D. Willey Photography: Blog http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog en-us (C) D. Willey Photography dwilleyphoto@gmail.com (D. Willey Photography) Sun, 12 Nov 2017 01:22:00 GMT Sun, 12 Nov 2017 01:22:00 GMT http://dwilleyphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u546149944-o242971241-50.jpg D. Willey Photography: Blog http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog 120 86 Portrait Photographers and Ethics | My Soapbox http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2017/11/portrait-photographers-and-ethics-my-soapbox


At the risk of sounding like a "Sanctitog", I'm going to point out a few things that irritate me regarding my fellow peers anyway. But before I jump on my soapbox, I know you're asking yourself "What the heck is a Sanctitog?!".

 

Well...a Sanctitog is like the Sanctimommy of Photographers. They can do no wrong. There is no perceived room for improvement and growth in their work, they basically think their s*#t doesn't stink. Let me assure you, I am none of those things. I am always striving to improve my skill. I'm often questioning my skill set and there are even a few days where I'm intimidated by the competition and questioning my career choice. But I'm sure some of you may be rolling your eyes right now anyway and that's okay.

 

Now that we've cleared that up...let's get back to the subject at hand, shall we? ;)

 

There have been many occurrences during my 15+ year photography journey where I've encountered ridicule or embarrassment caused by others in this industry. Various property owners who have negative attitudes toward photographers in general, law enforcement officers and park rangers who have stopped me in front of my clients to question my intentions, etc. I've even had one property owner, upon seeing my clients and I on the side of the road talking, accuse me of planning to trespass on his property. He berated me based on the actions of other photographers in our valley. He said "none" of us respected laws and private property. That we "all" just trample along acting as if we own the world. I was mortified. Not only have I never trespassed, but I've never gone onto someone's land and torn the place up. I've never been one of those who use chalk on brick walls, leave plastic flowers or paint on the ground, etc. And most of all....I've never once seen an old bridge or other cordoned off area and thought to myself... "Those 'No Trespass' signs do not apply to me. This is gonna make for an epic photo and it'll only take minute!". 

 

Do you know how many times I've seen people post images of their subjects at locations which I myself have drooled over, yet refrained from using because I respect laws and rules? I respect the need to keep certain areas private and the desire to keep the general public safe. A photographer friend and I have been talking about an area we've both been wanting to use for quite some time. It's private property. I have the owner's name and contact info yet I've been hesitant to contact them. Why? Because I'm afraid of a big fat "NO". I gave my friend the contact information and she and her guy went over to speak to this property owner and guess what?!?! He was hesitant to allow anyone access to his property because he's had to scare off numerous other photographers who've trespassed onto his property without permission. This actually irritates the ever living heck out of me. This poor man. And poor us... there will always be someone who ruins it for the rest of us and it needs to stop.

 

I know, I know...."Danielle, I thought you didn't want to sound like a Sanctimonious Bleep?!?!". I get it, I sound like a snot. But I'm not. I just think it would be great if others played by the rules. I carry a Liability Insurance Policy to protect my clients, myself and property owners (should anything happen while I'm using their property). This is my business and my reputation at stake. It makes me sad that there are people out there assuming we are all a bunch of disrespectful jerkwads when I try so hard to do things the "right" way. The "kind and respectful" way. As for Liability Insurance... Imagine the ramifications should something happen to your client during any session, let alone one where you're trespassing. If they were to be injured and sued, your life would be ruined. You could possibly lose everything you've ever worked for and more. But, let's assume you do have insurance. Even insured, if anyone is injured or damage is done to the property you're at while trespassing, your insurance isn't going to cover anything. It's just not worth it to trespass. 

 

Why not think of others once in a while? Let's as whole, hold our industry to a higher standard. So many "newbies" get an attitude with more seasoned photographers when they're taken to task for promoting themselves as "professional" when they act anything but. Perhaps, instead of assuming skilled photographers are poking fun at your inexperience with a camera, think about the way you are representing the industry you're wanting to be a part of. Act professionally, work with integrity, and get yourself some inexpensive liability insurance. If this is your business, treat it as such. 

