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Your Newborn Photo Session Questions Answered | Issaquah Newborn Photographer

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Your Newborn Photo Session Questions Answered | Issaquah Newborn Photographer

When you’re looking for a photographer to document your newborn, I know how questions can be swirling through your head. You’re welcoming this person into your home just a few weeks after giving birth, you want to make sure she’s the right fit for you. Beyond just the easy, do I like this photographer’s work, it’s the more personal questions about the photographer herself and then how will this go.

To help save you time and make you feel at ease, I’ve put together a list of the most frequently asked questions by moms looking to book a newborn photo session with me.

Your Newborn Photo Session Questions Answered, Issaquah Newborn Photographer, Neyssa Lee Photography, Lifestyle newborn photo of newborn baby surrounded by mom and dad

When does my newborn photo session take place?

Babies change so rapidly that first month, so to capture those tiny details before they start filling out, I suggest scheduling within the first two weeks after birth.

However, as long as the session takes place within the first two months, I would still consider the session a newborn session. I get it, recovery can be difficult or just getting into the swing of things with a newborn (and maybe a toddler too) and the thought of getting ready for photos seems overwhelming. Don’t fret, you will cherish the photos of your sweet baby whether they were taken 3 days or 30 days after he was born.

I do not pose your baby unnaturally or require that baby sleep during your session, so a little bit older baby is just as beautifully photographed.

Bonus Tip: Families who book a Fresh 48 session with me often feel a little more relaxed to push out that newborn session to 2-3 weeks allowing them more time to recover and settle in. With those fresh after birth photos already taken, you can rest a little easier. Plus, moms who do a fresh 48 and a newborn session are always surprised by how much their baby has already grown and changed in just a few short weeks.

Your Newborn Photo Session Questions Answered, Issaquah Newborn Photographer, Neyssa Lee Photography,  Photo of newborn baby feet

What happens if I need to change my newborn photo session date?

The most important thing is you and your baby’s health. Should you be scheduled for a newborn session and find someone in your family sick or yourself needing more recovery time, let me know asap. If you’re a day or two away from your session we can always reschedule for a time when everyone is healthy again.

Your Newborn Photo Session Questions Answered, Issaquah Newborn Photographer, Neyssa Lee Photography,  Photo of awake newborn baby

Are you vaccinated? What if you get sick on my session date?

I am fully vaccinated. In fact, I’ve had my TDap with each of my last 3 children (and will have another with my baby due in December closer to my due date).

I also ensure that I am healthy before coming to your home. I do not want to put anyone at risk, so I will always reschedule if I’m sick. I also always wash/sanitize my hands when I first arrive in your home.

Your Newborn Photo Session Questions Answered, Issaquah Newborn Photographer, Neyssa Lee Photography,  Photo of newborn baby boy yawning

What kinds of photos will I get in my newborn session?

This is my favorite question because it gets into the nitty gritty of my work! I take a variety of photos of your family. While I have a basic workflow, your children help dictate the direction of a session. I mean, if your toddler is excited and ready to snuggle with his baby brother right away, we start there. If big sister needs time to warm up, I can focus on mom or dad with baby.

Your newborn gallery will full of images of your family all together, just mom and baby, mom and the kids (if there are older children), dad and baby (and other kids), just baby, siblings. All of your images will be provided in both color and black and white so that you can decide which version is perfect to be displaying in your home.

Your Newborn Photo Session Questions Answered, Issaquah Newborn Photographer, Neyssa Lee Photography, Black and white photo of dad smiling at newborn baby boy

What if I’m not ready when you arrive?

I honestly do not expect everyone to be ready when I arrive. Of course, I don’t mean, don’t try to be ready. However, I know how long a newborn can take to nurse and that you may have a toddler you prefer to dress at the last possible minute.

When I arrive in your home, I spend the first few minutes saying hello to everyone and getting a feel for the space or spaces I will be photographing your family. I will be looking for the best natural light in your home as well as seeing a nursery (if there is one). I will also wash my hands, get my gear out, and be ready to start when you are. Often just baby or baby and dad are ready first and I can begin with them while mom touches up her makeup or tosses on a spit-up free shirt.

