frequently asked questions
here are some answers to questions you may have! feel free to email me with any other questions or ideas.
*for a better understanding of newborn sessions and everything that goes into them (along with an explanation as to why they are priced more highly than other sessions), please click to read this blog i wrote last year.
*when should i schedule a newborn session?
i ask mommies to schedule tentative dates before baby comes, and then adjusting the date depending on when baby decides to make their arrival! this helps me make sure i have the time available in my schedule for you. since it is best to photograph them between 4-10 days of age, scheduling ahead of time helps ensure you get the optimal times for you and guarantees you a spot on my schedule. i often have to turn away new babies since my schedule is already full- i recommend scheduling your newborn session during your second trimester to guarantee your session. i require a $250 nonrefundable deposit (which goes towards your total fee) to secure your session and the current pricing.
*what should i bring to a newborn session?
i photograph my babies naked, so there is no need to bring special outfits for your baby to wear. i suggest bringing a pacifier, even if baby isn’t using one in case we need it for soothing while positioning. PLEASE DO NOT BRING ANY OF YOUR OWN PROPS! i spend thousands of dollars a year on high-quality props made specifically for newborn photography. if you have something you would really like to incorporate, please ask me ahead of time and i will let you know if that is possible.
*what are the best ages to take photographs of babies?
between 4-10 days of age. this allows mommy’s milk to come in (for full tummies) but they are at their most sleepy and ‘bendable’ which creates for easiest positioning. typically between 10-14 days, babies begin ‘waking up’ and getting some baby acne, which can also affect the session. severe baby acne will reduce the number of images in your gallery due to the intense amount of time it takes to edit each image.
*can i have my unedited images, too?
i do not provide unedited photos. all images i provide to you are to be edited only by myself, as they are a representation of my work. this is non-negotiable.
*where do you photograph?
i work out of my home studio in irvine, near the 5 and culver avenue. i cannot travel to your home for a studio, posed session as there are too many variables and all my props/equipment cannot be transported.
*can we take photos as a family?
i am happy to take a few photos of your family and/or siblings together. we usually do those towards the beginning, especially if siblings are involved so that they can be done quickly. the only exception is if baby is having a difficult time going to sleep- the priority is always getting some good photos of baby. i recommend wearing something neutral and timeless- no big patterns or logos. i encourage you to bring someone who can take siblings home after they are done, as the session can go long and they get bored! there are times that siblings,particularly ages 1-3 can be very resistant to sibling portraits. if the older sibling is having a hard time and baby is being disturbed, we will have to forego sibling photos in order to make sure to get all the photos we would need of your newborn.
*what does a typical session look like?
the morning of your session, i ask that you keep baby awake for 2 hours prior to leaving for the session. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! you will feed baby right before leaving your home for my studio. baby should fall asleep on the ride over, which allows us to start immediately. i keep my studio very warm- around 85 degrees to keep baby happy, so you may want to dress in layers. i usually choose two blankets and 3-4 ‘prop’ set-up (bed, crate, basket, etc). i always ask ahead of time if you have a preference of blanket color/prop. since baby is naked, he/she WILL poop or pee during the session. probably on me. or a blanket. it is okay! they all do. and i have great detergent if you brought other children, you may want to have daddy or another adult pick them up or take them to the nearby park- sessions usually last around 2 1/2 – 3 hours, which is a long time for siblings. some babies sleep through the entire thing and we are able to pose them quickly and easily. other babies have a harder time and it can take quite a bit longer to keep them still and sleepy for the session. depending on your baby’s needs, you may have to feed baby again during the session, so bring anything you may need for that.
*will my baby be safe?
YES! your baby’s safety is my #1 priority! i use composite images when necessary (using two different images and photoshopping them together to create one image), along with using parents as a spotter when necessary. i double check all my props to make sure they are safe and secure for your most precious little one.
*can you edit that?
there is a lot that can be edited in photoshop. i take great time and care to edit your portraits. i always make sure your sweet baby’s face is perfect, removing any blemishes, dry skin, or blotches that may be there. there are some things that i personally believe are beautiful and reflect the newness of your little one. flaky skin on the hands and feet, hair on the back or shoulders, and an umbilical cord are all things that will very quickly be gone and are sweet symbols of how fresh this baby is. i do not remove these things from your photos. if you have 2-3 images you plan on turning into large canvases or prints for your wall, i am happy to remove any skin or reduce/soften hair (if possible) on those images, but there will be an additional fee for excessive editing (more than what i deem professionally necessary) after your custom-edited images have been delivered to you. ( i typically spend around ten hours editing a newborn session.)i cannot remove umbilical cords, so if that is something you do not want shown, please be sure to let me know BEFORE your session so i can plan accordingly. the images in my galleries are all great examples of what your final images will look like.
*my friend says she’ll photograph my baby for free. why shouldn’t i just do that?
i cannot begin to explain how much knowledge of both a baby and photography is necessary to capture a great image of a newborn. every baby has different likes and dislikes, and i have learned how to work with each baby individually to capture sweet, perfect portraits of them. newborn safety is also a HUGE concern…you cannot just put a baby into any container you see, or try a pose you saw on pinterest without knowing how to actually safely handle your baby. i have both the equipment and experience necessary to safely and beautifully capture your baby. i have moms and dads tell me almost every session that they had NO IDEA how hard it was to photograph a newborn and how glad they were they didn’t try it themselves! i also hear far too often how sad people are when they tried themselves or used an amateur.
newborn photography is an investment. these moments are gone so quickly… by the time your get your photos back, your baby will already be bigger! newborn photography is also a very expensive niche- the props/backdrops/etc are all very expensive, along with the professional camera equipment i use.
*i saw this picture on pinterest. can you copy that?
i always love to see what types of images you gravitate towards, and what you are hoping to see in your images. BUT… every photographer has a different style, and every baby has a different personality. what one baby is willing to do without fuss, another may dislike totally. i work with your baby to find natural poses that they are happy in. i also cannot copy another photographer’s work…. that is their art, their ideas, their work. i can take inspiration from it and take that inspiration + your baby to create something special and unique for you. also… most people’s pinterest boards are full of the very best image from photographer’s sessions. i’d suggest choosing your favorite 2-3 images for us to use as inspiration. an entire board can be overwhelming and isn’t realistic. i’d love for you to look through my galleries and blogs to pin images for your sessions rather than other photographer’s work. the best thing you can do is to create a pinterest board using MY images from my blog and galleries!! then you are guaranteed that i will have the props you love and that it is my style. ultimately, i hope that you are hiring me because you love MY style and trust me to style your session well.
*can i bring some props for the session?
we have all seen the photos of baby holding a football or wearing a mermaid outfit. while those portraits are very cute, they are not exactly the type of images that i create. in the past i have done those photos, but i am moving towards a style that doesn’t lend itself to those types of images. if there is something you really want to do, please let me know and we discuss if it is possible. i have also learned what types of props photograph well and coordinate with my backdrops/props. i purchase my props from vendors that specialize in high-quality newborn photography items- your items may be very cute, but not necessarily something that will photograph well.