****NEWBORN CLIENT PREP
congratulations on your baby! thank you so much for booking your newborn session with me! thank you so much for allowing me the amazing and rewarding job of photographing your new little mini in his/her first few days of life. newborns are my passion and I consider myself truly blessed to be around these little miracles so much.
sessions are really relaxing! here is what you need to know before arriving- please read this thoroughly, it’s in your best interests, I promise!
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time: unless we specifically agree otherwise, all newborn sessions are scheduled between 10-1 pm.
there’s a good chance it won’t take this long, but i block out this chunk of time to ensure that even if your baby decides to have a cluster feeding frenzy on session day, we still have plenty of time to give you a session with lots of variety that you’ll love. newborn minis last no longer than an hour and full sessions last between 2-3 hours
the most important thing on this page: I’m going to ask you to keep your baby awake for at least two hours before your session.
i know that this doesn’t sound easy for many babies. in fact, it may sound like downright torture. however, this is the single most important thing you can do to ensure a successful session. even babies who ‘sleep all the time’ still need this extra wakeful period to sleep soundly through their session. i will be touching them constantly and moving them around, so it takes a little extra magic to make it happen, and the wakeful period IS that magic.
my tips for keeping baby awake prior to session:
- bath time! babies are exhausted by bathing, even sponge baths.
- no pacifiers!
- walking, talking, stimulation
- tummy time and other “floor exercise”
- loosen diaper before leaving the house and dress baby in a zipper or button up sleeper. i do not want to have to take off anything over the baby’s head.
- feed RIGHT before you leave – arriving with a full belly is best so we can start posing right away. if you have a long drive to my place (over 45 minutes), do not feed before leaving the house. try to keep baby awake during the drive. a cool washcloth on the cheek or other pestering works well in the car… we don’t want to use up our sleepy time up en route! no feeding in this time frame! if baby isn’t motivated to eat when you arrive here because they’ve been snacking, they likely won’t sleep soundly. please arrive 15 minutes prior to your session to feed.
a few tips for success:
- if your shoot is scheduled before you feel you’ve got a good handle on breastfeeding, some pumped milk or supplemental formula can help immensely. it’s essential that your baby be getting a full tummy.
- you’ll be asked to feed as many times as necessary to keep baby content, just like you would at home! newborn sessions contain lots of breaks for eating and cleaning up the inevitable potty messes that sometimes happen.
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stuff: my studio contains a ridiculous amount of goodies for your session. we’re talking hundreds of hats, headbands, props, etc. it’s part of what you’re paying me for! so don’t stress about bringing or buying anything for your time here. keeping in mind i don’t usually dress babies “up” aka, i’m not going to put a mermaid tail on your baby… it’s just not my thing. we will talk about colors and preferences, but i do all of the styling of the session while you relax and enjoy it!
please DO bring:
- a soothie pacifier – the kind they use at the hospital (I do have sterile ones here at my studio, but most people would rather bring their own!)
- the usual leaving-the-house with baby stuff, a receiving blanket, some extra diapers.
please dress for heat, the studio is set to 85 degrees for newborns. feel free to bring reading materials if you’d like. this will be a time for you to sit back and relax.
failure to follow preparation instructions or suggested soothing techniques may result in a smaller gallery and photographer is not at fault.
what to wear:
Mom & Dad you are a big part of the show. Photographing the connection between you and your baby is one of my all time favorite things. Just as they encourage in the hospital, skin to skin contact creates the most beautiful images.
- for moms: a neutral colored tank top is best. think beige, ivory, camel. you will only be photographed from the most flattering angles, so don’t worry about that part! If you have brightly colored nail polish on, it can be distracting so removed or very neutral is great.
- dads: if you prefer not to be shirtless I ask that you bring a tight fitting v-neck t-shirt to wear with a good, snug pair of jeans
- siblings: including older brother/sister(s) in your newborn’s portraits is the perfect way to document this fleeting time in your lives.
sister(s): I provide a wrap that will act as the perfect top, or please bring along a snug fitting tank in a neutral color. I ask that girls hair be natural (or in braids) and free of bows, headbands, etc. Just as with mom, no nail polish please.
brother(s): A snug pair of jeans and shirtless are preferred, please take a few moments to chat with your guy about this so he feels prepared for the session – though if he prefers not, a tight-fitting white t-shirt is fine.
- if your little one has toddler or preschool aged siblings, a session can feel very long to them! the space we’re working in is very warm and needs to remain pretty peaceful. i find it really helpful to have a friend,dad, mother, etc., bring siblings at the end of the session around 11:30/12:00 pm
hopefully you chose pink owl studios as the studio for your newborn session because you love our work and style. we pre-choose all sets prior to your arrival based on the questionnaire that we asked you to fill out. of course we want you to love the items we chose, however please trust the photographers eye and vision for your session!
although i’m sure you know this, to work to the bet of our abilities, we cannot allow clients to dictate the session or hover during the photo shoot. this makes for tense photographers and stressed babies. parents are not allowed to do any posing of babies unless for a composited shot and requested by your photographer as it is a safety hazard for baby and a liability issue. baby will be will photographer for a majority of the session. please sit back, relax and enjoy your couple hours of rest – we’re sure you need it!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Do you provide the cute hats, headbands, baskets and blankets? Yes! My studio is FULL of beautiful antique buckets, blankets in almost every color, handmade knits and gorgeous headbands.
What if I want to bring some props of my own? If you have something you would like to incorporate into your session, I ask that you please let me know ahead of time and please keep it limited to one or two items. I may request a cell phone shot of the prop, as safety is my number one concern. I will also offer my professional opinion about how the item will photograph.
Do I get to pick out the props we will use? Part of what you are hiring me for is my professional styling and artistic eye! If you have a color request or special request, please let me know prior to our session. I always aim to please, but I sincerely hope you have chosen me because you want me to style and shoot your session based on my artistic vision!
What if I don’t want my baby to be naked? My newborn sessions are down with your baby undressed for about half of the session. It is part of my artistic vision, privates are always kept private and there is nothing more beautiful than your baby’s newborn skin.
Can we take pictures with my baby awake? This is a question I get asked frequently. If your baby is awake and laying still and content, or wakes up while we are shooting I will certainly snap some photos with their eyes open, but OUR GOAL is for your baby to sleep soundly during the session.
What if my baby won’t stop crying? Hopefully you have read the “how to prepare” portion of this guide! Following those instructions gives us the very best chance of having a happy sleepy baby. However on the rare occasion that we are unable to complete the session, we will reschedule for a follow up session as soon as possible. * this almost never happens
Can grandmas, aunts and uncles, the dogs and my friend sue be included in the photos? If you plan to include anyone in the session, besides parents and siblings, please let me know ahead of time. Remember that your baby is the star of the show! Also I must request, that you only bring those that will be involved in the shoot, to the studio.
my studio is located at:
1800 S Mason Rd, Ste 250, Katy, TX 77450
just about any GPS or phone will get you straight here with no issues, but we are located BEHIND the strip center with Wing Stop in it.
feel free to e-mail with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org