Your Newborn Photo Session Questions Answered, Issaquah Newborn Photographer, Neyssa Lee Photography,  Photo of newborn baby on a bed yawning

What should I wear for newborn photos?

I have an entire post dedicated to this topic, so make sure you check out What to Wear for a Newborn Photo Session. There are two most important tips I want you to remember. First, keep baby in a well fitting onesie or sleeper. You may need a newborn or premie sized outfit to fit snugly. However, we don’t want baby drowning in clothing so we cannot see all of those tiny details. Second, be kind to yourself and remember you just had a baby. Keep your outfit comfortable and neutral. I typically suggest mom wear a dark tank with a loose/flowy sweater for overtop.

Each family who has booked a session with me narrow down what to wear. Moms often send me photos of things laid out so that I can give tips and advice. Plus, a bonus of me coming to your home, it’s easy to change right then should your top not feel comfortable that morning.

Your Newborn Photo Session Questions Answered, Issaquah Newborn Photographer, Neyssa Lee Photography, What to wear for newborn photos, Photo of mom and dad loving on newborn baby

Hopefully you found the answers to all of your questions here. Of course, please leave a comment or contact me if you have any other questions. You want to be comfortable with whoever you invite into your home to document this special, fleeting time. I want to help you feel comfortable before I even step foot in the door.

Peek below for a “few” more favorites from this sweet baby boy’s newborn photo session.

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Photo Gift Ideas Your Family Will Love

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Photo Gift Ideas Your Family Will Love

Finding the perfect gifts for your family can feel daunting. Grandparents usually have everything they need, making shopping for them nearly impossible. Do you really want to get your dad another “pullover” this year? (That’s what my dad asks for every year).

There is a better gift that can be enjoyed all year round and last for years to come, the photo gift. When your gift can feature images from your family session, even better. These gift ideas range in size and price, so hopefully you are inspired for everyone on your list this year.

Framed Prints

One of the easiest gifts to give are photo prints from your session. By including a few frames (and even setting up the frames with photos inside) you’re elevating the gift even more. I typically include a few extra prints just in case grandma wants to pick her favorite to feature in her home.

This idea can be rather simple by keeping the frame size to a 5x7 or 8x10, or you can go bigger by getting a larger frame for their walls. Use Thanksgiving dinner as a time to scope out bare spots that could use a nice 16x20 or 11x14 framed print!

Spice up your prints by selecting a colored frame that matches the print or decor.

Spice up your prints by selecting a colored frame that matches the print or decor.

A Family Photo Album

What grandparent doesn’t love showing off photos of their kids and grandkids? Whether you decide to create an album that shows off favorite photos from adventures throughout the year or includes photos from your family photo session that year, your parents (or in-laws) will love it.

If you had a session with me this year, ordering a Grandparent Album could not be easier. Choose from a 5x5 traditional Grandparent Album, replicate your 8x8 album, or go bigger with a 10x10 to 12x12 album to really make a statement. Whichever option you choose, they will love it. (Contact me to order your Grandparent Albums.)

A custom album from your session makes a gift everyone will love pouring through.

A custom album from your session makes a gift everyone will love pouring through.

Custom Metal Photo Ornaments

The metal photo ornaments are one of my favorite little gifts to give. They are small enough they could be used as a gift tag, or stuck in a stocking. The metal ornaments are printed on each side, allowing you to feature two favorite photos. They are also durable, and the only ornament I do not worry about when my kids help to decorate the tree. There are also quite a few shape options, from traditional Christmas tree, star, or bell, to more ornate shapes like Monterey and Windsome.

Again, if you’ve had a family (or newborn) session with me this year, you are able to order custom metal ornaments directly through me. Contact me and I will put together designs for you.

Custom, double-sided metal photo ornament will be a favorite to hang on their tree year after year.

Custom, double-sided metal photo ornament will be a favorite to hang on their tree year after year.

A Photo Wrapped Canvas

If you’ve been following me for a while now, you probably know I LOVE canvases. They are an easy way to make a big statement in your home, with minimal work (no frames to buy, they are ready to hang, easy!).

Whether you’re shopping for your parents, your spouse, or yourself, a canvas is a beautiful gift they will love. Consider a set of (3) 10x10 or 12x12 canvases for an easy wall display in one gift. You could also select a single 16x20 canvas as most people have room somewhere in their homes for this size.

