Whether it is a newborn shoot, first ever infant studio session or a milestone-slash-first birthday photo shoot, it is important that parents prepare well for that photo session.
Not only because it involves memories of that tiny newborn, or that little beanie or toddling love of your life — but also because photo shoots are something you pay for — sometimes even with a hefty sum. So if it does not turn out the way you wanted it to be – like a less cooperative baby, hurried photo session, tacky props, and unflattering shots – the money and time dedicated to it will just be put to waste. Having said that, there are many things to consider before choosing a photo studio or photographer.
Here are the things you should do before deciding on a photo studio or independent photographer for your baby’s first photo shoot:
Ask for recommendations.
This is the best way to utilize your Facebook. Why not ask your FB friends about it by posting a status on your wall? Also, remember that friend who kept on posting Anne Geddes style newborn shots of her twins? Look in her albums and see if the photos appeal to you, and if they do check if there is a watermark that indicates the name of the photo studio. If there is none, send your friend a private message and ask. Do not forget to admire her tot’s photos first before asking for the details. If she is really close to you, why not ask as well for the name of the photographer who attended to them?
Ask your other friends too.
Try surveying some of your mommy friends where they usually have studio shots taken. Ask about their experiences in the studios that they will mention.
Google is your friend.
Check local listings of baby photography studios in your area. Check their website and peruse their portfolio – chances are you will see their photography style, as well as their mastery of the art. You may want to utilize your facebook search bar for this purpose too. Instagram is also a great social media site to look into when it comes to professional photography as most studios and independent photographers use Instagram among other social media sites to advertise their craft.
When you are out running an errand or stuck in traffic, look around for studios and stop by when you have the time. Usually, there are mal-based studios, or stand-alone that may even just be around your community.
Make a shortlist.
Draw up a list of at least three studios and check out their website, FB page, Instagram and Pinterest account or even their studio if it is near you. Check out the rates too and if they have on going promos or discounter rates. You may want to find out as well, their operational hours and procedure on how to book photo sessions.
Ask also if they will be providing props or if you have to bring your own or if you can do both. If you are considering an outdoor shoot, ask as well how would they go about it. Ask as well if they do home service if you would want one taken at the comfort of your own home (or somebody else’s for that matter).
Some newborn photo shoots are done at home too, so you may want to inquire as well. Most newborn photo shoots though are best booked prior to delivery, and should ideally take place before the newborn is three weeks old.
Once you have done your research, then it is time to weigh your options and choose a studio.
Now that you have been able to choose a studio, you can now prepare for your baby’s photo shoot.
How to prepare for the baby photo shoot:
Book the schedule after your baby’s usual nap time.
You would not want a cranky baby don’t you? While newborns just sleep a lot, an older infant might not be able to cooperate well if it is way past his or her naptime. So have that in mind when pegging a schedule.
Pinterest is your friend.
Unless you already have specific shots in mind, you might want to get a nice dose of inspiration from Pinterest. Print those that appeal to you even on monochromatic ink just so you can show your photographer the pegs or your ideal shots.
Pick an outfit.
Since you already have ideal shots in mind, you can now start picking an outfit for your little one. You can always of course choose from his or her existing outfits, if you do not have the extra budget for new ones.
Choose accessories too.
While your older infant may be a boy — that does not mean he does not need accessories to up his level of cuteness. Of course gross grain bows, dainty headbands and flower pins are automatic for little girls — but little boys can be cuter with hats, bow ties, suspenders, or even aviators should the photoshoot take place outdoors.
Nurse and Nap.
Make sure that your baby’s needs have been met prior to the shoot. This means the baby has taken a nap already and has been nursed or fed prior to the studio session. A sleepy and a hungry baby makes for a hurried photo shoot that may yield to unflattering results.
Bring things to keep her warm.
Studios may get chilly and the cute baby outfits (or lack thereof to show those cute little folds) may make your little one shiver. Some studios recommend a hair blow dryer to keep the baby warm in between shots. Bring a baby blanket too so you can wrap up your little one while the set is being arranged or the lights are being adjusted.
Do not forget about the props.
The studio may have some props at hand but wouldn’t it be lovely to have your baby’s own birth stats board or smash cake or letter balloon? You may even want to bring his or her own favorite toy or lovey to make her feel more secure during the whole photo shoot.
Careful on the coordinates.
If you will be taking a family portrait as well, coordinating your outfits may be a great idea. Do not go overboard though by wearing the same style and color of clothes. Too much matching clothes may not be able to bring out each family’s physical attributes in the portrait as everything tends to blend in and drown out.
Bring things and toys that will make her smile.
Studios may have bells, rattles and other tools to get the baby’s attention but bringing her favorite toy may help do the trick easily and quickly. Bring your baby’s favorite cuddling toy and take it out and give it the studio assistant when she is being less cooperative or when she refuses to face the camera.
Some shoots last more than an hour some drag a couple of hours. However, your shoot may turn out, just try to be relaxed and happy as you look forward to nice photographs with beaming smiles.
Now that you have an idea on how to prepare for your baby’s photo shoot, it is now time for you to do the leg work and start researching.