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Newborn Session preparation

 

PREPARING YOUR NEWBORN & FAMILY

Below are my recommendations for preparing for your newborn session at my studio. I have found that careful preparation and consideration of the following items ensure that your session goes smoothly and that you will have beautiful newborn portraits that you will treasure for a lifetime.

When to Schedule:

Studio sessions take place within the first two weeks of life. So it is imperative that you notify me as soon as baby has arrived. Please send me a text, phone call or email letting me know baby is here and I will then be able to prepare some dates for you. I almost always schedule newborn sessions for first thing in the morning when babies seem to be at their best. Sessions typically start somewhere between 9:00am – 10:00am.

Preparation, 1-2 days before the session:

  • Double check that everyone is healthy and alert me if there is any concern.

  • I provide a variety of colored wraps, props, knits, etc. If you have something that is meaningful to you and want to include it in our shoot, please let me know ASAP so I can plan for it in our session. If you are planning on bringing something from home, please, double check that all outfits/props/hats, etc. are planned, washed and ready to go.

Day of the session:

  • Newborn portrait sessions go smoothly when both baby and parents are calm, happy and relaxed.

  • Dress your baby in a zip-up or button-up onesie, so that when I undress him/her at the studio, I won’t have to pull anything over his/her head and risk disturbing your baby too much.

  • For newborns, bring any necessary nursing supplies or bottles, extra diapers, wipes and burp clothes.

  • Please pack a pacifier, this will help me during the session help to sooth your baby if needed.  

  • For babies, include any non-colorful snacks (i.e. white versus orange puffs, etc.).

  • Pack any extra outfits/props/hats/blankets.

  • Allow a little extra time so you are not rushed or stressed.

  • The session should last about 3-4 hours.

  • Newborns photograph beautifully while sleeping. In order to get those perfect sleepy newborn shots, my studio is often heated to 80 degrees during the session and I use space heaters, blankets and noise machines to get your baby into that happy, sleepy state.

  • Please note that sometimes it takes some time to get your baby asleep and that is okay.

  • I have an enormous collection of props, swaddles, outfits, and backdrops that will create a set design you are sure to love. If you have color preferences, please let us know before hand and we will coordinate that for your session. We will choose which items photograph best in the color schemes you love.

  • I often use the parents as backdrops for baby, so Mom and Dad please wear either a long or short sleeved neutral toned (brown, cream, olive, tan, black) shirt and jeans or casual pants. Also, an extra set of clothes for the parents is a good idea, just in case of “accidents!”

  • Mom, dad and siblings are always welcome and encouraged to join for pictures with baby. I recommend that you wear neutral clothing for images with your baby.

  • Please know that there is no rush with a newborn session. I like to give special attention to each client, especially newborn sessions. Most newborn sessions last at least 3 hours but some sessions can go as long as 4. Please know that I do not mind waiting for you to feed or change baby, or taking a break to soothe your baby. That’s part of what I offer as a custom portrait studio … the time I can provide!

  • When doing the poses where the baby is undressed, it is normal (and okay!) for him or her to “relieve” him or herself during the session. I can assure you this happens all the time and I am not upset or offended. I have wipes and towels on hand for this purpose. After each newborn session I launder all of our backdrops and other items the baby comes in contact with; with baby “safe” detergent and hot water.

When you arrive to the studio:

When you get here, I will have a comfy chair and blanket set up for you to start feeding if needed. I realize babies have a mind and schedule of their own, so if that doesn't work out, it is OK!

Important to Note:

I understand that this is an exciting time for your family and that you want to document everything with video and photos however, I DO NOT ALLOW CAMERAS AND OTHER RECORDING DEVICES IN The STUDIO. MY IMAGES ARE PROTECTED BY FEDERAL COPYRIGHT LAWS THAT SAFEGUARD ARTIST’S WORK.  Thank you for understanding.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email us. Thank you and congratulations again on your new addition!

THE PORTRAIT EXPERIENCE

 

Pre-Session Consultation

This is where the excitement starts! Come to my studio and see what I am all about. For those clients wishing to invest in wall art for their home or an heirloom album for their children, at the complimentary consultation we get to sit back, relax and talk about what I can do to create the ideal session for you.

I want to know everything about you, your kids, your family, your house, your style – EVERYTHING! We will talk about clothes, and I would love to see images of your home so we can talk about certain wall spaces and plan for something that fits you.

When your session day arrives, we’ll have a plan so everything goes smoothly–which means LESS stress for you. It’s a chance for you to come meet me and see what I have to offer. Portraits are not just about an image on the wall anymore. From albums, books, cards,  jewelry and personalized canvas, storyboards and more…. photography has made leaps and bounds when it comes to product design. I focus  on customizing a special piece specifically for your home and surround the portrait experience around just that, an amazing experience that results in a beautiful and unique product. I pride myself on exceptional customer service and a commitment to each family’s relationship and the creation of unique art for their home.

At your complimentary consultation we will get to know you and you me. Great portraits begin with a great relationship. Tell me about your home and your vision and I’ll add in my creativity to make it happen.

 

Sessions At The Studio

Studio sessions take place in my home studio located in Mequon, WI. With children, I typically work with them until I feel they have had “enough.” Kids can burn out and I will not push them for more images beyond what they are willing to give. I want them to enjoy their session and love the experience! In the studio, I will work with controlled lighting. The studio offers a relaxed environment where I can create a look that is timeless and sophisticated no matter what the weather.  We have lots of time during the session so I encourage you to bring a few different clothing options so I can ensure your images have lots of variety. Feel free to bring along a toy/keepsake special to your child. There is nothing like your child’s thread-bare stuffed animal to make the portrait as individual and unique as your baby.

