Congratulations on your upcoming birth! We, as a Santa Clarita Newborn Photographer, are very excited to share this time with you and capture it for you to enjoy for years to come! Let’s run through the basics of what to expect before, during, and after your sessions!
When should I contact you to hold a spot?
In short, as soon as possible! Typically our clients contact us in the second trimester to hold the time frame around when the baby will be born. This will guarantee you a spot even during the busiest times. We can then keep in close contact as the big day nears. We recommend photographing your newest family member around 7 – 14 days of age if you are booking an in-studio posed session. Growth spurts tend to happen around days 9 – 11 and 14+, so we try and work around this if possible, but not required. Why is this? The baby is much sleepier and cooperative for us to pose, move and dress for the pictures we will take. The baby also hasn’t developed much cradle cap, baby acne, or colic symptoms yet, which makes them easier to photograph. It’s exhausting for your newest star being this little and the more awake they are, the more agitated he or she will be with us moving them around into those cute little poses. If you’re having an in-home lifestyle session, any time within the first 30 days is perfect.
My baby is already a few weeks/months old, can we still do a newborn session?
Yes! We take baby’s of all ages. However, once they are over the 21 day mark they will be less curly and like their legs straight, be less sleepy, more sensitive to touch, so we most likely will not get the same poses you see here on our website. We will however get you some gorgeous images that you’ll cherish forever. Once they hit the two month mark we advise not coming until they’re 4 months so we can get some smiles and other milestones.
How do we customize your session?
We have 4 different types of newborn sessions. When we hold your spot after you contact us for the first time, we will go over with you what you’re looking for during your session. Are you looking for more of a posed session with just baby, those first candid moments during their first few hours of life, or something casual and un-posed in the comfort of your own home? Do you want to use any props that have significance to you and your family (i.e. a military uniform, a fireman’s hat, grandma’s pearl necklace)? What colors are in your home so we can choose the correct blankets for the photos that you will eventually hang on your walls? Will your partner be there? Do you prefer more black and white over color photos? Will siblings be present or in the photos? This will help us work with you to determine which session fits you and your family the best.
What to do to prep for your session
The sleepier the baby, the more photographs we’ll be able to get! Baby’s usually sleep better with happy, full tummies, so here are a few things we recommend to make the process easy, but are not required:
- Feeding baby before you come to our studio. This allows baby’s tummy to settle a bit on the drive over. It’s ok if he or she wants to eat again when you get here, so don’t worry!
- Try and keep baby awake for an hour prior to leaving for our studio so they’re extra sleepy when they arrive. A good way to do this is give them a calming bath.
- Please put baby in a button-up or zip-up outfit to make the transition easier when they are undressed. Try and avoid anything that goes over the head if possible.
- Bottle feeding is the most preferable method for the session because it ensures the baby is getting enough food to have a full tummy, but is not required. Since baby will most likely eat 1-3 times during the shoot, please be prepared to bring enough breast milk or formula with you for up to 3 feeds (if you do not breast feed). You are more than welcome to pump here at our studio and we also can refrigerate any breast milk or leftover formula you bring if you need either of these options as well. Babies tend to eat a lot during sessions, so we will be stopping to feed at least a couple of times.
- If you’re breast feeding, please stay away from any gassy green vegetables the days leading up to the session (i.e. broccoli, spinach, cabbage). Other foods known to give baby gas are pizza, lemons, oranges, berries, spaghetti, chili, vegetables, beer, and alcohol. This will help them have a calm and happy tummy and sleep easier. We also ask that you stay away from any caffeine, soda, etc. This typically keeps baby awake or makes them very touchy so they startle even more easier than they already do. It also makes them extremely frustrated because they’re tired and can’t sleep.
- Bring a pacifier, even if baby doesn’t normally take one. He or she may take it for us and it’s very soothing for the constant handling of baby during the session and in-between feedings.
- If you have a boy and plan to circumcise please bring gauze to cover the treated area.
- Our studio is cozy and small and there are two of us working with baby at any given time, so we ask that only parents attend unless a you will be taking siblings/family shots. This helps us move around freely with baby during the session and helps keep them safe from us tripping over extra people while holding him or her.
- We allow use of your cell phone to take photographs of us working with baby. We love the shares and tags on social media! However, professional cameras and/or pictures of just baby alone are not prohibited in our studio. We’re here to do the work for you!
