I think a lot of times parents are so focused on the set up their baby is in that they forget about the detail shots. Parents love to see pictures of their baby, showing everything from the top of their heads to their itty bitty toes but I love the details!
Details show just how squishy your babies cheeks were, even before they've plumped up into a babbling 6 month old. The details show how tiny their little toes are or just how long their fingers were. Details help us remember just how little our babies once were!
When parents are going through their pictures, I always try and make sure they've chosen some of the detailed images to include in their selections.
You should always have back up equipment! I totally learnt my lesson the hard way during this session. I have a back up camera, and lenses but I don't have a back up light!
During this little girls session I noticed that my light kept mis-firing. One minute my light would flash and the next it wouldn't. It wasn't consistent enough that i was concerned, but it was more annoying than anything.
We're at the end of the session. I've gone through 5 or 6 set ups at this point and then .... nothing! My flash stopped firing! I knew I had enough set ups for her gallery, but I really wanted this last shot.
Most people would have panicked and called it a day. But not me! I've been trained to use both studio (artificial) light and natural light so it didn't even phase me! I spun the posing bag around, yanked up my window blinds and happily finished her session.
I think it's important that when you're choosing your newborn photographer that you really ask them about their experience. What sort of training does the photographer have and how long have they been specializing in whatever area of photography you're looking into schedule a session for.
And now - a before & after of one of the pictures from the "oh my! my light just died" session.
I'm in love with this Album!
I know the trends right now are grey's and "farmhouse" decor and I feel like this album is perfect for that style! I love how soft the leather is and the way it lay flats is perfect for those large, full page, pictures of your precious baby!
The pages are amazing and thick! The album itself lays flat when you're showing off your pictures and it's heavy! I love how heavy this album feels in my hands.
I think every family needs to have an album of their newborn session!
I thought it would be helpful to write about how to prep for your newborn photography session!
I wish it were as simple as new moms getting a full 8-10 hours of sleep the night before, waking up just before your scheduled session start time and relaxing for 4 hours while your little baby is enjoying their first photoshoot!
But... it's not. There's actually some prep work that new parents should follow before their session that will help us newborn photographers get the most out of your session. Wouldn't you love if your photographer was able to get through 5-7 set ups in under 2 hours? It doesn't always happen that way, but by following these easy guidelines, it can happen!
The first thing that I like my new parents to do before their session is feed the baby as much as you can in the 12 hours prior to their session. Feeding them gets them nice and prepares them to sleep as deeply and as long as possible. We love sleepy babies!
I also like for my parents to try and keep their baby awake for 2 hours leading up to their scheduled start time. Again, we love sleepy babies! This can sometimes be the most difficult step for my new parents to follow. I get it - you guys are totally sleep deprived and the thought of a quick 20 min cat nap before your session sounds wonderful, but we really love sleepy babies! Try giving the baby a bath, but don't wrap them up all cozy like after their soak - instead, have Dad or maybe big brother or sister play with them to keep them stimulated.
Just before you head out the door to your session, give baby another good feeding! Feed your sweet baby until they literally won't eat anymore. This gets them nice and full for their session and if they happen to dirty their diaper, they've done it before the session starts and it's easier to get them cleaned up and ready to go while they're off in la-la land!
And finally - this may be the easiest prep tip to follow - dress your baby in something that is easy to take them out of. Avoid anything that needs to be pulled over their heads as this can wake the baby. Put their diaper on loosely for the car ride - we like to avoid diaper lines while we're shooting!
So as you can see, there's not a whole lot to do before your session, but by following these simple and easy tips can mean the difference between a totally awake (and often times cranky) baby and one who will sleep the entire session!
Over the last couple weeks I've gotten a lot of emails wanting to book newborn sessions. Sounds great, right?
The problem is that the babies are either due within a week or two of the email or, have already arrived.
You may be wondering "How is that a problem? That sounds about when I would book a session."
I only take a certain number of sessions each month so when someone emails me, and their baby is due within a week, chances are that I don't have any available time on my calendar. And if someone has scheduled a maternity session, then they will have booked with me as far back as 6 months ago to ensure I have availability for both a maternity AND newborn session.
There are times when I may have a baby arrive early, or late, which can free up space on my calendar so I'm able to accomodate last minute bookings but I really like to make sure all my clients are ready and prepared for their session well in advance!
So what does that mean? Why do you need to schedule your newborn session so far in advance?