 

Here are a few things to help you on this journey to becoming a respectful and lawfully minded photographer in your community:

 

  • Find the owner of any property you want to use. You can easily look up property owners on local county tax assessor maps, etc. or better yet, have the information at your fingertips and invest in the onX Map App. My husband is a hunter and showed me this amazing app he had on his phone and I immediately downloaded it. It allows you to find property owner information, the hunting area, etc. of any area you're currently in. It allows you to see property lines and public land. It's awesome! Here's the link to onX if you're interested.  Contact these owners, ask permission to utilize their property, offer to pay a small fee, show them your insurance policy, ask them to sign release forms, offer them a free family session...whatever it takes to legally and respectfully gain access to their property.

 

  • If you see a sweet old schoolhouse or bridge that would look amazing for your next photo session...don't just assume that because it's public property, you can utilize it. If there is a sign, don't cross it. Leave it be. If you just can't get that sweet spot out of your obsessive mind (believe me, I'm the same way), take the time to research who manages the property and try getting permission first. If you're denied..then let it go. There are also many states in which, public parks require a Photographer's or Press Pass. It's up to you to find these things out. You're the professional. Nothing is more embarrassing than when you're getting in trouble in front of your clients for something avoidable. 

 

  • Railroad tracks are OFF LIMITS. It's actually a crime to photograph on them unless they're retired and unused tracks. Not only is it unsafe (people have died taking photographs on the tracks, for real) but it's a cliche', let that go too. I am guilty of doing this same thing years ago and I'm ashamed to admit some of my favorite images were done on the tracks... but guys, it's not worth it and we've been educated. With that being said, there are some amazing retired tracks throughout the U.S. so doing a little research will enable you to get your heart's desire while still following the rules.

 

  • When you're on location, leave it the way you found it. Or better yet, leave it in better condition. Clean up any trash you or your clients may have left behind. Those smoke grenades and Gender Reveal Balloons can leave a mess and create issues for wildlife. It's not cool. Clean up after yourselves. 

 

Thanks for listening to me rant from atop my little soapbox. It feels good to get things off my chest once in a while. ;) 

 

Danielle~

 

 

 

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dwilleyphoto@gmail.com (D. Willey Photography) ethical photography glenwood springs colorado newborn photographer new castle colorado newborn photographer professional photography rifle colorado maternity photographer rifle colorado newborn photographer rifle colorado photographer http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2017/11/portrait-photographers-and-ethics-my-soapbox Sat, 11 Nov 2017 22:45:12 GMT
RIFLE COLORADO NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER | GOODBYE 2016 HELLO 2017 http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2017/1/rifle-colorado-newborn-photographer-goodbye-2016  

 

WOW! What an amazing year 2016 has been for D. Willey Photography! I am so incredibly humbled to be chosen to capture special memories for so many of you in our community...new life, high school seniors and everything else in between.

Thank you for helping make 2016 a successful year for my little studio. It's always a little scary starting your own business but looking back on the past two years and seeing how much business has grown, I am proud of how much I've accomplished in such a short amount of time. With over 120 sessions this year I can only hope to provide even more clients with visual keepsakes to cherish for a lifetime. 

 

 

Thanks again for everything and I can't wait to get started on 2017!

 

Happy New Year!

 

Danielle Willey~

 

 

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dwilleyphoto@gmail.com (D. Willey Photography) D. WILLEY PHOTOGRAPHY DANIELLE WILLEY GLENWOOD SPRINGS COLORADO NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER GLENWOOD SPRINGS NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER NEW CASTLE COLORADO NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER RIFLE COLORADO FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER RIFLE COLORADO MATERNITY PHOTOGRAPHER RIFLE COLORADO NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER RIFLE COLORADO PHOTOGRAPHER SILT COLORADO NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER SILT COLORADO PHOTOGRAPHER WESTERN COLORADO NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2017/1/rifle-colorado-newborn-photographer-goodbye-2016 Sun, 01 Jan 2017 07:52:19 GMT
Rifle Colorado Newborn Photographer | Isabelle is Turning One, Cake Smash Session http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2016/2/rifle-colorado-newborn-photographer-isabelle-is-turning-one-cake-smash-session

Cake Smash Sessions are one of my favorite sessions to do! Many photographers dislike the preparation and the resulting mess but when you capture images as cute as these, who cares about the work involved?!

