasing the relationships within our family - each parent with each child, which would be displayed around our dining room table as white framed artworks of various sizes and orientations. Additionally, I desired an album to encompass all the other images captured during the session.

displaying family photos can boost children's self esteem by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney newborn photographer

Session Fee / Booking Fee

Most photographers will require a session fee, booking fee, or retainer to secure your booking and confirm your intention to proceed with the session. This fee is separate from any finished products or files and covers the photographer’s time and expertise. Occasionally, you may come across special offers that include additional items. This arrangement allows you to have the session and make your selections for images and artwork after the session has taken place.

However, it’s worth noting that some photographers operate differently and may ask you to select and pay for a package/collection or artwork upfront, eliminating the need for a separate session fee. This approach streamlines the process, ensuring that all aspects, including the session and chosen products, are arranged and paid for in advance.

Pricing, Packages, Finished Wall Art and Albums.

Navigating through the various photography package options can sometimes feel overwhelming. It is essential to comprehend the inclusions of each package, such as the number of edited photos, prints, or albums, and ensure that it aligns with your budget.

To simplify this process, here is a breakdown:

All-inclusive: With this option, you pay a single amount and receive the agreed-upon number of fully edited and retouched images in digital format.

Packages/Collections: You will typically have a selection of 3-5 package options to choose from. Each package offers different quantities of images along with various additional items. These items may include loose prints, printed products, print credits that can be applied towards finished wall art, bespoke albums, and more.

Finished Artwork: Most Professional Photographers will have a selection of finished artwork for you to choose from. These products  are sourced from the highest quality professional print labs and may include traditional frames, torn edge or glassless frames, canvas or boxed canvas, metal or wood art, and bespoke albums.

Understanding what your photographer offers and the differences between the products will help you make an informed decision about the type of package or finished artwork that best suits your preferences and requirements.

These options will also determine the price of your photography session with the desired outcome.

Please Note: The “Price” is in the creation, time, telent, skills, quality of service, insurance, editing, equipment, etc. So your “files” are the finished product and will be price accordingly.

Mum Poses with Newborn Baby Favourite Mum and Baby poses newborn session with Bree Hulme Photography Sydney Newborn PhotographerTiming and delivery of images and products

The turnaround time for your images will vary depending on the type of photography session you have. Some photographers may be able to provide your images within a few days, while others may take a few weeks. It is recommended to inquire about the expected timeframe when discussing your session with the photographer.

When it comes to finished artwork, the production time is typically around 2-6 weeks. This timeframe may vary depending on the specific products chosen and the time of year (end of year is always far busier), as some may be sourced locally while others may be sourced from overseas.

It’s important to consider these factors and discuss the estimated timeline with your photographer to have a clear understanding of when you can expect to receive the final artwork.

Contracts, Terms and Insurance

Before finalising your decision, review the photographer’s contract or terms of service. Ensure you understand the rights to the photos, any additional fees, cancellation policies, and any other important details. Also asked if they are insured too.

In summary…

Choosing the right professional photographer is a significant decision that involves considering several key factors.

  • First and foremost, reviewing the photographer’s portfolio and understanding their style is crucial to ensure it aligns with your preferences.
  • Experience in their genre of photography, along with positive recommendations and reviews, speaks to the photographer’s ability to work with diverse dynamics and capture genuine emotions.
  • Effective communication and a personal connection with the photographer are essential for a successful photoshoot experience.
  • Discussing location options, props, and clothing choices allows for customization and a better understanding of what to expect.
  • Understanding the pricing structure and packages offered is important to determine if they fit within your budget and desired outcomes.

By taking these factors into account, you can confidently select a professional family photographer who will capture beautiful moments, create lasting memories, and deliver a personalised and enjoyable experience for you and your loved ones.

What are the Top Baby names of 2022 - bree hula photography top Sydney newborn photographerChecklist of questions you can ask your photographer

Here is a list of questions you can ask your photographer to get a better understanding of their products and services. You don’t have to ask them all just the ones that apply to you.

