Newborn Welcome Guide Julie Collins photography

If you’re reading this that means you’re either thinking about hiring Julie Collins Photography to capture your newborn’s first days or you’ve already booked your JCP session.

Either way I'm excited!

Throughout this guide you'll find all the information you need to guide you through the complete JCP experience. You'll learn how to prepare for your session, what to expect and all about the pricing and fun client reveal night! JCP has created each step to give you the full service photography experience you deserve.

The Julie Collins Photography Experience

I may be willing to bet that you might be guilty of having an iPhone/hard drive/disk drive/flash drive chock full of images that never get printed. Why? Maybe because you think that those images will be there forever for you to reference or possibly because there just is not enough time to figure that all out and then what do you do with them once they are printed? It's a dilemma, I will admit! But how often do you actually go through and look at those images re-living those moments that are special enough for you to pull out the phone or camera to capture? Oftentimes these images are just left unused and sitting there with no permanent home. How sad! Julie Collins Photography strives to make sure that neither of these two things happen!

JCP is a full service boutique photography business. My goal is to make sure you not only have an amazing session that leaves you with beautiful memories, but also to provide you with heirloom quality prints and products that will last a lifetime. No more files hidden away in drawers and hard drives for no one to see and enjoy.

About two weeks after your session I will be meeting with you for your session reveal and ordering night where you will get to see all of your images for the first time. That night we'll work together to create amazing products to showcase your entire session. From wall art to albums - JCP has a full range of products to meet all of your needs!

I'm guessing that right now you're saying, "But I want the digital files!" Don't worry! I completely understand where you're coming from. I value digital files as much as you do! JCP offers collections that include digital files along with the quality products for your family to enjoy. You'll get the best of both worlds AND get them for a lower price when they're combined in a collection. Doesn't get much better than that!

So now it's time to grab a cup of coffee and scroll through these pages. Learn how together we will create an experience of a lifetime!

Planning Your Session

First of all, congratulations on the upcoming new addition to your family! I'd be honored to take your newborn's first photographs. Newborns are my most favorite photos to take and I consider myself truly blessed to be around these little miracles so much. Whether this is your first or fourth child, I know that you are excited to welcome your new little one into the world. As a mother of four, I remember those months of waiting with so much anticipation and excitement. Meeting this new little person is the most amazing experience that you will want to remember forever. My goal is for you to look at these images for years to come and be brought back to these first days together and remember every little detail about this new little blessing.

What's the first step to your dream session with JCP? Scheduling your newborn session during your second trimester is ideal. With all of the other things that you will have on your mind while preparing for your baby's arrival, it's nice to have your session already on the books. Newborns are best photographed within the first two weeks of life. Your baby will still be nice and sleepy and easier to pose in those sweet cuddly womb-like positions they are used to. As soon as you book your newborn session I will get your due date on my calendar and await your phone call/text message/email letting me know that your baby has arrived. At that time we will schedule the day the session will take place.

What to Expect

There are many things that go into making a newborn photography session go off seamlessly and have the outcome be as optimal as you could hope for. This includes some preparation from our brand new (or second-third-or more-time around) parents. Follow these steps and you will help your baby feel calm and relaxed during our time together increasing your chances of having your very own perfect newborn photo session.

A typical newborn session is between 2-3 hours long, all depending on the baby's temperament and willingness to sleep soundly. Please be prepared to block out a 4 hour time period in your day for your newborn photo shoot. Hopefully I will not need all of that time but it's best to set it aside in case we need it for extra feedings/diaper changes/snuggles. The last thing we want is to be stressed regarding timing.

Please feed your baby 2-3 hours prior to our session, and plan on feeding him/her as soon as I arrive at your home. You read that right! I bring everything I need with me to turn your home into a studio. I need very little space and lighting is no issue because I bring my own when natural light is scarce. This is just one more way JCP provides a full service experience for you. Who wants to leave their home so soon after giving birth? And having the session in your home means that your session will feel that much more comfortable and your images more natural. The furniture is yours. The environment is yours.

If you read nothing else in this guide read this. Please keep your baby awake and active for the few hours before our session and at minimum the hour before I arrive. This is super important. Please try to keep from feeding your baby a whole meal before the session, a little snack is fine but ideally your baby should be hungry when I arrive. By keeping your new baby tired and hungry, you are setting yourself up for the absolute best possible outcome for photos. Once I arrive it takes me a solid 20 minutes, sometimes longer, to set up in your home so you will have that time (and more if you need) to feed your baby and rock him/her to sleep. Be sure to get a really good burp in before you allow the baby to fall asleep, after all a gassy baby is NOT a happy baby! If you are having a hard time keeping your baby awake, one little trick is to give him/her a bath. Play with him/her, sing and talk. All of this stimulation will help to make your baby nice and sleepy. This will ensure your little one is ready for a nice long nap when I arrive, and we will be able to those cuddly, sleepy newborn poses. By doing all of this, we can (hopefully) assure that your baby will fall asleep and stay asleep for the entire session.

