NEWBORN SESSIONS PREPARATION
When is the best time to have my newborn photographed?
Newborn sessions are best done as soon as possible! I book mums in around 7 to 14 days after their due date, we will set a tentative date based on your due date. I understand that babies rarely come when predicted and I will accommodate their personal plans for arrival. A rough due date will give us a baseline to work with.
Once your little bundle of joy is born, please get in touch with me and we will firm up our date and time.
Babies are best photographed in the first 10 days for newborn sessions. They sleep better, don’t have colic yet (in some cases), and usually haven’t started developing baby acne or cradle cap.
If you are a c-section mum, we can work something out. I know that recovery can be slow and painful.
Some of my clients even send baby to the Studio with Dad and enough food for a few hours for newborn sessions!
What can I expect from my photo session?
When we schedule your session, we will have a conversation about what you are looking for via email or over the phone. Do you only want pictures of the baby? Are you more interested in your new bundle being photographed with family than in some of my props? Are there specific poses you are looking for? Or perhaps you have hobbies or professions that you would like to incorporate into the session, for example, if one of you is a fireman, do you want your infant to be photographed with props that you will bring from home like your uniform or helmet? Are you bringing siblings? Will Dad be there? Do you want some skin on skin shots? All of these questions will help me build a session that is the perfect fit for you.
I am perfectly comfortable with your children in my home. I have a safe play area for them to stay busy when they are not holding their new sibling. All I ask is that they are supervised at all times. You know your children best.
What if my baby doesn’t sleep?
Babies usually sleep well with a full belly during newborn sessions, so keep feeding times in mind so it works well with your scheduled session time. I will give you space and time to feed your baby and sooth him to sleep once you arrive. The reason this works best is that if you feed your baby before you come he will start his sleep cycle while in his car seat. If you live more than 10 minutes away perhaps plan feeds so baby is due one when you arrive. It might also help to give your baby a bath an hour before you leave your home.
What do I need to bring with me to newborn sessions?
Please bring a dummy! Even if you do not intend to use it after the session. This will help me to soothe your baby in between poses which can make the session a lot quicker for everyone including your little star.
If you have chosen not to use a pacifier, please be prepared to help me by having your finger ready for your baby to suck on. So make sure your hands are super clean! This is a very important part of his/her session and helps newborn sessions run smoothly and quickly!
I tend to photograph babies in their birthday suits. Newborns just don’t fill out clothing properly yet. They are so much sweeter without all that bulky fabric.
Bring enough nappies, wipes, cotton wool and anything else your baby needs like expressed milk or formula if you are not breastfeeding.
What should you wear to newborn sessions?
Wear something comfortable. Keep in mind that I rarely if ever show anything below the waist in a portrait. So you can wear shorts, jeans, or whatever else you choose. Bring something to change into after I am done photographing you with your baby that is nice and cool. I keep my studio very warm at around 75 degrees to keep them comfortable, it is all about them! So think about keeping cool and comfy when you are choosing clothing.
I strongly encourage you to bring any special hats, hair-bands, bracelets etc… You may not like what I have and I may fall in love with what you bring. Not only will your additions give us more to choose from they are also special meaning to you since they belong to your little one.
Avoid branded items, prints or horizontal lines, try and stick to solid neutral colours, (please, no primary colours!).
Clothes for mom – suggestions are a tank top, tube, camisole in a black or white/nude/beige colour and we love chiffon’s or lace fabrics. Jeans, pants or skirt to match. If you’re not sure what will work better bring all of it.
For Dads – a white, grey or black plain t-shirt, work dress shirt or bare skin to skin with baby looks really beautiful.
For siblings – Bring a white, grey or black t-shirt as well for their individual photos with baby.
If there are siblings at the session I usually ask you to also bring a coloured outfit each, for the full family photos.
Also please ensure that fingernails and facial hair is groomed.
Please do try and iron clothes and use a lint roller, as wrinkles and lint tend to stand out in pictures.
Make up for portrait sessions, if you are not confident with your make up. I am happy to provide this for you, you can bring your own with you if you prefer. Please allow for extra time.
If you have scheduled your session early morning please take traffic into consideration. Poor timing can be the death of us all.
Lastly, if you should think of anything before you come please feel free to contact me. I live and breathe by checking my email! I will respond in a very timely manner.
During Your Session:
Most newborn sessions take place within my cozy home studio located in Liphook. Here, you will have access to my selection of props, it also ensures that we have the perfect lighting and cozy setting for a sleepy and happy baby.
Once you arrive I will give you some time to undress your baby and wrap him/her in a blanket and to feed and sooth your baby. Please refer to my nursing guide if you are breastfeeding. Once he/she is happy and sleepy please let me know so I can join you.
I start my sessions by taking some portraits of your baby on a beanbag (studio sessions only). I am looking for some great body shots and capturing some of baby’s bits and pieces like hands and feet. I will pose and handle your baby with the utmost care. There is no need to worry if you are not feeling 100% yet. I will soothe, swaddle and ensure baby is kept happy.
If the baby is really wide awake and does not want to sleep, I will swaddle the baby to get some photos, and get some parent shots holding your baby over the shoulder or in your arms. A fussy baby almost always settles down when held by mum or dad. I encourage all of my parents to take part in the session. I love capturing relational type photos with moms, dads and siblings.
Your newborn session will last approximately 3 hours long. This ensures we have enough time to pose and take whatever breaks necessary such as feedings. You are more than welcome to bring along a few snacks or entertaining items such as a book or an iPad.
Please note that NO cameras, videos or mobile cameras are allowed to be used during the session.
After Your Session:
Now you can go home and relax and dream about all the beautiful images that will soon be on your walls.
Images of your session will be culled down and fully retouched, a full gallery for a newborn session is around 25-28 images.
Once I have the “final cut” selected I go through each individual picture. I look to correct any blemishes. Tiny details like baby acne or hairs on shirts, backdrop corrections and once corrected it can make all the difference in an image! You will have the option of adding the B&W conversions of your purchased files for £25 as all my work is copyrighted and may not be changed in any way. Just a word on that. I process my black and white with a little warmth and selective shadowing. I feel this makes portraits look even better than traditional flat black and white.
You will be invited back to my studio to view images from your session on a large screen and place your order. You will receive an 8 x 10 Gift print to take away with you if you come in for your viewing session and also a 5% discount on Combination Package orders.
I will provide printing rights so that you can print the images at the lab of your choice without any hassle. You will need to have it with you when you place your order and / or when you pick it up. The license does not give you the copyright to my images. It simply allows for printing and using your images in products you might want to purchase.
I also ask that you credit Carmen Marcel Photography when using images on social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram, etc. If you would like to know more about copyright please follow the link below that will give you a great explanation why it is courteous to consider your photographer and all the hard work and skill that goes into editing photos and running a photography business.
Images from your session will be ready for proofing within one to two weeks following your session, we can schedule in a date at your photo session if you know what dates you are available.
All prints done through a local printing service and high quality, do keep in mind that you get what you pay for and Carmen Marcel Photography do not guarantee top quality unless purchased through me.