FAQ's for Baby Photographers | Saratoga Springs NY and Boston MA Newborn Photographer

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

I’ve been a baby photographer since 2012, and I’ve had the privilege of photographing hundreds of adorable babies & children in New York & Massachusetts.  Before every session I schedule a pre-consultation with my clients, and it’s usually a simple phone call to answer any questions and give them a feel for what the session involves. 

Over the years I’ve answered the same questions dozens of times, so I thought I would compile them into a helpful FAQ post for new clients!

Have a question that I haven’t answered here?  Drop me an email to hello@nicolestarrphotography.com and I would be happy to chat with you!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

What is the best age to photograph?  I’m worried my baby is too young — or too old!

Our newborn sessions typically take place during the first two weeks after a baby is born.  I usually like to see babies at the studio after day 5 because they’re getting the hang of eating by then, and if your baby had a circumcision he’ll be healed and comfortable on his belly by then.

BUT WHY SO YOUNG?  Well, during those first two weeks your baby is still getting used to life outside the womb.  They are very sleepy and flexible, allowing me to achieve many of those adorable and cozy poses with them all curled up tight.  After two weeks their limbs become more rigid and less flexible, and they are often much more alert as they begin to stretch and explore the space around them.  Baby acne usually arrives between weeks 3-4, so ideally we’ll plan your session before then. 

For milestone sessions, around months 3-4 is perfect because your little one is smiling, reacting to the world around them, and getting used to tummy time with better neck control by then.  I also love love LOVE milestone sessions between months 6-9 when your baby is sitting up unassisted.  When babies are upright they are so happy and content, and their personality just shines.  This is my favorite age to photograph!

For birthday sessions, we schedule these between months 10-13 depending on how soon before the first birthday party you would like your finished artwork!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

Help!  I have no idea what I want to do with my photos!

I hear this all the time, and many families originally think, “I’ll just get the digitals and decide later on.”  But you know what happens 90% of the time when families do this?  Those JPEGs sit in a file on their computer and never get looked at.  Life gets in the way and the images never get printed for a year, two years, three years.

That’s why I make it a priority to schedule your gallery reveal and ordering appointment within two weeks of your session.  We set aside an hour together to go through your gallery, see what products there are, and find which possibilities are the very best fit for your family!  I want to help you enjoy your images & artwork right away, and to find the best way for your images to fit into your lifestyle. 

Here are a few popular possibilities for what to do with your images besides lose them on a hard drive somewhere:
-Create birth announcements, birthday party invitations, or thank you cards to mail to family & friends
-Enjoy a linen-covered album from your session, or from your baby’s entire first year!
-Decorate the walls of your nursery.  We can even plan your session style to coordinate with the nursery theme and colors.  
-Grandparents love photo gifts.  Let’s give them some beautiful new artwork!
-Hang a large family portrait in a  place that will put a smile on your face every day.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

Where do your sessions take place?

Most of our portrait sessions are in the studio.  Lifestyle newborn sessions and lifestyle family sessions take place at home — these are relaxed and generally unposed, and I don’t bring props or complicated set-ups with me.  These sessions showcase real life happening in real spaces in your home. 

I love shooting outdoors in the warmer months.  Here in the northeast, that generally means May through October, but for really young babies who are sensitive to temperature changes, I would recommend scheduling between June and September if you’re hoping to head outside.    Warm babies are happy babies, and happy babies make for great photographs!

What do you have in your studio?

Lots of simple backdrops, neutral colors, a few classic props, faux fur rugs, plenty of wraps and blankets, headbands, and handmade tiny outfits.  I do use one studio light for all of our sessions, so you’ll see a big umbrella with a light in it, too.  During our newborn sessions we turn the heat WAY up in the studio so that your little one is comfy, and it’s very toasty in there with our fake fireplace going strong.

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I’m so worried that my child is going to be fussy or cranky!  What happens then?  

Kids and babies are so unpredictable, and I am used to their changing moods.  Most babies act differently on photo day because they’re in a new space, with a new person, and they can sense that their parents are stressed or nervous.  First, I recommend that you stay calm and trust me to capture beautiful images of your baby.  Know that we will go with the flow and do everything possible to keep your baby in a cheerful mood.  If your baby senses that you are anxious, they will feed off of your anxiety, so stay calm!

