YOUR

PREP GUIDE 

NEWBORN PREPARATION GUIDE

​Congratulations on your new arrival and thank you for allowing me the amazing rewarding job of photographing your new baby in his/her first few days of life.

I am so excited to meet you and beyond honoured you have chosen me to preserve these sweet and tiny memories of your precious newborn! Please take your time to carefully read through the preparation guide to help prepare for a successful newborn session. In this guide you will find information on how to prepare your family members and newborn for his/her session, what to bring and what to expect. If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to ask. 

Belinda x

What to wear? 

For inspiration on what to wear to your session please view my Pinterest board 

For Dad: I suggest light coloured jeans or chinos and solid coloured top.
Plain off white, cream, light blue or grey t-shirt, knit long sleeve top or even casual shirt untucked with the sleeves rolled up looks great!

For Mum: If you have a summer dress or a top that you love and would like to wear, I encourage you to bring it, it is your session so you can wear what you like!

I personally love soft floral prints, feminine, delicate, floaty and whimsy style of maxi/midi dresses on a mum as it seems to compliment my style and the mood of the images and is also very forgiving at the same time.
Another great option that photographs well is white skinny jeans and light/neutral/pastel coloured floaty blouse.

Have a think about your hair and makeup. There’s no need to go overboard here, but a little special touch here and there can go a long way in creating stunning portraits.

Tips:  Please avoid being super matchy with outfits but rather mix and match 2-3 colours that compliment each. Start with mum: Pick out your all-time favourite outfit that makes you feel like a million dollars (or treat yourself to something new) and use your outfit to guide your choices for the rest of your family.

You can just as easily start with someone else in your family that you already have an amazing outfit for, and go from there.

  • Think Smart, Casual and Comfortable!
  • Light to mid-toned, neutral or pastel colours photograph best for all family members
  • Soft small delicate floral prints photograph lovely on mummies or little girls, textures such as linen or lace, light denim and anything with movement such as midi or maxi dress, skirts & pretty blouses.
  • Iron and hang your clothes…wrinkles don’t fade in photographs
  • Please avoid wearing black and bright colours, stripes, logos, graphics and stiff business shirts
  • Mum please make sure that your nails are fresh clean and tidy, as your hands will be in a lot of photographs. Please also avoid wearing fake tan.
  • Don’t stress about footwear as we won’t see your shoes in the photographs!

Not sure where to shop?

I highly recommend that mum takes a look at the following online stores if she is after a beautiful maxi or midi dress: Hazel + Folk, Coven & Co, Petal and Pup, Kivari, Gingham and Heels, Baltic Born, The Iconic, ShowPo, Maive and Bo Karibou, and ASOS. I would also recommend looking in these local stores for mum/dad/children: Seed Heritage, Witchery, Forever New, Barkers, Country Road, Zara, H&M, Max, Decjuba, Farmers, Cotton On, Kmart, Jamie Kay, Nature Baby, Two darlings, Karibou, Arabella and Rose,

What Should Big Brother/Sister Wear?  

Neutral or mid-tones work best.

A pretty dress for girls and chinos/jeans and a top for your wee boy would look great
Please avoid clothing with any distracting logos, pictures or writing!!
Do not worry about foot wear, siblings will be photographed in bare feet.
Please make sure your child’s face and hands are clean and avoid eating/drinking anything that will stain the skin.
Please clean away any nail polish, stamps, felt tip pens, dirty nails, eye gunk and boogers

Note sure where to shop? See above for my recommendations

Newborns – I will provide everything that we need for baby, however if you have a knitted shawl please bring it along to the session with you.

What to bring on the day of your session?

  • Nappy bag – full of supplies to see you through 3-4 hours
  • Reading material or Ipad – to help pass the time while I’m working.
  • Sentimental Items – feel free to bring along any items that are sentimental to your family to include in the images. 
  • Extra Bottles: Whether your nursing or bottle feeding, some babies tend to eat more than usual during their photo session. It’s best to be prepared! Please also bring your own snack and drinks for yourself/family members as well as our session will run into the lunch hour. 
  • Pacifier: Please bring a pacifier/dummy with you even if your baby does not use on on a regular basis. 
    The short amount of time we will be using on should not affect any habit-forming of behaviours for your baby. 
    My goal is to help keep baby happy and calm during our session. 
  • A spare change of clothing for all – you can leave this in your car
  • Please only have with you those being photographed at the session. Your session allows just you guys: parents and baby/kids. It does not include extended family beyond that!
     

Ultimately, I want you to enjoy this experience as much as I enjoy capturing it. It’s ok to be a bit nervous. I have to admit that I don’t get in front of the camera much myself! But I can guarantee you that you will not regret having these memories to cherish.

 

On the day of your session

​Important! I can’t stress enough that it is so important to do your best to keep baby awake for 1-2 hours before your session!!

