I've been there, you're having a baby and you want to make sure you capture ALL the moments and memories as perfectly as possible. You're not 100% sure what to expect going into a newborn session, but hopefully I can clear up how I do newborn sessions, my candid approach, and how to prepare if you are going to book a newborn session with me!
A MINIMALIST APPROACH:
One of the ways that I'm a little bit different than most photographers who also do newborn is that I like things to be very minimal. I don't like too many props, crazy colors, or intense posing with newborns because I firmly believe in capturing more natural, candid moments and in order to do that you HAVE to keep it simple. I use a simple bean bag setup with a clean white backdrop for the individual photos of baby (see below for samples) and I like to have baby in either a white onesie or a white diaper cover and white hat. I think the white colors truly bring out the natural perfection that is your newborn baby!! I'll pose baby in a VERY simple pose on their back or on their belly, thats it. Then from there if they are awake, YAY I can get those big beautiful eyes or if they're asleep we can capture those peaceful moments. Your baby does NOT have to be asleep the entire session, I'd prefer for him/her to be calm, but they don't have to be sleeping. When they are laid down, I'll capture images of their eyes, ears, hands, feet, all those little details that get so big so fast that you want to remember. So rather than the 'pose' of the baby I focus on all those fleeting moments that are your newborn days.
**this approach and style isn't for everyone, if you are looking for more of that posed look I have a very good friend I can refer you to for newborn photography who is amazing with the posed portraits that you might find more appealing.
PARENTS + SIBLING INVOLVEMENT:
I have three kids, soon to be five, and I know first hand how little photos that parents begin to actually be in once babies are here. But I also know how absolutely important it is to make sure that you are in those photos as well with your babies during those first days. When they get older, they're going to WANT to see photos of mom and dad holding them, enjoying and soaking in those moments, and you'll be so glad of it! I ask that mom and dad come to the session prepared to participate, yes moms that means you! Please wear a neutral shirt (white preferred) so that attention is still given to the baby and the emotional aspect (keeping with the minimalist approach). I try to use all natural lighting in my studio and I have a clean white wall that I use as a backdrop for many of these images. Since the shots are done both close up and far away I'm again, focusing on your family and not that backdrop. Creating those emotional images with you and your baby starts with you just being present and mindful throughout the session. Pay attention to your baby, your spouse, your other children, and simply let me capture those moments. You can absolutely send me a few photos prior to the session that are inspiration ONLY photos (I don't like to recreate images) and then during the sessions just be present.
WHAT TO BRING + EXPECT FOR THE SESSION:
My studio is located on the third floor of an older building in Cockeysville so you will have to climb stairs to reach the space, don't worry it's not a ton of steps, but if you've had a cesarean keep that in mind and schedule your session closer to the 3 week mark so you have ample time to take care of your healing (I've had two cesareans and they're no joke).
1. Bring bottles, formula, your boobs, whatever you need to feed the baby. I ask that before you leave to come to your session that you feed baby once and then feed them again at the studio prior to starting photos. A fed baby is a happy baby, 100%. Feel free to nurse baby openly in the studio if you'd like, I'm all about that breastfeeding life as I've fed two at a time that way! I also offer that if you'd like photos of breast feeding I can absolutely do that as well! But obviously that is completely up to you and your comfort level with those images, they obviously would never be shared and are kept confidential for obvious purposes depending on the choices of the mom/dads.
2. Have multiple outfit changes in case of a blow out or spit up. Obviously babies are messy, like super messy, so please bring a few extra changes of clothes not only for baby but also for yourself! Very important to prepare for everything!
3. We will try to do the photos with mom and dad and siblings before the individual shots of baby. I firmly believe in capturing those special images first because it really calms your baby to feel more comfortable in the space and eventually capturing those adorable shots that you see above on the pillow.
4. Sessions are up to 2 hours but sometimes end well before that time. I've done newborn sessions that are all the way up to those two hours of session time but I've also done sessions that are 45 minutes. It really depends on the temperament of the baby and how they are, it truly is up to them on how they want to act during the session. Some babies are REALLY fussy and some are just chill. We will take whatever time we need to get the baby to rest and relax so that we can capture those moments.
Stay in the moment and calm. Some parents have this need to apologize for baby being upset, please don't. Its totally okay and I'd rather you spend the time consoling them and making sure that they are content. I have a heater in the studio space and we can turn that on in addition to some white noise that can help to calm them. If you need a break, I can absolutely help out and hold the baby and rock them and you can grab a coffee or have a snack and take a break for a moment. I want this to be an enjoyable experience for EVERYONE and the best way to do that is to stay in the moment, let me tell you what to do in terms of shots/poses, and just soak in all the baby love that you can because it goes so quickly! These are moments that you'll cherish forever!
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THE SESSION:
After all the photos are done and you've left the studio you can expect to receive all your images within 2-3 weeks following your session. I go through and I cull all the images that were the best from the time that you were at the studio. Typically you'll receive between 35-50 edited images from the session and they are all yours to keep! Yes, there are some photographers that have you pay for your images after your session but I believe in more of a "shoot + share" philosophy where you receive all the images during the time you paid for. So rather than being image based you are receiving what was captured during your time. The cost of the session is all inclusive in the sense that all the images are included, the editing is included, and there are no hidden fees or costs. If you'd like additional retouching, depending on the extensiveness of it, that might incur a charge but typically it does not. You can purchase an album or canvas separate from the session but you don't have to purchase prints or albums directly from me, you can also print at other labs or printing companies on your own. Although I do recommend my companies, which are professional photographer based, and provide excellent quality that lasts.
You'll receive an online gallery that you can easily download all the high resolution images from directly to your computer. I recommend saving them to your computer as well as an external source because these are moments that you can't get back. I also recommend trying to print them so that they are kept as heirlooms for your children to love when they get older. This gallery is also sharable and all of your family and friends can view as well as download individual photos from the gallery for free to use for their own personal use. I ask that if you share your images on social media that you tag my business name with those images but you are also free to share all the un-watermarked images as well!
In studio newborn sessions as well as lifestyle session pricing can be found here: Newborn Sessions