About Your Session!

So you’ve booked your photography session with Smiley Happy Photography, and now you’re eagerly awaiting your date. But what do you need to bring? What should you wear? Oh, and where do you go??

Have no fear, I have all of the answers for you!

Where Am I?

My new studio is above The Wholesome Hippo Cafe and Eatery, in Newton Abbot town centre. The address is 11 Wolborough Street, TQ12 1JR

There are lots of different parking options available. You can park behind the cafe, by Newton Abbot Magistrates Court, as there is a pay and display car park there, where parking for an hour is around £1. Alternatively, ASDA has significant parking spaces and is a short walk across the road to the studio!

Upon getting to the cafe, if you ask any member of staff they will direct you to the studio. The studio is upstairs, though there is space to leave prams if you wish. I recommend, if it’s easy enough for you, not to bringing in prams as during weekends the cafe does get fairly busy.

What should I bring?

Your children is a very good start. Other than that, not a lot!

For newborns I would definitely recommend extra milk/ your boobs, even if they wouldn’t necessarily be due a feed during your session. Sometimes it takes a little extra to get babies to drift into a lovely deep sleep. Also a dummy is a great idea if they take one, as again it can really help with making them to feel secure. I would also advise you to bring along some food for yourselves. The sessions can take some time, so it’s a great idea to bring along some lunch: which you are more than welcome to eat while I’m photographing your precious bundle.

For Cake Smash babies, you will have agreed with me beforehand if you are bringing anything specific, but generally I can provide everything for you. There are washing facilities here fir afterwards, though do be warned that parents can sometimes find themselves covered in icing too!

For babies and sitters, as well as their usual clothing, please bring along a white vest or baby grow. I love to do some simple images of little ones.

For other sessions, only bring anything if you want to include it in your session. I’m more than happy to include special items from home, although if it’s something crazy then maybe mention it beforehand so that I can try and plan how to incorporate it! It’s always a good idea to bring along a few snacks and a drink too.

Do I need to do anything before my session?


I do not expect you to know your baby’s routine: in fact they often like to totally disprove any theories their parents may have! I love to be able to start photographing them as soon as they arrive, particularly as a lot of them are asleep from the car journey! To enable me to do this, it’s really helpful if you can dress your baby in a plain white babygrow, and/or a white vest. this way they can come and i can get straight to work!

If your baby is particularly flakey or dry skinned, I would also advise you to pop a little lotion on an hour or so before their session, not when you get here! That way it will have dried in and your baby won’t be super shiny. Other than that, I don’t expect anything from you at all, you’ve got more than enough on your plate. Just turn up and relax.

Other Sessions

Not particularly! Obviously the more content your child is, the more images we’ll be able to get from them. So trying to make sure they’re not too tired or hungry before they arrive is always a good idea!

What to wear?

There was a time when every photographer insisted that for the best family portrait, everyone should match.

Whilst I’m more than happy for you to match if you see fit, I certainly don’t insist upon it. In fact, I want your family to look like exactly that: your family. I recommend co-ordinating and corresponding colours, but please feel free to wear styles that suit you and you’ll feel comfortable in. If you’ve seen my work, you’ll know that plain, neutral clothing works really well in my studio. The emphasis in my sessions is on creating raw, organic and simple but effective images: and the clothing can really help with this. I’m certainly not afraid of colour, but I would advise keeping clothing plain and not too patterned or busy: after all, it’s your children we want to focus on!

I do find that some of the most effective images are when little ones are wearing just white, cream, earthy colours, or grey. it’s so clean and scrummy.

PLEASE NOTE: The studio is a NO SHOES studio! The floor of the studio is in constant use  and has lots of tiny fingers crawling around on it, so I do ask that shoes are taken off before you come in. You may want to top up your pedicure!

However, whatever it is you want to wear, it’s totally up to you!


I do politely request that you leave as much of your belongings as you can out of the studio, preferably in your car, as space is limited and it reduces the risk of contamination. I also request for the same reason, that you limit the number if people coming along to your session. Mum, Dad and kids is great, but please no more than two adults unless it’s been previously discussed with me.

For safety reasons, I will be wearing a mask for the duration of your session. Hand washing facilities are freely available, as are hand sanitiser and spare masks if you do not have one. Everything in the studio is thoroughly cleaned between each session.

And that’s it! Please jot down the studio telephone numbers, which is 07545322486, just in case you have any trouble finding us.

We are now having to leave a big space between sessions for deep cleaning, so I am trying to make sure there is always enough time to do that. If you know you are going to be very late for your session, please let me know just in case there are other sessions after you.

One More Thing….

Please, please do not come to the studio if you have any Covid symptoms or have been in recent close proximity with someone confirmed as having Covid-19. I will happily re-schedule your session should you need. Likewise, if in the following few days you do develop covid symptoms, please let me know as soon as possible.

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