Going with the flow

A NOTE ABOUT THIS GUIDE

Thank you for asking me to photograph your new baby. I’m so excited  to capture these special days in your family’s life. 

For most people, the idea of having a photo shoot can be quite daunting. I hope this guide will put your mind at rest so  it can be a really special experience. Above everything, the best advice I can give you is to go with the flow: embrace the chaos of life with a new baby and enjoy the precious time with your family. You can leave the rest to me.

During your newborn photo shoot, we'll capture the natural beauty of your baby, your family's love for each other and everyday happenings that paint a picture of your life as it is in this moment. No bright lights or flashes are used; it’s just me and my camera preserving fleeting moments in your new family life.




Thank you for asking me to photograph your new baby. I’m so excited  to capture these special days in your family’s life. 

For most people, the idea of having a photo shoot can be quite daunting. I hope this guide will put your mind at rest so that it can be a really special experience. Above everything, the best advice I can give you is to go with the flow: embrace the chaos of life with a new baby and enjoy the precious time with your family. You can leave the rest to me.






Welcoming a new baby is a time of joy but it can also be overwhelming and exhausting, especially if you are still recovering from your baby's birth. I've been there - let me reassure you! My gentle, baby-led approach will mean the session follows your family's rhythm so we can make genuine happy memories.

While I strongly believe it's good to have a relaxed approach to the shoot, I often get asked questions about what to wear, how to deal with being camera shy and how to prepare the home for the photo shoot. I hope this guide helps. If there is anything I have missed, please let me know.

- jess

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 quEstionnaiRe

scheduling your shoot

PREPARING YOUR HOME

WHAT TO WEAR

My clients often remark that having me in their home is like having an old friend round to visit. I love getting to know families before each session so I’ve put together a few questions to help me get to know you all a bit better. It is really important to complete the questionnaire before we meet so I can make the shoot truly personal to your family.

Once I receive your answers, I will schedule an ice-breaker phone call so that we can discuss any ideas and questions you may have.

Getting to know you 

pre-shoot questionnaIre

OPEN QUESTIONNAIRE

PRE-SHOOT QUESTIONNAIRE

Pre-shoot Questionnaire

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO DISPLAY YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS? 

DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?

What types of photographs would you not be happy with?

IF THERE ARE SPECIFIC THINGS ABOUT YOUR FAMILY YOU'D LOVE TO CAPTURE PLEASE DESCRIBE THEM HERE

Describe a typical weekend in the life of your family; what activities/hobbies do you enjoy doing together?

How would you describe each member of your family?

Unless you have a C-section planned, it will be impossible to know for sure when your baby will arrive. In this case, we'll pencil in a provisional date - usually one or two weeks after your estimated due date - although the shoot can take place at anytime you want. 

As your due date approaches, please do let me know how you are getting on so that we can move the date if needed. When your baby arrives, please try to let me know as soon as you can, ideally a day or two after the birth, so that I can re-arrange my diary to fit you in.

I recommend most newborn sessions take place in the morning, usually around 10am, when the baby is most relaxed and the light in your home is at its best.

Scheduling a date for your newborn photo shoot

DATE & TIME

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How long will the shoot last?

FAQs

Most of my newborn photo shoots last about 2 hours, and this includes any time needed to feed and change your baby. However, you won't find me watching the clock and I will only finish when I have fully captured everything we set out to. 

Sometimes, if your baby is getting tired, we will pause the session for a while to allow them to fall asleep peacefully.




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What if my baby cries a lot?

FAQs

If we need more time because your baby is unsettled for any reason, or is particularly hungry that day, then please do not worry. It is my utmost priority that you and your baby are happy so I will follow their cues entirely. Having worked with new babies for the last 10 years, and as a mother myself, I have certainly learnt the art of patience.

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Will you pose my baby?

FAQs

My style of newborn photography is very natural so I won't manoeuvre your baby into any specific poses. Rather, I will photograph your baby - just the way they are as I believe this is how you truly want to remember them. This approach also means you will get a much wider range of images: your baby awake or asleep in your arms, on your bed and in their nursery; as well as  little details like their tiny toes.

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Will you photograph
me feeding my baby?

FAQs

Your baby may feed a few times during the session I absolutely love to capture these special, bond-building, moments whether you are nourishing your baby by breast or bottle. I also love to document fathers feeding their new babies. If you would rather me not photograph you feeding your baby please let me know at the time.

