Newborn session guide


Thank you for the privilege of photographing your little miracle!

Below you will find lots of helpful information to make your session a success.

I have put together these tips after working with several of newborns and parents. I want to create the most beautiful photos possible for your family. By carefully reading the following information and preparing for your session, you will be helping me do that for you.

I am so very honored to photograph your family during this special time. Please know that your experience is not something that I take lightly. I want to make this day perfect for you!

Thank you for your time and for helping me be able to be my best for you! I can't wait to meet your little one!


Congratulations again,

Savanah Hogan

IMPORTANT!

Before your session:

-My studio is located on the second floor, you do have to go up several stairs, if this is an issue for you or a family member please let me know ahead of time so I can accommodate for you!

-Also keep in mind, It is an old building! (Stairs may creek!)

-Remaining balance MUST be paid before day of session!


Once your baby is born contact me to let me know he/she has arrived once things have settled down! Please take your time, as I know this is a crazy time! Just once you have a moment at home you can contact me via message or email (hello@savanahhoganphoto.com) anytime! I will be back in touch with you within 24 hours! I will send you some available dates that I have, I typically do my newborns on Tuesday and Thursday mornings starting around 9am. I personally feel as if early mornings for baby works best! I typically recommend baby comes no sooner than 7 days and up to 4 weeks. I feel the sweet spot is 7-14. But I totally understand needing healing and bonding time with baby! So it's which ever you're the most comfortable with! Just contact me once baby is here and we will go from there!

Business & Contact Hours:

STUDIO- Open by appointment only!

CONTACT HOURS- Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. (Please feel free to message me anytime via Facebook messenger from my business page! Just please keep in mind if it's after these hours and days it may be a little before I can respond!)

PHONE- (256) 476-3561 Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. (Please do not call outside of these hours unless there is an emergency! If I do not answer, please leave a voicemail or send me a text!)

EMAIL- Anytime! hello@savanahhoganphoto.com

Studio Address-

201 Main Street W Hartselle, AL. (It's right above Marmac on the corner! The black building!)

-You may parallel park in the front, or you can park in the back, behind the building (This way is easier since you will come through the back door!)

Please walk to the back if you didn't park there and message me once you arrive and I will come downstairs and unlock the door for you!

Please read the following prep guide thoroughly for a successful session.  

One of the most important things to remember at the session is to go with the flow. Your baby will be in charge at the session, and I will only do what makes your baby comfortable and happy. They are after all, the boss here! I have developed a posing flow that I use at every session to keep babies safe, comfortable, and relaxed. Altering this routine with lots of prop requests and multiple outfit changes can actually backfire, causing your baby to be over stimulated and over tired. This is a big reason why I love for you to fill out the newborn questionnaire I have emailed to you, if you have not received it yet, please let me know ASAP! I always like to be prepared ahead so I can have all your props and colors laid out! I have everything you will need for your session as far as props go, but if you would like to bring a prop of your own, please make sure to limit it to one or two special sentimental items. My goal, is for you to be able to come in and relax, sit back and enjoy watching your precious baby, and I will take care of the rest! I absolutely love what I do, and your baby will always be treated with the utmost respect and care.

SICK POLICY

If a family member is sick, please DO NOT bring them into the studio. If the ill family member must be present for the photos, please reschedule your session for a later date when they are well. Since I work closely with newborn babies, children and pregnant mamas, it is very important that I stay healthy for these precious little ones, as well as keeping germs out of the studio. I sanitize and disinfect my studio top to bottom before each session. (Including all door handles and switches!) I do all I can keep myself healthy! I will always use Germ-x and wear a mask while handling your baby. If you or a family member is ill (and has not been symptom or fever free for at least 24 hours) PLEASE call to change your session date. If a person arrives and is obviously sick, I may ask that client to leave and reschedule. (And that is super awkward!) I greatly appreciate your efforts in helping me keep myself and my clients healthy!


IMPORTANT!

