Thank you for choosing our studio!
Chieu Lee has been a Professional Photographer for over 10+ years specializing in maternity and newborn portraits. Our studio has everything you need for newborn sessions. This guide will help prepare you for your newborn session as well as hopefully answer any questions that you may have. Please feel free to contact me for any further questions!
4513 Waverly Crossing Lane
Chantilly, VA 20151
Thank you for choosing our studio.
We want you to know our studio takes the sanitary and safety needs very seriously. In our studio we are equipped with masks and gloves as needed. We do not work with shoes on but rather fresh socks for every session. We ask that if anyone is sick in your family that they please stay home. If you or your infant are not well, please reschedule your session for another time. We are very careful with our laundry and have multiple wraps, materials and blankets for each session so we do not need to re-use in between sessions, but rather after each session all supplies used are washed and cared for. If there are any concerns, please reach out to us before the session so we can discuss them and thank you!
Scheduling your Newborn Session
Newborns are best photographed between 5-10 days. Babies arrive ready to eat, and parents are given time to feed their baby before the session.
Newborn scheduling is ideal when done in advance; however, we accommodate new bookings daily. If a newborn session has not been scheduled in advance, we do ask that clients call or email within 24 hours of giving birth with the newborn statistical information. Our wish is for healthy wonderful deliveries, however; we know that complications or postpartum recovery delays do happen.
Our wish is for healthy babies always.
When you have your baby, please let us know via telephone or email the baby stats.
Date/time baby was born
Weight of baby
Delivery/postpartum results – we would love to know that everything went according to the birth plan. We would like to know if there are issues such as jaundice, NICU time, extended hospital stay or any other issues regarding the health of the baby. Knowing these items is so important to help us scheduling the baby in a timely manner.
Most newborns are scheduled anywhere from 8-14 days after the birth. A newborn is considered so for 6 weeks. As a newborn progresses in development the bones harden and then tend to “uncurl” and stretch out more. A newborn photo session can successfully be achieved at any of these weeks with special care and prep. This guide should help in providing this information, for newborns of any age.
It is important to understand that newborns are not turned away for their age, however; certain poses may not be possible as they get older.
Session Day Prep
We suggest that babies feed right before their session. A newborn session usually takes about 2 hours. We ask that you come 15-30 minutes prior to your session time to feed the baby (in the car). Babies generally feed every 2-3 hours, therefore; feeding right before a session can sometimes guarantee an uninterrupted session. With that being said, babes are babies and quite often will have growth spurts and feed more often during a photography session. In the event that the baby is fully fed, but still may seem hungry during the session we will take a break and allow them private feeding time. We suggest you give your baby their normal early morning feeding which is usually around 3 hours before your session and you are more than welcome to let that baby go back to sleep. You do not need to keep your baby awake. When you arrive, we will undress the baby to the diaper and allow you to feed. At this point the baby will wake up and then be hungry.
It is very important to understand that we believe in baby led newborn sessions, which means that we never force or deny a feeding.
When you feed before a session, we suggest feeding as you normally do – whether breastfed or bottle fed. For bottle feeding, we do suggest you bring extra bottles. Moms are also welcome to pump at sessions if they need relief.
We also suggest that you try and not introduce anything new 24-48 hours before the session. If you are introducing a new formula it is best to wait a full day to make sure there are no reactions to the formula before the session.
We have boppy pillows in which covers are cleaned in between sessions and available for your use at any time.
Bottle warmers, wipes, and spare diapers are available in case that you need them.
Please check your baby for diaper rash. Babies often will cry during a change if they have a painful diaper rash. Pampers and other well known brand diapers are known for triggering horrible diaper rashes that produce welts. We suggest you change the diaper to a more natural diaper and keep an eye on the skin. This is very important, as even the happiest the baby on the block can be miserable with diaper rash.
Prior to the session, we would love for you to share with us your favorite images for inspiration.
You can capture images from our site at the following places:
You are also welcome to share images from other sources as well. Keep in mind that while we do stock a lot of newborn items, some specialty items may not be available. For Men in uniform – we suggest you bring your uniform and any accessories to use. This is also true for speciality knit animal outfits, props or other items.
Newborn Packing List
Please bring the following:
- Dress baby in loose pajama
- Spare diapers
- Baby’s blanket
- Extra bottles if bottle feeding
- Any newborn keepsakes or special items that you’d like to use
If the baby normally does not take a pacifier, please bring it just in case. Newborn sessions are new to your baby and they often want to soothe by sucking more often than normal. Using a pacifier during a session will not encourage bad habits – we promise!
We want you to be nice and relaxed during your session. Newborns generally respond to your energy and therefore the more relaxed and comfortable you are the more chances of a successful newborn session we can expect to have.
Baby Safety and Composites
It is important to understand that we take baby safety very seriously. Most complicated images are composites and not all babies are able to bend in all poses. We will always discuss poses before we start the session and explain how we achieve the pose. These poses require our spotters and sometimes even the aid of the parents.
Frequently Asked Questions
I forgot to schedule a newborn session. Is it too late?
It is never too late to have your baby photographed. It is important to manage expectations of a session. Curly sleepy newborn photos are never guaranteed but usually achieved with babies under 2 weeks. A 6 week baby may sleep during a session and have awake time but may not be able to curl into womb positions or want to be wrapped. We do believe that generally babies can be successfully photographed at any age.
What if my baby doesn’t sleep?
