Studio Newborn Prep Guide

Preparing for your Newborn Collection Session

Before Due Date

When you purchase your package, we confirm with you by asking you some questions online. This helps us to style your session. You do not need to bring any outfits or props for the baby. All of our props are custom-designed for newborns that are under 16 days. We have hundreds of gorgeous wraps, headbands, hats, props --that are designed just for brand newborns. If you want to include one heirloom, please notify us in advance so we set up a station for that. Gather/purchase the outfit that you will wear if you are included in the session. You can look at our Pinterest page for ideas. We do have a few gorgeous dresses that can be used for maternity/post-partum ranging in sizes from medium-2XL. Chat with us in advance if you would like to know more about those options. If you are wearing your own outfit, we suggest that you look for a natural flowing dress or a solid color that looks best with your hair/skin tones (If you are lighter skin tone/light hair then a pastel color/white may look good. If you are warm skin tone/darker hair then use those warm earth or jewel tones. We are always changing our studio backgrounds/decor but generally we have warm neutral tones (white/cream/boho/with some touches of greenery). We also have an optional dark background if you want a traditional look. We will give you options of wraps or hand knit rompers to choose from that we will use for the family/sibling portion of the session. Our family images are captured snuggled up together so plan to let us pose you in a close position. The goal is to limit space between you and keep the focus on your faces and the baby, not your outfits. Therefore, try to avoid suits, tight-fitting clothing that may inhibit comfort for you. Most of the time, we have you avoid shoes to keep our studio clean/and most images are taken knees and above.

For siblings: We have some gorgeous linen dresses available for certain sizes if you want to use them or you can bring a simple long white dress/no shoes. For boy or girl siblings, we suggest a similar color top that fits well, simple jeans rolled up, and no shoes. The baby will be wrapped in a soft and simple wrap. Please wash, iron, and try on any outfits you or your other children will wear. Please plan that your session can take up to 3-4 hours and you will be relaxing the majority of the time! We have snacks, wifi, comfortable couches/blankets/nursing pillow, and private space just for YOU while we work with your newborn. Many parents have been known to catch a few zzzz's during the session and that is OK! You can check on your babe anytime and we will bring them back to feed as needed. Once you have your baby or if you have a planned induction/c-section, please contact us within 24 hours. We will get back to you with an open time slot. Plan to be flexible as we schedule these in-between our regular sessions. Most of our newborn sessions are done on Fridays/Saturdays so avoid scheduling a follow-up visit then. After many years of working with newborns, we have found that the ideal time is now between 11-16 days after birth. Why? A few reasons but mostly you are just feeling a tad more yourself. If you are nursing, your milk is established and you often feel better about getting into a routine, jaundice is usually resolved and dry flaky skin is better. While we realize Dad might be back to work/kids in school, we will provide what we have available and try our best to work with you. But please plan to flex with us too! Also we suggest that you avoid planning much after your session as times can vary. Babies run the show. And it's always nice to head home and rest after the session.

The Day of the Session: What to Prep

If you follow these few tiny details, your baby will be prepared the best for a session that can provide the best images for your gallery. If you are nursing, please avoid all dairy and spicy food products 72 hours prior to your session. Babies tend to be gassy and have tummy issues due to dairy and that can make the session a challenge. We know it's a big adjustment but just take this time to choose other foods. As long as your nursing pattern is somewhat established, we do ask that you bring an Avent Soothie pacifier (we do stock some new ones incase you aren't using that brand). We only use it for transitions because sometimes babies need to suck. It will not interfere with nursing and if you are concerned about this, contact me prior to your session after you've had the baby. Every time a baby fusses during a session, they may not need to be fed; they may just need to soothe and suck. We do have years and years of personal and professional experience with this. Also plan to feed your baby on demand while you are here. When they are away from home and transitioning from pose to wrap to pose, they may need more comfort and feeding. Despite trying to work on a schedule, it's okay to feed a little bit more just for picture day! So whether you are bottle (bring extras) or breastfeeding, plan to flex. As you prepare for the session, give your baby a gentle fresh bath and dress them into something easy to remove (one-piece button down). Don't worry if they are peeling-you do not need to add lotion. This is a normal process for babies to have dry/peeling skin as they get 'new skin' those first few weeks. These are all things that we edit once you choose your favorite images. Avoid using white diaper cream especially if we are doing a Deluxe session.

Try to keep them awake for a good 90 minutes before you leave. This really helps them stay sleepy during their session. Dress them in something that is easy to remove. Make sure to pack: extra milk if bottle feeding, Avent soothie pacifier, diapers, wipes, extra outfit, and ironed clothing if you/significant other are included in the session. Because we do close-up pictures, paint your nails, clean your children's nails, add some makeup/mascara even if you normally do not. You will have time to get ready after you feed the baby before we bring you in for the family/sibling portion. We have a family bathroom that you can use to get ready prior to the parent/family part of the session.

Arriving at the Studio and the Session

When you arrive, we will show you around and help you get comfortable in our private family lounge. Depending on how far away you live, we may have you give them a good feeding just before you leave or when you arrive in our family lounge. We know babies fall asleep easily in this phase, so stimulate them by tickling their feet, undressing them, move them around to try to get a good feeding. This will allow us to begin the session with a very full belly and a warm studio makes for a great session. Then we will get started. We suggest that you do your makeup/get dressed once you've fed the baby and we get started. Take time to pamper yourself as we get your baby ready. During the session, if your baby needs filled up again, we will bring him back to you for snuggles and feeding. Otherwise, this is a perfect time for you to rest, enjoy some Netflix, reading or resting (yes, parents do snuggle up on our couch and fall asleep!)

