FAQ’s about Lifestyle Newborn Sessions
So you have booked a Newborn session and you are not quite sure what to expect! I know it can sound a bit exhausting in the first few weeks or even months of babies life when you are totally sleep deprived to have people over, let alone a photographer documenting your every move! I want you to know how little you need to worry, and how relaxing your session with me should be. For your lifestyle session I love for the most part to be a fly on the wall, taking photos of how life really is during those first few weeks with your new baby. The moments of your older child snuggled in close to you feeding baby, the newborn naps, the cute little bum during a diaper change, or everyone cuddled up on your bed admiring the beauty that is your new family member. I will try to capture a little glimpse into what life was really like during those magical first few weeks of the fourth trimester, so when you look back on the photos you can feel like you are there again.
#1. "What can I expect my session to be like?"
When I arrive to your house for your newborn session, I will bring along my bag full of different blankets and wraps, because I always overpack and don’t want to forget any colour or texture that I might need throughout the session! I always bring along a small selection of accessories as well which are sometimes fun for the parents to have a peak through. You can pick out a sweet little dried floral headband for your new baby girl, or a knitted bonnet for your baby boy. I will bring different colours of wraps so I can choose which colour works best with your colours and will wrap baby up in a cozy womb-like position so that they can fall into a deep sleep, and we can get to taking photos! I bring along a space heater to make the wrapping process as warm and comfortable as possible for baby, a lot of the time they don’t even wake up while they’re being wrapped! The absolute most important thing in your session is that everyone is relaxed, which will translate into the most authentic and natural photos. Parents don’t need to force any older children into smiling for pictures, because that just tends to become stressful for everyone. Usually, the more candid photos end up being the ones you will love the most anyway! The only important thing for you to do throughout your session is to love on your babies as much as humanly possible, to play with your older children like you normally would and let me take photos while it’s happening. =) For the more camera-shy families, I will help guide the session along so you don’t need to worry about staying up late at night scouring Pinterest for different poses or things you should be doing.
#2. “When should I book my newborn session?”
The best answer to this question is you should book your newborn session as soon as possible! The second trimester is the best time to book, to reserve your family’s spot in my calendar and avoid any disappointment. Once you pay your deposit and sign my contract, I will save your due date in my calendar, then as soon as baby arrives you can email to let me know and we will set up which day works for your family. I am only booking Newborn sessions on weekends right now so spots are very limited! The best age for a newborn session is between 4 days to 2 weeks old since babies under two weeks do tend to be a lot sleepier and easier to pose. If you have missed that time frame, no worries! Your baby may still sleep through the entire session, or we will get more photos of them awake & taking in the world around them, and I promise those photos will be magic as well.
#3. “How long will the session be?”
Every baby is so different, sometimes baby sleeps the entire session, and I can get all the shots that I’m wanting in an hour, and I have also had sessions last over three hours. I take as long as is needed to the photos I want so no need to stress if your baby or your older children are taking a bit longer or are less cooperative than you were hoping. What’s most important to me is that the session is comfortable and enjoyable for everyone and in the process I promise to get beautiful photographs that you will love.
#4. “What if my baby is fussy or won’t sleep?”
If baby cries we will get them fed or changed or snuggled & give them whatever they may be needing! If you feel like you need a bit of a break, I have had two babies of my own, so I have gotten pretty good at getting them to sleep as well and always love the challenge of comforting a fussy baby! I work on Newborn & toddler time, so sessions are very laid back and I always go with the flow and am there to not only capture photos of your family but help in any way that I can during your session to make it enjoyable for you. If baby is interested in what is going on and does not want to sleep, we will get some beautiful photos of them awake! Although I have yet to meet a newborn who has not slept at all throughout a session so I can almost guarantee that we will at some point get some sweet sleeping shots too.
#5. “What do I wear?”
