The miracle of birth from pregnancy to delivery will always be at the top of your most amazing life experiences. From the moment you see their little heart beating on the ultrasound screen, to their first little baby kicks...every moment is uniquely designed. As a mother of two boys I can relate to your experiences, though all of us have such unique circumstances surrounding pregnancy and delivery.
As a photographer I've shot live births and newborns in their very first day of life. I've also journeyed with clients through their first year with their new baby and documented the steps along the way through my Watch Me Grow package. Babies don't keep you guys. You turn around and it's been a week, a month, a year. And you can't even believe how much they have grown. And then you look back at pictures and it's hard to even imagine that this baby is now asking about tsunamis, doing math equations and showing acts of kindness to kids around them. It's AMAZING! I stop often and get caught up in the emotions of it with my own children. Sometimes I just stare, in awe. Tears welling up in my eyes. This agape love. It's overwhelming. And I'm convinced it is the closest thing to God's love that we will ever know on this green Earth.
I take a lifestyle approach to my newborn photography because I love documenting families at this very stage in their lives. Everything in your life is going to change at some point. So right now, I want to document you in this place. This place you are at today. That means in your home, with your pets, with that blanket your mother or grandmother quilted with her heart. I recognize that this is a different style of newborn photography so I do encourage you to take a look at my New Life album before booking your session with me. I want to make sure that our style is in sync and you understand what you are going to get with this session.
Clients typically reach out to me before their baby is due to let me know a tentative date to put in the calendar so that I can anticipate the session. I book newborn sessions within the first two weeks of life. The earlier the better, so as soon as you are ready you should let me know. I carve out about 3 hours of the day to make sure we have time between feedings to get lots of sleeping shots, alert shots and family photos.
So your baby is here! What now?! It can be a shock to the system for first time parents, and quite exhausting, so I want to make this part super easy for you. I'm here for you and want to make sure this is a seamless experience for you.
How to Prepare for your Newborn Session
1. Crank up the heat in your house about 30 minutes before I arrive. This will ensure that your baby is nice and cozy so that we can get those sweet sleeping shots that everyone loves. If baby is already sleeping easy then don't worry too much with this. This is about keeping your baby comfortable. But do try your best not to let them sleep before I get there. I realize that is a difficult request so simply try your best.
2. I love alert shots and we will certainly capture those. If you could feed your baby just before I arrive so he/she will be ready for a nap. We will get the sleeping and alert shots somewhere in that 3 hour time frame.
3. Don't worry about how clean or messy your house is! Have you seen my living room? Okay, maybe not but right now there are nerf darts everywhere. Most days there are pillows and blankets all over the floor from couch forts. This is life with children and I am totally used to it. I understand that it may be a little messier than usual. I will work around it. I will need to scout your house a bit for the best place for natural light. I'm happy to take any suggestions from you but would love to move furniture around if need be. I would suggest making the bed in a room with good light flowing through windows. This will make for some sweet shots on the bed. A solid color comforter or sentimental blanket would be great for photos. I'll be bringing several. I'll also have a light kit with me should we need to use it.
4. I will have wraps and/or bows for you to choose from. Due to the natural approach to my work I prefer to use outfits or wraps that you have for your baby, in the personal style you have chosen. We will also shoot some bare naked shots if you would like. We can go through everything when I arrive and prioritize our plan. I will take pictures of your baby in several choices while I am there.
5. The reason it takes 3 hours is due to the variety of shots. Patience is key for the sleeping shots. If you feel yourself getting tired please feel free to step out of the room, and allow me to help. I consider it a great responsibility and will take good care of your baby. If he/she can smell your milk it may make him/her a little restless.
6. Try to keep the home as quiet as possible. I'll bring a white noise option.
7. I will be bringing props for you to choose from so that we can take pictures in several "scenes". If you have anything you would like for me to use please let me know. I'd love to incorporate anything that is special to you. Mostly I like to capture moments and "scenes" around your house and the nursery. If you are comfortable with us going outside for a few pictures those shots are lovely as well.
8. Do not worry if your baby poops on anything of mine. Babies poop and it's okay if it happens. I can wash it very easily and it is a known risk.
9. I love to take candids of you holding your baby while soothing and/or feeding while I am there. These are really authentic and capture the essence of life with a baby. I will only shoot what you are comfortable with so you be sure to tell me what you want.
10. Mom and Dad, I want you to feel relaxed. Mom, take some time in the morning to do your hair or paint your nails a simple, classic color. Clear works great. Take care of yourself and keep it simple for photos.
11. What to wear? Any family member in the photos should have well groomed hands and feet. There are some very sweet photos we can capture of your hands and feet next to your baby's. For Dad, a long or short sleeve cotton shirt would be best. Be sure there are no wrinkles in the clothing that you choose and that it is lint free. Feel free to take a look at my Styling Your Shoot blog for additional wardrobe tips. Skin to skin portraits are great too so if you are comfortable with that then we can shoot some of those. For that please consider a strapless top.
12. Siblings. If this is not your first child and you would like sibling pictures please let me know. We will plan to get the family and sibling photos done early on so that no one is waiting around through the entire session. If you have a parent, family member or friend that can help entertain your other children during the shoot that is also very helpful so that you aren't overwhelmed.
13. Be sure to speak up if there's anything you know you want captured in photographs. I'm flexible and want to make sure I deliver to you exactly what you are looking for in photographs. I'm more than happy to hear your thoughts and ideas so that we can best represent and document your family.
14. I love working with and holding babies and I cannot wait to meet yours!! Do not worry if I walk away with serious baby fever. It's inevitable.
Thank you for choosing me to be in the details of such special time in your life. I understand how important it is and I'm really grateful for the opportunity.