Newborn FAQ | Before, during and after your session

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Life with a newborn is beautiful chaos.

Planning a newborn session can be an exciting yet stressful time for families. There are so many questions you may have and so many things you are unsure of. Hopefully, this FAQ page can answer some of those pending questions and provide you with some clarity leading up to your session.

When is the best time to have maternity photos? 

While I would recommend having your maternity photos between 30-34 weeks, it’s up to each mama to decide whether they would like it slightly earlier or later.

Do you provide prints, or digital files? 

All my sessions include high resolution digital files. If you would also like prints, feel free to inquire for a current price list. 

When is the ideal time to have a newborn shoot?

The ideal time to have a studio newborn session is between day 6 and 14, while the baby is still fresh and can be effortlessly moulded into those natural and angelic womb like poses. During the first 14 days the baby is more flexible and therefore can be easily wrapped into blankets and wraps while still remaining comfortable and undisturbed. After the 14 day time frame we will still be able to get gorgeous images, but the delicate newborn poses become less possible. However, there are advantages to photographing your baby later on, such as the beautiful open eye shots.

How far in advance do we have to book / how do we book considering a due date is just an indication?

I only book a limited number of sessions a month. Depending on the month, I can be full or still have spaces available. It is best to send me a session inquiry email while you are still a few months away from your baby’s due date so that I can pencil in the due date. Once your little one is here, I just ask that you email me within a couple of days, and we can lock in a day. As I do all my newborn sessions on weekdays, I’m always sure to leave 1-2 days a week available for newborn sessions. 

My baby is already here but I haven’t booked a session. Can you fit me in?

If your little one is due fairly soon or if the baby has already arrived, don’t stress! Just get in touch with me as soon as possible and I will let you know if I can fit you in. If, unfortunately I’m unable to, I am happy to recommend other talented photographer with greater availability. 

What is the difference between an in home lifestyle session + studio session, and how do I decide which one? 

A studio session takes a slightly more posed approach and is perfect for those who would like to just come, do their session, and leave without having to worry about a clean home or any other extra organizing, which can often be just another extra point of stress for new mums. My studio is a simple and charming space in which I can get very classic and timeless, minimalistic images. It uses neutral and light toned natural light, and the main advantage is being able to take a more posed approach, and includes those beautiful womb like baby photos on the studio furniture (such as the bean bag). 

The in home lifestyle session has a slightly more personal and intimate touch to it, taking a more unposed approach, and focuses on capturing your little darling and your family in your own home, in areas such as your baby’s room, your lounge and your bedroom. Capturing these images in the comfort of your home is often a very special thing. It’s particularly  great for those who want to include their pets in the photos, and is often easier with siblings as well.

Both studio and lifestyle are great options. No matter the setting, the images will still be in my simplistic and natural style, and either way we will capture stunning photos of your little one. It’s just a matter of personal preference. 

Is a newborn session JUST of the baby by itself or are the parents and siblings allowed to be in the photos?

A newborn session can most certainly include the whole family; Mum, Dad, any siblings, or even the furrier members of the family! I always love to capture a variety of combinations.. There is an assortment of photos that I will do that will capture the whole family as you celebrate the arrival of your little one. Capturing the interactions of you as a family is a special part of the session, and capturing your older kids with their new baby sibling is a precious and often very emotional thing.

 How long does a newborn session last and why so long?! 

A newborn session whether studio or lifestyle can take anywhere between 2-3 hours. The amount of time can seem intimidating but it goes by incredibly quickly. Being in front of the camera after just having had a baby can understandably be quite daunting, but don’t worry. We will create some timeless photos of you with your little one.

Because my studio uses natural light, my newborn sessions start between 10:30am / 11am. We often start by feeding baby upon arrival to get your little one as sleepy as possible. Of course, some babies are more alert than others and some more sleepy, so every session is different.

Babies will need multiple feeds throughout our session – often more than usual. 

Do you use props? 

Aside from wraps or blankets, I don’t use any props, as I don’t want anything excess to distract from the simplistic delicacy and beauty of the newborn baby. However, I always recommend for parents to bring any special items such as a sentimental baby toy or blanket which we can naturally incorporate into some of the images.

