The first year flies by, let’s take a look at some fun stages and ages to document. But before we do, I cannot stress enough to communicate with your photographer goals that you have for the first year or two. This times flies by and you can easily loose track of the time. If your photographer knows what you are working toward they can keep you on track. My clients love the baby plan because that insures that they will get two major stages in the first year: sitting and first birthday plus bonus Christmas and Easter sessions. If you are working to create a wall gallery or an album, it is important to let your photographer know that to keep the work cohesive and take into consideration when photographing.
3 months old
Sure she may seem big at 3 months but this is such a fleeting stage. It is a great stage to capture as she starts to move, works on tummy time and genuinely put a big smile on her face.
This might be your first time in the photo studio and if so, it is an excellent time. At this age a cute onsie is the perfect outfit as it allows those chunky thighs to be shown off.
3 months old
7 months old
6-9 months old will focus on crawling, sitting and maybe standing. She will probably be scooting and rolling over the studio backdrop, laughing and giggling easily at all the silly faces I make at them.
This is a fun age when they laugh easily, love to play peek-a-boo but they can’t get very far too fast.
7 months old
7 months old
Turning one! This is a fun milestone. They are often walking or standing on their own by now. Many parents like to end the session with a cake smash or other fun way to celebrate the first year.
Donut smashes and pasta parties as well as balloons, fun shirts and their favorite stuffed friends all are great ways to personalize the first birthday portrait session.
This is also an excellent time for a family portrait!
One year old - Cake Smash
One year old - Pasta Smash
One year old - Donut Smash
One year old - Family Portrait
Buy your session now and receive bonus items
yoga classes, 100.00 in studio money, Yeti Studio Tumbler
There might be a lot of reasons you will not be able to come in for a portrait session. I want you to know that a portrait anytime is wonderful. At 4 weeks or 3 months or 2 years, you will be in love with the images that will adorn your home. Your child will be so happy to have them to look back on. I am offering a special, buy now and use later. For the session booking of 225.00 you will receive a special booking box that will include the session PLUS: Studio Yeti Cup, 100.00 to spend on portraits, 5 classes to Twisted Tree Yoga Studio (for yourself or your child) and a guide on how to take your own photos at home (not pictures) plus a baby is sleeping sign. We do not want you to feel left out at this time and you will be able to use the session anytime this year!
Book now and receive your session, studio money, yoga classes, a Studio Yeti tumbler (560.00 value total) plus a door sign and home photo guide for just the price of the session. You are getting yoga, studio money, Yeti Tumbler, door sign and photo guide complimentary.
In a perfect situation, a soon-to-be parent would contact me in their second trimester, or early in their third, and would book the session. We would reserve the babies due date and the parents would contact me after they deliver. With in the next 14 days the family would come in to the studio or I would come to their home for their newborn session. We would meet 3-5 days later, place the order and have everything up in their home two weeks after their ordering date. We would then book the baby plan and schedule a sitter, one year and an 18 month session to create an amazing art piece for the family.
But we all know that life rarley goes as planned. Sometimes babies need to stay in the hospital longer than normal. Mom may need more time off after delivery. Babies who enter families through adoption do not typically do so until 6 weeks and that should never mean that you forgo the first portrait. Maybe the parents didn’t know they wanted newborn portraits… or maybe they just didn’t want that newborn age documented.
Instead of talking about what age you can photograph newborns at, let’s talk about what different stages may look like and what you can expect. Because we can photograph babies at any age!
7 days old
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In the first two weeks baby will be flexible and like to mimic positions from in the womb. They will not have peeling skin or baby acne yet. They generally sleep well if the pre-session prep is followed and they love to be swaddled.
If you are reading this before your baby is born and your want portraits with that fresh newborn skin, tiny features and super flexible poses then call and book your session ASAP to guarantee a spot and have all the preparations in order.
3 weeks old
I would still consider the 3-5 week period to be a ‘newborn’ portrait. They still love a good swaddle and even though they are not quite as flexible they will still often easily allow us to pose them in some more traditional newborn poses such as their hands under their chin. Anything more would be determined by the baby and what they feel comfortable doing.
Older babies have a little more pudge and rolls. They often sleep really well if they arrive on a full belly and the prep guide has been followed.
4 weeks old
4 weeks old
5.5 weeks old
6 weeks old
At 6 weeks they start to loose that newborn look, are awake more and are beginning to develop their personality. They make eye contact and have sweet expressions which we will focus on during the session. At this age your baby will heavily guide our session.
Typically by this age they will not be able to be posed in any curled up newborn poses nor will they fit on the traditional newborn props and sets. They will however still fit in our basket set ups for a sweet close up. We commonly can get one of them sleeping near the end of the session after being worn out and swaddled.
6 weeks old, looking up at her big brother
6 weeks old
Remember, just because you miss what has been marked today as the ‘perfect newborn portrait window,’ does not mean you do not take portraits. A portrait has no time constraints. It documents that specific time in your life and your babies life. Every moment is special. Take the portrait at any time that is perfect for you.
6 weeks old
6 weeks old
Can I still send out announcements even if my baby is older?
