Maternity Session Guide and FAQ

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO CAPTURE MY BABY?

Because this magical stage of life passes in the blink of an eye, newborn portraits are captured during the first two weeks of life while your little one is still curled up, sleepy and content. We will keep your due date on file and stay in touch with you as the exciting day approaches, making adjustments to fit you in at just the perfect time.

While the best age to photograph a newborn is between 5-10 days old, this is not to say that we can not photograph your newborn at any other age. Beautiful images can be captured at any stage. However, you should know that once beyond this  "new” stage, it may be more difficult or impossible to achieve some of the curly or sleepy poses that you have seen on my website. In my experience after the 3 week mark, babies tend to be more alert and stay awake after feedings for a longer period of time. They also can start to develop a touch of baby acne at this stage, so the earlier we get them in to the studio, the smoother the session will go, and you will have a greater variety of poses to choose from.

CIRCUMCISIONS & UMBILICAL CORDS-

If you are considering having your baby boy circumcised, we will need to make sure we allow him at least 5 days of healing time before his session. When he comes in for his session we will be very careful with his little wound while posing him just as we are with babies who have their little umbilical cord still attached. Please bring extra gauze and ointment with you as it will probably need to be changed more often between poses.

WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE & DURING YOUR SESSION-

When you call the studio to book your session, I will take down all of your info, create you an invoice and send that over to you with a questionairre. Payment must be recieved 24 hours prior to your session (unless you have contacted me and we have discussed another arrangement). Please make sure to fill out your questionairre as soon as you recieve it and as detailed as possible. This along with our telephone consult will help me to  prepare and set up for your session before you arrive. If there are any specific themes, props, colors etc. that you'd like to incorporate, I need to be made aware of your wishes as early as possible so that I can make sure to have those props made, washed, or available for your session.

ACCIDENTS HAPPEN-

You should expect to arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled time to allow for feedings. The studio is kept at 75-80 degrees in order to keep the baby warm and comfortable so please DRESS IN LAYERS!  Newborns can lose their body temperature quickly, especially when unclothed, so we need to assure they are kept warm at all times. Please know that babies pee and poo on everything and you do not need to concern your self if they have an accident on my items, because IT WILL HAPPEN! (I am prepared for it) I have plenty of wipes on hand and everything is washed after each session. Often times I hand the baby back to Mom for a quick feed, and they unfortunately are the recipient of the accident. For this reason we strongly suggest that Mom and anyone else who is taking photos with the baby bring a spare change of clothes. There will be a white noise machine running to help soothe the baby. Feel free to sit back, relax, read a book, or even take this opportunity to take a nap yourself!

WHAT DO WE WEAR TO TAKE PHOTOS WITH THE BABY?

Typically we suggest that anyone who will be photographed with the baby wear solid colored or simple patterned shirts. White or cream are always simple choices that make for beautiful portraits but you do not have to stick to those colors. Try to pick soft colors that compliment each other when put together. The goal is to have the clothing be plain and soft as not to distract from the baby. Family portraits are usually photograhed on a white or soft tan background. Long sleeve or 3/4 sleeve is the most flattering. Sleeveless is usually not all that flattering but if you are one of those moms rocking awesome post baby guns, then good for you, show them off in a camisole or tank!  We can also photograph you topless, (wrapped in fabric) holding the baby which makes for a beautiful image! 

SIBLINGS-

If you have small children that you would like to incorporate into your newborn session we ask that they be dropped off for the last half hour of the session as these sessions can be long and boring for toddlers to sit through. I understand that some people have no other choice but to bring their kids for the entire session and that is totally fine, but please bring some toys, snacks, a drink, a tablet, possibly a new toy that they haven't seen yet to occupy them. I do have a TV in my studio with Netflix so we can also put on a movie for them.

HOW LONG DOES THE SESSION TAKE?

I block off 3 hours for each newborn session. Every baby is different. Some sleep through the entire session and it will be completed within 1.5 hours, others who are cluster feeding tend to take up the whole 3 hours . Please be prepared that the session could last up to 3 hours depending on how well the little one sleeps. 

ITEMS TO BRING WITH YOU:

*PACIFIER* -

The "soothie" pacifiers are highly recommended for your newborn baby. These have been found to be the most effective in soothing and helping newborns to latch on easily.  Even if you are not thinking you will want to use a pacifier, I strongly encourage you to bring one to your session. The short amount of time we will be using one should not affect any habit-forming behaviors for your baby. My goal is to help keep the baby happy and calm during our session. Often times, I will be working with a baby, I will get them into the perfect pose and they will begin to fuss. It's at this time I will pop in a pacifier for 30 seconds or so just to help them settle a bit. I struggled with getting my son to latch on when he was an infant, so I know how it is! I promise I will use the paci sparingly and only for a few seconds intermittently to help settle them down.

EXTRA BOTTLES -

Whether you are nursing or bottle feeding, having extra bottles and/or milk is suggested.  If you are breastfeeding it is helpful if you could bring a pumped bottle. Some babies tend to eat more than usual during their photo sessions.  It is best to be prepared and in my experience babies usually feed faster from a bottle. Feel free to bring snacks for yourself or your other children as well.

NURSERY ITEMS (OPTIONAL) -

Hand knitted hats, blankets, books, banks, stuffed animals, family heirlooms... these are all things that help create the story of your baby's first few days of life. I love when parents incorporate something personal either from their own interests or from the baby's nursery into their session.

SAY YES TO KNITTED ITEMS, SAY NO TO CROCHET-

Generally I will be photographing your baby unclothed. Part of the experience in capturing a newborn is seeing the squishy little toes and cute tiny bums. I have lots and lots of hats, bonnets, rompers and headbands, all handmade, at your disposal. You absolutely do not have to bring your own props but if you end up purchasing a handmade hat or prop on Etsy.com we suggest that you look for items that have been knitted and not crocheted. Knitted items tend to be much softer on tiny little newbies than the chunky crochet stitch. I have tons of knit items in the studio that you are more than welcome to choose from when you arrive. I am a knitter and a crocheter. I love crochet, just not on newborns! If you are looking for a specific knit prop, please let me know in advance because either I can knit one up or refer you to an amazing vendor on Etsy.com that can make it for you.

PLEASE NO PHOTOS DURING SESSION (including phones)

No outside cameras, videos, or cell phone cameras are allowed to be used in my studio or during any of my location sessions.

WHAT KIND OF PROPS DO YOU OFFER?

My style is organic, natural and subtle. I use lots of natural fibers and textures and neutral soft colors. I like the images to look timeless and sweet. I stray away from trendy tutus, rhinestones, and onesies with wording on them. Not that these items are not cute, but they will not create a timeless image in years to come. We have a large variety of baskets, wraps, hats, headbands and other props to choose from. I am a bit of a prop hoarder so you really do not need to bring anything. I've got something for everyone's taste.

For a closer look at our prop selction, visit the STUDIO tab in the top menu.

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