Newborn Session FAQs
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM MY SESSION?
Newborn sessions are relaxed and slow-paced as I work around the needs of your baby. Ideally, baby will be awake when you arrive and ready for big feed so they are ready for a nice long sleep! My style is a combination of posed and more natural images of baby using wraps, bonnets, hairbands and soft animals and hearts and I will aim to photograph baby both in props and on my beanbag in a variety of comfortable and safe poses. I also love to photograph the new baby with siblings if they have any and parents too.
when should i book my newborn session?
I recommend booking your newborn photography session when you have had your 20 week scan so we can pencil in a date based on your due date.
when will my session take place?
Please let me know when your little bundle arrives (I love to receive photos too!), and we can confirm your session, ideally within the first 10 days of baby’s life and ideally before they are two week's old if possible.
my baby has already been born, CAN I STILL BOOK a session?
As babies aren't usually interested in their due date my calendar is pretty flexible, so when baby arrives please get in touch as soon as you are able and we can look at suitable dates. If your baby is older than 8 weeks I would book them in for a child session rather than a newborn session.
how do we prepare for the session?
If baby is breastfed I advise Mums to avoid spicy/acidic/gassy food for 24 hours before the session. Also, try to keep baby awake for as long as possible before the session and ready for a big feed on arrival. Please dress baby in something easy to remove and keep their nappy as loose as possible to avoid marks on their skin.
do we need to bring anything?
I have a vast array of wraps, outfits and props which help create my style of imagery, which is presumably why you are thinking of booking me, so I will predominantly use these to create images you will love. If you have a sentimental teddy or a favourite outfit/blanket, please bring these with you as we may be able to incorporate these into the shoot to create unique imagery that is special to your family.
will you use a dummy?
It is best to bring a dummy with you, even if baby is not using one as some babies require the comfort of a dummy whilst being moved into position and this can really help cut down the time taken in soothing baby. If you haven't used a dummy with your baby yet, rest assured that using one for a few minutes during your session is highly unlikely to cause nipple or feeding confusion but if you really don't want me to use a dummy of course we won't.
how long does a session last?
Sessions can last anywhere from 2 - 4 hours (on occasion it has been more) as these are completely baby led and your baby's every need will be attended to in order to ensure they are comfortable and happy throughout their time in the cabin. I only schedule one newborn session each day to allow time to ensure parents and baby are completely relaxed. This may be one of the first times your little family will have left the safety of your own home so if you take a bit longer to leave the house or get stuck in traffic I don't want you to worry about being a bit late. Also, if your baby takes a bit longer to settle I don't want anyone to clock-watch, we should all be focusing on baby and having a lovely time.
will i get to choose the colour scheme?
It is so important that you love your images which is why, when you book your session, you can choose from my muted colour schemes so you can ensure you are happy with the colour tones used and that they will blend into your home when it comes to wall art too!
will you be handling my baby?
It is so important for me to get to know and understand your baby so I can read their cues and respond appropriately. I want your baby to look peaceful in the images so it is important they get used to me holding, soothing, changing and feeding them (if bottle fed of course)! I have two children of my own, one who is just six months old and I have been photographing newborns and older babies for years so I am very comfortable tending to their needs.
what do we do while you are looking after our baby?
I want you to feel at home in The Cabin, so take your shoes off, relax with a hot drink or glass of water and put your feet up! I have a lovely comfy sofa in the studio (that pulls out into a bed if you really want a good rest) covered in cushions and blankets for you to snuggle up in! Then, you can either watch your baby in all of the adorable poses and props and marvel at how beautiful they are, read a selection of up-to-date magazines, catch up on social media and news with our dedicated WiFi network, or get a little bit of rest and shut eye. The cabin will be very warm as this helps to keep baby settled so dress in layers so you don't get too hot. Rest assured if I feel baby needs to come back to you for a feed or settling I will do so, it will aid the session if I am trusted to soothe your baby while you enjoy the time off!
what if my baby makes a mess on your things?