What should we wear?

My newborn sessions incorporate a very raw, organic and minimalist style, so I always recommend for parents to bring light, neutral, beige, or grey clothing and to avoid any bright colours or clothing with logos. We want to keep the main focus on your little one and avoid anything that could be a potential distraction. Being comfortable during our shoot is something I believe is super important. I want this to be a fun and enjoyable experience for you! As our session will be quite long, I recommend for mum to bring comfortable pants such as pyjama pants or track pants along with a few nice tops. 

What if my baby cries and we can’t get any photos in that time frame?

When we have a little one that is unsettled or crying, I tend to turn the session into more of a lifestyle session, where we capture more photos of baby in arms rather than posed. During the time they are awake, you will still get beautiful images. Every session is different and every set of images is unique, which is what makes it exciting. If we pass the 3 hour time and need to extend the session. that is a decision we will make together.

Where will my photoshoot take place? 

I have a wonderful home studio set up in my home in East Auckland. Otherwise, I travel regularly to clients homes in East / Central / South for in home lifestyle sessions. Due to distance and travel time there is a small travel fee for West / North Auckland.

We also have a toddler and are worried that they won’t last the entire session.

Sometimes sibling shots can be a little challenging. Toddlers are fairly unpredictable, and understandably will also be getting used to their newest little family member. However, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve! Whenever I have a newborn session with a sibling that’s under 5 I understand that they may get bored easily, which is why I’m sure to always start the session with the sibling and family shots. Afterwards, while we take the rest of the photos, you can arrange to have someone pick up your toddler, or dad is welcome to take toddler to my local playground (2 min away!) or for a fluffy at my local coffee club ☺ 

What is included in my price? 

My newborn sessions include a 2-3 hour session + a selection of edited high resolution images in a mixture of colour and black & white. I have a minimum number of images listed in my pricing which varies depending on how much we shoot on the day but it’s usually almost double that amout. My in home lifestyle sessions often include more images than my studio sessions due to the variety in backgrounds and spaces to shoot in e.g living areas, baby’s room, parents bedroom etc.

My studio sessions usually take longer and can be a little bit more challenging, as we are posing bub and sometimes may need a few feeds between a pose. 

You will receive an online gallery with your images for you to share with your family & friend directly. 

For my pricing – please check my page:

www.ivelinavelkova.com/portraitpricing 

What can we do to prepare for our shoot on the day? 

I would advise to feed baby upon arrival to the studio or likewise upon my arrival at your home. This will hopefully get your little one more relaxed and content before the shoot. Of course, every baby is different, so it’s up to you to do what you think is best. 

My baby has flaky skin and baby acne. What can be done about this?
I will apply my signature look to all your images, which usually involves smoothing the skin ever so slightly, and colour enhancement. However, I do like to keep it all as natural as possible. Baby skin flakes are glorious- Often clients are happy the flakes have appeared before the session, as they look adorable with my editing style. All the images I will send to you will be colour corrected. However, any extensive extra editing can be discussed prior, and is charged out per hour.

When can we see a preview of our images? When will the full gallery be ready?

A week after your session you should expect to receive some preview images, which will be colour enhanced and ready for you to share with your family. You will receive your final gallery 3-4 weeks from our session, sometimes sooner, depending on my editing queue. As a perfectionist, the final images will be edited to the highest quality. There are many hours of editing to be undertaken to ensure these are all to my highest quality, meaning that it could take a short while to get through them all. 

Who chooses the final photos that I will receive? 

I want my images to tell your story, and with my style being more natural, I choose all the photos you will receive. There will be a beautiful selection of images from our shoot, and I never leave out any images that are worth keeping. I want you to have a beautiful collection to look back on for many years to come, and a collection you can use not only for printing on your walls and social media, but to also create albums to show off your bundle of joy.. 

Can we have the RAW files?

Once your photos are ready I will send your edited high resolution images ready for you to print as large as you like. Unfortunately, I don’t send out raw files.

Can I use the images on facebook / social media? 

Of course! Once you have received your images you are welcome to show them off wherever and however you please.

If you have any further questions or any concerns about your little one, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I want this to be an amazing experience for all of you! 

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