If you’re the type of person who wants ALL the details before booking your child’s milestone photo session, you’re in the right place! I’m going to walk you through each step of the process from beginning to end. I’ll do my best to answer any questions you might have. But if I miss anything, contact me with anything additional you’re wondering about.
Your first contact with me is the beginning step in the booking process. Messaging me through the contact page on my website is the easiest and quickest way to get in touch with me. This is where you’ll provide me with your personal information and the type of photo session you’re interested in. You can also include any special details or requests you want me to know about. Most families contact me 2-3 months prior to their preferred session month, but you can inquire at any time.
Once I receive your message, I’ll send you my online Milestone Welcome Guide. This guide will give you more information about my studio and photography style. It also includes my current pricing options.
After you’ve read through the Welcome Guide and you decide you’re ready to book your child’s photo session with me, I’ll send you an online Booking Proposal. This is where you’ll choose your Digital Image Collection, pay the Session Fee and sign the contract. The Session Fee is due at booking to reserve your spot on my calendar. The remaining invoice balance is due by the day of the session. When the Booking Proposal is complete, you’ll be officially confirmed and placed on my schedule.
I’ll send you a planning questionnaire prior to your session. This is where you’ll help organize the details of your milestone photo session. You’ll list who will be participating in the session, choose which props/setups you’d like, and let me know if you plan to use any outfits from my client closet. If you provide sizing, I can send images of clothing for you to choose from. Completing the questionnaire helps me prep the studio prior to your arrival.
I suggest scheduling your milestone session 2-3 months in advance to ensure availability in my schedule. Mornings are usually the best time to have the photo session, and I tend to start around 10:00am. But I know many babies and toddlers are on specific eating/napping schedules. So we can adjust the time to whenever your child will be happiest.
When you arrive to my studio, you’ll be greeted with a clean, welcoming environment. I’ll have all setups and props ready from your questionnaire. Any clothing you’ll be using will have been cleaned and steamed. I keep the studio warm to keep your child comfortable, so you may want to wear layers. And you’re welcome to bring your session clothing with you and change once you’ve arrived. That often helps prevent wrinkles, spills, etc during your travel.
If siblings will participate in the session, I always do their photos first. Depending on their ages, siblings may need to leave as soon as their photos are done. Though I try to keep the studio as child friendly as possible, it’s still a small space with lighting equipment and gear. You’ll need to think about whether the siblings can safely and patiently wait throughout the remainder of the session. Generally, the sibling and family photos take around 20-30 minutes (depending on how cooperative and comfortable the siblings are). Then the rest of the session is usually about another 30 minutes.
Many families ask how long the session will last. This will depend on several factors including whether siblings are involved, your child’s temperament, and your chosen Image Collection. I never set an exact time because I follow the moods of babies and children, and each child is different. In general though, I’d say a session with baby alone is around 30-45 minutes, and if siblings/family are included then probably about an hour.
4. Proof Gallery
Shortly after your session, you’ll receive your Proof Gallery. I sort through all the images to remove duplicates, blinks, etc. I’ll send you the proofs in an online gallery where you’ll choose your favorites for me to edit. You can stay with the amount of images you chose with your Image Collection at booking, or you can choose to upgrade to a larger collection. This is also the step where families start thinking about which images they want to choose for their wall art if you decide to order photo products through me.
5. Final Gallery
After you’ve submitted your favorites, I’ll get right to work on the final edits. I meticulously hand edit each image to remove blemishes, stray hairs, baby acne, jaundice, etc. Sibling images often need head swaps as well if you’re looking for those perfectly posed photos. I’ll send you your edited images in a new Final Gallery (usually within 2 weeks of your favorites submission). Your final edits will be consistent with the clean, bright images you see in my portfolio.
A Print Release will also be included in your Final Gallery. Although I retain copyright as the photographer of the images, the print release gives you permission to create prints and photo products through your preferred lab. I have high-end wood and canvas products I offer through my studio labs, but the print release gives you the option to do-it-yourself if you choose.
The Final Gallery email will also include instructions to download your images. My Image Collections are all digital (no physical products are included). Although I do my best to archive my session images on multiple hard drives, it’s ultimately your responsibility to download and store your digital images for safekeeping.
I always advocate for getting your images off of your computer and onto your walls. If you choose to order photo products through me, I offer many unique wood and canvas options. You can see some of them in my product guide here: Photo Products. You can order photo products from me at anytime- even for future gifts and holidays. Though I recommend ordering early for holidays in case of major shipping delays.
This should help answer most of my frequently asked questions. But again, feel free to contact me if you have questions about newborn photo session details that I haven’t covered here.