1. What is a studio vs. lifestyle shoot?
Studio sessions-These are all the pictures where a baby is “posed”….by posing I mean, we have placed the baby in certain positions for the pictures. These shoots almost always include props/hats/headbands/wraps/backdrop scenes, etc. For studio shoots, I try and do 4-5 different setups including blanket and basket poses. I also include formal shots with mom, dad and sibling. (Unless mom and dad REALLY don’t want to be involved in the session which I TRY to discourage 🙂 Studio shoots should be completed in the first 4-14 days of life.
Lifestyle sessions – These are pictures taken in your home and capture day-to-day life. I do not “pose” your baby. Shots are typically taken in the nursery, living area and the parents bedroom. These shoots are very relaxed, and it’s really just a fun time to hang out, get awesome shots of baby in their natural environment. Pictures that you will look back and remember what LIFE was like as that new stage. This is a shoot for those wanting to capture REAL life and who want a more relaxed session.
2. Do you provide props for newborns?
Yes. I have a wide range of hats and headbands, blankets, layering items, wraps, etc. I encourage you to look on Etsy and send me links for anything you may want included in your babe’s portrait. I may already have it! Or something very similar. If I don’t, and it’s an item I can see adding value to my collection, then I will go ahead and purchase it for use during our session. Otherwise, if it’s something you REALLY want, I ask that you provide these items. All other items of personal value (handmade blankets, dad’s uniform, baseballs, etc….) are provided by the customer.
3. How long do newborn shoots last?
Lifestyle shoots are typically 2-2.5 hours if there is a need to break for feeding the baby. Studio posed shots can vary in length. They can take anywhere from 3-4 hours depending on the baby and how well and fast they sleep. Typical sessions are 3 hours. I reserve 3.5 hours for combo shoots. Most newborn shoots are a waiting game….waiting for the babe to fall in a deep sleep. And good news! I’m a very patient person!! 🙂
4. When do we schedule a newborn shoot?
If you are asking this question, the answer is NOW! I book these sessions far in advance so I can leave slots available around your session. I will mark your due date on my calendar and know within that timeframe how to schedule my other shoots…to leave openings for any surprises. During those last few weeks, I ask that you stay in contact…ie “no baby yet!” or “induction scheduled for next Saturday!”, or “C-section date is set!”…etc. Once the baby arrives, please send me an email and we will schedule your shoot immediately. I do newborn shoots Monday-Friday during the day. Morning tends to be the best time of day for sleepy babes. Most folks are home from maternity leave after giving birth, so weekday shoots tend to work well.
5. Eeek! My baby peed/poo’ed on your blanket!! Oh wait! My baby pooped on YOU too!
Yep! Expect that. I do!! 🙂
6. How do you pose the baby?
Posing is a work of art in and of itself. It takes patience, and a sleepy baby. If I feel that the baby is uncomfortable, I will not do that particular pose. Also, not all babies will do all poses. Some babies hate to have their fingers messed with, some refuse to be naked! It is all just dependent on the babe…on what he/she will or will not do. Please note….I will not use any props that I feel will endanger the baby. This includes glass bowls and vases.
6. How do I prepare for my studio session?
-Please feed your baby 3 hours before your scheduled shoot
-Please make every attempt to hold off on feeding your baby after that last feeding. The best situation is to be feeding the baby once you arrive. This will allow the baby to get a full feeding.
-Try to wake the baby 30 mins-1 hour prior to the shoot and keep the baby awake if at all possible. This includes the car ride over. I know it’s hard! But try!
-Before the feeding, (once you arrive at your scheduled session), please change the baby’s diaper, and remove ALL clothing. Loosen the diaper tabs on the diaper so it’s easy to slip off.
-Please bring a white and black shirt for all adults who will be in the session.
-Bring your makeup bag for touchups, snacks to munch on, and anything you may want to keep yourself hydrated….especially if you are breast feeding. I run space heaters during the session to get the room nice and cozy warm….(warm for the baby typically means hot for us!)
7. How do I prepare for my lifestyle session?
– Please anticipate being photographed. Wear clothing that is not distracting (solid colors work best) and avoid clothing that will show bra straps and/or breast pads. Please be dressed and ready to go at our scheduled time.
