Parent images will be from the waist up, feel free to wear jeans or shots. I will either shoot the parent series on dark wood, black, cream, medium tan or light gray backdrop. If you want something classic, go with black on black. If you like light and airy, wear cream on the cream backdrop. I ask that you avoid patterned shirts or wearing white shirts because white detracts from the face. Baby will wear a simple knit pants, or I will swaddle them for these images. The studio will be about 80 degrees, so either bring a lighter change of clothing or dress in layers.
Newborn sessions are typically are 2-3 hours long. Each baby is different, if we have a full gallery at 2 hours, we will finish there, but the time is there if we need it. We begin at 11 am in the morning and will probably work through lunchtime. I have stocked the studio with beverages, but you may want to bring a snack or two for yourselves.
If you prefer, make the session a little "date" by ordering takeout from one of the two restaurants right by the studio. After I have completed the family portion of the session, I usually need minimal assistance from mom/dad for the rest of the time. All you need to do is sit on the couch and relax or order lunch. Brewer's is right across the street. The Pizza Shoppe is a few doors down. I will set up a table in the shooting area so you can still see how your shoot is going with the baby.
If bottle feeding, please bring enough for 3-4 bottles. If breastfeeding, it is still beneficial to pump and bring a bottle or two, because of the increase in feeding during the session. I do realize that many mothers do not introduce a bottle until three weeks, so if you prefer not to do this, that is fine.
Try to avoid spicy foods and caffeine for a day or two before the session. Bring plenty of diapers as they will be wearing them while in some of the knitted props and more feeding equals more diapers. I do have a sanitized bottle warmer at the studio.
Bathe baby the morning of your session and use baby lotion. If the baby is dry or peeling, it helps to use your doctor recommended baby lotion frequently in the days leading to the shoot. A gentle exfoliation with a baby cloth after they have been in the tub a while will help with this. Try to keep baby awake a few hours before the session. Have a little playtime!
When parents come in for their newborn photography session, they usually have a 20-30 minute drive from their home in the Kansas City metro area. The baby will almost always need to eat when you arrive, so don't worry about feeding them before you leave unless they are hungry and not content for the car ride.
Pacifiers are sometimes needed for calming baby during these sessions. I encourage you to bring one just for your time in the studio, even if you choose not to give them to baby on a regular basis. Be assured that using a pacifier during a photo session will not cause feeding confusion. They can make all the difference as newborns cannot self-soothe. Remember that this is not a typical day for them and we may need that help.
Relax and be Patient
Stay relaxed! We work on your baby's time, and there is nothing that will happen that has not occurred in 10 years of newborn sessions. I am well-versed in working with every baby situation.
Do NOT stress out about your session. Babies pick up on our stress. It is normal for the baby to take 5-10 minutes to settle into a pose. I only schedule one newborn per day, so we are not on time constraints with our newborn sessions. If on the off chance baby is having a bad day, I can tell this in the first 30-45 minutes of the session, and we would just reschedule for another day...no big deal. I don't encounter this situation very often (twice in ten years), but I want you to know we have a plan in place!
Bring Baby in Something Easy to Remove
Dress baby in something easy to get off that does not go over their head.
There is an upgrade to include a short set
The Session Flow
We begin with a series of images with mom, dad, and baby. We include siblings if they are present. Next, we move on to baby images and usually spend a little time with feeding and cuddling. Patience is critical during this part of the session. Once the baby is asleep, the session will flow more quickly.
Bring Something Special if You Like
The studio has an entire prop room stocked with vintage props, hats, and wraps, but you are welcome to bring a couple of things like a special blanket or hat that you would like to incorporate in a shot or two. I take care in "styling" the session with colors and textures. I will send you a gallery of backdrop selections from which to choose. Think about what rooms using your images in.
Please send photos of things you might be bringing at least a few days ahead of time so that I can plan the shoot. If you want to purchase items to use in the session (you don't need to do this), please give me a heads up first before you spend your money. Many off the rack newborn "outfits," headbands and hat don't photograph well. I can point you in the right direction. I only have high-quality, handmade items in the studio.
Be Prepare for Extra Feedings
Please realize that baby is not yet on a feeding schedule and he or she will typically eat twice as much during these two hours from being
I look forward to meeting you and documenting those precious first days! Take a peek at our FAQ page as well and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask!
Captures in Time Photography