March 26, 2009

When should I schedule my maternity and newborn sessions?

Because I only book a limited number of sessions each month, the second trimester is usually a great time to call and schedule your maternity and newborn sessions. For most moms-to-be, weeks 32-36 are the ideal time to have portraits taken. You can show off that beautiful belly and wonderful pregnancy glow without worrying about feeling too tired and uncomfortable. Newborns should be photographed within the first 10 days of life, with 5-8 days being the magic time. Feeding is usually well-established at this point, but your baby will still retain that sweet, sleepy, curly demeanor unique to a newborn. When you book your newborn session, we will pencil in your due date. After you have your baby, call and we will set a specific date and time for your newborn session.

My baby is older than three weeks, what’s the next best age to document?

Once babies reach about the three-week mark they become far less sleepy and are not as flexible, so we are usually not able to capture the curly, peaceful newborn poses.  They are also not as easy to engage as older babies, are not yet smiling, and have little to no neck and muscle control.  Many parents choose to wait until baby is able to push up on her tummy with a steady head (around 4 months) or until he can sit unassisted (around 6 months).  At these ages babies smile more, respond to sounds, have more neck control, and have reached physical milestones more conducive to a portrait session.  Regardless of what age you choose to capture as your baby’s session, consider having mom and dad included in the photos–it will add variety to your session and allow us to capture this wonderful “honeymoon” period in parenting.

When should I schedule my baby, child, or family session?

Again, because I only schedule a few sessions a month, it’s best to call 4-6 weeks in advance of your desired session date.  That will allow us to find a time when I am available that will best coincide with your family’s own schedule.

How long will my session last?

As long as it needs to! This is the beauty of custom photography. Because I only schedule a limited number of sessions, you can be assured that I will be able to devote all the time and energy required to create beautiful, lasting images of your family. Breaks for resting, snacks, and feeding your baby are all welcome and expected.  On average, mini-maternity sessions last about 45-60 minutes, family sessions tend to be about 1-2 hours, and newborn session can take between 2 and 4 hours. Please schedule accordingly.

Where will my session take place?

Your custom portrait session can take place in your own home, at a location meaningful to your family, or at my studio. In-home sessions may involve some redecorating on my part to find the best, most flattering light (but don’t worry, I’ll return all the furniture to its original location before leaving), and will probably begin with my asking for a tour of your home. If you are concerned that your home may not have enough natural light, please discuss it with me before your session so we can arrange for supplemental lighting. Outdoor sessions are best in the early morning or in the evening when the light is softer and more flattering. Mid-day sessions are available only at locations with plenty of open shade. If you need suggestions for a location, don’t hesitate to ask.  A studio setting works best for maternity, newborn, baby and single child sessions, while family sessions are best held in your home or outdoors.

When is my session fee due?

Your non-refundable session fee is due upon booking and must be collected within 3 days of booking to reserve your date and time.

How much should I plan to spend on my portraits?

Custom portraiture is and should be a completely different experience than having pictures taken at a local chain studio.  Considerably more time and effort on the part of both the photographer and the client goes into each session and the level of commitment, time and money invested, and planning involved mean that a custom portrait session is not something everyone will choose.  My clients typically plan to invest anywhere from $750 to $2500 on images and products from their session.  Such an investment allows them to enjoy all or most of their session images in an image box, coffee table book or album, as well as to print their favorite images for their walls and to gift to family and friends.  More information about custom photography can be found here.

What should I do if someone gets sick?

I want you to be fully satisfied with your portrait experience. Illness is not conducive to a successful portrait session. Please notify me right away if someone in your session becomes ill. If cancelled appropriately and rescheduled in a timely manner, your session fee may be applied to another session date. Please refer to your photo session contract for more details.

How do I book a session with Jessica Washburn Photography?

Just send me an email at: jessica@nosmallmoments.com, or give me a call at: 518-937-8684.  I look forward to hearing from you!