The session flows best when we have a sleepy baby!
When newborn's are awake, they will most likely be crying or at the very least moving around exploring the new world they have found themselves in. We can't take pictures when that happens.
It does happen but thankfully, it's easy to prevent, but almost impossible to fix once the session has started.
So here are a few things that could help ensure that baby will sleep.
Stimulate baby in the morning
Please give baby a bath in the morning before coming in for the session. This will stimulate baby and help baby tire out. Lotioning your baby after the bath will also help baby tire out. Allowing your baby to kick and be free for around 10-15 minutes while they dry will again bring us one step closer to a peaceful and sleepy baby!
Dress baby appropriately
Dress baby in a zip up sleeper, or a button up. NO undershirt please! We do not want any clothing we have to pull over the baby's head that will ensure they wake just as we are getting started.
Before you leave the house for your session, please FEED baby.
This will allow baby to fall into a deep sleep while you are driving to the studio.
Babies have very few requirements at this early age, nourishment and warmth. If you satisfy these two ingredients for life, they will sleep and continue to grow and develop.
Bring a bottle (expressed or formula)
As a new mother, if you have chosen to breast feed, you will still be coming into your flow - you won't produce anywhere near as much milk as you will in a few months time and so your baby will feed little and often. Your body is wonderful and can quickly adapt to the babies demands but there will be times of the day where you produce more or less as your body adapts.
In order to ensure we are not unlucky during our session I highly recommend expressing a bottle in advance to ensure you can satisfy their hunger during the session otherwise your baby may not settle and there is a very real possibility you won't get any photos at all.
If you are mixing breast and formula, this becomes even more important because you body will have already limited the supply and it would be much harder to quench babies thirst with just the boob alone.
Bring a pacifier / soother
If your baby is only a little hungry or just looking for comfort a pacifier / soother works amazingly.
I will only use the pacifier/soother if your baby is having trouble transitioning into different poses or if the baby is simply unable to settle. Sometimes a baby just needs to suck for a few seconds to relax. This does not mean that they are hungry. However, if they are rooting for longer, I will give baby to mom for a feed and a snuggle.
If you are worried about nipple confusion, as a mother of 2 children, I can assure you that the few seconds or minutes of a pacifier/soother will not affect them. They will always prefer the breast milk over a dry pacifier however during a session it is sometimes impossible to move them off the breast without disturbing them.
I have had sessions without pacifiers/soothers and the babies were unable to settle, and those sessions result in no images. I feel terrible for the parents as they are unlikely to get this opportunity again with that baby, and it makes it awkward as my fee will not be refunded as I have usually spent time preparing the studio and then the time in the session.
I keep a stock of pacifiers/soothers in my studio which will be available to purchase for $5.00 if you have forgotten yours.
Mom and Baby Only (unless you chose the family option)
To keep the studio as calm as possible, only mother and baby will be permitted into the studio. This makes it easier for mom to relax and enjoy the newborn session to the full.
If this is your first child, then Dad is welcome, but please let me know in advance.
If you have other children with you, this could be extremely disruptive for the baby, and myself as I won't be able to 100% focus on your baby which would be a safety issue. I can't even permit them to play elsewhere on my property unsupervised due to insurance reasons, please make alternative childcare arrangements or we can reschedule your session to a time that would suit better.
What to expect
The session itself will hopefully be fun for Mom! I have a lot of feedback that parents really enjoyed themselves and felt part of the session rather than just being witnesses.
I have 2 mini session flavours, both of which usually take up to 60 minutes (see the above prep guide to make the most of this time):
This mini session is the family portion of my Essentials and Premium Package, we will capture pictures of baby with their new parents and siblings in various combinations and poses. I recommend you review my What to Wear guide, and I can coordinate your baby with my wide selection of wraps, rompers and accessories.
Baby Only - 2 Prop setups
This mini session is the prop portion of my Essentials Package. I'll have 3 or 4 prop setups laid out for you to see. If you don't like them, we can change things up, I have everything to hand in my studio, and we'll use those with my wide variety of wraps, rompers and accessories to make 2 beautiful scenes which we'll catch various poses of baby only.
Getting your images
I aim to have my editing done within 2 weeks, sometimes it can take a couple of more days depending what time of year it is (fall is super busy) or I might have them done the next day! You'll get an email from my website when they are ready so please keep an eye out and ideally add my firstname.lastname@example.org address to your safe list.
As this session includes 6 digitally edited images, you will be sent a preview gallery where you can select the 6 images you want, and/or make requests for minor editing adjustments at this stage. If you select more than 6 images you will receive an invoice for $30 for each additional image selected, up to a maximum of $150. If you want more than this, please consider my Essential package which has 20 images included, and a bigger gallery with more variety, or my Premium package which includes all images from the gallery,
Once you have accepted your 6 images and submitted your selection, I will very quickly provide you with your finally gallery which will include High resolution colour and black and white images, as well as Facebook and Instagram optimized copies all available for immediate download.
Sharing your photos
The final gallery is shareable so that you can securely share it with your friends and family using a link and password. As the gallery owner, you have the ability to hide images you don't want anyone else to see - you just need to be logged in for these extra controls.
Prints and Canvas'
The final gallery is also where you can order prints and canvas'. If you want an fancy album, please contact me and I can go through the options with you.
Now some questions for you
Below are some questions that will help me taylor the session to you and make me aware of anything I need to know in advance so I can make the time we have together as smooth and efficient as possible.