preparing for your newborn session Watch Me Grow Photography 》Calgary Newborn and Family Photographer

WELCOME to the Watch Me Grow Family

Each newborn session is unique and all about capturing your memories. It is such an honor that you have chosen me as your photographer - so, thank you! This preparation guide will help you find out more of what to expect before, during, and after your session, and give you a complete picture of what your newborn photography experience will look like.

Before Your Session

Once you have completed the booking process, we will be in touch as your due date grows closer. I would also love to answer any specific questions you have about the experience, so if you have any questions after reading through this mini Prep Guide, please don’t hesitate to email or call me

Some clients also like to book a time to meet me and see the studio, so if you would like to book a time to meet with me, please get in touch for more details. Consultations can give you a chance to talk more about your session, and discuss some of the specialty products available for you to purchase after your session.

As far as poses/inspiration images go; I cannot guarantee that we will get any specific images, but I will surely do my best to get the images that are of most importance to you and your family. My focus is about capturing the emotion between your family and the natural state of baby with some gentle posing. I am not one to force baby into poses they naturally would not be in (for example, the froggy pose, which is actually a combination of 2 - 3 shots to get the one).

Preparing for your session

The night before pack the diaper bag and your outfits. Trust me - this is a huge time saver the day of your session (and minimizes the chance of forgetting something super important)

A few hours before your session is when you will plan to start getting baby ready. This is a great opportunity for bonding with a bath and a little massage using baby lotion. (avoid baby oil and vaseline as this creates unfixable shine) Working in a feed right before you leave the house will help baby arrive with a full tummy which means a relaxed baby. Don't stress over feeding times, there will be multiple feeds / top ups throughout the session so plan on extra bottles if you are using them. {Some mammas find it easier on them to pump a bottle to use during the session}

I suggest not do anything out of the ordinary leading up to your session. Keeping in your routine will help keep you and baby relaxed.

"How will we make sure baby sleeps for their photos?"

This is a great question! Leave this part to me. Along with a few recommendations, I do have the area very warm so baby is comfortable, which means it is going to feel VERY HOT!

When you arrive, you will take baby out of the car seat do a diaper and feeding check ...... then it is my turn. I will hang out with baby for a little bit giving him/her a few moments adjusting to me (a new person) while we discuss your session and details about baby I should know. I typically start with family portraits, then wrapped setups and last a cute little outfit or no outfit. Baby is in charge! 99% of the time my planned workflow is adjusted to what cues baby is giving me. If a feeding or top up is needed - then mom takes over.

Expect plenty of snack / feeding breaks as this is the most effective way to get baby settled and back to sleep.
  • Nursing? It is important to be careful what you eat for about a day or two leading up to the session. Spicy foods can make baby uncomfortable or upset their tummy, and an upset tummy will always mean lots of tears and very little sleep. I do suggest pumping about 4 - 8 oz into a bottle for me to use to help settle. I get it, you are asking me why when I don't want to use a bottle .... This is only for the session to help top up baby for a feeding. A full tummy = a happy baby.
  • Pacifier? I know .... should we shouldn't we - I have been there myself. Even if you don't plan on using one, I suggest having one just for the session. The sucking motion is super soothing to fresh little people, and can save a lot of time if baby decides to be cranky during the session.

When you arrive

Everything will be setup and ready to go. As you are settling in we will discuss your session and the overall plan. You will finally see in person what I have chosen and setup to use for your baby’s portraits.

Typically I start with the family portion and a wrapped baby with outfit of choice underneath and move along through my workflow. (unless you have chosen no outfit) This seems to be the most seamless way to move baby as little as possible - which makes for a happy and content baby.

Length of session

The length of your session will really depend on your baby. I never rush newborn sessions, as I want everyone to be relaxed and feel comfortable. We can also take as many breaks as needed for baby’s feedings. Most newborn sessions last anywhere from 2-4 hours (and possibly longer for twins).

