Many clients ask what a full session looks like at Chandra Lee Photography. It’s an important question to ask when looking to hire someone to photograph your newborn for baby’s first photo session.
It’s always a good idea to call around and speak to many different photographers and listen to what they have to offer. Each one of us is different in our own way. There’s no question that there’s a lot of amazing talent out there!
Newborn safety should be the most important aspect of a newborn session. It’s good to know that the photographer taking pictures of your baby is using spotters and composites while photographing any suspension images, prop poses or images such as baby holding head up pose or any other pose where baby “appears” to be free standing. This means that baby is being held onto by a spotter and the images are layered together in Photoshop in post processing to remove the hands supporting baby.
While prop poses are being captured (when baby is in a bucket or trencher bowl, etc.) there should be a spotter within arm’s reach of baby at all times.
The second important question is what will you be receiving from your newborn session? How important is the number of poses you will receive. How important is the quality of the images?
In this post I share screen captures of all of the images taken from a recent newborn session here at the studio. It’s important for me to capture beautiful images of your baby that are never rushed so perfect posing can be captured while keeping your baby safe and happy at all times.
I know that my clients love variety when coming for a newborn session and it takes time to photograph lots of variety.
You should be able to see the quality of a photographer’s work before booking. Things to look for are the workflow from beginning to end that show you the transition of poses. Many breaks are taken throughout a newborn session for baby to spend time with mom for feedings. Feeding times vary from baby to baby and can take anywhere from 15 minutes to close to one hour. Each baby is different and some babies take longer than other babies to feed.
You should also be able to view a photographer’s work and see a consistency in colour balance. There should not be a great difference in colour between images. When shooting on different colour backgrounds and blankets, the colour may vary; however, from one set to another set, the images should be the same unless the photographer has made changes to the brightest or darkness of the subject and/or background. This is all controlled with our camera settings including shutter speed and aperature settings.
An experienced photographer will know how to control light throughout their photo session.
It’s important to choose a photographer whose work you love and be informed before making your final decision.
Multiple images are taken throughout a newborn session of each pose. One image is selected from each set-up resulting in 30 to 40 final edited images to choose your favourites from.
Below you can find 2 screen captures of all of the raw images taken from a recent newborn session. It shows the progression from beginning to end. This little guy was just 7 days new when he attended for his session. He was able to do 6 prop poses because he was very sleepy at just 7 days. We were also able to capture lots of variety on the posing pillow. You will notice that baby was supported when we captured the baby holding head up pose. Mom was spotting her baby for this pose.
3 of the final edited images are displayed so you can see the result.
As a special thank you for following us on Instagram, Chandra Lee Photography is giving away a FREE portrait session ($399 plus value) to one of our lucky Instagram followers!
The session will take place at one of our favourite locations in Toronto or the Durham Region or in the studio for newborn.
The photography session is for any one of the following:
Newborn (5 to 10 days – studio only)
Baby (6 months to 1 Year)
Photography session includes a 90 minute photography session and 10 digital images by digital download.
TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
1. Follow @newbornphotographertoronto on INSTAGRAM;
2. Find the photo below in our Instagram feed and tag 3 friends.
BONUS ENTRY: Repost this image to your Instagram account and mention @newbornphotographertoronto and hashtag #chandraleephotography and share why you would like to win a free photography session.
GIVEAWAY RULES: The photography session will take place in Toronto or Durham Region or studio only for newborn before November 30, 2016. Entries will close on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Instagram on Thursday, June 2nd. Prize must be claimed by Friday, June 3, 2016. Contest winner will be responsible for their own travel and related expenses to and from the photography location. If the contest winner cancels after a session date is selected, they will be required to pay a rescheduling fee.
Here is a recent portrait taken at Chandra Lee Photography. This baby girl was photographed at 10 days new. Newborn photography takes place when your baby is between 5 and 10 days of age. After 10 days, babies become too alert and awake to pose for newborn pictures. Day 5 is always my favourite day to complete a newborn session. This is when I find most babies to be so very sleepy and easy to work with. This is when I can capture the most amount of poses and variety for your newborn portrait session.
