When is the best time to inquire about a newborn session?
The best time to contact me about a newborn session is before you have your baby! I take 2 newborn due dates per week, and I am often booked weeks to months in advance. For this reason I strongly encourage you to contact me prior to your 3rd trimester. However, babies hardly ever pay attention to their due dates 😉 That means that I sometimes end up with open spots and am always willing to try to squeeze someone in. If you have already had your newborn, don’t hesitate to contact me to find out if that is possible.
What happens if I deliver my baby earlier or later than expected?
It is ok! Babies almost never arrive on their due dates, which is part of the reason I only take 2 due dates per week. This ensures that no matter when each baby on my calendar is born, there is always room on my schedule!
How long does a newborn session take?
The average newborn session takes around 2.5-3 hours, and most are generally between 2 and up to 3 hours. On the rare occasion, a session can go up to 4 hours with a very awake or unsettled/fussy baby. The length of time depends completely on how deeply your baby sleeps for the session, and how often he/she needs to be fed.
When and where do newborn sessions take place?
Newborn sessions typically take place 6-14 days after birth, and are scheduled on weekday mornings. All newborn sessions take place in my Gettysburg studio.
Should I bring anything to a newborn session?
I provide everything that is needed for the session and have a variety of carefully selected, high quality, handcrafted newborn props. If there is something special that you would like to use, please feel free to bring it, but please try to limit to 1-2 special items. If purchasing anything from etsy, be aware of sizing. Many sellers list 0-3 month sizes as newborn, and those items are almost always too large. I am happy to provide a list of wonderful vendors who sell high quality, and appropriately sized handmade items.
How long before I will see my images?
Proof galleries are e-mailed within about 3 business days (M-F) of your session. These will be UNEDITED images, with a few edited examples included for reference. This means that you get to choose the images that you would like to be included in your final gallery. Your selections will then be fully edited and retouched, and available for download within about 7 business days of making your choices.
Will you take pictures of my other children with my newborn? What about parent shots?
Absolutely! The baby will be to focus of the session, but I love to take the time to take sibling shots with your newborn, as well as with you and your partner. These generally happen at the beginning of the session. After that, siblings are welcome to hang out with a parent in the lounge room where there is a couch and television. Feel free to bring toys or other activities to help them pass the time. If possible, my recommendation is to have a parent or other family member take big siblings out to eat or explore Gettysburg, as sessions often go through lunch time. I am happy to suggest a nearby restaurant! Additionally, there is a great hands on kids museum in Gettysburg called Explore and More. Their hours can be found here.
Is there anything that I can do to help prepare my baby for our session?
A baby with a full belly, and who is ready to sleep is an ideal combination. It’s a good idea to try to keep your baby awake and stimulated for an hour or so before you leave to come to your session. I know that is not always easy, but keeping your baby in just a diaper while indoors, taking them for a walk outdoors in weather appropriate clothing, and giving them a bath or sponge bath prior to leaving are all ways to at least try. Please do not apply lotion, baby oil, or diaper rash cream to baby prior to your session. Flaky skin will be retouched, so that is nothing to worry about! If you are concerned about the amount of peeling skin that your baby has, send me a picture and I’ll let you know if it’s of any concern in regards to editing. If you have a pacifier, please bring one even if your baby has not taken to it yet. I also have pre-sterilized, individually packaged pacifiers in the studio. They can be very helpful for settling your baby into poses and calming them if they are not sleeping soundly or have a strong sucking reflex, but please let me know if you are against using one. If you are bottle feeding, make sure to bring plenty of extra formula or expressed milk. Nothing stinks more than having to finish a session early because the baby is hungry and we are out of food, believe me! Lastly, if you are nursing, PLEASE avoid caffeine for 72 hours prior to your session. Though some babies may not react much to a small amount of caffeine in your diet, others tend to be rather jumpy and wake easier while being posed.
What to expect at my newborn session
Come prepared to get comfortable, and relax! Newborn sessions are scheduled on weekday mornings, and you can expect a session to last around 2.5 to 3 hours, and occasionally up to 4 if the extra time is needed due to feeding and/or an unsettled baby. Great care is taken to ensure that your new bundle is cozy, warm, and content. This means that there will be white noise playing, and that the studio temperature will be turned up between 80 and 85 degrees. Newborns are not able to maintain their body temperature as well as we can, especially while naked, so the higher temperature is necessary to keep them comfortable. Just think about how upset your baby probably becomes during diaper and clothing changes in a normal 68 degree room!
A calm, relaxed atmosphere is essential! You are welcome to sit and watch me photograph your baby, bring a book or some other entertainment, or even take a nap if you wish! There is seating in both the shooting area, and an attached (cooler) room with a television, coffee, snacks, and bottled water. Most babies will sleep through the majority of their session, though there is the occasional one who doesn’t want to miss a thing! Through photographing hundreds of newborns, I have learned a few tricks that have earned me the name of “The Baby Whisperer” from many, many clients 😉 The real key to a newborn session is patience, both on my part and yours! I want you to relax, and know that your newborn is in the hands of an experienced newborn photographer, and that their safety and comfort is of utmost importance!
Feel free to take a look at my newborn portfolio!