Ms. Studios Loves Babies!
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Saturday, June 04, 2016
By Ms. Studios
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At Ms. Studios we’re all about celebrating how fierce and amazing women are and I can’t think of anything more fierce and amazing than growing another human being!  In addition to a Maternity session, there are 4 types of ‘baby’ sessions to choose from, you can incorporate one or all as you wish.  Keep in mind that scheduling can be tricky when you’re dealing with babies who have a mind of their own about when they would like their birthday to be.  Please call during your 2nd trimester so we can work on setting tentative dates based around your expected due date.  This will make sure we get you on the calendar and then you can provide updates as your pregnancy progresses. 

Birth Session – A birth session is literally a session in the labor & delivery room documenting the actual birth process.  It can be done for natural birth as well as a C-section with the permission of your doctor and hospital, which you would need to secure in advance.  It is very ‘photojournalistic’ in style.  There is nothing you need to do to prepare for a birth session other than confirm that your doctor and hospital do not have any regulations against photography in the delivery room.  With the unpredictability of Mother Nature, these are very hard to schedule in advance and require the photographer to remain local and be ‘on-call’ for roughly the last 3 weeks of your pregnancy.  At present we are only taking a very limited number of birth sessions under special circumstances.  Please call for current information if you are interested in a birth session. 

Fresh 48 Session -  A Fresh 48 session is for families who wish to document their child’s first days and all the excitement surrounding those days without photographing the actual birth itself.  It is a ‘lifestyle’ session held in the hospital within the first 12-48 hours of your precious baby’s life.  These are not quite as difficult to schedule as a birth session, but again, we are working within a very small window to get this session booked and on the schedule due to the unpredictability of Mother Nature which necessitates the need for the photographer to basically be ‘on-call’ as your due date nears.  This session requires no prep on your part; all you have to do is love on that sweet baby and allow us to document it. 

Newborn Session – Newborn sessions occur within the first 3-10 days of life and can be held in my studio or your home.  Babies sleep more soundly in the first few days and since they are used to being curled up in the womb this means they are more inclined to stay in those sweet baby poses at this age.  After that they figure out how good stretching feels and some of those adorable poses may not be achievable.  If baby is particularly red or jaundiced, we will try to schedule closer to the 10 day mark.  Scheduling is not as tricky as birth and/or Fresh 48 but babies have a mind of their own so additional time must be scheduled for the session so that we can build in time to feed or sooth baby between poses.  We may not need the whole time, but we dedicate a 4 hour window for your Newborn session.  The style is more ‘studio portrait’ and requires a bit of prep to make sure baby is comfortable and content.  Here are some tips to ensure a successful Newborn session;

