Newborn Mini Sessions have recently become popular with parents who just want a few keepsake pictures of their new baby or if they have missed the 'ideal' newborn stage for photography.
OK, so what is the difference between a premium newborn session and a mini newborn session, surely they are the same thing?
I offer two types of newborn photography in the studio, my Premium Newborn session which is by far the most popular option, and I also offer a 'lighter' package with no frills too - but why are they different? surely they are the same?
The biggest difference is time it takes creating your artwork.
My premium session a lot more planning goes into this session right from your very first consultation. We discuss in great detail colour palettes so your session has bespoke styling through out to compliment your home interiors, you are investing your money in the perfect wall art so we want to create that show stopping piece for your living room walls and it needs to be perfect.
Your session is up to 4 hours in the studio to ensure each set, and pose is perfect, and this does take time but at the same time this 4 hours does fly by. You may have a Pinterest full of ideas that have inspired you for a certain look for your home, so specially sourced props, textures or colours may need to be ordered in for your photoshoot. Your baby will require feeding and tops ups during your visit so time is allocated to ensure your baby is happy, and some babies do need extra cuddles too.
The mini session is an hour where we can fit as many poses wrapped, awake or asleep in your hour. Your baby needs to arrive to the studio ready to go to get the most out of your allocated time slot.
Premium sessions have more options and variety with posing & props
With a lot more time available we can create more variety, change up the colours and styling and offer more complex posing and those rustic basket and prop shots. Full body shots, close ups, hands & feet shots. We can add anything in the studio you fancy to create something you will love. Your first family portrait is always a favourite, and your other children and fur babies can be included too. You will be presented a finished gallery of 20 images.
The mini session will be maximum 5 final images of your baby awake or asleep, wrapped in the same colour through out.
Your Premium session includes full professional retouching on all of the family and this is done to each clients personal requirements. Your baby will have any blemishes or milk spots reduced, and any redness or jaundice corrected to give the creamy skin tones as seen in my portfolio.
This session also includes composite editing where complex poses or props have been used and a parent is supporting the baby safely and needs to be removed from the photo.
The mini session has a light edit and overall image colour correction applied.
Overall Studio Experience
Your premium newborn session is tailored from start to finish. From the moment you enquire. In house ordering makes selecting the best products and images for your walls a fun and exciting experience up until the day you are holding your wall art in your hands ready to take it home.
Every step is bespoke to your exact requirements.
The mini session is a shorter yet still a lovely experience in the studio, the only difference is your final images are emailed over to you as a downloadable link once they are ready.
Limited amount of sessions
I would only be able to offer a limited amount of mini sessions per month, just like the Premium Newborn sessions. Please book early to avoid disappointment.
I am often asked; "why does a newborn session take so long?" or "why is a newborn shoot 4 hours?"
There is many reasons why we schedule out 4 hours for a newborn photo shoot, each session is bespoke and tailored to your requirements, from the styling and chosen colour schemes to the props and poses.
Newborn sessions are entirely baby lead, and some babies do get the sleepy memo before their photo shoot and the rest decide it's playtime and they don't want to sleep.
1. Settling your baby
Settling your baby can take time, some babies require lots of soothing and cuddles to relax them and fall into a deep sleep, some don't. Which ever category your baby falls into this part isn't rushed, your baby may require a feed to help settle or to be rocked to their favourite lullaby. I have had some baby's settle in a few minutes and other in an hour. Each baby is different and different methods work.
So we have your baby settled and posed on the beautiful cream backdrop which matches your home decor perfectly when bam...... a cascading waterfall of poop and pee happens, lucky for you if it is on the backdrop and unlucky if it is on me or you.
Accidents always happen in the studio when you have baby's with no nappies on - but we crave for those cutesy naked pictures of our baby, so with nappy free time - expect little accidents on the way.
3. Feeding Time
To keep your baby happy a full tummy is always best (even now I am the same - happy when fed). Once your baby has had a good feed and full tummy and all of the wind burped from them we are always good to go.
