Andre Toro - Pillar Page

Congrats! You’ve made up your mind that you want to capture your big round belly before the baby comes, or your newborn’s first days.

Yet, you are beginning to understand that this is more than just having professional photos taken. Location, timing, and the right photographer make all the difference!

I understand that it can be a bit overwhelming. Throughout, you want to be sure that you’re making the right decision. And that’s the whole purpose of this guide: help you get the photo session that YOU want.

So get ready to confirm or disregard preconceptions and prepare for a life experience that you will remember in the years to come.

1- What to expect?

Scheduling a pregnancy or newborn session can be challenging. After you’ve chosen your photographer (you thought that was the most complicated decision?) is usually when anxiety hits.

What should I wear? Will I look good? Will my kids behave? Can I get to see the photos before the baby arrives? I’m here to help you navigate your nerves and tell you that everything will be alright and it will be so worth it!

Here are some good questions that you can ask your photographer about your photo session:

Indoors vs. Outdoors?

For pregnancy sessions, depending on when is your due date, you’ll have more options. If you worry about a winter belly, don’t panic; there is hope for your photo shoot to look as charming as a spring session.

There is a way to look gorgeous outside on a cold January day without freezing, which I dive into this in detail later on in this guide, trust me!

For newborn sessions, the answer is easy. My sessions happen in the comfort of your home. You get to relax at home, and we photograph the new family in your favorite spots (nursery, master bedroom, living room, even the backyard — weather permits). What you get is a lifestyle session with a studio touch.

Daniela Andreina | Pregnancy Session (8 of 42)

What should I wear?

Expecting or new moms are always running around and on task. Normally, they believe they have little time for themselves, or straight out forget about how they look or what they are wearing; makeup and fashion disappear from the scene while pragmatism takes over mind and body.

So, why not turn this photo sessions into a “Me time"?

You can make the ‘getting ready’ part of the session a pampering experience. Just picture it: as you turn on some music and put makeup on, you feel great and excited for what’s ahead of your day! Even if you hear a baby crying or a toddler fighting, I promise the makeup and music will help!

Now, for any photo session, I highly recommend that you wear makeup. However, it’s not necessary to go to Sephora and book a stylist appointment. Having a neutral & natural makeup will help you feel glowing!

For newborns, I’ve also got you covered. I bring multiple photography blankets, hats, baskets, tutus, and headbands. All that you, Mom, have to do is add a personal touch; use that blanket or outfit that Aunt Carol knitted and the cute hat that you love so much...

baby shower caro (10 of 47)

What are good relaxation tips?

All my clients are different but most of them are super nervous (maybe terrified) when we meet for the first time.

I know that we won’t have time to sit down and meditate (which I LOVE to do) but we will have time to talk about our day and experiences until the ice is completely melted. You might be breastfeeding while I prep the sets, or we might be chasing toddlers while we play hide-and-seek talking.

Most people have a different expectation of what a lifestyle session truly is, but let me remind you that there is no studio, there are no 4 fixed walls; we’ll have either tons of trees around us or a cup of coffee in your kitchen table.

Getting to know you, Mom to Mom, is so important to me. Sharing our journeys will be a key part of our experience together. By the time I start clicking my camera you’ll be relaxed and eased (we will still be talking while I photograph everyone, it’s just how it flows). 

Yes, there will be some sort of chaos (that I LOVE) but I promise we’ll have fun; photographing kids or newborns means being prepared for the unexpected.

 

When should I schedule my session?

This question is so interesting because there are so many reasons to pick different timings. 

At a quick glance, I encourage pregnancy session between weeks 32-35 and newborn session within the first 10 days old. I dig deeper into this later on!

Karla | Pregnancy 2019-6

 

Differences between posed and lifestyle sessions?

My pregnancy sessions are all lifestyle; I’m capturing "in between" moments with your family or significant other. I’m there to freeze the hugs, snuggles, the laughs, the spontaneous laughter or the adorable funny face of the future big brother kissing your belly.

We play, we laugh, we talk, and we spend time capturing belly moments for you to treasure. We can be outdoors or indoors but the lifestyle theme won’t change.

For newborn sessions, the industry has two paths, lifestyle or studio posed. For most photographers these paths are exclusive for me I’m proud to have found a happy middle.

You get both experiences in the comfort of your home. I bring my props to you, you’ll get a gorgeous photo in the nursery; you’ll have that family portrait that you dreamed by the kitchen window; you will have your newborn posed in baskets or wearing tutus for grandma to melt in love if you want.

ashley leah acostada-1

Expectations vs. Reality?

