When to book??
I recommend that you schedule your newborn session PRIOR to your baby’s birth to ensure your spot on my calendar. Newborn sessions MUST be scheduled within the first 14 days of birth. However, the BEST time is between 3-10 days after their arrival to be able to get those cute, sleepy poses. Plus, babies just tend to do a lot better with the session within this time frame. After day 14, it’s almost impossible to get baby into that deep sleep …so it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to get them into any of the traditional newborn poses.
Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-3 hours. It all depends on baby’s mood and willingness to sleep. Unfortunately…this isn’t something I can predict! Should he/she not want to sleep, that’s okay! Wide-eyed newborn photos are beautiful too.
I have a newborn studio in my home, located in Arlington or I can travel to my clients for an extra $100 charge (just to cover all it takes to pack up my studio and travel). Worried because your house is a mess? Don’t even stress out! You just had a BABY! l might also need to move furniture around if we need to make room for my set up, but don’t worry – I’ll put it all back!
How to prep:
I ask that you please loosen your baby’s diaper and clothing at least 30 minutes before the session. This gives those little imprint marks time to disappear. (Your baby will be naked in most of the shots, but we pose them so that all the “important bits” are not on display.)
Most of the images will work best (and will be more safe) if the baby is in a deep sleep. To achieve this, I recommend that you do whatever it takes to make sure baby is nice and exhausted. I usually suggest giving baby a bath, talk to them, sing to them.. whatever you can think of. It will be worth it in the end!
If traveling to you, I recommend waiting to feed baby upon my arrival, while I am setting up for your session. This will ensure a happy and full sleepy baby! I’ll also be more than happy to take as many breaks as needed to help him/her re-fuel. It’s tough work being a model! I work by baby's schedule so whatever they need!
Please do whatever you can to keep the noise level to a minimum during our session. If you have other children that might create noise, try to find a sitter or family member to take them away from the home/Studio for a few hours. If they are also getting their picture made, we can do theirs first so they may go off to a sitters if necessary. If you have a noisy pet, you may want to do the same. I use a white noise machine, but it doesn’t always block out tantrums and playtime.
Relaxxx! I am very comfortable holding and posing newborns. Your baby is in safe hands, I promise (I have 4 kids of my own) So, feel free to rest and leave the room for a bit if you’d like. I have had parents who’ve used this time to take a nap, shower…whatever! Or, you are welcomed to join in with me! Help pose and pick out setups! All totally acceptable! I am easy going, and like to have a fun and relaxed session.
Moms tend to stress out because this is a new experience…and they aren’t used to the waiting game that is newborn photography. They see their baby being fussy or having a difficult time getting settled and panic. I work on baby's schedule; getting them to sleep before posing takes time and they may need to be fed or cuddled a few times first. In fact, I’d say that a good part of the session will involve feeding, diaper changes, and cuddling to get baby comfortable. If that doesn’t work, we’ll take a break or we’ll work with what baby is giving us. Babies can sense stress and anxiety (especially from their mommy’s!) It’s super important that EVERYONE remain calm and relaxed during this session. Keeping the environment as mellow as possible is pretty much the only way I'm going to get the shots!
Your baby is going to be in the buff for the majority of this shoot. Please don’t panic if your baby decides to use my blankets (or me) as his/her own personal potty. This is natural, please don’t feel embarrassed or worry when this happens, because they all do it. I wash all of the baby props and blankets between each session with non-scented baby detergent. (This is why we only schedule one newborn session per day!) It would definitely be helpful if you had a stack of old towels, extra wipes and blankets available for when things get messy though.
I will have a collection of bowls, baskets, blankets, knit hats and headbands that I’ll be using at your session. You are also, of course, welcome to use any of your own props. Look for items with texture and color to help make your images unique. If you have any family heirlooms, toys, hats, props, etc. that you would like me to use in your session, please send me a pic. I may not get the chance to use ALL of the items, but we’ll look through them with you to determine what will work best. *I also STRONGLY recommend that you discuss any ideas, props or poses you have in mind at least a week prior to your session. I start planning out your session weeks in advance, so dropping a huge idea on me mid-session (that requires an unavailable prop) can cause stress on everyone! So talk to me early on and let us know what you have in mind! If I can make it happen, I will!
Family Images: I usually do family poses from waist up on a blank wall on location ( or have backdrops to choose from at my studio). Sometimes I'll need to remove a picture off the wall. We can also do some images laying cuddled up with baby. If there any particular poses you want, please let me know ahead of time so I may prepare.
MOMS: I know! You just had a baby and aren’t feeling your best. This is the perfect time to pamper yourself! Go have your hair + makeup done (or better yet, have someone come to you!), schedule a massage or have your nails done. Looking super relaxed and at your best will make you feel more comfortable during the session. This is an exciting time in your life and we want to capture all of that…so take care of yourself first! And feel free to tell your husbands that we’re making you if they need a little convincing! As far as clothing? Keep it simple, skip the busy patterns. I suggest neural colors, tanktop/cami works best for close ups, so you can add one under your shirt. (And please don’t feel the need to match everyone in white shirts and jeans – there’s simple…and then there’s boring! Plan to coordinate instead of matching) For moms, I suggest cotton knit camps and knit tops. We’re also big fans of skin-on-skin portraits with you holding your baby against you. They’re so simple + timeless! So if you want some portraits like this with your newborn, consider a strapless top or tank as an alternative.
DADS: Your hands, and possibly even your feet, will play a major role in this session, so it’s important that you tend to them too! Even if you aren’t planning on participating much in the session, you’ll still be handling your baby a bit, so it’s a good idea to touch up on your grooming. Trim and tidy your nails and apply lotion to any dry skin. (It also never hurts to dab a little moisturizer on your face to help you look more refreshed. Those late nights can take a toll on your skin) A little clothing advice? Long or short sleeved knits are best. (Make sure there isn’t too much bagginess in the sleeve.) Undershirts also work well. Make sure your t-shirts are free of logos and no writing. Neutral colors work best .*Wrinkles do show up in photos, so please make sure all clothing is ironed or steamed (or throw it in the dryer like I do).
PRICING: My newborn session is $500 (This includes your session fee with me and also includes your editing digital images with print release). *extra $100 if I'm traveling to do session in your home (see above).