YES! Absolutley. You make your own rules. Everyone on your mailing list will be excited to receive a photo of the newest addition 4 weeks or 4 months after they arrive. They are just happy to have a card to put up on their fridge!
Buy your session now and receive bonus items:
yoga classes, 100.00 in studio money, Yeti Studio Tumbler
There might be a lot of reasons you will not be able to come in for a portrait session. I want you to know that a portrait anytime is wonderful. At 4 weeks or 3 months you will be in love with the images that will adorn your home. Your child will be so happy to have them to look back on. I am offering a special, buy now and use later. For the normal session price of 225.00 you will receive a special booking box that will include the session PLUS: Studio Yeti Cup, 100.00 to spend on portraits, 5 classes to Twisted Tree Yoga Studio (for yourself or your child) and a guide on how to take your own photos at home (not pictures) plus a baby is sleeping sign. We do not want you to feel left out at this time and you will be able to use the session anytime this year!
3 months old
Are you past the new baby phase? Click below to read about the ages and stages to photograph during babies first year, 3 months and older.
This weekend some women joined me to learn how to use understand and use their DSLR cameras. My goal was for each of them to leave knowing the three components on their camera that allow them to produce a proper exposure. Aperture, shutter speed and ISO were gone over in depth and then we located each control on their camera.
By the end of class, everyone was practicing using their cameras and I think a little excited to take them home and start practicing. Looking forward to seeing what they create.
Learning, chatting and practicing Saturday morning 8:30-9:30am.
If you have a camera and you wonder what all the controls are or it sits on a shelf because it is too intimidating… join me for my next basic camera class, located in Des Plaines.
They are only tiny for so long, don’t wait until after your baby is born!
I just talked to two parents who said they wished they knew to book their newborn photo session before their due date arrived. We were able to get them in but they still wish they would have known to book ahead of time. This isn’t something you want to leave to the last minute and here are a 7 good reasons not to wait to book your session AND a fabulous bonus for booking with our studio early.
1. Time Flies By. I know, I know… it seems like you have so much time to get everything done, but 40 weeks flies by. Parents get busy the closer to delivery. Take care of everything you can early on.
2. High Quality Newborn Portraiture is in High Demand. There are tons of people to take your pictures, but high quality newborn portraiture is in high demand right now. If you wait until after your baby is born you may not have the luxury of choosing your preferred photographer, or you may not be able to get in right away. Newborn photography isn’t something you can repeat, you want to get it right the first time.
3. Booking Early Secures Ideal Newborn Photo Time. It is ideal to get baby in before two weeks of life, although later time can be accommodated, this time is before baby acne sets in, their skin peels and while they are still very sleepy. Booking your due date means that your photographer and you have communication established and you have a spot on the calendar.
4. You have No Idea When Baby will Arrive! They may arrive early and if they do, you will be happy that you are prepared with your photographer and all you have to do is send a message that you have checked in to the hospital. You do not want to be calling around for photographers when you are in the hospital.
5. You Get to Establish a Relationship with your Photographer. This is so important! You don’t just want to take the first one you find on google or the cheapest. These photos are your baby’s first photos, this may be your baby’s first outing, newborn portraits may be your first outing. You want to make sure you are with someone you trust and someone who will understand how important this is. All of my newborn clients have already provided me with nursery photos and color schemes before delivery. I already know a little about them and baby even if we didn’t do a maternity session. They have literature and they know how to prepare for the session well before baby arrives.
6. Maternity Portraiture Add-ons. Speaking of maternity, that is another great reason to book your due date. Most photographers, like myself, offer complimentary maternity add-ons. So if you are thinking of a maternity session, think newborn too!
7. Bonus Items! Some photographers also offer early booking incentives as well, like Kelly Fitzgerald Studio. With us you get some awesome extras for booking early because we love to spoil our clients and share with them the things we love too!
Are you packing your hospital bag? Or at least started making your list of what you might need? We have something for you to add to your bag! (If you already delivered, CONGRATS!!! I am so excited for you! Don’t stop reading because this will still be helpful for tips on photos of your little one at home).
I know things can be overwhelming after birth, but trust me, you’ll want to make sure you capture those first few hours after delivery.
Get the details: diaper, name tags, footprints, babies length,
Use window light: hospital rooms are not flattering backgrounds for photos.
Black & white: this can also help with those unappealing hospital room colors as well as distracting backgrounds.
Change your perspective: Photograph from above, the side and change your angle to avoid cluttered backgrounds.
Take my favorite photo: you spend a lot of time getting to know your little one from your bed, don’t forget that moment.
Sure, this all makes sense now and you may think you will remember it all. But trust me, its a whirlwind. That’s why I have created a PDF download that you can print or save to your phone now so you have it ready for delivery day.
This applies to home births too! No matter where you deliver you want to make sure to capture those fleeting moments.
Whether you have a high-end DSLR or a camera phone. It doesn’t matter. Don’t miss these oh so important moments! I love photography and will do my best to help your family start your family legacy off right.
I would be honored to capture your newborn with my professional newborn portraits, please do not hesitate to call before your baby is born. We love to form our relationships with parents early on.