Yes, you’ve seen these beautiful photos on Instagram, everyone smiles and looking gorgeous. They are definitely happy. You want those photos too!

Well, let me spill the beans. We will have fun, you’ll love your photos and experience but there will be some unexpected bells that ring. That’s how life goes, and we’re documenting it, remember?

If you’re pregnant, you might not feel great; Dad might get stuck in traffic and be late to the session; Grandma might be a last-minute addition that you’re not too thrilled about; your toddler might have fallen asleep 3 minutes before you got to the park to meet me, the expected sunshine is gone and now a thunderstorm will hit in T-1 day (a.k.a session day!)...

All these things happen. Life is unexpected and photography is one of those businesses in which flexibility is a key asset.

For most of these situations, we go with the flow and make the absolute best out of it.

  • If Dad is late, no problem, there are SO many beautiful photos of your belly, or your newborn, or you and your kids that we can start with. My workflow will adjust to YOU and your family, there is no fixed order, we flow, and we glow as we go.
  • If grandma joined, I’ll make sure you get photos of your tribe alone and some others with Grandma, everyone will feel special.
  • If your toddler fell asleep (it happens ALL the time), you’ll let me know what’s her favorite way of coming back to life. Dad will hold him while I photograph your belly, or we’ll play little peekaboo games to get her awake and smiling.
  • We might even all share some cookies in your kitchen while your newborn gets some needed quiet snuggles.

On the other hand, weather and sickness are treated with big tools. Massachusetts weather is beyond unpredictable (I joke that the weather app is the most opened in my phone). For every outdoor session, we pick a date and a rain check date. We will call it off the night before if needed, don’t let it worry you.

In sum, there is no extra cost associated with postponing a session due to inclement weather. 

I’ve got your back. The same thing happens if someone in your family is sick. I understand; I’ve got two kids too. I’m a Mom and understand that life happens, so we’ll use your rain check date if someone is sick.

Kaia | Newborn Session 2019 (13 of 42)

Photo delivery?

Every professional photographer is different; some might share their raw (out of camera) images, while others like me consider every photograph a piece of art.

I pour my heart and soul into every photography, so your final product (gallery) is my proudest accomplishment.

That said, I don’t provide unedited images. I want you to get the wow-factor with every photo in your gallery. Your gallery will contain images with the highest standard of quality, composition, and post editing. Your gallery is a piece of art.

Another way of viewing it is that you’re hiring a chef. Every plate that leaves the kitchen is cooked and presented to perfection. I’m proud of every single gallery I deliver and my goal is that every client walks away with real art photography.

For pregnancy and newborn session, I do an expedited gallery delivery, I want you to have your pregnancy photos BEFORE the baby gets here! I know how busy life gets afterward, so I want you to enjoy your gallery with peace of mind. These photos also make a great decoration for the nursery that you're planning, for example.

Because newborns grow up SO fast, my goal is that you receive the gallery while the baby still looks like the one in the photos. I get it, you might want to use these photos to announce the new baby to the world! This news can’t wait!

So, Mom, you’ll get your final gallery 2 weeks after your photo shoot. Your heart will explode with love!

Stephanie | Newborn Session | April 2019-32

What to do with all those photos?

Print, print, print. I believe in tangible memories. Technology gets obsolete; that USB drive or external memory stick that you love some will be outdated very soon. Remember those photos that you saved in CDs?

I encourage my clients to print, displaying your family art on the walls is a wonderful idea, having a family album displayed in the coffee table is also a beautiful decor.

The beauty of printing is that you can change the look and feel of an area by just making an update to photos or canvas. Print products also often get passed down for generations to come. They make a beautiful gift for the future, too!

For big formats (11×14 inches and up) I recommend printing with a professional lab that has the printer properly calibrated and its quality is outstanding. I've got nothing against consumer printing, but they can result in images looking more yellow/red/blue depending on how the printer is calibrated. I’d be happy to help you design any type of product printed in a professional lab.

Laura - Neborn Session - sin logo-20

 

Finally, It's all about you!

Congrats on your pregnancy or new baby! I’m so happy that you’ve decided to hire a professional photographer to document such important milestones in your family’s life.

I promise that years from now you’ll look back at your photos with a big smile and a melted heart.

Remember to ask all the questions that you have. Your photographer should guide you all the way. He or she will pour its heart into it and give you a piece of their souls.

