• Boutique Country Portraits – Waikato, New Zealand

    Stunning natural lifestyle portraits for babies, children and families: naturally lit and country based!

    Hi There! Enjoy the gorgeous images on my site, and if you are excited to book your own boutique portrait session, let's start planning yours today...

    Heidi Young Photography offers unique portrait experiences for children and families - contact me and we can create something memorable.

    Click on galleries to start viewing or to find out more click here to read about what will happen during your own portrait session.

Charming Children’s portraits – Hamilton NZ

What a delight it was to photograph one year old Maddy recently on our Te Pahu Farm.  After meeting her lovely mum, at our Little Yellow Cottage, we drove a minute up the road – to what I call…”the rusty barn paddock”.  I took with me one of my wee goldilocks chairs, and we didn’t take long to walk across the paddock to said rusty barn.

Once we set up in this rustic corrugated hay shed – Maddy dressed in the most sweet wee smocked dress, was straight into the smiles.  Honestly – can my job get any better? This hay shed always provides the perfect lighting, and I adore the colour tones. It’s fairly easy access and a good dry spot for days when the weather is questionable.


Maddy is about to become a big sister! Her Mum wanted to capture this special moment in time, the last days of having an only child.


Once we finished with the Goldilocks chair, Maddy was keen to get moving! As all toddlers are! Putting her solid wee legs to speedy use, she had great fun exploring this new environment.

Maddy (15)

It’s surprising how fast tiny legs can go!! The sun was playing ball for us, giving gorgeous back lighting, to finish off a perfect mini session.  The whole experience was a pleasure from start to finish and a heartwarming occasion for Maddy’s expectant Mum.  I’m sure Maddy will LOVE her new baby to bits 🙂 xo

Darling Newborn Portrait Session – Hamilton, NZ

Precious little Freya arrived recently, and it was my privilege to visit her parents and photograph her Baby Love Newborn session.  Freya is lucky to be a little sister, to her very happy older brother Kynan and sister Ashlyn. Weighing in at 7lbs I couldn’t stop thinking how dainty she is, such a darling! Her super hero Mum, Denise fed her up well, before we wrapped Freya and attempted to settle her a top my red and white check basket. I had been saving this basket up just for this purpose.  Little Freya, even though completely full decided that she was in charge, and things were far too interesting around the room.  So while we didn’t get any sleepy shots of her this day – I totally love how alert she is for her portraits. It was really neat to have this little soul so very present.

Darling-Newborn-Portrait-Session Young Photography

Freya was intrigued with the activity around her


The Big Announcement!

Freya’s parents Denise and David wanted to send out birth announcement cards to their friends and family.  For this they wanted to use a really nice photo of their wee girl. I was really thrilled to receive one myself (looks so good, Denise did a great job!) – they are such a cool way to share the joy of a new baby in the family. Perfect mementos! Included in the Baby Love Newborn package are digital files, prints and a gorgeous framed gift print. This means there is plenty to share and enjoy with excited loved ones.

Young-Photography-Boutique-Country Portraits

The photo on the left is the one Denise used for Freya’s birth announcements.


A bold beginning…

Newborn photos typically tend to have baby coloured shades: pastels and softer tones etc.  Because we had this gorgeous heart basket, I though it would be fun to just roll with it, and make use of the gorgeous bold red.  Freya really looked lovely in red, and I had the prefect wee crochet flower to clip in her hair. Running out the door at home –  I quickly hot glued a pearl in the middle of the flower, for that finishing touch. Freya rocked it, and looked a total darling.

Hamilton Newborn Portraits.

Sibling adoration – Newborn love-in…

While older brother Kynan was at school during this darling newborn portrait session, big sister Ashlyn (three years old) was home and SUPER keen to assist me. Decked out in her gorgeous Queen Elsa dress, she was more than happy to jump in for a few photos and cuddle her new baby. Such precious moments – we all know how fast it goes by :-)…

Sisters newborn photo Waikato

Freya is a very cherished little sister 🙂

Congratulations again Denise, David, Kynan and Ashlyn xo

Click here to book your Baby Love Newborn session or hit the contact tab to talk to ask me about them 🙂


Such a happy day, that I get to take more photos of, and play with Genevieve and Emmeline again…

These beautiful girls were just days away from flying home to Scotland, and what an honour it was for me to have some of their precious time. Wanting something unique and vintagey for them, I thought I would try my hand at vintage floral arranging for their back drop – LOVED IT…and I was very happy with my creations.  This deluxe three tier pink fade cake, came from the marvellous Kiwi Cookie Company – another Te Pahu local. We set cake smashes up in my little country kitchen. I use a custom made wooden, white wash stage, which works beautifully for whatever themed back drop we aim for.  The girls Mum Lily had shopped online for some pretty little lacy romper sets for them to wear for their cake smash.  Sadly these didn’t arrive in time, but being prepared, Lily had back up outfits!


Welcoming the utterly adorable Emmeline and Genevieve to their Cake Smash

 You mean this cake is all for us??

One year old babies are unpredictable when faced with a tasty looking cake.  Often they are quite tentative about touching the icing at first…it’s a bit overwhelming…or too good to be true!! Emmeline and Genevieve were no exception, and you can see the mixed emotions on their darling faces…and then settle on pure joy! Yay! It’s always such a pleasure to watch hehe.Twin-girls-Cake-smash-Waikato


Mmmmm! Finger licking heaven!!