 

Isabelle was such a treat to photograph and her parents were fun to work with too. I guess I'm a pretty good baker too because after the session, dad asked if he could eat some of the leftovers! ;)

 

If you have a little one who is quickly approaching his or her first birthday and you'd like to schedule a Cake Smash Session, give me a call! I love creating sets, baking the cake and capturing these fun and messy photos. 

 

 

 

 

And don't worry, we'll have lots of time before the cake smashin' for some traditional portraits. 

 

 

 

 

 

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dwilleyphoto@gmail.com (D. Willey Photography) http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2016/2/rifle-colorado-newborn-photographer-isabelle-is-turning-one-cake-smash-session Sat, 27 Feb 2016 06:23:29 GMT
Rifle Colorado Newborn Photographer | Graeson's 3 Month Milestone Session http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2016/2/rifle-colorado-newborn-photographer-graesons-3-month-milestone-session Danielle Willey is a Newborn and Children's Photographer in Rifle, Colorado and who serves the Roaring Fork and Western Colorado River Valleys. Her studio is located within Kaleidoscope Studios Children's Boutique in downtown Rifle. 

Graeson came to visit the studio when he was just a few days new and is already three months old. He loves tummy time, his big sister and making silly faces. I visited Graeson and his family in their lovely home between Silt and Rifle and we had a blast! His mama is a creative set designer and may just need to team up with me for suture sessions, what do you think? And don't you just love his chubby cheeks? ;)

 

 

 

 

 

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dwilleyphoto@gmail.com (D. Willey Photography) http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2016/2/rifle-colorado-newborn-photographer-graesons-3-month-milestone-session Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:36:06 GMT
Rifle Colorado Newborn Photographer, Budgeting For Your Newborn Photography Session http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2016/1/how-to-budget-for-your-newborn-photography-session-rifle-co-newborn-photographer  

 

Your friends are all having babies and you've seen their gorgeous newborn portraits hanging on the walls of their homes, on their birth announcements, or on their Facebook pages.  You know that your tiny baby will only be fresh and new for such a short time, but you're worried about the price of a newborn photography session. I don't blame you. It's daunting, to say the least.

First, let me assure you that you are not alone.  Second, let me assure you that newborn photographers are not making grand salaries from their sessions or driving around in expensive luxury cars (in fact, my vehicle is over 9 years old!).  A newborn portrait session is a custom experience.  Unlike many photographers in the valley, I have trained and studied diligently in newborn posing safety and take your baby's wellbeing seriously. I have an entire studio filled with newborn props, baskets, hats, tiny pearl bracelets, blankets, backdrops and more!  I spend many hours after your session editing your portraits to make them look their very best.  I take the time to give your family individual attention and create a product that your family will cherish for many years. 

A newborn portrait session can be a serious investment, but it is an important one.  There are many things in life that you can save up for and buy whenever you want.  If you've ever seen a baby, you know that they grow quickly, so you have to take advantage of the opportunity for newborn portraits while you still can.  The best time to do newborn portraits is before your baby is two weeks old. 

If investing in portraits for your newborn is overwhelming to you, here are a few tips that will show you that you can have beautiful portraits made of your newborn baby.

1.  Decide early.  One mistake I see many new parents make is that they don't realize how important portraits are to them until after their baby is born and they've fallen in love with that adorable 7 pound bundle of joy and all her beautiful features.  By the time you get home from the hospital, you are already running out of time.  Two things can happen.  One, you won't even be able to find a photographer who is available on such short notice.  Two, you won't be able to cover such a sudden expense.  By the beginning of second trimester, begin to do your research and find a photographer who matches your style.  Our area has some amazing talent but only a few who specialize in newborn imagery.  Do you like whimsical, bright colored portraits where your baby will wear a cute hat that looks like an owl?  Or do you prefer a more simple style with minimal props?  Find your photographer, know her pricing, and begin to save up for your session.

2.  Ask about payment plans.  Most photography sessions do not need to be paid for entirely up front.  Many photographers ask for a session fee to book and then prints are purchased after the session.  My pricing is simple.  I have a set price for newborn portraits that includes digital files and another set price that includes just the session where you can order digitals and products separately and when you're better able to afford extra purchases.  To book a session, clients pay a retainer before the session and the balance by the day of the session.  Other payment plans can sometimes be worked out to space out the cost.

