Your newborn session
Congratulations on your new baby and thank you for choosing me to capture these special memories!
I want to make your Newborn photography experience as relaxed and natural as possible. A little preparation goes a long way, so below you will find advice along with information on what to expect and how to plan for a fun session.
confirming your booking
To confirm your session and secure your date you will need to pay your deposit and sign a Client Service Agreement. These will be sent to you via email. The deposit is a non-refundable sum that secures your date. The Agreement outlines the terms of our relationship, details copyright in relation to your images and includes a model release.
Getting to Know you
Knowing a little bit more about your family and your hopes for your photos will help me to prepare a fun and relaxed experience. Please spare a moment to answer what you can from this pre-session questionnaire
When baby arrives (YAY!)
When you book I will ask you for your estimated due date and from this I will pencil in an approximate session date. When baby finally makes their appearance I'll need you to contact me.
If you are planning to send a group text or email you might like to add me to that list, or you can contact me separately. My mobile number is 021 806 521 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I have heard from you we will confirm your session date and time. The sooner you are able to advise me of baby's arrival the more flexibility we'll have in choosing your date.
I schedule newborn sessions for 10am on weekdays. Unfortunately, I do not schedule newborn sessions for weekends. If you have older children this means that you will need to think about taking them out of school/kindy for the morning.
Newborn Sessions, even Lifestyle ones, are best done in the first 6 to 12 days after baby's birth. But if baby is in the NICU or there are any other issues there is definitely flexibility around this. Just be aware that the older your newborn is the more likely they are to stay awake - so your session may not include curled up sleeping shots.
preparing for your session
I will photograph your sweet newborn and family in a relaxed way in the comfort of your own home. Most newborn sessions take 2-3 hours. This allows time for settling and following the baby's lead. I'll talk you through my typical shooting flow when I arrive, but every baby and family is different. Where older siblings are involved I tend to follow their lead first. More on that below.
Preparing your baby
It’s ideal if your newborn can be well fed and sleepy when I arrive. Sometimes a bath followed by a nice big feed can bring on a relaxed state. Having said that, please don’t be disappointed if your newborn doesn’t feel like sleeping. I have no expectations of your baby and the most important thing is that we beautifully capture this time in your life regardless of whether baby is asleep or wide eyed.
I typically begin with swaddled or nappy only shots, so it would be great if you could just have baby dressed just in a fresh nappy and covered by a warm blanket when I arrive. If you prefer them dressed I recommend a simple onesie with no graphics or words. Unless your baby is over 4.5kgs you will probably find that premmie sized bodysuits fit best.
I recommend that you feed around 15 minutes prior to my arrival. We will also stop for plenty of feeding breaks during the session to help keep everyone relaxed and hydrated (that includes you too mum!).
I don’t use props in my work, but I will bring wraps and a couple of blankets. If you have a special blanket or accessory you would like photographed please let me know when I arrive.
I know what it’s like to have a newborn, and what a big change this can be for older siblings. I have no expectations of your children and I won’t force them to do anything they don’t feel like doing.
You can best prepare older siblings for the session by telling them a friend is coming to take some photos of your family. It’s always best not to spring it on them without warning!
Generally I will let the sibling closest to toddler age set the pace for the session. They tend to lose interest and patience faster than everybody else. I will work with siblings early on to ensure they feel comfortable and relaxed with me. Often this means photographing them in their own space first before moving on to family or siblings shots with the newborn.
What to wear
I recommend neutral, solid colours and soft fabrics. I especially love soft neutrals like white, cream, oatmeal, grey, navy, mustard, chocolate and charcoal - and I also love pastels for newborn shoots. But whatever your colour preferences, simple, solid colours look best on parents, children, and newborns.
PLEASE avoid logos and strong graphics on t-shirts - they draw all the attention away from faces and onto the clothes themselves. It’s also good to avoid very small or busy prints such as tight small stripes - these play havoc with the camera.
I love textures and layers such as open sweaters over soft layers. For a sweet, feminine look, think about textures like mohair, cashmere and linen, or soft flowing fabrics.
I prefer dad to wear a plain, solid or neutral colour t-shirt or sweater (if he likes that style!). If possible, avoid buttons that may press into baby’s skin, or a collar that can cover baby’s face in some shots. Oh, and watches can be very attention grabbing in a photo, so I always recommend removing those.
Mum, you may like to wear something flowing to flatter your post-baby body (maxi dresses, or flowy tops are perfect because they don’t have a waist). A lot of women, particularly those who've just had a baby, are conscious of their arms. So if you don't think you'll be comfortable in singlet straps or a cami consider a top with loose or flowy sleeves.
Again I absolutely understand you will have just had a baby and I simply want you to feel as beautiful, yet comfortable as possible. Visit my Pinterest board HERE for more suggestions if you want.
Preparing your home
I work entirely with natural light. So when I arrive I will ask for a tour and look for the best-lit areas in your home.
I totally understand that you've JUST had a baby, so the last thing I want you to worry about is cleaning the house! Just think about "de-cluttering" the spaces we're likely to work in. I almost always shoot in the master bedroom so don’t forget to throw a lovely duvet and pillows on that bed. Choose something that compliments your outfits (if in doubt go with white). Clearing your bedside tables and tucking away electronics like the bedside clock is a great idea too.
I almost always use the master bed for solo newborn photos and snuggly family shots. Depending on the light in your shared spaces I may also use the couch for family and sibling shots. If you have a nursery set up we’ll most likely capture something in there as well. Where siblings are involved I will usually photograph them at play in their own room or favourite space too.
Newborns lose heat very fast, and we want your baby to be comfortable. To that end I ask that you heat the master bedroom in winter or on cooler days. Around 26-28deg is ideal. When heating your room just think “would I be warm if I was naked in this room?!”. You can expect that you might find these temperatures a bit stuffy - please make sure that you take care of yourself and other family members by staying hydrated. You’ll notice that I come dressed ready for exercise and warm climates (sorry about that - it’s not professional office attire for me!).
We will photograph with all the overhead lights turned off. Please resist the urge to flick them back on mid-session.
A final note on Weather and Light
As a natural light photographer I am reliant on the light coming in through your windows. I do not shoot with house lights (over head lights and lamps) turned on, and I do not use flash. This means that in the event of a severely stormy and dark day we may need to look at rescheduling your session for a day with more available light.
After the shoot | Payment, Galleries & Social Media
Following your session you will receive an invoice for the remainder of your session cost. With this invoice paid you will be able to download and enjoy your images as soon as they're ready!
I know you can't wait to get your hands on your beautiful photographs! Your private online gallery will be ready approximately 3 weeks after your session. As soon as your gallery is set up I’ll send you an email containing a link, password and instructions for viewing and downloading the images, as well as ordering prints should you wish to.
In the meantime I will post sneak peeks to my social media accounts to give you a look at what you have to look forward to. When I am part way through the editing process I will also create an exclusive blog entry about your session.
My social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram), blog and website are all vital business tools for me. 90% of my business comes from word of mouth, so I love being able to share images and client feedback on these platforms. Your client service agreement provides consent for me to publish images from your session on my blog, website, and social platforms. However I totally understand if you're a little "online-shy". If you do not wish to have your images included in such portfolios please let me know in writing.