Tracey Smith APP
Introducing Tracey Smith, undoubtedly one of Australia’s most experienced baby handlers and newborn photographers in one. Having started her career as a Neonatal Nurse, Tracey’s experience with babies spans more than 20 years, having nursed our most critically ill and teeny premature babies in Neonatal Intensive Care and Special Care Nurseries. Tracey combined her passion for families and babies in particular when starting her photography business 6 years ago. Her passion for photography began at an early age, culminated whilst spending 2 years working in London as a Neonatal Nurse and travelling the world.
It was always Tracey’s side job in the nursery to capture those special moments for families at each of the big milestones, baby’s first cuddle, first bath, getting out of an incubator and into an open cot and of course going home with their parents. For some, after many months of courage and bravery. Being a neonatal nurse is a special profession and it takes dedication, knowledge, skill and an ingrained love for babies and families to stick at it for this length of time. Becoming a professional photographer has been a wonderful integration of two loves and so Studio Create - Tracey’s Sunbury, Melbourne based studio photography business was born. With such extensive experience, your newborn baby's photos, couldn’t be in better hands.
How has your life changed since becoming a newborn photographer?
Still technically currently on my second year of maternity leave myself, Photography has allowed me to enjoy time with my own little girls, Harper 3 and Mollie 1, and turn my passion into a legitimate business. I worked part-time since our move to Melbourne 6 years ago, so I could have time to spend on my Photography career as well. I do miss the little tiny premature babies, and having an impact on making that time in the Nursery less stressful for parents, but love now that I get to combine the two and still look after babies and families and create them gorgeous memories of this time too. I’ve also been very very lucky to have met some amazing people in this industry and only 2 months after joining the AIPP, I won 7 awards and one of them the all elusive GOLD!!!! Within a few more months, 3 more!!!! To say I was ecstatic to do that in my first year in the organisation, was an absolute understatement. I am forever grateful to my clients for allowing me to capture such important moments in their lives. I wouldn’t have believed I could come this far, and I’m really grateful for the experiences and clients I’ve met along the way.
You’re a mum of 2 little girls, how important is Newborn Photography?
Having both of my girls photographed professionally has been the most amazing thing. Seeing those gorgeous images lining our walls, and being able to reminisce about the subtle changes that happen so quickly is incredible. I am so grateful to have those pictures of my girls so small and so new, as I know too well just how sleep deprived and overwhelmed you are as a new parent, making remembering those moments so difficult. Looking back on them takes me back to that time, and helps me to remember those beautiful moments that are gone just too quickly. Babies grow so fast, and before you know it, school is approaching and you’re asking yourself where did that time go? I also understand, having been there so recently (Mollie is just one), just how important it is to be in front of the camera for once. So many mums are always behind the camera. Your children will absolutely want to see you when they are older and this is, of course, the very first family photo with that child in it. I was lucky enough to be a model for one of the USA’s most amazing photographers - Rachel VanOven, and the picture you see of me is one of my most treasured possessions. It is up in our lounge room, a print 1 metre wide on one of my round woodland block prints (Australian made, nearly one-inch thick wood covered with this gorgeous photograph in a wipe over laminate finish) - GORGEOUS!!!! I love that it captures our family and my then, little 2 year old still so in awe of this new little creature. Actually, this picture clearly shows we all were! That’s what I love about Photography, those moments are captured forever!
What are the key things parents need to know about choosing a Newborn Photographer?
All photographers have to learn somewhere, we’ve all been there, and it’s essential for our growth. I really highly recommend choosing someone who has learnt from a Professional Newborn Photographer and been trained specifically in posing, settling and most importantly Newborn Safety. I cannot stress this enough. There are many excellent amazing mentors for new photographers out there, it is crucial when considering newborn photography that we are trained well. Of course, I knew how to handle babies, but posing them so delicately and keeping them comfortable and safe was a whole new ball game. Especially learning to make sure every finger is perfect, that they stay sleeping peacefully and of course look super cute at the same time!!!! I also had the benefit of being trained by the world’s best newborn photographers, essential for everyone wanting to learn the art of Newborn Photography.
What sets your Newborn Photography apart?
I think the biggest thing that sets me apart is that I’m really, really focused on your baby. I want to create your memories that are treasured by your family for years to come. I’m really particular about the little things. I want your baby to look perfect, so take special care to ensure every finger is perfectly placed, every toe etc. I have a really great rapport with my families. There aren’t many photographers that can offer qualified breastfeeding advice or newborn care information from a health perspective. My service is a full one, if you have any questions about your baby on the day, I can usually provide you with information or guide you to a resource that comes from a knowledgeable background. I care about you every step of the way, from the booking process, right through to delivering those gorgeous images to you. I genuinely want this to be a great experience for you and make it as easy as possible.