WELCOME!

A note about this guide


I'm so excited to be working with you and I can’t wait for our time together during your upcoming newborn session! It’s normal to be a little nervous about your session. I always tell people that I still get nervous before having my photos taken - and I do this for a living!


I'm so honored to help you create and capture memories that you'll cherish for a lifetime. There is a lot to think about when it comes to planning a session, so I've created this guide to help you get the most out of your photos. By the time you've read through this guide you'll have all of your questions answered and feel more than ready and prepared for your session. Then I'll take care of the rest.


I’ll cover what to wear, studio information and more! I can't wait to get you in front of my camera!


xoxo,

Melissa

Style Guide: A Note to The Guys

I get it.

Having your picture taken for 1-2 hours might not be in your top-10 favorite things to do during your downtime.

And at first you might feel sort of awkward being in front of the camera. The most common thing I hear from guys before photos sessions is this: because of a bad experience in the past, they don't like taking photos or don't think they'll be good at it.

But I think you’ll find that by the end of the session, it’s a lot easier than you thought, and you even had a little fun.

I promise!

Style Guide: Time + Light

“Is there a good time to take photos?”


Newborn sessions are best when they occur 7-14 days after the baby is born. This is when babies are most fresh, flexible, sleepy, and likely without baby acne.


In my experience, one to two hours is the ideal time frame for a lifestyle newborn session. A majority of your poses will include mom, dad, and siblings. Toward the end of your session I will photograph a few individual shots of the baby, then slowly unwrap him/her and grab some adorable photos with his/her eyes open.


To allow for the best light, and a sleepy baby, I like to schedule your session to start at 9:30 in the morning. To get the most out of your session, please plan to arrive 15 minutes early so your session can start on time. We’ll want to take advantage of every minute we have together!

Style Guide: What to Wear

Tips for Looking and Feeling Your Best


You just brought your baby home!

Whether you're a birth mom or adoptive mom, you'll be living in comfortable clothes for the next few weeks, so let's do our best to portray the authentic-ness of life with a newborn!


If you're breastfeeding, choose clothing that is nursing-friendly. Babies may want to nurse often throughout your session, so dressing appropriately will save time and frustration when he/she needs to eat. A happy and fed baby makes for a smooth portrait session!


If it's okay with you, I would also love to take some beautifully modest photos of you nursing the baby. It's so important to look back at that special time when your baby gets older! These photos are for you only and are never shared on my blog, website, or social media without your permission.


Wardrobe Tips


Say YES to the dress! Skirts and dresses look most stunning because they really flatter every female body--especially on camera. I have a large selection of gowns in my Client Closet available for you to rent if you wish!


But if you choose to purchase or rent your own dress, use these tips while shopping...

I love the way larger patterns photograph - just be careful not to choose a pattern that is too small - it may accidentally make your photos look a little too busy.

Softer, pastel solid colors will compliment my style of photography. These lighter shades tend to photograph better than bright colors - especially since bright colors could reflect on your skin. I love bright, neon dresses, but I don’t love the neon reflection they add to your complexion.


Accessories

Keep it simple. Large jewelry pieces will distract from where we want the focus: on the baby! Wear your wedding band and small earrings only, if desired.


Favorite Shops 

Rent the Runway

ASOS

Morning Lavender

Shop Döen

Anthropologie

Free People

Baltic Born

Coven & Co.

Revolve

Hair + Makeup

Red Dress Boutique

Lulu's

H&M

Vici Dolls

Nordstrom

One Loved Babe

Fillyboo

Gal Meets Glam


Professional hair & makeup is typically at the top of my clients' checklists because it looks amazing on camera and takes away much of the stress of getting ready on your own. This is the time to treat yourself! Professional hair and makeup will last longer and give you that extra boost of confidence in front of the camera.


I work with some of the best hair and makeup artists in the area, who would be so thrilled to get you glammed up for your session. They totally get my style and will treat you like the queen you are. If you need a list of referrals just let me know and I'll send you the list.


Bonus tip: Always say YES to false lashes! You'll be looking down at the baby for a majority of your photos and we want your eyes to pop!


Flatter Your Features


In my experience, every woman--regardless of her shape--has an area of her body that she's self-conscious about, so recognizing that area in advance is key.

Choosing flattering silhouettes and colors that complement your natural features is the best way to ensure you'll love the way you look in your photos.

It's absolutely normal to still look somewhat pregnant after delivering a baby. It takes time for your uterus to shrink back to it's pre-pregnancy size!

This is why most moms choose to wear loose, flowy dresses versus tight-fitting clothing for their newborn photos. Plus, it's way more comfortable!

Off-the-shoulder or long sleeve dresses have a slimming effect on all arms, while strapless, sleeveless, or spaghetti strap dresses have the opposite effect.

