Preparing for your Maternity Session
When should I get my photos done? Choosing the right time frame for your maternity photos is very important. We want you to look pregnant with a nice, round belly, but we don’t want you to be so pregnant that you are starting to feel uncomfortable. For this reason, I recommend getting your photos done between 32-36 weeks. After booking, once you are 28 weeks along, please send me a casual bump photo of your belly via email so that I can help you decide when we should schedule your session.
What should I wear? I have a variety of maternity dresses available for you to use during your session. These dresses are made especially for photography and will look great in your photos. If you would like to consider wearing a few dresses, take a look at our Instagram “Gowns” highlight @tangiblelittlemoments to view our selection. A few weeks before your session, you will receive a questionnaire that will give you the opportunity to indicate your dress selections and other preferences for the session. If you do not want to wear one of my dresses, I simply recommend wearing something that you feel beautiful in. A solid, form-fitting dress always looks great. Just be wary of wearing scarves, cardigans, or busy patterns. We want to accentuate your belly, not hide it! If you have questions about how to dress your family, please see the instructions in our family prep section.
What should I bring? If you are planning on wearing some of my dresses or if you are interested in a few boudoir style photos during your session, bring a pair of black, white, & nude underwear and matching bras if you have them. A lot of our gowns are strapless so if you have a strapless bra in any color, please bring that along as well. Some clients choose to bring ultrasounds, shoes, or other special items for their session. You are welcomed to do that but don’t feel like you have to bring anything. This session is primarily to focus on you and your baby bump!
Preparing for your Fresh48 Session
Do you photograph at all hospitals? Yes. I photograph at Virtua Voorhees and Virtua Mt. Holly for no additional charge. Any other hospital will require an additional travel charge.
When should I let you know I’m in labor? Please make sure that you, your partner or a family member calls or texts me as soon as you are heading to the hospital in labor. After you deliver and things settle down, please contact me so that we can schedule a time within 48 hours for me to come to the hospital and photograph your new little one.
What should I wear? I prefer a very relaxed atmosphere for your Fresh48. This is meant to capture your very special time in the hospital so don’t feel like you have to get dressed up for this session. Most people wear comfortable sweats or hospital gowns. That is perfectly fine.
What should the baby wear? Your baby will be swaddled comfortably throughout most of the session. While some prefer the provided hospital blanket and hat, some people will bring a blanket and hat from home.
Will we do any posed or naked shots of my newborn? No. This is a lifestyle session- if you are looking for a posed session with lighting, outfits and props, I recommend an in-studio newborn session.
Who is allowed to attend my session? Anyone is allowed to be present at your Fresh48 session. Siblings, parents, grandparents or other visitors are welcomed to be photographed with your newborn.
Preparing for your Newborn Session
Before Your Session. Upon booking, your due date will be penciled in on my calendar. Whether you deliver early, late, or right on time, you have a spot on my calendar no matter what. About 2 weeks before your session, you will receive a questionnaire that will give you the opportunity to tell us about any color or pose preferences during the session. After you’ve filled out your questionnaire, please be sure to send any inspiration photos (3-5) to me in advance via email (optional). I will have the studio set up for your session upon arrival so any ideas that you would like incorporated in your session should be discussed in advance via email. We will do our best to do any poses or sets that you request!
What Should I Bring? If applicable, please bring additional feeding supplies (bottle, nipple cover, formula, pumped milk, etc.), pacifier, wipes, and diapers.
The Day of your Session. Ideally, we want your baby to sleep throughout the entirety of the session. Obviously, they may have their own agenda but there are several things we can do to make this happen: Do your best not to give a full feeding for three hours before your shoot. Small spot feedings are okay to hold them over if you absolutely have to. During this time, do your best to keep the baby awake as much as possible. A good way to do this is to give them a bath, sing or interact with them or do tummy time. Plan to give them a full feeding just before you leave to get in the car so that by the time they arrive, they are asleep. If you live 40+ minutes away, please contact us for special feeding instructions. When dressing your baby the morning of the session, please dress them in an outfit that zips or buttons in the front. Please refrain from dressing your baby in an outfit that needs to be pulled over their head. If your baby is starting to peel or get dry skin, please do not apply any lotions or creams to try to improve it. We will edit their dry skin so there is no need to worry. Please keep in mind that these are simply suggestions and while we do highly recommend you do your best to follow the preparation instructions, you can use your best judgment.
