Frequently Asked Questions, Answered
You are not alone if you have a million questions about what happens
at a newborn or new baby portrait session.
Here are some of the questions that have been asked before
and if yours are not here then please drop me an email.
When To Book?
Because newborn sessions take place so early on in your baby’s life, I recommend booking them well before your baby arrives – not only because you risk not being able to secure a spot in your chosen photographer’s diary if you don’t, but also because once your baby arrives two weeks will fly by before you realise it and you’ll have missed the opportunity to have sleepy posed images like this one below…
I advise expectant parents to book their shoot just after their 20 week scan. This allows plenty of time to secure a spot in your chosen photographer’s diary, and to think about any preparations you want to make before your baby arrives.
If you’re looking for a session once your baby is over 16 days old you have more flexibility in terms of the timing as these sessions can be done at any age, however, if you’re wanting to capture your newborn as new as can be then I would recommend booking early to secure a session at an age you’d prefer. If you’re wondering how you can book before knowing the date your baby will arrive then please read on…
How do we book a session when we don’t know exactly when our baby will arrive?
You can book your session with me anytime after your 20-week scan. I only take 6 newborn bookings in a month so that no matter when all the babies I have booked are born I know that I can fit each and every one of them into my schedule.
My Baby Has Already Been Born. Have I Left It Too Late To Book?
If your baby has already arrived but you haven’t booked your session then I recommend getting in touch as soon as you can to see whether I have availability. If one of my client’s babies has arrived early or late it’s possible that I may have space for an extra session. I also offer beautiful sessions for babies a little older once they’re sitting.
Where will the session take place?
Studio sessions take place at my home studio in Epsom, KT19.
My full address will be sent once your booking is confirmed.
My home studio is set up so that you can come and relax and enjoy the session in a comfortable environment.
There’s a sofa, tea, coffee, water & cake but you’re also welcome to bring any refreshments of your own if you’d prefer.
What will happen if my baby is unsettled?
Most very new babies sleep a lot especially those under 10 days old. However, if you have an older baby who is not sleepy on the day or a baby who wants to cluster feed or even a baby who only wants to be held, do not worry. There are options and I will always give you the option to reschedule or we can shift the style of the session to a more lifestyle approach with mum and dad holding the baby for many of the photographs.
Do we have to come to your studio so soon after the birth?
If you would like the posed portraits of your little and portraits using props then the session does need to take place in my home studio. My home studio is relaxed with a sofa so you can put your feet up and relax during the session.
Does my baby have to be naked?
Your baby does not have to be naked. Some people love to have portraits of their little one just as they are and as naked as the day they come but others prefer if their baby is wrapped or dressed in a beautiful newborn romper. This decision is completely up to you and all you have to do is let me know before the session so that I can prepare your session just the way you want it.
Please know that if your baby is naked for any of their portraits their modesty will be protected and the most you will see is a chubby little bottom.
I don’t want my baby to be placed in certain poses. Do I have a say on the day?
This is completely understandable. I don’t actually offer to do some of the poses which many people worry about being unsafe (such as the “froggy pose”) because I think it is unnecessary to place any baby in a situation which is even remotely risky or unsafe. It is entirely possible to create beautiful images for your gallery with baby completely safe and comfortable.
Most of my poses are of your baby laid on a very comfortable beanbag with layers upon layers of blankets to make them extra cosy. Any photographs with a baby placed in a prop are done so with mum/dad’s hands still securely supporting baby, which are then removed in the editing process.
If there is anything you know you don’t want before the session please let me know and if there is anything on the day you’d prefer to skip then please please just say. The session is tailored entirely around you and I want you to be happy both during the session as well as with the images produced afterwards.
What if my baby has jaundice, red patches or temporary skin blemishes?
All of the above will be edited away during the professional retouching stage. If there are any blotches or skin marks/scars/discolouring that you want to still see in the photographs please let me know as I will automatically remove anything unless I know it’s something you wish to keep.
Do I have to be in the photographs?
If you don’t want to be then of course not. BUT I would say that one day in decades to come you or your son/daughter might really want to see a photograph from this very special time. Photographs are memories and a way for you and all your future family members to remember a time in history.
If you don’t want to show the world, you don’t have to. You can keep them locked away somewhere just for you. But I would recommend you have something to remind you and your little one that you were actually there at this magical time. It won’t matter one bit to you child how you looked but it might make them incredibly sad if they have no memory of you at all.
If you really don’t want to be in the pictures and I can’t convince you otherwise then at least consider having your hands available for the camera….
Can you make me look better in the photos?
Yes, I have many tools available to me as a professional retoucher. I can remove circles under the eyes and give skin a bit more of a glow. I can even subtly slim down a waistline. But only if you want it. Please let me know if you’d like me to help you look a little more like you pre-baby pre-sleep-deprived self, I’d be more than happy to help.
Do all sessions last 4 hours? I’ve heard some last even longer?
Hopefully not! The reason I offer up to 4 hours is in case your little one is cluster feeding or needs a lot of settling with mum. Some babies can cluster feed for periods of 45 minutes or longer so I like to make sure you are not being rushed. I won’t have anything booked in for at least 4 hours after your session is due to start for this exact reason and I never have 2 newborns booked in the same day (mainly because EVERYTHING needs to be washed after each session so there is no time to fit two sessions plus washing into a day).
With a very settled and sleepy baby, I can finish a 10 image session in just thirty minutes. The rest of the time is for you to feel relaxed and know you have as much time as you need to feed and cuddle your little one.
If a baby is not settling at all and we can see that the session is going to be difficult to tie up within the 4 hours I will offer for you to either proceed as a lifestyle session where your baby is held more or offer you another date to come back for us to try again. In some cases, I have done all the photographs which include dad while baby is unsettled and then invited mum back for the rest of the session on another day. This means if dad is about to finish paternity leave we have the photographs we need of him.
Can I bring siblings?
Normally Yes! You can bring siblings along and I would highly recommend including a sibling portrait as well as a full family portrait to be included in the session plan.
My best advice is that siblings come along either at the start or the end of the session so that they don’t have to stay for the duration if they are likely to get bored or would prefer to be elsewhere. A photography session where they are not the focus can seem like a very mundane and frustrating way for a sibling to spend their afternoon.
Due to the Coronavirus risk assessment that I had to complete to reopen I am currently unable to invite siblings into the studio as there is not enough space for me to maintain 2m distance from a little one who is on the move.
Will you put our pictures on the internet?
I don’t put all of my sessions on the internet and you will be asked on my client questionnaire whether this is something you would be happy with prior to the session. If you do not want the images online I will not put them there.
If you just don’t want pictures of yourself or any naked baby pictures online then please feel free to say.
Please also know that I never mention a babies name (other than my own) when I post images either to my website or on social media and I never tag a parent in an image for the same reason. To the general public, the images are just another baby. No-one knows their name or who their family are to protect their privacy. By all means, tag yourself or tag me if you upload any to your own account but I like to ensure you of the privacy of your nearest dearest from my side.
I hope these Questions & Answers help you a little when making your decision about your newborn photographer. If you have any other questions, please drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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