Thank you so much for choosing Amplified Studio to photograph your newborn.
It's an honour to be selected to capture these precious images for you.
We're so excited for you to come in to the studio!
Before coming along to your session, we'd really appreciate it if you could take the time to have a read through this post which will help you prepare for your session and know what to expect. It's a little lengthy, so pop the kettle on and get some biccies ready!
Our main priority is the comfort and safety of your newborn during your session, and also the comfort of yourselves, as new parents. Particularly new mums who have possibly had birth complications. So we've put together some information which you might find useful.
But before we run through the newborn guidelines, please read the following;
- Please contact us as soon as possible after the birth of your baby so that we are able to schedule your session for an appointment in the ideal time frame.
- Please do not bring the entire family along for your newborn session, we only have enough seating for two adults in the studio. Not only that, but we want to create a relaxing experience for you, and newborn sessions can take a few hours. We can however accomodate for 6 adults to come along to your viewing session.
- If you have any older children/toddlers, we advise leaving them at home if you are only having your newborn photographed. Otherwise, we advise bringing along a second adult to entertain them. Alternatively, if a family member can bring them along a little later that would be even better.
If you would like sibling shots, this needs to be arranged at the time of booking your session, so that we know how to run the session. This will ensure that we have enough time to get all the shots - as toddlers/children can be very unpredictable.
- Please ensure that you are free for the entire allocated time slot for your session, as they can be a lengthy process.
NEWBORN SESSIONS BEGIN AT 10AM, AND CAN LAST UP TO 4 HOURS.
- Decide on what you'd like to acheive from your session in advance, i.e wall art, album, desktop products etc... Failing that, decide on a budget. This means that when we have a chat before your session, we know exactly what to shoot for - making sure we get the best images for your requirements.
Before your Session
So, here's a run through of our main guidelines and why they are in place;
1. Your baby will ideally be between 5-14 days old.
(although up to 3-4 weeks is absolutely fine)
We will not photograph any baby under 5 days old, for several reasons. Firstly, mum is still recovering and should be purely resting in these days. Secondly, your baby is still very new and adapting to the outside world. Thirdly, a newborns feeding pattern isn't properly developed until day 5. This is more relevant for breastfeeding mums, as your milk may not have fully come through and often a newborn under 5 days wont settle. We tried photographing our own baby at 4 days old - our rules became clear and made perfect sense to us all of a sudden! It also gives enough time for your baby to become cute, as newborns tend to look a little grey or yellow and can be bruised depending on the birthing process. Finally, babies are born with 300 bones and are very flexible, allowing us to achieve the lovely curly poses. As time goes on those bones merge and eventually become just 206 (like us adults), and they lose that flexibility - quickly.
As babies get older they become far more alert and strong. They are far more difficult to settle and it is very unlikely that they will curl back up in to the foetal position comfortably.
Babies born prematurely are the exception to this rule.
If your baby is over 14 days old, don't think that we can't get any gorgeous images - of course we can. Just be prepared for a more awake baby who may not be able to go in to some of our poses comfortably, and some of our props will be unusable for safety reasons.
2. Your baby will ideally be fully fed immediately before the session at the studio.
Please do not feed your baby just before you come to the studio (if you can help it).
When you arrive at the studio we will ask you to feed your newborn right before the session (after they have been stripped off), and don't stop until they physically drop off the bottle/boob. Depending on the size of the baby, this will be from 2-4oz of milk at this age. If the baby isn't asleep, we cannot do composite images (I'll explain this a little later), and some of the cute props will have to be disregarded completely. Don't be surprised if baby feeds a lot more than usual at the session - this is very common due to the warm environment. We strongly advise bringing extra milk.
3. Guidelines for breast feeding mums.
Firstly - we absolutely 100% welcome breast feeding at our studio!
We also have pillows available to help you feed - just ask and we'll happily bring one to you.
It's well known in the industry that it can be more difficult to settle a breast fed newborn to sleep than bottle fed newborns (although this isn't always the case).
This is for several reasons.
- It's impossible to tell how much milk a breast fed baby is getting.
- Mums diet has a direct impact on babys milk and can cause an upset tummy (i.e gassy food, spicy food and caffiene). We ask our breast feeding mums to eat a very bland, high carb diet for 48 hours before your session, if possible. Yay for biccies!
- Breast feeding mums often don't like to give their baby a dummy - a very useful tool when settling a baby to sleep.
- Newborns will seek mums boob for comfort as well as for feeding.
- If a breast feeding mum is too close during the session, the baby will smell mum and become unsettled as they will want to go to mum for comfort/a feed. So, we advise chilling out on our sofa with a cuppa whilst watching from a short distance.
If you are combi feeding, or expressing, please bring along a bottle and some milk as a back-up, just in case.
4. A composite image.
A composite image is a merger of different photographs. Below is one of our favourites, the head in hands pose. This image is acheived by merging two photographs. One with the babys hands being held in place, and the second with the head being held in place. In both shots, the baby is not supporting it's own head weight. We then merge both images and remove the hands from the image. If anyone attempts to position a baby like this and take a shot without any support of the baby - SAY NO - IT IS NOT SAFE. Likewise, if anyone attempts this with an awake baby. When newborns are awake they become rigid, at it may cause harm to your baby. If a baby starts to awaken during a composite, we stop and allow them to fall back to sleep before we continue. Safety is paramount!
