I believe in moments. Big moments. Little moments. Moments that we didn't even realize mattered. When you take all of those moments and put them together it tells a story. I believe in capturing these moments so that these stories might be remembered, cherished, and shared with those we love. That is why photography is and always has been so important to me. 

This guide is designed to help walk you through planning an enjoyable and memorable photography experience. One where your family, your story, and your moments are the focus. 

For those who are interested in learning a little more about Beginnings and what I offer, Part One will take you through the sessions and session bundles available. It will also take you through the Collections and all that they include. 

For my families that have already booked, Parts Two and Three will  take you step by step through planning your session. From choosing a location and what to wear, to what to expect before, during, and after your session. 

I hope that using this guide will make planning your session easy and straight-forward, but as always, if you have any questions, concerns, or just want a little extra direction or help in planning remember that I am more than happy to personally help you through the planning process. 

- Elizabeth - 


Part One: Sessions, Bundles, and Collections

Part One: Sessions, Bundles, and Collections


A little of what Beginnings offers...

From pregnancy to the birth of your baby to all of the crazy and wonderful years after, Beginnings is here to document your family's journey through life... 



"The purpose of having your pregnancy photographed is to celebrate your journey... Every moment that has brought you so close to finally meeting your baby. It is to celebrate being a woman and this truly amazing ability we have to grow another life, another little person, within us. And finally, to celebrate you and your partner, or your family, as it is before this new addition arrives."


Hello, World & Birth Photography

"The Hello, World session is meant to capture some of the wonder and love that you will experience in that first day or so after your baby is born.  It is for brand new, squishy, wrinkly baby features that will fade so quickly. It is for all the little firsts, and all the big ones. And it is for celebrating the birth of your new baby..." 


Newborn & Babies

"Babies grow quickly... Photographing them in the first year, whether as a newborn within their first month, or as a six month old just learning to sit, or as a twelve month old celebrating their very first birthday, helps to document some of the exciting milestones and amazing growth that you and your baby experience together."



"A moment-based family session will capture a little piece of your story, little memories that you can carry with you for the rest of your life. It's to capture your family as they are now... a little bit of their personality, of who they are at this moment in time, as an individual and as a family unit. It's meant to be fun and to showcase the connections your family shares..." 

Collections & Bundles


Collection One:

Maternity, Newborn/Baby, Family

up to 1.5 hour session time

up to two locations (within reasonable distance)

personalized assistance with styling, planning, and preparing for your session

3 sneak peek images (web-resolution)

full online preview gallery 

full set of professionally processed digital images via digital download

$50 print credit

Cost : $400

Collection TWO:

Maternity, Newborn/Baby, Family

up to 3 hour session time

up to two locations (within reasonable distance)

personalized assistance with styling, planning, and preparing for your session

5 sneak peek images

full online preview gallery

full set of professionally processed digital images via digital download

$50 print credit

15% off photo books

Cost : $650

Collection Three: 
A day in your life

Newborn/Baby, Family

up to 8 hours session time

personalized assistance with styling, planning, and preparing for your session

8 sneak peeks

full online preview gallery

full set of professionally processed digital images via digital download

$100 print credit

15% off photo books

COST : $1100

collection Four: 
Hello, World

within 24 hours of baby's birth

up to 45 minute session time

3 sneak peeks

full online preview gallery

full set of professionally processed digital images via digital download

20% off Birth Announcements

COST: $175

Bundle ONE: 
Bump to Baby

Collection One: Moments Maternity session

Collection Four: Hello, World session

Collection One: Moments Newborn session

2 -11x14 matted prints (one each for the maternity session and newborn session)

Cost : $850

Bundle Two:
Watch me grow

Collection One: Moments Newborn Session

45 Minute Mini-Session at 4 months and 8 months (includes 3 sneak peeks, full online preview gallery, 10 web-resolution files for each)

Collection One: Moments One Year Session at 12 months

4 - 11x14 matted prints (one for each session)

Cost : $1200

*** For Collections One, Two, and Four, a 50% non-refundable deposit due upon booking. For Collection Three and Bundles One and Two, a 25% non-refundable deposit due upon booking. In the case of cancellation by you, retainer may be transferred to another session of your choice within one year. In the case of cancellation by photographer, retainer will be refunded.
*** Payment plans are available. Please contact me so we can work out a plan that will best suit you. 
*** Print credits and discounts must be used within one month of your online preview gallery going live

Part Two: Planning Your Session

Part Two: Planning Your Session

Planning Your Session

At Beginnings Photography I offer a custom photography experience. That means you and I work together to create a session that will be special and unique to your family. The session questionnaires sent to you after booking your session help me to get to know you and your family a little better, while the other sections will help you consider the key details of your session: whether lifestyle or documentary are the best fit for you, activities that will personalize your session, location, and what to wear. In this section you will also find information on what to expect during your session and how to prepare your family.