Our Christmas Photos were a huge success as displayed by the smiles on these faces. A simple White Christmas set up in nothing but white (obviously!), allowed for each client to show off their personality.
Pajamas, dress outfits, special friends, letter boards and even special Christmas decor made it into some sessions.
Of course your furry family members are always welcome! Say hello to Toby and Bella, in that order…
The only thing that was more successful then this day were all the amazing cards and products that went out! The oooh’s and ahhh’s and test messages sent over the gorgeous cards were the best thank you’s I could get. Check some final products out here!
Are you on the Studio Mailing list?
Make sure not to miss future limited editions sessions. All of these sessions go out to email first and then to social media, if space is available. Sign up here and be the first to know!
Summer is a great time for family portraits! The weather is beautiful, everyone is typically more relaxed with their schedules and happy to be able to spend so much time outside.
The front of your house & your yard are the best places to be!
Your pup should be in photos too and your backyard is a great place to make this happen. Your pup and your kids are comfortable in your backyard and the images will mean a lot with your home and yard as a backdrop.
Maybe summer is when the front of your house looks the best? Our kids will always remember their childhood homes. The front of the house will always hold special memories which makes it a fabulous backdrop for a family portrait.
Flowers and Gardens
The gardens are beautiful & blooming! Whether it is your own garden, your neighbors garden, a local garden or at a forest preserve. Gardens everywhere are gorgeous and wonderful to spend time at in the summer.
Kids love flowers and they make for gorgeous and colorful backgrounds.
You can make a wish on a dandelion or find a field and run through them.
Sprinklers, splashpads and swimsuits
You can play in a sprinkler or a splash pad at the end of your session as a fun reward for the kiddos. You will get documentary images that will really emphasize the personalities and relationships of your family.
Ice Cream and Popsicles
Ice cream and Popsicles! Nothing says summer like some ice cream. This is another fun way to end a portrait session and get some great images of summer to decorate your home with every summer season.
Have a picnic!
You can have a picnic! Kids love having a meal outdoors, bonus if it is at a park! We can start your session with a picnic and then end with some great family images both posed and relaxed.
More time and less Chaos
Sometimes it is easier and less stressful to get your annual photo session in during the summer months. If you are a teacher or your kids have less activities in the summer, this might be the best time to get your portrait session in.
Sandcastles and beaches
The beach is always fun! After a few fun images you can also hop in the water, have a water fight or just have fun together! Gorgeous images AND wonderful memories attached to them.
Princess dresses and other summer outfits
You can wear your princess dress… ok, so yes you can always wear your princess dress. However sleeveless is hard to pull off comfortably any other time in the midwest. This goes for other cute summer outfits. We get some adorable summer outfits for our kids but there is such a short time to wear them.
As a parent we spend a lot of time at the park. I encourage every family to have a least one session at their neighborhood park, or any park they spend a lot of time at. When you are in the park phase it seems like you have so much time to schedule this session but all of a sudden one day your kids don’t need a push, then you are not going to the park weekly. Then your kids are going to the park without you!
Because all of your kids are home.
If you are the parent of an older child you know that having them all home is uncommon and possibly the best part to the start of your summer. Now that they are all home and a little easier to schedule time with, book your session. Come the end of August when the house gets a little quieter, you will love looking at these images.
Soak up the summer sun, collect some memories and bring me along to create some fabulous art for your home. Hit the contact button to discuss details and ideas for your session.
I often see people posting questions or recommendations for locations for a photo session they have coming up. The comments usually fill up with forest preserves, places those friends have had sessions or somewhere special to the friend recommending. I always think to myself…. ‘call your photographer.’ Communication with your photographer before your session is important. I am not talking about mini sessions for a quick updated photos, just Custom Portrait sessions. You and your photographer should get to know each other either through phone conversations, questionnaires, chatting over coffee or some wine…
Because location is key
Location, colors, time of day, time of year and clothing will all impact the image. Picture this family in a long grassy field at sunset. Would they look good, yep. Would it produce a great image? Absolutely.
However this would not be the look we were trying to achieve. It would not be reflective of their personalities, they would not be as comfortable during the session or even looking at the final images.
Begin with the end in mind.
What are you trying to achieve?
What is the end result?
This started off as a photo session for a Christmas Card but after lots of talking and brainstorming ideas, this evolved to more.
After careful consideration and planning, they added their favorite image to an empty wall in the main part of their home that has been patiently waiting for the perfect piece of artwork. But something that big that will be the focus of the room, something that will be looked at every day, cannot be thrown together. Patience pays off. Scroll to the bottom for some iphone images on the installation (Full Blog Post to come.)
Long awaited installation day….
There are plenty of ways to get your family portrait up on your wall. Let’s put your family in the artwork showcasing your personalities. We don’t have to have a traditional portrait. Let’s get together and think outside the box to create artwork that fits you and your home. Something that makes you smile everyday.
Schedule a consultation!
Consultations will give you some ideas on where to hang your portraits and will let me get to know you, your family, what you love to do together and the best way we can showcase that in your home.