And, yes, It’s OK to be scared, it’s OK to think that you don’t look great but I promise that you will look your greatest. You’re already glowing; expecting or having a new baby sets a special glow in you.

The miracle of life is so worth documenting. Enjoy your session and let it flow, the photographer has your back! You and your family are the stars of the day.

Daniela Andreina | Pregnancy Session (6 of 42)

We’ve covered the key basics on how to prepare for your pregnancy or newborn session. Now I dig deeper into the first thing you have to do to let it happen: choosing a photographer!

 

2- How to choose the photographer?

Congrats on your pregnancy or new baby! I'm so glad that you are looking to capture such essential life milestones. The journey of choosing the best photographer for YOU can be challenging, so I hope these tips are helpful.

Where to start?

Before reaching out to any photographer, I encourage you to take a look at their website and spend time on their portfolio.

Every photographer has a unique style. You should be able to browse without pressure and pick a couple of photographers that speak to who you as a woman and Mom-to-be.

The first step is to research and find the style that you like (Google, Instagram, and Facebook are great sources), then filter those who are in your price range (most photographers in MA have their pricing public). Secondly, it all comes down to a personality match. We're all human, and we gravitate towards different personalities.

Thirdly, talking with your prospecting photographers over phone/email/text will give you a sense of who they are and how they work. It's very important to build rapport with your photographer given this person will be with you in the most intimate setting, either documenting your belly while you hug your significant other or holding your newborn when she's only 7 days old. So, trusting the photographer is critical.

As women, we have a sixth sense, therefore trust your gut. You'll be able to asses rapidly who your ideal photographer is. I bet your decision won't be driven by pricing but by your gut feeling and how you felt with a particular photographer.

Questions to ask when you’re prospecting:

  • Location.

Some photographers only work in their studio, others like me go to people's homes or museums for indoor sessions or parks/beaches/lakes for outdoor sessions.

You should feel comfortable with either. The experience will be completely different, both are wonderful, yet the results will be tailored to the specific location. To learn more about all the indoor vs. outdoor dilemma, read this helpful blog.

Laura - Neborn Session - sin logo-39

  • Price.

What's included in the pregnancy or newborn session? There are so many pricing models out there. Here are 4 just to name a few:

  1. Only the session (this means the time photographing) then you'll have to pay extra for the files.
  2. The session and the digital files in low or high resolution.
  3. The session and print products.
  4. The session and print credit for professional printing.

Make sure that you understand what's included and read the fine print, so there are no surprises at the end. You want to have a pleasant experience and walk away with stunning photos and a happy heart without unpredicted, money-related stress.

Also, make sure that you clearly understand who can be included in the session; some photographers focus on the belly or newborn alone, no significant other or no siblings. If having your tribe with you is a must, make sure that you ask this question.

I genuinely believe that with all-inclusive, transparent pricing, you pay a certain amount that covers the photo session and all digital files in high resolution so you can print on your own. There is no hidden fee; what you see in my pricing page is what you pay, and it includes your immediate tribe. 

Besides, I offer professional printing services if you're interested and that's an optional add-on.

  • Availability.

For pregnancy, the session (big round belly photo session) should happen between weeks 32-35. I talk this further down this guide, no worries!

Availability should be easy since you and the photographer can mark the calendar on a specific date. For newborn sessions, make sure that you understand your photographer's availability and potential vacation plans (especially for summer babies).

Usually, a newborn session happens in the first 10 days of the baby, so you want to make sure that your photographer will be local those days and ready to fit you in when you text her with the good news! You'll always get a tentative date booked, but it should be able to move depending on when the baby arrives.

  • Photo gallery delivery timeline.

Understanding how long it could take you to have the digital files in your hands is critical. It is helpful if you're thinking about decorating the nursery with pregnancy and/or newborn photos or sending baby announcement cards.

The gallery delivery time frame has a vast spectrum; some photographers take 2 weeks (that's my process for time-sensitive galleries like these) while others take up to 2-3 months!

Also, ask how the photographer will deliver the files; would it be through a private online gallery (so you can share it with family and friends)? Through Google Drive or Dropbox? Ideally, you should be getting a professional online gallery, if not, that's a yellow flag (not a killer but a yellow flag).

Laura - Neborn Session - sin logo-48

  • Editing style.

This is a crucial factor that determines how professional your photos will look like.  Most photographers do basic editing:

  1. Color correction and enhancement.
  2. Exposure adjustments.
  3. Minor blemish removals.

However, real art comes from in-depth re-touching, which includes:

  1. Hair fixes. No flying hair.
  2. Wrinkle removal on clothing.
  3. Airbrushing.
  4. Professional light adjustments.
  5. Color and focus enhancements. 