  • If mommy is nursing, she should avoid any spicy foods for 24 hours prior to the session.
  • If the session is in your home, open all the blinds and curtains prior to the session so that we can ascertain the best natural light.  Natural light is exquisite so we prefer that if at all possible.  Sometimes that is as easy as your living room if you’ve got a large window there, other times it might mean squeezing into the foyer with the front door open.  We’ll also bring reflectors and auxiliary lighting to enhance the natural light should we need to.
  • Mid-morning to mid-afternoon is best.  Babies are typically more cooperative earlier in the day and natural/window light is better at that time. 
  • Baby should be dressed in loose or no clothing prior to the session to avoid any lines or marks caused by elastic or other tight fitting clothes.  Also avoid onesies or other items that need to go over baby’s head. 
  • If the session is in your home, 30 minutes prior to session time, increase your thermostat to 85 degrees.  (Yes, you read that right, babies like it warm especially when they’re naked.)  I can guarantee you that I’ll be a hot mess, and by the end of the session you may be too, but it’ll be worth it for those adorable newborn baby images.  Also helpful is if we can warm up the blankets in your dryer from time to time throughout the session, this is not mandatory though. 
  • Keep baby awake 90 minutes to 2 hours prior to session, we want baby to be ready for a nice long nap.  A good way to do this is to give baby a bath just before the session, this will tire them out a little and their hair (if they have any) will be soft and fluffy. 
  • Baby needs a full belly to be happy, sleepy, and content.  Schedule prior feedings so that the next feeding coincides with the session start time.  Be prepared to nurse or bottle feed baby either at my studio or while I’m setting up in your home immediately prior to us beginning the session.  Full babies are happy babies.  And we will be prepared to take as many ‘snack breaks’ as baby needs to stay full, happy, dozy, and content! 
  • If you have older children that you would like included in the session, ideally we would like to schedule those shots either first or last and then, if possible, have someone take the older children elsewhere for the remainder of the session to maintain a calm and peaceful environment.  That includes pets too, if you have a noisy pet we want to avoid noises that might startle, wake, and/or upset baby. 
  • Babies can smell mommy (even if you’re not lactating).  Mommy should observe from whatever distance she is comfortable but know that the closer to baby, the greater the possibility that baby will sense/smell mommy and want her.  Standing just a few feet back can mean the difference in not having to stop and sooth baby multiple times.  That said, we’re happy to work within your comfort level and will do what we need to in order to make it work.  We do ask that you don’t do any activity which would cause us not to be able to access you, i.e., take a shower, leave the premises, etc. 
  • Being a newborn model is a tough job and we all know how temperamental models can be, if baby isn't cooperative, don’t stress it!  Babies pick up on stress and frustrations and that is why we block off plenty of time.  And here’s a lesson that you’re going to encounter over and over in your career as a parent – when your child doesn’t behave or do what you think they should, IT IS NOT A REFLECTION ON YOU AS A PARENT!  If your precious angel is fussy DON’T sit there and think to yourself, “Oh Lord, other babies always look so content and mine is not cooperating.”  It’s ok, let me repeat, it’s ok!  If you stay calm, baby is more likely to be calm.  We’ll work with what baby gives us. 
  • And don’t be embarrassed when baby pees or poops right in the middle of that perfect shot.  (You notice I said “when”, not “if”.)  It happens and it’s perfectly natural.  Please have a backup change of clothes for yourself and plenty of towels, blankets, and baby wipes handy. 
  • We will bring a basket, blankets, wraps, and potentially headbands (for girls).  You are certainly welcome to have props on hand that you would like to use and we will try to incorporate them if safe and possible.  Please note that photographer will not use any prop or attempt any pose that she feels cannot be achieved safely.  And if at any point you feel uncomfortable with a prop or pose, please tell us immediately.  Baby’s safety and your comfort is our utmost concern. 
  • Not all newborn sessions include mommy and daddy, if yours does you'll want to dress in light layers (remember the item about the temperature) and considering the following;
    - Mom, consider pampering yourself a little, you did just push a human being out of you, a little pampering is not too much to ask.  Go get your hair done, or have your sister or bestie come over and help you with your make-up.  Whatever makes you feel good.  Now is not the time to try and force your body back into your pre-pregnancy clothes.  Wear something that is comfortable and that you can easily move in.  Also, a little color is lovely but avoid busy prints.  Again, we want a calm and soothing environment.  ‘Skin to skin’ images are classic and timeless.  If you wish to incorporate those in your session, consider having a tube top or bandeau bra handy.  If you don’t have one, please don’t feel obligated to run out and buy one just for this, we can certainly just wrap a towel around you or you can go ‘au natural’ if you’re comfortable with it, I promise I won’t blush.  Don’t be offended, but I will be so focused on your baby, I probably won’t even notice if you’re topless.
    - Dad, your handsome face and your hands will play a key role in the session.  Make sure your hands are clean, nails trimmed, and a little moisturizer would be great.  A little moisturizer will also help freshen up your sleep deprived face too.  Well-fitting (not too tight, not too baggy) knit shirts with no logo work well.  Like mom, avoid busy prints and make sure your attire is wrinkle free – you can thank me later for keeping you out of the doghouse with your wife and your wallet will thank me when you don’t have the added fees for hours of retouching the wrinkles out of your shirt or trousers.
  • Images of your new little family in your bed are personal and lovely.  Consider this idea for in home sessions.  If you choose to do so, make sure the bed is made and the nightstands (if any) are free of clutter.  Light colored bedding with little to no print (again, we’re trying to avoid busy prints) is best. 
  • I know this seems like a lot of information and you’re probably thinking, “whoa, who knew it was going to be this complicated?”  Well, rest assured it seems more complicated than it is, especially when you’re already juggling how to be the perfect parent on no sleep.  Newborn sessions are hard work for baby and photographer but for the most part, with a few exceptions, you get to just sit back and watch.   These tips will help to make it as successful as we can and the payoff is so worth it. 

New Family Session – If there is some reason that we can’t schedule a Newborn session within the first 10 days, don’t fret.  A New Family session is designed to celebrate the new family member and your new family dynamic at a few weeks or months.  The only difference, depending on when we can schedule the session, is in the types of poses that we can achieve.  Babies are much more complacent in the early days with a Newborn session and we can achieve some poses that just aren’t realistic after a couple weeks or months, but that doesn’t mean we can’t achieve beautiful heirloom quality portraits of your precious family.  These sessions are often even less stressful for new parents because by this time you have settled into more of a routine and you aren’t quite as sleep deprived.  So there are pluses on both sides. 

Whatever type of session you choose, or all four if you like, let Ms. Studios be your Newborn Photographer to help you welcome this amazing new little person into your lives and your family.

Tags: Newborn
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