  • Where are you located?
  • What’s your availability?
  • How many images will I receive from my session?
  • How soon will I receive the images or artwork from my session?
  • Are you the Photographer photographing us?
  • Can I purchase artwork from you or do I have to purchase it on my own?
  • How long have you been photographing in your genre?
  • What happens if I need to reschedule?
  • Do you offer payment plans?
  • Do you have a client closet?
  • For maternity – can my partner and kids join?
  • For newborn - are you training in newborn safety?
  • What should I be bringing to a session?
  • What do you bring to a session?
  • How do I best prepare my family for our session?
  • What time of day do you recommend for my family?
  • What do you suggest for clothing choices?
  • What are your suggestions about locations?
  • How long does the photography session go for?
  • Do you have a Working with Children Check?
  • What happens if it rains on the day of our session?
  • When do I get my images back?
  • Do I choose the images or does the photographer?
  • How far in advance do I need to make a booking?
  • Do I have to sign a contract? What if I don’t want my photos on social media?
  • How many outfits can we bring?
  • What colors should we wear/ not wear?

Father's Day Mini sessions with Bree Hulme Photography Sydney Family Photographer northern beaches Freshwater studio or beach sessions

Father’s Day Mini Session



This Father's Day we want to celebrate all things Dad! So I am thrilled to announce that Father’s Day Mini Sessions have launched!

Father's Day Mini sessions with Bree Hulme Photography Sydney Family Photographer northern beaches Freshwater studio or beach sessions

Bree Hulme Photography is once again teaming up with the fabulous Rachel Wildig Photography to offer beautiful Daddy & Me Mini Sessions on ONE DAY ONLY!

Sessions will be 20 minutes in duration and are held both at Rachel’s studio in Freshwater and also at Freshwater Beach for sunrise and sunset sessions.

Saturday 26 August 

6.00am - 7:30am for location SUNRISE SESSIONS at Freshwater Beach

9.00am – 3.00pm for STUDIO SESSIONS 

3.45pm – 5.30pm for location SUNSET SESSIONS at Freshwater Beach

Father's Day Mini sessions with Bree Hulme Photography Sydney Family Photographer northern beaches Freshwater studio or beach sessions

Please be advised that Freshwater Beach sessions are subject to weather conditions and in the case of rain will be moved to the studio. Before booking, please consider whether you are happy to accept this condition.

Bookings for our Father's Day Mini Sessions are restricted to immediate family members only (max 6 people). Should you wish to combine families please book multiple back-to-back sessions or get in touch to discuss your exact requirements.

After your session you will receive an online gallery to choose your favourite 5 images to receive in digital high-resolution, with an option to buy more, should you wish. Payment of the session fee is required upfront to secure your booking. Additional digital files are priced at the special discounted price of $25, payable upon selection.

Father's Day Mini sessions with Bree Hulme Photography Sydney Family Photographer northern beaches Freshwater studio or beach sessions

Since timing is tight, please arrive promptly and ready to start your session straight away. 

Wondering what to wear? We suggest that family members co-ordinate outfits and anything in neutral colours will look great. You are welcome to bring a change of clothing however this will eat into your session time which is strictly limited to 20 minutes to ensure that we can run to time for all Clients scheduled for that day.

Bookings may be made on the live booking calendar below. Please get in touch at

If these date does not suit your family and we will do our best to accommodate with additional dates subject to interest.



Father's Day Mini sessions with Bree Hulme Photography Sydney Family Photographer northern beaches Freshwater studio or beach sessions

We can't wait to see you!

Bree Hulme Photography Sydney Photographer

5 Tips for Settling Your Newborn

In many of my newborn sessions, new parents ask me if I can come home and help settle their baby, especially at night. As a mum of 3, I remember those early days of parenthood, with a brand new human at home with us and trying to get it all right. Especially the settling and sleeping.

I remember pacing the hallway at all hours of the day and night, bouncing on a yoga ball, or going for long drives with Brahms Lullaby playing. Anything to get this tiny human to settle and go to sleep.

I remember my first baby who would only sleep for 20 minute intervals during the day, and my second baby who wanted to be fed every 2 hours, even when the previous feed had taken over an hour to complete! I remember being more tired than I had ever been in my life.

After 3 babies, 3 very different babies as far as sleeping and settling go, these are my top 5 tips for settling your newborn that really made a difference for me.

1. Feeding 

When you’re breastfeeding it’s hard to know when your baby has had enough. Trying to keep them awake long enough finish a feed fully can be a real challenge in those early weeks. A few things I did to help make sure they had a good feed:

  • Clothes off. A warm baby is much more likely to fall asleep when feeding so taking their clothes off helps. I didn't want them to be cold, but stripped down to their nappy and warm against me whilst they fed, was just enough sensation to help keep them awake.
  • I tickled their feet as they fed to just stimulate them a little.
  • Changing their nappy halfway through the feed helped to wake them back up if they had dropped off to sleep.


