Scheduling Your Session
Once you are headed to the hospital or at some point before you leave the hospital please text, call or email me, so that I can free up my schedule and send you some available dates to ensure we do not miss the 14 day window after your baby’s birth. Some couples select a trusted family member or friend incase they are a bit preoccupied ;)
Preparing For Your Newborn Experience
Every baby is different and there is no way to ensure a sleepy baby once in the studio. Even the sleepiest of babies can suddenly become wide awake once in front of the camera. I use several soothing techniques to try and keep your baby cozy and sleeping, but there are things you can do at home before your session that will really have the biggest impact! Keep in mind though babies are unpredictable and despite all efforts some babies will not sleep. That's ok though, I will wrap him/her up tight and still get priceless images for you!
FIRST please keep your baby awake for 2 hours before your scheduled session, but NOT longer as baby may become overtired, cranky and have a hard time settling down. This is VERY important!! This will help him/her fall into a deeper sleep for our session. I know it can be difficult, so try giving your baby a bath, let him/her kick with only a diaper on, tickle his/her toes, and even let the baby fuss for a little bit. Also, please try your best to keep him/her awake on the drive to the studio.
I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH the importance of doing your best to keep the baby awake! Many parents come in saying "baby has been sleeping all morning, but trust me, he/she sleeps SO well this time of day" only to have baby wake up and uncooperative since they will be unclothed and unswaddled for a good portion of the session.
SECOND please plan to feed your baby right before you put him/her in the car to leave for the studio. If your drive is longer than 20 minutes please wait to feed him/her until you arrive at the studio. If you supplement with a bottle please use this method and bring one to the studio. The fuller the baby’s belly the better chance he/she will sleep!
Third Please bring one of the soothie pacifiers the hospital sent you home with. It's the bendable, green/blue or orangish one. These won't leave marks around the baby’s mouth. Even if your baby shows no interest in a pacifier bring it anyway. It can be a life-saver! If you really prefer that we don’t use one, we won’t!
Fourth After feeding your baby give him/her the recommended dose of Mylicon gas drops (or any other type of gas drops) and bring the bottle with you! I highly recommend brining this with you even if your baby has not experienced gas as of yet. Remember they are just a few days/weeks old and new things are happening to them all of the time. Gas drops are safe and can be purchased over-the-counter at any drug store. A gassy baby will be very difficult to settle and even wrap, so bringing these drops will really make a difference!
Keep Clothes Loose
Please do not put tight socks, shirts or pants on your baby to bring to the studio. These can leave unsightly red marks which will show up in your images. Please dress them in something that does NOT need to be pulled off over their head. The less the baby has on the better. This will also help keep them asleep while undressing them for pictures.
What to Expect During The Newborn Experience
Your session will last approximately 2-4 hours. The length of the session will depend on the needs of your baby! Some babies may need longer than 3 hours, so plan to be here a while just incase! Don’t worry though, you will enjoy complimentary snacks and drinks while relaxing on the sofa just a few feet away from your baby! Feel free to bring a book, listen to music, fill out thank you cards or take a much needed nap, but most importantly relax. Your baby is in good hands!
Your baby will be photographed nude for a large portion of the session if asleep and will be put into several safe poses throughout. He/she will likely fuss or cry during posing and transitioning out of annoyance. I assure you though that your baby will not be in any pain! Newborn babies are extremely flexible. They have spent the past few months curled up in your womb, so many of the poses, although look uncomfortable to us, are actually quite comforting to your baby.
Safety is Number One!
The Froggy Pose is where the baby appears to be holding his/her head in his/her hands. This pose is a composite manipulated in Photoshop. Babies are not strong enough to do this on their own and someone will be supporting baby’s head the entire time. The baby must be very sleepy to get this pose. If there is a pose you would rather I not do please inform me before our session begins.