During the Session. Your baby’s session will last 1-3 hours depending on the package that you booked. Because your little one is used to the warmth of Mommy’s belly, our studio will be approximately 80 degrees so please wear light layers just in case you get warm.
Siblings. Siblings are welcomed to attend your newborn session. If you have a sibling under the age of three, please consider bringing an extra person to spend time with them during the session. We seek a quiet environment for our newborn sessions so having someone present that can take them for a walk to the park or out for ice cream at the Pop Shop across the street when they are not being photographed could be helpful.
Family Photos. If desired, I have postpartum gowns available for mom to wear. You can view all of these gowns under Gowns on my Instagram highlight reel: @tangiblelittlemoments. I also have dresses for girls under 7 if needed. Otherwise, plain, solid clothing will typically work best for family photos. If you would like to send me clothing options for feedback, feel free to email me. In the warmer months, we can do family photos outdoors at my studio weather permitting.
What Should I Bring? If applicable, additional feeding supplies (bottle, nipple cover, pumped milk), pacifier, wipes and diapers.
Preparing for your Cake Smash Session
Scheduling: Cake smash sessions are generally booked no more than a month before your child’s actual birthday; however, it is important to think about what you plan on doing with the photos. Our turnaround time is typically about two to four weeks (depending on the time of year- ask us!) so if you plan on using the photos for invitations, party displays or thank you notes, we will want to plan accordingly.
Outfits: While my studio is stocked with many props and accessories, you will need to bring outfits for the session. We will begin your baby’s session with a few regular portraits. Feel free to bring a separate outfit for this portion of the session. I do have a few outfits available for the portrait photos but I always recommend bringing something of your own just in case. An optional family photo is also included in our cake smash package. If you have questions about how to dress your family, please see our family prep guide. For the actual cake smash, boys look great in blue jeans paired with suspenders or a tie. A pair of leggings, a onesie, and a cute hat will also do the trick. For girls, ruffled bottoms, leggings, and lace rompers are perfect. If you are in need of vendor recommendations, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
The Cake: Small-tiered cakes photograph best. I recommend a simple yellow cake with buttercream or whipped cream frosting. Fondant is pretty but not easy to eat with your fingers. Red or brown cake/icing is not recommended. Beginning in 2021, we will be supplying cakes upon request. If you’d like us to supply your cake, please indicate that on your questionnaire. If your baby has food allergies, I recommend supplying your own cake. Whole Foods is especially good if your child has any type of food allergy. If you would like to order a cake on your own and have it delivered directly to my studio, I recommend contacting John at Cakes on the Move (609.828.0333). They make gorgeous cakes without the hassle of transportation.
My baby doesn’t like sweets: Some babies do not like sweet foods or love a specific food that they are used to eating at home. You do NOT have to do a traditional cake smash! Feel free to branch out and do a food that your child loves like spaghetti, tacos, pie, donuts, ice cream… the sky is the limit! I am open and willing to do any type of food smash you’d like.
Themes & Colors: I love a good theme, but prefer to keep it minimal. For me as an artist, it is more important to focus on your baby rather than the decorations. Choosing colors for a cake smash can be tough. I suggest selecting colors (or a theme) that matches the nursery or their birthday party theme. I will provide decorations that coordinate with your requested theme. If you need assistance coming up with a color palette or theme, please let me know and I would be happy to make some suggestions. We have a gallery filled with past themes for you to choose from (and tweak if necessary) or we can come up with something completely custom.
Before the Session: It is very possible that your baby will not like the taste or texture of the cake. I suggest buying your baby a little cupcake the week before to see how he or she reacts to playing in the icing and eating it. It will help them get used to the new food. Please do not do this the day before their session as they tend to not be as interested in the cake two days in a row. (As an adult, I could eat cake every day but babies don’t seem to share my enthusiasm!) If your baby absolutely hates sweets or their “tester cupcake” please refer to the above note regarding a different type of food for your child’s cake smash.