See the difference? Depending on the editing, a photographer can spend just seconds to committing hours to a piece of art. The type of editing will be reflected in the pricing, as well.

A professional photographer delivering +20 pieces of real art will spend days working on your gallery, so every detail will matter. It's like a chef whose plates are served to perfection. You'll get photos with stunning composition, perfect light, focus, and no flying hairs or strange objects that distract the eye from the focus and emotion the photographer wants to convey.

From my side, every gallery I present has in-depth re-touching; my commitment is to deliver real art photography.

Once you decide on the photographer (congrats!) all the logistics quick in.

Stephanie | Newborn Session | April 2019-20

Big no-nos that tell you this is not your photographer

  • Takes too much time to respond to an inquiry.

All photographers, regardless of how famous or booked they are, do a happy dance once an inquiry comes in. So, if the photographer takes more than 24 hours to respond to your initial reach out, this is a big red flag!

If the photographer is so busy or uninterested from the get-go, imagine how it will be down the line when you're expecting your lovely photos or your print products. Commitment and excellent communication from Day 1 to the potential client is a must.

  • Can't fit you in their calendar.

Indeed, professional photographers are most likely booked months in advance, but we always get last-minute cancellations, and we understand that life happens, and you might not have thought about a photo session until you held your new baby in your hands.

If you have a flexible schedule that allows for weekdays or early mornings, the chances that your dreamed photographer can fit you on a particular week are higher. If you get the availability door closed quickly or there's lack of interest to get you booked that's a red flag too; it shouldn't feel like a favor. Remember the happy dance I mentioned.

 

What if you don't like the photographer?

It can happen. As humans, we get along great with some people, and our cables cross with others. That's why it is so important to get to know your photographer in advance. You don't have to become BFFs but just chat for a bit and let your gut feeling lead the way.

Kaia | Newborn Session 2019 (26 of 42)

Trust your gut and research!

Professional photographers get tons of requests, but not every one results on a booked client.

We understand that you're exploring options and that the time and money you'll invest in your photo session are big, so hiring the best photographer for your family is vital. Go with your gut and let your heart decide. You'll know when you find your photographer.

You believe that choosing the photographer is the hardest part? Think again! The perfect light and the right weather are harder to convince!

 

3- How to choose between indoor and outdoor photo sessions?

All pregnant moms believe that if they've got a summer belly, then the photo session will automatically be outdoors. If it's a winter belly, then an indoor photo is required. Well, good news! Neither is the case.

The belly timing does not define the location. You do! I tell you about the pros and cons of each.

 

Indoors

Regardless of the season (See? The decision is not related to weather!) You've got two options; it all depends on the look and feel that you want to embrace. One is more intimate and personal, while the other is an urban setting.

baby shower caro (41 of 47)

  • Stunning indoors public location such as Boston Public Library, museums, etc. 
  • Your home. We'll document your belly by the window, in the nursery, kitchen, master bedroom, living room, or even the backyard. We’ll have fun chasing the best light. 
  • Studio. This is the most traditional session, 100% posed, in which you’ll have access to the photographer's wardrobe and props.

 

Outdoors

The possibilities are endless here. It all depends on your preferences and accessibility. Are you a Mother Nature lover or an urban enthusiast?

  • Urban lover: you can get stunning photos in the middle of the city. Yes, you'll stop traffic with your glowing looks and enjoy the crowds shown blurred in the background.

Fabi | Mini Session Boston 2019 (18 of 23)-1

Urban sessions are a great option during winter. We can hop in and out of shops as needed to get warm or grab a cup of tea. These are walking sessions usually, so we rediscover the corners of the city while we chat and enjoy Boston's (or your town's) essence at its best.

The color of the bricks offers a unique charm when shooting photos in Boston and the suburbs. To make the most of that, you can plan a sunrise session in Acron St., or a sunset session in Downtown Lexington, for example.

 

  • Mother nature lover: do you like beaches, lakes, parks? So many alternatives. Outdoor locations will most likely be calmed and relaxed in the early afternoon or by sunset, tons of green and colorful backgrounds.

