How to Prepare for
your Newborn Photos and Portrait Session

Congratulations! We are so excited for you! We welcome you and look forward to creating a delightful experience for you in our studio.

The best time to come for a newborn session is in the first two weeks of life and we strongly urge you to RESERVE a session in advance to guarantee a spot in our calendar.

getting ready newborn baby
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What to Expect from your Newborn Photographer:
Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the first step to plan a newborn session?

If you are pregnant now and you are planning on having newborn portraits taken, please contact us BEFORE the baby is here and let us know your due date in advance. We have limited availability and strongly urge you to RESERVE in advance, so that we make you our priority and GUARANTEE a spot for you. We will hold a date in the week following your due date and adjust accordingly as soon as the baby arrives. If your baby has already arrived, please call 978-744-6918 for availability.

What is the best age to photograph a newborn baby?

The best results take place when newborn babies are fewer than two weeks old. We strongly recommend all newborn sessions occur when the baby is FIVE to TWELVE DAYS old.

Why do you prefer the baby to be 2 weeks or younger?

In our experience, babies younger than two weeks will sleep more soundly, allowing us to position the baby in ways that create the very best portraits for our clients. Babies are also more flexible at this age. Older than 2 weeks, most babies tend to be more alert and a bit restless, and much more difficult to capture the images our clients have come to expect from us.

What will a session cost?

Newborn portrait sessions are $150 for a 3-hour session at the studio. Included in your initial investment is Bobbie’s time and talent during the session and a personalized follow up consultation to assist you in making your portrait order selections. The session does not include portraits.  See our Special Offers page to see our full year baby plan special also.

Where will my session take place?

Newborn sessions take place on weekdays in our Salem studio. Here, we have all the props, lighting, supplies and resources necessary to capture amazing portraits for you. In addition, we’ve got plenty of extra wipes, diapers and baby blankets on hand. We set aside as many as three hours for your special session.

Where are you located?

We are located in historic Salem, MA near the Salem waterfront in Shetland Industrial Park. Be sure to see our detailed map and parking information on our directions page.

How long will you spend with us?

We set aside up to three hours for your newborn session, allowing for feedings or short breaks we may need in order to capture your baby sleeping and awake. We’ll do a mixture of color and black & white imagery, with some of the baby alone and some with you together. Ideally, we love to get some angelic sleeping baby images as well as ones with your baby awake and alert.

Typically, we begin the session with the portraits the parents and the baby together, against the dark backdrop and the baby naked for a series of intimate black & white relationship portraits. Next, we move towards portraits of the baby alone, both naked and using simple props, such as blankets, hats & baskets, coaxing the baby to fall asleep for the sweetest images.

How should we dress the baby?

It’s not necessary to bring any clothes for the baby. Newborn babies are best photographed naked, or adorned with simple props such as knit hats, bows or tiny tutus. We have a number of hats, wraps and blankets here to adorn your baby, so relax and let us do the styling! As a general rule, we believe the more skin showing the better. A naked newborn baby is so lovely and so perfect. Newborn clothing rarely looks good in portraits. Even if a parent is determined to dress the baby in an outfit that they have brought with them, 9 times out of 10, they see the results and agree that the unclothed portraits are the best!

What should we bring?

If you have a special handmade receiving blanket, that would be great to bring with you to add to the portraits of your newborn baby. Or you may bring a special stuffed plush toy that you would like to incorporate into a portrait. Simple is best.

Additionally, if you plan to be photographed with your newborn, you may also want to bring a change of clothes in the event of any small accidents while your baby is naked.

Can I bring props?

We all know that there is a mountain of ideas on Pinterest, but not all items are made for newborns as small as a few days old. Be selective if you choose to bring any special props or costumes. Besides, we find that most clients honestly prefer the portraits that show off the baby more than the props!

I’m so excited, may I take photos during the session?

Unfortunately, no. We kindly ask you to refrain from any picture-taking during your session, even with your smart phone. With all the time and effort to pose your baby, we reserve the right to be the sole creators of the portrait art of your baby. We appreciate your understanding.