Each newborn session is unique. I like to talk to the parents, find out which poses, colors or props are their "must haves" and I prepare for those images. Sometimes they may request a prop or color scheme that I don't have and I'll purchase those items just for their session, which needs to be done weeks in advance. If you try and book a newborn session with only a week or so before the baby arrives I'm not able to customize your newborn session!
So yes, you really do need to book your newborn session at least 2 months ahead of your babies arrival!
Trust me, it's one less thing you need to worry about in the weeks leading up to their arrival.
When this little guys mom contacted me a few months ago I was super excited about his session. She had 1 special request and it was if we could include big brother Cooper. Of course, I said!
Guess who Cooper is? He's the sweetest, and gentlest Black Lab and he was definitely the "big" brother!
Oh and guess what else I found out at the session? Dad is a Dallas Police Officer! They had brought the cutest little "badge" rattle and we were able to also include Dads uniform shirt into a couple shots. And I love everything about this session!
I love albums! They bring back so many memories of when I was a little kid. I remember going to my Grandmas house, digging through her closet, and sitting on the bed looking at all the family albums! I remember reading the names of the people written on the back side of the pictures and trying to imagine what they were doing and saying just before the picture was taken.
Albums are truly something we pass down from generation to generation. My kids love looking at the albums I've created for them. Each year we make a new one, sharing memories of the things we did throughout the year. The zoo, Easter, jumping through the sprinkler in the backyard. We also look through my albums when I was a kid. Those funny pictures our moms always took of us sitting in the tub, shampoo on our heads and goofy grins!
I absolutely love the albums my clients go home with. It's a great way for them to look back on their session and really gather family around for some great bonding time!
If you're wondering "do I really need an album?" The answer is simple - YES!
She's here! Little Vanessa has made her debut and she's just perfect. This momma may see familiar to you - we photographed her maternity session last month and it was hard finding the perfect location in the middle of winter - and everything being brown and dead still. But we managed and it was amazing.
Anyways - little Vanessa decided to come a week or so early and I don't blame her. She was running out of room in her Mommy's tummy! She entered this world weighing a little over 8lbs and she was alllll squishiness and I loved being able to hold her and snuggle in between set ups. Here are a few of my favorites!
When I first got the inquiry for twins I was super excited - I love photographing Twins! Then when I found out they were twin girls, I was even more excited! I can't help but love little girl sessions, but when you get to double all the pinks and purples? Bring it on!
Isla + Jade came into this world a month early. They were eager little girls who couldn't wait to meet their Mom and Dad! When they came into the studio they were still itty bitty at about 5lbs each and a month old. And they were perfect!
I wish I had sound vision (is that a thing)? These girls talked to each other, the whole 4 hours! I'm not exaggerating. They loved being next to each other and they would make the cutest noises!
Do you print your pictures?
No - really - did you print the pictures from your first kiddo's newborn session? Where are they? Are they stuck on a disk "somewhere" in the house?
I'll be honest with you here. Real honest. I don't have any of my kiddos newborn pictures printed. Yes - I'm a photographer and even I don't have those pictures printed. There's no pretty album sitting on my coffee table of that one time in their lives where I thought I was losing my mind but now I wish I could look back and really take in just how small and tiny they were.
I wish I had chosen a photographer who offered prints and albums.
I wish I had these beautiful portraits hanging on my walls.
I wish I had those pictures of their tiny little feet reminding me, every time I walk by, just how little they were.
Think about when you were growing up. Did your parents have albums for you to look through? Were there pictures on the walls? Granted, if you answered yes to either of those questions, I'm willing to bet they were from a corny department store setup. But what matters is that there were pictures - on the walls. When you look through an album, do you remember the moment those pictures were taken? How do they make you feel?
Portraits are more than "just pictures". They're memories. They bring us back in time. They make us smile. They make us happy. They remind us how little our babies were.
I want to offer you prints. I want to offer you memories. I want to bring you back in time and I want you to smile.
I'm not here to just push a button on my camera. I'm here to create memories for your family and to have some proof that those memories happened. That's why I think it's so important for my clients to have actual products with their sessions. I want you to have a beautiful album sitting on your coffee table that you can pick up at random and relive those moments. I want your little kids to point at a canvas on your wall and ask if that's them and for you to smile as you tell them the story of their newborn session! Remember how they slept the entire 4 hours? Or maybe they were wide-eyed the whole time.
You're not choosing me just to take pictures, you're choosing me to create those memories for you. You're choosing me to help you pick which pictures you want to display in your home or how many albums you need for your family.
And I can't wait to capture those memories.