Daniela Andreina | Pregnancy Session (14 of 42)

 

You can pick signature locations (be careful with the tourists in peak hours) or hidden gems. For Boston and suburbs, here is a list of my favorite locations it’s a combination of well-known and hidden gems:

  1. Boston Public Garden.
  2. Arnold Arboretum (Boston).
  3. The Esplanade (Boston).
  4. Magazine Beach Park (Cambridge).
  5. Minute Man National Historical Park (Concord).
  6. The Robert Treat Paine Estate (Waltham).
  7. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (Lincoln).
  8. Walden Pond (Concord).
  9. Beach sessions in Cape Cod (MA)

For summer bellies, there are no weather constraints. For winter bellies, your photographer can recommend an outdoor location that has access to indoor facilities or even a short walk to your car (in case you need to warm up!).

If you want to show off your belly in the winter snow on a cold January morning, your photographer will be pumped; although, we try to always recommend a location that meets your goals and keeps you warm!

 

The worst that can and will happen

Your outfit might get ruined with mud or you spilled that lovely decaf while you said hello to your photographer. Maybe your toddler is cranky because he is hungry. Things happen all the time.

Be prepared for contingencies and nothing will get in your way on session day. Here are a few good tips:

1.Bring extra clothes for everyone. 

Yes, I get it. You dream about your outfit from rent the runway but huge stains that photoshop can’t fix do happen.

2. Extra pacifiers, snacks, and toys. 

Let’s spoil big sister or brother. We can use all these to play and capture the sweetest smiles.

3. Baby is cold outside!

MA weather is unpredictable, so always bring a sweater, jacket, or scarf. You want to be as comfortable as possible to enjoy your time outside. You might even use your scarf to play with the wind and your belly!

4. Your feet hurt. 

Even though we love high heels, bring a pair of flats. You might want to change your shoes at any time. Super understandable.

5. The light is gone or too harsh. 

Be on time, we schedule sessions around the sun, and we can’t ask to delay sunset or mid-day harsh light. You’ve got a window of time for stunning photos, mark your calendar 30min before your scheduled session. It’s better to play in the location beforehand than to rush for a parking spot while the sun is tricking you.

 

Big no-nos when shooting outside

Too much light is not ideal.

A question I get asked often is: can we shoot at noon or right before my kid takes a nap? The answer is that the absolute best light (soft light) happens at sunrise or sunset.

We’re always chasing the light as it comes up or down, the shades play a key role. We want you to be able to open your eyes and for shades to not appear in your cheeks. That’s why an overcast day is a dreamy day for a photographer. Families always get worried that they didn’t get a bright sunny day yet professional photographers smile.

Dani & Cesar | Spring 2019 (22 of 25)

 

Too much space is not needed.

When thinking about an outdoor location, you don’t need a football field park size. Photographers always pick a place where we can use multiple stunning backgrounds without having to walk tons.

Bear this in mind if you have other kids. It’s hard to carry them while you hold your backpack or purse, your second outfit and walk on rocks.

Picking a location is both a strategic and artistic decision. It’s all about the quality of the space, not quantity. 

Karla | Pregnancy 2019-2

 

Trusting your photographer’s sense of location.

The best advice I can give you is to actually learn about different photographers beforehand. That is, understand their styles, look at his/her portfolio. And then decide what makes you comfortable.

The spectrum for pregnancy photos is vast. It goes from nudes on a studio (not my style) to lifestyle holding hands with your significant other while walking on a park (my style).

The location is just that, a place where the photos will take place. What matters are the emotions, feelings, and expressions that will be captured in that fantastic background.

My advice would be to spend time understanding which type of pregnancy photos you like the most, decide whether you prefer indoors or outdoors, and then let the photographer propose some location options.

Photographers are the best scouts in town, we look at stunning locations regularly. We’re always challenging ourselves to find the perfect light either indoors or outdoors.

Sam y Andre prego (editada 2019) (1 of 1)

 

What if you don’t like the photos?

You will always be pleasantly surprised with your photo gallery if you do your research in advance. Photographers have a personal signature style. If you like what you’ve seen in his/her portfolio the happiness battle is won already.

Your photographer will capture your family’s essence combined with his/her artistic approach. You’ll get “in-between” or posed moments captured with a unique editing style.

 

It's a matter of trust

If you’re looking for posed photos with everyone looking at the camera, a studio photographer might be the best option. If you want to document life as it happens, a lifestyle photographer is what you’re looking for. 

Every artist is true to his/her style, so you won’t be frustrated if you know what to expect. The photographer will work the best angles to capture the light and moments that are worth freezing.

Location and the right photographer are part of the equation. Deciding when to hold your photo session is equally important!

 

4- When to schedule?

Congrats on your pregnancy!! A lifetime of adventure is about to begin.

