I hope this prep sheet finds you and baby well. I cannot wait to meet your new little one!
Before I dive into how to prep baby & yourself for a successful session I'd like to review the new rules/regulations regarding safety for both your family & myself.
Currently I am only photographing one session per day at the studio. This gives me plenty of time to thoroughly disinfect in between each session.
At this time, only immediate family within your household will be allowed at the studio for your session. If your significant other is unable to attend then one support person will be allowed.
If you prefer it (I'll ask in your questionnaire) I will wear a mask while I am within close proximity of any members of your family. You are welcome to also wear a mask if it makes you feel comfortable but I am not requiring it at this time.
Upon entering, please remove your shoes and place them right inside the door. Please bring socks to wear while walking around the studio. (I'll be doing the same!) I never get shots below the knees so don't worry about feet/socks appearing in photos. I am asking this because I do have toddlers in there often times and we all know how they like to play on the floor! :)
Also when you enter please use the hand sanitizer on every member of your family (except baby of course :)) provided at the table by the front door. Of course if you prefer you may instead wash your hands in the bathroom at the end of the hallway. I will wash my hands thoroughly right before photographing and will be using hand sanitizer often throughout your session.
While siblings are definitely allowed for some photos, I am just asking that they not stay for the entire duration of the session. Either they come at the beginning or the end for their portion. I am closing off the side room/play area for now. This timeline is usually preferred anyway since siblings (especially the younger ones) can get antsy. :) (more details on this in the prep sheet below)
Should you or anyone attending your session present with any of the symptoms listed below and/or test positive for COVID 19 within 14 days leading up to your session, please contact me to reschedule. This same rule of course will apply to myself.
*fever, shortness of breath, cough, runny nose or sore throat*
Lastly, should anyone attending the session present with any of the listed symptoms above and/or test positive for COVID 19 within 14 days AFTER our session, please contact me so that I can prepare accordingly. I will also do the same for you.
Mama, I know this is an overwhelming time. Please know these new rules are in place because I care for you and your little one. I promise to take every precaution I am able to to help you feel at ease and comfortable so we can make some beautiful photos.
Please continue reading for some more (but also important!) details about prepping for your session.
Your newborn session will take place at my shared studio at 9422 Florida Blvd. Walker, La 70785 Suite C-1. We are in a set of green stucco buildings called Regency Quarters, next door to La Bella Salon.
Interact with & try to keep baby awake for at least an hour before your session to ensure he/she is good and sleepy for when you arrive. This is very important. Stimulating baby with a bath or some "naked time" prior to the session are some tricks you can use.
For the baby, clean away flaky skin if possible and/or bring lotion to help with those extra dry spots.
Dress baby in loose fitting clothes to avoid lines on baby's skin & to also avoid disturbing baby when getting undressed. Please avoid onesies or anything that has to be pulled over baby's head. Zip up or button sleepers work best.
Please make sure baby has a full belly for our session. Feed baby a full feeding (to a milk-drunk state) JUST before you leave for the studio or wait until as soon as you arrive. A full baby=a calm & sleepy baby.
Your baby will more than likely want to eat more often during the session than they normally do. If bottle feeding, bring plenty of extra formula or breastmilk.
If nursing or bottle feeding breastmilk, try to eliminate caffeine and gassy foods from your diet for 48 hours prior to your session.
Please bring a pacifier. Even if you haven't used one yet or baby doesn't seem to take it, just for the 2-3 hours that I'm posing baby it can really help. The round soothie pacifiers typically work best & don't leave marks. However, if you really prefer that we don't use one, that is fine as well.
If baby is really wide awake and does not want to sleep, I will swaddle him or her tightly to get some photos and usually this will also soothe baby back to sleep. We can use this opportunity to get some parent shots as well. A fussy baby almost always settles when held snuggled tightly.
I have everything to style your session at my studio. I have an ever growing collection of props like baskets/buckets, blankets, wraps, headbands, knit hats & pants & all sorts of sweet things for your session. However, if you have some personal/sentimental items that you would like to incorporate, you are more than welcome to bring them. Please let me know what you plan to bring so I can plan your set ups!
The studio will be kept around 78 degrees to keep your little one warm while being photographed. It is a good idea to dress in layers as to stay cool or bring a cooler change of clothes.
If you are planning on parent (and/or sibling) photos, simple is better for clothing! I will wrap baby up in a coordinating color wrap to look best with the family. A simple white, black or solid color top will be perfect. Same goes for dad & siblings. Don't feel the need to all wear the same color. Parent/Family photos will take place in the last 20-30 minutes of your session. I do love photographing the connection between you and your baby! Even if you don't think you'll want to be in a photo, please do reconsider. Parent shots are typically taken chest up & just take a few minutes. I aim to photograph using flattering angles & light. If you do decide to have parent and/or family photos, be sure that your nails are manicured (nothing fancy, just ideally no chipped polish) as your hands will be involved.
*Siblings* I typically photograph siblings towards the end, about 1.5 hours into our session. It works best for siblings to arrive then vs staying the entire session. If possible, please have arrangements made so young siblings do not have to sit through that first portion of our session. If you have a friend or family member that could bring them about 30 minutes before our session is finished, that would be great. If this is not an option, we will photograph siblings & family at the very beginning since young siblings typically have a short attention span for photos. Then maybe your support person can bring them for a drive or a quick explore to the park until the rest of the session is complete.
I may need a hand for a pose or two, but mostly I want you to take advantage of this time to rest in my sitting area, sit back & relax! You deserve it!
And whatever you do-DO NOT STRESS! We will get so many beautiful photos of your squishy new baby no matter what & this ever long list of "tips" will be worth it! :)