Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Milestone Sessions: What They Are and Why You Should Book Them

Your baby will never change so much - or so quickly - as she does during the first year of her life. If you’d like a professional photographer to help capture these magical months, milestone sessions may be the perfect option.

Baby photographers generally schedule milestone sessions for 3-, 6-, and 9-month-old babies. I hold milestone sessions in my photography studio, where families have access to a wide variety of adorable props and outfits. I typically put together several different looks for each session. I also have unique flower bonnets and crowns for baby girls, which make for exceptional photos!

Beautiful baby girl at her 6-months milestone session with Polina Kuklina Photography

Arizona inspired milestone photography session for a baby girl.

Flower bonnets make your baby photography session extremely special.

Like most baby photographers, I also welcome parents to choose their own outfits or include baby’s favorite toy. However, if you’d rather skip the planning, I’ve got you covered. The only thing I need you to bring to the photography studio is one (or more!) well-rested babies.

Here is some age-specific information on what you can expect from a professional photographer’s milestone sessions:

3 Months

3-month-olds have great head/neck control, love when people talk to them and have started smiling. However, these littlest babies have short attention spans and can quickly grow tired of your attention. Because of this, it’s important to choose a seasoned baby photographer who’ll work quickly to capture the tiny models at their best.
A 3-month milestone session is also great for families who didn’t have a chance to do professional newborn photos!

Beautiful family photographs with a sleeping 3-months-old baby boy

6 Months

At 6 months, most babies are learning how to sit. Some arrive at the photography studio already sitting independently! 6-month-olds also have longer attention spans, so this age is just perfect for a session with a professional photographer to document your baby’s new milestone!
For these sessions, I usually try to create at least 3 different looks for the baby. Family photos are another great option - I always encourage parents to participate to create family memories their child will cherish forever.

Beautiful 6-month baby girl playing with pearls

9 Months

The timing of this milestone session is perfect for babies who weren’t ready to sit at 6 months. It’s also great for those who just learned how to crawl - a huge milestone that opens up fun new posing options. 9-month-old babies have longer attention spans, love to clap, play peek-a-boo, and, for the most part, don’t fear strangers, making this age a favorite among baby photographers!

Baby-girl at her 9-months photo shoot in custom made outfits and a flower bonnet.

To book your milestone session please contact me here: http://www.polina.pictures/contact-form

Monday, February 19, 2018

How to Prepare for Your Newborn Session

When you booked your newborn photography session, you were probably full of excitement and anticipation. But, once baby arrives, thoughts of beautiful photos retreat to the back burner, replaced with the day-to-day demands of feedings and diaper changes.
Preparation is key to a successful newborn session, so don’t let those crazy first weeks get the best of you! Instead, print these quick tips and stick them on the fridge to make sure you’re ready for your baby’s moment in the spotlight when the time comes.

1. Let your photographer know when your baby is born
Call or email your newborn photographer as soon as possible after the birth (ideally within 48 hours). This will leave sufficient time to change the session date if necessary.

2. Be careful with feedings for 24 hours before the session
If you’re using formula, don’t switch to a new type or brand in the 24 hours before your session, unless you have a medical reason to do so.

If you’re nursing, try to avoid these foods to minimize fussiness and gas:
  • Chocolate
  • Spices (cinnamon, garlic, curry, chili pepper)
  • Citrus fruits and their juices (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, etc)
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwis
  • Pineapples
  • “Gassy" veggies (onion, cabbage, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, and peppers)
  • Fruits with a laxative effect, such as cherries and prunes

3. Make sure baby has a full tummy before the session
A full stomach will make baby sleepy, helping your photographer take beautiful newborn photos. For best results, plan a big feeding just before you leave for the studio, and make sure baby eats his or her fill. Don’t forget to burp your baby before heading out!

4. Do not put baby powder or oil on baby’s skin
Keep your baby’s skin au naturel ahead of the session. Powders and oils change baby’s natural skin color, which can make your photos look off. Also, oil makes baby’s skin extremely slippery, making it difficult for the photographer to pose him or her.

5. Dress your baby in an easy-to-take-off outfit
When you arrive, your photographer will likely be the one to remove your little one from the carseat, change him/her, and start posing and shooting right away. A one-piece outfit with a zipper or buttons will make this process much easier.

Do not put socks on your baby - they leave marks on the skin that will be visible in photos. Also, avoid onesies - they are difficult to take off without waking the baby up.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Maternity Session

As a maternity photographer, I like to meet with each client ahead of time to plan the perfect photography experience. So, when this gorgeous mom-to-be contacted me through Instagram for a maternity photo session, we scheduled an in-person consultation at my studio to talk through the entire process.
Beautiful mom to be in a tule skirt.

At our consultation, we discussed everything from the best stage of pregnancy for maternity photos to what expecting parents should bring to the session. The client also chose her favorite outfits from the options I offer. I keep a wide range of pregnancy-friendly dresses available for use in maternity photo sessions: this way, clients don’t have to buy formal maternity outfits that will only be worn once! She particularly liked a white tulle skirt and a sparkling silver gown.
glamorous maternity mom

Next, we discussed the best hair and makeup choices to ensure the right look for the session. As any maternity photographer can tell you, maternity photo sessions require more than just your usual daytime makeup! And of course, we didn’t forget about the father-to-be: we reviewed the ideal colors and textures for his outfits that would complement his partner’s outfit.

On the day of our maternity session, mom, dad, and I had a wonderful experience. They were such a personable, cheerful couple - full of jokes and laughter throughout the session! Plus, they both looked so good, it couldn’t have been easier to pose them - truly a maternity photographer’s dream. I would have loved to look this good during my own pregnancy!

After such a successful maternity photo session, I’m very excited to meet and photograph this sweet couple’s baby in just a few short weeks!