In case you’re looking for inspiration for wall displays, make sure you read Five Tips for Creating Stunning Photo Displays.

Consider a set of 3, 6, of 2x12 canvases for a gift (or for your own wall!)

Consider a set of 3, 6, of 2x12 canvases for a gift (or for your own wall!)

A Family Photo Session

Feature grandma and grandpa in this year’s family photo session, or give them a gift card promising a family session in the spring. This option can work as a 2-for-1 gift. Not only will you get to have family photos done, but your parents will love being included too.

Contact me about gift cards and/or having an extended family photo session.

Get the entire family together and give grandma a family photo session for a gift she will always cherish.

Get the entire family together and give grandma a family photo session for a gift she will always cherish.

The DSLR Basics Photography Workshop

This gift is for the ultimate photo-lover, the photographer within your family. I don’t mean for the professional, but for that person who is always behind the camera snapping photos of family events, everyday milestones, and family vacations. Help them get off auto mode and take beautiful photos they will be proud to show off.

Grab a seat for them (and hey, how about yourself) at the next DSLR Basics Workshop. (Register or give them a gift certificate towards the workshop). Learn more about the workshop on the DSLR Basics: A Photographer Workshop page.

Custom Photo Cards

Who doesn’t love opening mail featuring the beautiful families of our friends and family members? Use photos from your family photo session to show off how much the kids have grown this past year.

Families who have had a session with me this year receive access to my Holiday Card Catalog where they can pick from numerous templates. I put together the card design, customize to fit their needs (need a “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays”? Or maybe you like to include your kids’ ages too? I can help) and even coordinate colors to match the wardrobe in your photos. Plus, your cards will be printed on high quality paper - with several choices, from 100% recycled, to linen, to a smooth fine art - to make your family look gorgeous on everyone’s mantle this year.

Bonus tip: I always order a few extra cards each year so I have easily accessible photos of our family for all of those school projects.

Contact me and we can get started on your holiday card design!

Order custom Holiday Cards for all of your friends and family.

Order custom Holiday Cards for all of your friends and family.

There are so many great gift ideas using your family photos. Check two things off your list year this year when you have your family photographed, document your family while having gifts for family and friends. It’s a win-win. Which is your favorite photo gift idea? Which do you love to receive from your family?

Need help putting together any of these photo gift ideas? I’m happy to help. Contact me using the button below. Let’s make their holiday extra special this year.

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Five Tips for Creating Stunning Photo Wall Displays | Seattle Family Photographer

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Five Tips for Creating Stunning Photo Wall Displays | Seattle Family Photographer

You have had your family photos taken and received a gallery of beautiful images. But now what? When I first transitioned to an all-inclusive photographer my main struggle was that families would leave with a gallery full of digital files that just sits on their computer. This is, in part, why I include an album with all family and newborn sessions.

Yet there is still so much you can do with your gallery of photographs. I am a big believer in decorating my home with family photos. If you look around my home, my walls are covered with photos of my family over the years. It is my favorite part of my house, the photos are what make my house feel like a home.

It can feel overwhelming trying to decide which images to display and how to make the post impact. So today, I’m sharing five tips for creating stunning photo wall displays for your home.

Creating a Wall Display Tip #1: Size Matters.

This is first and foremost important. The most common sized gift prints are 5x7 and 8x10, however, on your walls, these will look tiny and disproportionate. You want to consider the entire size of the space, and any furniture it will be hanging over.

(1) 20x30 Canvas fills the space and makes a statement.

(1) 20x30 Canvas fills the space and makes a statement.

Creating a Wall Display Tip #2: Consider One Large Photo vs. Several

Now that you’re thinking about the size of the space your wall display will cover, the next thing to think about is if you want to display one photo or several. You can use one large photograph to really make a statement, or if you’re like me and have a hard time just choosing one photo, you can select several photos from your gallery to include.

Creating a Wall Display Tip #3: Use your wall display to tell a story.

