Newborn Prep Guide
I'm so excited to photograph your new baby. Newborn photography is difficult and comes with many challenges. In order to make the photoshoot go as smoothly as possible, I've put together an easy guide to help prepare you for your shoot.
If you have any questions at all about your photoshoot or any of the information in this guide, feel free to reach out to me via social media, email, or phone at 705.297.2117. I know how timid you may be going into someone else's home with your baby. I understand this may be your first outing with baby since you've left the hospital - I will do everything possible to make you feel comfortable, safe, and happy.
Before the Shoot:
Please keep baby up as long as possible before the shoot. While I know this can be difficult since newborns like to sleep, it is crucial to the shoot. The sleepier the baby, the easier the photoshoot. I try to always schedule photoshoots in the morning since babies sleep best in the morning. You may need to get up earlier than normal and wake baby up to ensure they're nice and sleepy for the shoot.
Please dress baby in either a button-down or zippered-down sleeper for the shoot. If baby is asleep upon arrival to the studio, this makes it easier for me to undress them. Please do not put baby in a onsie or an outfit. Baby will be swaddled for a large duration of the shoot.
You may bathe baby before the shoot if you choose. Sometimes this helps make baby extra sleepy. It is not necessary, however.
You can feed baby when you leave your home or before the shoot. Or you can wait until you arrive at the studio.
Please pack a pacifier for the baby - even if they haven't started taking one yet - and lots of milk and/or formula.
If you didn't feed baby prior to leaving home, we will most likely need to feed baby before we start shooting, unless they are sleepy. My studio is a safe space and you are welcome to feed baby however you feel most comfortable. My motto is fed is best. You will not be judged on your feeding methods, but rather supported.
If you are breastfeeding, please do so as you are most comfortable. If you need to undress completely, that is completely okay. If you prefer a cover-up, please feel free to bring your own, or use one of my blankets. I have a bobby pillow you can use that is cleaned between clients. Do not worry or stress if breastfeeding takes long - I understand how difficult it can be!
If you are bottle or formula feeding, please bring lots of milk and/or formula - more than you would expect to use. I can keep bottles cold in my refrigerator, and have a bottle warmer you can use to heat milk and/or formula.
If you are pumping, please feel free to bring your breast pump and pump in the studio. I was an exclusive pumper myself, so I understand the demands. Please feel free to bring a pump regardless, as the shoot can be long and you may become engorged. I do have a sterilized Avent breast pump available if you need it.
Diapers & Wipes:
I have plenty of diapers and wipes available. I have a full changing station in my private bathroom in my studio. You are welcome to use the bathroom. You may bring your own diapers and wipes if baby is sensitive to a specific brand. Generally, I use Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Pure wipes, though I do sometimes use Huggies if I have them on-hand.
I have plenty of props, wraps, bonnets, hats, and headbands. You don't need to bring anything. However, if there is something meaningful that you would like to bring for baby to be photographed with, you are welcome to do so. Please notify me ahead of time so I can plan how to use the prop(s).
Newborn shoots can be long. If baby is fussy, they can take up to four hours. You are welcome to bring snacks for yourself and eat them in the studio. I have water bottles available as well.
Workflow/Family Photos/Sibling Photos/Outfit Choices:
I have a specific workflow for newborn photoshoots to make them go as smoothly as possible. I photograph families first. Baby will be swaddled tightly, which helps make them sleepy and keeps them sleeping. Family photos include group shots, photos with parents, and photos with siblings.
For family photos, please advise which backdrop you would like to be photographed against (images below demonstrate the background options):
If you haven't conveyed your backdrop choice to me prior to your shoot, I will use a white backdrop.
For family photos, please dress in solid, plain colours. Avoid stripes, neons, or heavy-patterned clothing. Whites, blues, maroons, greens, and black photograph nicely. You will only be photographed from your chest up. You're welcome to wear comfortable pants or to change at my studio. Siblings will have full-body photographs, so please be cognizant of this. For siblings, barefoot is best.
If there are siblings, I ask that they leave after their photos are complete. My studio space is limited and sometimes we need to be extremely quiet to get specific shots. There are parks nearby for your partner to take your children to. If you have two vehicles, I advise you to come in separate vehicles so your partner can take your other children home. Newborn photography is not very exciting for the children! I am strict on this rule due to COVID-19. If you cannot take children elsewhere, please notify me in advance so I can plan accordingly.
After family and sibling photos are complete, I then take photos of just the baby. I start with baby swaddled, and then slowly undress them for a wider variety of poses. As I have many colour options, I will go over colour options with you once you arrive.
My studio is located at 130 Boundary Road in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
You can park in the driveway behind any vehicle. There's plenty of room. In the winter, please be careful of ice - I do my best to keep the driveway clear. Please watch for falling ice as we have a metal roof.
My studio is in my basement. If stairs pose an accessibility issue, please notify me as soon as possible and I will accommodate you at an alternative location.
As my studio is located in the basement, it can be a little chilly. However, I run a space heater throughout the duration of the shoot, so the temperature will increase. I always recommend dressing in layers as you will get warm. The floor can be cold so I always recommend wearing socks.
I have studied newborn photography for over four years now and have completed many workshops under some of the biggest names in the business. Newborn safety is my biggest priority. There are certain poses I refuse to do because they jeopardize baby's safety and airway. Some poses, like the Froggy Pose, I don't do often because they require an extremely cooperative and sleepy baby. I assess the situation with each baby and will make judgement calls on poses as the shoot progresses. While I do my best to do the poses you wish to see, not all are possible, and some that can be found on popular sites such as Pinterest, are not safe and could harm the baby.
Due to the on-going pandemic, I have implemented new safety measures. I screen all of my clients prior to arriving. If you have left Algoma district prior to arriving at my studio, including going to Sudbury for a circumcision, please notify me so I can do a risk assessment. If you have left the district, I may reschedule your shoot. I myself am immune-compromised and take my health and safety seriously. I work closely with Algoma Public Health to assess risks.
My studio is cleaned in-between each client. All blankets are washed with Ivory detergent in hot water to kill germs. I sanitize and spray props and high-touch areas. I use a towel on the change table that is changed and washed between each client. The change table is sanitized between each client. I also limit the amount of clients in my studio per day.
I wear a surgical mask throughout the duration of the shoot. I may change this mask throughout as I am working next to a space heater and it may get soggy. Anyone over the age of five must be masked. You can remove your mask for your time in front of the camera, but I ask you to please put your masks back on after. I have surgical masks available for clients also.
When available, I will be getting the COVID-19 vaccine.