If you’re the type of person who wants ALL the details before booking your newborn 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 during the second trimester of their pregnancy, but you can inquire at any time- even if baby has already arrived.
Once I receive your message, I’ll send you my online Newborn 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 a newborn 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 newborn 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. I have lots of outfits and swaddles for baby. I also have dresses and clothing of many size ranges for siblings and mothers. 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’ll also send you a Newborn Prep Guide before your session. This guide will give you tips on things you can do at home and items to pack for a successful session. Most families who follow the prep guide end up with sleepy baby who stays content through the pose transitions.
Initially, I use your due date as a place holder in my calendar for your session. We’ll stay in touch through the rest of your pregnancy to eventually schedule an exact session date/time. If you end up with a scheduled c-section or induction date, we can pick a time as soon as you have that information. Otherwise, we’ll schedule the session once baby has arrived. You’ll just need to contact me as soon as (reasonably) possible once you’ve delivered. I generally try to schedule newborns when they are around 5-14 days old (though we can be flexible with timeframes beyond that also.). I tend to start newborn sessions in the morning around 10:00am. This is often a sweet spot when baby is sleepy, older siblings are happy, and gives parents enough time to get ready and leave the house.
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 very warm to keep your newborn baby 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. For safety reasons, I have siblings leave as soon as their photos are done so that we can focus on the newborn the rest of the session. Generally, the sibling and family photos take around 30-45 minutes (depending on how cooperative and comfortable the siblings are). So you’ll need to plan for a parent to leave with them or for someone to pick them up at that time. Some families drive separately. Some families have grandparents pick up the older children. And some families have a parent take the kids to a nearby park and return when the session is done. I can offer information for any option that works best for your family.
My session structure is the same for most sessions. I always start with baby swaddled because that usually gets them into a snuggly, deep sleep. I swaddle over your chosen outfit and then slowly unwrap swaddle layers as we progress through your setups. If baby stays content, we’ll end with baby in the outfit. Some babies stay sleeping through this whole process. Some babies wake when completely unwrapped, but can be calmed back to sleep after rocking or feeding. And some babies refuse to settle back down when not swaddled.
Many families ask how long the session will last. This will depend on several factors including whether siblings are involved, your baby’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 less than an hour, baby with parents is 1-1.5 hours, and baby with parents/siblings/family is 1.5-2 hours.
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.