Do you have a studio?
Yes! I have a studio setup with studio lighting that I use for newborns and older babies, and sometimes as part of a session for families. I’m located near Sage and Richmond, in the Galleria area. If you’re interested in styled, posed images this is by far the best option. You’ll have easy access to all my props, outfits for baby, and flooring options. However, if you have a nicely designed nursery and bedroom and would like to incorporate them in your session then a lifestyle session may be more your style.
What can I expect at a posed newborn shoot?
A shoot with a newborn typically lasts about 2.5-4 hours, with lots of time for feedings and comforting. Newborn shoots should be scheduled sometime during the first two weeks of life, with the best time being around 7-12 days when they’re still in that newborn coma and nice and curly. If you’re circumcising your baby at your pediatrician’s office (rather than at the hospital) please consider waiting until after the newborn session to do so as a fresh circumcision can cause discomfort for your baby when we’re posing him, especially when on his belly and/or naked. It’s best to wait at least 4-5 days for him to heal before the session.
Expect to be a little warm! We’ll be heating up the area to keep baby nice and toasty. If you want those curled up naked pictures, baby has to be comfortable since they can’t regulate their body temperatures well yet (around 78-80 degrees is ideal).
I have many props (beanbag, baskets, blankets, headbands, hats etc), but I’m more than happy to use anything you may have that you want photographed with your baby as well (hats/headbands, blankets, special gifts, etc). Also inform me of any pose requests.
I always do a few pictures with the parents and/or siblings if they’re up for it! I love doing posing baby with the family. I do recommend that you don’t have your children wear shirt with words on them such as “Big Brother” & “Little Sister.” Those are very difficult to actually make readable during posing, and often creates unflattering poses if we’re able to make it work.
If your baby uses any of my props as a diaper, don’t fret! It happens and is expected when dealing with a naked baby :). I put waterproof puppy pads underneath most of my blankets and props in case we have such an accident.
How can I make sure our Family pictures go as smoothly as possible?
Relax, be yourself, and have fun! If you’re a parent, think about the silly songs and games you can sing/play with your child(ren) to get some natural smiles and giggles. Does your child love Dora? Bring a favorite book to read together. Do you play the guitar? Feel free to serenade us all. It’s extremely important that your babies/children be well-rested at the session. Do not plan a session during or too close to your child’s nap time and if your child happens to change his/her schedule the day of the session please contact me to see if we can alter the time of the session. Make sure kids are healthy, well-rested, and fed before a session. Don’t forget that electronics (especially iPhones) are magic and will often elicit natural smiles from babies and young children. Don’t be afraid to use “potty humor” for kids old enough to get it (any jokes about stinky feet or toots, for example). It can be incredibly effective for getting real smiles!
Ask all adults at the session to try and avoid pointing too frequently or looking away from the camera unless I’ve instructed you to do so. Sometimes parents get a little too overzealous trying to get a child to look at the camera and forget to look at the camera themselves. For standard “looking at the camera smiling shots” try to smile at me without talking or making silly faces at me. When we’re doing more candid shots and you’re looking at your child don’t make too many faces you don’t want photographed ;). If a silly face will get your child to smile, great! Just remember to mix normal smiling faces along with the silly ones so you look good too :).
Fun treats like lollipops or ice cream can look really cute in pictures (usually towards the end of the shoot if it’s messy, though treats often get great smiles out of grumpy children). Bringing snacks in general is a great idea as hunger can bring out the grumpy in anyone. I’ve learned that mini marshmallows are a great bribe as they aren’t messy, but things like chocolate and goldfish crackers gets stuck in little teeth and can ruin a good shot. You are welcome to bring props such as balloons, your child’s favorite chair, umbrellas, musical instruments, etc – though it’s not necessary. Bubbles and hand puppets can be a great way to distract kids. Show off any special talents like walking on your hands or cartwheels. Wagons are great for corralling young children into one spot if we’ll be doing some walking.
There are things that can be photoshopped, and things that can’t be (or will cost you a lot of money :)). During the session remember to take anything out of your pockets that will show up in pictures as awkward lumps (cell phones, wallets, keys etc) and spit out your gum before we start. Make sure you iron your clothes in advance and if you hate fly-aways fix them before the session. Make sure your nails are how you want them – either painted or all polish removed. If you plan on having your infant/toddler daughter in a dress or skirt please make sure she’s also wearing a diaper cover. Be sure to relax! Have fun with your family and lets capture those natural giggles that only the tickle monster can bring out.