Please just remember that I am not in any hurry, so don't feel the need to apologize if the session is on the long side, it's totally ok!

Asleep or awake

Some mom's tend to feel stressed when their newborn baby doesn’t seem to be at all sleepy during our session. So before we even begin our shoot, I want to preface it by saying that it is completely fine (and normal!) if baby is awake the whole time!

Yes, I love those adorable sleepy-baby images, however, it is just as precious and beautiful when I get to capture a newborn baby who is awake.

So whether your little one is asleep the whole time, never slumbers, or somewhere in between - rest assured that we will be able to capture plenty of images that you will love.

YIKES!! What do we wear?!

Simplicity is the key
  • Choosing 3-5 neutral colors creates a color pallet pleasing to the eye and brings the whole image together.
  • Warmer tones like mustard, rust, teal, greens, dusty /denim blues work beautifully together.
  • Darker colors can create an opportunity of family members getting lost in the shadows (unless the moody look is what you are after). Adding in textures and patterns to break it up helps keep the image pleasing to the eye.
  • Patterns ... think more texture and less is more. Floral dresses and shirts are lovely ways to add pops of color, but often works best of one person is in a print / pattern and base the rest of the outfits around it to bring it all together.
  • Stark whites, bright pinks, oranges and yellow, or any neon is recommended to avoid. These cause a color case on your skin and really don't photograph well.
  • Avoid logos as this is the fastest way to date your family portrait and draw your eye away from your family.
  • Be sure the colors you do choose co-ordinate with each other (this way you don't end up looking like one big rainbow family)
  • Complementing one another by choosing outfits that work well together will create an image pleasing to the eye.
  • I suggest laying out all the outfits so you can see how the colors work together. The whole picture should be pleasing to the eye.
Iron or steam for a wrinkle free look

Take a double look at everyone's outfits ... check for stains, holes and tears you might not have noticed before. I recommend ironing or steaming your outfits and bringing them to the studio to change into (those nasty seat belt wrinkles are enough to draw the attention to your clothes and away from you and your family)

Shoes are not normally worn in the studio which means if you prefer socks over bare feet check for holes and stains. Neutral or darker colored socks work best so your feet don't stand out". Young children look best with bare feet as shoes and socks tend to make their feet look larger than they should.


Step ONE: Upload and Back-Up

This is the most important step!!! I don't touch any photos until my back up of my back up is completed. Although we are dependant on technology, I have learnt the hard way .... don't trust it and always back up your master files!

Step TWO: Proofing Gallery
Proofing Gallery

This is where I select the best images from your session and create a proofing gallery that is hosted in a private, password protected online gallery. It is now your turn to log in to review and flag which ones you would like to see processed. These images are not processed and only minor adjustments have been made. (this gallery link is deleted once processing starts)

Step THREE: Gallery Processing

Once you have finished reviewing your proofing gallery it is now my turn! This is where the magic happens and honestly it's where a majority of my time is spent. I typically spend a few hours of post-processing time each evening after your session is completed. It typically takes me between 3 and 4 weeks to completely process a gallery. If you are in a rush for birth announcements let me know and we will work on those first.

Step FOUR: Your Gallery Is Ready!
Final Gallery
  • Your final images are ready to be viewed and will be hosted in a new private, password-protected online gallery. I will notify you via email when your gallery is live and ready that will include instructions for viewing and choosing your favorite images.
  • Don't forget about those Grandparents!!! You can share your gallery link and they will have access to log in with their email and gallery password.
  • At this time you will also be able to order any additional items such as birth announcements, photo albums, prints, canvas prints or metal prints to adorn your walls and baby book.

I am thrilled that you have chosen me to be your photographer for such a special time in your family’s life. It is very important to me to have a strong connection with my clients, and I am happy to welcome you into the Watch Me Grow Photography Family!

If you have any questions at all as we get closer to your session date, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
You have memories worth documenting ...... I can help