These are the questions I get asked most often. If your question isn’t answered here please feel free to contact me anytime through my Contact Page.
When is the best time to schedule my newborn session?
It’s always best to try and book your session while you are still pregnant. Generally speaking, the second trimester is normally an ideal time to start looking for your newborn photographer and to begin the process of booking with them. This allows enough time to really get to know each other, to discuss ideas about your session as well as optional add-ons such as a Maternity Session , to fill out the necessary forms, and to make sure your photographer of choice has room on their schedule.
Is there an ideal age for newborn photography?
Yes and no. Most newborn photographers (myself included) like to get newborns in studio between 7 – 10 days old. There are several reasons for this. First, for mamas that are breastfeeding, your milk doesn’t fully come in until about day 3 and you are both still trying to get familiar with the concept of breastfeeding. When you come for your session your baby will need to be nice and full to be content for the whole time. Second, your baby’s skin should be in a good place meaning; jaundice yellowing has likely diminished, they’re typically between skin shedding cycles, and baby acne/sensitivity rashes haven’t set in yet. Third, you need time as a new family to adjust and to get used to each other! You don’t need to be running out the door as soon as you get home to go to your newborn session.
All that being said, there are many reasons that the small window of 7 – 10 days old just won’t work. Perhaps your baby arrives early and has to spend extra time in the hospital, maybe you yourself have to spend more time in the hospital, maybe it slipped your mind to tell your photographer your baby arrived until you had been home a week (it happens and no one is going to blame you)! I’m always willing to work with families even outside of the ideal window. Technically speaking, your newborn is a newborn until they are three months old. Once you pass the 7 – 10 day window it may be harder or impossible to get the sleepy curly shots, but we can still get some lovely photos that you will cherish forever of your new arrival!
Where will the pictures be taken? Do you travel to us?
I currently do not travel to client’s homes. Instead, you will be coming to my studio space for your session. I have my space set up with your baby in mind and this allows me access to my huge assortment of props. I provide my clients with food and drinks during the session and I have space for you to sit and watch me work with your newborn.
What should I bring to my session?
All you need to bring is baby, enough food to cover 2 – 3 feedings, and I highly, highly recommend bringing a pacifier even if you aren’t planning to use one regularly. It will help with soothing and transitioning from pose to pose and should help make your session go more quickly. You may also want to bring something to do during the session (a book/magazine to read, a tablet to play games on) or you are more than welcome to take a quick nap!
Please don’t worry about bringing props or outfits. Most of my photography is done with your baby naked. I also spend a lot of money purchasing high-quality props made specifically for newborn photography. If there is something you would like to incorporate, please let me know ahead of time so that we can discuss options. If you want to purchase something special for your session I have put together a list of the vendors I work with most often. I trust their product’s quality and safety. You can find this amazing list of vendors on my My Favorite Things page.
Can you copy/recreate this picture I saw on Pinterest?
While I enjoy seeing what types of images you get excited about, I cannot outright copy another photographer’s work. That is their art and style and it is my hope that you are hiring me for my art and my style. Additionally, not every baby will do every pose. It is critically important to me that your baby is safe and comfortable at all times. What one baby will do easily may not be possible for your baby without fussing and discomfort. We will still get beautiful images regardless. It is my hope that I can create something unique and beautiful for each of my clients. It’s fantastic to draw inspiration from other photographers and I welcome you to find two or three images you absolutely love to share with me. Feel free to browse through my Portfolio and Blog for images to pin as well. That will ensure I have the props you are after or the looks that you love.
Can you edit that out?
While I do a thorough editing pass I try and keep my adjustments to a minimum. I will go through and clean up their beautiful faces of dry skin, scratches, baby acne, etc. I generally leave things like flakey skin on hands, toes, and limbs, birth marks, baby fuzz, mongolian spots, stork bites, or angel kisses unless specifically asked by the parents to tone them down or remove them. These are symbols of their newness and often fade quickly. Newborn photography is all about capturing them just as they are in that moment. All too soon these newborn hallmarks will be gone. I do not remove umbilical cords in editing, so if you would prefer it was not visible please let me know in advance. I can do additional touch-ups after your gallery has been delivered for an additional charge per image.
My friend/family member has a really nice camera and they said they would do my pictures for free. Why shouldn’t I just do that?
