thank you so much for booking your newborn session with me! no matter who you are, i can honestly say i am *so* looking forward to your session, because i wake up before every newborn session excited to meet my new little clients and their families.
sessions are really relaxing! here is what you need to know before arriving. please read this thoroughly, it’s in your best interests, I promise!
time: unless we specifically agree otherwise, all newborn sessions are scheduled between 10am-2pm.
there’s a good chance it won’t take this long, but i block out this chunk of time to ensure that even if your baby decides to have a cluster feeding frenzy on session day, we still have plenty of time to give you a session with lots of variety that you’ll love.
the most important thing on this page: I’m going to ask you to keep your baby awake for at least two hours before your session.
i know that this doesn’t sound easy for many babes. in fact, it may sound like downright torture. however, this is the single most important thing you can do to ensure a successful session. even babies who ‘sleep all the time’ still need this extra wakeful period to sleep soundly through their session. i will be touching them constantly and moving them around, so it takes a little extra magic to make it happen, and the wakeful period IS that magic. ideally, your morning looks like this:
wake up (7? 8?)
my tips for keeping baby awake prior to session:
- bath time! babies are exhausted by bathing, even sponge baths.
- no pacifiers!
- walking, talking, stimulation
- tummy time and other “floor exercise”
- if you have a long drive to my place, a cool washcloth on the cheek or other pestering works well in the car… we don’t want to use up our sleepy time up en route!
- no feeding in this time frame! if baby isn’t motivated to eat when you arrive here because they’ve been snacking, they likely won’t sleep soundly.
arrive at studio
we want baby to arrive ready to have a nice full feed. after you get here, we’ll strip baby down in the nice warm room and have a serious meal. whether this is by breast or bottle does not matter one bit, just be sure that there’s plenty of it. if your shoot is scheduled before you feel you’ve got a good handle on breastfeeding, some pumped milk or supplemental formula can help immensely. it’s essential that your baby be getting a full tummy.
you’ll be asked to feed as many times as necessary to keep baby content, just like you would at home! newborn sessions contain lots of breaks for eating and cleaning up the inevitable potty messes that sometimes happen.
stuff: my studio contains a ridiculous amount of goodies for your session. we’re talking hundreds of hats, headbands, props, etc. it’s part of what you’re paying me for! so don’t stress about bringing or buying anything for your time here, most of my clients don’t! keeping in mind i don’t usually dress babies “up” aka, i’m not going to put a mermaid tail on your baby… it’s just not my thing.
we will talk about colors and preferences, but i do all of the styling of the session while you relax and enjoy it! if you have any neutral/earthy onesies, pajama sets/sleepers, feel free to bring them. there’s nothing cuter than a baby in a plain white onesie! a shop called lyon & pearle is right down the street from me and consistently has adorable items that work great for sessions. sometimes families like to keep the items their baby is photographed in as mementos.
please DO bring:
- a soothie pacifier – the kind they use at the hospital (I do have sterile ones here at my studio, but most people would rather bring their own!)
- the usual leaving-the-house with baby stuff, a receiving blanket, some extra diapers.
what to wear:
- for moms: neutral is best! think beige, ivory, camel. i keep maternity/flowy dresses in my studio you can wear as well! but if you have something you love, go ahead and bring it. other color tones that work are rust, chambray, denim. you will only be photographed from the most flattering angles, so don’t worry about that part. if you have brightly colored nail polish on, it can be distracting so removed or very neutral is great because hands are often “featured” in your session!
- dads: shirtless, or a plain black v-neck tee, white tee, chambray button down, or other earthy-colored shirt that flows with what partner is bringing
- siblings: little boys are usually shirtless in plain jeans (make sure no bright colored underwear may peek up!) and girls can either be wrapped in a makeshift top here, or a simple ivory, nude, beige, top or dress works well. for toddler ages, i do keep some things in my studio for both boys and girls, if you don’t have anything on hand.
- if your little one has toddler or preschool aged siblings, a session can feel very long to them! the space we’re working in is very warm and needs to remain pretty peaceful. i find it really helpful to have a friend, mother, etc., come with you to the first part of the session with brother or sister, and we will do sibling shots very first thing, and then your helper can take your older kiddos home so that no one gets flustered during the long session.
my studio is located at:
1015 Main St
Vancouver, WA 98660
just about any GPS or phone will get you straight here with no issues. it’s very easy to find right next door to historic Kiggins Theater in downtown Vancouver. The street parking on 11th has the longest allowed length (3hours) – I recommend using the Parking Kitty App.