Oh, hello new parents!
Chances are if you made it here, you're likely expecting a baby - so, congratulations! Whether this is your first baby or your fourth (and props to you), I'm sure you're looking to capture those cute little baby toes, sleepy smiles, and everything in between.
As far as a timeline for booking your newborn photos goes, I always recommend reaching out to me during your second or beginning of your third trimester so we can secure your due date on my calendar. I loveeee newborn sessions, so my schedule fills up quickly! Once baby arrives, we'll plan on taking the photos when baby is 10-14 days young - this is when the baby is the squishiest, sleepiest, and sweetest to capture. Don't worry if we can't get the photos taken within the first two weeks though - babies are considered newborns up until 4 or 5 weeks. In general, the "newer" the baby, the better the sessions tend to go.
It's time to book!
Once you're ready to book your session and you know I'm the photographer for you (and I give you allllll the awesome vibes), get in touch with me! I recommend using the contact form on my website so I can keep all of my inquiries organized. We'll use your due date as your "session date" for the time being, and when the baby comes we'll solidify a date and time. All of my newborn sessions up until this point have taken place in the morning, usually around 9:30am or 10:00am. Why? The natural light is better. Babies are generally happier in the morning. Siblings aren't overtired. Need I say more? If mornings aren't going to work for you and/or your family, just let me know and we can find a time that works best. I'll send you an email with your booking link (deposit due to secure date), contract (that you can e-sign), and questionnaire so I can learn more about you, your family, and the newest addition. Lastly, you'll want to check out this amazing prep guide I've prepared (the one you're reading, just scroll down!).
We've booked our session - now what?
PHEW! We've secured your date and I'm a clapping, giddy little kid at this point. I'm so excited! Now it's prep time, baby! Let's start thinking about those outfits, how you can prepare your home, and what you can expect the day of your session.
What should we wear?
Oh, my sweet angel - I'VE GOT YOU COVERED. For a few years I worked as a wardrobe stylist for Trunk Club/Nordstrom, so I know a thing or two about clothing! The most important thing when making clothing choices is, make sure you are comfortable and feel beautiful. I recommend dressing the mom first (and because she's most important obviously, she just birthed another human) and planning outfits around hers. Solid colors tend to look best, and incorporate different textures (i.e., knits, chiffon, chunky fabrics, layers, etc). Classic prints and patterns are fine (like stripes, polka dots, and florals), but make sure that only one or two people in your family are wearing patterns, otherwise it gets too busy! And no branding/logos. Trust me.
Here's a good rule of thumb - using the "5 and 5 rule". Five years ago you probably could have worn it, and in five years you could probably still wear it! After all, you want to hang these photos up on your walls, right?
Colors to wear: I'm a big fan of neutrals and earth tones as they tend to photograph the most classic and will end up looking the most timeless as well. Think creams, tans, grays, oatmeals, etc. Stay away from overly bright, neon colors and huge, distracting prints. Incorporating a pop of color can be nice, too. I've included a neutral and "pop of color" palettes below that can help you with your color choices, so scroll down! I highly approve of all of these colors, just so you know. ;-)
Outfit ideas for women & girls: I love flowy dresses, skirt and top/sweater combo, jeans with a casual top/sweater/blouse, oversized sweaters and tank tops with leggings, etc. Bottom line: you need to be comfortable and feel like yourself. I also have a client closet with beautiful dresses and outfits that you can wear during your session! I have several pieces for girls and women, so check them out on my IG highlights! If you're interested in a client closet outfit, we can connect beforehand. Hair and makeup should go with your clothing selections - make sure your makeup is natural and not overly done and hair looks best when it's down (unless your hair is pulled up 24/7 and in that case, wear it up, girl!).
Outfit ideas for men & boys: Henleys are my jam, sweater and jeans, casual button-down shirt with jeans or khakis/colored pants, t-shirt and jeans. No logos/branding and nooooo baseball caps allowed. Make sure your hair looks nice, too!
Accessories, footwear & random stuff: As far as jewelry goes, wear what you like! If you feel like you're wearing too much, take one piece off. Wedding rings are a must and even though I wear an Apple Watch myself, it's best to leave it off for the photos (same with Fitbits!). Make sure you don't have elastic hairbands around your wrist, too. On the topic of footwear, barefoot is best for these cozy newborn sessions! If you insist on wearing shoes, stay far, far away from athletic shoes and wear something classic like flats, fashion sneakers, dress shoes, etc. But please, just be barefoot, okay? Thank you. Lastly, make sure your nails look nice! I love getting detail shots and you don't want chipped nail polish in the photos!