What about my double chin?
If there is anything you’re self-conscious about (double chin, upper arms, one eye smaller than the other [oh wait, that’s just me]) please let me know at the beginning of our session so I can be conscious of it and help you look your best. I likely won’t notice it otherwise as everyone views themselves more critically than others do. If there’s something you want photoshopped (double-chin, mole/freckle, gray hair, etc) please email me and let me know. I don’t want to alter someone’s appearance in that way unless it’s the desired end-result. Please tell me if there’s something you’d like edited out.
What do we wear?
I can tell you my own personal recommendations (and things to stay away from), but the most important thing is that you wear clothes you love and feel attractive in. Comfortable clothes for kids is also recommended.
Wear something elegant if that is you! If you’re more casual and don’t even own a tie, don’t go buy one for the pictures. Be yourself and stick with your own personal style!
For family sessions I recommend sticking with 2-4 colors. I do not recommend that everyone wear plain white shirts or that women or girls wear polo shirts. I do not recommend that everyone wears the exact same color or same shirt. You can color coordinate without being too matchy matchy. Men should NOT wear suits or dress shirts with tiny stripes. They photograph in such a way that creates strange patterns and colors and additional editing will be require and will incur an additional fee. For newborns and young babies I do not recommend dresses or collars or anything that bunches up over the chin or puffs up at the shoulders. It will photograph better if you find something that is more form fitting for young babies. I do also have many clothing options available for newborns, and some clothing options for babies between 3 and 12 months. Contact me for options. If you put your young daughter in a dress please always include bloomers or a diaper cover.
How long will our session be?
Full sessions for families, engagements, children, etc typically last about one hour (look above for information on newborn sessions). The goal is to have fun while making beautiful photographs that capture your love and personalities.
Don’t expect to be sitting quietly with a 2-yr-old staring at the camera and smiling the whole time! You can swing your kids around, wrestle, tickle each other, read books, throw them up in the air, play duck-duck-goose, whatever they like and I’ll be there to capture it for you!
When is the best time to photograph my baby?
If you’re looking for those sleeping, curly newborn pictures we need to shoot in the first two weeks of life (preferably at 7-12 days). After that, other milestones that parents like to document are 3 months (when babies start smiling and laughing), 6-8 months (when baby starts to sit up), and then again at one year.
Do you photograph pets?
Yes! I love pets! You can actually see my website specific to photographing your beloved fur baby at www.houstonpetphotos.com.
What happens if I forget about or miss my session?
There will be a $50 missed appointment fee. This doesn’t apply to a child being sick or injured or any issues with the weather as long as you tell me in advance. If you have a family emergency just let me know and we’ll work something out.
When do I pay you?
For a portrait session a signed contract and a $50 deposit is needed to secure the date (if we’re scheduling a newborn session contact me as soon as possible after baby’s birth and we’ll schedule the actual shoot), with the remainder of the session fee due the date of the shoot.
Are all the pictures in my online gallery edited?
All the pictures that you’ll see in your proofing gallery have been selected and given basic edits, such as overall contrast and color adjusting.
When I order prints, do they come with your logo on them? Do you do any retouching?
Your prints will not have my logo on them. I do slight retouching, such as skin smoothing, on all print orders 5×7 or larger. Unfortunately, certain alteration requests cannot be accommodated (such as selective color) and others may cost extra due to a demanding time requirement. Please contact me for further clarification.
Do you use studio lights or natural light?
Both! I have studio lighting, but also love using natural light. I often use all natural light for the majority of my outdoor pictures as well as sessions inside a client’s home. I use studio lighting for all my studio sessions.
Are you a real blonde?
Sure am! My twin sister and I had paper white hair when we were kids.
What happens if I lose my usb drive?
If you lose your images I can send you another copy for a $50 fee plus shipping. You never know what could happen – fires, theft, volcanic eruptions – so I recommend making several copies and keeping them in separate locations (such as your mother’s house).
Can I order prints after my gallery expires?
You may! Depending on how long ago the session expired I may not have access to them anymore, but it doesn’t hurt to ask ;).
Do you do photo sessions on Sundays?
No. Due to religious commitments, I do not do any work on Sundays.