Meet Fiona. Her Mom and Dad waited very patiently for this little miracle.Then they brought her home during a pandemic. Talk about waiting to make a large entrance into the world! This cutie will hear pandemic stories over and over for years. She will go to school with other pandemic babies and they can compare stories and pandemic baby books. I am thrilled to be able to contribute to documenting this start for Fiona and her parents.
There are so many to-dos and preparations as a first time parent. New parents plan and prep and then scour the internet wondering what they forgot to do and what more then can check off before their baby arrives. Up until now, planning for a pandemic has never been on the list. No one has ever told new parents to plan for their partner to be the only one allowed in the hospital with you. The internet says to accept help after, they do not say to plan on your parents, siblings and best friends stuck on the other side of the glass waving through the window to sneak a peak at the new addition. No one said make sure you have twice as much toilet paper as you usually do because you might get stuck with that one ply stuff!
No one said that you wouldn’t be able to have newborn portraits in the hospital or with in the first two weeks of life. Of course safety and health are first priority, but it’s ok to be a little frustrated as these are moments that fly by. They are only this tiny for such a short period.
As I promised and posted and shared over and over with new parents through the shelter in place; you will get sweet baby portraits even if they are well past two weeks old. Fiona was 6 weeks when I finally met her and during my time with her we were able to get perfect posed portraits, lifestyle documentation showing their first quarantined weeks at home as well as some open eyed images showing off that big personality. It feels like the perfect mix to me.
This was my first newborn session after the COVID shelter in place. I put on my mask and stocked up on hand sanitizer. We started with some lifestyle photos in their home and then wrapped her up, rocked her to sleep and took some posed portraits.
Following the posed portraits, Mom dressed her up in her fancy name shirt (all these cute outfits and nowhere to go!) and we snapped a few inside. As you can see, Fiona showed off a lot of expression at this time. We then headed outside where a few of the welcome home decorations still hung and were able to capture some family portraits. Front porch photos have become trendy during this time but they have always been a standard in my portfolio. This is an important image. Your child’s first home will be special to them and to the parents, take this at any age whether it is trending or not.
If you have ever been a model, you know that it is hard work. Fiona needed a meal break so we hung out and waited for her to give us the go ahead. A bottle, burp and some snuggles later and she was ready for a few more.
These three have spent 6 weeks (even more by now!) together behind this glass. Staying safe, keeping healthy, getting to know each other and figuering out this parenting thing. This was a must have shot to document this very bizarre and totally unprepared time they made it through.
One last moment in the home with mom and a special onsie that Fiona was ecstatic to wear. As I look back now this was the only time we got a HUGE smile out of her that day. Sometimes kids just know.
Have a baby during the pandemic? Contact me today and we can discuss your first portrait session.
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!
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.
We were back in the Des Plaines Studio for our first newborn after the short Christmas holiday break, with babies constantly being born newborn photographers do not get a very long break 🙂 Baby A and his family arrived at my Des Plaines studio for their first family portraits the day after Christmas and Mom and Dad did a great job with all the newborn portrait preparations the day of his session. Baby A slept like a dream after we rocked him to sleep and wrapped him up. But first a quick stretch for this newborn after he got out of his car seat.
BIG BROTHER = SUPER HERO
A newborn will usually enforce a break from the session for a feeding. During this time photographers typically prep backgrounds, blankets and outfits for the next round of portraits. Sometimes we just chat with the family. During this particular break, we spent some time with Baby A’s big brother. He was about to be 3 and told us that he was having a super hero party. Not only that but he had his costume with him. We helped him get his costume on and asked him to show us his best super hero moves.
And we also were able to snag a super handsome image of him in his fanciest outfit.
Being 3 is a big deal… but being a big brother is even bigger.
Baby A has lots of family around him and they even joined in for one large family portrait. This will be a great memory for all of them and an amazing family portrait in his home.
The Heirloom Artwork
And the best part… the Collection for their newborn portraits created by this family during their ordering session in the Des Plaines Studio. This is what they will have in their home every day! Every image printed in a 5X7 keepsake box with corresponding digital files, an 11X14 portrait to add to an existing picture shelf and three adorable mini books; one for them, one for Baby A’s Aunt and one for his grandparents. Every time someone pulls out a mini book instead of a scrolling through photos on a phone, the conversation goes a little longer and no one gets bored watching you scroll through baby photos. The mini books give that personal touch that technology as been taking away.
Remember to have fun!
How fun is this family!? Because Baby A was born around Christmas time, they all ran out and grabbed some fun outfits to end the session in. It was said that this picture will make its way out every Christmas time as holiday decor. I love that idea!
Merry Christmas from Kelly Fitzgerald Studio, Baby A and family!
Are you looking for a newborn photographer in the Des Plaines area? call today, 847-858-7050 and we can discuss your one of a kind newborn session in detail.
I never require parents to being any outfits to their newborn session. I have plenty of outfits, wraps and the essentials for a great newborn session. Newborns are best photographed in simple outfits. Therefore I provide plenty of appropriate newborn outfits, wraps and the essentials for a great newborn session. That being said, as a new parent it can be so exciting to look for an outfit for your new addition!
Mom told me about a beautiful lace romper she had purchased. I was looking forward to seeing it because it was the perfect outfit for her! Not only do I love how it looks like it was made just for her but it was clear how comfortable she was in it as well.
Is it obvious with her ballerina inspired romper that her mom was and still is a dancer? Check out Outlet Dance Company in Elk Grove or ‘Like’ them on facebook.
I have a feeling that growing up attending dance shows and watching some practices and rehearsals, this little lady will naturally be drawn to the art of dance. I love tutus so hopefully I am right and we can talk her mom into a few for a future birthday session.
