Newborn Sessions - Frequently Asked Questions
So, what is the Bella Faces Newborn Photography experience?
* It's convenient and stress-free. All you have to do is open the door. I take it from there! I come to you (no driving around!) and bring everything we could possibly need for your session, including blankets, hats, headbands and more. You don't even need to pick up the house. All we'll need is a window with good light and we'll be good to go. For clients who prefer to come to me, I can hold your newborn session in my home.
* It's personal. I take great care to get to know you and your wishes for newborn photography. Through chatting on the phone or in person I will learn about what you're hoping to achieve in your newborn session and we begin to collaborate. I'm available to answer any question you might have and educate you on the process with tips and helpful hints in preparing for the shoot.
* It's simple and elegant. Babies are perfect and gorgeous as-is, so instead of loud/busy props, and glamour-type shots, I rely on high-quality baskets, blankets, hats and neutral backgrounds that showcase your little one's natural beauty. We also utilize greenscreen photography which give us greater flexibility for the appearance of being in a large studio. Your images won't reflect fleeting trends, rather timeless images that can be a showpiece in your home for years and years.
What makes a newborn portrait special is the unique piece of art we are able to create for your family. The images you will receive are created due to not only the creativity of our photography, but also the parents being prepared. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions. We hope this page will help you prepare for your newborn session, however we love talking with and helping our clients. Please pick up the phone and call us with any questions you may have! 714-702-9776.
How old should baby be?
Newborn sessions are best during the first two weeks of life, preferably days 5-10. Newborn sessions can be done later, but sometimes they can be trickier. During the first 10 days, baby is the smallest he/she will ever be and also very sleepy. Baby will still have that newborn curl that helps make for some very cute poses! I will attempt newborn style sessions for babies up to six weeks old, though the sessions will be a little different and will require additional time and patience and are not likely to result in those curly sleeping baby pictures but we still think you’ll be pleased with the results.
How long will the newborn photo session last?
This varies greatly. Every baby is unique and the baby is in charge. A newborn session cannot be rushed. For the best results, baby should be relaxed and achieving those cute poses can often take time. Baby may need one or more feeding and diaper changes during the session. A typical session runs three to four hours but we've had them last a bit longer (and we don't charge more if sessions go longer than 4 hours). I am willing to spend an extra hour, go the extra mile and deliver a top quality experience. It is about more than a beautiful picture. I recommend not scheduling any other appointments on the day of your session.
What should we wear?
Most newborn images are done with baby in a diaper cover, a swaddle or naked. If you have an heirloom piece, something personal of mom or dad's that tells a story (like a fireman's hat and boots for a fireman daddy) and/or special blankets we can try to work those into the photos as well. (I love putting wedding rings of Mommy and Daddy on baby’s feet.) I have a collection of blankets with different textures, as well as hats, diaper covers, and hammocks that I will bring with me. Mom, dad and sibling(s) look best in neutral toned clothing (black or white shirts and jeans for Mom and Dad). We don’t want the clothing to distract from the baby. We often utilize a green screen and key out the green in post-production and substitute a studio or location background so please avoid the use of green clothing.
How can I prepare my newborn for his or her photo session?
A well fed baby is a happy sleepy baby! Although newborns generally aren’t on schedules yet, please try to feed baby right before my arrival. Make sure you get a good burp in! A baby with gas is not a happy baby and can result in lots of crying. We can give baby some time to get into a deep slumber as I set up. If baby wakes up that is okay too; with newborns, we just go with the flow.
If baby takes a bottle and/or pacifier please have those ready. A pacifier can be a tremendous help in the newborn session.
Don’t worry about baby acne or little scratches. Our expert retouching will either eliminate or drastically minimize these imperfections. If your baby has extremely dry skin, try putting baby lotion on prior to your session and having extra baby lotion on hand. This will help the retouching process.
About 30 minutes before your session be sure to loosen baby's diaper. This will reduce the diaper marks from their naked little bottoms. Also do not have tight socks on their feet. Socks leave sock lines at their ankles.
How can I prepare my home for the newborn session?
Please have all the blinds open if possible. Sometimes the best light is in the most unlikely places.
Baby is used to being in a 98 degree womb and used to being naked or near naked. It is important to turn up the heat so baby is comfortable and happy. I will bring a space heater to help, but please turn up the heat 30-45 minutes before my arrival. If we are very, very warm then baby is comfortable. Let me repeat this part because it is important. If we’re sweating then the baby is comfortable and that’s just what we want.
I have in-the-womb heartsounds and white noise on my ipod and we place it close to baby to help keep baby calm, but If you have a white noise machine and/or the sleep sheep that baby is already used to, have it on hand.
Wipes and towels are helpful for whatever messes we might encounter but I carry those along with me too if you’re in short supply.
If there are any siblings, having someone help with keeping them entertained during the session is a big stress reliever. We can bring them in near the end of the session for some cute shots.
Please son't worry about an untidy house. I am a mom myself and I know how tough it is to even take a shower in the early days. We may need to move some things around to utilize to the best light. I have no problem making temporary furniture rearrangements if you don’t mind.
How can I prepare myself for the newborn session?
Try to have your nails neat because I often take photos with hands.
I will happily help soothe your baby as necessary. If Dad is there, we can have him help out too, but I bring with me an able-bodied photographer’s assistant who just happens to LOVE babies. Babies are very sensitive to the scent of mom and that can often make them less relaxed and more anxious to feed again. Because of this it may be necessary to ask mom to step away from the immediate shooting area when individual photos are done.
Although I have said this before, I can’t stress it enough. It is not unusual for baby to need to feed at some point during the session so please do not feel that it is an inconvenience. We want to keep baby happy and calm. Being patient and flexible are key. This is such a precious and fleeting time in life. It is my goal to create beautiful newborn portraits that you will cherish forever.
One Last Thing … No matter what your baby does, please know that I am always relaxed. I’m doing what I love and this session is supposed to be a special experience for you and I don’t want you stressed if the baby starts to cry, or pees on my blankets. It’s going to happen so expect it. Hey, they’re babies, right? The baby can sense stress and it usually makes them cry more. We have plenty of time allowed for your session and are prepared to take as much time on each shot as it requires to get those perfect, curly sleeping baby pictures. If we need to take a break to feed, walk, rock, etc. we can do that. We want you to enjoy the experience of your session and this special bonding moment for your family.