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. You may need to get up earlier than normal and wake baby up to ensure they're nice and sleepy for the shoot. However, once you're in the car, it's okay if baby sleeps. It's a long drive to my studio, and I understand, baby might have a little snooze.
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. I have a refrigerator in my studio to keep any bottles cold if necessary.
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 studio 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.
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 a full coffee bar and tea station in my studio as well as bottles of water you are welcome to help yourself to. There are no allergies you need to be sensitive to.
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):
Buttermilk (light yellow, not yet photographed)
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.
After sibling photos, a parent or guardian is welcome to take them on an adventure outside of my studio. My studio space is limited and sometimes we need to be extremely quiet to get specific shots. You're welcome to my full yard - you can bounce on the trampoline, play in the trees, or if its summertime, go for a swim on the beach! There are also trails behind our house on the road. Siblings are welcome to stay, however, and can play around the studio or be my 'assistant' if they choose to. I do have a little craft station set up, with colouring books and toys. I also have some toddler-approved, peanut-free snacks.
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. Please let me know what colours you would like to accent baby with - you can choose up to five colours (pinks, purples, blues, whites, browns, tans, yellows, reds, oranges, greens, florals, blacks - literally every colour under the rainbow).
Babies are photographed against a faux wood backdrop. You have a choice between a white wash wood or a dark brown wood. Please advice which option you prefer.
My studio is located at 549 Riverside Drive, RR#1, Richards Landing, on St. Joseph Island. It is about 30-40 minutes from Sault. Ste. Marie.
These are the directions from Highway 17 once you have turned at the St. Joseph Island turnoff. DO NOT FOLLOW GOOGLE MAPS. Google Maps will take you the wrong way down private roads and get you lost.
Follow Highway 548 to the D Line
Turn right at the D Line (at Kent's Corners and Reese's Restaurant)
Turn right at Richards Street (turning toward Richards Landing at flashing stop sign)
Follow the natural curve in the bend to the left onto the C Line (driving through downtown Richards Landing)
Turn right onto the B Line
Turn left onto Boyles Side Road (hidden intersection, please take caution as the deer like to graze here)
Turn right onto Humes Road (take caution at the S curve, drive slow)
Turn left onto Riverside Drive (turn at the sign for Kenningston Point Marina)
Turn right at 549 Riverside Drive (look for the big K)
You can park in front of the garage, by the large sliding barn door. 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 a large garage and has two levels. For newborn shoots, all photography takes place on the main floor, and the bathroom is on the main floor, posing no obstacles for accessibility.
As my studio is in a garage, it can be a little chilly. The garage has in-floor heating, and multiple heat sources. I run a space heater throughout the duration of the shoot, so the temperature will increase and fluctuate. I always recommend dressing in layers as you will get warm.
I have studied newborn photography for over seven 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.
Since the pandemic, I have implemented new safety measures. I myself am immune-compromised and take my health and safety and the health and safety of my clients seriously. I work closely with Algoma Public Health to assess risks.
My studio is cleaned in-between each client. All blankets are washed with baby 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 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. At this time, I am only masking in my studio when dealing with newborns. I will continue to wear masks when dealing with newborns indefinitely. I do not ask my clients to mask at the present time.
I am also fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, including boosters. Everyone in my household is also fully vaccinated, including boosters.