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Maternity and Newborn  Information 

Table of Contents

Pregnancy and Babies Are Amazing!


Every pregnancy and child is unique, and it seriously amazes me every time I think of what goes on inside of a woman's body to create and deliver a child. Life is a beautiful and crazy gift and I am beyond blessed when a family invites me into this celebration with them. I have had the opportunity to document these early stages with families around the country. I cherish moments when families share with me as their photographer that they are expecting (even before they have told many family and friends) and we can celebrate and document that tiny life together. I am of course forever grateful when parents welcome me into their intimate pain and grief of losing a child and desire to commemorate a life once lived and now worry-free. I am also elated when I have the chance to bless a family by creating memories of the unique time (best in the first 14-days) when a much anticipated little one arrives into the world. There is seriously nothing like that baby smell, smooth skin, and sleeping hum. I love pregnancy, delivery, babies, and everything beautiful and messy that comes with them.

 

My Approach to Maternity Sessions

Baby bumps are beautiful! I often find myself smiling around pregnant women. That may seem odd to some, but I am seriously in awe of women's bodies and what they are able to do. Pregnancy is an amazing journey and one that I most wholeheartedly think should be documented. With crazy hormones, a large belly, and so many unknown things going on inside of you, I completely understand when women do not feel like themselves OR want to be photographed during pregnancy. I've been there. However, I think it's an extremely important season to document not only for you, but also for your partner, your family, and for the new little life inside of you. You ARE beautiful, and it is seriously my job AND my pleasure to remind you of that at this time. There is, no joke, a glow around a pregnant woman that is indescribable and can only be capture through image-making. 

My maternity sessions are often very open and vulnerable conversations and co-creative spaces. Everyday a pregnant women's body feels different and her emotions are in different places. I try to leave room for this in our time together and make sure to check in with my clients often. Many clients enjoy doing half of the session outdoors and the other half of the session indoors in a more intimate location (often at home). This allows for a variety of images, a break (to sit/breath and snack), and for more creative juices to flow. Maternity sessions are also a time when it is really helpful to make sure your preferences are known! I want to be certain you're comfortable and that I am creating a warm and inviting space for you (and your family) to feel their truest selves. It is often best to wait to take maternity pictures until your 7th or 8th month of pregnancy so that you're large enough to noticeably seem pregnant, but also not so uncomfortable that you can't stand up/walk around for 30 minutes. That being said, every pregnancy is different, and I am open to whatever you feel most comfortable with! If this sounds like something you're interested in, please be sure to reach out to put an ideal date on the calendar now.

 

My Approach to Newborn Sessions

 


There is so much going on within the first 14 days of a newborn's arrival. Many times (especially for a first child), a family's "birth plan" doesn't go exactly to plan and there are often emotional and physical pains there. Sometimes there are friends and family nearby to help ease the transition of adding someone so small and yet so demanding into your home, and sometimes there is an element of loneliness. There are things to remember like eating, bathing, and sleeping (for everyone). Sometimes there are siblings who not only keep going at 110mph but also start to regressing and acting out. Oh yeah, and then there are newborn pictures! This is something that you often have to plan ahead of time because life can often get busy quickly! Scheduling a newborn session in advance can allow you as a family the time and space to be sure to slow down and appreciate the special season that you are in and the unique life that you have truly been entrusted and blessed with. 

Having gone through these first days of parenthood before myself, it is often nice to have someone else in the home who can help create a safe, relaxing, and purposeful environment. After checking in with my clients, I often approach my newborn sessions with a sense of calm, confidence, and creativity. Making sure to take into account the information listed below, clients have the advantage to feel prepared even before their little one arrives. I will, of course, bring some of my own equipment and favorite props, but usually try to keep things as minimal and relaxed as possible. I am a huge fan of natural lighting, intentionality, and creating a warm and cozy environment for the entire family. If this sounds like something you're interested in, please be sure to reach out and put a tentative date on the calendar now. Note: With newborn sessions, you make a full payment in advance that secures a spot within 14 days of your child's arrival (with morning and evening availability). If there are medical complications, there is of COURSE flexibility, or even the opportunity for a full-refund depending on your situation.