There are so many reasons you should avoid this scenario. First and most importantly, the amount of training and education a photographer needs to safely handle your new baby and to create those beautiful images is immense. Posing classes, safety classes, lighting classes, understanding what props to use and which to avoid, etc. All of this goes into creating your images and into keeping your baby safe during the process. You cannot and should not just put a baby in any old bucket, vase, bowl, or vessel to take pictures. Attempting to recreate something you have seen on Pinterest can often lead to disaster. It’s simply not safe and can lead to irreversible damage to your baby. Second, a beautiful picture is not produced by a nice camera any more than a beautiful painting is made with a nice paintbrush. You are investing in the artistry and the artist behind the lens.
I cannot tell you the number of times parents have said they had no idea how difficult newborn photography actually was until they saw me working. In this industry, you truly do get what you pay for. Investing in capturing these fleeting moments is something you won’t regret. Missing the window and ending up with images you aren’t thrilled with is something you will most certainly regret.
Do you include family in your newborn sessions?
Absolutely! I love when parents want to be in the pictures and I encourage you to bring your older children to be included as well. If you do want to include your older children you just need to let me know in advance. There is a section in my client questionnaire that will ask you a few questions about your older children so that I can best prepare. To ensure the session runs smoothly I will often do sibling shots last, particularly if the older child is under the age of 6. Often, little ones do not have the patience to sit through a 2 – 3 hour session, so I ask that arrangements are made to bring siblings to the last half of the session. I also like to keep the environment calm and peaceful for your session as it is better for the baby and gives you a break!
What happens in a normal newborn photography session?
I will send you a guide on how to prepare for your session a few days prior. There are specific instructions outlined there that will absolutely make a difference in how smoothly your session goes. In fact following them or not following them can make or break your session. Once you arrive at my studio, if baby is sleeping we will start with the 2 fabric beanbag poses first. This typically takes 30 – 45 minutes. Once that is done we’ll move to 1-2 different prop set ups (baskets, buckets, etc.) that I have hand selected for you. Once those shots are completed I will move onto the family and/or sibling poses with a few backdrop options. If baby is awake I’ll get baby undressed and loosely diapered. Mama will feed baby and then I’ll wrap him/her in a swaddle wrap. We’ll go through the flow mentioned above.
My studio is kept very warm (around 80 degrees). This will help your baby feel comfortable during the session. I would suggest wearing layers so that you don’t get too warm or uncomfortable.
Your baby will likely pee, poop, spit up, or all three on one of my backdrops, props, or even on me! It’s completely ok and I’m prepared for it. Everything gets washed and sanitized after every session. I also have a child of my own, so I’m no stranger to baby messes!
I will be handling your baby the majority of the time. I do not allow parents/grandparents to pose the baby as it presents a risk to your child and creates a liability risk for my business. I may ask for spotting assistance from time to time, but this is really a moment for you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the moment. I use hand sanitizer and wash my hands constantly. If I even think I might have an illness coming on I will reschedule your session. Your baby’s safety is my primary concern.
Why aren’t my images included in with the session fee?
The session itself is a huge time investment on my part. Between corresponding with you, planning the session, set up, the session itself, and clean up I have typically put in around 7 – 10 hours of work. My session fee compensates me for this time. While I absolutely love what I do, I’m unable to do it for free or minimal cost and still run a successful business, while supporting my family. It is an amazing honor to be invited into this time in your life and I adore getting to capture these moments for you. I want to make sure you are getting the absolute best I have to offer and when you book a session with me you get all of my time and attention.
Can I have all of the unedited images from my session too?
The simple answer here is, no. I do not provide unedited pictures to my clients. I take the time to go through your images meticulously and I hand select the absolute best to edit. This is my art and my passion and as such I have specific standards that have to be met with my work. Anything that didn’t make the cut was left out for a reason. I want you to have the very best!
What should I wear for my pictures with my new baby?
In this case the best advice I can give is, less is more. Sticking with neutral colors (white, cream, grey, black, and beige) or soft colors (blush, baby blue, sage, etc) is always a good idea. You don’t want your clothing to overshadow your cute little baby. Try and avoid patterns if you can and think soft cozy materials. Stay with soft tones for your older children as well. Stores like Target, Gap, and Old Navy often carry a line of solid color T-Shirts that work great for boys and girls.