For Mom and Dad
Mom & Dad you are a big part of the show. Photographing the connection between you and your baby is one of my all time favorite things! Just as they encourage in the hospital, skin to skin contact creates the most beautiful images, however if you are not comfortable with this that’s ok.. The love for your baby will be captured regardless.
Dads: If you are not going shirtless I suggest that you bring a formed fitting neutral solid colored t-shirt to wear with a good, formed fitting pair of pants (jeans are perfectly fine). You don’t want anything too bulky. Make sure your finger nails are clean and groomed as well. The nap of your neck may show, so make sure your hair line is shaven as well as trimming and grooming facial hair.
I would also suggest removing watches and all jewlery except for your wedding ring.
Moms: Neutral colored belly bands are great to photograph you with your baby to get the skin to skin look. Tank tops work well too! Please try not to worry about your body’s appearance. I will be photographing you from right below your chest up, rest assured, I aim to photograph using flattering angles and light to bring out the natural beauty and connection between you and your baby which will be the focus in the image. Your body just carried the most precious gift on earth for 9 months, so don’t be too hard on yourself :)
Avoid earring too much jewelry. I suggest keeping it very simple. No necklaces, bracelets, watches or long earrings (studs are fine). These can be distracting and draw focus away from the baby. Please do though keep your wedding ring on!
Be sure your nails are clean and free from chipped polish as your hands will make their way into the images.
MOM & DAD: It’s best to wear matching solid, neutral colored tops. The focus of the images are not of your clothing, but the love and connection with your baby. Any prints, bold colors or different colored shirts are distracting. Oh, and bring a change of clothes for yourself, there is a good chance you will get peed on or worse :)
Please Remove Shoes I often lay blankets, hats and other props used for baby on the floor, so I ask that you remove your shoes before entering the studio to keep things as sterile and clean as possible. You may want to wear shoes that can slip on and off easily!
My camera will pick up the smallest specks of lint, so please check your shirts carefully (particularly dark colors). Run over them with a good lint brush or masking tap. Although some lint can be removed during the editing process, large amounts of tiny lint can become difficult.
Moms if you don't typically wear a lot of makeup I wouldn't go overboard for your pictures, but do be sure to wear the following:
Foundation or powder. I would bring powder with you if possible to eliminate any shiny spots that may occur (especially in the heat).
Lip gloss or lipstick is great, but again, if you don't normally wear lipstick, don't, but do wear a clear lip gloss. Also try and make sure your lips are not dry or chapped on the day of your session. You can help prevent this by applying a good amount of Vaseline every night at bed a few days before your session and drink lots of water!
Mascara will really make your eyes pop! I highly recommend 3D fiber lashes by Younique!
Kids are so unpredictable and as much as we would like to be able to control our children the bottom line is we can’t. As a former teacher of 12 years I strongly suggest you have a discussion with your child about what to expect while in the studio. Let them know they will be coming to Ms. Sarah’s studio to take pictures with their new baby and that Ms. Sarah will be in charge with rules to follow. Your children will be more likely to listen to me then they will you. It’s just the nature of kids! Especially if they see me as a bit of an authority figure. My kids are angels at school, but little terrors at home. I’m still shocked each year when their teachers tell me what good listeners they are!
I will spend the first few minutes establishing a rapport with siblings and discussing the rules. I know it will be difficult, but the less you intervene as parents the more cooperative they are likely to be! The best thing would be to leave the room and allow me and my assistant to handle sibling poses!
I would suggest not “bribing” kids with a special treat after the session if they behave. I’ve resorted to this approach many times and it never ends in the results I desire. The best thing to do is prep them for their visit and then let me take over once they arrive!
If your child has a special doll friend or comfort toy please bring it along. I will have organic snacks on hand to keep them happy, but if they have a favorite snack feel free to bring that too!
I can not tell you just how truly honored I am to be able to document this incredible and brief time in your lives! I look forward to getting to know your family and your sweet baby! Any questions at all please feel free to call or email me!
Thanks so much,