Maternity, Fresh 48, and Newborn Session Pricing

Package #1

$600

-A maternity and "Fresh 48 "session OR newborn session (each an hour long)

-high-resolution digital image files with printing rights 

-two online gallery sites of 75 images each (within two weeks of any shoot) to view, download, print, and share

Package #2 

$500

-two hours of coverage (time for two locations for maternity and a relaxed newborn session)

-high-resolution digital image files with printing rights

-online gallery site of 150 images (within two weeks) to view, download, print, and share

Package #3 

$350

-one hour of coverage (time for one location)

-high-resolution digital image files with printing rights 

-online gallery site of 75 images (within two weeks) to view, download, print, and share

"Fresh 48" (Limited Availability Due to COVID-19)

$350

-45 minutes of coverage within 48 hours of newborns delivery (scheduled at least 36 hours in advance)

-high-resolution digital image files with printing rights 

-online gallery site of 45 images (within two weeks) to view, download, print, and share

Birth Photography (Limited Availability Due to COVID-19)

$875

- Active labor and 2 hours post-partum coverage (maximum client communication/coordination required)

-24-hour on-call availability beginning at 38 weeks through birth

-high-resolution digital image files with printing rights 

-online gallery site of 200 images (within two weeks) to view, download, print, and share

Note:
-$75 travel fee (and a gas costs at $4/gallon) for any shoot location outside of 20 miles from Portland, OR (97202)

-Veterans and those who are in active-duty receive a 15% discount on any and all packages

 

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Tips and Tricks for Maternity Sessions

Location

The great thing about maternity shoots is that they can be outdoors! I highly recommend that your session should be at a park, an easy nature trail, or somewhere beautiful where you do not have to walk too much.  If you have a longer session, I suggest something not too far from your home where you visit often and may return on walks with your little one once they are born. This allows the memories to continue through your children as they also become familiar with these spaces. This also allows you to spend time outside as well as in the privacy of your home. I love the variety of images I get when I am able to spend more time with clients in these two settings. Many expecting mothers often feel a different sense of security when they are back at home. This often leads to more natural and intimate images.

 

How to Prepare Your Home

I LOVE natural light and think it is always the most complimentary for indoor maternity sessions. We will, therefore, be using natural light only in our time together. You can be thinking about what rooms in your home have the best natural light. We will ideally use some of these spaces for pictures, so please plan ahead in your cleaning. If you have a nursery that you would like to get photographed, please make sure it is clean and all surfaces are clear. If you would like images of you (and your partner) in your bed, please try to make your bed in advance using a neutral-colored bedspread, and also be sure that your nightstands are clear. Try to turn off all the unnatural light sources in your home in the rooms we will be shooting (lamps and overhead lights), and open those curtains wide (unless they are white and sheer).

 

Clothing 

It is usually best to wait to take maternity pictures until your 7th or 8th month of pregnancy so that you're large enough to noticeably seem pregnant, but also not so uncomfortable that you can't stand up/walk around for 30 minutes. Finding clothing in this season that you like can often be hard! It is super important for expecting mothers to feel comfortable, so take a little time to find something that you feel like yourself in, but also celebrates your beauty! You are more than welcome to change in the middle of your shoot if you would like to try various outfits. While we are at your home, you might want to wear something like black stretch pants and a solid tighter top (to show off your bump) with an interesting feminine neckline. For outdoor sessions, maxi dresses can be very flattering to your bump but also extremely comfortable. Try to keep things simple, solid, and formfitting so that your belly is in the spotlight. Light jewelry or a big floppy sunhat can be nice as well. Stretch-pants with an empire wasted shirt (or shirt with a belt) can also be quite comfortable and won’t bunch up as you are posing, sitting, taking a break to snack, or running after other children. Choose solids with varying textures and interesting necklines as they always photograph best. Stay away from logos/words/characters on shirts, from tennis shoes, and from transitional eyeglasses. As a family, please make sure that all of your clothing and shoes complement each other, but try to avoid exact matches. I suggest alternating colors on tops/bottoms, and to make sure that both parents can hold any siblings and still compliment well. For outdoor sessions, even if the weather says it is going to be warm, layers are helpful since the weather changes so much in the morning and late evening. I will also be sure to reach out for a clothing consultation the week prior, but if you have any questions, feel free to call or email sooner. 

 

How to Prepare Siblings

If you are going to include your other children in the shoot as well, it is important to prepare them for our time together. Explain that they will have their picture taken, but that there will also be times when they are “off” and we will just get pictures of you as parents. As a mom, you can also prepare for this by having a special activity and safe mess-free snacks like cheese, veggie sticks, and dried fruit (please no nuts) for the older sibling(s) to do unsupervised while we take these images. I will also be sure to bring some fun activities.  