Lady-like nibbles and spoonfuls of sweetness…

The girls gave their cake a full exploration…or excavation with their chubby wee fingers and spoons…ahh the fun of digging through cake! In the midst of some brilliant mess, I love how they manage to look so dainty!…but not for long 😉Twins vintage floral cake smash


Ahhh twins, a childhood filled with sharing…

Emmeline looks so incredibly gorgeous patting her sister on the back Aww! Love that smile!  Then one thing leads to another and we have a cake sharing battle on our hands – I just had to share that image to facebook, (see it on facebook here)  it was screaming out for a clever caption.  I added the winning caption to the bottom of this photo 🙂

Twins vintage floral cake smash

“I’m already sharing my birthday with you, and now you’re eating my cake!!”


Time for some black and whites!

Genevieve and Emmeline rock the black and white portraits…what is it about them that is so timeless?  During a quick cake break I photographed the girls enjoying their spoons, just perched perfectly on the edge of the stage.

Twins cake smash Hamilton

“Cake-shmake…what’s that down there?”


Back to work on that cake…

Up I got on top of a chair, I wanted a birds eye view of the chaos below. Cake squished into the wood, and mushed into many baby toes and rolls…Mum Lily helped me make lots of embarrassing baby noises to coax Genevieve and Emmeline to look up at the same time.  More cakey perfectness, before crawling off to look at something more interesting than a lens…time to wrap things up.


Bring out the warm soapy flannels!!

At the end of cake smash sessions, we have a (BIG) clean up, shake off, wipe down and dress our babies in clean clothes.  I like to include some non-cake portraits, boutique farm style, with the cake smash package. Emmeline and Genevieve were so wonderful, we had a few tears during our two hour session…nothing that wasn’t soothed with milk and snuggles. Such charismatic girls, different personalities for sure. The amazing amount of facial expressions they can deliver is sure to keep their family entertained for years to come 🙂 Hope they come back from Scotland soon as they are absolutely delightful 🙂


Clean again!

 To start planning your child’s cake smash hit the contact tab to talk to me today 🙂 Read more about Cake Smash Sessions on my Baby Love page

Is your child really good at the fake camera smile??

You know the one with either lots of cheese, or the tight lipped stretchy smile. What is just as frustrating is when they refuse to smile at all- either because they are too shy or are good at being bratty 😉  All kids go through this, and it can be a worry for you if you’re booked in with a professional photographer. Most kids (and adults) just need time to relax and focus on something else other than the camera. That is when you get the best photos, smiling or not.

I’m here to tell you – not smiling is just fine.

Some of my favourite images of my own children are void of smiles. Yes – smiling laughing happy portraits are fantastic and lovely.  But there is some kind of captivating essence in these soulful non-smilers that are priceless, not to mention timeless….did I mention breath-takingly beautiful??

For starters the viewers attention goes straight to the eyes…the classic windows of the soul. The viewer gives pause to absorb the image and connect with it in a deeper way, than you ever could with the smiley photo. I think this is because you just don’t know what the subject of the photo is thinking or feeling. This leaves the image open to interpretation, which is always going to be different for each person. Sorry to get all psychological about it, but when I decided to write this post – I looked at the image below and started trying to decipher exactly why it moves me so much. The answer was deeper than I had anticipated!

If your child isn’t smiling on photo session day – don’t worry about it, you are highly likely to get some stunning portraits regardless. Scroll down for some lovely examples….


My daughter Lucia. I can stare into her eyes, and be captivated by this image for the longest moments.



Our beautiful nieces, growing up too fast. This image of them somehow shows both their childhood, and then hints at what is to come in their teen years…


Alphie was shy and I couldn’t get too close. Suddenly he sat still and just peered over at me…this is one of my favourites from his session.


Mila, my youngest. I love how content she was this day, and glad to have captured her sucking her two favourite fingers. Her dreamy eyes melt my heart.

Hit the contact tab or leave a comment, to talk to me about capturing  heart melty portraits of your child…

Getting the best out of your Kids, to get the best photos…

So you want to get some amazing, beautiful, moving photographs taken of your little angels. Lets face it – having professional portraits taken isn’t something you get to do every day. You totally want to book in – but are afraid yours will be the kids that don’t behave! You are sure they won’t sit still and smile, or listen to the photographer…they will either be super shy, or running around doing everything BUT have their photo taken!  And the last thing you want is for the whole thing to be a big waste of time, effort and money.

Fear not! I can help 🙂

  • If your children are old enough to understand – let them know a few days before about the up coming photo session, and that it’s gonna be great fun!
  • If it’s just them being photographed – let them know that too.  Reassure your child that you will be right there with them, the whole time.
  • Arrange to have your session after their nap times, and feed them before hand too – unless you are having a cake smash!
  • My oldest daughter is a total fashion princess – and will only wear what she picks out herself. If your kids are of a similar mind – you pick out what you want them to wear – but compromise with them, and let them bring an outfit of their choice as well. OR you pull out some options for them, and let them choose from those, that way they still have a sense of being in control.  They can put on their outfit AFTER the photos with the outfit you prefer.
  • Let your child bring along their favourite toy or blankie – they have them for such a short time in their lives, it’s nice to include them in a photo,  plus it will bring them a sense of security in this new situation 🙂
  • Pack a goodie bag – snacks, drink bottle and a treat or too – balloons are a great reward!
  • Keep Calm! It’s totally ok  if your child doesn’t want to smile – leave that part all up to me the photographer (that’s my job!) Besides – some of the most soulful and moving photos are ones without smiles. See here for some great examples.
  • You don’t have to worry about your kids being on their best behaviour – often it’s best for me the photographer and the kids – to let them run around. Turn off from being a parent the session – withhold the urge to correct or  put them in line just this once.  This will give us the best free spirited and natural images.


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