What to expect from a newborn photography session with Karen Kimmins Newborn Photography in Wellington, Somerset.
A few commonly asked questions and session information below.
WHAT IS THE PERFCT AGE FOR A NEWBORN SHOOT?
It is best to photograph newborns under 2 weeks of age as they are still sleepy and hold those adorable curly, womb-like poses. All babies are different but I find between 7 and 13 days most settled. I do however, photograph newborns up to 9 weeks. Please bear in mind that after 3 weeks babies become more alert making it difficult to get them into the deep sleep needed to create the images you see on my website. They are also far less curly and won't fit into a lot of my props!
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY NEWBORN SESSION AND HOW DOES THAT WORK WITH BABIES NOT ARRIVING ON TIME?
It is advisable to book as soon as you can during your pregnancy. I will pre-book 7 days after your due date, this is not your actual date but just a rough guide. I only book 3 sessions per week to allow for early and late arrivals. Once baby arrives, get in touch as soon as you are home and settled, we will then arrange your actual session date.
HOW LONG ARE THE NEWBORN SESSIONS?
I like the sessions to be relaxed and baby-led so please allow between 2 & 4 hours. This gives lots of time for feeding and comforting and several varied set-ups of your choice. I can only work during school hours. All newborn sessions begin at 10:30. I do also offer Newborn mini sessions which last for one hour only.
CAN I CHOOSE THE STYLING OF THE SESSION?
Yes! Once the deposit has been paid, I will send you a link to my online questionnaire, where you can let me know things like wether you prefer a more natural style of newborn photography or if you want more posed and with props images, likes and dislikes of colours etc. Alternatively, we can arrange a phone call to discuss your session.
IS THERE A MINIMUM SPEND?
Yes. The Bronze collection is the minimum spend. You may add prints or extra digitals after a collection has been purchased.
DO I HAVE TO CHOOSE A COLLECTION CHOICE BEFORE THE SESSION AND STICK TO IT?
No. You can decide after viewing your online gallery. However, the outstanding balance of the Bronze collection must be paid before or on the day of the session. No images will be edited until the Bronze collection has been paid for in total. You may upgrade to the Silver, Gold or Platinum collection after viewing your images in the online gallery.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR NEWBORN SESSION
The sessions begin at 10:30am at my home.
Sessions typically last 2 - 4 hours, so plenty of time for feeding, comforting and to allow for a few varied set-ups and parent portraits if wanted.
I will begin with the baby portraits on a blanket or two, then move onto two prop set-ups, for example, a basket and bowl, then the parent shots if requested. If you are bringing a young sibling, I will often start with those instead.
If there are specific props or set-ups you want, please notify me before the day of your session (you will have filled out a session style form previous to your session), I will have these ready for the day, or I will have chosen three props using your favourite colours for you to choose from.
The session will be held in my living/dining room (until I get my dream studio!!) Please sit back and relax when you can, make yourself at home & grab the TV remote! Or feel free to bring along a book or iPad or something of that nature to pass the time while your bundle of joy is being photographed.
It will be very warm so that baby is comfortable without clothes on. Dress yourself in layers that can be removed if it gets too hot for you.
I will be playing white noise from an app in the background to help get baby off and hopefully stay in a deep sleep.
The session will be baby-led and I only do one newborn session a day, therefore, there will be no rush.
Newborn safety is my top priority. I will not put your baby in any unsafe props or poses.
I may ask you to ignore a strict feeding schedule and a ’no rocking or shhhhhing” rule for the 3-4 hours at the session!! The only way we will achieve calm, curly poses is if your baby is happy, full and sleeping deeply.
PREPPING YOUR BABY BEFORE THE SESSION
Here are a few little things that will help prepare for the session & help things run smoothly:
1. If your baby has slept solidly for 3 hours prior to your session then we may spend too long trying to get baby to sleep and not get many posed shots or be able to use the props you've requested. If you can, on the morning of your session, try and keep little one awake for a bit, a little interaction, perhaps a bath, and try also to time a feed just before you leave or on arrival at my home. Obviously this may all go out of the window as these things are always easier said than done! But this little bit of prep really can make a difference to your session if they arrive nice and sleepy.
2. Dress baby in a simple loose sleeper that doesn’t have to be lifted off over the head just incase baby is sleeping soundly on arrival. No tight socks or vests to avoid lines on their skin.
3. If you are using or considering using a dummy please bring it along. It can be a huge lifesaver when baby continuously wants to feed/suckle for comfort. Sometimes it really is the difference of getting that shot or not!