Make Your Preferences Known

Maternity sessions are a time when it is really helpful to make your preferences known! I want to be sure to create a warm and inviting space for you and your family to feel their truest selves. If you think certain poses are cheesy, please let me know. If you're uncomfortable with anything in particular or have a shot you really want to do, tell me! I want you to look back at our images together as a beautiful representation of what this unique and special season is like and not regret having not captured something in particular (or capturing something untrue to who you are). 

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Tips and Tricks for Fresh 48 Sessions

How to Prepare Your Partner

As explained in its name, Fresh 48 sessions are taken within the first 48 hours of your little one's arrival. It is a beautiful way of slowing down as a new family and capturing this amazing window of time that you are often too tired and emotional to fully experience. Clients are often so glad that they did this and often wish that they did it with all of their children. 

 

How to Prepare Your Baby

Delivery was a big task not only for mom but also for baby too. This means that your little one is pretty darn sleepy for its first 48 hours. This almost always guarantees pictures of a sleeping little one that can be easily passed around to both partners, grandparents, siblings, etc. This is also a good time to get a few newborn pictures in as they are guaranteed to be pretty posable. To ensure that everyone is happy, however (including mom), please give the baby a good feeding right before the session (mom can even be feeding while your partner lets me in the door to set up/get settled). You should also make sure to do this last feeding in the baby's diaper with a diaper cover already on and in a neutral swaddling blanket so we can get right to shooting as they will probably fall asleep at the breast or bottle without having to be changed. 

 

Things to Keep Close By

Newborn babies poop and spit up! You can almost expect that at some point during our session, your little one will soil their diaper or give you back some milk to share. This is expected and completely normal, so let's try to prepare for it. If you as parents can feel calm and prepared, your baby (and any additional siblings) will feel safe, secure, and calm. Have a "changing kit" nearby with fresh diapers, wipes, and ointment and burp cloth nearby to clean up small messes as needed. 

 

If in your hospital bag you also packed a small headband special hat or receiving blanket, I would be happy to take some pictures of those.

 

How to Prepare Your Recovery Room

 

I LOVE natural light and think it is always the most complimentary for indoor sessions. We will, therefore, be using natural light only in our time together. Newborns are also VERY sensitive to light, so we can be thinking through what time of day has the best light in your recovery room for both photographer and baby. Please make sure surfaces are clear to the best of your ability, but please keep flowers, gifts, cards, and other special items in view. Try to turn off all the unnatural light sources in your room (lamps and overhead lights), and unless the room has sheer curtains (which I will often bring) open those curtains wide.

 

Clothing 

It is super important for new mothers to feel comfortable! In your hospital bag, you should back a solid color comfortable robe that you would like to be photographed in as well as your makeup kit and hair supplies (if you wear makeup). You can also pack a solid color nursing tank that might serve as another option or layer under your robe. You should also think in advance for your partner by packing a fresh solid color shirt that compliments your robe and pair of pants.  You can also pack a swaddle for your baby that coordinates well with everyone's outfits.   

 

How to Prepare Siblings

If you are planning on having me capture your older child(ren) meeting their younger sibling for the first time, be sure to have a particular outfit set aside for whoever is taking care of them to dress them in for our session. Babies are often wearing small amounts of clothing and accessories, so try to have your other children match this idea in more relaxed and solid playful clothing. Think jeans/leggings and soft solid colored shirts with light accessories. 

 

There is a myriad of emotions that a sibling can feel at this time. I will try to give space but also be sure to capture it all. As a parent, you can also prepare for this by having a small new toy and a safe mess-free snack like cheese, veggie sticks, dried fruit, etc. (please no nuts) for the older sibling(s) to do if they need a little space. We will usually take pictures of the parents and the baby alone before the sibling comes in, and then once the siblings are introduced, we will focus on this new relationship and taking a picture of your whole family. Please have a presentable couch or space on the bed for them to try holding their sibling if they are old enough, or to look at them in their bassinet.

 

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Tips and Tricks for Newborn Sessions

How to Prepare Your Baby

Newborn sessions are ideally taken in the first 14 days of your child's arrival when they are good and sleepy. Ideally, we would like to take pictures of your baby while they are sleeping AND awake. This will allow us to celebrate the baby when they are as comfortable as possible in this unique season of the fourth trimester. It will also enable us to place the baby in various poses, seamlessly move about the house, and for your child to be held by other siblings. In order to do this, please try to keep your baby up a little bit longer from their "nap" than usual (a damp cloth on the feet sometimes helps) and then give them a good feeding right before the session (mom can even be feeding while your partner lets me in the door to set up/get settled). You should also make sure to do this last feeding in the baby's diaper with a diaper cover or solid white onesie already on and in a neutral swaddling blanket so we can get right to shooting as they will probably fall asleep at the breast or bottle without having to be changed. 

