Where is the session held?
Sessions are held at the Bella & Duck studio in Troon, Ayrshire. It is a purpose designed, temperature-controlled and hygienic photography space set up especially for your little person and family. Outdoor sessions are available weather-permitting.
When is the best time to do a maternity session?
Some time between your 30-36th week of pregnancy in my opinion but not as a strict rule. Bump will be beautifully pronounced by then and you’ll hopefully still be comfortable. It’s a bit tricky to book it towards the end just in case you give birth a few weeks early and having been pregnant twice myself, I know most women start to get a lot of aches and pains towards the very end of their pregnancy. Studio styling is available for maternity sessions including the signature lace dress and mummy tutu.
What is included in a cake smash session?
1. Portraits, I can style these in nice minimal nappy covers, a plain rompers or can even be naked with wraps/blankets, all look lovely or you can bring along an outfit if you prefer.
2. Cake smash, the themed cake and garland styled are provided to your tastes, you just let us know what colour/style you would like and everything will be waiting for you when you arrive at the studio for your session. Some clients do bring their own styling too, happy to work with that too if you prefer but happy to provide.
3. Bath splash, self explanatory, I provide bath, towels and bubbles (if required)
How far in advance do I need to book?
For a newborn session it is usually essential to book before your baby is here, ideally between your 12-20 week scans. I only have a limited amount of time (up to 21 days) to get those sleepy, curly newborn poses and I only take limited sessions each week to accommodate early and late babies so booking early is best. If you have already had your baby and have only just found me – do still contact me just in case I have got a spot available due to last minute cancellations. Ideally all other sessions should be booked around a month in advance to allow time to plan.
What happens if I book a newborn session and baby decides to make an appearance before or after our booked session?
That is absolutely fine, I know that babies rarely come out bang on time. I always give priority to my newborn sessions because of the time span for which newborns must be photographed so will re-arrange appointments if needs be to accommodate your newborn.
What happens if my child is ill and we have to cancel the appointment?
I understand that sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances – you may have to re-book your appointment. Please do not try to fulfil the appointment if your child is unwell. We can re-schedule another appointment but the booking fee unfortunately cannot be refunded. It can be re-used for another day granting enough notice has been given and will be at the photographers discretion.
Who can come to the session?
It’s best if only the people being photographed be at the session. For newborn sessions it works well to have Mum or Dad with one other person – preferably the other parent so I can incorporate some family shots if you so wish. For baby/child sessions, it’s ideal if only the parents are present. The studio is small and it’s best If I am able to connect to the baby/child so I can get shots where they are looking at me and the camera and I can just let their personalities shine. For newborn sessions it's best for siblings to attend at the start or towards the end of the session.
What should I wear?
For newborn and baby sessions:
I prefer to photograph my newborns and babies in the buff – it just looks more natural and pure which is my style. Although I do love using hats and bonnets, tie backs and wraps. For older babies I would recommend that you choose simple and timeless outfits. So dresses in white, cream, pastel for girls and then beige, white, jeans trousers for boys, baby sessions generally include a selection of styled and dressed images based on your requirements which are discussed beforehand. Try and go for interesting textures and avoid busy patterns or really bright colours which will take the focus of the image away from your baby. Remember, it’s about them and not what they are wearing.
For young children:
Again I recommend simple and timeless outfits when doing studio sessions. For outdoor sessions, try and think about the style you want displayed at your home. If you want a “lifestyle” session for your child – then casual wear is fine. I will take as many natural shots as possible and just let your child’s personality shine. However if you want a “themed” session, then we need to discuss the best place to go to for the shoot and can then recommend an appropriate attire for your child to wear.
Family sessions / adults:
For indoor sessions specially with newborns – I recommend wearing simple black, grey, beige or white tops for your up close shots with your newborns. Again – the image should focus on you and your baby, not what you are wearing. For outdoor sessions – please try to colour coordinate with the rest of the family. It doesn’t mean that you all have to wear the same colour. But the colours you are all wearing should work well together and should not clash. Look for coordinating tones and complimenting colour palettes when selecting outfits.
How long does a session take?
Expect a newborn session to last between two and four hours. This allows plenty of time to feed and comfort your baby between set ups. All other sessions last between one and one and a half hours.
What if my child does not cooperate during a session?
I have my own children and lots of experience with little ones so I have a few techniques up my sleeve. However I never ever push a session as it will just result to tantrums and tears. Sometimes a quick break is all they need. If after taking a break we are still finding that baby/child is just not up for having his/her photos taken – we will call it a day. We can then discuss on the day how best to move forward.
What is not allowed during a session?
Cameras, including mobile phones, tablets, cameras and other recoding equipment may not be used during sessions.
Do I get to see all the images from our session?
You will notice that for the duration of your whole session, I will try out different set-ups, poses and/or props. However, if I feel that an image does not meet my level of standard I will not include it in your viewing gallery. I normally take a lot of photos during the session to make sure I am capturing the best facial expressions, best angle, etc – but please note that you will only see the best ones.
How do I select my final images and package?
You will be sent an online proofing gallery around 4 weeks after your session. From this gallery you will select your package and images for printing. Once you have placed your order the watermark is removed from purchased images. Your downloadable gallery is then open for 14 days to download and select prints if required, it then closes and deletes. Up to one extension to that duration is allowed prior to its expiration, further to that this may be an admin fee of £20 for re-uploading of the gallery. Once downloaded the images are the clients responsibility, Bella & Duck retains copies of purchased images for up to 12 months at our discretion.
I have bought some of my images on a USB. Do I own these photos now?
Your high resolution print ready images will be provided with a print release which will enable you to reproduce your images however many times you wish for personal use only. Please take the time to read its full Terms and Conditions. Bella & Duck Photography retains the copyright to all images. Copyright infringement is punishable by law.
Am I allowed to bring my own props?
Certainly! I am more than happy to incorporate them, just advise in advance if possible. Please use the notes function the booking form to explain your wishes.
I would like to keep my session private and don’t really want any of our photos posted on your website or any social media. Is this possible?
Absolutely! Although Bella & Duck Photography retains the copyright to all your images, I respect your privacy so please let me know before our session if you would like to keep it private. This however does not apply to Casting/Model Calls and Special Offers.
Please feel free to send me a message via the CONTACT button at the top of this page if you have any queries or questions not answered on this FAQ’s section.
Full terms and conditions are available here