NEWBORN SESSION GUIDE

WELCOME!

I'm So Happy you're Here

Of all the milestones I get to photograph, none makes me smile more than meeting a brand new baby to document the beginning of life with their family. Whether you are a first time parent or have done this. a few times, having a newborn at home is sweet and wonderful -- but also overwhelming and exhausting. I want to make our newborn session as relaxed and stress-free as possible for you. I've outlined some helpful information in anticipation of any questions you my have. Of course if there is anything else you'd like to know, just ask!

Cristen x

About My newborn SesSions.

WHat Is a Lifestyle Newborn Session?

A lifestyle newborn session is a very relaxed session taking place in your home. These days are so happy, yet so fleeting an exhausting that many memories are lost in the fog of it all. My goal is to the the story of this time in your life, and document your new family in a way that is natural and real.

What kind of photos Can we expect?

  • Baby on their own. We'll capture some images of baby swaddled (if they like to be swaddled) and lying on their back or side, or curled up on their belly. Sometimes they sleep and sometimes they don't but I'm always happy to wait it out if you really want that sleepy baby image!
  • You as a family. You can snuggle together on the sofa or bed, or wherever you are most comfortable.
  • Siblings. We will get some sibling photos with the new baby of course, but I also always capture siblings on their own. They need to know they are still an important part of the family, even though there is a new baby taking a whole lot of attention! (See below for more about siblings!)
  • Feedings. We can document feedings if you like, as babies often need to eat while I am there. This is totally up to you.
  • The Nursery. I love to capture the little details in your nursery and any other special items you'd like me to document.

Tips for a great Newborn session

CHOOSE YOUR SESSION TIME WISELY.

Morning often works great, but also think about baby’s feeding/sleeping pattern (plan to have them eat once while I’m there because that makes them nice and sleepy!), sibling schedules (if any), and when your home gets the best light. I try to stay flexible on the day of newborn sessions, as I know things come up and you might not be ready when you think! Also, don’t worry about time once I get there. I don’t typically schedule more than one session a day, so if it takes a little longer than normal, I’m OK with that!

DeClutter the House

You have your hands full, however, a few minutes spent removing clutter (water glasses, remote controls, alarm clocks) from night stands or coffee tables helps a lot! Please shut off all lights (overhead and table lamps) and open up all your blinds before I arrive so I have a good sense of where the natural light comes in. Most importantly — do NOT feel like your house needs to be magazine-shoot-ready before I arrive. We’ll go with the flow and work around whatever we have to.

Dressing Baby

The more calm and content your baby is the better the session will go. Babies can get fussy if we change them too many times. A basic white onesie great to start, and we can swaddle over that. Once we get some individual photos of baby, we can change their outfit. Rompers or or one piece outfits are great, just make sure the size is such that they aren't swimming in their outfit. If there is a special sweater that grandma knit, we’ll absolutely incorporate it into the session!

Dressing you

First and foremost, be comfortable! You don't need to think about coordinating family outfits. Just wear something you feel good in. I do recommend solids or subtle prints that don't take away from baby if you are holding him or her, but don't overthink it. Remember — in the end these photographs are for YOU to remember this time — not for the rest of the world. So just put on something you feel great in and that will make all the difference.

HAVE A PLAN FOR Siblings

Who can blame siblings for feeling a little off just after a new baby arrives. The baby is the center of attention, and their little world has been rocked a bit. I always include siblings into newborn sessions, but it’s VERY helpful if they are engaged in an activity with your partner or a grandparent, while we are doing solo photos of the baby. We will chat (can be over email) before the session to figure out a timeline based on your family schedule -- we can start with baby, or the whole family, and we'll work that out when we talk.

PULL TOGETHER FAMILY HEIRLOOMS

Do you want to be sure I capture the hospital bracelet, or a blanket that Aunt Bea knitted for the new baby? I can absolutely do that as these items are an important part of your story! Pull them together ahead of time, and we’ll find a way to incorporate them into the session

JUST RELAX AND LOVE YOUR FAMILY.

I’ll give you some gentle direction during the shoot, but the best thing you can do is be yourselves, have fun together, and show your family how much you love them. That’s what I most want to capture. By the end you might feel like you just had a friend visiting who happened to be taking pictures. I don't want this to be stressful for you at all, so just relax and enjoy your family!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What should we Wear!?

See above. for specific newborn session wardrobe tips, but you can also peek at my "What to Wear " guide for more portrait style family sessions, as you might find some of the information helpful.

 

Do you use Props?