Bree Hulme Photography Sydney Photographer2. Burping

Babies don't always burp straight away after a feed, it can take a little while and they all have their own unique little preferences about how best to get that burp to come up. My husband was best at burping our babies and found holding them up on his shoulder and patting their back or bottom was the best way to get them to burp.

I found sitting my babies on my lap with their little head supported in my hand worked best for me. Or even lying my babies across my knee and patting their backs.

It can take a little while to figure out what works best for you and your baby so don’t be afraid to try a few different things until you find what works for you and your baby.


3. Swaddling

My first baby had such a strong relaxation response to being swaddled it was adorable to watch. He could be crying and angry and beside himself, but as soon as his first arm was wrapped securely next to his body he started to calm, his eyes would begin to close and he would have calmed down by the time I had him all wrapped up.

My 3rd baby loved to be in her Love to Dream Swaddle with her arms up by her face, and she too started to relax and calm as soon as she was in her swaddle. I just wish I had of had these zip up swaddles with my first 2 babies, it made the exahusted-middle-of-the-night swaddling so much easier!

There are lots of different techniques for wrapping, so find the one that is easiest for you but always remember to wrap firmly so they can’t escape too easily. I found that stretchy fabrics worked best for swaddling and this is especially true in my studio as well.

If you have a winter baby it’s easier as summer babies can get quite warm so it is best to use a lighter wrap in summer.


Bree Hulme Photography Sydney Photographer4. White noise

I use white noise in all my newborn sessions. It has put all my newborn clients to sleep and even a few parents! I used white noise with my first baby as well, and with my subsequent babies it was definitely a must with all the noise their older siblings created.

Having sound playing while your baby sleeps means that they are less likely to wake at a loud noise. Keeping the house completely quiet was never an option for me and would usually lead to even the quietest noise causing my babies to wake crying.


5. The 4 S's

When my first baby was brand new, and we were totally overwhelmed, our paediatrician gave us a video about the 4 S's of settling our baby.

  • Swaddle
  • Suck
  • Side
  • Swing

It literally changed our lives. When all else failed we would make sure these 4 things were done and we would soon have a happy, sleepy baby.

We would swaddle our baby, give him a dummy to suck, hold him on his side and we would swing or rock him back and forth. We had a rocking chair which was perfect for exhausted parents, but walking around with him in a carrier or sling, or going for a walk with him in the stroller or even a drive in the car, all served the same purpose of creating movement for our baby.

Babies are in constant motion in the womb, and recreating this movement really helped to sooth our babies in those early days, weeks and months.


Bree Hulme Photography Sydney PhotographerBonus tip!

One final bonus tip for settling your newborn! Brushing your finger gently down your babies nose or over their eyes can help them drift off to sleep in those final moments when they are fighting sleep with all their might. I do this a lot during my newborn sessions and this natural reflex still amazes me.


Do you have a new baby? Book in now for your newborn portraits. Capture this precious new baby before they grow any bigger.

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Location for Family Portraits on Sydney's Northern Beaches

The Northern Beaches of Sydney are renowned for their natural beauty, pristine coastline, and picturesque settings, making them an ideal backdrop for unforgettable family portraits. In this ultimate guide, we will explore the best locations in Sydney's Northern Beaches for your family portrait session. From golden sandy beaches to rocky headlands and lush parks, these spots offer a variety of stunning backdrops to capture your family's joy and create lasting memories.

Bree Hulme Photography Sydney Photographer

Curl Curl Beach:

Curl Curl Beach is a gem of the Northern Beaches, offering a long stretch of golden sand, crystal-clear waters, and beautiful vegetation-covered sand dunes. The dramatic cliffs at the northern end of the beach provide a captivating backdrop for your family portraits.

ultimate guide to choosing a location for your family photos on the Sydney Northerm Beaches with Bree Hulme Photography

The sand dunes stretching between North and South Curly beaches offer the perfect place for play and exploration to capture candid moments of your family away from the hustle and bustle of the swimming areas, providing privacy and calm for your family photos.

