Newborn Session Frequently Asked Questions:
When should I book the session?
It’s never too early to book! I keep a calendar and prioritize clients who booked before baby is born since we want to schedule the session in the first couple of weeks after baby is born. I can only accept “last minute” bookings if I have availability since I may not have dates available in the needed time frame if you are contacting me after your baby has arrived!
Where does the session take place?
At this time, all sessions are done in my studio in Ramona, CA. I am not offering in-home sessions until further notice. If you are interested in an outdoor session (baby only), I do offer them in the Ramona area as well!
How long does a session last?
Great question! Not an easy answer! Of course it depends on the package you book! If doing the Petite Swaddled only session - plan about an hour. This session type can be done with baby awake or asleep since they are swaddled and will be “contained’. The Essentials session includes non-swaddled poses BUT requires baby to be asleep. If they aren’t settling or if they are sensitive to movement/set transitions, it will take longer. Ideally Essential Sessions are about 1 1/2 - 2 hrs (but can go longer if baby doesn’t settle as mentioned). The Luxe Package includes family/sibling images. If it’s just parents and newborn, sessions are usually 2 - 2 1/2 hrs (but again can go longer if baby isn’t staying settled). IF there are siblings involved (depending on how young they are) that can add a some time to the session. Many toddlers take a while to manage on set with a newborn and that can easily “use up” the sleepy time with the newborn which in turn means taking longer to get them back to sleep after a feed. Family sessions can be up to four hours if there is extra feeding/soothing needed. IF possible, I recommend families driving separately if they have a toddler/other children so they can leave after the family images are done!
What can I do to prepare my little one for the session?
If baby has a lot of hair, it may be a good idea to bathe them and wash their hair, so it is nice and fluffy otherwise newborn hair tends to get quite greasy and shiny.
Please do not apply any type of Aquaphor or oil-based products on babies' skin prior to the session. Photoshop will take care of any dry skin flakes and it is not worth the shine it produces in photos!
Please keep baby awake a good 90 min before you leave from your home and feed them before you leave as well....this will hopefully put them in a nice, deep milk coma!
Dress them in an outfit that will be easy to remove - ideally a sleeper with a zipper. My goal will be to transition them from the car seat to the set without too much stress on them....an "easy off" outfit is best!
What if my newborn doesn’t “cooperate”?
Every baby is unique and there is never a guarantee that they will settle and "cooperate" for the session, following the suggestions will increase our chances for a super sleepy and posable baby! Most people will say that I am pretty patient when it comes to newborns, I will do my best to settle them - it may mean feeding on demand and using a pacifier - please be open and flexible to both! Sometimes the baby has gas and we just need to let it pass! If baby isn’t sleeping (and isn’t fussing) I will move forward with swaddled sets where baby can’t wiggle and flail (and trigger their startle reflexes). Once I finish those I will try again to do the “non-swaddled” poses but I can only do so much before we may need to “call it” and work with the swaddled images we captured. We can’t force a baby into poses when they aren’t relaxed and sleeping and even then, there are some poses that some babies won’t do depending on their flexibility and temperament.
What should I bring?
Baby of course - but a prepped baby as described above! Also bring your diaper bag with plenty of diapers, plenty of food (if using formula) and a PACIFIER - even if you don’t plan to use one long term, they can help tremendously to settle baby during our session and the limited use during our session will not create “nipple confusion” if that is a concern. If there is something special/sentimental that you are bringing for the session - make sure to communicate with me ahead of time so I know how to plan and incorporate it into the session!
Who should/can come to the session?
With current Covid restrictions still in place, it does help to limit how many people are in the studio at one time. So ideally just mom and dad will be there with baby! IF coming with other children, IF possible, I recommend parents driving separately so they can leave after the family images are done! Let me know if you need/ want someone else to attend! My studio isn’t that large and although I do have some play items/space for little siblings, the variability of session length can be tough on toddlers!
What should I do during the session?
Relax and be available to help feed/soothe baby as needed! In some cases (for some poses) I may ask you to help “spot” baby!
What can I expect when I arrive/What is the flow of the session?
Again, it depends on the session type. If doing a family session with other children, I always start with them since they are most “interested’ and cooperative when they first arrive. I also start with parent poses as well! If we are doing baby only, I gauge baby upon on arrival and try to start with poses first and then do swaddled. However, as I mentioned, if baby doesn’t settle into the sleepy poses, I switch over to swaddled poses!
What are the different poses/set ups to choose from?
One of the things I love is creating beautiful sets to feature your little one! As you can see from my portfolio, I have lots of props, many of which I use over and over again and just change some element to work with your colors/themes in mind! BUT I do love trying new things too, so if you have an idea - no matter how crazy, let me know and I will see what I can do! With poses though, you basically have just a few ways to pose a baby. Fully swaddled, partially swaddled or posed (no swaddle). And just a few “places” to put baby in during a session, a prop (a bucket or a bowl etc…) or on a blanket or fur fabric! I have put together a Pose Reference Guide for you to see the different types of ways to work with baby! Check it out here! Although keep in mind, not every baby will do every pose!
How many images will I get from the session? Can I get the RAW/Unedited images?
After the session, I will send you a link allowing you to view the (unedited) images from the session (a proof gallery), from there you will select which images you would like edited. How many images you select is based on the package you selected when you booked (anywhere from 5-20) but you can also purchase additional images (to be edited) if you see more that you like! RAW images/Unedited images are never sold or released but as I mentioned above, you can always purchase more images to add to your selections that will be edited for you!
How long until my images will be ready after the session?
I usually upload and send you the proof gallery from the session the same day (or next day at the latest!). Once you make your selections and send them to me, it may be up to two weeks to get them edited and returned to you!
Can we combine a family session with our newborn session?
Yes, my Luxe Package includes family and sibling images with your newborn. These images are done in studio at the same time as the newborn session!