If baby is happy to do so, I will be posing them naked so there is always a high chance of accidents and I'm more surprised if it doesn't happen! It has happened before and it will happen again many times so it really isn't a problem and you don't need to feel guilty!
what if my baby cries or doesn't settle?
This is only natural and doesn't tend to last the entire session. If baby cries and no amount of soothing, changing, feeding and winding changes this we can simply reschedule your session as it may be that they are coming down with something. More often, with some time, patience and perseverance all babies will settle and we will be able to create beautiful images - awake or asleep.
My baby has scratched themselves/has flaky skin/developed baby acne - is this a problem?
Although it may take longer to edit out any marks from their delivery such as forceps, scratches from little baby nails or flaky/spotty skin this is all part of the newborn editing process and will be delicately removed during post-processing. I do tend to leave hands and feet with flakes if they are quite flaky as I believe these are sweet details that are unique to your baby that will be lovely to look back on. I'll often discuss with you when I meet your baby which elements you might want to show in the images and which you would want removing or softening.
i've had a caesarean section/i'm still uncomfortable after labour, how will I be comfortable in the studio?
I have a very squishy sofa full of cushions and blankets that will ensure you are more than comfortable during the session and if you need to raise your feet I can provide a footstool too. If you have a special cushion to sit on to alleviate pressure below please bring this with you. If mobility is an issue please ensure you bring someone to the session with you.
can i take my own photos?
You are welcome to take a couple of behind the scenes photos of me photographing your baby during your session to remember this special time in your baby's life, however these shouldn't be close ups of just the baby in a set up as these are the images you have paid me to take and a phone photo will not do them justice!
Please do not take any photos of any other elements within the cabin, both for privacy reasons but more so as seeing the cabin for the first time is all part of the experience of booking a session with Mama Bear Photography, so we like to keep some details a nice surprise for future clients.
Are your newborn sessions safe?
Your baby's safety is my number one priority. I will not put your baby into any poses that they seem uncomfortable in or without following safety guidelines such as creating composites of images that look like baby is supporting their own weight (which they never will be). I will handle your baby gently throughout and will not rush them at any time during the session. Not all babies are comfortable in every pose. They can 'squeak' a little during some poses which is natural, however if baby shows any signs of discomfort I would immediately disregard that pose. I maintain a watchful eye on their colouring, circulation and breathing to always ensure they are perfectly safe and happy.
Have you had any training with newborns?
I have had years of previous experience in photographing newborns and older babies in a lifestyle aesthetic which is typically unposed, so when I decided to open my own newborn studio I immediately sought training before handling a single baby. I trained, and continue to train with, one of the country's top female newborn specialists and travel 5 hours each way to train with the best! This training covers safety when handling and posing newborns, use of props, wrapping babies, styling and lighting which I have since honed and refined to create my own style of newborn photography.
I also have 2 children of my own so have experienced (and continue to experience) the lack of sleep, crying, changing, breast and bottle feeding, natural and caesarean births and the rollercoaster of emotions that come with having a newborn so I'm also here for listening, empathising and well-meaning advice too.
can my other children be included in the photos?
Yes! I love involving siblings in the photos, no matter how many baby has! The cabin is only a small space, so we can discuss your individual situation upon booking as it may be preferable to have someone bring your other children towards the end, or at the beginning, of the session to minimise disruption to the baby.
I don't like myself in photos, do i have to be in them?
Especially for Mums I understand that a few days after having a baby you may not be feeling like you, or feel particularly comfortable having your photo taken, but please remember this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have some really special images with your baby and your new family unit. I will gently pose and use flattering lighting to create beautiful images of you all. You don't have to show them off, they can be just for you but I do encourage parents to have photos with their baby - they will thank you for it one day!
What should we wear?
