Everything you need to know for the sweetest photos of you and your little love(s)!
If you’re anything like me, mama, you’re almost always the one behind the camera!
If you scroll through your photo roll right now, do you see mostly photos of just your kids, or your babies with your hubby, and only the occasional selfie of you with your children?
That’s definitely how it is for me!
If we’re in the same boat, a mommy & me photo session might be just what you need to celebrate the bond you have with your baby – and those memories can be stress-free and ultra-beautiful!
Three reasons why mamas don’t schedule photo sessions (and why you should!)
First, let’s dispense of the most common reasons why mamas say they don’t need to schedule a photo session of just themselves with baby:
You just want to lose five more pounds of baby weight before having photos done
I used this as a justification for skipping photos of myself and my babies for years. You know what that means? I don’t have nearly enough professional, not-selfie photos of me with my girls when they were really little. It’s definitely one of my biggest regrets from my early years of motherhood. When I do look back at the photos I have of that time, losing five pounds would have made zero difference!
I should include my husband, but he hates having photos taken, so we’ll skip photos altogether for now and schedule them at a later date
Every day that you wait means your baby is one day older! You never know when you’ll have that last special moment with them: the last time your baby fits perfectly in your arms, the last time they smile while missing two front teeth, the last time they call you ‘mommy’ instead of ‘mom’… I could go on forever!
One day your children are going to look for photos of you.
What will they find?
The point is, there is never a better time than now to make memories with your children. No matter what stage they’re in, you’ll always be thankful for the tangible memories made during a photo session.
I just want pictures of my baby – I don’t really want to be in them
When people contact me about scheduling photos and mama says she wants the session to focus exclusively on her child, I always say that I don’t photograph sessions of just kids! That’s because I know parents will eventually regret not being in photos with their children.
It’s my job to prepare you for beautiful photos before the session and bring out the best in you and your children while we work together. I send clients a tremendous amount of easy-to-follow tips and suggestions to help them prepare for gorgeous, stress-free photos so that you can enjoy yourself and feel confident about the photos before we even meet.
While we can design a session together that includes lots of solo photos of your children, you’ll get in the frame too – and I promise you’ll be glad afterward that you did!
If you don’t purposefully make time to have photos taken as your children grow, your kids won’t have the memories of the little years like you do. They’ll just be left to wonder what life was like for both of you in the early years of their lives.
Planning a stress-free, beautiful mommy & me photo session
The two most important decisions you’ll make are location and wardrobe.
The best part is, I’m going to share my most favorite local spots for photos that are peaceful, beautiful and well-suited to making lovely memories with your children.
All you have to do is tell me what kind of location you want; some mamas want a water feature to play a big role in their sessions; others want a winding path through the trees. No matter what kind of backdrop you’re dreaming of, we’ll find a place that you’ll love for your mommy & me photo session!
Shelby, the mama you see below, wanted dreamy, light and bright photos with her daughter, which made The Glass House a perfect venue for these memories of Eloise at one year old!
When it comes to wardrobe, I have a list of online shops where you’ll find endless dresses that photograph like magic, no matter your body type. From Amazon and PinkBlush to Rent the Runway and Baltic Born, I’ll help you find an outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks!
Once you’re settled on an outfit or two, we’ll discuss wardrobe options for your baby.
By the way, did you notice the order in which we’ll decide on outfits, mama?
YOU come first! Once we have kids, mamas never come first – except when it comes to photos! When you feel good about how you look, you’ll enjoy the session so much more, and it’s always much easier to find something you love for your child than for yourself.
We can design the session around a special activity, or just plan for sweet memories!
If you’ve got a big milestone coming up, like baby’s birthday, we can always plan a cake smash session along with your mommy & me photos! And, in case you’re wondering, cake smashes aren’t just reserved for first birthdays! We can plan one for any birthday for a young child.
Incorporating your wedding gown
For Viviana, she was dreaming of photos with her daughter, along with her wedding gown, from the time she was pregnant with Gaby. Once we began planning Gaby’s one year photo session, I knew it would be a perfect time to incorporate mama’s wedding gown.
I had seen lots of photos of little girls wearing mama’s wedding gown while seated on the floor, with the dress swirled around her; however, Gaby is still little for that, and I hated to risk damage to the gown, so we had to find another option.