– Your house is the backdrop. Clear away any clutter that you would not like forever captured in your pictures. This includes items laying on dressers, tables and floors. While the goal of these shoots is to capture your family in their natural environment, you do not want any items in your photos that can be deemed distracting. (Think breast pumps, medications, alarm clocks). If it’s not pretty or meaningful, remove it from the scene.
-Solid/plain bedding tends to work well for lifestyle shots. It transfers well to black and white and leaves the focus on the baby and not the big flower pattern of the bedspread.
-As stated, your home is the backdrop to your lifestyle session. If you are concerned about clutter, or if your home is not necessarily a place you want forever captured in your images, this may not be the shoot for you. Three main rooms should be cleared. The nursery, the Master bedroom and the living room. If there is a sibling, their room should be picked up as well (bed made, books on bookshelves). Siblings love to play in their rooms with their new baby. 🙂
8. Where is the studio?
I have a room in my home in Leesburg, Virginia that is a dedicated studio space. For combo shoots (lifestyle+studio), I bring the studio/equipment to you and set up in your house.
9. What do I do with my children? (i.e. Siblings of the newborn)
Capturing sibling shots is typically the most requested and important shot. Current workflow is: I shoot siblings, family and parents first. Once the sibling shots are completed, children are asked to leave the studio. This can either be to take them to school, daycare, a sitter or out for a special treat! Most fathers will take the sibling out for lunch, ice cream or to play on the playground. Or even run a couple errands (Diapers anyone?!?!). Once the sibling and family shots are complete, it typically takes me roughly 90 mins to complete the rest of the newborn session. I am located in a great spot of Leesburg that is minutes away from major stores and restaurants. (Target, Costco, Chick Fil A, Leesburg outlets….).
10. Why can’t my children stay for the entire session?
Having young children stay for a studio session is very hard on the parents. Children tend to get bored. There is also lots of expensive equipment around the studio which makes children “hanging out” a liability. Finally, as quiet as you may try to keep your child, there is always that one little squeal that can break the pose I’m trying to capture with the baby. I want you to have the best, most relaxing experience you can for your newborn session. You will not be relaxed if you are concerned about another child. Worrying about occupying them, trips to the bathroom, possibly waking the baby…..these are just a few examples of what you will be dealing with. Let Dad take them for a special treat! Your child will be happy, and most importantly, the baby will be relaxed…..because mama will be relaxed! A relaxed mama=a relaxed babe!!!
11. Can I bring my furry sibling?
Unfortunately I do not allow fur babies (i.e. dogs, cats, etc.) in the studio at this time. As much as I am in love with dogs (and I do mean LOVE….)…dogs tend to be anxious in a new environment. This causes stress for parents. Stressed parents=stressed babe.
Checklist of items to bring with you to a studio session:
1. Food for baby. Make sure you have twice as much as you think you will need. If you are breastfeeding, that’s great!!! If you are pumping, bring double the pumped milk. Formula feeding? Double the formula. You do not want to be stuck in the middle of the session without enough food! This is the main item I can’t help with! Shoots can last 3-5 hours. 3-3.5 is average. 5 is extreme. However I ALWAYS plan for 5 hours on the rare occasion that the baby just does not want to sleep. And sometimes, an extra feeding will get babe back in that deep sleep that we want for the perfectly posed pictures.
2. Diapers.….lots of diapers and wipes. And anything you are using for circumcision healing.
3. Pacifier. Many times babies aren’t taking these yet. Many times they are. Many times they save about 30 minutes by quickly soothing babes back to sleep. Whatever your choice is as a parent is fine with me! But if you intend on using pacifiers, please make sure to bring one. They can shorten your session time.
4. Any props that you want added to your session. Don’t go nuts here. Maybe an heirloom blanket. Dad’s uniform. That one hat that grandma made. Please limit your props to 2 or 3 tops. And know that this is not necessary. I will have plenty of items already laid out for you based on your session questionnaire.
5. Food for you! Especially if you are breastfeeding. You need to stay energized!
6. Clothing for parent/sibling photos.
7. An extra set of the clothing for you and baby. Your clothes COULD get soiled. It can happen. Be prepared. Anytime you have a baby undressed and diaper free for extended periods of time, there will be accidents. However, I do my best to ensure those accidents happen on ME! But, I can’t guarantee. So, be prepared 🙂
If you have any additional questions, please let me know!!!