Maternity/Newborn Tips » Stacy Francis Blog

Maternity/Newborn Tips

I spend a long time chatting with my expectant moms, they have so many question from what to wear to the maternity session to what to expect during their new baby’s session.  I thought I’d compile a list of answers to the most popular questions.  If you have a question that hasn’t been answered here please don’t hesitate in asking it, these are just the answers to the most common questions, I’m sure there are plenty more out there that are just waiting to be asked 🙂

First things first, when should you schedule your maternity session:

If I had my way you’d call me at the start of the 2nd trimester to schedule your session.  This doesn’t mean we’ll schedule for 2 weeks out, but with my schedule, particularly during the spring, summer and fall, this gives us time to find a date and time that works for everyone.  Typically maternity sessions are scheduled somewhere between 32 & 34 weeks.  Then I make sure to pencil your due date onto my calendar as well so I can keep track of when to expect baby.  I know babies come when they want to, but at least this way if I have 4 babies all due at the same time I can make sure to leave more time open in my schedule for them.

What do I wear for my maternity pictures:

This is such a personal preference.  It all depends on what you want your final images to look like. Do you prefer the sexy, skin showing maternity images, or the fun and trendy images?  A little bit of both?  I will tell you the things to avoid wearing, at least a couple of hours before your session… please no socks, feet tend to swell towards the end of your pregnancy, when you wear socks, they leave marks, and removing those marks in Photoshop is not a fun task.  Also, please nothing tight around the middle of your belly, for the same reasons.  Things that work great for almost every session:  yoga pants, cotton/lycra cami, button down shirt, jeans (these can be non maternity, they don’t need to button or maternity that have a small panel or tighten on the side).  If you’re wanting the sexy, skin showing images, then I also recommend a cute bra and panty set (lace boy shorts are super cute too).  If you prefer something fun and trendy, then cute jeans and form fitting tops, or leggings and sweater dresses, in the summer cute summer dresses work really well too.

Who can be photographed during my maternity session:

This is another personal choice.  If your spouse or significant other would like to be in the portraits, then please bring them along.  If they’re apprehensive or would rather not, please don’t push them.  When someone really isn’t comfortable or wants to be photographed you can see it in person and it shows through in the portraits.  I would rather take amazing portraits of just you to show your significant other, than have some amazing portraits with an uncomfortable person in them.  Children are another thing, if you want them here than please bring them along.  Children get so excited about a new baby, capturing that excitement is what I do.

Please come take a look at the maternity gallery on my website, seeing these images will help you decide, are you sext, trendy or both.  MATERNITY GALLERY

Ok so you’ve had the baby and you’re asking yourself now what?  Well first things first, before baby even arrives, please make sure you’ve called me and let me know your due date.  I make new babies priority in the studio, if I have a really busy week then sneaking them in for a session becomes difficult.  Newborn sessions are VERY time sensitive.  Newborns need to be photographed within the first 2 weeks, ideally between 4 & 8 days old to capture those sleepy, curled up newborn poses everyone loves.  Babies over 2 weeks old tend to startle easier, and if baby acne and cradle cap are going to break out it normally starts around the 2 week old mark.  Now there are exceptions to this rule, if you have a premie (more than 4 weeks early) then we can discuss the best time for you to bring them in.  I highly recommend adding me to your hospital call list.  This doesn’t mean you have to call me right after you have the baby, but it’s a gentle reminder to call me within the first 72 hours.  Below are some additional tips for the day of the session.

  • Please dress baby in loose clothing that can easily be removed.  Additionally please leave the extra layers off (i.e., no onsies).  If possible (for my local clients) put a clean diaper on just before leaving but try to put it as loosely as possible, this helps prevent diaper lines.
  • Please try to keep baby awake for an hour or two prior to our session, this will help insure a nice deep sleep once they are here.
  • If you are a local client please feed baby really well before coming.  For my traveling parents feel free to feed baby before leaving but please be prepared to feed baby once you arrive to make sure they are really nice and full.  A full baby is a sleeping baby 🙂  Nursing moms I have a bobby in the studio for your comfort, no need to bring one.  Please remember if you are bottle feeding to bring extras with you.
  • Please bring a pacifier with you, unless you are really set against baby taking one, it can be a great help to help sooth baby between “poses”.
  • Most newborns are photographed naked or in just a diaper.  If you have a special blanket/prop you’d like baby photographed with please feel free to bring it along, but there is no need to bring along any extra outfits.  Newborns tend to to get lost in most clothing, often it ends up all scrunched around their face.
  • Most of the blankets, baskets, and hats shown on my website are mine and available to use in the studio.  If you see one you absolutely love and want to use, please let me know ahead of time so I can make sure it is one I still have.  Many of the hats were hand made by me, however some were gifts from clients, some were purchased from Etsy & some were made by my friend Jill of Avenue 3.
  • Please don’t be surprised by your little making “messes”, this happens during most sessions and I am prepared for it.  Often I am the one to get wet (or worse!), but please be prepared by bringing an extra shirt with you just in case it’s you and not me.  Everything in the studio is washable, please don’t feel badly about it getting messy.  When you work with naked newborns you know it’s just part of the job 🙂  I will say often it happens when doing the baby in dad’s arms shots, I don’t know what it is about dads but babies like to leave their mark, make sure dad is aware this could happen.  If they don’t like the idea please let me know and we’ll make sure baby is dressed in a diaper for those shots.
  • Please note the studio will be VERY warm during the session.  I crank the heat up to a balmy 85 and have a space heater going to make sure baby stays warm and comfortable.
  • Please note that most often I take baby shortly after you’ve arrived and ask you to just sit and relax.  I may ask for your help for certain poses (often dad’s help if he is here, babies can smell mommy a hundred miles away, which can make them a little fussy), but most often I tend to baby from start to finish.  If I feel baby needs to eat I’ll ask mom to feed unless they’re bottle fed, then I will do the feeding or ask dad to feed.  I find the less mom is involved the easier baby tends to be. This isn’t anything agains moms, babies just know when mom is close and they have a natural reaction to hang out with mama, which can lead to fussiness.  Besides I love all the time with baby, gives me the fix I need :D. As a mom of 2 I realize everyone does things differently but please for those couple of hours let me do what I know how and you just take some time to relax and enjoy a little of peace :).
  • Lastly, while it may be tempting to bring Grandma or Auntie along, please don’t.  I kindly ask that only mom, dad and siblings come along for the pictures, the studio is not large and while I know grandmas and aunties want to be there when baby has their first modeling gig, let them be surprised and enjoy the pictures when they’re posted for viewing.  While I know having extra hands available seems like a good idea to you, often grandmas don’t understand what it is I do or why you would want naked pictures of your little one. I’ve had one to many grandparents tell me baby is to cold or to hot or looks uncomfortable.  I would NEVER put baby in jeopardy and take every precaution to make sure baby is safe from start to finish of our session.  The pictures you see of baby with their hands propped under their chin, those are all composites made up of 2 or more images, all done while baby is safely being held by mom, dad or an assistant, same holds true for any other images where baby seems to be in an “unsafe” position.

Please come take a look at the newborn gallery on my website, by seeing the images I create you’ll have a good understanding of what the final images will look like, even if it looks a bit like chaos the day of the session 🙂  NEWBORN GALLERY


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