Newborn Sessions Guidelines

 

 

Thank you for contacting Carol Souza Photography and congratulations on your new bundle of joy! After years of experience with newborns and countless emails from my dear clients I have decided to put together and FAQ about newborn photography so that you can have an idea about what to expect from the time of your booking until your photos are ready!

If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact me by clicking here!

I am really looking forward to meeting your beautiful family and help you eternalize this beautiful moment.

 

Q: What is the best time to make my booking?

A: You can book your session as early as your 20 weeks scan. Once you have had the scan I can allocate your maternity shooting on a period around your due date. Once your little bubba arrives, you can call me to arrange a day and time that suits you best. It is advised to call straight away as we have very busy periods – allocating on your due date means you will always have your slot reserved.  You can call or email me to book your session.

 

 

Q: Where is your studio located?

A: My studio is located on my home in Carina. It a charming Queenslander a few blocks away from Westfield Carindale and I have 2 rooms equipped and set up just for the sessions. It’s definitely my favorite room in our house!

And there is plenty of street parking available which is one less thing to worry about! And also a lot of shops and parks around, Westfield Carindale is just around the corner and the Carindale Reserve is a 4 minutes drive!

 

 

Q: How is a newborn session scheduled?

A: Every baby arrives on his/her own time. I know that very rarely does a baby arrive exactly on his/her due date so this is how I handle scheduling: I will add your due date on my schedule and then wait for your call. I understand that you will have a lot going on, but if possible, within 48 hours of your baby being born please contact me so that we can choose a date/time that works well for both of us. Because of the unknown arrival of a baby I do not choose specific days until after the baby is born (unless you have a planned C-section or induction scheduled).

 

Q: How old is a baby for a newborn session?

A: Newborn sessions happen ideally within 4-10 days after the baby is born, and no more than 21 days old.

I know how you may feel tired/exhausted and not at your best after birth but scientific studies have shown that babies are curly and sleepy the best for the first couple weeks of their life making them more prone to pose when they are 4-12 days old. Don’t worry if the baby’s belly button is not healed as I have experienced handling their newborn bodies. We can position the baby differently during the shoot in case you do not want it showing on your photos as well.

And mamas I know we carry extra unwanted weight on our bodies after birth, I take that in to consideration when posing and editing… So don’t worry!

If for some reason the baby is ill or you are still in the hospital then we’ll be in touch as soon as everyone is home and feeling well. I do sessions with babies older than 21 days but that means that the baby will be wrapped and possibly awake for most of the session and the posing will be a bit different aswell but the images will certainly be beautiful!

Q: Where do newborn sessions happen?

A: Newborn sessions can happen in my at-home studio space with backdrops, props, proper lighting etc… OR a lifestyle session can happen in your own home. Lifestyle sessions happen in the comfort of your own home and include little to no props.

These two session types are very different in nature and have different image outcomes, so you’ll have to decide if you want baskets, blankets, headbands, props, etc… or if you would prefer to cuddle on your couch, with the baby sleeping in his/her crib and/or capture moments at home with baby, pets, siblings, etc… Please view example galleries from the home page of my website for a better idea of what to expect.

 

 

Q: I want a newborn style session in my house, do you offer this service too?

A: Newborn sessions at your own home are offered for only an extra $150 relocation fee. The process of loading materials and transport can add up to 3 hours to my session time definitely taking a lot of hours/energy for a already long shoot.

In my studio I have everything organized and ready to go which makes the sessions more enjoyable. Most parents enjoy the relaxed environment at my own studio taking advantage of a few hours of peacefulness to even have a snooze and relax.

 

 

Q: Is there something that I need to do before the session?

A: I know it is hard, but try to keep an eye out for the newborn sleep patters even tho they are not completely set on the first days. If you can and feel comfortable doing it, try to put the baby on the “tummy” position for a few minutes per day so that he/she can get used to it during the session.

For mums, try to avoid coffee, beans and dairy on the day before the session and on the day of the session.

 

 

Q: What should we bring along with us? 

  • Please bring along lots of diapers (your baby may be changed more often here than at home since we will be dressing and undressing him/her).
  • Milk, milk and more milk! Baby will need lots of top ups throughout the session so as long as we have milk we will be fine, if you are breast feeding and you can express a little beforehand to give you a little break that’s a good idea.. If not we have plenty of time for you to top baby up.
  • A few burp cloths to catch messes that may happen.
  • A few warm blankets to snuggle your baby in while he/she feeds. Often times I will ask you to nurse/feed your baby while he/she doesn’t have clothes on to make transitions easier, so bring a few warm blankets. Yes one may get peed or pooped on so bring at least 2! Hehe!
  • If you can, bring the soothie pacifier the hospital sent you home with. It’s the bendable, green/blue/orangish one, and won’t leave marks. Even if you haven’t used one, just for the 2 hours that I’m posing him/her usually really helps. This is not mandatory as I understand that some parents choose not to give their babies pacifiers and I will need to use different techniques to soothe the baby.
  • Any special items from home, as I mentioned earlier, and any hats, headbands, blankets, etc… that you want you baby in.
  • A change of clothes for mum and dad as the baby will be naked for most of the time and little “accidents” might happen
  • Some snacks and something to read after all you will stay in the studio for quite a while. Please bring some lunch with you and snacks..I can provide tea and coffee. Dad can bring his laptop etc for entertainment as I have wifi available or he can simply have a snooze on our super comfortable couch! 