I wound up bringing my dress form mannequin for Viviana’s dress, and I positioned it in front of the huge mirror at The Glass House so Gaby could sit/stand in front of it, and mama and baby could snuggle on the floor too, with the dress in the background.
The result? Absolutely gorgeous, one-of-a-kind memories of baby with mama’s gown, and the two of them cuddled together in front of her dress. Viviana adores these breathtaking memories – and I’m jealous I don’t have the same kind of memories of my own daughters and my wedding gown!
I always urge mamas to prepare for a gorgeous session by checking all of the boxes beforehand. Here’s a quick sample checklist I send to clients before a mommy & me photo session (the actual list is a bit longer!): -worried about how your outfits will photograph together? Send me photos for instant feedback – and total peace of mind! -have outfits ready to go a week beforehand so there is zero last-minute panicking -do a full wardrobe trial run at home for yourself and your child -on the day of photos, ensure your kiddo is well-rested and fed before we meet -come prepared with water and a snack that won’t stain in case your child needs a quick reset
I always urge mamas to prepare for a gorgeous session by checking all of the boxes beforehand. Here’s a quick sample checklist I send to clients before a mommy & me photo session (the actual list is a bit longer!):
-worried about how your outfits will photograph together? Send me photos for instant feedback – and total peace of mind!
-have outfits ready to go a week beforehand so there is zero last-minute panicking
-do a full wardrobe trial run at home for yourself and your child
-on the day of photos, ensure your kiddo is well-rested and fed before we meet
-come prepared with water and a snack that won’t stain in case your child needs a quick reset
Exactly how I help mamas prep for a stunning mommy & me photo session
Client education is the heart of why the families I work with adore their photos, and continue working with me year after year.
I don’t leave clients wondering what to expect or how to prepare when it comes to photo sessions.
Once you book a session, I’ll send a confirmation email so you know we’re all set. The email summarizes the time and date of your session. You’ll know exactly when to expect your sneak peek video after photos, when your full photo gallery will be delivered, how you access your photos after the session and how to share the gallery with loved ones if you choose to do so.
My clients also get personalized emails along the way with even more helpful advice about what to wear, how I work with young kids and older siblings, how to incorporate pets, pre-session posing guidance so you’ll know in advance exactly what you’ll do during the session – and LOTS more!
Even better – I also send a series of videos to clients with tons of examples of wardrobe options that photograph well and why those colors and fabrics look amazing!
With all of this information, you’ll feel 100 percent confident and completely prepared for photos by the time your session rolls around.
That means all you have to do is enjoy the time with your baby while I capture a peek into your life as a mama!
What to expect after your mommy & me photo session
I send next-day sneak peek videos to clients after photo sessions. You’ll see four-six photos from your session, set to soft music. The sneak peek video will arrive via text message, making it simple to share with loved ones and post online if you wish.
Photo galleries are ready within one week. Most mommy & me photo session galleries feature around 100 photos, and you’ll get to choose your most favorites. You can add visual interest and variety to your full photo gallery by changing outfits during your session if you want to!
You have the option to order prints, wall art, photo albums and more directly through your photo gallery to guarantee perfect color in your images. I personally approve all Keepsake orders before they go to the photo lab to ensure every image is perfect.
We can even work together to design a gallery wall featuring images from your session or a fine art heirloom photo album for yourself or as gifts for loved ones!
When to schedule/how to book
I work often with mamas who are pregnant or families who recently welcomed a new baby. Typically, these super special photo sessions are on my calendar many months in advance. On average, maternity clients book with me in their first or second trimesters, and newborn sessions are usually booked before mama hits 30 weeks pregnant. It’s not uncommon for me to be fully booked for fall sessions by the end of June.
That’s why I suggest reaching out now to discuss potential dates and times for your photo session; even if you aren’t planning on having photos taken for several weeks to months, we’ll have plenty of time to plan your session together, and there is a higher chance I’ll have availability for your preferred date!
All you have to do is head over to my contact page and tell me a little bit about you! You’ll get an auto-response within minutes, and I always personally reach out via email or text (your preference) within 24 hours! We’ll chat about the kind of mommy & me photo session you want – and if I’m not a fit for you for some reason, I’ll refer you to another amazing photographer. There’s zero obligation to schedule when you send a photo session inquiry on my Contact page, and we can even chat on the phone about your questions before you make a decision if you’d like!