Maternity session Information and frequently asked questions
When- Ideally we will time your session to take place before you get too uncomfortable, I have found this is usually best timed to be around the 34th- 37th week, having said that I have photographed right up to the 40 week, it totally depends on you
I recommend if possible for your partner to be included in the session & also if you already have children then they are also very welcome to be included too, this opens up our opportunity for different poses and to record your family before the new baby arrives
Where- we have the option to do your session anywhere that you would like including the studio here in Highbury, or a mixture of locations close by to each other.
Outdoor sessions through out the warmer months are always best timed to take place late in the afternoon to take advantage of the best light, cooler months of the year when the sun is not so harsh we can usually time them to take place at other times of the day.
Clothing bring a few outfit choices, bring clothing that you feel comfortable in and that shows of your belly, if you want to do the fabric wraps then bring nude coloured underwear, or tube top that can easily be hidden. If you have an idea or have your own fabric pieces etc. please feel welcome to chat to me about it so we can hopefully incorporate it in to the session. Marina also has a few pieces of fabric that she regularly uses, so please don't feel you need to go out and buy fabric specifically for the session unless you actually want to.
For Dad's please avoid large logos and Tshirts with large writing and slogans, as they really distract from the images, try and coordinate with each other with out looking too matching, if you are considering wall art from some of your images then think about the colours you have used in your home and the rooms that it might be used in as inspiration for your choices, with natural earthy colours working best
Photoshop editing I am often asked about removing stretch marks and some of the weight gain caused by the pregnancy, and wether I can you do anything about it? Yes in most case I can, I do however feel very strongly about keep it looking as natural as possible, I wont turn you into size 6 but I can do a certain amount to make you feel more comfortable.
Ideas for making your session great-
Firstly if you or your baby are sick, or if you or your baby have had a really bad night sleep the night prior to the session please call and reschedule (please don’t Facebook message as I wont see it)
There is also the risk that if you bring a sick baby into the studio you could transmit germs to Marina, Marina is a newborn & wedding photographer and as such needs to stay away from sick people where ever possible so as not to be at risk of infecting other children or having to reschedule other clients because of sickness
Marina takes very serious the health of your newborn child, and will contact you to reschedule if she is unwell.
If you do need to reschedule, or think perhaps you will need to reschedule please give me as much notice as possible, as setting up and preparing the studio for a newborn session takes quite a lot of time.
Try and keep your baby awake before the session for at least an hour and even up to two if possible, I know this is not always possible but the sleepier your newborn is during the session the easier the session will be.
Some parents want their newborn to be awake for the session and although this is ok for part of the session, ideally most of the session your child will be asleep. An awake newborn baby will not stay in a pose for a picture, and awake newborn baby will continually request to be fed. Newborns also have great difficulty focusing & often have glazed eyes, which is not ideal for photography
Plan to feed your baby at your time of arrival at the session, and plan for this feed to be a substantial feed (not a quick one) as a full feed will leave the baby content, sleepy and happy through out the session, where as a quick feed will leave them wanting more and possibly grizzly throughout the session. Of course if your child is hungry at any time during the session we will stop to allow them to feed, have a nappy change and gets cuddles from Mum and Dad.
Understand that newborn sessions take time, and allow at least in most cases 2 hours for your session, if you have any other children included in the session in most cases your session will take even longer (this is based on their ages and the amount of children)
Ideally newborn sessions are timed to take place in first ten days of your baby being born, those first ten days are ideal because your newborn will change very quickly and never look like this ever again and in most case will be a good solid sleeper and will be comfortable with a feeding routine, after this time newborns go though a new growth spurt were they want to feed more regularly and not sleep as soundly as they first did which makes them much harder to pose, its also about the time when conditions such as colic and reflux can start to occur; another thing which makes posing your baby more difficult.
Ideally your session time will start in the morning, as I have found this is generally a better time for your newborn. In studio newborn sessions generally start at around 10.30-11am
If you are breastfeeding please avoid eating any foods the day before that may cause upset to your newborns tummy
What happens if we don’t get a chance to book a session in those first tens days? That’s fine I photograph babies at all ages, its never too late to record how your child looks at any age, just know that there will be some newborn poses we may not be able to achieve but there will be other images we can do as your baby may have passed other milestones such as smiling and using their neck muscles and have clear focused eyes etc.
What to bring to the session and what to wear
Please feel welcome to bring special sentimental items that you would like included in your images to your session, this is a really special way of personalising your session, but also know that we have a large range of props and blankets to choose from as seen in the sample images on the website. For older children, often they develop interests in music, dance or sport etc.. so please comfortable in bringing items along that they might like to include in an image or two such as guitar or ballet shoes etc as memento of their interest
In most cases your newborn will not particularly liked to be dressed and undressed for multiple outfit changes, so if you have an outfit or two keep it simple, I cannot guarantee that they will all be used and in most cases I will photograph your newborn in just a nappy swaddled with one of the many blankets available to me on the day, most newborn rarely actually fit into the clothes brought along and the look of their beautiful skin is a timeless look for your images
With newborns please bring a few spare nappies, I often find parents under estimate how many to bring
If you are bringing other children to the session please bring a few snacks & a drink for them, keep the snacks easy to eat foods that wont leave sticky/stains on clothes and or skin, equally not high sugar so that your child is relaxed during the session and not on a sugar high
Clothing choices for parents, try and coordinate without looking to matching, if you are considering wall art from some of your images think about the colours you have used in your home and the rooms that it might be used in. natural earthy colours work best with newborns, and skin tones.
If at all possible avoid tops with large writing logos or branding as this will not only date your images very quickly it will also detract your eye from the baby. Avoid heavy make up and spray tans instead keep it natural and fresh, otherwise post edit matching your skin to babies will be very difficult.
Skin on skin with newborns looks amazing so if dad is up for it we can look at doing a shot with baby on Dad’s chest and shoulder
Its quite normal for your newborn to have a few patches of flakey skin and some minor skin sensitivity, and if its not too severe I can edit the images to reduce or remove it. Sorbolene works a treat on flakey skin even using instead of baby soap will often eliminate it altogether. If however your newborns skin has excessive flakey skin/ cradle cap or milk acne etc. please contact me to discuss it as it may be better to set a new time for the session as in the more severe cases there really is not a lot I can do to edit out.
Babies first year and beyond
I am often asked when are the ideal times to book a session during the babies first year
I highly recommend the following because of the milestones your baby will be having
Around 3 to 4 months you baby will be able to lift their head during tummy time and will be full of smiles and be very playful this an ideal time to do a mini session as they don’t generally have patience for a long session
7-9 months your baby will be able to sit up possibly unaided and also possibly be crawling this is a great age to capture as your baby will look so different to the newborn they once were and be displaying their personality. I also recommend this age because once they get on the move either crawling or walking they become much harder to photograph as they don’t stay still for very long
12- 15 months your child has become a toddler this is an amazing change for both you and them as they are now into everything and discovering the world at lightning speed, its important to document this change because again they will only be like this for a short time
With all of these sessions I request that you please bring a few snacks & a drink for them, keep the snacks easy to eat foods that wont leave sticky stains on clothes and or skin, equally not high in sugar, so that your child is relaxed during the session and not on a sugar rush. I also will request that we work around your child's preferred nap time, and finally I ask that if your child is unwell that you take the time to contact me and let me know to see if we can reschedule. As I have very little chance of getting the images you want from the session if your child is tired, hungry or unwell.