1. Decide on a Color Scheme
Where do you plan to hang the portraits in your home? What colors are in that room? If you'd like for the portraits to blend but have a little pop of color then coordinate the colors of the outfits to match. For example, if the room is painted red and black, and you plan to wear orange and brown, it won't work very well. If this doesn't really make a difference then pick which ever color scheme you would like.
2. Coordinating Colors not Matching
Long gone are the days of everyone wearing a white shirt and matching. Instead, pick a couple of colors and choose clothes that will fit this color scheme.
3. Don’t Forget Accessories
Accessories not only add to your outfit but they can be fun to use in photos. For example, have the man wear a tie for the woman to hold; Necklaces for the kids to play with or hats to hide behind.
4. Limit Patterns
I enjoy having an outfit in the mix that has all the colors in it. However, not everyone in the photo should wear patterns as it may distract the final image.
5. Look for Clothing Collections
When shopping for clothes, head to the store that typically has color coordinating collections. Purchase all of the children’s clothing from that store that way you know the outfits will coordinate.
6. Plan Ahead
Once you book your session, start thinking of the clothes right away. You may think that certain clothes may fit your kids or that one dress is clean. If you wait until the day of or the day before, you may run into an issue of clothes not fitting properly, being dirty or needing to be dry cleaned.
7. Say NO to Characters
Yes, your little one may love their Toy Story shirt but you may want to skip it for your family photo session. Just like patterns, characters on shirts are distracting.
8. Avoid All White or All Black Clothing
If you are wearing an all white shirt, it is very easy to blow out parts of your shirt causing it to lose detail. Same can be said with all black, it’s easy to have clipping on black shirts and detail is lost.
9. Textures Are Your Friend
Cotton fitted shirts are nice. However, in photographs you want to add textures like scarves or belts to add a little more to the image. Don’t shy away from different textures.
10. Think Classic
These photos will be hanging on your wall and treasured for years to come. By choosing simple, classic clothes you will help give your images a timeless feel.
The newborn session will take place in your home. If the weather is warm enough and you're comfortable with the idea, we can take the session outdoors.
Worried because your house is a mess? Don't even stress out! You just had a BABY! If you didn't have dishes piled in the sink, dirty clothes and baby items strewn all about, I'd think you were weird. Clutter is definitely expected! I don't really need much space and can shoot around any problem areas. I'll also probably be moving furniture around if I need to make room, but don't worry - I'll put it all back when I'm done!
I start my session by taking some portraits of your baby on my beanbag. I am looking for some great body shots and capturing some of baby's bits and pieces like their hands and feet. After that, I will move on to some relationship poses. The relationship poses will be a few quick shots with Mom, Dad and/or Siblings only. Once I have these more important poses under my belt, I will move on to photographing your newborn in the props.
Below, you will find instructions to follow to ensure a successful session:
•TURN UP THE HEAT!
I recommend that you keep your home a bit warmer than normal during the session-approximately 80 degrees. Newborns are used to being all bundled up, warm and cozy and the session will be done in their birthday suit. Newborn babies just don't fill out clothes properly. They are so much sweeter without being hidden in all that extra fabric. I will also have a heating pad under the the blankets and a space heater to help keep baby warm and cozy.
I ask that you open all of the blinds and curtains in your home prior to my arrival. This enables me to find the best source of natural light in your home, so that I can setup my "mini studio" in the best possible location. Nothing flatters like natural light, so I prefer to use it whenever possible. For this reason, sessions are normally done mid-morning to late afternoon when window lighting is at it's best.
When I arrive, I'll walk through your home looking for the best light and that is where I'll do a majority of the shoot. Sometimes the best location ends up being a foyer, by the backdoor or kitchen...usually wherever there is a large window.
•EAT, SLEEP & LOOSEN UP
Start nursing baby 15 minutes before my arrival, without any clothes, just a loose diaper and wrapped in blankets. Loosening the diaper 15 minutes before hand ensures that those little imprint marks disappear. If they keep falling asleep while nursing then remove some of the layers of blanket so as to keep them awake and feeding longer. Most of the images I'll be shooting work best if the baby is in a deep sleep. This is also to ensure that the baby is a happy, sleepy ("milk drunk") baby. I'll also be more than happy to take as many breaks as needed to help him/her re-fuel.
Please do whatever you can to keep the noise level to a minimum during our session. If you have other children that might create noise, try to find a sitter or family member to take them for a few hours. If you have a noisy pet, you may want to do the same. If you have children and would like them to be included in some of the photos, I recommend bringing them in at the beginning or end of a session and then having someone take them. Only those being photographed should be present to help maintain a calm environment.
•PATIENCE IS KEY
Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. It all depends on baby's mood and willingness to sleep. Unfortunately, this isn't something we can predict. I ask that everyone remain calm, should he/she not want to sleep, since your baby will pick up on any frustration in the room. I take the baby's lead; getting them to sleep before posing takes time and they may need to be fed or cuddled a few times first. And if sleep doesn't happen, that's okay! Wide-eyed newborn photos are beautiful too.
Your baby's safety comes first! I will pose and handle your baby with the utmost care! If there is ever a point where you become uncomfortable, just let me know. I take every measure to ensure that your baby is never in any danger.
I have a collection of props including bowls/baskets, blankets, basket fillers, knit hats, headbands and a wooden bed that I'll be bringing to your session. You are also, of course, welcome to use any of your own props. Look for items with texture and color to help make your images unique. Please gather any prop items such as family heirlooms, toys, hats, etc. before I arrive. We may not get a chance to use ALL of them, but we'll look through them to determine what will work best.
•MAKE THE BED
Is there anything more simple and gorgeous than a new family cuddled up in bed together? The answer is no! So I might suggest that we move the session to your bedroom at some point. If that's something that appeals to you, a few tips: 1. Make the bed, just this once, 2. A solid blanket/comforter (or something that isn't TOO busy is best), 3. I highly recommend white to light cream bedding to keep things light and airy.
•WHAT TO WEAR
I know! You just had a baby and aren't feeling your best. But I think this is a perfect time to pamper yourself a little! Do your hair, makeup and nails (or better yet, have someone come to you and do it!). Looking super relaxed and at your best will make you feel more comfortable during the session. This is an exciting time in your life and I want to capture all of that...so take care of yourself first! And feel free to tell your significant other that I'm making you if they need a little convincing!
As far as clothing? Keep it simple. Throw in a little color (no white or black) if you'd like but skip the busy patterns. I'm also a big fan of skin-on-skin portraits with you holding your baby against you. They're so simple and timeless! So if you want some portraits like this, consider a strapless top or tank as an alternative.
•FOR THE MEN
Your hands and possibly even your feet, will play a major role in this session, so it's important that you tend to them too! Even if you aren't planning on participating much in the session, you'll still be handling your baby a bit, so it's a good idea to touch up on your grooming. A little clothing advice-long or short sleeved knits are best (make sure there isn't too much bagginess in the sleeve). Undershirts also work well. I suggest you NOT wear button down shorts, and make sure your t-shirts are free of logos or too much writing. Wrinkles do show up in photos, so please make sure all clothing is ironed or steamed.
Your baby is going to be in the buff for the majority of this shoot. Please don't panic if your baby decides to use my blankets (or me) as his/er own personal potty. This is natural and I expect it! Please don't feel embarrassed or worry when this happens, because they all do it.