When considering the length of your dress, factor in whether or not you'll have young children with you. If you have little ones, you'll likely be sitting or squatting next to them. Cute, cocktail length dresses are adorable, but make these poses difficult, as do low-cut tops and high leg slits.


Quick tip: Wear bare feet in the warmer months or cute slippers in the cooler months. Don't forget a pedicure if you're going barefoot!


Manicure

There will definitely be times during your session when we’re shooting your hands - which means it’s a good idea to clean up your nails before your session (this applies to the guys too!).

Have your fingernails, toenails, and cuticles clean and manicured with a pale pink or neutral polish.


Style Guide: What to Wear (Dads)

Wardrobe Tips


Soft, neutral colors are the best choice. We want the mood to be calm and relaxing.

A soft t-shirt with jeans or slacks and bare feet is ideal. Solid shades of light gray, blue, khaki, and white are a strong compliment to most women’s outfits, whereas pinstripes or plaid patterns tend to distract the eye.

I also recommend staying away from graphics, logos, and shorts. Clean jogger pants look great with a pale henley tee shirt, for example! Make sure Dad has bare feet or neutral socks. Shoes can stay in the closet for this occasion.


Where to Shop

ASOS

Suit Supply

J. Crew

Zara

Leather & Cotton

Jack Threads

Frank & Oak

Nordstrom

H&M

Urban Outfitters

Style Guide: Posing


“What do I do with my hands?”

When it comes to posing for your session, you don’t need to worry about a thing! I’ll guide you through the entire process beginning with “poses” that are super easy and natural. If I tell you to do something that feels a little funny, it’s probably because I know it’s going to make the two of you laugh - and that’s the photo I'm actually looking for.

Throughout your session, I’ll keep an eye on your hair, makeup and outfits to make sure things stay in place. I want you to feel as relaxed as possible and enjoy our time together!


Prepping Your Family

Colors

There’s no such thing as too much white.


Don't be afraid of white! Having everyone in varying shades of white, or other very pale colors, will ensure that your images are in line with my bright and airy style. White, ivory, cream, and champagne complement all skin tones.

Yes, even if you don't have a tan! White clothing instantly brightens your images, no matter the decor or how much natural light is in your home!


Mixing it Up

Skirts, dresses, and rompers...oh, my!


If you have multiple children, don’t feel like you need to put them all in the same type of outfit. For example, one of your daughters could wear a dress, while the other wears a skirt.

One of your sons could wear a button-down, while the other one wears a long sleeve t-shirt. Mixing up the wardrobe pieces will bring a great visual interest to the photos.


Prepping the Little Ones

Snacks, treats, and lots of smiles


Before your session, grab a little bag with snacks, water, and any small, neutral-colored toys that your child loves (just in case the toy ends up in your photos). Those may help to get their attention when it's time for them to look at the camera. I also suggest having your kids avoid screen time the morning of your session.


Quick tip: Be sure that little girls wear matching bloomers under dresses.


Prepping Your Family

Have Fun!


Get ready for laughs and snuggles

A lot of families discuss and choose something fun in advance as a treat or reward for a job well done, like an ice cream date or bowling adventure. They're little, and I know things don't always go as planned.

Give them (and yourself!) lots of grace. I've seen it all and will make sure to deliver some beautiful photos, regardless of their moods. My goal is to make this as fun and stress-free as it possibly can be for you and your family!


Style Guide: All About the Baby


The baby is the star of the show! Wraps and tight swaddles will photograph better than clothing. Bodysuits and other clothing tend to look too baggy. I will have swaddles with me and get the baby wrapped up nice and tight at the start of your session. I will also have headbands and bonnets available if you'd like to add accessories to your sweet baby.

Be sure to cut the baby's nails so he/she doesn't leave scratches on his/her face. For the posed photos, I will use one swaddle and unwrap your baby slowly in order to offer more variety in your final gallery. My goal is to shoot your entire session while Baby is sleeping, so I don't change the Baby into different outfits.


Newborn Checklist


-Set date, and time with us once the baby is born

-Review Guide for style tips

-Choose your outfits. If borrowing from Clients Closet, send us your selections

-Schedule hair and makeup appointments

Things to have handy

-pacifier, bottle, and/or breastfeeding pillow touch-up makeup

-water for parents

-snacks and water for little ones

-A close friend or family member to help with toddlers

-If you have a toddler or younger child, small eye-catching items to keep thier attention, like toys or lollipops


When to Expect Your Images

Within a week of your session, I will send over your proofs, for you to select your favorites for editing. Within 30 days of us receiving your selections, you will receive your final edited images.

One Final Note


I know I just gave you a lot to think about.

I created this guide to help make your newborn session experience something you'll look back fondly on for years and years.

It's not just about the photos for me. It's about the experience and the memories. I want your session to be a time when you are yourselves, have fun, laugh a lot, and let me take care of the rest!


Xoxo,

Melissa