Lifestyle Vs. Documentary

While all of my sessions are moment-based and will have some level of candidness, how much is up to you. If you are more comfortable with a little more direction or prefer a session that is more styled, then a lifestyle session might be best for you. If you love the idea of capturing your real life moments, then documentary might be your perfect fit. 



A lifestyle session is somewhere between a traditional, posed photography session and a documentary session where the photographer takes on more of a fly-on-the-wall role. It is the perfect compromise for those that are looking for moment-based photography but still want some direction and some control, and who want those wall-worthy art pieces to display and share with family and friends.

The best way I can describe lifestyle photography is "setting the stage." When I shoot a lifestyle session I orchestrate and direct, essentially I "set the stage," but then I allow my families to shine and be themselves. There may be some posing, but it's relaxed and is often just the starting point for the moments to come. 

As I've said multiple times before, lifestyle photography is all about emotions and connections and interactions, but it is planned and orchestrated and moments are set-up and encouraged. The opportunities for moments are provided and then I can simply step back and document the magic that comes from them. 


Perfect for...

Wall displays! Your moments as framed artwork on the walls of your family's home.  



Documentary photography has a special place in my heart. This is the style where I truly get to capture a family's story, completely as is and candid. It's raw and it's real and it's perfectly imperfect. 

These are going to be the moments that you maybe overlook day-to-day, but a year, five years, ten years, fifty years down the road these will be the ones you will probably cherish the most. These are the moments we don't necessarily realize mattered until they are gone. They may seem like ordinary moments to others, but to you they mean the world. 

Or perhaps they are moments you do cherish now and you want to be sure you have a piece of forever. Something special you can look back on and remember all the precious everyday moments and the details that make your family who they are, that make up your family's story. These could be the everyday moments that are special to you, such nursing your baby to sleep, making crafts with your kids, dance parties in the kitchen, or lazy Saturday mornings watching cartoons and making muffins. Or they can be special activities that only come around once in a while such as a day at the fair, beach days and ice cream, a get-together with visiting family or friends. 

During a documentary session, I take a primarily or completely photojournalistic role. I'm a fly-on-the-wall. I don't direct. I don't prompt. I let things unfold before me and capture them as I see them. While there is always planning before hand (activities, location, etc.), once I start shooting I take a back seat. 



Albums and photo books! Nothing quite beats curling up with a book full of your own family's memories. 



Customizing your session

Whether lifestyle or documentary, your session will require a little bit of planning to make it unique to your family. Things like activities, props, location, and what you wear can all personalize your session. The below information is simply to give you something to think about when you start planning your session and fill out your questionnaire. If you do not have a clear idea of what you want to include in your session, once I receive your questionnaire I can help you figure out which activities might be best. 


An activity can be the perfect way to personalize your session, whether maternity, family, or even newborn. And while primarily documentary in nature, they don't need to be limited to exclusively documentary sessions. Activities can also add a fun and candid element to your lifestyle session. 

Something to think about when planning an activity for your photography session is how your family connects. What do you enjoy doing together? How do you spend time together? When do you feel the closest? Because, first and foremost, this session should reflect you and your family, whether in a big way, or a small one. 


Planning Activities for your Lifestyle session...

For a lifestyle session you may want something that adds a touch of your family's personality to your session without being one of the main focuses of the session. You will want to think of activities that are easy and do not take too much time or effort to do or prepare.

Choose something that means something to you and your family. It can be as simple as a child's favourite game of pat-a-cake, itsy-bitsy spider, or Stella-ella-olla. If you are a family that enjoys music, perhaps a little jam session or dancing. Are you a family that loves sports? Let's get a little game of catch or soccer or football going. Is reading to your children a special way you spend time together? Bring a favourite book to cuddle up and read together. 

Of course, depending on your preferences, you may prefer to have a bit more of a candid element to your lifestyle session. In this case, you could certainly include an activity that plays a bit of a bigger role in the session. 

