PREPARING FOR YOUR NEWBORN SESSION
1. Penciled in:
Newborns are best photographed within the first 5-7 days. Within the first 7 days, your baby is the sleepiest and most willing to be molded into all those cute and cuddly poses, and they will be tiny enough to fit into all my fun props (baskets, buckets, etc). The longer you wait, the more alert baby becomes. Also after day 10, you run the risk of having Newborn acne or sometimes colic kick in. I will not schedule a newborn session after 10 days. My session hours are Monday- Friday from 10:30am - 4pm. Unfortunately, sessions can not be scheduled outside of this timeframe because accommodations have to be made for childcare for my children.
Please try and schedule your newborn session as soon as you decide you want to book me, and I will “pencil-in” the session date somewhere around 5-7 days after your due date. Then once baby arrives, please contact me right away so that we can reschedule the date accordingly. Once you get in touch with me after the birth, the soonest I can reschedule is 1 week out from the day you contact me. So the sooner you let me know, the better. You can email, text, or call. My contact info will be emailed to you once the contract is signed.
2. Session duration:
On average, a newborn session will take 2-3 hours. The aim is to keep it as short as possible, but the baby's temperament always determines how long we go. If the baby is super sleepy, then 2 hours will be plenty of time. If not, we will keep on going to try and get the best shots, but I will not go over 3 hours so as not to cause stress on the baby and the parents. If I feel that I do not have an adequate amount of shots, I will reschedule an additional session.
All newborn sessions take place in my home in Virginia Beach, VA 23454 in the Great Neck area.
4. Before the session:
This is a very important step for parents to ensure baby stays sleeping while he/she is here and ultimately ensures a quick session.
a. If you live within 15-20 min. from my house, please feed baby right before you leave your house. That way baby arrives to my house in a deep sleep and we can start photographing right away. (If you live further than 30 min. than I will have you feed the baby as soon as you get here.)
b. Please have baby dressed in something that is easy to take off and in as little layers as possible.
c. Bring 1-2 spare baby blankets that you don't mind getting soiled. This is for in between poses to keep the baby warm.
d. Please bring a pacifier and even a bottle of milk if you can, as this is very important in keeping baby in his/ her pose if they stir while being photographed and can’t be calmed by other means. The Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier works the best so if you can get one from the hospital or at any store. Here's a link on Amazon.
5. You’re here; Now what:
You will undress baby down to the diaper and just keep her wrapped in his/ her blanket. (Also, best to keep diaper very loosely wrapped to avoid having any diaper marks.) If feeding is necessary, you can start feeding. Once the feeding is done, I will take baby from you and the session begins. Rest assure, I handle the babies in a safe manner. Once they settle into a pose, they don’t like being woken up again so they start crying. That’s why a pacifier comes in handy because it’s easier to keep them in their pose and stick a binky in their mouth instead of picking them up to hold them or rock them. We will allow plenty of time for extra feedings if needed. We do whatever we can to keep baby happy. But if he/she gets one really good full feeding in the beginning, there usually is no need for extra feedings. There will be a constant white noise machine playing and the room will be kept at 80 degrees. This is to simulate being in the womb and because baby will be undressed the whole time. You may want to dress in layers so you can cool down because the room does get very warm. PLEASE NOTE, THERE IS TO BE NO CELL PHONE PICTURE TAKING BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE SESSION.
Newborns are best photographed just the way God made them…nude. Skin is in!! Any props that I have will be hats, headband and wraps. If you want to bring any sentimental hats or booties feel free to do so. Just let me know in advance and a picture of the items would be even better.
You can expect 2 different backgrounds with a total of 4 poses. And then 1 or 2 props (ie..baskets, buckets, etc) on the floor. This is just an idea of what to expect not a must. Please be sure to complete the Pre-consultation Form online. My style is very simple and vintage/ classic and I lean more towards neutral colors with an occasional pop of color. If you haven’t already done so, please take a peak at my Newborn Session Gallery, or Blog Page and SusanBangPhoto Facebook page for all my recent work. This will guide you in knowing what to expect from me. Please keep in mind that all styling and color selection is at the discretion of the Photographer and is pre-planned before you arrive. So get to know me and my style and this will ensure that you will get the look you want.
7. What the rest of the family should wear:
Neutrals, neutrals, neutrals! Please stick to neutrals. Charcoals, Greys, heather greys, creams, and light tans. Nothing too bright and no pure black or pure white.
Make sure everyone is coordinated. It works best if everyone is not necessarily wearing the same colorbut wearing different shades of one color.
Dads – can wear long or short sleeves and no button downs! Knit fabrics work best-ie tees, henleys, sweaters, etc.
Moms – can follow the criteria above but stick to lighter shades. Just think light and airy or sheer. If you don't want to worry about what to wear, I offer moms the option of having me wrap fabric into a tube top on your body. In my opinion, this looks the best and the most organic. You only really need to worry about your top half since bottoms won’t show.
This is your time to relax. There will be crying, and there will be peeing and pooping on props. Don’t worry. It happens at every session. All my blankets and wraps are washed in baby safe detergent after every session. And you can trust that I only do things that are safe for the baby and what parents are comfortable with.
Thank you again for considering me to photograph the most important treasure in your life – your baby. This chance only comes once and as they say, life just flies by and so does the newborn stage. I look forward to working with you and hopefully getting to see your little one grow up at future sessions. If you have any questions that I have not answered here, please feel free to contact me at any time as many times as you want.
Susan Bang Photography - Maternity | Newborn | Child | Family Portrait Photographer
Servicing Hampton Roads | Virginia Beach | Chesapeake | Norfolk, VA