Preparing for a studio session

studio

January 26, 2021

Studio sessions at Photography by Alyssum are such a “best of both worlds” approach to indoor sessions. I’ve designed them to have a styled-life approach to maternity, newborn, and baby photography. I want you to walk into my home studio and feel like I’ve taken the coziest pieces of lifestyle portraiture and stitched it with beautiful lighting, textures, and comfort. To help this dreamy aesthetic come together, I have a client closet filled with beautiful clothing for mama, babies and children, and yes even a few basics for dads! (Available for full-length sessions only.)

Clockwise from top left: studio lounge with lots of room for siblings to relax and play, studio wardrobe for lots of options, natural light lifestyle room.

Wardrobe Styling

When you sign your studio contract with me, you’ll receive an access code to begin using my wardrobe styling service. Please visit Style & Select and enter my email address photosbyalyssum@gmail.com with the access code I’ve provided for you. There will be a section with my “Client Closet” pieces that are available to borrow from me. For all other items that aren’t in my closet, you’ll receive links to personally purchase each piece, or you can just use it as a guide to shop stores (and your closet) on your own.

Beautiful expecting mother resting on couch with bare belly

Think Earth tones, neutral whites and creams, and desaturated colors. Popular, modern colors are rust, brown, cream, and sage green. These compliment my warm style and don’t tend to cast unwanted colors on your family.

Newborns

Newborn babies typically looks best wrapped up in a blanket or wearing a well-fitting gown (Lou Lou & Company, Caden Lane) or a plain white onesie (I keep H&M kimono style onesies here).

Tiny newborn baby in mom's arms with a pretty ring on her finger

Older Babies

I try to have you steer away from dressing babies in “adult” clothing like button-up collared shirts, stiff pants, or oversized sweaters. These things hide their tiny features that we’re there to capture and remember! Babies look best in “baby clothes” and can come in a plain, well-fitting white onesie or romper. If you’re celebrating baby’s first birthday, I like to do two to three outfits if time permits. Typically we do a romper or dress, white pajamas, and bare chest and diaper cover or bloomers.

Mamas

Whether you’re expecting, you’ve just had your baby, or it’s been years since you’ve had your last, a beautiful textured dress can help make your photos feel extra special. My client closet features many beautiful gowns that are maternity and postpartum-friendly. Bringing along a cute bralette and nude undies will go with most of my options. While a dress might be my first choice for you, don’t feel like you have to go this route. A comfy sweater or top and jeans or leggings work perfectly fine for a casual, comfy vibe. Please remember to take hair elastics off your wrist!

Family of four snuggling on the couch with a new baby on dad's chest

Dads

Males look great in a pair of well-fitting khakis with a plain grey, tan, white, or oatmeal t-shirt or a button up shirt with the sleeves rolled up and untucked. I do have several henley tees here for dads as backup. Generally avoid wrist watches on both parents as they can distract from the final image. Please remember to take keys and phones out of pockets.

Brother and sister sitting on the couch in front of the Christmas tree
2020 Christmas Mini Setup

Children

I have a closet of options for young children up to about 6 years old, or please feel free to bring your own. Boys are easy with a simple tee and brown khaki bottoms or overalls and girls look great in a dress in white, cream, or earthy tones. Please avoid any clothing with logos, designs, or neon colors.

Brother and sister touching mama's pregnant belly in front of a large window

COVID PRECAUTIONS:
“Tiny hands touch this floor. Please leave your shoes at the door.”  When you arrive at my studio, please remove your footwear. You will be barefoot throughout the session, which helps reduce germs in the studio and also fits with the cozy vibe. I will wash my hands when you arrive and keep my face mask on during your session. You are welcome to wear one when you’re not being photographed but it’s not required. I clean the studio before and after every session and it is professionally cleaned once a month or more. 

What to expect – Studio newborns

The amount of travel time you have to get to the studio can alter baby’s prep slightly. Our goal will really be to have baby sleepy and content with eyes closed for most of the session. If you are thinking “baby has the sweetest eyes, I want those in the pictures so I’m okay if they don’t sleep through the session,” DON’T 😉 I mean this with a lot of love…babies eyes can be crazy! They don’t have control over them, they cross, one is open and the other closed. It’s not ideal. Truthfully, they’ll probably open their eyes at some point and we’ll get some open eyed shots. But I promise you that you’ll be happier with baby asleep as the goal.

At home, baby might be the sleepiest little one who you have to wake just to feed on schedule, but please don’t go into your session assuming it’ll be the same. You’ll be picking them up, putting them down, passing them to your partner. While I am baby-led with my style, it’s not the same as undisrupted sleep. Generally, you’ll feed baby right before leaving your home and allow them to have some awake time in the car. When you arrive, mom can browse my dress collection while we get baby settled and ready to be photographed. If baby needs additional feeds, please feel comfortable to do so as needed. If baby is bottle fed, please come prepared with extra bottles.

Sibling shots tend to work best at the start of the session while toddlers are most cooperative, but if they need more time to warm up to the new surroundings I can switch up the flow. The session is very long and boring for young children, so please bring some of their favorite activities.

The studio is kept warm to keep baby settled. Please come dressed for the tropical environment with a change of clothes if you’d like. My priority is your baby’s comfort and well being, and I follow their lead throughout my session workflow. Baby might wake up or make a little noise because they are disturbed and would like to go back to sleep. I quickly settle them down and continue, however if baby is showing that they do not like a particular position (and all babies are different and have different preferences) then I will skip that pose and move on. The beauty of my newborn sessions is that it is baby-led and family-centered.

newborn baby wrapped lying in basket of wool curls

After the studio session

Once our session is complete, I have the pleasure of selecting my very favorite images from the session to provide you with your proof gallery. You’ll select the images you’d like to include in your final gallery, and you always have the option to add on more to your package.

Beautiful mother with pregnant belly kneeling on a bench in front of a large window

I will edit each of those beautiful images for your collection in the following two weeks after you’ve made your selections. Once you receive your images, you are welcome to print them the through the lab of your choice or order directly from my pro lab within your gallery for your convenience. 

Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions about preparing your family for your session. I can’t wait to capture this special time in your lives!

xo, Alyssum

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALYSSUM, LLC, IS A NEWBORN, BABY, MATERNITY, AND FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER LOCATED IN CASTLE ROCK, CO, AND IS CURRENTLY SERVING DOUGLAS COUNTY, JEFFERSON COUNTY, ARAPAHOE COUNTY, CASTLE ROCK, LARKSPUR, HIGHLANDS RANCH, LITTLETON, CENTENNIAL, DENVER, AND THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES. CONTACT TO SCHEDULE YOUR SESSION.

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FOODS FOR NURSING MOMS TO AVOID
48 HOURS BEFORE NEWBORN SESSION:

Acidic food/drinks such as:

Cranberries     Pineapple     Grapefruit
Oranges     Lemons     Berries
Tomatos     Chocolate     Nuts
Pizza     Chili     Mexican food     Ketchup

Gassy vegetables such as:

Asparagus     Onions     Pickles
Cucumbers     Broccoli     Cauliflower
Brussels Sprouts     Cabbage

Restrict soda, coffee, tea, wine, and beer.

Sometimes dairy, depending on the baby.

I know this seems like a long list, but you only have your newborn's portraits taken once! It's not worth it to risk having a gassy or fussy baby who just can't settle. And in the event that your baby is still gassy, I always recommend keeping Gripe Water on hand. I know it was a lifesaver for me when my two were babies.