A Guide for Moms-to-Be
My past brides inspired me to write a series of posts on newborn photography. While I have photographed newborns throughout my years in business, I would not consider newborn photography to be my specialty. My schedule largely revolves around weddings and engagements, which makes it difficult to plan time for newborn arrivals. The schedule of photographing newborns is totally different from that of photographing weddings. Wedding work is predictable down to the date, while newborn photography scheduling has to be somewhat flexible.
My friends Danielle Parker Photography and Hannah Stinson Photography are crazy talented when it comes to capturing all that squishy newborn cuteness. They are my go-to recommendations when it comes to helping my past brides find a newborn photographer. In chatting with past clients who are now expecting their first babies, I came to the realization that many didn’t know what types of options were available for newborn photography. With Hannah’s and Danielle’s help, I put together this series of posts breaking down all the options for moms-to-be!
For today’s post, I sat down with Hannah Stinson Photography to chat all about the studio experience. If you missed the first post in this series that gives an overview of newborn photography options, you can check that out here. If you’re interested in having an in-home newborn session, or are looking for options for birth photography, check out post two in this series. All images in this post are courtesy of Hannah Stinson Photography.
I’ve long-admired Hannah’s beautiful photography, but believe it or not, we only just met in person for the first time last week! Hannah’s studio is less than 10 minutes from my home. We have mutual friends and have even been at the same events before. Yet, we’ve never been introduced. In this big, small town that seems crazy. I love that this series on newborn photography gave us an excuse to finally “officially” meet, even though we’ve known each other via social media for a few years.
Hannah is originally from Auburn, AL – “War Eagle,” she exclaims! After graduating from college and marrying her best friend, she moved to Mobile. Eight years ago she started her photography business, but she says she’s had a love of photography as long as she can remember. From the very beginning of her business journey, Hannah knew she wanted to specialize in children and family portraits, with an emphasis on newborns.
“I have two boys of my own and being able to look back on pictures I’ve taken of those little chubby cheeks and baby teeth smiles is one of my greatest joys,” she says. The ability to extend that gift to others, she says, is truly the reason she loves her job so much. Hannah’s studio is located in the heart of Mobile and there she is able to capture timeless portraits that families can treasure for generations.
The Studio Experience
Hannah says her goal is to make every newborn session as calm and relaxing as possible. At her studio, you’ll find the environment very clean and tidy, quiet with a little white noise playing. You can expect it to be a bit on the warm side too because warm babies equal happy babies. A sitting area offers parents a place to relax with coffee, drinks and snacks provided. If older siblings are present, Hannah has a toy area to keep them occupied as well. She says it’s not uncommon for dads to sneak in a nap while their little one is being photographed!
What to Bring to the Studio
When it comes to posing, props and wraps, Hannah is well prepared. She says her large collection of props and wraps will suit many tastes and styles (read, borderline hoarder…she laughs!). Clients aren’t required to bring anything for their little one unless they want to. Hannah says she discusses color preferences with her clients ahead of the session. She typically selects three or so blankets and coordinating wraps, outfits and hats/headbands before her clients arrive.
Before the session begins, she goes through these options with her clients and they select what they like. Hannah encourages her clients to let her know if there is something she’s pulled out that they don’t like, or if they would prefer another color/style of prop. “Above all, I want them to love their images and a big part of that is making sure all props used for the portraits align with what they’d like to see hung in their home,” she says.
Parents + Siblings
Parents and siblings are welcome to participate in the session as well. Hannah says she knows from experience that the first couple of weeks with a new baby can be hard and post delivery moms aren’t always feeling camera ready. But, she says, “there is no better scale to really get an idea of just how little your new addition is/was than holding them in your arms.” This is why she highly encourages new parents to be in a few of the portraits.
Why a Studio Session Might Be for You
If you’d prefer to not have someone come to your home for a portrait session, then visiting a studio like Hannah’s is a great option for newborn portraits. With space for both posed portraits of the family and newborn, you can relax in a comfortable environment while Hannah works her magic. An added benefit is that there is no pressure on the new parents to clean their home.
Hannah only holds newborn sessions in her studio. This way, all her clients have access to her extensive prop collection. “I have a feeling my clients would think I was moving in with them if I tried to bring everything with me to an in-home session,” she laughs.
If you want to document your baby’s first year beyond the newborn session, then you may want to ask your newborn photographer if they offer milestone sessions. These sessions are designed to capture baby’s first year. Most milestone packages begin with either the maternity session, or the newborn session. Hannah offers a “Grow With Me” milestone session plan for her clients. Just like working with your wedding photographer for your engagement, bridal and wedding day portraits, it’s nice to build a relationship with a photographer you’ll want to work with throughout your baby’s first year.
Hannah says milestone sessions are a great way to document how quickly your little one changes, as well as capturing all those big milestones like sitting up, crawling and walking/standing on their own.