Having photographed over 150 newborns in the past few years, it’s definitely time for me to update my Newborn Preparation Guide. It’s still packed with great tips that all parents will receive prior to their session.
But I’ll go through some of the usual questions here to help you know exactly what happens during your newborn photography experience with me!
Where am I?
I’m located in the beautiful hills of Pakenham Upper – so remember that’s just a little up the hill from Pakenham. Some people travel for over an hour but it’s a beautiful drive particularly if you cross the top of the city through the hills – and you can seriously relax when you get here! I have the most amazing view to welcome you. It’s just so lovely and peaceful here.
When will the session take place?
I typically photograph your baby when they are between 5-14 days old. I’ll go over this with you during your pre-booking, or pre-session consultation. This really is just a guide as I’ve had the most amazing babies in my studio who were 20-30 days old, and sometimes the tiniest 5 day old baby is more upset. So it’s really a bit of pot luck.
But as I tell my expecting parents, statistically speaking we’ll have a better chance of getting your bubs into those curly gorgeous poses if they are small and sleepy – and babies become more and more awake with each passing day. And of course they discover the ability to stretch their legs and often don’t want to curl back up after that!
So I generally pencil into my diary your due date and then ask that you let me know as soon as bubs has arrived – so tell your family first…. Then me! That way we can book in your session as soon as possible. But don’t worry if that can’t happen in the first couple of weeks. There’s lots of different reasons for babies not being able to be photographed that soon and I can certainly still create amazing portraits for you – they just may be slightly different to the ones you see in my portfolio, but you’ll still love them forever!
When should I book my session?
Generally speaking, when you consider the time we have together and the time I use to beautifully edit your portraits, and prepare your products – I generally spend about 12- 15 hours for each family.
This means that to ensure that I can continue to offer the greatest experience and product to each of my families, I only book a small number of newborn sessions each month. So they book out quickly!
So it’s definitely best to book your session whilst you are in your early or middle of your pregnancy. That way we can also chat about whether you’d like a mini maternity session to go along with your newborn session, we can go through and plan the details of your babies session and I can fully advise and guide you on how to prepare for your session.
Are family members included in the session?
Absolutely! I almost insist! I know that as a woman that you may not feel like being photographed in those first few weeks after giving birth (I mean having a shower is a struggle at times….). But really, in all seriousness, a huge reason I do what I do is that I see how important photography is not only to you, but to your children and grandchildren. Yes you want gorgeous portraits of your baby, but one day that baby will want a gorgeous portrait of you! And what’s more special than a portrait of their mum or dad when they could literally fit in your hands?
So yes, at no extra charge I include portraits of you as a family, you and your partner with your baby, and your new baby with any of their siblings. They will seriously become some of the most precious things you will own.
How long will the session take?
I always scheduled my newborn sessions in a block of 4 hours. Depending on how you and bubs are feeling, it may not take that long. But I don’t want you to feel pressured by having my next client knocking at the door before we are finished. So I like to book out a longer time than we actually need.
That way you can relax during your session knowing you can feed your baby as you would at home, change them when they need changing, and just cuddle them when they (or you) need a cuddle!
What do we need to bring with us?
I really do have everything here at the studio so don’t worry if you forget something. So try to remember your usual nappy bag supplies – but if you forget, that’s okay. I have it here!
The most important thing to remember to bring is extra milk and bottles if you are bottle feeding (even if you are top up feeding). Sometimes we may try and feed your baby during sets to keep them sleepy so you may go through more milk or bottles than usual.
You don’t need to bring anything in particular for your baby because you will have complete use of all the beautiful props, blankets, bonnets, headbands and wraps I have in my studio collection. The wraps and blankets have all been carefully selected for their softness and are always thoroughly cleaned between each session. My headbands and bonnets have also been carefully selected to be safe for your baby and not to distracting to the eye – because we want your baby to be the main focus! The only clothing you will need is for yourself and other children being photographed. Many of the items you will find in store or online, including on Etsy and Ebay, will be too big for your baby, poorly made and distracting to the image. Whereas I prefer to create classic timeless portraits for you that aren’t just a passing trend.
You may also like to bring a change of clothes for you and your partner. If bubs is being photographed naked during your parent photographs, often they take the opportunity to make a bit of a mess on you! Now that’s not something to worry about – but it does make it more comfortable for you to have a change of clothes to drive home in!
The other really helpful item is a dummy. Some parents may choose for their babies not to have a dummy long term, but often it’s helpful during your session to settle your baby instead of always removing them from the prop to feed them. Some babies simply need that sucking motion to settle and often it will help your session run more smoothly.
However if you don’t have a dummy, either you forgot or don’t want them but are open to using them in your session, I have new dummies in the studio that are freshly sterilised for you and for you to take home at the end.
Do we need to help with the session?
For the most part all you’ll need to do during your session is sit back and relax! You are welcome to pull a chair over to where I’m photographing your baby, but generally you are there to lovingly watch your baby in some really cute poses.
At times depending on the prop being used, I may ask you to assist in being near your baby to ensure their safety during a pose. I will always explain to you what is needed and it’s never for a long period of time. Generally I tend to ask dads to help me so that mum can sit and relax without having to get up and down or bend over.
The studio is also stocked with snacks, cold and hot drinks - so you are welcome to grab a nap on the couch!
Parents with other children are also welcome to move around outside where you’ll find a children’s play area filled with a cubby house, swing, trampoline and even a zip line! There’s also 9 beautiful acres to take in, or just sit on the deck and enjoy the magical view.
How do I book our session?
You can head here to get in contact with me today and reserve your place on the calendar! I typically book a few months in advance. A signed contract (so you understand all the details of what can and cannot be achieved during your session) and booking deposit is then due at the time you book.
So contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0407 801 391 and I look forward to meeting with you soon! x