Or you may even decide not to do any specific activities at all, and that is completely fine! 



A lot of people may turn down a documentary session because they feel that they are not very exciting or interesting or have nothing worth documenting. Well, first of all, I truly believe that it is the everyday moments that are some of the most special. But, second, this concern is easily remedied by a little planning. 

Activities will play a larger role during a session that is primarily or exclusively documentary. You will want to choose one or two activities that will fill a good chunk of time during your session (the time you have available will depend on which Collection you've chosen). Activities can be almost anything you can imagine. It can be as normal to you as a typical morning or evening routine, or as exciting as a brand new adventure in a new place. It can document a milestone such as a new home or a new family member, or it can capture the simple everyday. 



  • dancing
  • playing music on an instrument 
  • baking or cooking
  • family walk
  • campfire and s'mores
  • children's games (I tend to keep these in my back pocket for every session, but if there are specific ones your kids' love or are special to you, let me know and we can make sure to work them in)
  • exploring the outdoors
  • fishing 
  • favourite sports
  • everyday routines (morning and evening, and weekend routines are often cherished, but if you have other special routines those work as well)
  • reading
  • arts and crafts
  • renovations (ex. renovating a nursery for baby)
  • picnic (who doesn't love a picnic?)
  • favourite board game

As always, I am here to help you narrow down and choose activities that will fit you, your family, and your session. Filling out your questionnaire and allowing me to get to know you more, means that I can make suggestions that I think will work well for your session. I'm even here if you just need to talk it through. 



No, I don't mean the banners, backdrops, chalkboard signs, accessories, and intricately stylized set-ups that one often associates with props. The props I am talking about are a little more personal. Using items that mean something to you during a session can really add a special element to your photos. A child's favourite stuffed animal, or security blanket. A quilt your grandmother made. A rocking chair that you've rocked every one of your babies to sleep in. A box of old family photos. A child's dance outfit or sports uniform or other piece of equipment. A favourite book. An instrument. Any of these things can help tell the story of your family and make unique and personalized props for your session. 



The location of your session will set the scene for your photos. It can simply be a backdrop or it can play a much more important role in your session, especially for a documentary session. 

You can use location to help tell the story in your photos. Do you and your family have a favourite place? A place you have fun together or a place where you are simply most comfortable as yourselves? Or is the location a venue for some of your favourite family activities? 

It is okay to think outside the box when choosing your location, whether your session is primarily lifestyle or documentary. A favourite coffee shop, a farmer's market, or pick-your-own farm. The fair or midway. It is also perfectly okay to keep it simple. Your own home or neighbourhood is often the perfect location for your session. Parks and other outdoor locations make beautiful backdrops to any session.


If you are having a lifestyle session and choosing a setting, start thinking about what you would prefer as a backdrop for your session. An open field. A forest. A beach. An urban setting. You don't have to necessarily choose all on your own, either. I can always make suggestions on local areas that have some great settings for photos.


Just remember when you are choosing a location, think about the activities you plan to do during your session and make sure the location is appropriate. Also remember that some locations may need special permission to do photography on the premises. 



While maybe not necessarily a personalization of your session, timing is an important factor to consider when planning. I will always stress that for an outdoor lifestyle session the best time to start your session is about one and a half hours before sunset or shortly after sunrise. This is referred to by photographers as the Golden Hour, and the angled, softer light lends itself well to my own artistic style. Of course, in the summer months this timing can be quite late, especially for the little ones. We can 100% adjust timings as needed for little ones, but I really do encourage you to consider trying to get as close to that Golden Hour as possible. 


Now, for an indoor session, during the day is ideal. Mid-morning to mid-afternoon tend to work well. If you know what rooms you will be using most during your session, we can easily plan your session around the time of day when the light is best in that particular area of the house. 


But, ultimately the time of your session will depend on a variety of factors, including the activity you choose, location, schedules, and even little one's nap times. Times will be decided about a week in advance to your session, after most other planning has been completed. 

What to Wear

This section is coming soon! 

What to expect during your session

This section is coming soon!

Preparing Your Family for your session

This section is coming soon!

Part Three: After the Session

Part Three: After the Session



This section will let you know what to expect after your session ends. From when you can expect your images to how to use your private gallery and order prints, albums, or wall displays. Here you will find a pricing list for all A La Carte products available at Beginnings Photography.