The following includes helpful information and curated tips from my 10+ years of photographing newborns and their families. It is lengthy, but rich in helpful tactics.
By taking a few moments to read through before yournewbornsession, you are likely to arrive relaxed and well-prepared.
Should you have any questions as you read through, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am always happy to help you.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Your baby's safety is my number one objective at yoursession. I am certified by the American Association for Newborn Photography Safety, and have trained by many top professionals in the newborn portrait industry, including Bianca Hubble, Amy McDaniel, and Kristen Mackey, to name a few. I seek ongoing education to keep current with the most up-to-date methods for safely posing and handling the babies and children I photograph.
A trained newborn assistant will be present at yoursession to ensure the safety of your baby. This individual is helpful in a variety of ways during your baby's session, but most importantly, she serves to be sure your baby is always safe while I am photographing.
The blankets, wraps, and clothing that we use are washed before and after yoursession with non-allergen, plant-based detergents and softeners. More often than not, newborns have an accident or two on them and it's OK! We expect it and are prepared with a "dirty laundry" bag, organic baby wipes and cloths, and a lot of moisture-absorbent pads to contain a mess.
Before and after yoursession, the studio is cleaned and sanitized. We begin every session by washing our hands, and we regularly wash and sanitize them throughout the session.
Both the assistant and I have our own children; we promise to care for your baby the same way we want others to care for ours.
The following additional measures are taken at our studio during the current COVID-19 pandemic:
masks are worn by the photographer and the assistant,
masks and hand sanitizer are readily available for your use, and
a general health questionnaire is required prior to yoursession.
A session is rescheduled when any individual participating in the session has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, presents symptoms of illness, or has knowingly been exposed to someone presenting symptoms or who has tested positive for COVID within two weeks from the session.
Parent poses are included in every session. These poses are optional and strongly encouraged.
For parent images, a white or light background is used and I always photograph from the waist up. Light-colored, solid tops are best. Neutral-colored, flattering maternity gowns are available for mom. Dad will look best in either a solid button-down or t-shirt.
If you prefer a darker background, black or dark grey tops work well.
Any garments worn in your images should be pressed and hung on hangers; you can change into them after your arrival.
Remove any chipped or fading nail polish. If you plan to get a manicure, French manicures and muted, neutral colors are best.
Second to your baby's safety, our goal is to have her in a deep sleep during the session. Some poses may need to be skipped if your baby is not relaxed and sleepy, so we use a variety of ways to keep her soothed for the short time we are with you.
Feed baby as much as possible 8-10 hours before yoursession. This is especially important for breastfed babies. Feeding your baby an extra time or two will help amazingly with getting them to sleep deeply.
For nursing moms, avoid spicy and gassy foods for at least 24-48 hours before yoursession.
It is crucial to keep the baby awake for at least 2 hours prior to yoursession. Without this, we spend a lot of time getting baby to sleep, and less time photographing. Try giving your baby a very long bath (or two!) and wash their hair, as it will keep them up for a long period of time and make them tired for yoursession.
Plan to feed your baby once more before leaving for your studio. Once fed, the ride in the car will help lull your little one into a deep sleep perfect for newborn imagery.
A pacifier (even if you do not plan to use one) will help lull the baby back to sleep through the poses. Please understand this is something I only use to get a baby back to sleep and not to have the entire session. If you do not have a pacifier, we have a new, sterilized soothie at the studio for your baby.
In addition to the added heat from the space heater, we play lullaby music and white noise to help soothe your baby. If yournewborn becomes unsettled during the session, my assistant or I will first attempt to calm her, then I may ask for your help if necessary.
Our most successful newborn sessions have been when mom and dad are relaxed. If the baby is fussy or alert, try your best not to stress. We have lots of patience and time! We are more than happy to wait until your baby is settled and sleepy in order to get the best images.
Personal items/props you would like in your photos
1-2 bottles with about 2 ounces of formula/breast milk
Receiving blankets, burp cloths, wipes and diapers, if you wish for us to use yours
A comb/brush for baby and one for family members with longer hair
Your proofing gallery is ready to view within one week from yoursession. These images are lightly edited. The selections you make will undergo a thorough retouching process and within two weeks from when you make your selections, the final images will be available to you in an online gallery.
ODDS AND ENDS
If you are running late on the day of yoursession, don't worry! Allow yourself to relax and come to the studio safely. If it’s just a matter of a few minutes, there’s no need to reach out. If you are going to be more than 15 minutes late, just send me a quick text. 732.966.7987
You are welcome to keep a watchful eye on the session or use the time to sit and relax while we are gently caring for your baby. Especially if you are nursing, eat/drink as you would during your day. Relax and even take a nap if the opportunity arises!