If you haven't already, please make sure you fill out the Newborn Questionnaire that I have emailed to you! This helps me get a better idea on what you would like! Failure to do so can result in not having the props or colors you'd like for your baby's session!

What to expect for baby:


THE MORNING OF THE SESSION:

The following instructions are suggestions only. You know your baby best! So some of these instructions may not be possible. However, I have found that these tips work WONDERFULLY to help make the most of our time together for a successful session. I find that lack of preparation can cause the session to be much more difficult and last longer. Please don’t stress if you can not do everything perfectly! Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and I totally understand this is a crazy time for your family! However, willing to alter your schedule just a bit for the day can help make your session a success!

**Please avoid foods that can cause gas a few days before your session if you are nursing.

**Please avoid caffeine if at all possible the morning of your session if you are nursing.


Feeding the morning of the session: 

If you are coming to the session….

WITH BABY ONLY (no siblings or parent shots): If you live near by, feed your baby immediately before you leave your house to come to the session. If you live more than 45 minutes away, please feed your about 2-3 hours prior to the session, then, plan on feeding him again as soon as you arrive at my studio to get him nice and full before we start the session. Dress your baby in loose clothing so it will be easy to undress him without waking him. We will start with posed shots of baby. Also, loosen baby's diaper 1-2 hours before session! (It can help with those marks it leaves!)

WITH A TODDLER OR YOUNG SIBLING:  Please feed your baby immediately before you leave your house to come to the session.  This will allow us to start sibling photos right away when you arrive. Young siblings have a short attention span for photos, so we want to make sure we take those photos immediately so the sibling will not have to wait through a feeding. When you get here, I will swaddle your baby in a beautiful wrap and begin the sibling photos. Toddlers have a short attention span, and I do not want the sibling to have to wait a while for baby to be fed before we start photos. Dress your baby in loose clothing so it will be easy to undress him without waking him. We will start sibling photos immediately upon arrival, then family photos will follow. Please make arrangements to have a friend or family member pick up your toddler or young children so we can then focus on the individual newborn portraits. If no one is available, it is best for one of the parents to take the toddler out to grab a bite to eat, visit the local shops, or play at the nearby park (there is one walking distance from studio!) while we complete the rest of the session. Sessions can last over 2 hours, and children do not enjoy sitting still for that amount of time. And we need it nice and quiet for baby! Please make necessary arrangements before you arrive. Thank you for understanding. 

FEEDING: When feeding your baby, please take your time and make sure your baby gets a full feeding. I like to use the term “milk drunk, ” meaning your baby eats until he falls into a deep sleep. Please don’t feel rushed during feedings at the studio. (Seriously, if you have to nurse or feed baby, that's totally fine!) There is plenty of time set aside during your session for baby’s needs. It is so important to make sure baby has a full belly to get those sleepy baby poses. A hungry baby will not pose and will remain unsettled during the session.

If you are nursing and pumping, please bring a couple of bottles of expressed milk. If you are using formula, please bring extra formula! More than you think you will need! Babies tend to feed more than usual at the session.

Sessions usually last around 2 hours. Sometimes a little longer depending on if baby is a light sleeper, or needs to stop multiple times to feed. The easiest way to ensure a sleepy baby is the willingness to nurse/bottle feed on and off. Your baby’s feeding schedule may be a little thrown off on session day, but babies tend to be hungrier during their newborn sessions. Do not be surprised if they want to eat more than normal. **I understand that some parents may be already trying to set a “feeding schedule.” However, please understand that babies may be a hungrier at their newborn sessions because of the extra exercise from being moved around. Please be willing to have a flexible feeding schedule during the newborn session. If a parent withholds feedings and the baby is clearly showing signs of hunger and distress because of they need to eat sooner than scheduled, I will discontinue the session. Please be willing to be a little flexible just for the couple of hours we are together for a successful session. My top priority is your baby’s health, safety, and comfort. **

If you can, bring a pacifier for baby! Even if they're not really taking one! However, if you really prefer that we don’t use a paci, that is fine as well! I will always respect your wishes!