Bree Hulme Photography Sydney Photographer

Shooting during the early morning sunrise or late afternoon sunset golden hours will provide soft lighting and a tranquil atmosphere

Narrabeen Lakes:

The tranquil waters of Narrabeen Lakes offer a unique setting for family portraits. Explore the sandy beaches, jetties, and lush surroundings of the bushland to find the perfect spots. The calm lake waters provide beautiful reflections, while the surrounding park and bushlands offer a mix of natural beauty and recreational areas.

ultimate guide to choosing a location for your family photos on the Sydney Northern Beaches with Bree Hulme Photography

Shooting during the early morning or late afternoon will ensure the softest lighting and a peaceful ambiance. There are plenty of areas to explore making it easy to escape the crowds and busy pedestrian and cycle thoroughfares, whilst providing space for play and exploration to capture those candid, natural moments with your family. 

Parks and spaces around the lake are dog friendly making this the perfect location for including your fur-baby in your family photos.

ultimate guide to choosing a location for your family photos on the Sydney Northern Beaches with Bree Hulme Photography

At certain times of the year there are even some beautiful floral blooms that pop up around the lake to create a truly magical setting.

Long Reef Headland:

Long Reef Headland offers panoramic views of the coastline, making it a spectacular location for family portraits. The grassy cliffs, rocky outcrops, and breathtaking ocean vistas create a stunning backdrop.

The ultimate guide to the best northern beaches photo locations for your family portraits Long Reef Headland and beach

Capture your family against the backdrop of crashing waves or silhouetted against the rising sun. Timing is crucial here, with the golden hours providing soft, warm light and a magical atmosphere as well as avoiding the crowds who walk around this spectacular headland each day. 

This location does require some walking especially if heading down to the aquatic reserve under the headland cliff. Dogs are not permitted into the aquatic reserve under the headland so be sure to check with your photographer about where you are having your photos. Ensure everyone is capable of the physical exercise needed to reach the headland and make the steep descent and ascent to the aquatic reserve below if planning to explore the rock platform.

The Beach Rockpools & Ocean Pools:

The enchanting rockpools and ocean pools around the beaches of the Northern Beaches provide another picturesque location for capturing beautiful family portraits.

The ocean-side rockpools provide a serene atmosphere and a natural backdrop of rocky formations. Capture your family exploring the rockpool, or position them on the surrounding rocks for a visually appealing composition. In still waters the reflections can be mesmerising.

Search for sea urchins and star fish in the naturally formed pools on the rock platforms. Sunrise or sunset shoots will enhance the warm colors and create a dreamy ambiance. Of course, always check the tides and ocean conditions when planning a shoot near the rockpools. These areas can be a precarious place especially with young children.

Bree Hulme Photography Sydney Photographer

And be prepared to end the session in the warmer months, with the kids in the pool! Bring some towels and a change of clothes, because it can be hard to resist the cool waters on a hot summer morning. Sometimes it is even hard to resist for the adults!

Practical Tips

Plan your shoot during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset for the most flattering light and atmospheric conditions. This also helps to avoid crowds who love to visit the beautiful beaches year round.

Consider the tides and weather conditions when shooting at the beach to ensure safety and comfort. If the weather is going to be cold, make sure your family dresses for the conditions - cold kids don't love having their photos taken. 

Coordinate outfits that complement the natural surroundings, such as earthy tones or soft pastels.

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

Communicate with your photographer to discuss your vision, get their expert recommendations, and make the most of the chosen locations.

The Northern Beaches of Sydney provide an abundance of stunning locations for capturing family portraits. From the golden sands of Curl Curl Beach to the tranquil waters and bushland of Narrabeen Lakes and the dramatic cliffs of Long Reef Headland, these spots offer a range of backdrops that reflect the natural beauty of the area. By planning your shoot during the golden hours, coordinating outfits, and embracing the unique charm of each location, you can create family portraits that evoke joy, love, and the timeless beauty of the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

These locations offer diverse landscapes and backdrops, allowing you to choose the atmosphere and setting that best suits your family's style and preferences. Remember to consider factors like lighting, privacy, accessibility, and any specific guidelines or restrictions that may apply to each location. Ultimately, the best location will depend on your personal preferences and the vision you have for your family portraits.

Mums need to be in the photos too by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney family photographer

Mum's need to be in photos too

Mums Need to be in Photos Too!

Mums need to be in the photos too by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney family photographer

As a devoted mother, you consistently shoulder the mental load of your family's well-being. From packing lunches and washing clothes to orchestrating family activities and managing schedules, you effortlessly handle it all.

