Preparing for your Newborn Session

Your newborn portrait experience will be nothing like one you’ve ever experienced! Because of that, it’s hard to know what to expect.. so I am here to walk you through the process before you arrive.

When is the best time to schedule my newborn session? How do I book?
The first two weeks of life are best when taking newborn portraits. I prefer between 10-14 days old, as your baby is typically most sleepy and tolerant to a variety of posing. When scheduling your newborn session, the sooner you can contact me about your future arrival, the better!! Your session will be scheduled in advance based on your due date. Once you’re on my calendar, it is a floating appointment. The final date and time will be confirmed once you’ve baby has arrived. My clients have found it best to email/text me before they leave the hospital, while you still have a little time to yourself. This way, the newborn session doesn’t get put off and miss the “magic sweet spot” for great newborn poses. 

What is the difference between the classic newborn session and a petite newborn session?
Our regular/classic newborn session is our most popular option. It is the session we have become known for. We have time for family poses, sibling poses, tiny detail poses, and a variety of multiple prop and set up changes.  This session is never rushed and even if your baby is not in a deep sleep, we take the time to help soothe them asleep so that we can safely pose baby into a larger variety of poses and options.
The petite newborn session is designed to offer clients an option to still get a handful of beautiful newborn images, but the session is kept quick and simple. You can expect your proofing gallery to be filled with shots of those tiny baby details, wrapped/swaddled poses (awake and/or asleep), parent with baby poses, and as time allows, a pose or two on a blanket or prop. This session does not allow time for older siblings, custom set up requests or outfit changes. Those requests are perfect for the classic newborn session.

What is included in my session fee?
The Newborn Session fee covers our time during your session, and includes an online proofing gallery of 30-40 edited images for 2 weeks. Petite Newborn Sessions have an online proofing gallery of 5-10 images. Prints or digital orders are not included in the session fee. You will receive a sneak peek image on my Facebook page that you are welcome to tag and use as your profile picture (but please, oh please, but nice and don’t copy it). Custom birth announcements are also available, and samples will be available for viewing after your session.

How long will my session be?
Because newborns are “new” and sometimes very unpredictable with sleeping and eating… I allow extra time. You can expect your newborn session to last 3.5-4 hours, and we are never rushed. I will take the time to carefully place every tiny finger and every tiny toe in place, and always make sure your baby is happy and comfortable. This can take time and patience. If your baby wakes at any point during the session, do not stress! Please don’t feel rushed or stressed because the baby is not cooperating. There is plenty of time to feed your baby, get them to sleep and allow us to get pictures. We will take the time to feed and soothe her, so we can ensure she is safely sleeping for all her poses.

If you have scheduled a PETITE newborn session, you can expect a slightly different experience. Petite Newborn Sessions allow for about 1 hour. Though our goal is the comfort and happiest of your baby, we will not have the same amount of time to soothe, feed, and wait for baby to fall into a deep sleep. Therefore (especially for family shots), you can expect more wrapped/swaddled shots for babies who aren’t in a deep sleep for the session.

Should I do anything before our session to prepare? What can I do to help ensure baby is happy during the session?
Actually, Yes! How funny your should ask! A few things will help… Please feed baby just before leaving your home, and keep baby awake the hour or so before your session (if possible!). We want him to sleep heavily during the session, not before. Giving baby a warm bath just before your session will also help keep the happy and relaxed, and in a deeper sleep. Also, please dress your baby in something EASY to undress (nothing tight and over the head. snap-up outfits are preferable). A loose diaper is also a good idea so we don’t have any marks or scratches on her perfect little skin. Something to keep in mind if you are nursing, PLEASE make sure you are eating, eat that day and even during the session. Bring plenty of snacks. If you aren’t eating, your body will have a harder time producing milk, so we want to do everything we can to ensure baby has a full tummy during the session. Also, keep an eye on WHAT you’re eating. Anything you eat goes to the baby too when nursing. So I would recommend steering clear of anything carbinated/caffeine prior to the session. Usually during a session, if a baby is restless or unhappy, it’s usually one of two things. They are hungry, or there is gas.
QUICK TIPS:
– keep baby awake as long as possible before session
– give baby soothing bath before session
– feed baby and keep tummy full
– dress something easy to remove (not an over-the-head onesie, please)
– bring lots of extra bottles and diapers
– if nursing, make sure you’re eating too
– if nursing, no caffeine

Will it be warm?
Yes. You can expect my studio to be around 80 degrees during your session. It does get a bit warm for adults, but my main priority is the comfort of your little baby. Since he will be naked or just diapered for the entire session. I notice Dads tend to be the ones who complain most about the heat. If you get warm at any time, feel free to take relax in the waiting room away from the heaters.