The above picture is a composite image - DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, WE ARE TRAINED PROFESSIONALS AND HAVE EXPERIENCE OF DOING THIS WITHOUT CAUSING HARM OR DISTRESS TO YOUR BABY.
5. Parent/Sibling Shots
Many of our clients don't want to be photographed after just having a baby, but think of this - your baby will be able to be held in your hands for a very short time! We can capture this moment and make that memory last forever. Once it's gone, it cannot be recreated.
What to wear;
Mum - we take care of you. We'll drape you in some gorgeous seamless fabric that will be timeless and flattering (which is what we all want after giving birth).
Dad - ideally dads will be topless, as the skin to skin look is the most elegant and timeless. Alternatively a plain t-shirt is ideal. We say it's best to avoid hight contrast colours (i.e black, white, red etc...) so creams, greys, olives etc work best.
Siblings should also be in plain clothing.
Safety with siblings
Depending on the age of the sibling, certain poses may not be suitable for safety reasons. Our policy is babies cannot be held by children under 5 years of age. Instead, we pose them laying next to each other and create some gorgeous 'overhead' images.
For reasons relating to safety, hygiene and allergy risks pets are not permitted in the studio.
6. Sessions are fully baby led
The safety and comfort of your baby is absolutely paramount, and our number one priority in the studio.
As a result we cannot guarantee any particular poses/props, as all babies have different preferences. Babies will not be forced in to positions or poses which we believe they wont be comfortable in. We ask that with this in mind, although we do our best to stick as closely as possible to your booking form/requests to keep an open mind.
We have a great deal of experience with newborn babies, and we uphold the highest standards of care and comfort when working with your new baby.
7. What to bring/not to bring
- If formula feeding, please bring more bottles than you need - babies typically feed more often during a newborn session.
- For breast feeding mums, if you are also expressing we recommend bringing some extra milk (just incase).
- A dummy. They are very helpful to settle baby as we transition through poses (even if they use it just for the session)
- Muslin cloths
If it's not sentimental, leave it at home.
Please do not bring your own props, and there is no need to bring any outfits etc for baby as baby will be nude/wrapped for the session. We have an incredible selection of props and accessories here to create gorgeous images for you. We find that shop/internet bought items often can look 'tacky' or they will date very quickly and we really want your images to be timeless.
We are however, more than happy to include sentimental items, which mean a great deal to you - just let us know in advance so we can prepare for you.
8. Staff Illness - Rearranging Sessions
Our priority is the safety of your newborn - and under no circumsances would we want to risk passing on illnesses to your brand new baby.
As a result, it is our studio policy to rearrange sessions where staff have an illness which MAY be contagious in any way (i.e sickness, flu etc).
We ask that you promptly check your EMAIL at 8am on the morning of your session.
Should we need to reschedule, an email will be sent before 8am - check all folders, just incase.
We don't arrive at the studio until just before 9am, so by emailing we can contact you sooner.
We will of course, rearrange your session at the soonest convenience.
At the Studio
When you arrive at the studio, we will welcome you in to our wonderful warm and homely space and take you in to our newborn studio.
Our studio is heated to 28 degrees celcius, so please wear light clothing to the session.
Before we get started, we'll let you know that you are free to help yourselves to an unlimited amount of tea/coffee/water/squash. We want you to feel at ease when you're with us, so we don't want you to feel like you have to ask to raid the biccies! We strongly believe that your time with us is not only about the gorgeous images, but about your experience with us too.
Once you're all relaxed, we will ask you to get baby stripped down (we'll provide you with protection for your clothing) and to start feeding baby. Babies will feed and settle at their own pace, so don't feel as though you have to rush - we have plenty of time to work on your newborns time frame.
We'll give you some time to get baby settled, and we're on hand to help if you need anything.
As soon as baby is sleeping, we'll begin the magic! The session will take up to 4 hours. Some babies will sleep all the way through, others will wake and want cuddles or more feed. No matter what your baby wants, we will work with that. On the odd occasion, we may have a baby who is a little unsettled (it may be a poorly tummy, colic, wind etc) if this is the case we will ask you to come back in a couple of days - we will not force a baby to do anything that they aren't comfortable with. This isn't something that happens often, but it is a possibility. At the session we will work through several beanbag poses, and then move on to the prop set ups, followed by parent/sibling poses if applicable. During the session, we will ensure that your baby is safe at all times. We will use composites where necessary (mergers of several images to remove our supporting hands), and we will ensure that your baby is warm but not overheating, and that their blood circulation is good. This is all part of the process of creating gorgeous images.
In terms of the session itself, we aim to complete a variety of poses on 2 different fabric colours, in addition to TWO prop set ups and parent/sibling poses (if requested).
Once your session has ended, and baby is dressed, we'll get you booked in for your viewing/ordering appointment which will take place 1-2 weeks after your session. This is where you'll see your images for the first time, and place your image order. We're on hand to talk you through our products and help you select the option that's best for you.
Once you have placed your order, they will be put in to our editing and production queue. All orders are edited in the order they were placed to ensure a fair and smooth process. Once they are edited, they are sent off to our pro lab where your images are carefully produced. To ensure that we deliver the best service to our clients the process from ordering to completion takes around 6 weeks.
Being in the town centre, there is ample choice of car parks in the area including Gas Lane, The Goods Yard and Sardis Road.
The closest car park to us, however is the NCP Multi Storey, which is just a 2 minute walk away. Postcode: CF37 2TB