How should we prep our home?
Generally, my in-home newborn sessions will be taken in the baby's nursery, parent's bedroom, or living room. All that matters is the space is clean, free of distractions, and has great natural lighting! Like I mentioned earlier, the mornings are the best time to have the photos taken. For more info about how the sessions typically go, scroll down to the "What can we expect?" section.
Tidying up your home: Trust me when I say, I'm a mom and my house is currently a mess at this exact moment. I'm one of the most organized, borderline OCD people you will ever meet but once we had kids, things went a little downhill. I'm not judging your home. If it's not completely clean, that's fine! Just try to get the space you're planning to use as tidy as you can (translation: free of distractions). For example, if you want photos in the nursery, put away the diaper creams and packages of wipes; put away those items the baby is too young to play with; humidifiers are generally an eyesore (just being honest!).
Lighting: I love taking photos near the windows in my client's homes. Get those curtains open, pull up the blinds, and turn off the overhead lights and fans. If the natural light isn't enough, I may pop on my camera flash and use it at low power, bounced off the ceiling.
Temperature: Babies love being in a warm environment and get cold quickly. Turn up the heat a few degrees so that baby stays comfortable and happy during any diaper and outfit changes.
What can we expect during the session?
Newborn sessions typically last around 2 hours, sometimes more, sometimes less. It all depends on the baby and the family! The point is, we don't want to be rushed. Prior to my arrival, plan on keeping the baby awake for an hour or so, to ensure the baby is happy and sleepy for our photos. Make sure the baby is fed about 30 minutes prior to me coming over but if you'd like any feeding/nursing photos, let me know and we can do those right in the beginning. I'm all for it!
Photo session schedule
- Entire family
- Siblings & baby (if applicable)
- Both parents & baby
- Individual parents & baby
- Baby solo shots
For the photos with the entire family, siblings and parents, I'll have you pick one outfit for the baby to wear. For the solo shots of the baby, I have a collection of neutral- and muted-colored swaddles we can use. I also have a few baskets and additional knitted and fluffy, filler blankets to use for added texture. For the baby girls, I have an assortment of headbands as well. Similar to the outfit recommendations above, keep baby in something simple and classic - neutral, muted, and solid colors are always the way to go!
I like to structure my sessions in the order listed above so that any siblings can be free to go play when they're done! Once the family and parent photos are finished, I'll take over and get the baby in their swaddled look and take those sweet detail shots and adorable photos of JUST BABY. Parents are free to stay close to the baby during these photos and trust me - I know it's hard to give up control as a new parent! It's also worth mentioning that I'm fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as well as up to date on my other vaccinations.
The turnaround time for my newborn sessions is generally 2-3 weeks. Sneak peeks can be sent (upon request) within a week of your session either via text or on social media. All of the best photos from your session will be hand-edited and delivered to you in a private, online gallery so you'll have them available for download at the highest resolution. My galleries also have a store built in, so you can purchase prints, wall canvases, etc. directly through the site - plus, the photos are sent to an actual professional printing lab, so you don't have to worry about getting those green-tinted images from Walgreens. Seriously. It's a thing. After all, you invested this much into the session, don't have them printed at a convenience store!
Any other tips for us?
Of course! Scroll through the list below and if you have any other questions, please call/text/email me! If you need my advice on outfits, send me pictures! If your schedule is all off the day of our session, no worries.
- Baby is likely going to eat during our session, either a full feed or a top off. It happens!
- Does your baby use a pacifier? Keep it handy.
- Remember: keep your baby awake for an hour or two before the session. Trust me.
- Keep snacks and entertainment on hand for the siblings. Also, let me know what your other kids are into that make them smile or laugh!
- Have the essentials for the baby ready to go - wipes, diapers, burp cloth, pacifier, sound machine, etc.
- Accidents happen: have a backup outfit for your baby and kids (and husbands too - they spill a lot).
Anything else that comes up? I got you. Just text, call or email me. I'm always here to make this process as smooth as possible for you. Now let's take those baby photos!
kind words from newborn clients (the parents, not the baby)
Christina was amazing to work with! She couldn't have captured better photos of my newborn. She was super patient with him and was even able to soothe him to get him in perfect position. She even helped coordinate outfits. I highly recommend and will be using her for all our family photos from now on :)