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Newborn Prep Guide

Congratulations!  Thank you for choosing me to capture your new addition, and this precious time in your life.  I hope to capture all of your baby's delicate details so that you can look back on these moments fondly.  

Your session is scheduled, but if baby arrives earlier or later than expected just let me know, and we can arrange a new date if needed. Please remember, Newborn sessions are best done the first 5-14 days, so contact me ASAP to get rescheduled.  Failure to notify me with enough notice may hinder our ability to schedule your session in the given timeframe.  For baby boys, please do not schedule your photo session until a couple days after circumcision.

 

Set Design: Please let me know ahead of time if there are any colors, themes, or items you want worked into your session, and I will try my best to accommodate.  If you are happy giving me complete artistic freedom, I will have wonderful sets, and ideas that I will use for your session.  

What to expect the day of your session:

I will be handling your baby a lot.  To help ease any fears, know that I am licensed, insured, and trained in newborn safety specific to newborn photography.  I've learned how to properly handle infants, how to safely place them in props, wraps, and other items, and how to notice any signs of discomfort or stress.  I thoroughly wash & sanitize items that come in contact with the baby, and any wraps, blankets or towels are washed with gentle detergent.  PS... I'm also an experienced mom of two.

 

My studio is in my home.    I do have pets in my home, and although they will not be present during our session, and my house is thoroughly cleaned beforehand, anyone with severe animal allergies may have a reaction.  For anyone with severe animal allergies, perhaps take a non-drowsy allergy medication beforehand.

Here are some instructions that will really ensure a successful session:

 

1. SLEEPY  Ideally, we want baby to sleep during our photo session.  This helps me get them into positions easily.  Awake newborns are often very squirmy & make funny faces, so sleeping babies are easier to work with.

In order to have a sleepy baby during our session:

  • If you can, try to give baby an active morning BEFORE our session. Perhaps give baby a nice long bath, play with them, talk to & engage with them.  Please AVOID having baby sleep for extended periods of time before our session (as we want them sleepy when they get here!)

  • Don't stress too much about this, I know you have to get ready too, and sometimes just getting out the house is stressful enough!

2. FULL BELLY  Full bellies = Sleepy "Milk drunk" Babies. 

  • PLEASE GIVE BABY A FULL FEEDING right before you leave for our session, or approx 30 mins before arrival.  (Also, try to burp them, to ease any discomfort).  You may also feed upon studio arrival if that works better for you.

  • It is OK for baby to go to sleep after this feeding & during the car ride.. The car ride will help get baby get into a nice deep sleep.  

  • Please keep baby in car seat when you come inside & do not try to remove baby from car seat, as this can wake them.  I will try to take them out myself. 

** If baby is on a feeding schedule, I ask for you to adjust your schedule this one day, and to also be flexible with on demand feeding if we should need to get baby back to sleep during the session, as I may use a bottle as a way to sooth baby into sleeping positions.

  • BRING BOTTLES WITH YOU 

    • If you are breastfeeding, I highly recommend pumping and bringing a few bottles for baby - This speeds things up for us, instead of using up your session time to breastfeed.  

    • If you formula feed, please bring extra bottles & formula with you. 

3. Pacifier/Soother  Please bring a pacifier.  Even if your baby doesn't seem to take one, a pacifier is very helpful during the session because it is naturally soothing for babies to suck, and it helps get them settled in positions for photos.

4. Loose clothing  Please dress baby in loose fitting clothes, and avoid anything that has to go over babies head.  This is so that if the baby is sleeping, they won't be woken up when taking clothes off.  A sleeper works nicely.  No tight socks, or anything that will leave imprints on baby's skin.  

5. Studio Temperature The studio will be warm (75-80 degrees), so that your little one does not get cold.  I recommend parents take this into account, and not dress too warm, or perhaps dress in layers so that you can remove some if you get too warm. 

6. Wardrobe etc.  (Please note, family portraits are not included in Mini Newborn Sessions)

For family portraits, I recommend everyone coordinates their outfits.

I prefer family portraits on dark background, and recommend black wardrobe.  Men can wear black T-shirts, and ladies can wear black tees, tanks, or dresses.  I like the artistic look this gives, but if you'd prefer a different look, thats fine as well  I have more outfit suggestions on my Pinterest board for some ideas https://pin.it/qzglq3yjz6hvt3     For siblings, I do suggest also bringing a lighter colored shirt/outfit for sibling portraits, which are not on dark background. 

 

TIP: please make sure everyone's nails are clean (& no chipped nail polish). There may be closeups which may include hands, and nails are often overlooked.  

 

Mom- Please arrive with hair & makeup ready, or you may also get ready while I am doing the baby's photos. 

Dad- If Dad is in good shape, & comfortable taking his shirt off for a photo, a nice skin-to-skin shot is often very beautiful!  

Baby- I will provide all wraps, outfits, and accessories for the baby. If you have a particular item you would like to include, let me know and I'll try my best to work it into the session.  

7. FAMILY PORTRAITS WITH YOUNG CHILDREN/SIBLINGS:

I typically prefer to do the family portraits towards the END of the newborn session.  Since I'll have photo sets in place & space is very limited, it is not recommended to have many people in the studio, particularly young active children.  I recommend that a parent be dropped off with the newborn (or drive separately if possible), to do the newborn's portion of the session; and arrange to have the rest of the family arrive back for the family portraits approximately 2 hours later.  

If this does not work well for you, please let me know & we can try to rearrange things.

-FYI if family members want to step out for a while instead of return home, there are plenty of playgrounds in my area (Highview Playground & Germonds Playground are closest), restaurants if you wish to grab some food, and other entertainment (Barnes & Noble, Chuck e Cheese, Movie theaters).  

8. Napping Siblings  Please arrange your session time so that young siblings are napped, and fed prior to arrival.  This ensures that they will be content during the session.  Bringing some snacks that they enjoy is also helpful (nothing that will stain their outfits!)  

9. Sh*t Happens  Your baby may poop or pee on me, you, or on my props at some point during the session.  Same goes for spit up.  Do not feel embarrassed when this happens..  As a newborn photographer I am completely accepting of this fact.  We can giggle about it and move on!

10. Baby Acne, Rashes, Peeling skin  Please do not worry about baby acne, rashes, peeling, or scratches.  All of this will be drastically minimized in editing.  If baby has dry skin, you can put some lotion on the baby prior to coming to your session.  Please AVOID using white diaper creams on the baby before your session, we do not want baby to have a white bum in their photos, it is hard to wash off, and will be hard to edit out.

11. Relax  Don't stress.  Let's make this a tranquil and relaxing time for your baby, and for you!  There may be certain times in the session that I will need assistance from you to ensure baby's safety, but there are others when you can sit back and perhaps take a little nap, catch up on texts/emails/social media, or just admirably watch.  Feel free to make yourself at home!  I do provide some water & snacks for my clients.

Let me know if you have any questions. 

 

My number is 914-522-1244.....I suggest you put this number in your phone so you don't have to look for it when you arrive or if something comes up it is easily found!  I will send you my address the day before your session.

 

Can't wait to see you and your babes soon!!

Melissa

COVID PRECAUTIONS:

I am vaccinated & boosted.  As an extra precaution, I choose to wear a mask to keep my delicate newborn clients safe.  I also sanitize my hands frequently during the session, as I always have.

Masks are optional for clients.

Hands will be sanitized & shoes removed at the door.

 

No extra guests will be allowed in the studio, only the clients that are being photographed & their parents/guardians. 

If any client has symptoms of Covid-19, such as fever, cough, fatigue, loss of smell or taste, or other flu-like symptoms, to please let me know as soon as possible & reschedule.