During the session…

TEMPERATURE: It will be around 75+ degrees in the studio. Due to this, I will be dressed comfortably for a warm few hours, and suggest you do to! This warm temperature will keep baby’s skin color nice and even, as well as help him stay warm and comfy since he will be undressed for most of the session. You are welcome to bring the clothes you want to change into, and any makeup for touch-ups. (There is a table used for hair and makeup for my artist, you're more than welcome to use to touch up!) There is a private restroom downstairs as well as a full length mirror in the studio!


MOM & DAD: You are a big part of the show. Photographing the connection between you and your baby is one of my all time favorite things. Just as they encourage in the hospital, skin to skin contact creates the most beautiful images, so refrain from wearing bulky, loose clothing with long sleeves.

Dads: I ask that you bring a well fitting t-shirt/v-neck, (please avoid the typical white “undershirt”) textured thermal shirts look great, or henley style shirt to wear with a good fitting pair of jeans, or if you prefer, a neutral solid button up. White, grey, black, or tan works well, and looks nice for photos. Don’t worry about what kind of shoes you wear, as these will not show. I suggest removing watches to keep the focus on baby.

Moms: Don’t know what to wear? I have it covered! My studio has some gorgeous gowns for you to use during your session. If you do plan you wear one, please let me know ahead of time just to make sure I have the style and color that would look best on you! Also, pretty tank tops, camisoles, chiffon materials, simple solid color dresses, feminine pretty lacy cover ups look great too! Even a solid color neutral shirt with pretty lace details on the arms or shoulders looks lovely. If you are uncomfortable bearing your arms, stick with a soft simple shirt. Don’t worry about your post partum belly showing. Photos will be from the elbows up, and your baby will cover most of you. Be sure you have no bright or chipped nail polish, as your hands will make their way into the images.(But hey! That stuff happens right! Totally fine! I will do my best to edit out what I can!) Keep all colors neutral (white, ivory, black, grey or tan) and design simple.

Rest assured, I aim to photograph using flattering angles and light to bring out the natural beauty in your family. Your images will be retouched, so please don’t worry about acne, dark circles, or skin imperfections. You will look stunning!

FOR SIBLINGS:

Including older brother / sister(s) in your newborn portraits is the perfect way to document this fleeting time in your lives.

ARRANGE FOR A HELPER IF POSSIBLE: If you are bringing young children to the session, it is important to arrange for a family member or friend to pick them up after their portraits are finished. Their portion of the session will start immediately upon arrival, and family photos should be finished within the 30-45 minutes. (Another reason why it is important to feed your baby before you come!) Since the full session can last for a couple hours, children can get very bored and tired waiting for the session to be over. My studio is filled with props, equipment, and lighting. Children will need to be supervised at all times. Please do not allow children to run or play with equipment! If you prefer your older children stay for the duration of the session, please bring a favorite movie, ipad, or books to help them pass the time. I also have blocks, tv and a beanbag for them to sit on. Unfortunately if young children are in there it may result in having to reschedule or not finish the session due to distractions!

Sister(s): You can bring along a snug fitting tank in a neutral color, and/or a simple classic dress in a solid neutral color. This insures she matches baby's wrap! (Depending on size, there might be a dress in the studio wardrobe!) Bright colors are strongly discouraged, as they will reflect color onto their face, and the baby’s skin. Please avoid shirts with large logos or graphics. For small children, please wear bloomers under dresses to cover diapers/ underwear. I also have a large selection of delicate hair tiebacks to choose from!

Brother(s): Please bring a snug pair of jeans, and a snug fitted t-shirt, v-neck, thermal, or henley style shirt. (Avoid an undershirt, and opt for more of a thicker quality t-shirt instead) For toddlers, if you prefer him to be shirtless, please take a moment to chat with your guy about this so he feels prepared for the session – though if he prefers not, a tight fitting t-shirt is perfect. Older siblings look most comfortable in a simple solid neutral color t-shirt or thermal. Collared shirts work well for older siblings, but not for little ones. The collars tend to cover their faces and need to be re-adjusted frequently, so they are not suggested for toddlers. Please no words, graphics, patterns, or bright colors.

