It’s All In The Details: Tips for a Better Newborn Photography Session
The best portrait experience comes when your little one is nice and sleepy and easily goes from pose to pose, so here are some tips to make your session go smoothly from start to finish (for both of you!)
Scheduling: Whether planning for a maternity session or newborn session, contact me when you’re in your second trimester for scheduling, as that is when I can ensure that a date will be available for your session(s). Dates are tentatively scheduled near your due date for the newborn session, and are adjusted once baby makes his/her arrival (since they can come sooner or a bit after your due date). All you have to do is send me an email once baby is here and we’ll get you in soon after. It’s best to do the session when baby is between 5-10 days old as that is when they’re at their absolute best. However, some babies simply cannot do a session due to unforeseen circumstances that soon after, and we can plan on re-arranging the schedule for the baby approximately 5-10 days after they have come home. If you want to add me to your list of people to text once baby arrives, that’s even better. I love getting those announcements!
The Session Fee: My sessions include the time during and after the session (when I’m going through your images and making sure you’re getting the best ones, and then editing them) and includes a download of your images. This is broken up into 2 payments, one being the retainer (due at the time of booking) and then the rest of the session fee (due at the time the session is held). Of course, additional products are also available for purchase if you would like professionally printed items to go with your digital image collection, but no additional purchase is required.
How Long Do Sessions Take?: Regular sessions take up to an hour. Newborn sessions can take up to four depending on how well baby does during their session, but my average is around two hours.
How can I prepare for the session?: It’s not always possible to keep baby awake prior to their session, but the longer they can be kept awake, the better the session will go. Then, feed them just prior to coming to the session. Sometimes baby will want to snack again once they arrive (especially since quite a few of you drive from out of town to get here) and that is perfectly ok. Breastfeeding and bottle feeding are more than okay here. Also, the shooting space is kept pretty warm for baby (between 75-80) so that baby is nice and comfy, so parents, feel free to dress in layers to accommodate the added warmth. Plus, bringing a change of clothes is a great idea since sometimes babies like to have accidents during the parent posing. Parent poses are not required, but are encouraged. I know as a new momma you’re likely not flattered about your tummy area, and I always shoot above it so you don’t have to worry. 🙂 Also, I use a shushing app or machine during your session to keep baby calm. If you’re interested in your own to help you get some better sleep, they can be found here. It’s also available as an app for iphones and androids. Just search “baby shusher”.
What About Out of Town Sessions? I do travel for sessions in the Central Michigan area on some weekends for maternity, newborn, and baby sessions. This includes most areas near Clare, Mt. Pleasant, and Midland, Michigan. They do require a regular session fee deposit + a travel fee of $150. If interested in a senior session in this area, please send me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Are Siblings Welcome?: Of course! If we are doing sibling poses, we’ll get those out of the way first and then move on to working with baby. I do ask that arrangements are made for someone to take the older children once their part of the session is done, as my shooting area is very small, and babies are best during the rest of their session with a calm and soothing environment. Plus, a lot of the time, getting a break from the older kids can be a treat for parents and help them relaxed as well.
What if my baby poops or pees on your props?: My props are made to be washed. It’s not a big deal if poop or pee gets on them. I always use a changing pad under them, and everything is washed and disinfected after each session. If baby poops or pees on me during posing, we’ll go ahead and get cleaned up and continue with the session. Totally not a big deal. Don’t even worry about it. Just relax, share a laugh, and keep going with the session.
What if my baby has had a circumcision done?: I do ask that you either wait to have baby’s circumcision done after the session has already been completed, or give it around a week to heal prior to the session. It’s important that nothing sticks to that sensitive area, and unless a diaper is kept on during the entire session, this would be very hard to avoid.
What do you want me to do during the session?: Mom/Dad, you can help spot the baby or if you’ve brought someone to help (a lot of my c-section mommas do) then they’ll spot baby and make sure they’re safe while you relax and take it easy. Bringing snacks helps those who are breastfeeding as well, as it keeps the milk supply up, which then makes baby nice and happy (and sleepy!). If you’re having your portraits taken with baby, I recommend bringing neutral/light colored clothing, as they photograph well with your new little one.
Do you have props?: I do supply all props, headbands, wraps, baskets, buckets, and many other things, but if you have any items you’d like photographed with baby, feel free to let me know ahead of time so that I can plan something around them for your session. This works especially well with those who love sport teams and still would like baby to represent their team (did I say go Colts?)…moving on…
What about baby’s skin?: Babies come in with all sorts of red blotches, dry skin, or baby acne. All of these are not a problem. I do recommend actually not putting lotion on the baby right before/during their session. A lot of times, this does help with dry skin, but it makes baby look shiny, and can be harder to edit.
How do you normally photograph baby?: Baby is best photographed without clothes or a diaper, as that shows off all of their amazing baby goodness (not to mention that adorable baby tush!).
What about social media?: I do require the ability to use images from sessions on social media and my website for marketing purposes. If you absolutely do not want baby’s photos put online, there is an additional $50 charge for that. But really, most parents don’t mind showing off their adorable new baby and using watermarked images for profile/cover photos. (please tag yourselves on my Facebook page instead of saving/re-uploading the photos though, as that helps my page get seen by more people!) Not a fan yet? Go here.
Any other questions or concerns? Let me know and I’ll add them to the list!