Mums need to be in the photos too by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney family photographer

However, there is a small drawback. Since mothers tend to be the ones immersed in these tasks, they often find themselves behind the lens, capturing precious moments. While having countless photographs of your children is undeniably delightful, it means that you, dear mum, are not present in many of them. In fact, you may even consciously evade being caught on camera due to personal insecurities.

But it's time to change that. You deserve to be on the other side of the camera, in amongst the beauty of your family, the family you created. Let me explain why.

Mums need to be in the photos too by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney family photographer


It may be difficult to contemplate, but there will come a day when you won't be here anymore. And when that time arrives, all your children will have left are the photographs of you. They will yearn to revisit those cherished moments and see your radiant smile, just the way they remember it.

Mums need to be in the photos too by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney family photographer

However, if you consistently stay behind the scenes, rarely stepping in front of the lens, they will be left with only a handful of glimpses capturing the essence of who you truly were. These shared moments, these significant milestones, deserve to be documented with you in the midst of them, not just hiding out behind the camera.

Think about the joy your children will experience when they stumble upon these treasured family portraits, brimming with love and togetherness. Let them see the way you embraced every special occasion, the way you radiated warmth and affection. By being present in these photographs, you ensure that your children will forever hold on to the memories of a remarkable mother who played an irreplaceable role in their lives.

Mums need to be in the photos too by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney family photographer

Step into the frame, and let your children witness the love and happiness that surrounded them throughout their lives. They deserve to have enduring memories of you, a source of comfort and joy for years to come.


Mums need to be in the photos too by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney family photographer

As a mother, it is your profound desire to instill a sense of self-love within your children. In our society, it becomes even more crucial to teach your daughter the importance of loving herself, as she will inevitably face societal pressures to conform to narrow standards of beauty, perpetually emphasising the need to be thinner, younger, and more conventionally attractive. What she truly needs is to witness your unwavering confidence and self-love, regardless of whether you fit into society's limited definition of beauty. In fact, it is especially crucial for her to witness your self-love if you don't conform to those societal ideals. And your sons need to see this too so that they grow up valuing and loving the women in their lives just as they are.

Each time you shy away from the camera or recoil from the flash, a subtle message is conveyed to your daughter—a message that you don't deem yourself worthy of being captured in the frame, that you don't perceive yourself as beautiful. Is that the lesson you genuinely want to impart to your children?

Mums need to be in the photos too by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney family photographer

Instead, offer your children the invaluable gift of lasting memories and demonstrate the astounding beauty that resides within each and every one of you. Consider scheduling a family photo shoot with a skilled professional family photographer who understands how to showcase your family's unique charm and ensure everyone looks their absolute best. Through this experience, you will not only cherish the memories being created but also provide your children with a timeless visual reminder of their own beauty, inside and out.

Let your daughter witness your self-acceptance, embracing your own unique features and radiating genuine confidence. Show your sons the importance of appreciating and respecting women for who they are, beyond societal standards. By actively participating in family portraits, you inspire a powerful lesson—that self-love is a treasure worth embracing, that beauty transcends societal expectations, and that your children are worthy of capturing in the frame alongside their remarkable mother.

Mums need to be in the photos too by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney family photographer

In the years to come, as your children grow and perhaps start families of their own, they will fondly look back on these cherished portraits. The memories they evoke will remind them of the profound love and acceptance they experienced as part of a family that celebrated their individuality and encouraged self-love.

So, Mums, embark on this journey of self-love and family portraits, hand in hand with your children. Together, you will create a legacy of beauty, strength, and unwavering love that will endure for generations to come.

Mums need to be in the photos too by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney family photographer

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

What if my kids won't sit still?

As a mum of energetic kids I totally get that Mum's are nervous about how their kids are going to behave during their families portrait session. I too have faced this anxiety on the other side of the camera. My advice - leave it to me. I have been photographing families for 10 years (& I have been a Mum for 15!) and I know that keeping kids engaged, having fun and not "sitting still and smiling at the camera" are the key to capturing your family in a unique and authentic way.

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

The key for me is play. I use play throughout my sessions to engage kids and capture the natural connections and love that are your family. We usually start all sitting together, snuggled up close and play whispering games, family guessing games or animal noise games to capture some sweet close ups and lots of laughs. Then we move onto more active games - running games, jumping games, hugging games or playing with bubbles.

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

I came to family photography through photographing my own children, and I never got an authentic, beautiful smile by asking my kids to "smile at the camera". And I will not get it from your kids that way either.