Additional family/Guest:

My goal is to focus on the safety and comfort of your baby, and make sure I can give you the best images possible while being in a soothing, calm environment. Although I understand this is such an exciting time, And several family members may want to tag along. But please limit extra guests at the session if possible. Please only allow ONE extra person. One extra guest is perfectly fine to help! Extra guests can prohibit me from being able to move around during the session, and can cause distractions. I also ask that all other children please stay in the client lounge area for safety. Session fees are for immediate family members only (mom/dad/siblings). If you would like to include other people to be photographed, there is a $50 charge per person.

A few additional thoughts!

Food: You are always welcome to bring a snack, breakfast or lunch since the session will take place during those hours. I do have some snacks and water as well as a coffee bar you're more than welcome to help yourself to! There are a few restaurants around the studio that are close by/walking distance! (Moe's BBQ, Pizza Ed's, Freight House, Eatin' in the attic)

Snacks, coffee, hot tea, and hot chocolate are available as well! A private restroom is also available downstairs for you to use.

Pets: I am a total pet lover. (I have 2 fur babies of my own I adore!) However, pets are not allowed in the studio out of respect for allergy issues other clients may have. But I would love to have them join us at a future outdoor session!

Props: I have just about everything you will need for the session. I have tons of baskets, blankets, wraps, hair accessories, and other simple props such as pants and bonnets for your baby’s session. I believe in creating beautiful timeless images of your baby! And I think it's a little obvious.. I love posing baby in all kinds of props!

What to bring: My goal is for you to only have to bring your baby and milk! Along with anything the baby might need, diapers, wipes.. etc! I have everything to style your session at my studio. However, if you have some props / items that you would like to incorporate into your photos, you are welcome to bring them. I ask that you keep props to a minimum, or just bring items that are of sentimental value.

Poses: Some parents ask if they can request certain poses or shots they have seen on other photography sites or pinterest. Yes, you can request them, and I will make every attempt to get you what you want in terms of poses; however, there are certain poses, that in my opinion, are unsafe and pose harm to the baby. These poses, I will not do. Baby is my number one priority. Some babies are uncomfortable in certain poses, and I will only do what feels comfortable for your baby. **Please note that the "froggy" photo is a composite photo, I will only do this pose if baby is willing and I will do it safely! These poses should never be done without proper training. Your baby’s safety comes first!**

My goal is to photograph your beautiful baby and family the way YOU want it! I want you to love these years and years from now!

Retouching:

For Baby:  Please don’t stress if your baby has acne or peeling skin. I retouch baby from head to toe! All babies that come all have the acne or peeling skin from birth! It's rare you get a baby with perfect skin!


After your session…

The photos from your session will be presented to you in a private online proofing gallery. I will email you the link to access this gallery within a couple of weeks after your session. The wonderful thing about the online gallery is you can view them from the comfort of your home. I will have a sneak peak sent within two days after session!

From your gallery you will be able to download your high resolution files and print them with a print release at your convenience. Your photos are presented in a special online gallery where you can download them instantly with one click. No more waiting for your images to be mailed to you! Clients love the simplicity of being able to download them easily from their gallery! I do not give Jump Drives or CDs since they are downloadable!


Thank you again for choosing me to photograph this special time!

It is my hope that you come to my studio feeling comfortable and at home. I am truly honored to be able to document this incredible time in your lives, and look forward to getting to know you and your sweet baby!

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email me at hello@savanahhoganphoto.com anytime, or call/text me at 256-476-3561 (Monday – Thursday 8am-5pm only please).(However if there is an emergency, please feel free to contact me outside of business hours.)


-Savanah Hogan