3.  Create a registry for your newborn portrait session.  Many family members are more than happy to contribute to newborn portraits.  It's a unique gift, something you can't pick out in a store.  If you'd like me to set up a gift registry for your newborn session, just ask! I would love to work with you on a Newborn Image Registry!

 

4.  Make some sacrifices.  Whenever something is valuable to us and we need to save up to buy it, sacrifices often need to be made.  Luckily, we're talking about a newborn portrait session and not a new car.  Simply eating out 1-2 times less per month over the course of your pregnancy can be a substantial help, if not cover the entire expense. Think twice about that hair appointment. We spend much more on things than necessary without even realizing it, don't we? ;)

5.  Refer your friends.  This might not help with your newborn portrait session, but it will help you with other sessions down the road.  Did you know that I have a referral program and offer special perks to clients who refer me to their friends?  If all of your friends are having babies, refer them to your photographer.  Who knows, that 6 month session may end up being free.

6.  Consider Packages.  If you know that you'd also like maternity portraits or would also like pictures taken of your baby when he hits 6 months old or a year old, consider a package.  Not only is it less work for you to have to remember to find a photographer every time your baby reaches a new milestone, packages can save you money.  I offer two packages.  The Belly to Baby Package includes a maternity session and a newborn session.  The Watch Me Grow Package includes a newborn session and a session at 3 months, 6 months, and the first birthday. 

I hope that these tips help you prepare for your newborn session and make you realize that newborn portrait sessions aren't only for the rich.  I've done several newborn sessions for single mothers, young couples, in apartment homes,  and for families who knew that photography was important to them and that their tiny baby would only be tiny for a short time. 

If you are still in search of a newborn photographer, visit my website at www.dwilleyphotography.com or on Facebook at Facebook com/dwilleyphoto.  I serve the Rifle, Silt, New Castle, Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Parachute, Grand Junction, and surrounding areas.  My pricing is easy to understand and tailored to busy families who want digital copies of their images, while still enjoying heirloom quality prints.  If you have any questions about newborn photography in general, I am always happy to answer any questions or guide you in the direction of the perfect photographer for you.  I can be reached at dwilleyphoto@gmail.com or (970) 948-7241.

 

 

​Rifle Colorado Newborn Photography

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dwilleyphoto@gmail.com (D. Willey Photography) Colorado D. WILLEY PHOTOGRAPHY DANIELLE WILLEY GLENWOOD SPRINGS COLORADO NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER GLENWOOD SPRINGS NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER NEW CASTLE COLORADO NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER RIFLE COLORADO FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER RIFLE COLORADO MATERNITY PHOTOGRAPHER RIFLE COLORADO NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER RIFLE COLORADO PHOTOGRAPHER SILT COLORADO NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER SILT COLORADO PHOTOGRAPHER WESTERN COLORADO NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2016/1/how-to-budget-for-your-newborn-photography-session-rifle-co-newborn-photographer Wed, 20 Jan 2016 22:49:49 GMT
Grandbabies, cousins, siblings and a lovely little girl! http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2015/8/cousins-brothers-and-the-lonely-little-girl I received a call from a previous client, asking if I could provide a group session since her grandsons were visiting from out of town and she'd like to get all the grandbabies together for photos. Of course, I was thrilled to do so! The day we originally scheduled the session became rainy and muddy so we attempted to snap a few images in the studio. Now, anybody who has visited my studio is fully aware of the space limitations...it's basically the ideal space to capture teeny tiny little newborns with enough room to spare for one (mama, sibling, etc). I had my reservations but I'm not one to shy away from a challenge!

 

 

We managed to capture a few images but with me being my own worst critic, I knew I wouldn't be happy until I'd made sure my client was happy. I asked if the whole group could meet up with me on a clearer day. Since the kiddos were going back to their mama soon, we had just one day available to capture additional images. Yikes! This fickle Colorado Weather! Luckily, we had a sunny and beautiful Friday afternoon in which to work with. I set up a little teepee, laid out a blanket and we got to work! 