 

 Lifestyle Sessions

Lifestyle sessions take place in your home. Home is where your children are growing up, and creating professional portraits there gives the images a unique and natural quality. Natural light is gorgeous and I typically shoot these sessions early to mid morning. It’s not about posed shots and formal portraits. It’s about capturing you … your family … today. It incorporates the things that surround you every day. The result is images that become heirlooms, and memories that mean the world to you. When I arrive at your home, I will make suggestions to achieve what I artistically believe will make for the best images. I will wander around looking for the best light. Sometimes, I will even want to move the furniture to get the most out of the light. For the most part though, my style is documentary-like and I’ll simply follow your family around and journalistic-ally capture the story of your life. 

 

Viewing and Ordering

You will get to see your images projected in a slide show set to music during your Ordering Appointment 2-3 weeks after your session. I will help you with all of your final decisions on images and products that I have custom designed just for you. And remember those snapshots of your home you sent us? I can show you what your images will look like right on YOUR wall! This is one of the best parts – so please feel free to bring as many people as you would like. But don’t worry! If family lives out of town, a gallery of your purchased images can be posted online for them to view following the ordering appointment . 

 

Can I bring my kids to the ordering appointment?

Of course you can! Children are welcome, BUT if you would like a chance to relax and concentrate on the beautiful images and products that we will be creating for you, then you might want to arrange childcare. Or we can schedule your appointment when your children are in school.

 

What kind of investment do most families make?

Most of my clients invest anywhere from $600 to $2000.
Remember : everyone’s needs are different – some spend a little more and some spend a little less.

 

When do I get to bring everything home?

Quality takes time, so please allow 4 weeks from your order date for completion of your order. Custom designed albums and orders with framing will take longer. But we promise, it’s worth the wait!

POLICIES

 

Your Session

The session fee pays for the time and talent of the photographer only, and does not include any finished portraits or files. The session fee is due at the time of booking. Session fees are non-refundable, however with 48 hours notice it can be rescheduled in case of an emergency. If you have a sick child on the day of the session please call to reschedule. If you try to keep the appointment, we will most likely request that you reschedule if we notice your child is sick. Sick or uncomfortable children do not like to be photographed and I know that you will not love your portraits nearly as much as if he or she was in good health. Please bring only the subjects to be photographed to the session. This is especially important with  kids, as I will need their full attention on me rather than looking at other members of the family. Of course parents are always welcome!

 

Preview and Ordering

You will view your portraits at a personally attended ordering appointment that will take place 2-3 weeks after your session.  You will be asked to order at this time. Payment is due in full at the time of ordering. Once your order is placed in-person and with either a Create Your Own Collection purchase or a A La Carte purchase, your purchased files will be uploaded to an online professional lab for printing and/or downloading.

While I do capture many images during your session, you will see only those images selected by me, the artist, for previewing. I carefully render each image to ensure maximum artistry and technical perfection. Images with eyes closed, heads turned, duplicates, etc. will not be shown and are removed from my archives permanently after the artist rendering is complete. I always strive for excellence!

 

Graphic Design

All graphic design for albums, cards, specialty work and/or fine art work must be approved and signature is required.  

 

Delivery

Please allow up to 4 weeks for your order to be completed. Some orders may take longer. Your portraits are an investment and an heirloom that should not be rushed. You will be notified by telephone or e-mail when your order is ready for pickup. If you are unable to pick up your order, I can ship your order to you for an additional charge.

 

Payment

Due to the custom nature of the work and the enormous labor/proofing/editing efforts it requires to prepare your order for print or digital delivery, payment for your order must be placed in full and is subject to a 50% cancellation fee should you change your mind about an order after it is placed. Once a print order is sent to the lab or a digital order is delivered, it is deemed nonrefundable. Due to the downloadable nature of digital files, there are NO RETURNS for digital productsOnce you view the negatives and accept the files at your viewing appointment, the sale is final. Payments may be made cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. I do offer a payment plan. Please inquire.

 

Archives

All ordered images are kept on file for a lifetime.  All other images are deleted after 30 days to clear our archives for future sessions. Re-orders placed more than 60 days after the preview appointment, require a minimum $100 re-order.

 

Model Release

The release permits the use of the session images in my portfolio, including use on future promotional material (either printed or electronic) and on my website. It permits me to use your images for national and local print competition through Professional Photographers of America, and allows me to submit your images for fine-art gallery review. It also allows me to post sneak peek previews of your session on my blog and/or on Facebook. Please note: I protect my clients privacy and never reveal personal information on the blog.  I do always ask for permission from you prior to posting anything on social media and will always respect your privacy if you do not wish me to post anything. 

 

Liability

You agree to hold Megan Papachristou Photography, Megan Papachristou and/or her employees and assistants harmless for any injury, loss or damage to yourself, your family,  personal property, and/or animals during your portrait session.  Megan or her assistants will ask you to stand/sit/pose or take action in certain ways to obtain the best possible images. If you or your family or property are injured or damaged during your time with her, you understand that Megan Papachristou Photography and/or Megan Papachristou or her assistants are in no way liable for any harm caused, and that any action you take is of you own accord. You understand that animal behavior can be unpredictable and Megan Papachristou is not responsible for any errant actions on the part of your pets. Biting dogs or aggressive animals will be asked to leave the studio immediately and will NOT be photographed. There are no exceptions.