 

 

Q: What should we wear during the session?

A: My style of photography is quite simple and I do love “skin to skin” contact on my shots. With mums I usually wrap around a piece of fabric on the top so that we can see shoulders and arms and I highly encourage dads to take photos without a shirt on.

The session needs to be about what the parents want and what they feel comfortable with, so you are more then welcome to bring your own clothes to the session. I always advise that you bring plain pastel colors or white colors for family shots and avoid shirts with large logos and prints and also avoid large accessories. The same goes for siblings shots, keep it simple so that the focus is on the beauty of your family!

As for the new member of the family, My style of shooting newborns is with little clothing so outfits are not usually necessary …I have a vast range of wraps shawls and little knitted and crocheted rompers to make your images timeless and last for a very long time to come.

It will be at least 30 degrees in the studio. Due to this, I come dressed for a warm few hours and suggest you do too!

 

 

Q: What is essential to know before the session?

A: Before the shoot, please feed baby 2-3 hours prior, and plan on feeding him/her as soon as you get there! Also, please do not let him sleep beforehand, instead try giving him a bath, let him kick with only a diaper, tickle his toes, and even let him fuss for a little bit (no pacifiers) for the few hours beforehand. This will ensure those squishy, sleepy newborn pictures!

I can’t stress that it’s so important to do your best to keep bub awake and to plan to feed once you are in the studio.

Many parents come in saying “baby has been sleeping all morning, but trust me, he sleeps SO good this time of day!” only to have baby wake up, since they will be unclothed and unswaddled!  

 

 

Q: What happens during a newborn session?

Newborn sessions start as near to 9 am as you can make it as babies tend to suffer less from colic earlier on on the day…

Some session can sometimes take a bit longer then that, and there is no rush and we can take our time as there are no additional charges if the session goes over the 4 hours limit. We will have discussed any preferences you may have when we arranged the day and time for your session i.e what sort of shots you would like, family shots, colours etc.

All babies are different and the majority settle really well and sleep through most of the session. I adore babies and have years of experienced and endless patience so you have no need to worry or stress at all. I have been trained with the best photographers in Brisbane and around the world and I can guarantee that I would never put your precious baby at risk just to get an image. I really encourage an open communication during my session and also the help of mum and dad as I don’t have an assistant.

 

 

A: Do you take Partner & Sibling images?

I love taking Mummy and Daddy shots during my newborn sessions, and my style is relaxed and informal so even the most camera shy can be assured I won’t ask you for fake smile.

Often the best images are when you are not looking at the camera and even baby in daddies arms and hands can be very powerful if dad doesn’t want to be photographed. Older Brothers and Sisters are welcome to have their photographs taken with their new baby but as we all know young children get bored very easily, and babies are not comfortable being held by young children we get round this by having a few specific shots that have been tried and tested to get the best images of baby and their brothers and sisters.  I do try and get these shots done first and ask that someone can come and take the children away after we have finished these shots as having children at the studio can really jeopardise the progress of the session and there are a lot of sharp corners and tiny objects around and we don’t want them to get hurt!

If for some reason baby isn’t settling during the sibilins session we can bring them back and get the shots at the end of the session.

 

 

Q: Are other relatives welcome to come on the session?

A: Most of my clients are from other countries and I do try to accommodate their needs when it comes to bringing members of the family to the photoshoot, after all, it is a beautiful moment on the family’s life and it is important to include the grandparents on such a wonderful celebration.

The number of people is limited to a maximum of 4 extra people (2 sets of grandparents) and this only applies to my complete package as it increases the time of the session and my time editing. Grandparents are not encouraged to stay in the studio as I have a very small place and it will make it difficult for the newborn to sleep with too many people around. If the grandparents are not able to go home after the photos are taken, Westifield Carindale Shopping Centre is at a walking distance to my house and this could be a good option for them to pass time while we finish the newborn photos.

 

 

Q: What happens after?

A: During your session I will show you a few of your pictures as we take them. Once we have finished the session my job has just begun. I will take 2-3hrs to go through all the images we take and find 40 -50 of the very best. These I will edit and color correct babies skin and remove spots, rashes and scratches etc…birthmarks , mongolian blue spot and moles will not be retouched unless specifically requested.

I will always do a full edit 3 of the best image for you to have a sneak peek as soon as I can after the session and upload to my FB page on the night after the session.

After this, it will take a few days to deliver the complete gallery and you can expect to receive an email from me between 2-3 weeks after the session with your watermarked gallery so that you can select your favorite photos, so keep an eye on your inbox!

Thank you very much for reading this all the day through and please let me know if you have any questions about your session!