Newborn sessions generally last between 2-3 hours depending on your baby on the day, so please allow plenty of time. Please arrive at my studio by 9:30am. It’s very important that you arrive on time so that we can get started as early as possible as newborn sessions are most successful when done in the morning. I do not do newborn session at any other time of the day so to ensure the best outcome at your session, I ask that you make arrangements so that you can be at my studio by this time. If you are unable to be here for this time, we may have to reschedule and I cannot guarantee a spot for you within the desired age limit to achieve the newborn poses you would see on my website.
Here are some VERY IMPORTANT things to do in order to ensure a successful newborn session:
- Please do your best to keep your baby AWAKE for 2-3 hours before your session. This is VERY important. We know this is hard, but please try. Without this, we spend too much time getting them to sleep and not as much time photographing them. If you need to give the baby a bath to help keep them awake or get them naked, those are some tricks to use. If need be, use a bag of ice (intermittently. not too much!) on his/her feet to help keep awake. We will get amazing images if your baby sleeps through the session.
- Please bring a bottle of formula or breast milk to the session along with a dummy should we need it. We understand that many mothers are trying to avoid a pacifier during this critical time of learning to breast feed, however we may need to use it if absolutely necessary. The reason is to avoid contact with mommy as much as possible while we are in the “rhythm” of a session. Baby can smell mom and hear her voice and this triggers their instinct to feed. It can be quite a distraction for a little newborn. Using a bottle or pacifier when needed helps us to maintain the fluidity of the session and helps baby settle easier. We will only use it as a last resort to soothe a fussy baby. If you are adamantly against a pacifier or bottle, please let us know and we will accommodate your needs.
- DO NOT CIRCUMCISE your baby boy before your session. We will be wrapping him tightly while naked and moving him between different poses which can be extremely painful with a raw circumcision. We WILL NOT photograph a newborn boy who has been circumcised less than 6 days prior to the session.
- If you are breast-feeding, try to avoid eating anything spicy or gas inducing (i.e. pizza, spicy sauces, garlic, broccoli, thai food, high fat etc.) that might upset baby’s tummy for 24 hours preceding your scheduled session. It’s best to stick to a relatively bland diet the 24 hours before your session.
- You will be feeding your baby a FULL feeding when you arrive at the studio, so please schedule your baby’s day accordingly for this.
- Dress baby in loose fitting clothes to avoid any lines on skin – A onesie that opens in the front is best, as this avoids us having to lift anything tight over baby’s head.
- The studio will be heated intensely to keep your little one warm, so dress in layers so that you can remove some if you get too warm.
- During the session, take advantage of this time to rest. If I requires any help for any of the more difficult poses, I will ask for your assistance to ensure baby is safe.
- If you have a removable car seat, please leave baby in their car seat when you bring him/her into the studio.
- If there are older siblings that will be included in photos, those images will be photographed at the start of the session. We suggest either bringing two cars so that Dad can take older sibling(s) back home after we finish with family images, or have your spouse/partner take older sibling(s) out on errands or to grab a snack while we complete the session.
- We recommend bringing no more than yourself, your spouse/partner, children and one guest if necessary. Lots of people in the studio make for somewhat challenging creative conditions and it’s tight in our cozy space.
- No cameras are allowed during your session. We understand this is a momentous time in your life that you want to capture. However, we are working very hard to create unique, artistic images for you and another camera in our midst is distracting and uncomfortable for the artist. Please respect copyright and the artist’s individual creation and do not take pictures during your session.
What to wear
We recommend a long sleeve shirt for Dad in a neutral color ( black or white is also fine) with no buttons. Buttons can scratch baby’s skin. Beige, khaki, olive green, burgundy, navy, charcoal, taupe, cream and brown are all great colors. Think “muted” tones. Bring a strapless bra in nude or white for mum. We can wrap mum in fabrics here at the studio. If Dad is comfortable showing his chest for a few photos this can make for some very tender, skin-on-skin images. Siblings should be dressed in neutral tones like dad. Jeans or khaki pants work well for boys and “sundress” style looks with no pattern look best on girls. Again, keep colors neutral and “muted” so that faces stand out more than the clothes they are wearing. Bright colors detract from your children’s beautiful expressions. For siblings – boys: nice shorts and topless is always lovely for kids under 5, otherwise a plain white tshirt. Girls: pretty dresses or I can wrap girls in a neutral coloured wrap.
Please bring a change of clothes in case we have an accident while posing baby
The above is intended as a guide only. Feel free to wear anything you are comfortable wearing
What to expect at your newborn session
You can expect your session to last for up to 3 hours on the day but will be all finished by 12:30pm. Upon arrival, I will take baby off you and undress him/her ready to get started, or for a top up feed. Once the sibling and or family photos are taken care of, I concentrate on capturing all the little details of your newborn in beanbag shots, where there are 2 different coloured backgrounds to choose from. I usually try to achieve at least 4 beanbag poses, and variations of those poses. I then move to a prop shot and finish off the session with close ups of your newborn’s fingers, toes and eyelashes.
Parents sit in the adjoining room to my studio during the session so that we can keep baby peaceful. Sometimes if baby smell or hear your familiar voices that can make them restless and harder to pose. It’s amazing how newborns work and their drive to eat is amazing!! If your baby needs to feed during the session, we can take a break for you to feed, or if you bring a bottle with formula or expressed milk then I can feed your newborn for you and then keep going. I prefer to have a bottle, but if you are only breast feeding then that is totally fine and we can take time out for that.
If you are planning on having some photos taken with your newborn, please let me know ahead of time so that I can set the studio up accordingly as we will take care of those photos first. In this case, please come dressed in what you plan to wear in the images (see guide below). I use a plain backdrop for the parent shots (either neutral colour or black). Please be aware parent and sibling shots may reduce the amount of solo images of baby, but again, it depends on your baby and parent shots are some of the most cherished from the collection.
The studio is set to a toasty 28 degrees so make sure to dress light. I also have white noise playing throughout the duration of the session. While you wait, feel free to browse through the studio sample products I offer as this may help you decide what you would like to purchase at your viewing appointment.
We will be doing all sleepy shots in babies birthday suit so there is no need to bring any special outfits as I don’t photograph babies in clothes (except for selected newborn knitted props which I provide).
Again, your newborn needs to have a FULL belly before we can get started. I’m VERY good with newborns, so you will get a nice little break to relax. Feel free to put your feet up and take a nap..I will come wake you if we need a feed.
After Your Session
Within 2-3 weeks of your session, I will notify when your images are ready. We will then schedule a time for you to come back in and view your gallery of images from your session. You will be asked to order at this time. Please make sure all decision makers are present, as additional ordering appointments incur a $100 fee. All unordered images are purged after 30 days
A blog post from the images in your gallery will be posted on my blog (www.kristymannixphotography.com.au) after your order has been placed and paid in full.
My home studio is located at 33 Caduceus Way, Hilbert (or Brookdale or Armadale in older maps or GPS systems). When you arrive, feel free to park on the driveway but please don’t park on the grass.