I do send out a “Preparing for your session” package to each client prior to their shoot that shows the colour palate that goes well with my editing style. Warm, earthy tones and warm neutrals always photograph beautifully, so think white, cream, beige, brown, tan, olive, rust, mustard, blush etc. As my editing style is very warm I try to get clients to sway away from the cooler tones like grays and blues. I find that the simpler – the better! A good rule of thumb is 1 pattern for every 2 solids. If you do decide to go with a pattern I would stick with something on the smaller/less bold side as we want the attention on your family rather than their outfits. Flowy dresses for women and girls create some beautiful movement for photos, and plain, uncollared shirts tend to look great for men. Try not to get too matchy-matchy, pick one family members outfit and then build off of that colour palate rather than sticking to the exact same colour. Avoid wearing high heels or very tight fitting clothing as I do take a lot of candid photos, and find the more comfortable clients are and able to move freely, the more authentic the photos turn out!
#6. “What should baby wear?”
Try to stick with the same colour palate for baby as the rest of the family. A plain onesie is usually best. I love taking detail shots of babies hands, feet, hair, and rolls =) so anything that makes that easier on baby is best! Dresses and full pant/shirt sets sometimes tend to not fit babies very nicely/look large or like baby is swimming in it so just be sure to pick something that fits your baby well at the time. I often will wrap baby up, so them just wearing a diaper is always fine as well!
#7. “What should I bring to my session or have on hand?”
Bringing non-coloured snacks for older children is always a good idea. Think apples, crackers etc. to avoid outfits being ruined and unnecessary stress for parents. Low sugar is always a good idea as well to avoid them crashing after a sugar high. If baby takes a soother, have that handy as it can sometimes help to soothe them while transitioning to the next pose. If baby is taking a bottle/formula bring extra so that baby can be fed throughout the session. A well fed baby is a content baby so them having an ample amount of milk or formula is a big one! Other than that, an extra set of clothes and diapers/wipes, and any other little props that you might want to include in your session.
#8. “Do you offer dresses for Maternity sessions?”
I have recently started my client closet for both women and babies/toddlers. You are welcome to check it out on my Instagram (Kindred.memories) under the “Client Closet” tab. As I have just started it recently I do not have a huge selection of sizes, but am adding to it all the time so keep checking in and let me know if there is anything that catches your eye! Dresses & baby/toddler outfits are included in all Full sessions.
#9. “What if my baby arrives early?”
I only book a limited amount of Newborn sessions a month so that I have more than enough time if a baby decides to come early or late. If they do – just let me know and we will pick a day for your session when your family is ready for it!
#10. “What do you do as far as editing? Will you photoshop my huge cold sore out or edit parts of my body that I’m insecure about?”
If there are areas that you are concerned about, please let me know before your session. I will pay extra attention to posing and being mindful of that. I do full portrait retouching for photographs, so any blemishes, dark under-eyes, jaundice or skin redness will be retouched/corrected. If you are wanting the photos to be completely au-natural I am happy to do that as well, just let me know your preferences! For Macro shots (the extra close ups of baby’s details) I do not usually retouch as I love showing those details exactly as they were, the dry, flakey baby skin, the bright pink toes, the fuzz on their arms and legs. I want you to remember all of that exactly how it was when you look back on these photos!
#11. “Do you give out RAW’s/unedited photos?”
I do not give out unedited photos. If I am very excited about a shot, I may show you the back of my camera here or there but that is all I will show as far as unedited photos. To a photographer, Raws/unedited photos are like a half-finished product that we do not want out in the world attached to our name/brand, so I do not personally send them out. I do spend the time carefully culling through your photos and choosing all the photos that best reflect my artistic ability. Any photos that you may notice have not been included in your gallery are either duplicates, poor lighting or composition, or one of the subjects is not looking their best. I will never keep any photos from a client that there is the possibility of them loving, and this trust is important when choosing your photographer. Another thing I should add is that many computers/software don’t even read RAW images so it is likely that even if I sent them to you, you would not be able to open them!
#12. “I only want a couple photographs of my Newborn; can I just do a mini session?”
I do not offer mini sessions for newborns as I would never want to rush through a session. I book at least 90 minutes for a Newborn session, or 2-3 hours for studio, as babies generally need lots of breaks for feedings/diaper changes, and then usually for some of that time they fall off into a deep sleep and I can get most of the photographs, so I could not guarantee I could get the photos that I would be happy delivering in a 30-minute session.
Hopefully I have answered some of your questions! If i've missed anything be sure to send me a message. =)