It is easy to just want to show off a portrait of each of your children smiling at the camera. I do have an area in my home where I just have those nice portraits. However, in your more prominent areas (i.e above the mantel or living room couch, or even on the main wall in the dining room) by using your wall display to tell a story you will be creating a truly stunning sight that will keep people looking.

To tell a story, I use a mix of images from the gallery. When putting together a grouping of photos, I will often select:

  • 1 portrait of each child

  • 1 sibling photo

  • 1 photo of the family loving on each other

  • 1 wider portrait of the family that shows off the environment.

Now, to really enhance the display, do not simply pick images with everyone smiling and looking at the camera. Instead, look for images that make you feel. For the portrait of each child, maybe they are smiling big as they throw a rock or are running towards the camera. For the sibling photo, maybe they are laughing and hugging. For the family photos, look for one that shows everyone’s faces as they embrace, laugh or are snuggled up together and one that shows more movement and interaction. Together these groupings of photos will tell a beautiful story on your walls.

(1) 16x24 & (2) 11x14 Canvases

(1) 16x24 & (2) 11x14 Canvases

Creating a Wall Display Tip #4: Think about the space and your goals with the photos to decide if you want to use framed Prints or canvas wraps.

I love canvas wraps. They are like an all-in-one print, no need to find a frame, just hang. They standout, making them great statement pieces, adding dimension to your walls. However, frames offer a nice flexibility and ease when you’re wanting to update the photos on your walls.

In my home I use a mixture of both frames and canvases. I prefer framed prints for portraits of my children that I change out 1-2 times per year. I may also use a frame in a few spaces where I don’t need anything much larger than a 12x18 or 16x20 size as the large the frame the heavier (and more expensive) you get.

Again, think about the space and your goals with the photo(s) you want to display to help you decide if you want framed prints or canvas wraps.

(3) 11x14 prints mounted to 16x20

(3) 11x14 prints mounted to 16x20

Creating a Wall Display Tip #5: Use a quality printing lab for your photos.

We all love the self satisfaction of the one-hour photo lab. Yet this wall display is something that will stand out in your home, quality matters. You will see these photos daily, so invest in a quality print lab to ensure not only that the colors and tones are printed correctly, but that the prints or canvases themselves will last.

You can always order professional prints and canvases directly through me (or ask your photographer). I not only can order prints for you, but I can help you decide the right images to include in a display. If you prefer to order yourself, check out Artificat Uprising, or MPIX.com.

Bonus Tip: Five Sample Wall Display Arrangements

Just in case you’re still feeling stuck, here are five of my favorite arrangements for photos (most of these are already on my walls!). You can always adjust the sizes of the prints (keeping the scale) so that they are right for the space in your home. Again, remember tip #1, size matters!

#1: The 10x10 (or 12x12) Photo Grid

The photo grid is a simple design that is easy to customize to your space. The photo shown below is of (9) 10x10 canvases, however you can easily do 12x12 canvases if your space allows. Grids can be done in 9 or 16. I love the ability to incorporate so many photos from your session in one space. Try mixing in simple portraits with more playful and even detail images in your design.

The photo grid design is great for prominent spaces, like above your couch or mantel, or filling in spaces on walls where there is room.

(9) 10x10 Canvas Wrapped Photographs

(9) 10x10 Canvas Wrapped Photographs

#2 A 20x24 and Four 8x10s Framed

This design features a large 20x24’’ print with a 3’’ mat, surrounded by (4) 8x10 prints that are mounted too 11x14s. This design allows you to have your favorite family photo as the large, prominent image in the middle surrounded by either other favorite family shots, or (like shown here) individual portraits of each child.

This design works well in living rooms (above the couch or mantel), dining rooms, or even in master bedrooms where there is plenty of space for the framed portraits to shine.

(1) 20x24’’ print with a 3’’ mat and (4) 8x10 prints mounted to 11x14s

(1) 20x24’’ print with a 3’’ mat and (4) 8x10 prints mounted to 11x14s

#3 A 16x24 and Two 11x14s

This is a simple design that makes all three images standout. It features a 16x24’’ canvas centered between (2) 11x14’’ canvases. This design works well in any space from the living room to baby’s room!

(1) 16x24 Canvas & (2) 11x14 Canvases

(1) 16x24 Canvas & (2) 11x14 Canvases

#4 Four 11x14s

This is a great design for a smaller space, such as an in office or hallway. Because they are smaller in size, this design can make a great gift for grandparents.