Interact with and try to keep baby awake as much as possible before your shoot to ensure baby is good and sleepy for the session. It’s important to keep baby awake awake 1-2 hour directly before your session. If you need to give him/her a bath, or get him/her naked to keep him/her awake, even let baby fuss for a little, those are some good tricks to use. I know this is hard, but if you let baby sleep for 2 hours before your session I will have to spend most of my time getting baby to sleep rather than taking photos which may reduce in a smaller gallery or less poses we would like.

Dress baby in loose fitting clothes to avoid any lines on baby’s skin and to also avoid disturbing baby when getting undressed. A simple sleeper/stretch’n’grow is best. Please avoid anything that has to be pulled off over baby’s head, this includes singlets! 

Baby will also need to have a nice full belly right before his/her scheduled shoot, you can either give baby a big feed and bring up all burps before you leave the house or you can do this on arrival to the studio.

 

Siblings 

​Including older brother/sister in your newborn’s portraits is the perfect way to document this fleeting time in your lives.
​If there are older siblings that will be included in photos, those images will be photographed at the start of the session. I do however understand that a 3 hours session in a small, hot room is a long time for them: the best way to manage this is either bringing two cars so that Dad can take older sibling(s) back home after we finish with family images, or have Dad take older sibling(s) out on errands or to grab a snack, visit the library or play at the park while we complete the session.

If you would prefer to do family/sibling images at the end of the session then siblings can join us at 12pm.
Please let me know prior to your session if you would like to do this.

I can almost guarantee you that siblings may be reluctant participants. Bribes are a necessary evil, so have a think about what currently works for your children! Some ideas are stickers, a colouring book, Maccas on the way home and of course lollies if your little one is old enough!

 

The Session 

Your session starts at 10.30am

Sessions are 2-3 hours long and completely baby-led. Try not to make any other appointments to follow your session, as you may become anxious and put pressure on yourself to rush through. My whole aim for your time here is to maintain a calm environment and to enjoy watching your baby in their very first photo shoot. Everything I do is done with great patience and care, however I do work quickly and efficiently to ensure you aren’t here any longer than you need to be.

Your session will take place in my custom built home studio located at 8 Roundhouse Close, Whitby Please use google maps to find us, as we are in a new subdivision – Roundhouse Close is a private lane and we are one of the very end houses tucked away on the right – there is plenty of room for you to drive down and turn around.

When you arrive, please park in my driveway so you have nice easy access to our front door.

If you happen to be running late please call/text me to let me know 027 365 7765

Please leave baby in the car seat when bringing him/her into the studio.
I will remove baby very slowly in the warm studio to avoid disturbing them as much as possible.

During the session, sit back and relax. I won’t need much assistance, so take advantage of this time to rest on the couch (I’m sure you need it!). Parents will often watch a movie on their ipad, answer emails or read in my sitting area while I work with your new little one. I’ve even had some parents take a nap which is totally fine!

I do not contort babies bodies or have them in positions that aren’t natural to them; nor do I put them into flower pots etc. My sessions are natural and relaxed and “baby-led” which means lovely, curly womb like positions. Some people don’t book me because of this as they’d prefer more elaborate set-ups, and that’s ok. The people that do book me appreciate the beauty in the ‘simple’ and ‘less is more’. It is very important to remember that your baby will not perform on demand, experience has shown if you start stressing about the baby not settling, the baby will pick up on it. So please just relax.
My biggest aim is to evoke those emotions you have for your partner and baby and capture it for you, almost like bottling it up, and giving it back to you to open up forever and a day. You may not even realize on the day what I’m getting – all I ask is that you trust and leave it to me.
The images will be real, something you and your children and your children’s children will appreciate for many years to come.

A baby with a full tummy is a happy sleepy baby. Please be prepared to feed baby a few times during your session.

The room will be warm, 28 degrees as we want baby to be comfortable enough to sleep semi nude. You may want to dress in light clothes so you don’t get too hot yourselves.

I also use a white noise as a background noise as a way of settling baby. This is proven to be great comfort for newborns as a “shh-ing”

Being a mother myself I will at all times have your baby’s safety and comfort as paramount. When your baby finally reaches that deep sleep cycle, I will be able to position him/her into various natural poses to achieve maximum cuteness.

 

After The Session:

I aim to have your gallery delivered to you 2-3 weeks after your session. You will receive an email from me with a link to your password protected online viewing gallery which you are welcome to share with friends and family. Your gallery will be live for 7 days. During this time you be able to choose your package and select your images you wish to purchase.. Payment for your chosen package is due on the day your gallery expires.

It is my hope that you come to my studio feeling comfortable and at home. I am truly honoured to be able to document this incredible time in your lives and I look forward to getting to know you and your sweet baby!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

 

Belinda x