Frequently Asked Questions - Newborn Session
Hopefully this FAQ section will answer many , if not all, of your questions about a newborn session. Should you have anything else that you would like answered or if you would like to receive a full information pack, please get in touch with me via the contact page or send me an e-mail at email@example.com and I will respond promptly.
When do I need to book?
Newborn sessions are ideally held between 5-12 days of age (adjusted for premmies) when babies are still pretty sleepy, flexible and easy to pose and settle. It is, of course, possible to conduct a newborn-style session after this age up to about the age of five or six weeks however you will need to appreciate that it becomes more difficult to re-position babies without waking them, necessitating more time settling and feeding. Older babies will better fit the format of a shorter baby session.
The advantage of photographing a slightly older newborn baby is that their routine becomes a little more predictable and you will have a clearer idea of their most settled time of day. Additionally, you will get beautiful smiles and also wide-eyed looks directly into the camera.
Ideally, your newborn session will be booked as early as possible and any time after your 12-week scan as I can be booked up for some months in advance. I only accept as many bookings as I can reasonably shoot, edit and return to my clients for proofing in my targeted time frame of two weeks.
With newborn sessions, we will pencil a session based around your expected due date. Then, when the baby actually arrives, we will re-confirm the actual appointment date.
I currently take newborn session bookings Mondays - Fridays.
How long will the session last?
An average newborn session will last somewhere between 2-4 hours depending on how settled the baby is on the day. This amount of time is allowed to ensure that you have ample time to feed, change and comfort your child without feeling rushed. I only ever book one newborn session a day to ensure that we have as much time as necessary.
For most babies, mid-mornings seem to be the period when they are most settled and the majority of my newborn sessions are held between about 9.30am-2.30pm. You will need to consider your own baby's feeding and sleeping pattern (as far as there is one!).
The best time to photograph newborns is directly after a good feed when they are ready to go back to sleep.
Who may attend the session?
Siblings and other family members are encouraged to be included in the photography session at no additional cost although the primary focus of the newborn session will be the new baby. If there are siblings who may become impatient and unsettled during the course of the long session, I do have some activities and distractions although I find it is best to schedule the sibling and family shots either at the beginning or end of the session so that they don't need to be present for the entire duration.
It is also possible to schedule the newborn session and the family/sibling images on seperate days (subject to availability) if this is more convenient.
Where may the session be held?
Newborn sessions are conducted at my studio located in Freshwater on Sydney's Northern Beaches. The studio has plenty of space for multiple set-ups, a comfortable parents lounge, snacks and drinks and access to a wide selection of textiles, backdrops and wraps available for you to select from.
How should I prepare for the session?
Your input to the planning of the session is invaluable in making it run effectively. Have a think about what you would like to get out of the session and whether there are any particular poses or props that you would like to include. Have a look at my website or perhaps a parenting magazine for inspiration!
Consider any items that you would like included in the images such as a favourite blanket or toy and have these close to hand during the shoot.
Ensure that your baby is comfortable and content, is well fed and has a clean, dry nappy.
If you are interested in nude or semi-nude photographs it is a good idea to have baby wrapped in a warm blanket or towel so that (s)he is not disturbed with undressing once they go off to sleep. Also, if possible, please loosen the sides of the nappy a little in advance of the session so that they will not leave elastic imprints on your little ones bottom.
I have a very detailed welcome pack which is available on request and packed full of information and tips.
What if the baby just won't settle?
With all the will in the world, I appreciate that you just cannot predict the mood of babies and you certainly cannot cajole them into performing for the camera!
In the case that baby is unsettled for an extended amount of time, it should still be possible to capture a number of lovely images with baby resting in parent’s arms, swaddled, even feeding. There is plenty of time allocated to these sessions to allow for whatever measures are required to settle the baby and no-one need feel rushed or anxious.
What happens if I need to cancel or postpone?
People get sick and circumstances change meaning that occasionally cancellations or postponements are unavoidable. Wherever possible, I require 24 hours notice of any changes to our booking and I will show you the same courtesy.
I require payment of the session fee upon booking to hold your appointment and this will be forfeited in the case of an outright cancellation without mitigating circumstances. Subject to availability, I am happy to reschedule to accommodate changes due to illness.
What is included in the session fee?
A pre-shoot planning session to discuss your requirements (usually by e-mail or telephone);
The photographic session which will last for an estimated 2-4 hours;
Use of all textiles and hard props;
Private online viewing gallery containing a minimum of 40 professionally-edited images in both colour and black & white hosted in an online gallery at low-resolution and watermarked from which you may make decisions on further print and digital file purchases.
Two 5x7" and one 8x12" pro lab prints;
One digital high-resolution birth announcement.
A review session is optional and may be held to review images and to place print orders and any frame requirements. I have samples of many sizes and finishes of print and frame available for inspection.
What does "low-resolution" mean?
Low-resolution files (72 dpi) are digitally compressed files that have been purposely reduced in quality for screen display only. They will appear pixelated when printed. Low-resolution files are provided by the Photographer solely for the purposes of reviewing the session images for print selection and for upload by the Client to social media sites such as Facebook, and for sharing electronically with friends and family. They may not be printed as no print-release is provided with these files. The files will also all feature a light watermark.
High-resolution files (300 dpi) are available for purchase as singles or as collections.
Professional lab prints are available for purchase at very reasonable prices starting from $25.
Why do you recommend using a professional print lab?
I have discovered the real value of printing with a professional lab through many years of experience.
Commercial outlets often produce prints with a strong colour cast that does not match the original colour file. This colour cast can be particularly apparent in skin tones, completely ruining a beautiful shot.
Pro lab prints are made using Kodak Supra Endura paper which is guaranteed to stand the test of time, lasting up to 200 years with minimal fading.
With professional print labs you are guaranteed a better quality and more colour accurate image. After all of the effort that went into planning, preparing for and taking part in a professional photography shoot, please do not underestimate the importance of subsequently purchasing a high-quality printed image.
What is a model release and do I have to sign it?
When you book a photographic session with me, I will ask whether you are prepared to sign a model release. This is a requirement to enable me to utilise your session images for commercial purposes such as offering you a sneak peak on Facebook and/or Instagram, producing a session blog with some of my favourite images or adding images to my website.
You are under no obligation to sign this release if you would prefer your images to remain private.
If you have signed a model release, I will provide a sneek peak to Facebook and/or Instagam within 24-48 hours of the session.
Can I purchase a session as a gift?
Absolutely! Gift vouchers are available for all of my sessions including maternity, newborn, babies, family and mini-sessions. What a great idea for a Baby Shower!
How long after the session can I expect to see my images?
I endeavour to provide you will your session proofs within two weeks of the session. If you have signed a model release I will happily release a "sneak peak" to Facebook as quickly as a day or two after the session.
Once prints have been ordered, you can expect to receive these within 10 days. Print and product orders are placed with my print lab every week or 10 days.
How do I book?
Send me a personal message via my contact page:
Tel: 0400 872791
I require payment of the session fee to secure your session. This ensures that no other bookings will be taken for this time and date. Deposits may be made by Australian bank transfer, cheque, cash or Paypal.
All print costs must be paid in advance of the order being submitted to the printer.