Preparing for Your Newborn Session
Thank you for the opportunity to capture the beautiful details of life with a newborn! I have no doubt it will be a beautiful, filled with love and many amazing moments. This guide is mostly a collection of suggestions. As you might already know, life with a newborn is rarely predictable. Don’t worry though, be prepared to go with the flow & embrace whatever the moment gives us. I promise you there's beauty in every moment.
When should I contact you? When will my session take place ?
If I'm not documenting your birth story please keep me posted if there are any changes in your birth plan or due date. Send a quick text (personal cell: 512-571-0062) after baby is born--preferably within 24 hours--especially if you want your session to occur within 48 hours of birth. The more time I have to plan childcare the quicker I'm able to get to you. If an extenuating situation arises please notify me as soon as you're able. We'll chat a little before baby's birth to get a general idea of when you'd like the newborn session to take place.
Newborn sessions usually take place within 7 days of baby's arrival. Sessions occur between the hours of 9am to 5pm, typically Monday-Friday and are based on my availability. If I happen to be at a birth or attending another session I will communicate this to you (likely via text) and offer to reschedule within 24 hours or go directly to you after the current session is completed. If for some reason you need longer than 7 days please let me know and we'll work something out.
If you'd like your session to take place in the hospital be sure to give yourself a little bit of time to refresh, rest & recover. I strongly recommend letting your medical staff know you've hired a professional photographer to spend some time with you & your family in recovery. Your session may also take place after you've been discharged, as a homecoming or as an in-home session. If an emergency situation presents itself, meaning mom or baby is in critical condition, please send a quick text so I know it might be awhile. I promise not to bombard you with questions. If you wish for your session to take place while baby is in the NICU please discuss this with your medical providers first as they will have the final say if I'm allowed in to document your story.
Cesarean Births: Your session will take place on day 2 of your recovery. This way you'll feel more like yourself and your body will have rested a bit from surgery.
Birth Center or Home Birth Sessions
If baby is born at a birth center and everyone is well then you'll likely be released within hours of delivery. If you wish for your session to take place before leaving the birth center please discuss this with your birth providers and let me know what you decide.
What about lighting & temperature?
I love natural light, but sometimes there isn't enough natural light indoors to produce a detailed image. If this turns out to be the case I'll use camera flash. The flash is typically on its lowest setting and is never bounced directly at you. If you have transparent curtains, we'll likely keep those closed because they diffuse harsh lighting. Most babies tend to like it warm, if this is your baby, feel free to make the environment comfortable for them and for you.
What should I wear?
For you & your partner: Newborn sessions are all about embracing newborn life and what you wear should be practical, comfortable & true to who you are. If your session takes place in the hospital setting, I'd recommend a comfortable robe that's easy to nurse and do skin-to-skin in. Hair & make-up is completely optional. Wear something you would normally wear during those first hazy days with a newborn and not like I'm coming over to take photos. If you wouldn't typically wear shoes in your home then you'll likely be barefoot. If you wear socks I recommend a darker color as lighter socks show your footprint if the floors aren't perfectly clean.
For baby: If you choose to have baby unclothed for part of the time having wipes, towels or swaddles nearby is helpful in case of an accident or if baby gets cold. If you want baby clothed, I'd recommend having 2 simple outfits, just in case things get messy.
How much cleaning do I have to do?
If you want your newborn session at home there isn't much to do. I'd say put away anything you don't want seen in your images and there isn't a need to deep clean. Think about where you are in life and if an objects presence adds authenticity to your story, consider leaving it. For example, maybe you've just moved and there are boxes laying around. Feel free to leave the boxes, maybe just stack 'em up and push them to a corner.
Do you use props?
I don't use props, however if there is something of sentimental value (special swaddle, stuffed animal, blanket, etc.) you'd like to make visible in your session then I'm all for it. I think those types of personal items add a nice sentimental value to the image, but by no means do you have to include any extras.
What happens after I arrive for your session?
We'll say hello and I'll quickly assess where you are in your day. I'll typically check rooms for light and possibly pull blinds/curtains and turn off any competing artificial light. Feel free to go about your day as if I weren't there. This session is intended to go with the flow of you & your baby. We'll have around 90 minutes together so there's no rush. If you need to rest, then please rest for a bit and we'll take some beautiful shots of you resting together as a family or with baby. Resting is usually the perfect time to sneak in some skin-to-skin time. If baby is sleeping they can continue to sleep and I'll document baby's tiny details. If baby needs to eat then I'll let you get settled and we'll take some nursing shots. One of my favorite moments in newborn life is mom nursing baby and dad next to her helping baby latch or just admiring his loves. Those are such sweet moments that often get overlooked! Sessions are un-posed and your job is to simply be present in the moment and enjoy your time together as a family. Keep in mind I am documenting still images and video during our time together so you might see me wandering around grabbing some detail shots during any downtime.
When will I receive my images?
Within 48 hours of your session I'll send you two sneak peeks from your session. Your gallery/digital images & video will be available within 3-4 weeks from your session date. Turnaround time on printed boutique products will vary. Birth announcement cards typically arrive within 2 business days from the date the card order is placed.
Where can I print my images?
The images you receive from the session come with a print release which allows you to print photos for personal use only. Should you choose to print on your own I'd recommend MPix. I also work with a professional printer and recommend purchasing through me if you're looking for high quality prints that last for decades. All prints purchased through me are printed on archive paper with a life expectancy of 100 years (if displayed out in the open) and 200 years (if stored in a dark & dry place).