4. Any eye gunk or boogers are to be removed where possible please.
5. If you are breast feeding, it may help to not eat spicy or acidic foods or drink caffeine in the 48 hours prior to your session as this could possibly make baby unsettled.
A full baby means a sleepy baby, and we need a very sleepy & calm baby in order to achieve the sweet, flexible poses you see in my portfolio, so a top up of milk before we begin is usually a good idea.
If baby is awake when you arrive, it is best to undress them first, loosen the nappy and then wrap them in a blanket before feeding. Otherwise your baby may get upset at being undressed when they are nice and cozy.
OUTFITS AND PROPS
I will be mostly photographing your little one in his/her birthday suit. I will pay careful attention to ensure babies privates are not exposed in any photos. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with a pose or position, please let me know straight away and we can move on to the next pose. If you would rather your baby wasn't naked, we can wrap baby in different wraps or in some of the specially made newborn outfits I have sourced. Please let me know if you would rather baby was covered at all times before the session begins.
You do not need to bring any outfits with you unless there is something special you would like me to try and include in the session, however every day clothes do tend to swamp babies, look bulky and awkward. I do have special newborn prop outfits that look so sweet if you would prefer your baby in something. Newborns really do look best photographed in very little.
If you have a special knitted blanket or a first teddy (that's not too big) with sentimental meaning, if you want, please feel free to bring it along and I will fit these into the session.
Im afraid due to my small space, large family portraiture is impossible. But mum & dad with baby is fine.
If you wish to have a portrait with your baby, keep the clothing simple. Personally, I think plain tops work best, please skip bright and busy patterns & large logos where possible.
If you are keen on black and white photos, please avoid white tops if possible.
I’m a big fans of skin-on-skin portraits with you holding your baby against you. They’re so simple and timeless.
So if you want some portraits like this with your newborn, consider a strapless top or vest, alternatively I could wrap you in a scarf, wrap or other stretchy material I have available. These can make for some very tender images.
Your hands will play a major role in this session even if you do not want to be in the photos, so it’s important that you tend to them too! Lovely clean nails make all the difference for those close up newborn in hands shots.
For more artistic shots, dads may choose to remove their shirts if they are comfortable in doing so.
Please let me know ahead of time if you would like to include another child in the photos. I’m afraid due to my small space I can only accommodate two other persons, three at a push with the baby at any one time for a photo.
Cream or white, or muted colours without patterns or logos work well for little boys or T-shirt off can also look lovely. A simple pair of jeans look great.
Girls again, pale, muted colours work best. Pretty dresses without busy, colourful patterns look adorable. The more texture the better, lace, frills and knit work particularly well.
They’ll be barefoot so no need to look for clean shoes.
Again please check for grubby faces, boogers and eye gunk!
Please know that I do not mind waiting for you to nurse or for nappy changes, or just taking a break to soothe your baby at any point. You and your baby's wellbeing is more important to me than getting a shot.
If you are bottle feeding your baby, please bring along more than you think you’ll need!
When doing the poses where the baby is undressed, it is normal (and okay!) for baby to poo or wee on my backdrop... or anywhere else. I can assure you this happens all the time and I am not bothered by it in the slightest! Please bring with you baby wipes, extra nappies and a towel. After each newborn session I launder all of my backdrops and wraps.
An extra set of clothes for the parents is a good idea, just in case. Someone always gets wee'd or pooped on, it’s usually me, but sometimes you!
A RECAP OF WHAT TO BRING
Babys change bag with extra nappies, wipes and baby grows.
Extra formula if bottle feeding.
Babies first blanket & or teddy.
Spare clothes for you.
If you use or are considering a dummy, please bring it along, it can be a HUGE life saver during the session. Some babies just need to suck something for comfort.
A towel and/or blanket, possibly two of each to wrap baby for in between photo setups (these may get dirty).
A book/iPad etc if you think you may get bored!
AFTER YOUR SESSION:
The balance of the bronze collection must be paid on the day of your session. Once this has been paid, I will begin editing your images. If you have given permission, a sneak peak will be posted on social media (Facebook), later the same evening of your session.
Approximately 2 weeks (this can be up to 3 weeks at busy times) after your session you will receive notification via email that your online gallery is ready. Instructions will be sent on how to use the gallery.
Please let me know when you are ready and have some time set aside to view/order and I will only then activate your gallery.
Galleries remain active for 24 hours after going live. After this, there will be a £10 per day fee for re-opening your gallery so please do only activate once you are ready to sit and look through with your partner.
Any extra prints or canvases will not be ordered until the extra payment has been received.
Your digital images will be available to download shortly after I receive your selection choices and your full balance has been paid..