With Leah Islinger Photography available in Appleton & throughout Fox Valley, WI
Newborn sessions are slow-paced, quiet, calm, and take place in your home. You will be presented with up to 15-25 final preview images in a private online gallery and includes immediate family only.
| Helpful Hints For Your Newborn Session |
When Do I Schedule?
* I recommend scheduling your newborn session while you're still pregnant! I will pencil in your estimated due date and then loosely schedule you in 1 week from there. I then have you contact me as soon as the baby is born to confirm if that date still works and we will adjust the date if necessary.
* I like to schedule my newborns around 12 days old but there is definitely wiggle room so don’t fret if you did not do this! I simply like this time frame because they sleep quite soundly and will still allow me to mold them into position and tuck them into all of those curly poses. During these very early days, they have also not yet developed newborn acne or colic which can start up more in weeks 3 & 4.
Where Does a Newborn Session Take Place?
* I perform all of my sessions in your own home. I find not having to load baby into a car seat and drive them somewhere to be less stressful for baby and the new mommy. This way there are no strange smells or noises for baby and mama can sit back and relax as a new mama should. You don't even have to stay in the room, go grab your breakfast or coffee, or catch up on email - if I need you I'll call for you! If you're up for it and want to try some shots outside if the weather allows I'm totally up for that too!
* Don't worry about what your house looks like! So many people ask that or worry that it'll be a mess with a new baby at home - trust me, I don't bat an eye! If I need to move something over I will and I'll move it back when I'm done. I don't need a lot of room to set up in - a typical living room works great - I've worked in some pretty tight spaces before and I make it work. I bring a backdrop stand with me and light and almost all of the props you see in my photos are mine - let me know if you have any special requests!
* Please let me know of any special items of your own you want to use ahead of time such as grandmas knitted blankie, stuffed lovies, daddy's guitar or old baseball glove. This way I can properly plan ahead when I pack for your session.
* Taking a few photos on your bed is a great way to capture a family photo! If you don't mind making your bed just this once (cause why make it if you're just going to nap later anyway right?) we can capture some family snuggle time!
* I find that morning sessions work best, typically starting around 10/11am. These sessions can take up to a few hours (3-4) so please don’t schedule anything else around the session time. The length of a session all depends on the baby. Some babies sleep straight through and some need more frequent breaks for cuddling and feeding. Typically half the session time is devoted to comforting and feeding :)
How Do We Make Baby Sleepy?
* It helps to keep baby awake for awhile before the session. I know this isn't easy but it helps produce the best sleepy images. There will need to be lots of breaks to change, feed & snuggle. Bathing baby before the session and having them fully fed and burped right before/as I arrive all helps in preparing baby for sleepy time. During set up I like to chat about your expectations for your portraits & your session. Take a peek at my 'newborn' Gallery for inspiration!
* If baby wakes I may possibly have you feed him/her once again as a top off just before the session starts. If we begin the session with baby awake I will typically start with shots of mom and dad with baby wrapped and then get baby to a deeper sleep for his/her portraits.
What Should Baby Wear? What About Their Skin?
* My style of newborn photography is a mix of wrapped and naked baby. I love to show off those beautiful rolls & gorgeous baby skin and I also like to mix it up by using stretchy wraps & diaper covers as well.
* If you really desire a clothing photo please limit it to one, newborns swim in clothing so make sure it fits well and is kept simple. Keep in mind I supply little outfits as well.
* 30 minutes prior to the session loosen baby's clothing or lightly swaddle in a blanket with only a loosely fastened diaper. This will eliminate those little red clothing/elastic marks on baby's skin.
* Lotioning baby before and sometimes during your session will help to eliminate dry, flaky skin. Also washing their hair that morning will help it look nice and fluffy :)
Why Is It So Hot In Here?
* Turning up the heat in your house prior to the session will help ensure your baby's comfort during these birthday suit moments. 80* is a good temperature. Don’t go crazy though, if it’s Summer there is no need for the furnace, just bump up the A/C or turn it off and remember if it’s warm to you it’s most likely perfect for your baby. I always bring a space heater for more direct warmth and also a white noise machine to help lull baby into a sleepy slumber.
What Do Mom And Dad Wear?
* For the shots of mom & dad with baby I like to have you wear some type of solid colored shirts whether it be black, cream, blue, etc.... color is okay but patterns can distract from the baby. I typically always do the mom and dad shots on a neutral backdrop or lying down on a rug. For even more simple/classic looks we can do skin on skin poses - for mama/baby shots we can use the same wraps I use on the baby for wrapping moms top half and dad can go shirtless to show his muscles if he'd like. This is also great for showing any cool tattoos!
* Your hands show a lot in these photos so be sure to lotion up (dads too!) and either remove your old polish and go get yourself a mani mama - you deserve it!
What If My Baby Cries?
* Baby might cry - it's okay! I don't do anything that hurts the babies - I don't force them into anything that is uncomfortable for them. Some poses require flexibility and babies are born with plenty of that! They sometimes wake and cry a bit just from being moved around. Some babies sleep the entire time and don't stir at all, others take more time and patience. Sometimes positions can take up to 20 minutes to perfect. If you request a certain pose I will try it but if baby resists I won't force it, not all babies will cooperate or like all poses and that's okay!
* If baby uses a pacifier this can be a great help for soothing in between poses. I'd like to suggest that even if baby doesn't use a pacifier that we might try one if we need to JUST for the session purposes. Some babies simply need to suck and if this is the case during your session a quick pacifier between poses will greatly help move things along with less fuss.
Patience, Patience, Patience!
* Some poses take awhile. Sometimes baby needs extra soothing to get to a deeper sleep. They're not used to being messed with so much during 'nap time' - no sooner do they get all comfy & I'm movin' them around again. You may often see me just sitting there with one hand on baby's head & one on their bum/feet - this is my way of helping them feel secure and therefor helping them settle down. Don't fret if baby seems uncooperative, the calmer we all are the calmer baby will be.
Oh Boy What A Mess!
* No worries when it comes to pee, poops and puke! It's to be expected and nothing to worry about. All of my blankets, furs, wraps, little pants, etc are washed after each session. Having some of your baby wipes handy though is very helpful to me!