 

Have you ever tried taking a photo of more than one person? Especially toddlers and small children? If so, then you most likely know what I'm talking about when I say it's nearly impossibly to capture every person in the photo, looking at the camera or not making a silly face! ;) Would you believe that a few of these images involved some mighty Photoshop Skills and Head Swaps? Hmmmm. Well, no worries because I'm a professional and have been trained to achieve the optimal outcome for each session. 

 

Despite my work being cut out for me and these little guys (and their lovely cousin, Annabelle) wanting to do nothing more than chase bugs, eat leaves and play in the grass....I'm happy to say we captured some lovely images and had fun in the process! Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy my job?!

 

 

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dwilleyphoto@gmail.com (D. Willey Photography) colorado cousins family family photos photography rifle rifle colorado siblings http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2015/8/cousins-brothers-and-the-lonely-little-girl Tue, 04 Aug 2015 17:03:47 GMT
Why do we cost so damn much?!? http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2015/6/why-do-we-cost-so-damn-much I met with a fellow photographer friend the other day. She was feeling discouraged and fed up. She said "I'm just so sick of having to justify my pricing to potential clients. I'm fed up with every time someone posts on one of the local area Facebook groups, searching for a photographer, dozens of people mention random friends who happen to have a camera (or make photography, a hobby). Everybody is a "photographer". I was surprised by this outburst from this peer because she is the one who rejuvenated me after I had become discouraged and left the photography world for a few years. She is the one who encouraged me to raise my prices and get back out there. She had given me hope and made me realize that my work is of good quality. My work is consistent and my clients know what to expect from me. I put more into my post-processing than most photographers I know because I am a perfectionist and my own worst critic. I go above and beyond and bend over backward for almost anybody. So...with these revelations came a sense of calm. Of peace with myself as a professional photographer. I have to admit though, that lately, I've been feeling just as discouraged as she.

Did you know that 7 out of 10 inquiries are from people who feel our prices are too high? Or they condescendingly want to know what to expect for the money we are asking? Do you go to your stylist and demand to know why she is charging as much as she does? And for that matter, why are you willing to pay $150 or more for highlights that may only last 6 weeks and yet, you're unwilling to pay somebody $200 to capture lasting memories of your children? Why are you okay with spending $5 on an overpriced cup of coffee yet unwilling to pay decent money for beautiful art featuring your babies or of your special day? 

I hold this dear to my heart. Photography is a LUXURY item. And with that being said, there are different levels or tiers to choose from in the "luxury" department. Again, for you coffee drinkers, there is cheap coffee or higher end espresso or organic, fair trade you may brew at home and then there is your overpriced Drive-Through and other coffee shops. For the lover of nail and haircare, there are the chain salons, cheap nail salons and then there are the pricier salons and independent stylists. There's almost always a moderately priced luxury brand or item. I'd say 60% of local photographers land somewhere in the moderate level. We're not here to steal your money, we're here to make a living too. 

Professional Photographers are business owners. We have business expenses like any other business owner. We pay taxes, pay for insurance, equipment, props, internet, phones, ongoing education, software, advertising fees, etc. etc.  Not only do we have overhead but we have spent countless hours educating ourselves, thousands on formal education and shed tears and sweat to make our dreams come true. Yes, we enjoy our jobs but photography isn't just a hobby for us. We are trying to survive just like the rest of you. When you pay a photographer $200 for a 1-2 hour sitting, you aren't paying someone $100/hr. There are close to 10 hours of work involved in the average portrait sitting. Don't believe me? Before your session, most photographers spend about 30 minutes to an hour setting up your session. If your session is on-location, there is 1-2 hours travel time (not to mention gas, etc). After your session, it takes anywhere from 2-5 hours to edit your images plus save onto multiple external hard drives (to ensure your images are safely saved). Another hour or so to upload into an online gallery and then subsequent phone calls and in-person consultations once the images are ready. I've even been known to edit photos on my laptop during road trips and vacations with my family. Often times, we are actually making less than we could at a lower paying job. We do this not only because our schedules can be flexible but because we so enjoy what we do. It's a sad day when we are made to feel as if we shouldn't be making a living off our talent and hard work. 