Rose is a beautiful name as is… but it’s beauty runs a little deeper when it is the name of your great grandma and also your moms middle name. Also, look close below for a sweet tribute to great grandma on her moms arm.
My apologies to Dad!
Mom and Baby have been taking up most of this post. However when you have two gorgeous ladies in your life it will happen from time to time. He has a few nieces, nephews and cousins have been photographed in my studio a few times and I am scheduled to see the family more this year. Maybe we will get a cousins portrait in the studio one year!
Newborn session prep work is worth it!
Mom and Dad did a great job prepping for the newborn session. I am sure the list of do’s and don’ts seems a little exhausting for new parents. However the tips and tricks really help to make a successful newborn portrait session for baby as well as allow mom and dad to enjoy the time too. Baby Rose slept so sound and relaxed allowing us to complete this session in 1.5 hours. Here are a few more of my favorites below, she even gave us a sweet smile!
Do you live in Mount Prospect? Looking for a newborn photographer? Keep reading to find out how to reach me and some nursery design tips!
Looking for a newborn photographer?
I would love to meet you! Do live in Mount Prospect or the surrounding area and are looking for a newborn photographer? Call 847-858-7050 to set up a meeting or consultation or email email@example.com
Heirloom artwork is the best part!
Click here to read more and find out how they chose to display their first family portraits.
Does hanging newborn artwork seem intimidating?
Click here to download your own FREE nursery inspire guide and get some tips and tricks to put artwork in your own home!
We have so many decisions to make! As parents it never ends. Here is one decision I can help you with, do you have studio or lifestyle photos taken? You can’t go wrong with either one, it is simply a preference. I encourage you to read and consider which works best for your family, your style and the story you want to remember.
What is the difference between lifestyle and studio newborn photography?
Preparing for a new baby can be overwhelming. What kind of stroller do I need? Cloth diapers or disposable? How do I decorate the nursery? Do we want a newborn photographer?
And after deciding you want a newborn photographer you will often then come across the question of lifestyle or studio sessions. When I talk to some parents they are not sure what the difference is between these two options or what is best for them. Aside from the look of lifestyle images vs. studio images, the experience will be different too.
Newborn studio sessions focus on just the tiny little subject and their sweet features. It resembles that of a classic studio portrait showcasing the newborn and their sweet features. They are carefully wrapped and posed to achieve the perfect newborn portrait. The best time for this type of session is with in the first two weeks. They are very sleepy and they still welcome being scrunched up just like they were for such a long time. Newborns are flexible and can easily bend and fold to get those classic studio newborn poses.
Studio newborn sessions can take awhile. I recommend that babies be kept awake for two hours prior to their session and then given a full feeding. After that I step in, swaddle with one of our newborn swaddles perfect for portraiture and then rock and soothe the newborn to sleep. Baby needs to be completely asleep to achieve most of the studio poses you see. This is also true for achieving those close snugly poses with the parent and the siblings like shown below.
The experience with these sessions is wonderful. You get to bring baby in, feed and then watch your new little miracle pose, make cute snugly faces while you kick back on the studio couch and relax. If you fell asleep you would not be the first parent, in fact it is encouraged! You will be tired those first two weeks and this is often your first outing with baby.
Lifestyle photography is slowly becoming a new love for me with newborn sessions for me. These sessions take place in your home. It is not as important to keep baby awake for two hours or do a full feeding before I arrive. The focus of the session is on your interaction and your family. We do not need to put emphasis on preparing for those poses mentioned earlier. The other element we don’t need to worry about as much is the timing. Babies can be any age to have a successful lifestyle session where it can be challenging and maybe not achievable to get those posed studio poses after two weeks of age.
The images will incorporate babies first home, first bed, changing table or just those places that they spent their first moments with their parents, siblings and maybe their furry family members. Wanting to include those furry family members might be another reason a client chooses to do a lifestyle session. The thought of packing up a new baby….. and your pup(s) might be exhausting. Staying in the comfort of your home can make a lifestyle session very appealing.
Some people avoid lifestyle because they worry about not having the perfect clean house. Here is a secret… just outside the frame of this image above is a dog kennel, preemie hospital supplies, diapers, a car seat, a dog bed and a few pacifiers. Even though I come into your home it is my job to make the focus be your new growing family.
We still get plenty of beautiful images of your new baby by themselves.
Same baby pose in lifestyle (left) and studio (right):
Hopefully this gives you a little more insight into the big decision of lifestyle and studio newborn photography. I am always happy to discuss both of these further to make sure we select the perfect session for your family.
Click here to fill in the details and book your session. It is very important to book your newborn session early, read more on the 7 reasons to book your due date.
(You do not need to know the type of session you prefer when you book.)
Newborn sessions with older siblings are tearing at my heart strings lately. Probably because my own two are getting older.. a lot older.
I have had so many great big brothers and sisters in the studio lately. This big sister was so excited to be part of the session and help out which was a huge relief because the main focus of the session was the siblings images.
If you live in or around the Mount Prospect and you are looking for newborn photographers… Give me a call and we can chat about your own newborn session!
Now booking through Fall 2018.
If that picture below doesn’t say PROUD BIG SISTER then I don’t know what does! We were able to get some images of Mom and both of her kiddos, which I am hoping will be a great keepsake and addition to part of this families growing story.
Ok. Ok. Big sisters have their moments too 🙂 One of my favorite images above ^^^
Baby Charlie woke up and even gave us some giggles and laughs. He didn’t make it into the studio until after he was a month old. I think Baby Charlie just proved that even if you miss the perfect newborn time frame of 7-10 days, you can still get some amazing family images. Don’t skip a session! Just jump in and document your family at any moment you can.
The most important part… What did this family do with their newborn portraits? Click here for the post on their heirlooms and keepsakes