Do you offer birth announcements?

We have a wonderful selection of birth announcement designs available and are always adding new ones. Turnaround time on birth announcements is quick — we usually have them ready for pick up in one week’s time from your approval of the layout.

What if my newborn has baby acne?

No worries — we see this all the time. Every portrait you select as part of your order will be individually enhanced for lovely skin tones. We will smooth and soften blemishes or boo-boos or dry skin, so not to worry!

When will I get to see my photos from the session?

Approximately one week following your session, we invite you into the studio to review all of your images, assist you in making your selections and to place your order. We recommend that all of the decision makers are present at the time of the ordering appointment. We are happy to accommodate you in the early evening for these appointments.

How many images will I see from my session?

We may photograph dozens of captures in a given session, however not all are keepers. We will capture as many images as necessary in order to present you with a strong body of images. Typically, we will present you with the best 25-35 images in order to simplify your selection process.

What should I expect to spend on my portraits?

It’s entirely up to you how much you decide to invest in from your session, choosing from our gift portraits, framed wall art pieces, gallery wraps or custom hardcover books & albums. We offer personal, gift & desk sized portraits which range from $65 to $195. Our signature hand-finished wall art pieces range from $325 all the way up to life-size.

What happens if I need to reschedule my session?

We understand that personal emergencies, illness or inclement weather sometimes require sessions to be rescheduled. We kindly ask that you provide as much notice as possible in order to make the time available to other clients.

We’re so excited, may we take photos during the session?

Generally speaking, we prefer that you refrain from any picture-taking during your session…. after all, we take the time and care to set everything up for that perfect portrait using our special props and years of experience! However, that being said, we understand that social media is a big part of our lives and if an opportunity were to arise where you were able to capture a fun behind-the-scenes shot, we are all for that. And if you do, we’d LOVE it if you tagged us in the post!

Who can come?

We welcome you and your loved ones and any caretakers assisting you. We encourage both parents to be photographed with the baby and we do these portraits at the start of your session. If there is an older sibling, these are also completed early in the session. We like to photograph the family images first, then concentrate our attention for the remainder of the session on the baby alone, both awake and asleep. We set aside the time in order to allow the baby to become drowsy and fall asleep in the latter half of your session time.

Do you photograph me with the baby?

Yes, of course. We encourage it. We adore when the parents choose to be photographed with their baby, as there is a lovely connection between a parent and a newborn infant. The relationship between you and your baby at this early stage is precious to behold. You’ll want to remember just how tiny your baby was at the time.

What should we wear?

black & white portraits

For the black & white portraits, we suggest wearing a solid black, long sleeved top. The dark top is both flattering to the mother as well as being a lovely contrast to the baby’s skin. We recommend long sleeved shirts to cover the arms, thus capturing a portrait with the emphasis on the baby’s features.

color images

Alternatively, for color images, especially if we photograph the family which includes an older sibling, we suggest that the parents wear white or light colored shirts, and any siblings may wear a solid color top.

It can also be lovely to photograph the mother wearing a white wrap (which we have at the studio) around her torso and photograph the baby skin to skin next to the mother’s body.

mother wearing a white
baby with toy

A soft, special stuffed plush toy, especially one that belonged to a parent when he or she was a baby makes an ideal prop.

For siblings, it is best to dress them in soft colors… pastels, creams, light blues, etc. Or even just bare skin like their baby brother or sister!

Do you offer consultations?

Of course! In fact, we encourage you to come visit the studio in advance of your session, to preplan your session and to get to know us. This is such an exciting time for you and we invite you to see our work and discuss your wishes for a successful newborn session. We recommend that you schedule a specific date and time with us so that we are able to give you our fullest attention.

What else do I need to know to get ready?

We’ve created a simple booklet to assist with a checklist of what to bring and sample images of what to expect. Click here to download our Newborn Baby Getting Ready Guide.

Don’t be shy. Get in touch!

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