As a professional family photographer, there's one question I get asked very often: When is the best time to schedule my pregnancy and newborn sessions?

Depending on your family, health, and goals, the answer changes. Let me walk you through multiple scenarios.

For a pregnancy session you’ve got two options, basically:

  1. Announcement session.
  2. Big-round belly sessions.

For newborn, photo sessions always take place in the first 10 days. Your photographer will hold you a tentative date and you'll confirm with the big news when the baby arrives!

Laura - Neborn Session - sin logo-6

In both cases, I recommend that you schedule the pregnancy or newborn session in your 1st trimester as photographers calendars are booked months in advance usually.

So hold on to your spot when you’re ready to commit to your session.

 

Pregnancy announcement session. 

For some couples, it’s super important to share with the world the big news with a gorgeous image. In this case, there is no “good week” since we’re not photographing the belly but the joyful moment.

You’ll decide when you’re ready to share the news! Just take into consideration that it takes the photographer at least 2 weeks to edit your session and approximately 1 week for the announcement cards to arrive. Cards will be received by family and friends 3-4 weeks after your photo session day. 

no logo ISA & ALFREDO - Mini Session Fall 2018  (6 of 46)

 

Pregnancy big-round belly session. 

This type of session is the most common and it happens during the last trimester.

What’s the ideal timing? Anytime between weeks 32-35. Why?

    1. Big round belly. Your belly should be big enough that it shows and glows.
    2. Mobile and happy. We want you to be comfortable sitting down, standing up, dancing, and walking without feeling exhausted (exactly, you should enjoy your session feeling great!). If you have more kids, the last week it’s so hard to hold them in your hip for cute cuddles during photos.
    3. Health. We all want to arrive at week 40 with the nursery ready but you have no way of predicting how your last pregnancy weeks will look like. You might get asked by your doctor to take it easy and rest, the baby might want to come early (it’s common for moms to miss their pregnancy sessions when they've scheduled past week 37).

Dani - no logo (2 of 2)

What if we have a big family event? Could you do both sessions in one? Absolutely! If I’m photographing an event for your family, I’d be happy to schedule time before the event to capture your glowing belly with your significant other and family. We'll make sure that you get the belly shots that are important to you!

 

Morning or afternoon? 

For outdoor sessions we use natural light; the absolute best light happens shortly after sunrise or before sunset, that time is called the golden hour.

We (photographers) are obsessed with how soft the light is during this time. Some families are early birds, others prefer the afternoon calm. In both instances, you’ll get fantastic light.

You know your family better than anyone, so schedule your session around your family’s preferred schedule. Happy families plus soft light will make for stunning results.

Newborn sessions, on the other hand, are scheduled in the early morning and happen indoors, we meet in your home. We’ll be mostly using natural window light. We'll also want to work around the newborn’s feeding schedule, so we meet around 8-9am and the session lasts 2-3 hours. Given the baby leads our flow, there is time for snuggles and cuddles, and we’re not worried about mid-day sun indoors.

 

Weekday or weekend? 

For pregnancy sessions, you have more chances to find time in your favorite professional photographer’s calendar if you pick a weekday.

Most clients are interested in weekend sessions, however, if you can make it work, I recommend scheduling a weekday session. You’ll have more options in terms of days and times.

There are also some perks by doing it in a weekday: parks are empty and there is an extra sweet calmness in the air. During Spring and Summer, when the days are longer, you can schedule a session on weekdays after work. We LOVE photographing during the Golden Hour, so a 6 pm session on a Tuesday is super doable.

Meanwhile, newborn sessions happen on weekdays. It always works since Mom just gave birth and Dad can usually take some paternity leave off work.

There is also an extra perk: if you have bigger kids, they can head off to daycare or school with Dad after we’ve captured some sweet family and siblings’ portraits while giving us some alone time with Mom and baby to get extra Mommy & Me shots or the baby with more props.

 

Birth Stories

As you think about milestones that you want to photograph (belly and new baby), I invite you to consider birth photography.

Having a tangible memory of that moment when you became a mom for the first time or when your heart grew as you welcomed baby # 2 are priceless and never come back.

People have wild believes of what birth photography means, certainly.  It is true that some professional photographers take a more graphic approach to birth but I’d love to invite you to check my birth portfolio to see my approach.

IMG_3993 edit BW

Just to give you a glimpse: for birth (and only birth) my style is purely black and white. My goal is to capture raw emotions, to freeze that first look between baby and dad and the first time when you ever hold your baby. Also, to catch that tear on your cheek, to document the birth as it flows, the clock that marked the exact time when the baby arrived, the faces of pure joy...