Certainly, I understand that sometimes babies have a longer than anticipated stay at the hospital for jaundice or other health issues. Or perhaps mom had an unexpected c-section and requires a little bit extra time to heal and recover. That’s okay.
For moms who have had their babies and come home from the hospital right away, your session is always guaranteed to take place before baby is 10 days or younger. The earlier you contact me after your baby arrives, we will try to offer you a day as close to day 5 to 8 as possible.
When your newborn session is booked, you are asked to call the studio or email us within 3 days of your baby arriving. This ensures that we can book you in before that day 10. Newborn photography has only a very small window of opportunity to capture these delicate poses when these precious bundles of joy are ‘newly’ born.
It is possible to photograph a newborn as early as day 4 but only if your milk has come in by day 3. If you are bottle feeding, your session can take place as soon as you arrive home from the hospital.
For the month of April, we will be offering something new at Chandra Lee Photography. Mini newborn sessions will be available from April 1st to April 30th. After completing a handful of newborn modelling sessions, I realized I can capture beautiful newborn portraits in a shorter amount of time. In order to offer these mini sessions, clients need to arrive on time for their newborn sessions as we have one to one and half hours to work with as compared to three to five hours during a full newborn session.
Mini newborn sessions are for baby only (no parent or sibling images).
Details for the mini newborn sessions can be found at Mini Newborn Sessions.
When your newborn session is booked and after your baby has arrived, you receive a newborn session preparation email. The preparation email isn’t very long; however, it does include some very helpful tips for preparing for your newborn session. One of the very helpful things you can do to ensure you have the very best session with as many beautiful set-ups as possible is feed your baby for as long as possible before leaving for your newborn session. Whether your baby is being bottle fed or nursing, please try to feed your baby for as long as possible. Part way through feeding, give baby a few minutes and then try to burp baby. Then try to feed baby again. If baby is sleepy, you can use a cold wash cloth to try to wake baby up. The best place to put the wash cloth is under their armpit as babies seem to dislike this and will wake up from this. Usually they will then latch again or drink a bit more bottle.
These are all things I usually assist you with when you arrive for your newborn session. Usually it takes up to one hour to do this before I even have baby in my arms to start posing and photographing. If this can be done before you arrive, I can start working sooner and capture more poses for you.
If baby is well fed before getting in your car to leave for your session, baby will very likely fall asleep during the car ride. Babies like the motion of being in the car and will fall into a deep sleep. This means when you arrive, we can start photographing right away.
One other helpful suggestion is to dress your baby in something very easy to undress baby. A sleeper that zips up is a perfect choice. No undershirt or onesie under the sleeper. The less baby needs to be fussed with, the more chance baby will stay in a deep sleep and not wake up.
During a full newborn session, you are able to pick out your props and your colours for your session.
During a mini newborn session, your props and fabric backgrounds will be chosen for you and prepared in advance.
Another very helpful tip and suggestion is to arrive on time for your newborn session. Whether you’re having a mini newborn session or a full newborn session, you always have a better session if you arrive on time.
Here is a recent portrait from a newborn session. This baby girl rocked her session at 10 days new. If you would like to see more images from her session, please be sure to visit the Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/babyposing or the Instagram page @newbornphotographertoronto.
Spring is just around the corner and if you are expecting a little one, you may be thinking that an outdoor maternity session would be a perfect venue for your maternity portraits.
Having been a full-time professional photographer for over 8 years now, I’ve photographed many expectant moms in studio and outdoors.
For the past few months we’ve been having maternity sessions inside the studio where the mamas-to-be can stay warm. Although I love in-studio pregnancy portraits, I always look forward to spring and booking outdoor maternity portrait sessions. There are so many gorgeous backdrops in the GTA and surrounding area and I am happy to travel and come to a location near you for your outdoor maternity portraits.
