Your newborn session
Congratulations on your new baby and thank you for choosing me to capture these special memories!
My lifestyle newborn sessions are a wonderful way to capture these memories in the comfort of your own home. My sessions are relaxed but a little preparation goes a long way to making sure things are stress free. Below you will find advice and information on what to expect and how to plan for an enjoyable session.
confirming your booking & planning your session
To confirm your session and secure your date you will need to pay a retainer and sign a Client Service Agreement. These will be sent to you via email. The retainer 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.
With those details out of the way, I'd love it if you could then take a few moments to complete my session information form here. This short questionnaire really helps me to prepare for our time together, especially where older siblings are concerned.
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 and I shoot every week day except Wednesdays. Unfortunately, I do not schedule newborn sessions for weekends, except under exceptional circumstances. 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 15 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 full sleeping shots.
If you have booked a Fresh48 session, these take place within 48 hours of baby's arrival at the hospital or Birthcare. If you have time (and the presence of mind!) it's best if you can contact me when you go into labour so that I can pre-empt your session and then contact me again as soon as possible once you have had the baby and you're settled into post-natal care.
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 is different.
Preparing your home
I work entirely with natural light. So when I arrive I will look for the best-lit areas in your home. I typically use the master bed for newborn photos and the bedroom, couch and nursery for family and sibling shots.
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. A nicely made bed and de-cluttered bedside tables is always great, but if you haven't had time I can help you with that! We may also need to rearrange your furniture as we go to make sure we have room to shoot.
Newborns lose heat very fast, and we want your baby to be comfortable so I ask that you heat the rooms in winter or on cooler days. Around 28deg is ideal, so when heating your rooms just think “would I be warm if I was naked in this room?!”. It will get stuffy - please make sure that you take care of yourself and other members of the family by staying hydrated.
We will photograph with all overhead lights turned off. Please resist the urge to flick them back on mid-session! Instead remember to throw open the curtains - I will be looking for the best lit spaces.
An extra note on Weather and Light
As a natural light photographer I am reliant on what is coming in through your windows. As previously mentioned 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.
Preparing your baby
It’s ideal if your newborn can be well fed and just ready to sleep 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. Preemie or newborn sizes are best.
I recommend that you feed (and burp!) your baby as much as they want 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 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 the 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!
What to wear
I recommend neutral colours. I especially love soft neutrals like white, cream, oatmeal, grey and charcoal - and I also love soft pastels for newborn shoots. Whatever your colour preferences, simple, solid colours look best on parents, children, and newborns. Please avoid logos and strong graphics on t-shirts.
I love textures and layers such as open sweaters over soft neutral layers. For a sweet, soft look, think about textures like mohair, cashmere and linen, or soft flowy 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 flowy 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 want you to feel as beautiful, yet comfortable as possible. Please click HERE for more suggestions to help you with that.
After the shoot | Payment, Galleries & Social Media
Following your session you will receive an email containing the invoice for the remainder of your session investment. 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 family 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.
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 constitutes 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.