Your Studio Session Guide
The newborn stage is a really special time and I’m so excited to capture these moments for you.
This guide will walk you through how to prepare for your shoot and what to expect on the day. Please ask if you have any questions before your shoot.
Preparing for your newborn session:
1. Keep baby awake before the session:
Posed photos are much easier if we have a sleepy baby, so try to keep them awake before the session starts – good tips for doing this are:
having some naked tummy time
showing them black and white flash cards
exposing them to natural light.
2. Time baby’s feed for the start of the session:
Aim to give your baby’s next feed when you arrive at the studio. This should mean that baby falls asleep ready for photos.
3. What to bring:
Please bring nappies, wipes, cream and expressed milk/formula (if applicable). I have a kettle in the studio so expressed milk/formula can be warmed up if needed. Please feel at home to breastfeed freely in the studio too. I will provide the wraps, bonnets, headbands and backdrops for baby’s photos – if you’d like to bring a special outfit for baby to be photographed in you are welcome to do so.
4. Baby-led session:
We’ll take the session at baby’s pace, so if they need changing, feeding or settling during the session we can pause for that to happen. If baby is very upset and won’t settle (which can sometimes happen), I’m happy to reschedule the shoot for a different day free of charge.
5. Skin care:
Often newborns can have very flakey skin. If possible use organic baby oil to help remove the flakes. I will retouch the photos to remove acne, red patches and flakes unless you request that I don’t. Please don’t worry if the umbilical cord hasn’t fallen off, I can pose baby so it’s not an issue.
What to wear:
For timeless family photographs start with a soft colour pallet. Picking shades and patterns that work together and aren’t too distracting will mean the focus is on you as a family. Think about how the photos will look framed on your walls, what colours will compliment your home?
Things to avoid:
Clashing colours and patterns,
Cartoon characters on kids clothing,
Clothes that you feel uncomfortable in.
Best tips for mum’s clothing:
You’re likely to be sat in a lot of the photos, so pick fabrics & styles that aren’t too clingy.
Dresses with floaty sleeves that tie at the waist are very flattering.
Mid-maxi dresses are the best length.
Here are some examples of how to put together family outfits that will compliment each other. You don’t have to be matchy-matchy, the key is using similar colours across your outfits. As for footwear – you can all go barefoot or wear clean shoes that compliment your outfits.
My go to places for beautiful, affordable kids and adult clothing are H&M, Zara, and TU by Sainsburys. You are also welcome to use anything from my client wardrobe during your shoot
Hair & Make-Up:
If the thought of getting yourself photo-ready with kids in tow gives you palpitations, Sarah Russell is on hand to do your hair and make-up at my studio. It’s just £50 for either hair or make-up or £80 for both. You can sit back and relax whilst Sarah works her magic and I do the kids portraits. Then once you’re ready we can do your family photos. If you’d like to book Sarah just let me know and I can arrange it with her. You are also very welcome to do your own hair and make-up at the studio too.
Time of day:
For newborn’s (and any pre-school siblings) I find doing the photos in the mornings works best, so I like to start your newborn session at 10am. Please allow up to 3hrs for your shoot, as this gives us plenty of time to take the session at baby’s pace.
How to find me:
My studio is located in a garden room at my home. You can park on the drive or in front of my house. To access the studio use the gate on the left hand side of the house and follow the path to the studio at the top of the garden.
25 Hadzor Road, Oldbury, B68 9LA
DURING YOUR SHOOT
Health & Safety:
Whilst we’re still living with Covid, I have a few measures in place to help make my studio a covid-free space. If you or anyone in your household has symptoms, please do not attend your shoot. Contact me via email to rearrange your session. On arrival at the studio I will take your temperature with a contactless thermometer and provide you with hand sanitiser. You do not need to wear a mask if you are being photographed. My studio is cleaned in between sessions and all props are washed/disinfected between uses.
Parents and guardians are responsible for the safety of their children whilst visiting the studio.
Please be aware that there is a raised pond in my garden, and that your children should never be left unsupervised whilst in the garden.
Hot drinks are available in the studio and must be kept in the kitchen area out of the reach of children.
What to Expect:
Your session time at the studio will last around 3hrs. Once you’ve arrived at the studio, we’ll start by getting baby and any other children settled into their new surroundings. There’s no need to jump straight to photo taking, we have time for drinks and outfit changes first. The studio has a disabled access toilet & shower with baby changing facilities. There’s hot and cold drinks available for free during your time with me, and please feel welcome to bring snacks to keep you all going.
I’ll usually start with baby’s portraits first. I’ll do this by wrapping and posing baby on a posting bed. Whilst I’m doing this mum can enjoy having her hair and make-up done or just sit back and relax with a drink. For pre-school siblings, the waiting can get boring, so it can be worthwhile for one parent to take them to the park whilst these photos are happening. There are two excellent parks within a 5min drive from my studio: Warley Woods & Lightwoods Park
Once baby’s portraits are done, I’ll move onto getting photos of baby with each parent, siblings and then some photos of the whole family together. Here’s a quick list of the photos I’ll aim to get
Baby on their own
Baby & Sibling together
Each parent with baby
Both parents with baby
Whole family together
Sibling on their own
Feeding & Settling:
We’ll take the session at your little ones pace, stopping for feeds and snacks. My studio is a safe and welcome space for breastfeeding and bottle feeding. If you’d like photos feeding please do let me know.
There’s hot water and a microwave available for warming milk or food.
If for any reason your little one is just not in the mood on the day of your shoot, (we all know those days happen), it’s no problem. I offer one reschedule session free of charge.
What to bring Checklist:
Milk & Snacks
Nappy changing bag
Favourite toys (something to keep older siblings occupied and something to help get baby’s attention).
AFTER YOUR SHOOT
If you fancy doing something immediately after your photo shoot, Warley Woods is right on my doorstep and is a great space for a walk. Toddlers can sometimes need a good run around after all the excitement of the shoot.
I’ll get to work on picking the best photos from your session and editing them. This can take up to 4 weeks so I’ll send you a few sneak peeks within 1 week to keep you going. Your photos will be uploaded to a private online gallery where you can select your favourites for download and print.