Congratulations on your new baby! Thank you so much for allowing me the amazing and rewarding job of photographing your new wee one in his/her first few days of life. Newborns are my passion and I consider myself truly blessed to be around these little miracles so much!
I have prepared a little guide on what to expect and how to prepare for your upcoming session(s). This guide contains information for newborns, as well as maternity or baby sessions. Please take a moment to read through this & feel free to contact me with any questions!
Note: I like to add that this is only a "guide" to help you get the most out of your session. Ultimately, please do what you feel is best for you and your child(ren).
23 S Broadway
Watertown, SD 57201
Once baby has arrived, please fill out this NEWBORN QUESTIONNAIRE. It is extremely helpful when planning for/styling your session!
If you have booked a newborn session, I have your due date down as the approximate session date. However, as we all know, babies come when they want to come! So, in order to fit you in during that first two weeks, please contact me within the first 3 days of birth to schedule your newborn session.
If you are on a Baby's First Year Plan, it is your responsibility to contact me at least 1 month prior to your next session to schedule a session date. (i.e. If you have a 6 milestone month session coming up, please contact me by four to five months of age to schedule that session - do not wait until a week before baby is six months hoping to get in that week). ;)
When you arrive for your session, I will have you undress baby down to their diaper and a swaddle blanket only. If baby is awake and fussing, please take your time to nurse/feed him/her. This helps not only fill their tummy, but also relax (and often times drift back to sleep). The diaper and loose swaddle will make for easy removal without waking baby back up.
Throughout the session, we may need to stop several times to allow for feedings - this is totally normal! Please don’t feel rushed during this time. Allow baby full feedings, and as much as necessary to keep him/her happy and content.
It will be warm in the studio. Ideally I try to keep the temperature around 80 degrees. Because baby is naked on/off and being changed between swaddles, the warmer temperature allows baby to remain comfortable and more content throughout the session.
If baby is taking a pacifier, please have one handy. If you do not wish for baby to have a pacifier, that is completely fine - I do not want you do do anything you are uncomfortable with for the sake of photos. Please know in this case we will move on - change pose, swaddle baby, or have babe snuggle with mama until consoled. Please do not stress!
Baby may (read: will) pee, poo, or spit up on my blankets/props - please do not worry! It’s all washable and I am not concerned in the least. I don’t want you to be, either!
Props: I tend to keep it very simple, and do not use many props in my sessions aside from wraps, bowls, bonnets & headbands. Unless there is something you absolutely want in your photo, please do not bring additional props. My style is simple, emotive & timeless. I try to stay true to my style and vision, while providing you photos you will treasure forever. Please take a moment to view my newborn portfolio (you can find it on my website - www.amberwalder.com) to make sure my style suits you. If there is something particular you still want in your photos (i.e. family heirloom, special blanket, military outfit, etc), I will be happy to accommodate; please try to keep it to one or two items & discuss this with me ahead of time so I can plan the session accordingly! :)
Including older brother/sister(s) in your newborn’s portraits is the perfect way to document this fleeting time in your lives.
If you plan to have siblings photographed, I only ask that when they are not a part of the session that they are supervised by another adult. If they will only be there for their portion of the photos, I am happy to start with family/sibling photos. Alternatively, if they’d like to stay for the full session, there is a kids table with coloring books, crayons and a few toys for entertainment. Please feel free to bring anything of your own as well. We want to ensure a calm, peaceful (and most of all, safe) environment for the star of the show!
What to wear:
Sister(s): Dresses are fabulous! Otherwise a neutral tank with leggings, pants or a skirt. I do have a selection of rompers/dresses from 6mo-3T for girls in my studio wardrobe you are welcome to use as well.
Brother(s): A snug pair of jeans and a tighter-fitting neutral t-shirt or sweater is great.
FOR MOM & DAD
Mom & Dad, you are a big part of this also. I adore photographing the connection between a parent and their new little miracle. I recommend going with coordinating outfits that compliment the interior of your home, if you decide to display any of the images on your walls. I suggest going with the style you are comfortable with, but also keeping in mind not wanting to overshadow the baby with too many prints and bright colors. I tend to recommend neutral/earthy colors and simple outfits that compliment each other. Maxi or flowy dresses, tank tops, or a blouse for mom and tighter fitting t-shirts, v-necks, or sweater & jeans for dad work great.
Moms: One thing to keep in mind that is often overlooked - be aware of nail polish, as your hands will make their way into the images as well. :)
I want you to be able to relax and enjoy the session. As we discussed, it is not uncommon for the session to take two hours or so. Please don’t worry if it goes longer. Our goal is to get the best possible photos, but also for you and your family to take care, and relax.
It is my hope that you come to the studio feeling comfortable and at home. I am truly honored to be able to document this incredible time in your lives and look forward to getting to know you and your sweet baby!
Questions? Please feel free to contact me at any time! 425-501-5165
BABY MILESTONE SESSION
Baby milestone sessions can take place anywhere from 3-10 months of age.
If you have chosen one baby milestone session, 6-8 months is usually an ideal age for that as it splits the year. Many babies are sitting unassisted at this age which is a wonderful milestone to capture.
If you have chosen two milestone sessions, I recommend 4 & 8 months. By four months baby is generally able to lift their head well when on their tummy, and by 8 months many babies are sitting well but not yet crawling.
Milestone sessions are held weekdays, at either 10am or 1pm. That said, I know how important nap time is for these little ones. If you are trying to work around a nap schedule, please just let me know and we can try to work around that.
I have a large selection of rompers in my studio wardrobe for babies in the 6-18 month range. Some fit larger, some smaller. You are welcome to use any of these for your baby’s session. Alternatively, you are welcome to bring your own cloths. Please keep in mind, simple is best - onesies/rompers/etc. Bulky sweaters or collared shirts often scrunch up into baby’s face (hiding their beautiful features) & do not tend to photograph as well.
Please keep in mind, baby milestone sessions are “mini” sessions and are approximately 30-45 minutes max. This is a long time for a baby under one year - for both fussiness and staying awake ;) If you are bringing your own clothes for baby, please try to limit to two outfits (picking your favorite first - babes tend to get crankier with each outfit change).
Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns!
Maternity sessions are best held between 28-34 weeks. This is a perfect time to show off that growing bump, but not yet feeling too uncomfortable! I discourage scheduling after 36 weeks due to the risk of going into labor before having your maternity session. ;)
WHAT TO WEAR
I tend to recommend not only something that you are comfortable in, but that you feel beautiful in. This session is all about you and that beautiful baby bump - (or, if a motherhood session - you and your baby/child)! Bottom line, you want to feel as comfortable & beautiful as you are!
Dresses or tank tops with a flowy skirt are always lovely. For maternity, make sure it is something that is tighter fitting in the belly so that it will accentuate your bump! Wraps or loose sweaters are always beautiful for layering as well.
If you are having a tough time deciding what to wear, I have a small collection of gowns in my studio wardrobe that you are more than welcome to wear. Or, I can also give you names of some online shops that sell beautiful maternity gowns and/or dresses - they can range from quite inexpensive to very expensive. Some favorites are:
Amazon (amazing and inexpensive selection of gowns here for both maternity and women in general - searching maternity gowns, maxi dresses, or flowy dresses).
Sew Trendy Accessories
Reclaimation Design Co (very expensive. VERY gorgeous).
Or, this is a link to my PINTEREST page for more inspiration!
I encourage Dad and child(ren) to be in a few maternity photos as well! If so, please choose something for them to wear that will coordinate well with your outfit.