Even Dads often need "something to do" in order to relax and feel comfortable in front of the camera.

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

Here are my tips as a mum, and photographer, about the best way to prepare you family for the photo session:a

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

1. Talk to your kids about the session.

Before the session, make sure you explain to your kids that you are going to have family photos. And explain why - maybe it is someones birthday, a special milestone, coming up to Christmas or just because everyone keeps growing so quickly. Maybe you already know that you want a new family photo for the wall, tell you kids this.

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

Then explain to them what's going to actually happen during the session. Where are you going? Are you going to be in a studio or by the beach? How long is the session going to last? And is there a reward waiting for them when it is over (I am all for a little bribery).

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

2. Preparation and expectations.

Arrive with everyone dressed and ready for the session. Trying to change kids into a different outfit when you arrive for the shoot can be the difference between a toddler who is excited to be part of the photos and one who refuses because their favourite t-shirt just got taken off them. If it is cold and we are shooting outdoors, make sure that kids have enough layers on so that they are warm and comfortable. Cold kids are unhappy kids.

When my clients arrive I start by telling my families that we are going to have some photos, but more importantly we are going to play some games together as a family. Depending on the age of the children, I am usually explaining this directly to them, rather than to the parents.

I explain that there are going to be some photos of everyone together as a family, some of everyone sitting together cuddling, some of everyone up and about playing, some of just the kids together and then some of the kids by themselves.

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

I explain to them that even though we are going to play some games, they need to listen to what the I ask them to do so that our games are the most fun and the photos the best they can be.

3. Keep it short and simple.

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

My sessions usually last between 45 - 60 minutes. And never longer. Young kids have short concentrations and I would never expect them to be cooperating and concentrating for that whole time. The exception to this is for an in studio newborn session which can last 2-3 hours. In which case older children can either be taken home or for a walk after their part of the session if over, or even taken to school or daycare.

Reassure them that it will be fun.

4. Reassure Dads

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

I find the most nervous person is quite often dad. Dad's feel nervous about having to smile and be told what to do. He has often been dragged along as well. So giving him something physical to do during the shoot is important. Playing with his kids, tickling, chasing and cuddling are all great prompts for reluctant and nervous dads.

5. Relax.

An experienced photographer is used to dealing with kids that don't sit still . I have lots of tricks that I know that will help the process go smoothly.

If you get stressed your kids know you're stressed.

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

Relax and enjoy Your session.

Watch your kids interacting with each other, watch them interacting with the photographer.

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

Having a photo session is about creating memories of this age of your kids. Enjoy those moments of the session as they happen. Enjoy those little quirks that make your kids who they are. Let me engage with your kids and capture their individual personalities.

6. Do Not Tell Your Kids to Smile.

Most importantly don't tell them to smile. Kids often have that awful fake smile especially when the age between 5 and 10. As a photographer I have lots of tricks to get them to laugh. And it will be far more natural than asking them to smile at the camera.

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

What are the Top Baby names of 2022 - bree hula photography top Sydney newborn photographer

Top Baby Names for 2022

NSW has released their 2022 Top Baby Names! Did your babies name make the Top Names list?

What are the Top Baby names of 2022 - bree hula photography top Sydney newborn photographer

2022 NSW Top Names – Boys

  • Noah
  • Oliver
  • Leo
  • William
  • Theodore
  • Jack
  • Luca
  • Henry
  • Thomas
  • Charlie
What are the Top Baby names of 2022 - bree hula photography top Sydney newborn photographer

20212 NSW Top Names – Girls

  • Charlotte
  • Amelia
  • Isla
  • Olivia
  • Mia
  • Ava
  • Ella
  • Matilda
  • Sienna
  • Willow
What are the Top Baby names of 2022 - bree hula photography top Sydney newborn photographer

Here at Bree Hulme Photography, we had so many newborn babies come through our door last year, and even more babies up to 1 year old. Here is our list of 2022 Bree Hulme Photography Top Names for newborns who visited us last year! 

