Everything You Need To Know About Baby Milestone Sessions
So you’re thinking about booking a Baby Milestone Session? That’s great to hear!
I’m sure you want to make an informed decision about booking your shoot, and might have some questions about how it all works.
In this article I’ll explain exactly what a Baby Milestone Session is, and what you can expect when you book one.
What Is A Baby Milestone Session?
In short, a Baby Milestone Session is a photo shoot at my studio for babies aged between 3 months and 13 months.
The session focuses on capturing natural, timeless photographs of your baby to document all of their gorgeous details and their amazing new skills – whether that’s rolling, sitting, crawling or even walking.
Each session allows time for family and sibling photographs too.
What’s included In A Baby Milestone Session?
Booking a session is not just about turning up on the day. It’s important to me that you have a relaxed, enjoyable experience, and feel supported as you choose your photographs afterwards.
So much of what makes a good photograph is in the preparation – from how well rested your baby is to what they’re wearing. So you can expect a lot of communication and support from me beforehand.
When you book a Baby Milestone Session and pay your session fee you’ll get:
- a telephone consultation with me so that we can plan your session, and tailor it to your baby.
- preparation emails full of lots of information to help you feel relaxed and prepared for your session.
- The option to borrow clothes for your baby from my ‘studio wardrobe.’
- a baby milestone session at my studio, including time for family and sibling portraits.
- professional editing and retouching of the photographs from your session.
- a viewing appointment to see your beautiful photographs and choose which ones you’d like to order.
What Results Should I Expect From The Session?
When you view the gallery from your session you can expect to see about 25 unique images, each edited in colour and in black and white (around 50 images in total.)
All of the photographs will be in my signature, natural style. With the focus on your baby and family rather than props or complicated sets.
You can expect to see these three things in your gallery:
- Pictures that capture your baby’s development stage.
- The little details that make your baby unique.
- No props or complicated sets.
Let’s look at each of these in a bit more detail …
Your Baby’s Development Stage
The exact results will depend on your baby’s development stage, and what they’re interested in.
For example, if your baby is 3-4 months old the photographs of them on their own are going to be mostly of them on their tummy or on their back.
At 6-9 months you will probably have some photographs of your baby sitting up, perhaps some of them on all fours as well as pictures of them on their tummy and on their back.
And as your baby’s mobility increases the variety will increase even more.
All The Gorgeous Details That Make Your Baby Unique
During the session I also aim to take macro (or close up) photographs of the gorgeous little details that make your baby unique. From their gorgeous little feet, to their beautiful long eyelashes and their beautiful hands and wrist rolls.
No Props or Complicated Sets
I don’t use props in my photography so you won’t see any pictures of your baby sitting in a bowl or basket or wearing a funny hat made of flowers.
Sometimes I use small wooden toys during a session as these are a great tool for keeping mobile babies still, or looking in the right direction.
And if you have a special sentimental item – for example a teddy, special blanket or book that you would like to include in one or two photographs we will incorporate those into the session too.
What Should My Baby Wear?
At the studio I have a range of baby clothes for babies aged 3 to 13 months in soft, neutral colours. Before your session I’ll send you some pictures of the outfits I have for your baby’s age group and you can choose a few outfits for your session. All of the babies in the photographs in this article are from the studio wardrobe.
If you’d prefer to bring your own outfits for your baby to wear I recommend bringing a maximum of 2 or 3. Most babies have a limited tolerance for having their photograph taken and for getting changed and unchanged multiple times.
If you’re bringing your own outfits for your baby to wear I recommend sticking to these principles:
- Choose clothes in soft neutral colours. White, cream, grey, oatmeal, soft pinks and blues all work well.
- Avoid clothes with pattern or writing on them.These can be or distracting, will draw the viewer’s eye away from your baby, and will date your photographs more quickly.
- Choose clothes that fit really well. You may find that you have to put your baby in a smaller size than usual to get that good fit.
- Avoid dresses; dresses tend to ride-up when babies are sitting or moving around which means that the dress doesn’t sit in a pleasing or flattering way, and your baby’s nappy is on show.
What Should The Rest Of The Family Wear?
When you’re choosing clothes for the rest of the family I recommend bearing these three things in mind:
- Choose a colour theme
- Keep it simple
- Coordinate rather than match
1. Choose a colour scheme
Having a coordinated colour palette to base everyone’s outfits on can really help to bring your photographs together, and give them more impact.