(4) 11x14 Canvases

(4) 11x14 Canvases

#5 A 20x30, 16x20, 12x18, & Two 12x12s

This is my all time favorite wall display. It not only provides five opportunities to display images, but as a whole this design makes quite the statement. I, personally, have this layout above my couch in the living room. It could also work well in the master bedroom.

(1) 20x30, (1) 16x20, (1) 12x18, & (2) 12x12 Canvases

(1) 20x30, (1) 16x20, (1) 12x18, & (2) 12x12 Canvases

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How to Use Fall Accessories to Make Your Family Photos Pop | Bellevue Family Photographer

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How to Use Fall Accessories to Make Your Family Photos Pop | Bellevue Family Photographer

Fall in Seattle is so beautiful. It is one of my favorite times of year, with plenty of opportunities to bundle up in warm layers, lots of gorgeous colors in the leaves, and let’s not forget all of that yummy fall foods (hello soup!). Since it is so beautiful, and with the need for Christmas cards coming, it is also my busiest time of year photographing families. (In case you need more convincing fall is a good time for family photos, go check out my Why You Should Have Family Photos in Fall article!)

This article is not to convince you of how great fall is, but to help you make the most of your family photo session. The cooler and unpredictable weather of fall can make family photos tricky, however, it also means plenty of opportunity for some great accessories. These accessories can help add to your photos while still feeling natural.

Layer up with scarves, beanies and/or mittens to keep you warm and add dimension.

Using a scarf or beanie is an easy way to add a touch of color or even tie in outfits together without feeling like you are going overboard in matching. As an added bonus, it keeps you and the kids warm. And warm kids are happy kids who last longer for family photos in the cool, fall air!

How to use fall accessories to make your family photos pop, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle family photographer, photo of baby boy in red beanie

Rain boots are the perfect fall accessory.

Nothing feels more Pacific Northwest than a pair of Hunter rain boots, right?! Embrace the elements, keep feet dry, and even enjoy some puddle splashing during your family session. This is another way to add a pop of color as well.

TIP: An extra tip here is to avoid prints and ensure that your rain boots coordinate with your family’s outfits. The last thing you want is a pair of neon green and pink floral boots to be the main distraction in your gallery. Notice in this photo how the little girl’s yellow boots add a pop of color but don’t detract from the overall family photo.

How to use fall accessories to make your family photos pop, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle family photographer, Playful family photo with girl in yellow rain boots

If it may sprinkle during your session, grab a clear umbrella!

Again, embrace the elements if it’s going to sprinkle and grab a clear umbrella. This can keep you dry while providing plenty of entertainment for the littles to play with. Because it is clear, the umbrella still lets in light nicely, and can blend in with any family outfits.

How to use fall accessories to make your family photos pop, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle family photographer, Photo of mom running away with clear umbrella as little girl chases

BONUS TIP: Only bring coats or vests that you want included in your family photos.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you may remember that last fall I made several mistakes for my own family session, including not properly preparing for the extra chilly morning. My girls were freezing and had we brought coats they may have been more excited about being outside in the cold.

How to use fall accessories to make your family photos pop, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle family photographer, Photo of brother and sister laughing and playing together

If you, or your kids, are cold, it will show on camera. And even more so, kids are much less likely to just “embrace the cold” and have fun. Layering your kids up is a great way to ensure warm kids (including using scarves, beanies or mittens as mentioned above). There are times that call for coats, though, and thinking that you can just put a coat on “in-between” shots and have them take it off rarely flies well. So if you are brining coats make sure you are okay if they are in photos, because once on, my guess is they won’t be coming off. And don’t worry, plenty of coats are adorable, photograph well, and work beautifully for fall family photos in the Seattle area.

How to use fall accessories to make your family photos pop, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle family photographer, Photo of mother and daughter in beautiful light

As you prepare for your family photo session this year, I hope that you find these accessory suggestions helpful. Of course, any families who are booked with me receive guidance for what to wear, including specific outfit feedback on any photos sent to me!

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get your family photo session on the calendar and start planning the perfect outfits that will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable.

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