2022 Bree Hulme Photography Top Newborn Names – Boys

  • Maverick
  • Cruz
  • Austin
  • William
  • Theo
  • Edward
  • Jack
  • Henry
  • Harry
  • Fraser
What are the Top Baby names of 2022 - bree hula photography top Sydney newborn photographer

2022 Bree Hulme Photography Top Newborn Names – Girls

  • Henri
  • Isla
  • Lily
  • Scarlett
  • Evie
  • Millie
  • Audrey
  • Sienna
  • Ellie
  • Josephine

And here are a few of our other favourite names of the beautiful babies who visited us for their sitter sessions or 1st birthday cake smash sessions or family sessions in 2022:

What are the Top Baby names of 2022 - bree hula photography top Sydney newborn photographer

  • Remy
  • Will
  • Mack
  • Arthur
  • Tyler
  • Oliver
  • Austin
  • Darian
  • George
  • William
What are the Top Baby names of 2022 - bree hula photography top Sydney newborn photographer

  • Emily
  • Sophia
  • Alice
  • Claudia
  • Skye
  • Ruby
  • Grace
  • Ivy
  • Lily
  • Kiara

Are you choosing your baby name right now? What are some of the names on the top of your list? Already in 2023 we have seen a few new names with the babies who have come into the studio for newborn portraits. 

What are the Top Baby names of 2022 - bree hula photography top Sydney newborn photographer

Let us know your favourite baby names! And if you are planning a baby name, don’t forget to book in for your newborn portraits session! You can see some more of our newborn portraits in the Newborn Portraits Gallery and contact us to book in for a session here.

Is your baby already here? Then book in for a Sitter session or some family portraits whilst they are still chubby little babies! You can see some of our older baby portraits here!

Should I buy the digital images from my photographer?

When deciding on and booking your family photography session this is a question many of my clients ask. Should they buy the digital images or physical prints and tangible products like albums and wall art? Or do they get both?

The first question to ask yourself is: Do you print your own photos on a regular basis or are all they are they all just sitting on your hard drive or phone?

displaying family photos can boost children's self esteem by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney newborn photographer

Have you and been meaning to print out some photos for ages?

Are you terrified that if something happens to your hard drive or phone that you will lose all your photo as you have never got around to printing them?

Have you had time to put together albums of all of your kids photos?

Did you find the time to complete their baby book with all their baby milestones?

The true reality:

Most of our photos these days are sitting on our hard drives on our computers and never get printed. When you go to a professional photographer it's a perfect opportunity to get some beautiful photos printed and framed to go on your wall or beautifully printed into an album that you can flick through in years to come. This will mean that your family will be able to enjoy those photos every day, and treasure them forever.

The digital files are generally one of the most expensive options on the photographer’s price list. You've got a bear in mind that that the photographer is giving you full print rights to print from those photos which means you can go print photos as many times as you would like. This may sound great but the reality is that most people will never get around to printing their photos and so you end up paying for an expensive product that you never actually do anything with. Those digitals just sit on your USB or hard drive or phone for years.

It may seem like a more expensive option to get the photographer to print it for you but you've got to remember that your photographer is using a professional printing lab, beautiful archival paper that will last your family a lifetime, all their framing is also archival and will last a lifetime.

Ask for your photographers help:

Your photographer is regularly helping their clients with how to best display their photos on their walls, so they have the best knowledge in regards to what will work in your home and your space. Ask them if you can take some photos of the rooms you would like to hang your photos and they will be able to help you with the correct sizing for the space you are wanting to display them.

So should you buy those digital images? I think in this digital age, digitals images are important to us, but don't lose site of also getting some beautiful professionally printed and displayed portraits for your walls. You have invested in family portraits, don't you want to show them off in your home?

Plus displaying family portraits can boost your child's self esteem! Read more about this in my recent blog post.

displaying family photos can boost children's self esteem by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney newborn photographer

Family Photos Boost Children's Self Esteem

As a parent one of the key things we all want to achieve is children with good self esteem. Did you know that by simply displaying your family photos in your home, you can help to boost your children's self-esteem?

displaying family photos can boost children's self esteem by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney newborn photographer

Psychologist have long been studying the links between photographs and self esteem. Family photos create a sense of belonging and emotional connection. When children see photos of themselves with their family members, it reinforces their identity as part of a loving and supportive unit. It reminds them of the positive emotions associated with shared experiences, fostering a sense of security, comfort, and love.

family photos boost kids self esteem Bree Hulme Photography

Psychologist David Krauss says, “I think it is really important to show a family as a family unit. It is so helpful for children to see themselves as a valued and important part of that family unit.” A family photograph helps create that family unit, and when those photos are displayed, the child can physically see themselves as a part of that unit.

