Bringing home a new baby is both exciting and terrifying. Believe me, I’ve been there!
My newborn sessions include both lifestyle shots and posed images with props. My intent is to capture those sweet snuggles, curled toes, sleepy eyes and precious pouts in the safest and most relaxing environment; your home!
Here are some details you may be wondering about for your newborn session:
1. How far in advance do I need to book a newborn session?
Please contact me sometime during your last trimester to book your session. We will schedule it for a date that is about 4 days after your due date. At this time, you will pay your session fee, which will allow me to book you with a tentative date, as obviously, you can never be sure when you will go into labor. This booking date can be moved based on your actuall delivery date.
Please call me/text me/email me when the baby is born (within 24 hours of birth!) to solidify the session date. I will also need to know the baby’s birth weight. This is helpful when scheduling, as if the baby is very small (< 6 lbs), then we will book the session date closer to Day 10-14. If the baby is large (>8.5 lbs), then the shoot will be best done around Day 4-9.
I completely understand that recovery from delivery or caesarean is a painful process. I will work with you to schedule your shoot at a time that is good for Mama and baby.
2. What age should my baby be for a newborn session?
Newborn sessions ideally need to be taken when baby is 4-12 days old. Days 1-3, you and baby need to rest and recover. After Day 12, baby becomes more aware of his surroundings, spending more time awake and alert. That alertness makes newborn photography more difficult, especially if you are looking for those posed, curled, wrapped baby poses.
If you only want lifestyle shots (no posing with props), then the newborn shoot can be pushed out to as late as 5 weeks.
3. How long does a newborn session take?
For the shoots done within Days 4-12, which include both posed and lifestyle shots, the session will most likely take around 3-4 hours. This time includes baby feedings, set-up, lighting, posing, mama breaks, etc.
For lifestyle shoots done for babies older than 2 weeks, you can expect the shoot to last around 1 -1.5 hours.
4. Will you safely handle my newborn?
As a mom of two and an aunt to four, I have lots of hands-on experience handling newborns. I will treat your new bundle with lots of love and care. Please be assured that your infant’s safety is my number one priority! All the propped images are done with a parent right next to baby to ensure safety and comfort.
5. Do you use props?
I have an assortment of snuggly, fuzzy blankets, baskets, and wraps that I will bring with me. I also encourage Mom and Dad to share any special items they’d like to include in the shots. Maybe a hand made blanket from Nana, a special teddy, etc. Just let me know and we will work it in!
If you saw a certain prop or shot on my website that you love, PLEASE tell me in advance of your session so that I can try to recreate it for you and ensure I bring the proper items with me.
6. Do I (mom, dad) have to be in the shots?
Nope. However, I really encourage you to get in at least a few shots!
After I had my son, I felt bloated, sore, and sleep deprived to the point of breaking down. The last thing on my mind was being in front of the camera. I know firsthand how hard it is for mom to feel camera “ready,” post-baby. But I also know that those first days with your new bundle of joy will never come again. That little tiny bundle that curls up on your tummy and sweetly grasps your finger won’t stay so tiny for long. Remember those moments forever with some beautiful shots. Plus, as you become a busy mommy, you will find that you are the one always behind the camera shooting your little one, with not much to show the two of you together. Get these shots now, while you have a professional on hand to preserve them!
7. Can my other children be in the shots?
Sure! But please let me know this detail upon booking so that I can be prepared.
If baby’s siblings are toddlers, then I will get the sibling shots first so that they can go play while I continue with the rest of the shoot. As a mother of a toddler, I understand that these little guys have a short attention span, so we will get a few shots in, as quickly as possible. By the time I am done shooting the baby, your other children may be open to a few more shots and if so, we will go for it. If you find your little one(s) still doesn’t want to participate in the shoot, then you may find a little bribery will do the trick ;) . . . “Just a few more photos and we will get you some ice cream!”
Please note that the sibling shots will be WITH baby, not solitary shots.
8. You mentioned the newborn shoot will be in my home but it is a mess and I don't have time to clean! What should I do?
Don’t worry! I have been in all kinds of homes, apartments, and condos and I can work with it. Plus, you just had a baby, so you should be resting, not worrying about how clean your floors are (or aren’t!). Besides, we aren’t going to be getting any shots of your kitchen sink and the dishes piled up beside it. As long as I can make a little space to shoot in, and you are okay with me moving a few items here and there to set up the shots, we will be good to go. If this still doesn’t make you feel at ease, then call on your friends and family. They are all just itching to help you out at this time, as they know you are tired and need to recover. You may be surprised at how a quick call to your bestie can round up the troops for a quick house sweep.
9. My baby just broke out in baby acne/cradle cap and my shoot is tomorrow. Should I cancel?
Nah! I have seen it and shot it all. From eczema, to baby acne, peeling skin and bumps, your little one will be sure to sprout at least one of these specialties just in time for their close-up. This is what post-editing is for. I can take care of most, if not all, of these little issues. And for the parents who don’t mind the natural blemishes, the photos do not have to be retouched. Just tell me what you want to see in editing and I will be happy to oblige.
10. How do I book a newborn session?
Simply click on Services tab of the website, and scroll to the Packages/Sessions tab. Once there, select the newborn session of your choice. Once you add the session to your cart, you will fill out the required form and pay the deposit or session fee. Once I receive your online package, I will reach out to you to finalize all the details of shooting your lil’ bunny! Please note that all SBP photo packages are priced based on the session taking place within a 20-mile radius of downtown Wilmington, NC. For sessions outside this area, please contact me for possible travel fees.
11. How can we prepare for our newborn session?
· Please do your best not to feed the baby within 2 hours of our session time. If you are able to wait to feed him as I am setting up. itwill ensure baby will be newly full, relaxed and pliable for the session. This may mean baby will be hungry/grumpy prior to my arrival if you have to push off a feeding. I know that can be difficult. But for the success of the session, please follow this instruction.
· Many moms begin baby’s feeding while I get set up. I suggest that you feed the baby just in his diaper and a light blanket or your first prop/outfit of choice so that we can move straight from the feeding to the shoot without a lot of fuss with re-dressing.
· Expect messes. Baby will poop and/or pee on my props or me at least once while I am there and IT IS OK! I am used to it and prepared for it. Please do not be embarrassed.
· Be prepared for frequent feedings and/or top-offs. Keeping baby well fed and comfortable will be vital to getting those sweet, snuggly shots.
· Many of the shots we take will be nudes, or of baby in just a thin layer. So, keep the house warm. You may want to kick your thermostat up a degree or two higher than your standard setting about an hour before I arrive. I will also bring a space heater with me, to ensure baby does not get chilled.
· Have a pacifier handy (if baby uses one) that I can use as needed to soothe baby during shots.
· If baby is bottle fed, please have a bottle(s) ready ahead of the shoot that we can quickly grab as/if needed.
· If baby is breast fed, please take as many breaks as needed to nurse.
· If you have other children, have another adult on hand to entertain and care for them during the session. I prefer that mom or dad is in the area and available to assist during the newborn shoot as needed.
· Be flexible. Many parents have this vision of a certain shot or pose they want for baby, only to realize that baby just won’t cooperate. Baby is in charge and we are just following his lead. It will be ok! Even if you don’t get your “dream” shot, you may just be surprised that you end up getting another shot that you love more than the one you’d envisioned.