Session Tips - ChristinaJoyePhotography

Tips for a Great Session

Newborn Session

What to Expect
The first thing you need to understand about a newborn session is that it takes a lot of time and a lot of patience from everyone. Most parents may think that their newborn session will be a breeze, but the truth is even the "ideal baby" will still be challenging. Please, and I stress, please don't even think about scheduling a doctors visit before your session. This will stress out your baby and the session most certainly will not go well. On that note, newborn sessions take a lot of time, so please do not schedule anything after your session. I would hate for you to have to rush out early and not get the images you want.

We may spend up to 3-4 hours photographing your baby and wouldn't have it any other way. We allow enough time to account for your baby to eat and for those moments when your little one decides it’s time to use the restroom and we need to clean up. I expect your baby to go to the bathroom on my backgrounds and props; it's just part of the experience and happens every time. My stuff washes easily. Please don't feel embarrassed or feel the need to apologize when this happens at your session. I highly recommend bringing a change of clothes because chances are good that baby might go to the bathroom on you. It also accounts for time to change setups for different poses. We want you to have a great experience and images from our studio. 

We do keep the studio between 75 and 85 degrees so you will want to dress appropriately. If I am not sweating then it is not warm enough in the studio! So, dress accordingly and maybe wear layers that can be removed if necessary. We’ll photograph your baby in the buff so please to not bring outfits for the baby. Most clothing items swallow the baby and we prefer to capture the naturalness of your baby. We believe it is by capturing the innocence of a nude baby that makes our images art.

What to do before your scheduled session
-Give your baby a sponge bath and don’t forget the lotion.
-Put clothing and diaper on loosely to avoid red marks.
-Grab a pacifier even if you do not plan on letting your baby use one. Pacifiers help soothe babies and will make the session go much smoother.
-Bring long sleeve black shirt if you plan on being in the photograph with your baby. Please make sure the shirt has no buttons and is free from lint.

Try to refrain from feeding your baby until you arrive at the studio. The first thing you will do when you arrive is feed your baby. Most babies will fall asleep in the car but will wake up long enough to eat to fall back asleep and that’s okay.

As soon as your baby falls asleep, we will ask that you (mom) allow us to take over. Babies can smell moms and will not sleep the way we like. You are more than welcome to sit in on the session and watch. Please do not bring your digital camera or use your cell phone to take photographs during this session. You will also feel the need to comfort your baby when he/she seems unsettled or starts crying but please refrain from reacting. We have techniques we use to settle your baby back to sleep. If we feel that your baby has not eaten enough, we will give your baby back to get his/her belly full.

Baby/Child Session

The parents job at my photo session is to keep your children in the spot that we are working in. I will ask you to stand off to the side and not behind me. I tend to move around and don't want any accidents to happen. If you are standing behind me and coaching your child you will end up with a bunch of images of your child looking at you and not the camera. Please refrain from trying to force a smile out of your child and don't practice smiling at home. Our goal is to capture the natural smiles and expressions from your child, don't worry, we will get them. I find that if we have a small reward to offer a child for good behavior things tend to go well.

Keep in mind that the outfits you choose will affect the overall look of your final images. Trendy outfits or shirts with words can date your image. Outfits don't have to match exactly but should coordinate and compliment each other. Please try to avoid all white tops or bottoms as they do not translate well. Bright red shirts are also an area for concern; I typically don't recommend a solid red shirt.

Bring several outfits with you. We can pick and choose between them when you arrive. Make sure to pick everyday outfits that your children will be comfortable in.

Bring any toys or special items that you would like to have incorporated into your images. Bring a snack and a drink in case your child needs a break. Above all, relax and have a good time. If you are stressed your child will notice and they will not be themselves. Children tend to act up in this type of situation and I have seen it before, it's okay.

Maternity Session

Try to get a good nights rest and just relax, be yourself and have fun! Do your hair and make-up as you normally would (bring stuff for touch-ups if preferred) (a little extra mascara usually doesn't hurt) Stop worrying, YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL! (any minor flaws can be fixed in post-production) Consider getting a manicure or painting your nails the day before (please only neutral, natural colors) Keep jewelry simple and minimalistic (because too much draws attention away from your face)


-Married couples: Make sure you wear your wedding rings! (that is if you are not too swollen)

-Bring a selection of outfits with you including: (clothes that hug the belly are best, we want to see that baby!)
-Something all black 
-A white tank top (or tube top)
-A black tank top (or tube top)
-Pregnancy jeans and pre-pregnancy jeans
-Any maternity tops you absolutely love (try to avoid any really busy patterns)
-Oversized man’s button down white shirt or a zip up hoodie (this works excellent to show case the bare belly, so it’s up to you) (this look can be completed with jeans or for an even sexier look bring a nice pair of full coverage panties, we can do a shot in just the shirt and panties, but don’t worry this shot is not for everyone)
-Cute shoes (most people choose not to do full body shots, but if you want them don't forget your shoes)
-Wear black socks (or for bare feet paint your toe nails a neutral color)

-Clothing for Husband/Significant Others and Children:
-A black shirt (collared button downs are nice for men but not required)
-Blue jeans (if mom is bringing another color of pants make sure to bring ones that match)
-A colored shirt (please only solid colors, NO patterns, we want to notice your faces not your clothing)

-How to choose what clothes to wear:
-Monochromatic: Pick one color and wear varying tones (if you are having a girl one person can wear dark pink, one medium pink and one light pink or for a boy varying shades of blue, or any color)
-Or pick 2-3 complimenting colors (if you are having a girl wear pink and purple or pink and brown, if your having a boy wear blue and green etc.)
-Choose similar tones for your top and bottom (both dark or both light) so that one doesn’t look bigger than the other.  White top, dark pants will make your top look bigger.  White pants, dark top will make your butt look bigger.
-Choose a top with sleeves at least to the elbow  (because your arms take up more skin area than your face and will draw attention and it may also make your arms look larger)
-Choose long pants (we don’t want your legs to take the attention away from your face or baby bump)

-Consider bringing special baby items:
-A ultrasound photo
-Baby booties (if you have new booties that still have the plastic in them to help them hold their shape, leave it in there)
-A stuffed animal
-A special baby outfit
-A tiara
-Sports items
-Something that has meaning to you that you want captured in a photo

-Consider writing a message or write something to baby, such as:
-Baby’s due date
-Baby’s name
-It’s a Boy or It’s a Girl
-Tell baby how much you love them
-Little Brother or Sister

Determine what type of images you want captured, and who they are for, feel free to make a list of photos that you are excited about. Feel free to bring magazine clippings or pictures from the internet that you would like to recreate. (or you can email them to me) Think about where you might put these photos in your home. Pick colors that will compliment your home décor. Also, let me know if having you face a certain direction (left or right) would look best for the spot you want to put the picture.
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