I have so many tricks for newborns to create an environment that will lull them into a relaxed state.  You’ll see me use heat, wraps, shushing, rocking, and other little tricks to put them right to sleep.

Older babies are easily distracted and I’ll use songs, games, and toys to grab their attention.  If they start to get fussy, a quick distraction with a new toy or song will engage them and make them forget whatever it was they were fussing about in the first place!  Some babies need a break for fresh air, a walk around the studio, a favorite snack, cuddles, or a song on your phone.  That’s okay!  I am always generous with time, and if your little one needs a few extra minutes to settle in we’ll take our time.  Follow my lead, and we’re going to have a great time together!

What if my child is sick the day of the session?

Tell me right away!  Healthy babies are happy babies, and I’m usually able to reschedule your session.  Ideally you’ll tell me as far in advance as you are able (48 hours before is perfect if you notice your little one is coming down with something), but we don’t want to force a baby through a session when you know that he’s cranky because he has a fever.

This is kind of embarrassing, but I’m worried my baby might pee (or poop!) on something in the studio…

It wouldn't be the first time that has occurred!  Poop happens, and it’s nothing to worry about. 

We keep wipes on hand to clean everything up quickly, and everything gets washed and sanitized after the session.  Don’t be embarrassed, and please don’t apologize a million times.  I expect a little mess to happen with every session, and if we get a baby who doesn’t soil something during their session, I consider it a fluke and we were very lucky that day!

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer  |  Albany baby photographer  |  Boston baby photographer  |  Milestone portrait session

What should my baby wear? 

For studio newborn sessions, you don’t have to bring a thing!  I have everything you need in the studio.  Your images will be classic and timeless with a simple wrap, bare skin, or one of my unique hand-knit outfits that are so tiny and perfectly sized for your baby.

For lifestyle newborn sessions, we’ll also use wraps or pretty swaddles that you have at home.  A classic white onesie is always perfect — the smaller the better.  Because newborns are so tiny, they are swimming in most newborn clothes and all that extra fabric never photographs well, so be sure to try their outfit on ahead of time to ensure that it’s snug and not too baggy.

Milestone sessions are a little bit different.  For 3-4 months we’ll generally just do a few wraps and simple rompers that I have in the studio.  If you have a snug knit outfit (so many cute options at Zara Baby!), send me a picture ahead of time.

For 6 months and up, there are so many cute options for your baby.  Check out Etsy for adorable rompers and overalls in knit fabrics.  Look for neutral colors that aren’t too busy or distracting for the most classic look.  Details like lace, pockets, stripes, texture, and embroidery are always fun, too. 

A note on headbands — babies have tiny heads.  Let’s not overwhelm them with huge puffy flower headbands.  I have petite tiebacks that are the perfect size to complement your baby’s perfect features without being too distracting.  If you’d like to bring something, the smaller the better. 

How about those cute crocheted outfits I see at big box stores and on Etsy?

Okay, I’m going to be really honest with you here….  No.  Don’t do it.  Those crocheted turtles, foxes, and firemen outfits are never the proper size for a newborn baby.  They are always much too big and leave gaping holes when you put them on the baby, plus the crochet stitch doesn’t lie as smoothly to hug a baby’s curves like knitting does. 

Plus I have found that the yarn is usually a very poor quality that causes the poor little babies to overheat, and nearly 100% of the time when you put a baby in one of those hats and diaper covers they get itchy and hot.  They’re fussy and inconsolable within seconds.  I’m sorry to say it, but as cute as they are on the hanger they’re not that cute on a fussy, crying, sweating baby. 

Instead, we can do a tiny prop or accent in your set-up to represent that turtle, fox, fireman (or whatever other theme it is you loved!).  I’ve had babies holding their dad’s police badge, posed on a fireman’s helmet, and snuggling up with a tiny felted animal like a teddy bear or a penguin.  I’ll use the outfits we have in the studio that are high-quality fibers that allow your baby’s skin to breathe, and that are sized perfectly to their tiny bodies.