- Newborns recognize their mother’s by smell so we will often ask for your partner’s help, or feed, change, rock the baby ourselves. We love to snuggle too as that makes them feel nice and secure.
- Do not worry about temporary marks and redness on baby’s face. We remove anything when we edit your images that will not be there in two weeks. If there is a mark you’d like us to keep, please let us know at your session.
- Upon arrival please let us know of any medical issues we should be aware of when handling your baby. This is important to keep him or her safe.
- Upon arrival we will try and get baby to start their first big modeling gig right away. They’re usually super sleepy when they arrive so we try and keep the momentum going and get right to it.
- Baby will run the show so we will go with their flow. We are trained to understand the best poses that keep your baby safe based their size and body type, and also their sensitivities to the environment, so we will design your session around them. Expecting too much out of your little one will often mean we have to move and touch them more, which in turn will disturb their sleep and make them over-stimulated, which will make them aggitated.
- The studio will be heated around 75-77 degrees. Please dress accordingly and bring yourself a snack (no nut products please) just in case you get hungry. If you will be in the photos I recommend bringing them with you to change into. It is also wise to bring an alternate outfit in case the baby soils it. Please see the next paragraph below for clothing suggestions for your shoot.
- We will reschedule your session if we are sick. If our illness will not pass in a typical matter, we will schedule you with an associate photographer who is equally as qualified as we are.
- We ask that if you, your baby, or your older children are sick that you reschedule with us. If they come into our studio they risk infecting other newborns that also come to our studio. If the session has started and we notice that someone is sick, you may be charged a $50 rescheduling fee for not abiding by this. Again, our top priority is the safety of the newborns that come into our studio.
How long is the session?
Typical in-studio newborn sessions take anywhere from 1.5 – 3.5 hours with lots of feeding, rocking, giving him or her a pacifier and diaper changes in between.
Fresh 48 sessions last around 30-40 minutes and in-home lifestyle sessions last anywhere from 60-90 minutes. Our newborn mini sessions are 30 minutes.
What should I wear?
If you don’t plan on being photographed with your baby then wear something cool and airy (tank top, loose shirt, etc). We crank up the heat for your little one and it can get pretty warm in the room. If you plan on being photographed, we have some ideas on our Pinterest board. Here’s a good one in particular: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/13088655144320605/ We advise to stay away from logos, patterns (including stripes) and any bold colors. Most parents prefer a black or dark colored top. Our goal is to provide you with timeless images, so staying away from anything trendy is more pleasing to the eye when you look at these photos on your walls in the future.
What should I bring?
You’ve just had a baby and you haven’t slept much. We don’t want you to worry about anything, so we have lots of props, outfits, and accessories for your little one ready to go in our studio. You should bring yourself a snack and some water because the session will be long. We also have water, coffee, and soda available for you. Also bring anything you want the baby photographed with (special teddy bear, wedding rings, wedding dress, belly cast, etc.). We usually don’t recommend more than 2 items just because some setups can sometimes take over 30 minutes to get the baby to settle. We will provide a place for you to sit, a boppy for nursing, blankets, burp cloths, and a perfect view of your little one being the star of the show.
What happens after the session?
About 2 weeks after the session we will book your Reveal and Ordering Session. This is where we invite you to come back to our studio or meet somewhere to view all of your portraits. Typically it’s within 14-21 days of your newborn session. While you wait for the Reveal Session, we will be busy going through your images and begin the process of hand-editing. Either before the reveal session or during you can decide which collection you’d like to select from or if you simply would like to order a few things from our à la carte menu. If you’re looking for a specific item that isn’t listed, I’m sure we can order that for you too!
Why should I order prints and products from you and not from Wal Mart, Costco or Shutterfly?
BJP uses the top and most world renowned print labs in the U.S. The color and quality of the products will match your photo exactly how it was taken and will hold up over time and for generations of your family to see. Digital photos will end up in a desk and never looked at, while having a nice piece of wall art for years to enjoy in your home will bring you happiness as you watch your children grow. Plus, we will do all the work for you! How many times have you said “I’ll get to ordering that next week” and then never do? We are a full service photography studio and will edit, design, crop to ratio appropriately (i.e. 8×10), order, package and deliver everything to you! We also know sharing your photos digitally is important to you. So we’ve included digital options for you to share this latest life event with those close to you.