What if my baby poops?
Ha! I get this question at EVERY session!  “He hasn’t pooped yet today, soooo… beware!” I promise you, it is okay. Let me repeat! If your baby poops or pees, IT IS OKAY! I come dressed just for the occasion… baby poop is just part of the job! If you hear me gasp or start laughing really loud, just come running with wipes and a diaper for clean up, and we will get back to business! 🙂

I have older children. Could they be in the pictures too?
Absolutely! I’m sure you’ve been waiting for months to get the perfect picture of all your beautiful child all together, at last! Keep in mind though, siblings (especially toddlers) get very bored very quickly. It is hard to expect them to cooperate for 4 hours inside the studio. I’ve found it best to choose 1-2 poses with siblings at the beginning of the session, and then have another adult bring them to the park, lunch, or even bring them home where they are comfortable. I can’t stress this enough for your sanity, and ease during your session! Also, please remember that this session is set up to focus on your newest tiny baby. This is not a time to expect a milestone session/picture for additional siblings. I would recommend scheduling a separate session for them, or even a full family session at a different time. As a member of the Baby Club, you can get discounts on these sessions (feel free to ask for more details on this).

If you have older siblings you would like in the photos, we recommend scheduling the full newborn session, as there is typically not time during the Petite Newborn Session for siblings. To get the most variety with the amount of time allowed, petite Sessions are best for your newest baby alone and parents.

What will I do during the session?
I will be the primary one handling baby during the session. I’ve been trained to properly handle and safety pose your baby. I’ve found that the more Mom touches baby, baby smells Mommy and wants to eat. However, be prepared to assist me during a few poses if needed. I will walk you through how to help when the need arises. Other than that, I want your experience to be fun and relaxing! You’re welcome to sit and watch, or even take a nap on several of the couches in the studio. I would recommend packing a good book and snacks for your comfort! 

What do I need to bring? What should I wear?
For Baby – Diapers, wipes, blanket, burp cloth, pacifier, bottle, formula or breastmilk. Please dress your baby in something EASY to undress when you arrive (nothing tight and over the head. snap-up outfits are preferable). During photos, baby will be naked 98% of the time. I have colorful wraps and accessories if needed.
For Parents –
Snacks, a good book, dress for warm heat. If you’ll be in any shots, I would recommend something you feel comfortable in. Yoga pants or a comfy dress are great choices. The classic thing to wear is a black long-sleeved shirt. If you’re wanting a more modern and fresh look, pastels/white works great too! Mostly importantly, come comfortable and you can always change into something cuter 🙂

Do you have props?
Oh gosh, yes! You will have full access to my entire prop collection! One of the great things about scheduling early, is we can chat about what things you love, so I will go ahead and have several picked out specifically for you! If you have something particular you’re wanting, let’s chat… I may have it, or have a vendor who can create it for us! If you have props or sentimental items you wish to bring with you, please just let me know before your session so I can think of how to coordinate them properly! We HIGHLY recommend no “real” clothing. Lets keep those special outfits for when baby is a little older. As cute as those tiny outfits are, from my experience, newborn clothing does not typically fit in a way that is flattering for photos when they are this tiny.

Oh no! My baby has baby acne! Do I need to reschedule?
No need to reschedule! Baby Acne is completely normal, and tends to creep up around one to two weeks old (hey, right when you’ve schedule your newborn session!) Luckily, you have connections with a girl who knows how to get rid of that in your pictures (ahem, that would be me!!). There is no additional charge for this service. Baby Acne doesn’t last long, and I want you to look back and remember the beautiful, smooth, and perfect skin of your little sweetheart. Keep in mind, baby acne will not be retouched in your online gallery, as it is very time consuming. But no need to worry! Any photo purchased will have perfect complexion!

 

Relax, enjoy this time with your new little one and trust me. I want to give you photos that you will look back on and remember that little bundle that will certainly grow very very quickly. I have one of my own who is 2, and I swear it seems like yesterday that she was so tiny!

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