First of all, our sincere and deepest sympathy is with you and your family. The loss of a child is a time of unimaginable distress and our hearts go out to you. While we cannot take away our pain, our hope is that, through our gift of photographic memories, you will receive some comfort along your journey.
|Why should I choose to have a Heartfelt session?
Remembrance photography can be an important part of your healing process and both validates and honours your baby’s life. Images can provide you with opportunities to share your baby with friends and family who may not have ever met them. Many of our parents talk about how important the photographs are to remind them about small details of their baby. Others print and display images at home or in a special book or album.
You have only a limited time with your baby, so it is important that you maximise every chance to get images. While taking your own photos is also important, having a Heartfelt session will provide you with a special opportunity to spend time with your precious baby without having to think about taking pictures.Your Heartfelt photographer is an experienced family portrait photographer and knows how to get the best images in any particular situation, choosing compositions which are the most pleasing and flattering, and often in a way that reduces or completely removes the ‘hospital’ clutter.
|Who is eligible to receive a Heartfelt session?
Heartfelt provides services for families who have experienced stillbirth or died shortly after birth with a minimum limit of around 22 weeks gestation, although there is some flexibility around this guideline. It’s best for you or your medical staff to discuss this with the Heartfelt representative as each situation can be different.
We also provide Heartfelt services for children with serious or life threatening illness, particularly those who are critically premature (under 28 weeks) or ill in the neonatal intensive care units. Once again, please call the Heartfelt representative to discuss your particular situation.
We can also provide a Heartfelt service for children up to approximately 16 years old with serious and terminal illnesses.
|How can a Heartfelt session be requested?
You or your medical staff call to request a session (Australia 1800 583 768 or New Zealand 0800 583 768). The photographer can come to the hospital, your home, a nearby garden or other special location, or a funeral home.
All Heartfelt sessions are provided by volunteers, so we can not guarantee that we will be able to provide a session, however we will do our utmost to provide a photographer at a mutually acceptable time and location. If we can not provide a photographer to shoot a session, there is the opportunity to request retouching services for images shot by you or the hospital.
|Can I choose a Heartfelt photographer?
|Heartfelt sessions are provided by the volunteer who is available in the window of time the family has with their child. There isn’t the opportunity for the family to choose which photographer photographs the session.
|How much will I be charged?
|This service is completely free, thanks to the generosity of it's members, supporters and donations. To sponsor a Heartfelt session please visit the donate page.
|What will Heartfelt provide that I can’t shoot on my phone?
Your Heartfelt photographer will have the knowledge and the photographic equipment to provide a set of high-quality images which will manage the often-tricky hospital lighting situation much better than a camera phone.
Photographers are experienced in post-production techniques which will enhance lighting, contrast and compositions. The images provided should be able to be enlarged to an A3 size image without loss of image quality.
|What happens during a Heartfelt shoot?
Your photographer will arrive at the hospital and be introduced to you. He or she will have a brief chat with you to find out if you have any requirements. If you have any specific requests for any shots that you may want, please let them know, otherwise photographers will be experienced at providing you with a range of photographs that will help you remember your baby best.
Maybe you’d like to have photographs of you bathing your baby, or out in a nearby garden. If you have special toys, blankets or wraps or other precious mementoes, ask to have them included. You can be a part of the shoot, or not, it’s totally up to you. You can involve other family members, or not, it’s totally up to you.
Every session is different, but photographers, where appropriate, will try to include shots that show you and your baby together as well as, shots showing baby’s hands, feet, face, ears and total body.
If you need to stop at any time, that’s ok, just ask the photographer to stop.
The photographer will ask you for contact details so we can send you your photographs.
|How should I prepare for the session?
|You don’t have to do very much. If you have special toys, blankets or wraps or other mementos, please arrange to have them at the session location in time for the shoot. Where appropriate, a little bit of personal care for yourself and other family members (hair and clothing) can help with the photographs.
|How do I get my photographs after the Session?
Your photographer will prepare the photographs to a professional standard, including minor retouching of skin damage and colouration, and also provide some images converted to black and white. If your baby has a lot of skin damage and you’d like some specialised retouching work please mention this to the photographer and they can arrange for two to three photographs to be professionally retouched as part of the Heartfelt service.
The photographs will be loaded onto a private, secure and password protected on-line gallery. From there, you can download all the images and print them, or share the gallery with friends and family. This gallery should be available within a week to two weeks after the shoot and the photographer will send you an email with the access details. This gallery will be available to you to access at any time.
If you have an urgent request for some images for a funeral or memorial service, please ask the photographer to provide some images in a shorter time frame.
The photographer will select up to 20 images for printing in a 6” x 4” format. The print house will print these images and download all images onto a USB and send a package to the address you have provided within four weeks of the gallery being uploaded.If you haven’t received your package within six weeks after your shoot, please contact your photographer, or call 1800 583 768 (Australia) or 0800 583 768 (New Zealand) to let us know and we will follow this up.