Below are our recommendations for preparing for your session at our studio. We have found that careful preparation and consideration of the following items ensures that your session goes smoothly and that you will have beautiful newborn portraits to treasure for a lifetime.
- Newborn sessions typically take 3 hours, including feeding breaks.
Please know that there is no rush with a newborn session. We like to give special attention to each client, especially at newborn sessions. We do not mind waiting for you to feed or change baby, or taking a break for soothing. That’s part of what we offer as a custom portrait studio . . . the time we can provide!
- Please try to keep baby awake for 1-2 hours prior to your session.
We understand this can be a challenge, but doing your best will help ensure a smooth session. There is a reason – A baby who just had a big nap may tend to want to stay awake in the studio. We’ll spend more time soothing them to sleep, and less time photographing. Sometimes moms will think they don’t need to follow this guideline because baby sleeps a lot at home. Please keep in mind that their behavior at home will be different than in studio. Think of it this way – at home, baby is swaddled up and left alone to sleep. Here in the studio it’s a new environment, with someone putting them in new positions, often naked – they need to be extra tired to sleep through this! Giving baby a bath at home before you leave for your session is a great way to have some pleasant awake time. Bonus points if you have someone ride in the backseat with baby to entertain him/her on the way to the studio!
- The start time of your session will flex with your baby’s schedule. Feed him/her when they awaken early in the morning. TEXT ME so I have a general idea of timing. Then get ready and come directly. Their next feeding will ideally be at the studio just before the photo session begins. A good target for the session is 9-12 noon. Please leave baby in car seat when you bring them into the studio.
- Please bring a bottle of breast milk or formula and a pacifier with you to the session. We will only use these when necessary to calm and soothe your baby in the middle of a shot. We understand many mothers are trying to establish good breast-feeding habits and minimize nipple confusion. If you are adamantly against using a pacifier or bottle, please let us know and we will accommodate your needs.
- When you get here, we will ask you to feed baby a FULL feeding to get him/her nice and “milk drunk”. Try to schedule accordingly. Please schedule your feedings so baby is hungry when you arrive. At this point, your baby should be VERY ready to sleep which is what we want. Babies will generally need a feeding break at least once in the middle of the session, sometimes more. If you are bottle feeding, please bring extra – modeling is hungry work for newborns!
- Please don’t bring your baby boy with a fresh, raw circumcision. We ask that you plan for your session with us to be either before the procedure, or at least 5 days after. We will be wrapping baby tightly while he’s naked and moving him between poses, which can be painful with a raw circumcision.
- 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. Please also avoid or at least limit caffeine – we want baby to sleep!
- Siblings: We love siblings, and are happy to photograph them with baby at no additional charge during newborn sessions. If there are older siblings that will be included in photos, these images will be photographed either at the start or at the end of the session. Siblings cannot stay at the studio during the rest of the session, when they are not being photographed. We do not have a suitable area for them to play or wait. We suggest bringing two cars so that Dad can take the sibling(s) after we finish with family and Dad images.
- Guests/extended family: 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. (When dads aren’t coming to the session, moms often bring grandma – this is fine!)
- Newborns are absolute perfection when they wear nothing at all. For variety and some fun pops of color, we also like to use the swaddling blankets and wraps. We have an enormous collection of props, swaddles and backdrops. You do not need to bring any. We will create a set design that we are sure you will love and together we will review this when you arrive. If you have color preferences, please let us know beforehand and we will choose items that photograph best in color schemes you love. If you have a special item you want photographed with baby (military, firefighter gear, antique quilt, etc.), let us plan that in advance.
- When doing the poses where the baby is undressed, it is normal (and okay!) for him/her to make messes during the session. We can assure you this happens all the time and we are not upset or offended. We have wipes and towels on hand for this purpose. After each newborn session we launder all of our backdrops and other items the baby comes in contact with.
- The studio will be a warm 80 degrees in order to keep baby cozy when undressed. Dress in layers so that you will be more comfortable. An assortment of healthy snacks and bottled water will be available for you at the studio. Feel free to bring your favorites as the session is lengthy.
- 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. Please respect copyright and the artist’s individual creation and do not take pictures (even on your iPhone) during your session. We do allow one iPhone “pullback shot” of the photographer working with your baby – feel free to post to social media, and please tag or “check in”:
WHAT TO WEAR:
- Baby should come dressed in loose fitting clothes to avoid any lines on skin. A onesie that opens in front is best, as this avoids having to lift anything over baby’s head. In family photos, baby will be generally photographed either wrapped in a wrap provided by the studio, or naked.
- For parents being photographed with baby, we recommend a long sleeve shirt for Dad in a soft neutral color with no buttons. Buttons can scratch baby’s skin or catch on wraps. Beige, khaki, olive green, burgundy, navy, charcoal, taupe, cream and brown are all great colors. Think “muted” tones. If Dad is comfortable showing his chest for a few photos this can make for some very tender, skin-on-skin images.
- For Mom, we recommend a tank top in a neutral or muted color. Please also bring a strapless bra in nude or white. We often wrap mom in fabrics here at the studio to give the appearance of a simple strapless dress.
- 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 tend to detract from your children’s beautiful expressions.
The Studio: 14808 NW 60th Avenue, Alachua FL 32615 This is a residential studio requiring 1 flight of stairs. It is located 5 minutes NW of 39th Ave/I-75, and 5 minutes north of Jonesville Publix.
If you have already booked your session, thank you for choosing Andrea Sollenberger Photography to document this special time in your lives. We are honored you chose us, and consider photographing your newborn a great responsibility and privilege.
If you are ready to book, or would like to schedule a free consultation to tour the studio and talk with Andrea before making your decision, please call us at 352-213-1250, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org