Try to keep your baby's diaper nice and loose before you feed him/her for the last time before the session and use a blanket for warmth instead of clothing. Doing this will make it easier to remove and prevent little marks on the skin which allows me to capture your baby's perfectly flawless skin.

I bring a space heater with me to ensure your baby is nice and comfy. Newborns cannot regulate their body temperature during the first weeks of life, so while I am working with your baby, we need to keep things toasty and warm. I highly recommend dressing in layers so that you can be comfortable too.

I also recommend having a soothie pacifier on hand. These are the bendable green/blue ones that the hospital sends home. These are great because they can help soothe your little one without leaving marks on the skin around their mouth. Sometimes babies just need that extra element of comfort as we move through our poses.

Feel free to stay close by and observe if you would like or take a nap on the couch. Both are perfectly acceptable by me. However, if you choose to stay nearby and would like sleepy pictures of your newborn please refrain from talking to your baby during the session. Your voice (as well as the scent of mother's milk nearby) may very well be keeping him/her awake. If you want awake shots by all means talk as much as you would like!

For Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad, you are a big part of the show. Photographing the connection between you and your baby is one of my all time favorite things. Just as they encourage in the hospital, babies love skin to skin contact, and this also creates the most beautiful images.

Dads - I love to photograph dads embracing their little ones. When choosing your shirt for your images, I ask that you choose a solid fitted t-shirt that is free of any graphics or no shirt at all if you feel comfortable that way. White, charcoal, or black work best. Please also choose a good snug pair of jeans.

Moms - Motherhood is truly the greatest gift there is. Many times after giving birth, we don't feel that we look our best, but your beauty and love for your little one will shine through. Rest assured, I aim to photograph using flattering angles and light to bring out the natural beauty in your family. Dressing in neutral, solid colors (preferably a tank top) will help the focus on the baby. The same goes for nail polish.

For Siblings

Including an older brother/sister in your newborn's portraits is the perfect way to document this fleeting time in your lives. If siblings will be photographed, we will take those shots first so that they are free to go and play after they are finished.

Sisters - I can proved a wrap that will act as the perfect top, to coordinate with your baby, or please bring along a snug fitting tank in a neutral color. I ask that girls hair be natural or in braids and free of large bows that can distract from their faces. A simple headband or barrette can be helpful to tame tiny strands of hair.

Brothers - A shirtless boy in a snug pair of jeans helps give a classic look that will stand the test of time. However, if your little guy is uncomfortable this way, a tight-fitting white t-shirt is completely fine.

One last matter what your baby does, please know that I am always relaxed. Babies are unpredictable and I understand that. Being a mother of four little boys as well as in this line of work I have seen it all. This session is supposed to be a special experience for you and I do not want you stressed if your baby starts to cry. It will most likely happen and that is just fine. Your baby senses stress and it usually makes him/her cry more. We have plenty of time allowed for your session. If we need to take a break to feed, walk, rock, etc. we can and will do that. I want you to enjoy the experience of your session and this special bonding time with your family.

After the Session

You've already had a fantastic session but now things are about to get even better! Two weeks after your session we'll have your reveal night. We will schedule this at the same time we schedule your session to ensure you see your images as soon as possible! On your reveal night you'll see all of your images for the first time. It's definitely something to get excited about!

That night I'll come to your home (that's babysitter required and you can even stay in your jammies if you want!) and show you a custom slideshow with your images. After you've experienced the slideshow you'll have some time to go through all of your images and take a look at all of the product samples I bring along. Seeing everything in person will really give you a sense of what products are most important to you. Not only that, you'll have the opportunity to hold up images on different walls in your own home to see what sizes will work best! You'll have plenty of time to ask questions, get advice from the expert (me!) and time to choose your favorites.

The collections on the following page have been put together to give you the absolute best quality products for the best value. Those collections are available on reveal night only. No need to worry if the products in the offered collections don't fit your needs. All products are available a la carte as well and are 10%-20% off on reveal night!

The goal of the reveal night is to finalize your order so we can get your prints and products to you as soon as possible. To help make this stress-free it is a great idea to take a look through all of the different products and collections before reveal night so you can go into it with an idea of what might work best for you. Once you've seen your images that may change but it's always good to have an idea when we get started!

When all the fun of reveal night is over, you'll have a short wait before you'll have those images in your hands! Digital files purchased will be made available within 24 hours and you can expect to have your prints and products in hand within 2-4 weeks. When everything is in, we'll schedule a time that I can hand-deliver everything to ensure it gets there safely! Full service is the goal here. No more mail deliveries or pick up required!

I truly appreciate the trust you place in me to capture this exciting time in your new family’s life. I strive to make this experience an unforgettable one in the best possible way and create imagery that you will love and cherish for the rest of your life. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email:

Be sure to stay "in the know" and get first dibs on specials and promotions by signing up for my newsletter below. I send out four newsletters per year via email and announce special events such as my annual mini sessions to my e-news subscribers first!


All images copyright Julie Collins Photography

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