It’s all about documenting the miracle of life. It’s the most beautiful piece of art you’ll ever see, intimate and personal.

I only wish I’d known about this type of photography when I had my kids because these memories fade with time. It will be such a blessing to be able to look back on that day and smile.

 

The right moment is…

Always. The best time is when you decide it to be, although some timings are more convenient than others.

Try to stick to your date and schedule as must as you can, but do keep in mind that things can change at the last minute. Health issues, traffic, location availability, and weather play a pivotal role in your session.

Should you photograph your baby posing as a cute little angel or snuggling with you in bed? Decisions, decisions!

 

 

5- Choosing between a lifestyle or posed?

You probably follow many photographers on Instagram and you've seen incredible images, but you can't tell what the difference between studio posed (also known as props) and lifestyle photography is yet.

My goal is to demystify newborn photography in this sense. 

What is posed newborn photography?

Stephanie | Newborn Session | April 2019-20

These photos usually take place in a studio, where the baby poses using props and accessories, such as baskets, wooden crates, newborn posing beans, and backdrops. Your photographer creates an artistic scene and tells a story with the posing baby as the main character.  Siblings portraits are also a possibility while the newborn is posing in an adorable tiny bed or box.

These are timeless images; babies are this little for just a bit. Having them pose in these cute props melts all the hearts. Studio photography also captures family and sibling portraits. Given that it happens on a studio, the photographer guides you to pose and uses lights to create a unique environment.

If you'd like to have classic portraits with the baby posing like an angel, or everyone looking at the camera, then studio posing is for you. These are timeless classic portraits.

 

What is lifestyle newborn photography?

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These sessions capture the raw and real human connection as a new family at home. There is no better place to feel like yourself and interact as a family than in your adored home. Lifestyle documents life as it happens; the main goal is to capture moments as they unfold in the morning.

The session takes place in the comfort of your home. The most common spaces are the nursery, master bedroom, or that corner with the best window light. Your photographer gives a bit of direction, but ultimately the magic happens when your family is enjoying its time together and having fun. We document the cuddles, snuggles, even breastfeeding if that's something important to you.

Here, the baby leads the pace. You get real moments to treasure forever: baby sleeping on dad's chest; the 3 of you in the bed; big brother holding the baby while kissing her forehead, or everyone sitting in the living room with your dog by your side.

If you'd like to remember your baby's first home; feature that nursery that you spend so many months pouring your heart in; have your pet participate, and if natural photos full of raw emotions and feelings draw you, then lifestyle is what you're looking for.

 

What happens if I like both approaches?

 

I totally get where you're coming from. When I had my kids, I wanted to have both types of memories, the studio posed and the natural ones. That's how my personal photography approach was born.

My newborn style is a hybrid, a combination of lifestyle and posed newborn photography. I'll bring my studio to you and, yes, I take everything with me (all sort of props to choose from like bean bag, headbands, swaddles, baskets, backdrops). It's the best of both worlds; you'll get memories of the baby posing like an angel on a cute basket and also memories of your baby sleeping in Dad's chest.

I love to provide this comprehensive experience to my newborn clients, no compromise. You get the best of both experiences in the comfort of your home. It's my delight to be able to give you the studio-like memories and the real-life ones capturing emotion and connection. 

 

What about birth photography?

What if I tell you that documenting the birth journey is doable?

Birth photography is incredibly emotional and sincere because it captures love as its best and documents a journey to motherhood.

However, people have a misconception of how a birth gallery will look like. Granted, there are birth photographers who take a more graphic approach. Nonetheless, the majority document the story behind birth: the support; the kiss in the forehead; that one time grandma held your hand so tight because you needed it; the clock in the wall capturing the exact time that the baby was born; that first look between dad and baby; that tear in the cheek when mom hears the baby cry, and that first time that you felt your baby in your arms....

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Memories fade with time. Having your birth story documented will bring you joy and happiness years from now.

To know more, I invite you to take a look at my birth portfolio and share this beautiful journey with these parents.

 

Fresh 48

This is a short and sweet session that happens just hours after the baby is born (at the hospital, birth center, your home).  No props or accessories are used.

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It's usually the baby sleeping in the hospital bassinet, or a family portrait by the bed. It's a great session to capture that first time the siblings meet each other, or the face grandpa makes when holding the baby for the first time. You'll be documenting your first hours as a new family.

