Newborn session prep guide
preparing for your scheduled session
• By a couple weeks before your session, be sure to let me know of any colors you’d like to incorporate (that may be out of the ordinary) and a general style of your family. I like to reflect the personality of the family subtly in my setups.
• Put clothing and diaper on loosely to avoid too many red marks. A sleeper that zips or snaps in the front (not somthing that has to be stretched over baby’s head) is easiest to take off and less disturbing to your baby if he/she is already sleeping upon arrival.
• If your baby is taking a pacifier, please bring one. Sucking is one of the main things that helps me soothe the baby as I pose them or before they have reached deep sleep. If you strongly prefer not to use one (I understand!) then with your permission (and clean hands) I may ask to use my finger or one of the parents’ to help soothe.
• Let me know ahead of time if you or siblings (and their ages) plan on being photographed with your newborn so that I can plan your session accordingly.
• Please feed your baby before you leave home. Most babies will fall asleep in the car. When you arrive, I will take your baby from the car seat and undress him/her. If your little one wakes up hungry, you can feed to get a nice full belly. The best images come from a “milk-drunk” baby.
What to expect during your session
• I may spend up to 4 hours photographing your baby, however the average newborn session lasts 2-3 hours. I allow enough time for your baby to eat, for me to clean up messes and to spend extra time to settle your baby if needed. It also accounts for changing setups for different poses/looks.
• I do keep my studio nice and toasty. The temperature can range from 75 to 85 degrees so you will want to dress appropriately. I will photograph your baby in the buff. If there are any items of yours that you’d like me to incorporate, please consult with me and send me a picture so I can make sure I think it will work and also so I can style the setup for that item accordingly. Most clothing items will swallow your baby unless specifically made for newborn photography. And while it can be tempting to incorporate tons of props and outfits, I believe it is important to keep things pure and simple to capture the baby as the focus of the art. I have tons of beautiful backdrops, baskets, bins, hand knit hats, dainty headbands and wraps for you to choose from.
• As soon as your baby falls asleep, I will ask that you (mom) get comfortable and take some time to relax. If you stay too close, the baby may become agitated because he/she can smell you. You will be able to watch me work with and photograph your baby from the comfort of a seating area. If I need assistance I’ll let you know. Please feel free to make yourself at home. I will have snacks and water for your enjoyment but feel free to bring either from home.
• If we need to take any feeding breaks during the session, we can. Nursing and bottle-feeding are welcomed! If you plan to nurse you may want to grab your nursing pillow. Also feel free to bring your pump to the session if you prefer to bottle feed your baby but still need to express. I can provide hot water for heating breast milk or warm water for formula as well.
• Unless something different is discussed, I will start with posing on the beanbag. I have 5 poses that are a part of my general routine (with little variations within some of them—S). It is important to note that not every baby can acheive every pose and if they show any marked discomfort I will not attempt the pose. However, most newborns under 2 weeks LOVE being curled up in these poses and once I get them sleeping it’s pretty smooth sailing from pose to pose. The following page shows examples of each of the standard poses. If there are other poses you’ve seen that you want me to try (as long as they are safe) we can discuss. Generally I like to place babies in natural poses...if they can’t do it on their own, why should we make them! I know that the chin in hands pose is quite popular and I can do it, but only on special request. Safety is of the utmost importance to me. If there’s any time I feel the need for an extra hand or two for spotting or support, I’ll ask!
• After the beanbag posing segment and if included in your package, I’ll move on to any basket/bin/rug setups and then finally, family photos. If a young sibling(s) is to be photographed alone with the baby, sometimes I’ll do this at the very beginning of the session so that he/she is fresh and happy...also sometimes, the sibling will only come for part of the session since they can be lengthy.
Here’s a look at the different Newborn Poses
Session do’s and don’t’s
• DO sit back and enjoy watching! What a great way to take a break! I know you are tired. I love working with these little ones...every aspect of it. I’m very good at calming these babies, so unless nursing is required, I’ll be completely hands on and you can be hands free throughout your session. Families often joke that they want to take me home to keep their baby calm!
• DON’T take pictures with your own camera or cell phone during the session. If you want to document the day, you can take a couple “behind the scenes” pictures of me working with your baby if you’d like, but please ask permission before sharing on social media.
• If you are having family pictures done in your session, DON’T wear bright colors or busy prints. DO wear neutral solids or black or white. DO dress comfortably—if you’re uncomfortable in what you are wearing it will show in your expressions.
• DON’T forget that your remaining balance is due on the date of your session. I accept cash, checks, and Credit Cards (+ 3% processing fee). If for some reason you forget to bring a payment method (understandable—it’s not like you have anything going on in your life!) payment in full must be received before you will see any pictures from your session.
Including a sibling?
• I love capturing the interactions between your first (or second, or third) baby and your new baby! I do suggest, however, that if big bro or sis is under 4, they come for only a portion of the session, preferably just at the beginning, and then be taken home by a family member. These sessions can get rather lengthy and it’s a lot to ask a young, energetic one to be patient for that long. Also, baby pictures will be best in a peaceful, stress-free environment.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this!
after your session
• Generally my turnaround time is 2 weeks + or - a day or two.
• You will receive an email from me that will direct you to your password protected webpage proofing gallery where you can view the images from your session. In that email I will explain how to make your selections and move forward from there!
• Can’t choose just a few? There’s an option to purchase more digitals.
• PRINT YOUR PICTURES. I can’t tell you how many times I ask previous clients if they’ve printed their pictures and even a year later most of the time they sheepishly say, no, they haven’t. I am happy to take care of this for you. I have a ton of professional print products to offer and will send you a product price list with the link to view your gallery. If you do plan to print them on your own...please do not take them to a big box store. Have them printed professionally in Greenville at J&D photo or online at mpix.com.
the Dear Lissie studio location
My studio is in my home. The address is 328 Henderson Road, Greenville, SC 29607. Upon arrival, please park in the circular driveway and text me, (number below) and I will come walk you in to the studio! I can’t wait to have you over!
Please don’t hesitate to call me at (864) 979-5278 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jen at email@example.com if you have any questions at all!