The Cherry Blossom Festival will be taking place soon. It is expected that the blooms will arrive early this year as we had a mild winter with plenty of precipitation.
Downtown Toronto has many beautiful locations. Some require permits to visit and others are upon to the public.
Whether you’re planning on hiring a professional maternity photographer or taking your own portraits, it’s usually best to head out first thing in the morning (just before or right at sunrise). This is the ideal time for outdoor pregnancy pictures when the light is especially soft. You can capture silhouette images against the sun rising and the light is very soft first thing in the morning when the sun is low to the ground.
Usually, I have an assistant attend with me for outdoor maternity portraits. My assistant helps me to carry all my gear so I can focus my attention on capturing stunning portraits. We have over 25 maternity gowns available for maternity sessions at Chandra Lee Photography. Moms are always asked which colors they would love to wear for their session and 7 or 8 gowns are brought to your outdoor session to choose from.
The gowns flatter your pregnant figure and add a beautiful touch to your portraits. I always find that my clients love the choice of the custom gowns over their own wardrobe.
Having your hair and makeup done for your session is always recommended. Some expectant moms choose to do their own hair and makeup and others decide to make an appointments at a salon prior to attending their session.
While it may be a bit harder to change outside for a maternity session than in-studio, a pop up changing station makes it easier and provides for privacy where a public washroom may not be available.
In addition to bringing all of the photography gear, pop up change station and a selection of gowns, portable reflectors are also brought to your session to use to reflect the light in a flattering way or diffuse the sun above you if the sun has risen quickly and we want to soften the light.
External flash units are used to create a beautiful fill light and catch lights in the eyes of our subjects.
If you enjoy a backdrop with stunning architecture, a floral garden, a blossoming park of cherry blossoms, a beautiful field with long grass or perhaps even an estate winery, we have the perfect place in mind!
Your partner is always welcome and encouraged to attend your session. If you’re expecting baby number 2 or 3, all members of the family are welcome to join your session.
Just as the first hour of sun rising is an ideal time for pregnancy pictures, just before sunset can be equally as beautiful. Depending upon the location chosen and the location of the sun, it may even be possible to capture a silhouette image of the sun setting behind you.
Wear comfortable walking shoes to your session. We often walk a bit throughout the parks and having comfortable walking shoes to wear is a must. If you want to wear high heels for your portraits, you can bring them with you in a carry on.
Prior to your session, you receive a maternity session preparation guide that sets out the time, date and location for your session. Also included is a Google map link to help assist you in finding the location and some other helpful suggestions.
Wearing a strapless bra to your session is always recommended. This helps to create more shape and is most flattering for maternity portraits. We then don’t need to worry about tugging in the straps of your bra into the gown. It’s also recommended to bring undergarments in at least two shades of black and nude or white. If you’re wearing a black gown, you probably don’t want to be wearing white undergarments or black undergarments with a white gown.
Some parks are very busy near sunset and it’s best to arrive early to find parking. We’ll let you know if a particular location you’ve chosen is especially busy. Sunrise is always the best time for downtown Toronto maternity photography when only early morning joggers, dog walkers and a few early risers are out and about.
If you’ve been thinking about having professional maternity portraits taken, it is best to contact the studio soon. Weekend dates are limited and fill up quickly. Weekends are when we travel into downtown Toronto and the surrounding area for outdoor portraits in the spring and summer months. Only 2 sessions can be booked per day either at sunrise or just prior to sunset.
If you’re located in the Durham Region (Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Bowmanville, etc.), evening sessions can take place at an outdoor location near you just prior to sunset.
The cherry blossom season if fast approaching and is always a favorite location for pregnancy portraits. The blooms only last for 5 days. We keep an eye out on the bloom predication watch each year to give you some idea of when the blooms will blossom. For this reason, it’s best to keep an open schedule around the time of the cherry blossom season if you wish to have the blooms in your pictures.
Contact the studio today to schedule your maternity portrait session and to find out more information. You can reach us at 905.449.2200 and we look forward to hearing from you!