I find it works best to keep things neutral, so for Mum some comfortable trousers or a skirt with a plain black, navy or white top and for Dad jeans or trousers, again with a plain t-shirt or jumper. In terms of outfits for any children, for girls I like to use a wrap around their chest that coordinates with the colour scheme of the session so just a pretty skirt or trousers will suffice and for boys either bare chest with jeans/trousers or a smart shirt or jumper look just as lovely, with bare feet most often for girls and boys.
The camera on my phone is really good, why should i hire a professional?
Professional newborn photography is a lot about patience, detail, styling and safety and having had year's of experience photographing family relationships, wedding details and blink-and-you-miss-them-moments my expertise naturally translates to capturing the tiny and defining features of your baby that camera phones just aren't able to. I use the best lighting and angles to enhance your baby's features in a beautiful way, I use special lenses to capture the tiniest details, I spend hours soothing your baby, straightening their fingers, crossing their feet, positioning accessories that Mums and Dads suffering from sleep deprivation don't have the energy or awareness to do. As someone who takes thousands of photos on my phone I know they are invaluable in capturing those fleeting or funny every day moments, but they cannot replace quality, beautifully crafted imagery that is meant for the walls and albums and this is what professional photography will give you, without you having to lift a finger.
Do you edit the images?
During your session, I will likely take around 200-400 photos. This consists of numerous angles of each pose and often very similar images, re-takes due to blinks/eyes opening, focusing on different areas and so on. Using my creative discretion, I only delicately edit the very best images including removing unsightly blemishes, colour correcting, detail enhancing and creative development to create the final photo which is what you will see during your viewing appointment and in your gallery.
how many images will i get?
Images are not included in the session fee and are available to purchase separately. For a newborn session, you will have a minimum of 30 images to choose from when ordering.
DO I HAVE TO CHOOSE AN IMAGE PACKAGE BEFORE I BOOK?
You don't need to choose any package when you book your session. Once you've had your image viewing you will then need to choose your images and the relevant package (whether it be one of the three collections or digital only) at that time. Payment will be required at your viewing appointment in full upon ordering your images and you can pay via cash, card or BACS.
do you share images on social media?
I love to share a sneak peek of an image from your session within 24 hours of the shoot where possible. I may also use any images from your final gallery on my social media pages as well as my website or blog as a promotional tool and most parents love to see their baby being featured in this way. If you would prefer your baby's images not to be used in this way that's fine too, please just let me know before your session.
How long does it take before we can see the photos?
I usually say between 4-6 weeks however at busier or quieter times this could be more or less and I will aim to keep you updated on this. I meticulously edit each of your photos so that your baby’s natural beauty is the focus of the images and they are ready to proudly display on your wall.
How do I access photos after the viewing appointment?
This will be explained in detail at your appointment, as you will be given access to an online, password protected gallery where you can view, share and order your images if you didn't at your viewing appointment.
how will i choose from all the images you've sent me?
You don't have to choose! My pricing has been created in a way that you get the very best savings when you purchase all of your images. I have added the option to add all your images to each of my packages to ensure the value is retained and you get to receive some beautiful prints and artwork too. Personally, I can never choose a few images from a gallery of my own children so I don't want you to have to choose either! I also offer a lot of images within your gallery so that when purchasing all images you get a lot of value from your investment.
If we order wall art or prints, how long will my order take?
This all depends on the specific products ordered and individual timescales however I would generally say between 2 - 6 weeks and your order will be fulfilled. All can be discussed further at your viewing appointment and I will keep you updated along the way too.
how do we receive our order?
The price of my products includes delivery, this could be in the post for smaller orders or we may hand deliver larger orders to prevent any damage to the pieces and you are also welcome to collect your order by appointment. All will be discussed with you individually upon ordering.
For detailed information on the Mama Bear Photography newborn sessions click below.
Prints & Products
For information on the beautiful products within my newborn collections, and a more in depth breakdown of pricing, download my brochure.