I don't bring any props to the session, and don't put babies in baskets or bowls or things that babies don't belong in. That is a whole specialized kind of newborn photography, and those sessions can take HOURS and involve a lot of photoshop! However, I highly recommend that you set aside special items like family heirlooms, special items, or hospital bracelets as I love documenting those as part of the session.

 

What about Blankets and Swaddles?

I usually have a bag of (freshly laundered) swaddles and blankets, just in case you need them. A solid white swaddle is great, and I always have one in my bag along with a selection of others.That said, if you have some you love, we can absolutely uses yours!

My baby suddenly developed a bad rash Or Baby Acne! What do we do?

It happens, so don't worry! I always need to do more photoshop work for newborn photos than other kinds of sessions, because babies often have acne, little scratches, flaky skin, etc. However, if the acne is really bad, or they'v developed a rash on their face from an allergy, we may want to reschedule. Just touch base with me and we'll chat about it. I might have you send me a photo and I can let you know what I think. Lots of times those things clear up pretty quickly.

What If my child (or a parent) is sick on the day of the session

Shoot me a text or call me as soon as you know you can't make it and we will reschedule. 24 hours notice is appreciated but not mandatory. I'm a mom, and I know how these things go! You don't want runny noses or eyes with dark circles in your photos, and these days we all need to be careful with any kind of respiratory symptoms. I will do the same -- and have no problem going for a covid test if I have the slightest sore throat!

 

What if the weather Doesn't Cooperate

Most of the time we are indoors for a big chunk of newborn sessions. However, if the weather is warm, we should definitely take some photos outside. I will check in with you a few days before our session once we see how the forecast is shaking out. If its going to be rainy and miserable, or even super cloudy (not great light, and I really love great light), we can reschedule, or we can choose to do all the photos inside. Often, we can make the decision right up until the day of the session. I make an effort not to over schedule myself, so that I can be flexible in the event of bad weather or illness.

Do you use photoshop?

Yes, I have some photoshop tricks up my sleeve! See the above question about rashes and baby acne. But I also use photoshop to remove scratches on their little faces (newborn fingernails are like little daggers!). As far as parents go, I can definitely use photoshop (sparingly) if you ask me to. Listen, I get it -- I am my own worst critic. Yes, I have been known to photoshop my arms to make them look skinnier. Will I do it for you? Sure, if you ask me to, but remember you are beautiful just the way you are. I know, we all need that reminder every single day.

Do you have INsurance?

I sure do! I am a tax paying, insurance carrying, legal business.

Any Other Tips?

What Happens after the Session?

  1. A soon as I get home from your session I immediately upload my memory cards and create backups on two separate hard drives. Both of those drives are then automatically backed up to the "cloud".
  2. Often, within 2-3 days I'll post a sneak peek on my Instagram and Facebook so be sure to follow my accounts. During super busy times I'm not the best with social media but I try! If you want me to tag you, please remember to leave your Instagram or Facebook handle in the questionnaire.
  3. Editing usually takes me 2 -3 weeks, depending on the season. I am picky, particularly about color, and honestly I think my work is best once I do one round of edits, and then put it away for a few days before finalizing with a fresh set of eyes. With newborns I also like to clean up scratches and things like that on more of the proofs than I would for a typical portrait session. If you have a deadline you need me to keep in mind, please let me know.
  4. Once your proofs are edited (color corrected, cropped, and I've retouched my favorites), I will post your proofs to a password protected gallery and send you the link.
  5. When I send you gallery I will provide instructions for choosing the images in your package, and ordering additional digital files or print products. If you prefer to meet in person or over zoom, I'm always available to do that, and I'm happy to share samples of printed products.
  6. Once you've chosen the images for your package and your print products (if ordering them). I will give them one final edit and retouch as needed before sending you download links / ordering products from my lab.

About my Products

Just because you will receive digital images as part of your package, doesn't mean you can't also have beautiful custom products printed by the finest labs in the country. I highly recommend albums for newborn sessions because they tell the complete story of your session. You can learn more about albums here . I offer a whole suite of products, and I'm here to help you plan the best way to display and enjoy your images. I'm always happy to chat on the phone or meet in person to look at samples:

I think that covers most of the questions I get asked, but if I haven't answered yours, then don't hesitate to reach out! I'm happy to chat on the phone, by Zoom, or over email to answer any questions you have!

cristen@cristenfarrell.com | 617.285.9429

Cristen x

FIND US

Based in Andover and available

North and West of Boston.

LONDON - PARISBoston Family Photographer

@cristenfarrellphotography

LONDON - PARISBoston Family Photographer
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