Many babies do not sleep thru their session. Some are wide awake the entire time! We can usually still achieve some amazing images, especially if they are wrapped!
What if my baby cries?
Babies are babies and they will cry! We do everything we can to soothe and comfort them and surround them with a comfortable environment. Chieu has been working with newborns for 10+ years straight and as a Mother herself has many soothing techniques and tips.
What if we can not get any great baby photos? Do I get a refund or a reshoot?
We will do everything we can to achieve newborn images and soothe your baby. In the event that photography your baby seems impossible, we’ll discuss options with you during the session.
How many images do you provide?
Sessions can be anywhere from 1-2 hours and the amount of images captured depends on how well the newborn is doing during transition of poses. A newborn solo session can have anywhere from 50-100 images captured, whereas a family newborn session can have anywhere from 75-100 images captured. We’ll go through your session images and eliminate any duplicates or blurry images prior to your ordering appointment. You will choose your images based on your package at the ordering appointment.
Can we include parent poses, our other children and our dog?
We have session fees for photographing baby only, or for a fully newborn family session. If you’d like to include the parents, siblings and any other family members please choose the family newborn session option. Dogs are not allowed in the studio.
What if my toddler does not cooperate?
Children are children, and we do the best we can when working with them of any age. We have quite a few tricks up our sleeves and with your permission we can offer them treats or incentives for capturing sweet images.
Is there retouching? My baby has acne and my toddler has a scratch on their nose!
YES! There is always retouching available. Standard retouching is included, such as removal of acne or parents who are spotting. For more advanced changes they may require an additional charge.
How quickly can I see the images?
Images are generally ready to see within a week of your session. We can rush an image or two when needed for an event such as a baby shower for an additional charge.
My baby just got circumcised, should we still come?
As long as he is healing well yes. Most babies have healed by their session. Many parents use vaseline or another gel that the doctor has recommended for healing. We will keep the area protected and we can avoid naked images if you wish. We photography hundreds of babies that have been circumcised with no issues. If your baby has had a later circumcision, they can still have their session and all normal precautions are made. Please feel free to discuss this with us during your session. We want you to be fully involved in the process..
My baby still has their umbilical cord on, is it ok to take photos?
Yes! Most babies that come still have their cord on, as it may take a full two weeks for it to fall off. Some babies even lose their cords during their session! When babies are being wrapped, we wrap their diaper on and cover the cord so that it does not catch on the fabric. When they are naked, we gently can cover the area to keep it protected. We are very cautious with newborn babies and we are aware of the post delivery care that is needed.
If you are expecting twins, it is suggested to pre book your session. Many clients have C sections on twins or scheduled deliveries making it easy to pre schedule. However twins are often more premature and are underweight and may need to wait a bit longer. Twins can be photographed at 1-2-3 and even 4 weeks with ease depending upon when they are born and their birth weight.
We do want to speak with you when the twins are born to learn their weight and if they need any hospital time. If the twins are born full term and have a solid birth weight they can easily be scheduled within ten days. If they are born really early and very underweight we do suggest waiting a big longer until they gain a healthy weight.
Breastfeeding Food Guide
This list is a helpful guide of common foods to avoid while nursing. These foods typically affect babies under 6 weeks. As they get older, introduce foods one at a time to see how they are affected. Every baby is different, so be sure to consult with your Pediatrician.
Citrus acidic foods and drinks such as :
Tomatoes or tomato products
Chocolate (rarely affects babies)
Peanuts – nuts in general
Restrict Foods such as:
Soda, Coffee, Tea
Wine & Beer
***Check with your doctor to see if dairy is an issue.
Avoid Gassy Vegetables such as:
We highly suggest if your baby is gassy to avoid the foods mentioned 48 hours before your session.
Nursing Food Suggestions
Keep in mind every baby is different. We do ask that you keep a bland diet 24-48 hours before your session. Please eat comfort foods, such as breads, pastas and potatoes and whole grains to keep your baby comfortable. After the session, you are welcome to choose any diet you wish, however; we do know that gassy babies may need to be treated.
We have included the Doctor list in this guide, please use at your own discretion and consult Professional help when needed.
The Newborn and Family Wardrobe
We suggest solid and simple clothing that is void of any distracting patterns. Keep clothing in similar tonal ranges for complimentary couple and family posing. Little or big boys should compliment the rest of the family. We suggest long pants and shoes are not necessary.
Important Note: When posing babies naked, they quite often poop or pee on moms and dads! If you are planning on leaving the studio to another appointment or work, we suggest bringing a change of clothes just in case.
Toddler and Newborns
Over the years, many of the clients come back again and again with their growing families. We welcome children of any age and we are well aware of how unpredictable the behavior of a toddler or child can be regardless of the prep. More often than not, naps are skipped, tantrums happen and finding a perfectly well behaved toddler is rare.
In newborn sessions, we start family first, and then newborn. As this allows us to focus on settling the newborn making sure they are comfortable. We will discuss with you the order of photography sibling and family sessions. We generally try to get your newborn settled and sleeping first with the parents and then add the toddler afterwards. We shoot quickly keeping in mind short attention spans. Generally the first hour is spent with the family and then the newborn. Dads often needed to go to work or leave early . Please let us know if this is the case, and we can accommodate the family session earlier on in the session.
As with our sessions, we suggest that babies be fed before their session. These sessions are generally scheduled in the late morning or early afternoon. 100 day babies usually will be awake for a period of time and then take a short nap during the session. Parents are welcome to participate in the session as well.