During the Session: Don’t be alarmed if your baby doesn’t tear away at the frosting immediately. Some babies eat neatly while others dive right in. Some babies need a little assistance from mom or dad to figure out what to do. It is a process that should be exciting for both of you. Please be aware that not all babies enjoy smashing their cake and it is possible that your child will be unconsolable if they do not like it. For this reason, I do not re-shoot cake smashes. Just remember that it is part of your baby’s birthday story and one day you will laugh at their cake smash photos whether they are laughing or crying.
The Mess: Giving a cake to a baby surely makes a mess. My studio has a small sink that you are welcomed to use. Either way, I recommend bringing wipes, a towel and a change of clothing for the whole family.
Preparing for your Outdoor Family Session
What should we wear? Long gone is the look of a whole family in khaki pants and white polos. I recommend a coordinated look while avoiding looking “matchy matchy.” Think similar, coordinating colors but with the same pop of color here and there. If you would like me to take a look at your outfit choices before the session, you’re welcomed to email me some photos! Upon booking, we will share with you a gallery filled with outfit suggestions and ideas.
What time of day is best? While it is best to shoot a few hours before sunset or right after the sun rises for outdoor shoots, if you have a little one that will be unhappy at those times, please let me know. We want your children to be at their happiest. We can always choose a location with shady options so that we can shoot any time of day.
What if my child doesn’t cooperate? Don’t be afraid of candid photos. While I do some posing during your session, a lot of it will be very natural interactive moments between you and your family. If your child is seeming uncooperative and not wanting to look at the camera, continue laughing and playing. Most of my favorite family shots are when everyone is laughing amongst each other.
Do I need to bring anything? Pack a little bag of necessities. I recommend bringing some type of little snack just in case your children need a break (non-messy snacks like goldfish or pretzels are great), a favorite toy, and an outfit change just in case! If we are shooting in the spring and summer months, bug spray and sunscreen are always a good idea, as well!
How do we decide on a location? For your family session, you may have a very special place in mind that has meaning to you and your family. We include travel for up to 20 miles within 08055 for no additional charge. If you’d like some location suggestions, I would be happy to share some local options as well. Please keep in mind that some locations photograph best only at golden hour (sunset) while others photograph great all day. For this reason, I may deter you from a certain location if we are limited on what time of day we are shooting your session due to your child’s nap schedule or your general availability.
Preparing for your Indoor Milestone Session
What is a milestone session? A Milestone Session is anything within your baby’s 1st year that is not a newborn or a cake smash session. Second, third, fourth, etc. birthday sessions also fall into the milestone category. Since these are done at the studio, we can do the entire session indoors, or if weather permits, we can walk to the outdoor spot near my studio for a few photos as well. Milestone sessions can also take place on-location at the location of your choice (for this I recommend reviewing our “Outdoor Family Session” guide as well).
When should I book my Milestone Session? For babies under one year, the best time to book a milestone session is either when they are sitting up unassisted or standing with assistance. Generally, this is around 6-7 months or 9-10 months. We will happily do sessions for babies under six months old and we will get great photos, but you will get the most variety if your baby is sitting up on his or her own. If we are doing a toddler Milestone Session (birthday) feel free to bring any outfit that you’d like for the session. Please keep in mind we do not do custom birthday sets for Milestone Birthdays so if you would like balloons or a specific theme (if I have already have props for your theme, you’re welcomed to them!), you will need to supply those items on your own- otherwise, I will supply anything you need for the session. Several weeks before your session, you will receive a questionnaire that will allow you to tell us your preferences for the session.
What should my child wear? I have outfits available for girls sizes three months through seven years and boys up to one year. You are welcomed to any of my outfits but I also recommend bringing 2-3 outfits of your own just in case. We may not get through all of the outfits, but if we are able to during the session timeframe, we absolutely will! For suggestions regarding family member’s clothing, please refer to our family session prep guide. If your baby is under one year, we can also do a naked set which is always super cute! Feel free to send me your outfit suggestions in advance so that I can select backdrops based on your outfit choices.