Photographing Siblings and Parents (Luxe or Keepsake Only)

All babies are different. Depending on sibling ages, we will talk through this when you schedule if we will do sibling/family pictures in the beginning or the end of the session. Typically the best plan is to arrive, feed baby and we will take them into the studio to get them slowly settled and wrapped/dressed for the Family/Sibling portion. This gives you some time to get yourself/kids ready. Once the baby is settled, we will have one parent bring the sibling in and we will do some sweet images with the baby + sibling/s. Then we will have everyone in to do the Family images. If you want us to capture individuals of mom/baby and dad/baby, please let me know in your questionnaire when it is sent. Think through what you will choose from your online gallery to keep. We want to maximize our time with the newborn as they are the star of the show so it is best to keep things moving. We do suggest if the sibling is young, you ask a friend/family member to pick them up after their part as it can get very long. This gives you a chance to REST while we finish going through the session with the baby.

We do have snacks and drinks available for you but you might want to bring a packed lunch if you need extra nourishment. We can suggest a few local spots to grab take out while you wait.

After the Session

When the session is complete, you can pack up and are free to leave. We will guide you through the process of choosing proofs when your online proofing gallery is ready. It can take up to a week for to receive an online proofing gallery to pick your favorites. Once you are done choosing, we will begin the process of hand editing each and every image. This is a time intensive process that takes hours so depending on the season and how many sessions are a head of you, it can take up to 4 weeks for a final gallery. If you would like us to edit up to 3 final images to create an announcement, we are happy to do that. We will explain all the details on how to choose additional images and then choosing beautiful prints, albums, and wall art. As always, we love positive referrals so while you are waiting, we would be honored if you would write a Facebook and Google review. Share your experience with friends and family!

Read the Fine Details

Take some time to read the Q&A below. When you book with us, you are verbally agreeing to all of the details above and the answers below. Please review our cancellation and no-show policy. Since we take extensive time preparing for your session and blocking out hours for you and your baby, we have to put this policy in place. We are sure you understand how valuable all of our time can be.

FAQ: Click on the question to reveal the answer

When is the best time to book a Newborn Collection

A.We suggest booking after your 20 week ultrasound but at least 10 weeks from your due date. We open up 4 newborn slots per month and they fill up quickly. In order to provide the best care for our clients, we keep our schedule open. Babies arrive when they are ready so once they come, we will book your exact session date within 7-14 days of birth. Don't miss your chance by waiting.

Do you provide the props or do we need to bring things?

A.We stylize every newborn session with our studio filled with props, backdrops, bonnets and headbands. If you would like to include an heirloom prop, please let us know in advance. For child and family sessions, you bring our outfit/s and we provide everything else. For milestone (one and under) sessions and one year cake smash sessions, we have client outfits that you can choose to use and you can add a la carte for us to provide and create a balloon arch, custom cake in a color/s of your choice and all the props needed.

I need help picking outfits! Do you do that?

A.For newborn sessions-we have you covered. We have all the wraps/custom made newborn outfits, headbands and bonnets. We provide everything for newborns.
For child, family and maternity sessions, we will share what client outfits/dresses we have available that you can use. If you would like to use your own outfits, check out Pinterest or our social media pages for ideas, and choose high quality outfits.
Please try on and wash/iron your outfits prior to your session. For milestone sessions, you are welcome to bring multiple outfits and we can choose when you arrive. Try not to include bulky outfits that make your child uncomfortable. Like we mentioned, we do have our own client closet and have invested in outfits that look amazing on most moms/kids. We have a variety of 6-12 month vintage wear and 1yr-5yr old dresses that you may use. We have headbands that you can use for your child too. Let's plan together!

When will I receive my proofing gallery to choose my images?

A.Please read above the timeline on proofing galleries and final galleries.

If my package comes with a certain amount of digital images, can I purchase more?

A.Absolutely! Depending on the collection you chose, we provide you a proofing gallery of 30-60 images (sometimes more). You will choose your favorites online that come with your collection. You can add additional favorites that you would like to add to your final edited image collection. Additional Digital images a la carte starting at $30/per edited digital image. We do not provide unedited raw digital images so be sure to choose ALL of your favorites the first time.

Can I order prints and canvas art from my gallery?

A.Yes, you can! When you receive your final gallery, you can order prints, foam mounted standouts, canvas, albums and memory keepsakes and they will be shipped directly to your home. We suggest you always order professional prints from your professional photographer. You've invested in high quality craftsmanship so finish your experience with the best. We are happy to help guide you in the ordering process.

Do I have to order prints through you?

A.You will get a print release for your session. While we highly recommend that you order prints through our professional lab, you are able to order prints as your discretion. We are not responsible for labs that do not color match your digital images.

When do you do outdoor sessions?

A.We photograph children/families (not newborns) outside from May through October only. We choose 5:30pm as our starting time for every outdoor session. That is when lighting is the very best in our meadow. We have very limited outdoor/child/family sessions so please book very early.

Can I use the images on social media?

A.The images on social media have our watermark to protect the image. These images are low resolution and if you were to print them, you would get a very poor looking picture. We are an honest family and we ask that you wait until you order your images and we provide you with your final downloadable gallery with high resolution images. Those are the very best ones for printing. They will not have a watermark once you download them.

What if I don't show up for my session?

A.Once you book and purchase your session, we begin the creative process of booking assistants, planning your session and holding your time slot. Therefore, we do not refund any sessions unless something happens to the baby. If you notify us and reschedule at least 72 hours prior to your session and we can get your newborn in within the newborn time frame or you use that money for a 6 month session, there is no charge. If you choose not to reschedule, cancel or do not show up-your session is not refundable. Thank you for understanding.