Preparing for your Newborn Photos
WHEN DO WE BOOK?
We recommend that you schedule your newborn session PRIOR to your baby’s birth to ensure we will have a date open for you. Contact us during your second trimester and we’ll pencil you in for a date range around your due date. This is when we like to have a consultation appointment. During this time, you tour the studio, look through our props and plan your ideal session. We ask that you call or email us as soon as you can after your baby is born to set up your session time.
WHEN DO WE SHOOT? Newborn sessions must be scheduled within the first 14 days of life. However, the BEST time is between 5-14 days after their arrival. In order to get those adorable, sleepy images we all desire, it’s best to do the session while your baby is still unaware and tired from birth. Plus, babies just tend to do a lot better with the session within their first 7 days. Around 8 days old, babies figure out that they can streeeeetch out and it’s more difficult to get them into those curly newborn poses. After day 14, it’s almost impossible to get baby into that deep sleep that came so easily in their first few days. And, keep in mind that newborn acne (and sometimes colic) is likely to flare up after day 14. While I can edit problem areas, I prefer to do as little retouching as possible to baby’s skin.
WHERE DO WE SHOOT? Newborn sessions take place in the studio at 105 S. Main Street., Hendersonville, NC.
HEAT I will have the room in the studio heated to a warmer than normal temperature so be sure to wear something light and comfortable and be prepared to sweat a little. Newborns cannot regulate their body temperature so we heat up the studio, allowing your baby to be comfortable when we remove his or her clothing.
LOOSEN BABY’S CLOTHES Please loosen up your baby’s clothing and diaper at least 30 minutes prior to our session. This gives time for those little imprint marks and redness to disappear. Your baby will be naked for most of the session, so we want his or her skin to be its natural, flawless self. If you preferred the baby to be clothed, you will be able to see the extensive newborn collection of adorable rompers, bonnets, hats, and wraps during your consultation. Either way, the studio will be quite warm, so dress for that, and be sure to warn anyone coming with you. There are rooms in the studio to escape the heat including a nice dining area and sitting area.
SLEEPY BABY All of those classic, sleepy newborn images we like to capture, require your baby to be in his or her deepest sleep. It may sound counterintuitive, but try keeping your baby awake 30 minutes to an hour just before our session time. Don’t stress if you cannot do this! It’s simply a suggestion. We all know babies have their own ideas of when they want to sleep and that’s ok too.
HUNGRY BABY Getting baby into that Milk Drunk state is what we shoot for so try to wait to feed your baby until right before we start. Of course, we’ll take plenty of breaks for messes, feeding, and cuddling.
If you plan on having some sibling images done, we’ll do those first and then the older kids will be able to leave with Grandma, Dad or whoever can watch them. We are in a block away from Sweet Frog and the Children’s Museum. Neutral, earthy tones are best for clothing and jeans with solid color shirts are preferred for boys.
PATIENCE Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. The key to getting good images is to be patient and realize that a truly beautiful image is worth the wait required as baby relaxes into the pose. Relax and try to enjoy the quiet while I work. We ask that everyone remain calm, should he/she not want to sleep, since your baby will pick up on any frustration in the room. And if sleep doesn’t happen, that’s okay! Wide-eyed newborn photos are beautiful too. But don’t worry, every baby eventually sleeps and I am committed to waiting as long as needed to capture those dreamy images. I am never in a hurry to get done, as I always block out an entire day for your session and the following three business days for post processing.
RELAX! Let me say it again… Relaxxx! We’re pretty comfortable holding and posing newborns. (Juls is a previous Labor and Delivery nurse, a mother of four, grandmother of one, and over the years I was a foster parent to over 20 newborns (not all at once of course). Photography assistants are personally trained for safety. Your baby is in safe hands, we promise! It’s perfectly fine to use the time to surf the net, walk around, and rest. I’ve often looked over and noticed both mom and dad have dozed off on the sofa due to the calm and relaxing environment (and late nights). The soothing baby noise machine works on parents too!
SPEAK UP! Your baby’s safety comes first! If there is ever a point where you become uncomfortable, just let us know! We take every measure to ensure that your baby is never in any danger. For that reason, we will always make sure that a parent or assistant is nearby to lend support if needed. Also, if you see a prop or color being used that does not fit your taste, please let us know. This is your session, and we want you to love every image taken.
POO HAPPENS I expect your baby to poop and pee all over the blankets and props, and sometimes even me. I had a lot of experience with this as a labor and delivery nurse and trust me when I say I am very used to it. It happens! I wash everything after each session I do, so don’t worry about it.
PROPS AND BACKDROPS I have a great selection of props, hats, headbands, bowties, blankets, baskets and backdrops to choose from. Please be sure to discuss your desires with me before the session and let me know of any special items of your own that you would like to use.
PACIFIERS If you can bring a pacifier for your baby, even if only for the session, this will make the work much easier. Baby’s often love to suck and it helps soothe them into the poses we are looking for and makes for easier transitions and getting them to sleep. If your baby won’t take a pacifier or you do not feel comfortable offering one, don’t worry. I can work with whatever is right for you and your family. Supplemental milk from a bottle is also very helpful if you are comfortable with that. Sometimes a few quick sips and the baby settles right into sleep.
BUT WHAT DO *I* WEAR? I know! You just had a baby and aren’t feeling your best. But we think 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. Throw in a little color if you’d like, but skip the busy patterns. (And please don’t feel the need to match everyone in white shirts and jeans – there’s simple…and then there’s boring!) For moms, we suggest cotton knit camis 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.
FOR THE MEN. Your hands 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. We suggest you NOT wear button down shirts, and make sure your t-shirts are free of logos or too much writing. *Wrinkles do show up in photos, so please make sure all clothing is ironed or steamed. The retouching involved is extensive and will incur an extra fee.
PHOTOGRAPHY As a rule, we ask that you not use your cell phone or camera during the session. If you would like a pull back shot of us in action, please ask first, so we be sure to give you our “best side”. Don’t worry, your day will be well documented.