Preparing for your session:
- Date- Once you have decided to schedule your session with me, we will set a tentative session date based on your due date. I completely understand that babies rarely come when they are predicted and we will absolutely accommodate their own plans. Your due will give us something to start with though. As soon as your infant is born, please get in touch with me as soon as possible. I prefer to photograph babies in their first two weeks of life. They sleep better, don’t have reflux or colic, and usually haven’t developed baby acne or cradle cap.
- Expectations- When we schedule your session we will discuss what you are looking for from your session. Have you had a moment to view some of my newborn images on my website? If so, are you familiar with the style of photography I provide (i.e. baby in no clothing) and comfortable with it? Are there specific poses you are looking for? For example, if your husband is a firefighter, would you like your infant photographed in his helmet? Will Dad be there? Do you have some props from my website that you would like to use? Do you have props of your own to incorporate?
- Location- I have a portrait studio at my home that I invite all my clients to. I will have all necessary equipment (i.e. blankets, bowls, baskets, headbands, and/or hats) all setup when you arrive for your session. I offer my home for all my newborn sessions because it allows me to fully prepared for your session before hand. This saves us both the setup time at a different location and allows me access to all my equipment should we need to have a quick prop exchange. I do ask that you not feed your baby before you come over. He or she will have already started their sleep cycle while in the car seat and will be woken when transferred to the appropriate prop. We will have plenty of time for you to feed him or her at my home when you arrive. Feel free to bring along bottles or I will gladly provide a room for you to nurse your baby in as well.
- Soothing- It is always nice to have a pacifier on hand. This will help me to sooth your baby in between poses. If you have chosen not to use a pacifier with your baby or they don’t seem to care for them, please be prepared to help me by having your finger ready for your baby to suck on. I will also have white noise and a space heater on hand to help make your baby feel more comfortable. I do turn on the heater in my home and/or turn off my air conditioning one hour prior to your arrival. I also have a heating pad set on low under the blanketed bean bag setups as well. This way when your baby is unclothed they won’t be chilled and get upset.
- Outfits- I photograph all my babies in their birthday suits. Newborn babies just don’t fill out clothes properly. They are so much sweeter without being hidden in all that extra fabric. I would be happy to schedule another session down the road to photograph your baby in any special outfits. I strongly encourage you to bring along any special accessories like headbands/bows, hats, bow ties, etc. You may not care for what I provide and I might fall in love with something you have! So not only will your additions give us more to choose from but they will be unique to your baby’s photos.
- Lastly, if you think of anything before our session, please please feel free to contact me. I promise there has never been, nor will there ever be, a stupid question.
During your session:
- Feeding- Please make sure you wait to feed baby at my home. I will provide you a space of privacy for your feeding pleasure. Once your baby is happy and sleepy I can come join you.
- Diaper and Clothing- Please make sure that your baby does not have any clothing on or has on a loose zip sleeping pajama set. Having your baby in their diaper only will eliminate the need to undress them, thus waking and/or upsetting them. If a zip sleeping set is needed for warmth, this will be easier to take off than a onesie, once again reducing the risk of waking or upsetting them. Please have diaper loosely applied as well. This will decrease the need to photoshop out skin wrinkles made by the diaper edges.
- Posing- I will begin by photographing your baby on my bean bag. I have a variety of blankets that I use for this time frame and they will be interchanged at times. By using the bean bag, I am looking for some great body shots and capturing your baby’s bits and pieces like his or her hands and feet. I ensure that your baby is always nice and cozy by placing a heating pad on low setting underneath the blanket that is being used at the time. I also place a puppy pee pad on top of the heating pad to catch any accidents. After the bean bag poses are achieved, I move on to photographing your newborn in the props that you have chosen or provided.
- Model Release- Before you leave your session or I leave your home, I will ask you to sign a model release. This allows me to use your images to promote my business without compensation.
After your session:
- Culling, Editing, and Viewing- I go through the images from your session and select only the best. I am looking for the cream of the crop and usually narrow it down to 25-30 images. Once I have the best images selected I go through and edit each individual picture. As soon as I’ve finished the editing process (usually within two to three weeks), I will post a sneak peak of one of my favorite images on the Shelby Tavern Photography Facebook fan page. If you have “liked” my page then I will be able to tag you into the image as well. This will enable you to view the image and showcase it to your closest friends as well. Within a few days of your sneak peak, I will post a few of my favorite images on my website. At roughly the same time as the post on my website, I will also upload all your images into a password protected gallery. When the upload is complete, I will contact you to give you the password. In the gallery you will be able to purchase all prints and products that you would like. Due to the high number of galleries I need to be showcased, I can only allow each gallery to available for 5 days. So please try to make all purchases within the 5 day timeframe. If for any reason you need to relist your gallery, a $35 relisting fee will need to be collected.
- Disk- I also offer the opportunity to the purchase the disk of all of your images. This disk is an additional charge on top of the session fee much like a print or canvas order. I will provide the usage license so that you can print your images at the lab of your choice without any hassle. I would recommend you have this with your when you order the images and/or when you go for pick up. The license does not give you full copyrights to your images. It simply allows for printing and using of your images in products you might want to purchase.
- Printing- When printing from your disk there are a few things you will need to keep in mind. First, your pictures will be sized for a 4×6 only. This is the native ratio I have my camera capture images. If you are printing in any other size than 4×6, you will need to re-size your image. For example, if you want a 8×10 you will need to crop it to be such. If you do it, then you are controlling what will be in the final product. If you allow your lab to crop the image then they might cut off the baby’s head. Not a good look for anyone, especially a sweet baby. So control it yourself. You can use Microsoft Picture for resizing. Secondly, I have edited and processed your pictures and I truly believe they are perfect the way they are. If you forget to tell your lab to not “auto-correct” (it’s usually something as simple as a box to click), then they will add saturation and contract to your images. They will not resemble the images I have provided to you on your disk. Thirdly, be carefully which lab you choose. Walmart and Walgreens are horrible, Sam’s and Costco are tolerable, but a professional lab will give you the professional quality. Try Mpix online for all prints. Keep in mind you get what you pay for! I can not be held responsible for any prints or products made from a lab other than my own.
Now sit back and enjoy your photos!