I recommend choosing a maximum of 2-3 colours that you will base everyone’s outfits around. In general, neutral colours work best for newborn photographs – greys, whites, creams, and navy work really well.
Once you’ve chosen your 2-3 colours, choose an outfit for each person that fits into this colour scheme.
2. Keep it simple
It’s best to avoid patterns, and clothes with writing or pictures on them as these can be distracting, and will age your photographs more quickly. We want the focus to be on you and your baby.
3. Coordinate, rather than match
When you’re choosing each member of the family’s outfits bear in mind that the goal is to coordinate, not match. You don’t need everyone to wear the same thing, just for everyone’s outfits to coordinate.
What Do We Need To Bring With Us?
At the studio I have some of the things you might need during the session – a changing mat, feeding pillow, nappy bags and wipes and drinks and snacks for the grown ups. So you don’t need to bring these things unless you want to.
The things that I do recommend you bring are:
- Nappies. It’s a good idea to bring a few extra nappies; if we do take some photos of your baby without their nappy on, you’ll need a clean one to put on afterwards.
- Snacks and drinks for your baby if they’re eating solids.
- Any outfits you’d like your baby to wear during the shoot.
- Any books or toys that you want to include in the photographs.
Where Is Your Studio?
My purpose built home studio is close to Hampton Court, right on the border of South West London and Surrey.
The studio is warm, comfortable and has everything I need to safely photograph your baby and family and make sure you have a relaxed, comfortable experience.
Most families choose to drive, and there’s free parking outside. The studio is also a short walk from Hampton Court station which is served by direct trains from London Waterloo, Vauxhall, Clapham Junction, Wimbledon and Surbiton.
What Happens On The Day Of The Session?
On the day of your session we’ll usually start by getting you all settled into the studio and we’ll have a chat about how the session will flow. It will usually look something like this:
- We will usually have planned the session for a time when your baby is well-fed and well-rested so I’ll start by photographing your baby on their own to make the most of this window.
- As I photograph your baby I’ll usually ask you for some help to position your baby for each photograph, and keep them feeling relaxed and happy.
- Sometimes I’ll want your baby to look at me, and other times to be looking at you or elsewhere. So I may ask you to catch your baby’s attention, sing to them or play a game.
- At the end we’ll photograph you all as a family, including sibling portraits if you have older children.
- At the studio I have a selection of organic teas and coffee, and plenty of biscuits for you to tuck into whilst I’m photographing your baby.
- I also have samples of all of the albums, prints and framed items I offer. And you may like to look through these too.
How Long Does The Baby Milestone Session Last?
Milestone sessions tend to be quite quick. We will usually be wrapped up within an hour.
Most babies between 3 and 13 months have short windows between feeds, meals and naps when they’re calm, relaxed and happy. They also usually have a limited tolerance for having their photograph taken.
To make the most of this we’ll schedule your session for right after a nap and feed and I will work quickly to make the most of the happy, relaxed window.
How Do I See The Photographs Afterwards?
Around 7 to 10 days after your session we’ll meet at my studio for your viewing. This is when you see the photographs from your session for the first time, and choose what you’d like to order.
I’ll be on hand to give as much or as little help as you need as you choose your photographs, but I promise that there’s no pressure or hard sell – that’s just not my style.
The viewing is where you place your order and make payment. Once payment is received, digital images will be delivered within 24 hours and printed items will be delivered to your door 4-6 weeks later.
How Much Does A Baby Milestone Session Cost?
I work on a session fee plus photos basis – you pay a session fee upfront, but don’t need to commit to any particular number of photographs or packages until you’ve seen the photographs after the shoot.
You can choose from printed items, digitals or a package that includes a mixture of both – whichever is right for you.
You can find my current session fee and product prices here: Baby Milestone Session Pricing
When Should I Book My Baby Milestone Session?
It’s best to book your Baby Milestone Session at least a month in advance to ensure availability.
This also gives you time to arrange outfits, hair cuts for the family, and any other preparations you’d like to make.
I offer sessions on weekdays and on Saturday mornings. At my busiest times of year Saturday mornings can be booked up a few months ahead. So if you’d prefer a Saturday session it’s best to book as early as possible.
That All Sounds Great. How Do I Book?
To book your session please send me a message here letting me know how old your baby is, and which month you’d like to have your session.
I’ll get back to you within 24 hours to let you know my availability. Once we’ve settled on a date I’ll send you a booking agreement and invoice for your session fee, and when these are returned your session is confirmed.
Then we can get started with planning your session!