With all that being said, we understand that a potential client may not be able to afford our services. But rather than dismissing our services as too pricy and then sacrificing quality and customer service for the hobbyist photographer who charges only $50 per session, why don't you instead ask your first choice photographer what they are willing to do to work within your budget. Sometimes we offer payment plans. Sometimes, we have upcoming specials or have other options that may suit your needs. And sometimes, you may be surprised to find out that even though our prices may be higher, you will be so much happier with the outcome that it was worth the extra money spent. 

And next time you're wanting to scoff at the photographer on the other end of the phone, ask yourself if you do the same to your stylist when a pair of scissors only cost a few bucks. You're paying for his or her talent, skill and reputation. 

This post wasn't intended to shame or ridicule, merely to inform and educate. Please remember, we are merely trying to do our jobs and want to do something that makes us happy. We typically want nothing more than to make you happy as well. ;)

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dwilleyphoto@gmail.com (D. Willey Photography) Newborn Photography Photography Cost Why are photographers so expensive http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2015/6/why-do-we-cost-so-damn-much Sat, 06 Jun 2015 18:30:35 GMT
Newborns in the New Year! http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2015/1/newborns-in-the-new-year I LOVE photographing newborns!
Newborn photography is incredibly challenging, but it’s so amazing to be a part of baby’s life when they are just days old.
There’s a bit of prep and planning that needs to go into these sessions to make them more successful though.
I’ve compiled a few tips below to help get the very best out of your upcoming newborn session.

  • LET’S PENCIL YOU IN!
    I recommend that you schedule your newborn session PRIOR to your baby’s birth to ensure a spot on my calendar. Contact me during your second trimester and I’ll pencil you in.
    Then, shoot me an email soon after you deliver so we can arrange a time for the session.
  • Newborn sessions MUST be scheduled within the first 14 days of life. However, the BEST time is between 3-7 days after their arrival.
    We’ll be moving them around and scrunching them into those sweet sleepy newborn images, so we want to make sure they’re sleepy enough to allow us to handle them.
    Plus, babies just tend to do a lot better with the session within their first 7 days.
    Somewhere around day 8 they discover the joy that is stretching! Once that happens…they’re not about to let us get them into those curly poses without a fight!
    After day 14, it’s almost impossible to get baby into that deep sleep that came so easily in their first few days…so it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to get them into any of the more bendy newborn poses.
    And, keep in mind that newborn acne (and sometimes colic) is likely to flare up after day 14. While we can easily edit problem areas, we prefer to do as little retouching as possible to baby’s skin.
  •  WHERE?
    Newborn sessions can take place in your home or in the studio. If the weather is warm enough and you’re comfortable with the idea, we can take the session outdoors. (Baby being all pose-y and cute in a big, open field or at the base of an old tree? SWOON!)
    Worried because your house is a mess? Don’t even stress out! You just had a BABY! If you didn’t have dishes piled in the sink, dirty clothes and baby items strewn all about, I’d think you were weird. Clutter is definitely expected! I’ve shot in-home sessions in the middle of moving in/renovating and in some very tiny spaces…and rocked them! We really don’t need much space and can shoot around any problem areas.
    We’ll also probably be moving furniture around if we need to make room for ourselves, but don’t worry – we’ll put it all back when we’re through! If the idea of having someone in your home makes you uncomfortable or adds undue stress, bring that Bundle of Joy to my studio and let me take care of the both of you! You can relax, have a cup of tea and I'll do all the work!
  • LOVELY LIGHT!
    If I'm coming to your home, I ask that you open all of the blinds and curtains in your home prior to my arrival. This enables me to find the best source of natural light in your home, so that I can set up the “mini studio” in the best possible location. Nothing flatters like natural light, so I prefer to use it whenever possible on location.
    For this reason, sessions are normally done mid-morning to late-afternoon when window lighting is as its best.
    When I arrive, we’ll walk through your home looking for the best light and that is where we’ll do a majority of the shoot. Sometimes the best location ends up being a foyer, by the backdoor or kitchen…usually wherever there is a large window.
    I’ll also bring additional lighting equipment to help out when needed.
  • CRANK THE HEAT!
    It's recommended that you keep your home a bit warmer than normal during the session. (Like a toasty 80 degrees or so.)
    Newborns are used to being all bundled up,warm & cozy…and then I come in and yank off all their clothes for those adorable naked baby shots. They tend not to like that too much!
    Pushing up the thermostat is guaranteed to make the session flow more smoothly and help them sleep better. We may be sweating, but baby will be nice and warm…and that’s really all that matters!
    Crank the heat 30 minutes before our session to ensure that it’s warm enough in time for the clothes yanking…and we’ll bring along a space heater to help keep baby in a steady warmth.
  • LOOSEN UP!
    Please loosen your baby’s diaper and clothing at least 30 minutes before the session. This gives those little imprint marks time to disappear. (You baby will be naked in most of the shots, but we pose them so that all the “important bits” are not on display.)
  • SLEEPY?
    Most of the images I’ll be shooting work best if the baby is in a deep sleep. To encourage this, I recommend that you do whatever it takes to make sure baby is nice and exhausted. Keeping your little one awake on top of your own sleep deprivation might feel like torture, but I think it will be worth it in the end! ;)
  • HUNGRY?
    A well fed baby is a happy baby! Please feed and burp baby right before our session to ensure a happy, sleepy (“milk drunk”) baby. I’ll also be more than happy to take as many breaks as needed to help him/her re-fuel. It’s tough work being a model!
  • VOLUME CONTROL!
    If doing the session in your home, please do whatever you can to keep the noise level to a minimum during our session. If you have other children that might create noise, try to find a sitter or family member to take them away from the home for a few hours. If you have a noisy pet, you may want to do the same. I’ll bring a white noise machine, but it doesn’t always block out tantrums and playtime.
    * If you have children and would like them to be included in some photos, I recommend bringing them in at the beginning or end of a session and then having someone take them. Only those being photographed should be present to help maintain a calm environment.
  • PATIENCE IS KEY!
    Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. It all depends on baby’s mood and willingness to sleep. Unfortunately…this isn’t something we can predict! I ask that everyone remain calm, should he/she not want to sleep, since your baby will pick up on any frustration in the room. And if sleep doesn’t happen, that’s okay! Wide-eyed newborn photos are beautiful too.