 

It's your call!

Once you decide which style you like the most, either lifestyle or studio posed, you'll see how easy it is to filter down your options to find the photographer whose photos speak to your soul.

I want you to get the best. So here are my personal favorites when it comes to choosing the right photographer in Boston, who I know will follow through every tip and recommendation I’ve given you.

 

6- My Top pregnancy and/or newborn photographers in Boston

Here, I share with you who I admire the most and are key players in the family photography industry around Boston (from my personal point of view).

Hopefully, this list helps you find the perfect photographer for you! Someone who fits your style, vision, and budget.

 

Favorite Studio Photographers

These are the photographers who specialize in families and newborns posing in a studio, using lights, props, backdrops, and accessories to create beautiful scenes.

 

Beth Miga Photography.

Based in Boston, MA.

When I think about Beth's style, I think of the color white and natural light. She specializes in newborn and baby photography. For me, her magic happens in her studio, posing her babies and families. She typically does not use any props or accessories. She's the master of white and natural light.

You can't go wrong with Beth. Her style is timeless, clean, and so beautiful. If you're a lover of all things white, go check her out.

 

Beth Galligan Photography.

Based in Attleboro, MA.

Beth's pregnancy sessions are mostly outdoors, and the magic of her classic newborn sessions take place in her studio.

Her color palette is neutral with a light pop of color. For newborn sessions, she does use props and accessories to pose the baby, although you'll also get adorable posed family and sibling portraits.

 

Favorite Lifestyle photographers

Kate L Photography.

Based in Boston, MA. 

Yes, this is another Kate (apparently this is a great name to be a kick-ass photographer in the area!). Her style is colorful, tons of bright colors. True to her word: “I BELIEVE LIFE IS BETTER IN COLOR,” she chases the light and does sunrise and sunset sessions. 

She's mostly outdoors for family and pregnancy sessions. For newborn, she'll go to your home and skip props (baskets, boxes, etc. to pose babies) to focus on capturing the human connection. She's an incredibly talented and passionate photographer.

Fun fact: if I ever have a third baby, I would hire her for her unique lifestyle newborn approach!

 

Sara Grayson.

Based in Boston, MA. 

Sara is an incredible lifestyle photographer, one of those with unique editing style. When I'm browsing IG, and I see specific images, I know as a fact those are Sara's.

She's got a consistent tasty and moody editing style, with a film-like approach. Her images have been featured everywhere. She focuses on outdoors for family photos and home for newborns. 

She's one of a kind, a photographer who I will hire one day to document my family's journey!

 

What about Andre Toro Photography?

I define my style as Real Art photography. While my style is lifestyle focusing on real emotional moments with tons of human connection, I specialize in fine art editing techniques.

My goal is to create art that captures real moments shown with a timeless look and feel that only fine art editing techniques provide. This means in-depth retouching to let each photo tell a unique story.   

For family sessions, my color palette is colorful and bright, and I'm an outdoors lover. As for newborns, my range of colors is neutral and organic, and the magic happens in your home.

As a lifestyle family photographer, I believe in chasing the best light and emotional memories. I'll be capturing those “in-between moments” with your kids and significant other, snuggles and kisses. The unexpected huge laugh or the tightest of hugs. I will give a bit of direction, but lifestyle means that the magic really happens as you just enjoy and have fun.

Elayne Family Session - June 2019 (4 of 44)

For newborn sessions, I come to your home. My style is hybrid, a combination of lifestyle and posed newborn photography. I'll bring my studio to you (all sort of props to choose from). You'll get memories of the baby posing like an angel on a cute basket and also memories of your baby sleeping in dad's chest. I love to provide this comprehensive experience to my newborn clients, no compromise. You get the best of both experiences in the comfort of your home.


Leah Paul | May 2019 (2 of 33)

The choice is yours!

As you can see, deciding on having a pregnancy or newborn photo session is not just taking pictures. It entails so much more! It’s a life experience, one that you should remember fondly and without any regrets.

In a nutshell: when it comes to deciding about your pregnancy or newborn session, you must pay attention to three important aspects: location, type of session, and the photographer. All are just as important!

The location sets the ambient. How posed or relaxed, the style. And the chemistry with the photographer determines the mood.

So do your research and don’t leave any question behind. Make sure that the photo session that you choose is a decision based on what you want, not what others have done and don’t settle for less. This is your and your loved ones’ special moment! You deserve the bet there is!

Daniela Andreina | Pregnancy Session (BW only) (2 of 7)

 

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