Your newborn session is a very special session, your baby will never be this small again. I take great pride in providing you with beautiful images to remember this precious time by. There are a few things that we can do to try to make this go as smoothly as we possibly can.
WHEN TO SCHEDULE YOUR SESSION
Sessions are usually booked at the beginning of your third trimester. I am only able to guarantee so many newborn spots per month so it is best to book early. I try to accommodate last minute requests if at all possible, but to avoid disappointment be sure to book early.
Your newborn session is ideally scheduled between the first 4 and 14 days of your baby's life. This is the best time that we are able to get babies into curly poses, they are sleepiest during this time and they stay sleeping longer while being moved. Please inform me within two days of your babies arrival so we can schedule our session.
That being said there are exceptions to every rule, health complications may arise, or you may not have even thought about having photos done until later on. That's okay! We will still try our best.
WHAT CAN I DO BEFORE TO ENSURE A SMOOTH SESSION
1. If nursing, try to avoid foods that may give the baby gas (dairy, whey, wheat, eggs, fish) as well as caffeine for 24 hours before the session.
2. Interact with your baby and try to keep them awake for one hour before the session. The sleepier the baby the better, the new environment at the studio can cause even a baby who "sleeps all the time" to be wide awake for hours. Ideas to help with this are a bath (being sure not to get the stump wet, please no lotions or oil after, it can make skin shiny in photos) and some naked time... may as well get them used to it. This is the most crucial step to success and must be followed.
3. Give your baby a nice full feeding before you leave for your session, a full baby is a sleepy baby, and we want the sleepiest baby we can get. Babies work up quite the appetite being posed in the warm studio so ensure that you have enough milk for an extra two to three feedings. If you are breast feeding and also pumping and using bottles, a bottle is preferred. The reason I ask for baby to be fed before you leave and not on arrival is that I want the baby to fall asleep in the car and then I can carefully take baby out of the car seat and move right into the session without waking them up and having to put them back to sleep.
4. Please put baby in the car seat with just a diaper on (seasonally of course), use a burp cloth between baby and the straps for comfort. This is so we can move directly move into the session on arrival and not upset baby by undressing it. If baby is wearing something , dress baby in a loose fitting zippered sleeper, the easier we can undress the baby without waking it the better. No need for cute outfits. Please nothing that goes over the head, this usually wakes baby up and then we have to spend time putting baby back to sleep. Your baby will be photographed in outfits that I provide, wrapped, or naked, so there is no need for clothing.
5. Please bring a pacifier, even if you aren't currently using one, they can come in very handy. Preferably one that isn't attached to a StuffIt so I can easily use it while posing baby.
6. The studio is kept quite warm for your babies comfort. You may be most comfortable wearing layers. I dress comfortably and for the heat for sessions.
7. Sessions can last anywhere between 2-3 hours long, typically they are 3 hours long. I am a perfectionist and it takes time to get a baby sleeping soundly enough to be posed. I can take some awake shots, but my preference is to spend the necessary time getting the baby to sleep. This is why it is so important that the baby be sleepy when it comes, and have a full belly. I recommend that you bring a drink, snack and maybe even a book to relax with! Petit newborn sessions last 1 hour maximum. Session times will not be extended due to lateness or a baby that won't sleep due to prep instructions not being followed.
I supply all the baby headbands, hats, outfits and props needed for your session. Should you have something special that you would like to incorporate into your session, please let me know before hand so I can plan accordingly. I generally have a selection of set ups prepared before hand so we aren't spending too much time on the styling of the session during the actual session. So if you have any special colour requests or prop requests (that you have seen in my portfolio) then let me know ahead of time please. Please note that I will not put babies in dangerous props such as helmets or fire fighting equipment.
Not all poses can be done with all babies, some babies just don't like certain positions, I can not guarantee any particular pose that you may have seen. Please keep your pose requests to a minimum (2-3), I prefer to let baby decide how the session will go.
Parent/Sibling Shots - I strongly encourage you to do these shots. Parents be prepared with an extra set of clothes, often times parents get peed on or worse during this portion of the session. Siblings are welcome to come for the beginning of the session but are asked to leave the studio after their portion of the session is over so we have a quiet environment to work with baby in. Please pay attention to wardrobe for yourself and your other children, solid colour neutrals are best and the most classic looking. Finger nails will likely be shown in images, a fresh coat of neutral coloured paint or nicely manicured plain nails photograph best.
Please note that my studios are both one room in home studios. I do not have a television for entertainment or a separate play area for children, this is why siblings are asked to leave after their portion of the session is over. I have seating for a maximum of three people. The room is kept quite hot for comfort of the newborn though I do not point heaters in the parents direction to try to keep you as cool as possible. Sessions are usually scheduled over the lunch hour so it is recommended that you bring something to eat and drink while you are waiting. Both studios are in basements so there is one flight of stairs downstairs. For allergy purposes, I do have a hypoallergenic dog that stay upstairs in the bedroom during sessions, also the studio is filled with props made from wool, wool allergies are rare, but it is worth mentioning ahead of time.
HOME STUDIO LOCATIONS
Kitchener: 11 Wolfdale Street - Parking is street parking.
Exeter: 116 Riverside Drive in Exeter, please park behind the vehicle in the left part of the laneway.