  • RELAX!
    Let me say it again… Relaxxx!
    I'm pretty comfortable holding and posing newborns. (I have several years of experience working with babies & toddlers and caring for kids of all ages.) Your baby is in safe hands, I promise!
    So yes! Feel free to rest and leave the room for a bit if you’d like. I’ve had parents who’ve used this time to take a nap, shower…and even eat a quick meal. All totally acceptable to me! If I have a question or need you for feeding, I’ll come and track you down.
  • IN CASE YOU MISSED THAT: RELAX!
    Moms tend to stress out because this is a new experience…and they aren’t used to the waiting game that is newborn photography.
    They see their baby being fussy or having a difficult time getting settled and panic.
    “This is a disaster! They aren’t going to get ANY good photos!”
    It isn’t, and I will!
    I take the baby’s lead; getting them to sleep before posing takes time and they may need to be fed or cuddled a few times first. In fact, I’d say that a good 50% of your session will involve feeding, diaper changes, and cuddling to get baby comfortable. If that doesn’t work, we’ll take a break or we’ll work with what baby is giving us. Sometimes the best photos happen when baby isn’t doing what we want.
    Just remember: Babies can sense stress and anxiety (especially from their mommies!) It’s super important that EVERYONE remain calm and relaxed during this session. Keeping the environment as mellow as possible is pretty much the only way we’re going to get the shots we’re looking for.
  • POOP HAPPENS!
    Your baby is going to be in the buff for the majority of this shoot. Please don’t panic if your baby decides to use my blankets (or me) as his/her own personal potty.
    This is natural and I expect it! Please don’t feel embarrassed or worry when this happens, because they all do it.
    We wash all of our baby props and blankets between each session with non-scented baby detergent. (This is why we only schedule one newborn session per day!)
    It would definitely be helpful if you had a stack of old towels, extra wipes and blankets available for when things get messy though.
    *If you would like shots in a diaper, it’s a good idea to have a cloth diaper, diaper cover in a solid color, bloomers, or something to put over the diaper. Diapers on their own tend to look a little messy and distracting in photos, but throwing a cover over it cleans things up. I also have a variety of diaper covers in my bag of tricks!
  • PROPS!
    I have a collection of bowls, baskets, blankets, knit hats and headbands that I’ll be bringing to your session. You are also, of course, welcome to use any of your own props. Looks for items with texture and color to help make your images unique.
    If you have any family heirlooms, toys, hats, props, etc. that you would like me to use in your session, please gather them before we arrive. We may not get the chance to use ALL of the items, but we’ll look through them with you to determine what will work best.
    *I also STRONGLY recommend that you discuss any ideas, props or poses you have in mind at least a week prior to your session, with me.
    I start planning out your session weeks in advance, so dropping a huge idea on me mid-session (that requires an unavailable prop) can cause stress on everyone! So talk to me early on and let me know what you have in mind! I typically get a good sense of the types of portraits you are wanting so before your session, I will be scouring the land for creative and unique props to suit your personality or interests (that's why you're paying a creative professional, right?!).