"Thank you so so much for the wonderful prints, ALBUM and frames. They truly capture our girls at this moment in time and it is wonderful to have these and all your other photographs around our home.
We are so lucky to have found you all those years ago!"

SARA / TEDDINGTON

If your home doesn't look like it belongs in the pages of an interiors magazine, please do not worry! Over the last ten years, I have photographed families in homes of all shapes, sizes and styles of decor - including small basement apartments. I can craft beautiful stories in any home and lighting condition as I believe there is beauty and light everywhere. Your home is your safe place and the foundation of your children's memories; as such it's the most natural setting for your newborn photo shoot.

If you want a real documentary feel to your images then let's roll with the chaos that is parenting a new baby - it all adds layers and texture to your story and will make them all the more meaningful as the years go by. If you prefer to have things 'just so', or somewhere in the middle (like me), then feel free to clear some surfaces before my arrival or even as we go.

Having a photo shoot in your home

Preparing your home

GETTING READY FOR YOUR IN-HOME SESSION

Most of the newborn session will take place in your main bedroom, your baby’s nursery and any other living areas that have interesting backgrounds and plenty of natural light. Don’t worry too much about making sure the whole house is clean and tidy - we can do this as we go along. To get the most out of our time together, here are a few tips on how to get your home ready.

- Try and clear things from your bedroom that could cause distraction in the photographs, or that could look out of place e.g. clutter from your bedside tables. 

 - On your bed, consider light, neutral bedding and accessories. Bright colours and busy patterns can be distracting.

 - If you would like me to photograph your baby in their nappy ensure that the room is a warm temperature .

- To keep us all safe during the pandemic, please see my Covid-19 safety measures before my arrival

What to wear for your newborn photo shoot

lOOKING & feeling YOUR BEST

The most common question I am asked by parents preparing for their newborn session is "What should we wear for our photo shoot?". And while I can provide some tips and ideas for clothing choices, I feel what is most important is that you allow your family's personalities to shine through. I really don't want to direct your wardrobe too much as the memories we are capturing are yours and not mine, so my best advice in this regard is to stick to your personal style.

If you do feel you want more guidance on what to wear for your session I have included some suggestions below.

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- Newborns are best photographed simply, so don’t worry about dressing your baby up in a fancy outfit. Before I arrive, have your baby ready in a simple, clean vest so we don’t have to wake them if they are sleeping. 

- Simple baby vests, a romper, or even just a nappy, will show off their soft skin and gorgeous baby rolls. Footless garments are better so that I can photograph their tiny toes.

- Avoid bright, primary colours opting for softer pastel hues or neutral, natural shades.

- Please avoid shirts with collars as they will cover your baby’s face.

- Avoid logos, but small patterns and prints can add interest to the photographs. 


Clothing suggestions

for baby

CLOTHING

wHERE TO SHOP

LAYETTE

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Petit Bateau
Scandiborn
Smallable
Small Folk
Little White Co.
Zara Mini

Favourite shops

for baby

clothing

WHERE TO SHOP

layette

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Choose blankets and swaddles that work well with the styling of your home and with what the rest of the family are wearing (see next slide). Colours should harmonise and not clash.

Some of my favourite brands for swaddles etc. are...






Choose blankets and swaddles that work well with the styling of your home and with what the rest of the family are wearing (see next slide). Colours should harmonise and not clash.

Some of my favourite brands for swaddles etc. are...






Layette

WHERE TO SHOP

layette

CLOTHING

for baby

Avery Row
Baby Mori
Cam Cam Copenhagen
John Lewis
Little Blue Nest
Liewood
Molly Meg
Scandiborn
The Modern Nursery

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Choose a piece of clothing you love or a colour that you love, and work the rest of the family's wardrobe around that.

-Relaxed, casual clothing like jeans and a simple tee or blouse, or a long floaty dress work really well for newborn sessions. Make sure that you are comfortable in what you are wearing and that it fits well.

- Go for shades that complement the decor of your home, especially if you are looking to display the photographs as wall art.

- A good guide is to keep things neutral: solid white can appear flat in photos so choosing a shade like ivory or a light cream will appear more flattering. Soft, natural and textured fabrics photograph better than materials that crease easily.

- Wear solid colours or small prints to keep the attention on your baby.

