Anatomy of an infant portrait session, Sasha, Alexandria, Virginia. October, 2015.

I have been busy recently with assignments and, of course, have neglected to keep my website up to date – sorry!  I am writing today to describe the process involved in one of my more popular services, infant portraiture.  Making the determination to invite a photographer into your home with a newborn is stressful and I hope to cast light on the process and what to expect before I arrive.

I generally suggest an in-person meeting with me – or any other photographer that you are considering hiring for a portrait session – before the proposed session takes place, though a thorough phone consultation is also helpful.  A face to face discussion will not only get everyone on the same page regarding content, scheduling, locations, and billing, but will also help break the ice.  Once we are all at ease and know one another, the actual portrait session will flow without having to work through the getting-to-know-you phase moments before the cameras come out.  It’s easier to make great photographs after we’ve established a friendly relationship and know a little bit about one another.

In terms of scheduling, I generally suggest morning sessions close to scheduled nursing or bottles – full babies are less fussy than hungry ones.  That being said, the pace of our portrait session will be laid back and accommodate unexpected nursing or bottle breaks, outfit changes, and other unexpected curveballs that our subject may throw at us.

To prepare, I suggest discussing the locations and expected style of the images during our consultation – it will make the session much easier and avoids time-consuming set change discussions during the session.  Don’t worry about cleaning the entire house before my arrival – we will focus on a specific area of your home, prepare the set together, and I will design a lighting setup that looks both clean and thoughtful.  Your job?  Please select a few clean outfits and turn the heat up a bit for the subject’s comfort.

Every portrait session is different, though I generally work through a handful of photographic arrangements and work according to the subject’s patience and direction.  Some babies tolerate the experience, while others prefer to snuggle with their parents.  I generally try to follow the action and continue photographing as the scene changes according to the subject’s needs, as displayed below.

After the portrait session wraps, I load all of the images onto my computer and complete numerous redundant on site and offsite backups – I am a stickler for protecting your photographs and treat them the same as images of my own child.  I review the images and complete minor retouching on the photographs as needed – infants occasionally have dry skin that can use a bit of “cleaning up” before the images are complete.  I strive to complete digital delivery within a week of the portrait session and offer competitively priced archival printing of the images, all completed in-house.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions that you may have.  I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Ps – Sasha?  What a fantastic subject to work with!  Patient as can be and barely a complaint over the course of our portrait session.  Thank you, Sasha!


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