  • THE NOSE KNOWS!
    As a mother, your smell is so recognizable to your baby, that it may be necessary for mom to step out of the room for a portion of the session. This is not meant to hurt your feelings, only to allow me to help the get baby thinking sweet, sleepy thoughts…instead of “where’s my milk?!”
  • SPEAK UP!
    Your baby’s safety comes first! If there is ever a point where you become uncomfortable, just let me know! I take every measure to ensure that your baby is never in any danger. For that reason, I will always make sure that a parent or assistant is nearby to lend support if needed (I won't send you away if I plan on doing anything too risky).
  • BUT WHAT DO *I* WEAR?
    I know! You just had a baby and aren’t feeling your best. But we think this is the perfect time to pamper yourself!
    Go have your hair & makeup done (or better yet, have someone come to you!), schedule a massage or have your nails done. Looking super relaxed and at your best will make you feel more comfortable during the session. This is an exciting time in your life and I want to capture all of that…so take care of yourself first! And feel free to tell your husbands that I'm making you if they need a little convincing!
    As far as clothing? Keep it simple. Throw in a little color if you’d like, but skip the busy patterns. (And please don’t feel the need to match everyone in white shirts and jeans – there’s simple…and then there’s boring!)
    For moms, I suggest cotton knit camis and knit tops.
    I'm also a big fan of skin-on-skin portraits with you holding your baby against you. They’re so simple & timeless!
    So if you want some portraits like this with your newborn, consider a strapless top or tank as an alternative.
  • FOR THE MEN.
    Your hands will play a major role in this session, so it’s important that you tend to them too!
    Even if you aren’t planning on participating much in the session, you’ll still be handling your baby a bit, so it’s a good idea to touch up on your grooming.
    Trim and tidy your nails and apply lotion to any dry skin. (It also never hurts to dab a little moisturizer on your face to help you look more refreshed. Those late nights can take a toll on your skin!)
    A little clothing advice? Long or short sleeved knits are best.  (Make sure there isn’t too much bagginess in the sleeve.) Undershirts also work well.
    I suggest you NOT wear button down shirts, and make sure your t-shirts are free of logos or too much writing.*Wrinkles do show up in photos, so please make sure all clothing is ironed or steamed. The retouching involved is extensive and will incur an extra fee.
  • MAKE THE BED!
    Is there anything more simple & gorgeous than a new family cuddled up in bed together? The answer is no!
    So I might suggest that we move the session to your bedroom at some point. If that’s something that appeals to you, a few tips:
    1. Make the bed, just this once.
    2. A solid blanket/comforter (or something that isn’t TOO busy is best.)
    3. I highly recommend white to light cream bedding to keep things light and airy.

Did I miss anything? Have a more specific question?
I'm more than happy to help in any way I can
so just shoot me an email: dwillyphoto@gmail.com
or give me a call: 970-948-7241

 

Special thanks to ashleydavidphotography for some of the content. :)

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dwilleyphoto@gmail.com (D. Willey Photography) Newborn Photography http://dwilleyphotography.com/blog/2015/1/newborns-in-the-new-year Tue, 20 Jan 2015 03:20:45 GMT