You need a newborn session... but you have questions, RIGHT?!?!
If you're here, you most likely have booked a newborn session with Ashley Wheeler Photography and are wondering what to expect before, during, and after your session. Well, you are in the RIGHT place! (And if you have not booked yet, this guide should answer questions you may have... Please know Ashley is always a phone call away to help ease your mind!)
Below is a list of frequently asked questions and tips compiled during Ashley’s years as a newborn photographer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How soon should I book my session?
Due to the time sensitive nature of newborn photography, advanced booking is advised and are booked with Ashley in the 2nd trimester. By doing so, families guarantee a spot in the studio once the baby makes his or her arrival. Ashley books a limited number of newborn sessions per “due date window”… meaning 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after a baby’s due date. This ensures each family’s session occurs while the baby is still in the NEW newborn phase… preferably between 5-14 days of age.
I’ve booked a session… now what??
Since babies have their own agendas and there’s rarely a way to predict their arrival, Ashley asks that expectant mothers stay in regular communication with her throughout the remainder of their pregnancy. Moms regularly send messages letting her know the pregnancy is still on track or if there’s any indication that baby may make an early entrance in to the world. This puts your baby’s session on Ashley’s radar so she’s able to plan accordingly.
Where does the session take place?
If you’ve chosen a posed style session, you will come to Ashley’s studio in the Avondale district of West Ashley. (720 Magnolia Road / Suite 10 / Charleston, SC 29407). You’ll notice upon arriving that there are two entrances to the building… Please enter through the front door marked “Offices”. Ashley’s studio is the last door on the right.
Lifestyle sessions occur in the comfort of your home! Please remember, the goal is memories… not having a perfect house! You just brought a baby home, remember?!? Sit back and let Ashley guide you through the session. Try not to worry, she’s seen bottles and diapers before!
When are newborn sessions scheduled?
Ashley prefers to have newborn sessions booked within the first 5-14 days of age if there is no medical reason to delay the session. However, she isn’t deterred by an “older” baby! Less than two weeks of age is idea but Ashley believes every baby deserves newborn images and will gladly work with families who haven’t made it in the studio during that two-week window.
Ashley asks to be notified within 48 hours of the baby’s birth. Typically, the first pediatric appointment is scheduled before discharge from the hospital, so the newborn session will be scheduled around that office visit.
Newborn sessions are scheduled Monday - Friday, beginning no later than 9am. Ashley discourages parents from scheduling an evening session due to most babies experiencing the "witching hour" as the evening approaches, where the babies are harder to soothe and more difficult to settle into the poses.
Do you supply the props and outfits for my baby's session?
Absolutely!! The studio is filled with an ever evolving stock of backdrops, blankets, wraps, buckets, headbands/bows, hats, outfits, etc to be used during your session. Please CLICK HERE for an idea of what is offered. Everything offered in Ashley’s studio has been proved to photograph beautifully... most of the options are handmade by talented designers who put time and effort into ensuring the item is perfect for your baby's session.
Occasionally, clients ask to have sentimental items incorporated in their session. This is always welcome! We will work together to achieve the best results possible. Please note, not all items will be allowed in the studio. Guns, knives, and other potentially dangerous items will not be permitted.
So, my baby's outfit is covered... What should I wear??
Great question!! First and foremost.. DRESS IN LAYERS!! The studio is warm to keep baby cozy. We will begin with the family poses so you are able to change into something cooler for the remainder of the session.
Simple outfits without a busy pattern are suggested for your family portraits. The goal is to create a timeless piece for you to remember this milestone. Classic never goes out of style. Trendy outfits and busy patterns can distract from the priceless memory. Ashley suggests women wear shirts that are form fitting to prevent distractions with wrinkled fabrics. You are also able to utilize Ashley’s studio clothing options if you’d prefer.
What should I bring to my session?
For baby: Milk, pacifier, diapers, wipes.
For you: Since newborn sessions are longer than most, please bring a small snack for yourself and any siblings that will be attending the session. Water and coffee is provided for you. As mentioned earlier, layers of clothing is recommended to ensure you don't become too hot in the studio.
Why is the studio warm for the session?
Babies are accustomed to being warm and cozy in their mother's stomach. Warm temperatures replicate that environment and help them settle easily into the poses we attempt during your session. The studio will be approximately 80 degrees while we are shooting.
Why does the session take so long?
Babies can't be rushed! It's just that simple. The majority of our time will be spent soothing, feeding, burping, and changing your baby's diapers. Please, be patient! The results are always worth the time and effort put in to the session.
My baby has blemishes and/or flaky skin. Is this something you plan to edit out?
Absolutely! If you would like Ashley to edit out the blemishes/discolorations/flaky skin, that is included in your session's package.
Please note -- If you do NOT want these edited out of your baby's session, be sure to inform Ashley of your decision during the session.
When will my gallery be ready to view?
Your gallery will be delivered within 3 weeks from the date of your session.
Tips for a successful session
Please be patient! If the parents become stressed, baby becomes stressed. Be prepared to stay for the entire time suggested for your package. While most babies do not need the full 2 or 4 hours, occasionally it does happen! We will breathe through it and just love the moment we are in.
Babies with full tummies sleep MUCH longer and harder than those who are feeling hungry. While it is understandable that schedules are being formed, please be prepared to feed baby as much as they need during the session. A few hours off schedule will not ruin your hard work... and your session will be MUCH easier as a result!
Pacifiers are life. Please bring one.
Siblings are absolutely encouraged to be part of your session. Please consider having one parent or extra set of hands to take the child to the playground or for a walk around the neighborhood. Several hours in a small studio is a LOT for a young child and can add stress to the parents... which of course, adds stress to the baby!
Safety is ALWAYS first. If at any point during the session the baby is inconsolable or an unsafe request has been made, Ashley will immediately stop the session from progressing. Your baby's wellbeing is top priority.