Thank you so much for choosing me to work with you during such a special time in your life. I am here to help you with any questions or concerns you may have about your upcoming session. My main passion and focus is on maternity and newborn photography. I am constantly trying to learn more when it comes to photography and baby safety. This guide is to better serve you to prepare for your upcoming session. I am going to cover the main aspects that will affect you, from what to wear to feeding and siblings. I am here to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Don't ever feel like you are being a nuisance if you have to email or call with questions. I know how being a first-time parent can be and I know there are a million questions to ask. I will try to make this a lovely, easy and memorable experience for you.
Maternity sessions are done between roughly 32 and 37 weeks. I offer several different maternity gowns, if you are interested please let me know so we can plan your session. Otherwise, I ask that you wear a form-fitting dress or something that is form-fitting on top if you don't feel comfortable in a form-fitting dress. I also ask that you don't wear jeans. The time of day is very important when it comes to outdoor sessions. Midday sun can be very harsh and unflattering. When scheduling an outdoor session, I prefer to do early morning (from 8:00-10:00), and evening (from 6:00-9:00). If it is a cloudy, overcast day, the time of day isn't really important.
Wearing layers is also a great idea, as you can take something off and essentially have another outfit. I like to keep things simple, so I don't normally use any props. Younger siblings and partners are more than welcome to join you for your session. The gowns pictured above are the gowns that I offer. Nude bras and panties are recommended to be less visible in the photos. They fit sizes small to large. Please let me know if you would be interested in any of the gowns for your session.
Siblings and spouses/partners are always welcome. Dogs are also welcome, but not in my studio. The mini-sessions are great when you have a young child as sometimes an hour can seem like an eternity to them.
Studio Newborn Sessions
Newborn sessions are booked ahead of time to ensure a spot is available. Sessions take place between 1-8 weeks after birth, but preferably earlier as that is when newborns are at their sleepiest. Every baby is different and there are always circumstances that may stop you from being able to get your newborn photos done in this timeframe and we can work around that. Studio newborn sessions are done in the mornings only. In-home sessions can be done in the mornings and afternoons on weekends only.
Sometimes, newborns do stay awake a lot of the time when they come to the studio. When this happens I will swaddle them and get some awake photos and hope that they fall asleep. Sometimes, this can take up the first hour, please try not to stress as babies feel that stress and won't settle. A relaxed environment is what is the most important :) If there is going to be an older sibling joining in the photos, I like to start with them first, whether it is taking place in my studio or iour home. They tend to get bored when stuck in my studio, so I ask that your partner take them out for a bit while we focus on the new addition to your family. There are a few parks, a Tim Hortons and a few parks (when the weather permits), and a library just down the road from me.
I ask parents to wear layers, as the babies prefer my studio to be quite balmy. If you would like parent photos, I ask that mom wears a form-fitting tank top or regular top and dad wear a plain coordinating t-shirt/shirt. Bulky/loose clothes do show as nice in the photos. Please avoid graphics and patterns. I like to keep photos quite simple, with fewer distractions from the baby.
You are not required to bring any props or outfits for your newborn as I have everything I need here. I have a collection of outfits, bonnets, blankets, and props that I like to use.
In-Home Newborn Sessions
In-home sessions are done on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only. The sessions are much less posed. I like to photograph families together in their home setting. Kids playing, family playing together, changing diapers, cuddling etc. I also like to finish sessions with more posed photos of your baby on their own. I do not bring props or outfits to these sessions as I want them to be as natural as possible. I like to use the main living areas, including your bedroom, living room, and nursery, so I simply ask clients to de-clutter their homes, e.g. remove items from nightstands or somebody's socks that may be on the chair ;) I also ask that you keep your home quite warm at 20-22 degrees as babies tend to stay more alert when the temperature is cooler.
Baby safety is my number 1 concern. My hands or your hands are always on the baby when we are working on posed photos. See the below photos for examples of composite photos. These were done with a parent's hand always holding the baby up, and I adjusted in post-processing.
I like to ask parents ahead of time what kind of photos are looking for and what are comfortable with. Is a family photo the most important to you, or is it a posed photo of just the baby? I do several setups as I like to give a selection of photos that you can choose from.
Studio newborn sessions can take up to 3 hours, while in-home sessions range from 1.5 - 2.5 hours. There are several factors in why the sessions are this long. We need to make sure the baby is sleeping for the posed photos as it is extremely difficult to pose an awake baby. If the baby is not sleeping, I will start with more awake photos with them wrapped. I ask that parents time the newborn's feeding so that when they arrive at my studio they will be fed here. This ensures that the baby will be nice and full and sleepy after getting out of their car seats and out of their clothes. If you have booked an in-home session, please have your baby down to a diaper and feeding for when I arrive.
I will be mainly handling your baby, although I do ask for dad or mom to help sometimes if I can't get the baby to settle. I like to be the one handling and soothing the baby as passing the baby once asleep, has proven to be more difficult with babies that are light sleepers.
Once you are here, I like to have you sit back and relax (unless I need your help making sure your baby is safe during a pose). Thanks again for choosing me to capture such a wonderful time in your lives <3
In regards to what to wear to your family session, I always like to send my clients this link http://clickitupanotch.com/2013/10/what-to-wear-in-family-photos-5/. The article gives you several ideas on what to wear, depending on your look and location. I simply as clients not to wear contrasting patterns and no shirts with large prints or characters on them.
I like to keep my sessions pretty laid back. Yes, I do ask for posed photos, but I also like to capture the in-between moments of you interacting with one another. Family sessions are held either outdoors or in your home for a "lifestyle session". I find children don't have the best time when we are all asking them to smile and look at the camera, I prefer to capture your children how they are. Like that look your daughter always gives, or that goofy face your son always does.
When scheduling an outdoor session, I prefer to do early morning (from 8:00-10:00), and evening (from 6:00-9:00). If it is a cloudy, overcast day, the time of day isn't really important. I also know that working small children, having them come out at 7:00 p.m. isn't ideal so I am a little more flexible. However, outdoor sessions are not done between 12:00 and 3:00.
I also offer baby mini sessions in the studio, and you can choose to use any of the above outfits. These are mainly for babies that can sit independently (6+ months). I look forward to working with you and I am sure you will love your photos :)