Newborn photography has become a huge part of my life and a part of Chunky Monkey Photography. I spend 75% of my weeks snuggling and posing new sweet babies and I love every minute of it. So many have asked what goes into my newborn sessions and many other questions so I thought I would answer a few of those and give some inside details on how my newborn sessions go for those who are thinking of booking with Chunky Monkey Photography.
To begin with, Why should you book Chunky Monkey Photography for your newborn session (or any other session for that matter)?
I, Heather, strive to give 150% to each and every session. From the day you book your session with us, I am planning and thinking about meeting your little one and creating some memories for you to have for forever. Every family is different and special! I want everyone to know that I work hard and strive for the best for everyone. Its something like when you pick your kiddos pediatrician. You look for someone who will treat you like a person, not a number. Someone that when they are with you, they are devoted to you during that time. Spending every minute with my CMP families is something that I look forward to and cherish. During the session time, I like to get to know everyone and make sure that everyone is comfortable. Then when it comes to my editing time (which is about the same amount of time that goes into the actual session….lol, I am devoted to making every single image something that you will hold dear to your heart and display in your home proudly.
Why do newborn sessions take so long?
Yes, newborn sessions do take a while. Usually I am with each and every family for 3-4 hours. That time is committed to every single family that books with CMP. Working with newborns is a delicate job. You can’t just put a baby on a bean bag or in a basket and call it good. You must have the patience and understanding that they need you to be gentle, slow and understanding of their needs. There is a lot of rocking, snuggling, patting and loving that goes into each session. Making sure that every single little detail is perfect before going to my camera is top priority as well. In CMP’s newborn sessions we do quite a few different poses and props so being delicate and slow between each of those is also a must to keep the baby calm and asleep!
Why is it so HOT?!
I get this question a lot and mostly from my dads! it is hot. I usually have it set about 80-82 degrees in the studio. As soon as a baby is born, they put a hat on their head so they keep their bodies warm. Its the same just a few weeks later. Their bodies are not regulated to the cool air and we must help them keep warm. Their delicate bodies are LITTLE and most of the time in their birthday suits during the shoot. The goal is to keep them as comfortable as they can be so that they stay sound asleep and happy. In the past, I have been to homes where the heat was not turned up quite as much as it cause the baby to shiver, cry or have to be covered during the entire session where we missed out on capturing the little details about them.
What is your new studio like?
I am in love with the new CMP studio. For so many reasons! After working away from my home in clients homes and in the old studio, its nice to be home and close to the studio at all times. I am not having to leave my family extra time to set up or close down. All that time with my kiddos is precious and I am cherishing the extra time that I have with them. The new studio is much smaller than the old one and that has taken some getting used to. But the closeness of the studio gives me a more personal and close touch with everything and everyone. There is a small area for parents to sit and rest during the session in the studio. A new couch is on horizon..just waiting for it to be delivered! Having my CMP clients into my home is a blessing. We do ask those that come that they stay in the studio at all times (unless they have to use the potty of course) and not in the living space outside the studio. My family is usually home off and on during the day and I try to keep the work space and living space as seperate as I can.
Siblings and newborns….is that allowed?
Yes!! I think having sibling shots is one of the most important shots you can get. I usually strive for 2-3 shots pending the age of the older sibling(s). Anyone under the age of 2….one shot is golden! We ask that all siblings come at the beginning of the shoot and then after their part is done that they are taken home. The studio is small (and hot which does not work well for toddlers!) and there is not a place safe for them to play. I strive to keep the studio a calm and quiet place for me to work with the baby as any distractions can cause for lost time and images. I do also ask that while the siblings are in studio that they stay with the parents AT ALL TIMES. My childrens rooms are next to the studio and we ask they do not go in there or play on the stairs for their safety.
What am I getting for the price?
Thats the best question. Why would anyone pay for something and NOT know what they are getting? I am happy to answer that one for sure. There are many things that go into the pricing at CMP.
~ Our time. Just like anyone that is committed to a career, their time is included. In and out of the studio. Each newborn session is usually committed to 8 hours. 4 in studio and 4 outside of studio (editing, set up, etc) along with Jessica’s time on getting you all set up for your newborn session from the beginning.
~ Training. I do trainings each and every year. I believe that you never stop learning and that there is always a way to improve what I do. The costs of those trainings and the time that it takes is taken into considerstion as well.
~ Equipment. Nothing in the photography business when it comes to props is free. I strive to have the best props, hats, headbands, blankets, backdrops and other fun stuff in studio so that I can create the best session for you. And then of course, I work with the best equipment that I can as well. My camera, lighting system, editing program, etc!
~ Knowledge. Just like picking a doctor, dentist, teacher, or any other professional in your lifetime, you look for someone that is full of knowledge and can be the best fit for you.
~ Images. With CMP you receive the the images fully edited in high resolution with the print release included. Each image on your thumb drive/gallery is a piece of art. It is valued. So when you choose a photographer who releases those images to you to print, within your purchase are those valued images.
~ Print release. The print release allows you to print at your own need. Now, I do stress to every family that is important that while you have the print release, that you print your images at high end printing locations. NO Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, etc. Those are not professional printers in the sense of giving you the best image. The colors are off, the print is not clear and well, they are just not the top best which is what you want when printing your images of your family. CMP does have a way for you to print your images in the best professional way while NOT breaking the bank to get those images up on the wall.
And last but not least, HOW DO YOU BOOK A CHUNKY MONKEY PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION?
Its EASY!!! I highly recommend that you book a newborn session early in your pregnancy as my calendar does fill up. There have been many times we get a call that a baby has been born and they would like to book a session. Sometimes my calendar is full and I can not get them in within the first two weeks of life which is the ultimate goal. Your retainer (which is half the total session cost) is what secures you a newborn session around your due date. That puts you on the list of only so many for each month! Then…you just let us know when you have delivered and we will get you a date in the studio within the first two weeks if at all possible. You can book a newborn session on my website at www.chunkymonkeyphotography.com under INVESTMENTS. So if you are expecting or know someone that is…..go BOOK now! They will only be this little for a minute. 🙂
I hope that this little blog will help many ways answer some questions for you guys!
Chunky Monkey Photography is just one of my babies that I have enjoyed and loved getting to watch grow and be a perfect fit for my family and hopefully for yours! I do look forward to meeting you all and if you are expecting a sweet baby….CONGRATULATIONS!