- Bare feet work best for relaxed in-home sessions.

Clothing suggestions

for mummy

clothing

WHERE TO SHOP

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& Other Stories
Anthropologie
ASOS
Blanqi
Boden
Free People
Isabella Oliver
John Lewis
Louise Misha




& Other Stories
Anthropologie
ASOS
Blanqi
Boden
Free People
Isabella Oliver
John Lewis
Louise Misha
MABE Apparel
Mango 
Mint Velvet
Monsoon
Serephine
Sezane




MABE Apparel
Mango 
Mint Velvet
Monsoon
Serephine
Sezane

Favourite shops

for mummy

clothing

WHERE TO SHOP

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Please do not feel like you have to dress smart for the photo shoot. Relaxed and casual clothing like jeans and a t-shirt, light shirt or a sweater work particularly well for relaxed in-home sessions. Starched shirts and Sunday best will feel too formal and make it harder for you feel relaxed and in the moment. The most important thing is to be yourself and to feel comfortable.

Be careful not to choose pin stripes as these do not photograph well. Softer, neutral colours tend to photograph better than bright colours - especially since bright colours can reflect on your skin.  

I prefer bare feet but if you prefer to wear socks make sure you choose the ones without holes!

Clothing suggestions

for daddy

clothing

WHERE TO SHOP

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Arket
ASOS
H&M
John Lewis
Octobre Editions
The Hip Store
Urban Outfitters
Zara

Favourite shops

for DADDY

clothing

WHERE TO SHOP

A note to Mums

Some of my favourite images are of new parents with their baby and I especially love to capture the special moments between a mother and her baby.

In the first few weeks it’s natural for you to feel emotional, sleep deprived and you may not feel at your best for the camera. Try and put these feelings to one side and remember the importance of being present in your family's photographs. In twenty years time, you will see yourself in a totally different light and your children will look back and only see how beautiful their mother is and how much love you had for them.


If you begrudgingly agreed to have photos, and are dreading the idea of spending a few hours with a camera pointing at you, then you are not alone! At the end of the session you may be surprised how much you actually enjoyed it. All you need to do is have the right mindset: be present with your family, play with your baby and show them how they are loved. I won't even ask you to look at the camera if you don't want me to.

Also, before I arrive, I really encourage you to help your partner by taking the baby for a walk. It will give her some quiet time to take a shower, get dressed and do her hair and make-up so she feels at her best for the shoot.

A note to Dads

What to have to hand

to create future family heirlooms

One of the benefits of having an in-home newborn photo shoot is that you already have everything such as nappies and feeding bottles to hand.

While I don't use props, you may want to gather any items that will have a sentimental value to you in the future. Be sure to choose pieces that are meaningful, otherwise it might end up looking contrived.

Consider:

- A range of blankets or swaddle cloths
- Any family heirlooms that you'd like to include
- Special items like your baby's hospital identity bracelet, a favourite teddy bear or book.

When it comes to being camera shy, or afraid of posing, you don't need to worry about a thing! I know that is easier said than done but my natural style of documenting real-life moments means you won't need to pose or even look at the camera if you don't want to.  I want to capture natural and authentic moments so just focus on having fun with your family and I will capture it all as it happens. Initiate games if you have older children: tickles, bundles on the bed, flying through the air - all the things that you know your child loves. At times, I may guide you into the best light and gently direct you so the result is flattering but that is the most 'posing' that you'll need to do.

If you hate posing

If you hate posing

IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA

When to expect your images

Once the shoot is over, I will personally retouch your photographs and make other artistic enhancements typical of my style. This process normally takes 3 weeks but can take a bit longer during busy periods.

Once finished, your images will be displayed in an online proofing gallery so you can choose the photographs you would like to buy. Please note that your gallery will be live for 2 weeks only. Due to the volume and size of the files I work with, I am unable to keep any unordered photographs for longer than this period.   

My work is only truly finished the moment I hand over beautifully printed products that will become your family's future heirlooms. My services include fine art printing, album design and bespoke framing.

To view the full range of products available to purchase after your session follow the link below.

Displaying your memories

PRODUCT OPTIONS

I hope this guide covers everything you need to know to prep for your newborn session! However if there is something I missed, or you need a recommendation, feel free to email 
jess@jessmorganphotography.co.uk
or call 07941 967764

I look forward to meeting you soon!


THANK YOU

-  JESS