family photos boost kids self esteem Bree Hulme Photography

Family photographs help children learn who they are and where they fit, understanding their own identity and history. They learn their genealogy and the uniqueness of their own family and its story. Family photos can help your child feel safe and like they belong. By seeing themselves in the context of their family, children develop a stronger sense of who they are and where they come from. This understanding of their roots and heritage can enhance their self-esteem and provide a sense of pride and belonging.

displaying family photos can boost children's self esteem by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney newborn photographer

Displaying their own photos validates a child's importance and worth within the family. It sends a powerful message that their presence and contributions are valued and cherished. This validation can boost their self-esteem, reinforcing their sense of self-worth and significance.

displaying family photos can boost children's self esteem by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney newborn photographer

Family photos capture moments of happiness, achievements, and love. When children see these positive aspects of their lives reflected in the photos, it reinforces their self-perception in a positive light. It reminds them of their abilities, strengths, and the support they receive, which can enhance their self-confidence and overall self-esteem.

Photos in the Digital Age

In the modern era, we may take more photographs than ever before, but we tend to store them on our smartphones or in online photo albums. While you may have thousands of photos of your child being adorable, your child won’t see them very often. Having family photos displayed for the child to see without having to turn on a device shows the child that they are important, unique and loved. It boosts their self-esteem to see that you consider them special enough to have a place of honor on your walls for all of the visitors of the home to see.

displaying family photos can boost children's self esteem by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney newborn photographer

Family Photos Are More Than Just Memories

Your family photos are fantastic memories that let you relive your child’s development, but they are so much more than just keepsakes for you. These photographs tell your child that they are important and that they are loved. As a parent, we always want to give our children the best advantages that we can manage, and something as simple as having their photo on the wall can be one of those advantages. It can be the boost of self-esteem that they need to live life confidently.

displaying family photos can boost children's self esteem by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney newborn photographer

top tips for what to wear for your family portraits with Sydney family photographer Bree Hulme Photography

5 Tips for What to Wear

What to wear for your family photos is one of the most common questions I get asked. So here are my top tips for what to wear for your family photos that will ensure we keep the focus on your beautiful family connections and also have beautiful images.

Coordinate Colours and Styles

Choose a colour scheme that complements each other and suits the location of the shoot - are we shooting at the beach, in the bush or in the studio?

Opt for soft, neutral tones or pastel shades for a simple and timeless aesthetic. Avoid busy patterns or loud colours that may distract from the family's connection and overall beauty. We want the focus to be on you and your gorgeous family!

displaying family photos can boost children's self esteem by Bree Hulme Photography Sydney newborn photographer

Embrace Natural Fabrics

Select clothing made from natural fabrics such as cotton or linen. This will help to achieve a relaxed and effortless look. These materials not only feel comfortable but also photograph beautifully, adding texture and depth to the images. Subtle patterns in knits, lace and embroidery add some beautiful interest to your clothing.

Consider Location and Season

Keep in mind the specific location and season that we are shooting in. Here in Sydney we have beautiful warm summers, but also chilly times of the year. If it's a beach shoot, opt for lightweight and breathable clothing such as flowy dresses or linen shirts in summer.

In the cooler months add in those beautiful knits and jumpers to make sure everyone is warm and smiling. For a park or urban setting, choose smart-casual outfits with a touch of sophistication.

If shooting outdoors in winter make sure to add in those beautiful knits and warm layers. cold kids do not make great photos

Accessorise Thoughtfully

Enhance your outfits with carefully selected accessories to add visual interest without overpowering the overall look. Consider delicate jewelry, scarves, or hats that reflect your family's style and personality. However, remember to keep it minimal and coordinated so that the focus remains on the beautiful faces of your family.

Prioritize Comfort and Mobility

Family photo shoots often involve movement and interaction, so ensure everyone's outfits allow for comfortable mobility. Avoid restrictive clothing - longer skirts and dresses allow for more freedom of movement and play than short skirt lengths. Comfortable footwear that still coordinate with your families outfits will ensure natural posing and freedom of movement. If we are on the beach, ditch the shoes! When family members feel at ease, their genuine connection will shine through in the photographs.

If you are still stuck on what to wear for your family portraits, send me a snap shot of what you are thinking or ask about my growing client wardrobe which is available for Mums. I also recommend looking at the amazing collection of dresses specifically for photo sessions which are available for hire over at

I cannot wait to see you for your family photos!