Often during their photo's I will sometimes re-position baby which may disturb them but it's nothing a quick suckle on a dummy or a top up milk can't sort. The newborn session is longer than regular sessions to allow plenty of time for baby feeds during their visit to the studio.
4. Family Pictures
Your newborn session has plenty of time for family pictures - your first professional portrait as a family of three, or even four or five! If older siblings are to have their pictures taken with their new baby brother or sister - these do take time. Prepping the baby so younger siblings can hold them safely to getting toddlers dressed into their photo outfits.
5. Props and Posing
You see all of the rustic props available in the studio? well some of these props (especially the swing) these have to be photographed in a special way to ensure baby safety whilst using this certain props. The photo's have to be capture in a way so I can safely composite them together in photo shop, or edit away hands or supporting fingers.
Some props require baby to be inside it in a certain way, sometimes baby wriggles out of that pose an we have to start again, or they startle and jump out of position as soon as I pick up the camera!
The studio is full of beautiful outfits, headbands and bonnets, and parents can select any of these to use during the session, so it takes time making these changes during their session too.
Relaxing your baby back into the previous position can take time, uncurling their little fingers again, and posing them. I have Netflix in the studio should you wish to watch a film or box set, or even bring along your favourite book, the time does pass rather quickly even if you sit there watching from start to finish - enjoy the experience of watching your baby have their pictures taken.
I only book in one newborn session per day. This is so we have plenty of time to settle your baby for their pictures and all of the above.
Please don't plan anything in on the day of your newborn photo shoot, appointments with the midwife, or registering your baby or even a nail appointment, having plenty of time helps for a relaxing environment.
Some babies might not settle 2 - 3 hours into your appointment (and believe me - this does happen), having plenty of time assures us we have enough time, and no pressure on making your baby 'perform' as like you and I, babies can have off days too, they are human and no matter how much time they have, sometimes that day may not be their day and in these instances we choose another date.
If you have any further questions about newborn sessions or you are looking to book yours please do get in touch with me Sarah, at email@example.com
Really chuffed with my entries this month to the Guild. Not only have I received 3 Bronze awards, one of the images was only 1 point off my Silver Award. So happy. I entered a low key newborn & daddy shot, baby girl newborn, and a wedding entry. Please see below the award winning photo's for April.
I have become a member of The Guild, a professional body for professional photographers. I entered this image into the competition, and received my first Bronze Award. I am so happy.
Baby Heidi was full of baby smiles during her first photo session.
Sarah McLean Photography visits your home with all of her newborn photography equipment, and yes it does look like she is moving in!
She sets up in the largest space available and has various set ups for your baby.
Sarah covers The Ribble Valley, Longridge, Preston, Clitheroe, Blackburn, Bolton, Lancashire for newborn photography.
Sarah McLean Photography is now offering passport photo's by appointment only.
You will receive 4 passport sized images at 35mm x 45mm
Please pre-book your appointment.
passport photo's, Longridge, Ribble Valley
This is Elsa, I had the pleasure in capturing her first newborn photo's at under 14 days old, I have recently captured her portrait again at around 9 months. Its lovely to see the little ones with their unique personalities all growing up in the world, and follow on sessions are great for having a story board of your little ones first year keep sake.
Baby Oliver at only 10 days new. Please, please book your newborn session as early as possible to ensure I can fit you in. You can book your newborn session as early as you wish with a small booking fee of only £20.00.
Because I book you in using your due date, I need to keep space around your date incase baby is early or late, this ensures I can fit every one in for their babies first photo's.
Choosing print, frame and canvas sizes can be daunting, so this photo will give you a helping hand on choosing the correct size.
Celebrate your little ones first birthday with a birthday photo session, followed by a cake smash! Im offering 'Cake Smash' sessions at an introductory prices for a limited time only! If you require further info, please dont hesitate to contact me.
Sarah McLean is a newborn portrait photographer providing her service to the Ribble Valley & Lancashire. She specialises in Newborns, Babies, Children, Families .