 

Things to Keep Close By

Newborn babies poop and spit up! You can almost expect that at some point during our session, your little one will soil their diaper or give you back some milk to share. This is expected and completely normal, so let's try to prepare for it. If you as parents can feel calm and prepared, your baby (and any additional siblings) will feel safe, secure, and calm as well. Have your "changing basket" nearby with fresh diapers, wipes, and ointment. Have extra muslins, cloth inserts, and/or burp cloths nearby to clean up small messes as needed. Keep a pacifier (if already used) close by, and some water and an extra shirt for mom in case she needs or wants to do a "quick change". 

 

It can also be helpful to have a variety of hats, headbands, booties, solid-colored outfits, etc. that you might want to try on your baby, as well as a few different solid color blanket options (different textures). I will also bring a few of my favorites. Think about some gifts that you may have received from significant people in your life who might appreciate a shot of the baby with this item on (a hand-knit receiving blanket or bonnet, an item with your child's initials or birth date on it, a family stuffed animal). Know that wooden toys and neutral-colored stuffed animals usually photograph best.

 

How to Prepare Your Home

Try turning up the heat in your home  (they say 80 degrees is good). This will help make your home a comfortable and sleepy place for your newborn baby when they are wearing little clothing. Keep this in mind however when choosing clothing for the rest of the family, as you all too may be warm.

 

I also LOVE natural light and think it is always the most complimentary for newborn sessions. We will, therefore, be using natural light only in our time together. You can be thinking about what rooms in your home have the best natural light. We will ideally use some of these spaces for pictures, so please plan ahead in your cleaning. If you have a nursery that you would like to get photographed, please make sure it is clean and all surfaces are clear. It can often be nice to get shots of you all in your bed, so try to make your bed in advance using a neutral-colored bedspread, and also be sure that your nightstands are clear. Try to turn off all the unnatural light sources in your home in the rooms we will be shooting (lamps and overhead lights), and open those curtains wide (unless they are white and sheer). I will bring some sheer curtains as well to bring in as much soft light as possible.

 

Clothing 

It is super important for new mothers to feel comfortable! You are more than welcome to change in the middle of your shoot if you would like to try various outfits. While we are at your home, you might want to wear something like black stretch pants and a solid top with an interesting neckline. Choose solids with varying textures and interesting necklines as they always photograph best. Stretch-pants can be quite comfortable and won’t bunch up as you are posing, sitting, or taking a break to feed. Stay away from logos/words/characters on shirts, from tennis shoes, and from transitional eyeglasses. As a family, please make sure that all of your clothing and shoes complement each other, but try to avoid exact matches. I suggest alternating colors on tops/bottoms, and to make sure that both parents can hold the baby and still compliment well. For outdoor sessions, even if the weather says it is going to be warm, layers are helpful since the weather changes so much in the morning and late evening (layers are also helpful for covering up after spit ups). I will also be sure to reach out for a clothing consultation the week prior, but if you have any questions, feel free to call or email sooner.  

 

How to Prepare Siblings

If you are adding another sibling to a family, it is important to think about how your whole family's style of clothing can honor its newest family member. Babies are often wearing small amounts of clothing and accessories. Try to have your other children match this idea with no shoes, more relaxed, and solid playful clothing (although not completely matching). Think jeans/leggings and soft solid colored shirts with light accessories.  Prepare your older children for the fact that they will have some of their own portraits taken, and that there will also be a time when they are “off” and we will just get pictures of the baby (and you as parents). As a parent, you can also prepare for this by having an activity and safe mess-free snack like cheese, veggie sticks, dried fruit, etc. (please no nuts) for the older sibling(s) to do unsupervised while we take these pictures. We will usually take pictures of the baby with their siblings first, but it is also nice to have them "on-call" in case the baby is not completely asleep at the beginning of our session (so they can also try holding them). Please have a presentable couch or bed for them to try holding their sibling if they are old enough, or to lie next to them. 

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Amy Coles Photography offers portrait and wedding lifestyle photography out of Portland, OR 

amycolesphotography@gmail.com