Session Prep Details

Portrait Session Prep

Things to keep in mind

  • Comfort: You want everyone to be comfortable during your session. We'll be moving around through the session, so make sure you put yourself and the kids in something that moves. 

  • Accessories: Hats, scarves, jewelry, blankets, headbands, suspenders, etc. All these things are a great way to add another layer of your style to your session.

  • Patterns: I love fun patterns, but my favorite is florals! Mixing patterns is a great way to add interest to your photos.

  • Textures & layers: Layers add texture and textures to add interest. Denim, chunky knits, lace, cords, etc. I love the way a chunky cardigan looks, or a denim shirt tied at the waist. These are all great ways to incorporate style.

  • Color: Make sure the colors you choose complement each other. Colors that will stand out best are muted earthy tones. Some examples are mustard yellow, mauve-pink, browns or khaki, dark blue, hunter green, dark reds/oranges.  I LOVE Jewel tones!

  • Personalize: This session is about you! Moreover, it's so important to make sure that your family's personality shines through in every aspect. 

  • Maternity Portrait Clients - check out Bump & Borrow Boutique for maternity dress rental. Visit their Facebook page for details. Tell them I sent you!


Things to avoid

  • Giant logos: shirts that have giant logos on them can distract from your beautiful faces.

  • Neon colors: just say no to hot pink and lime green. They can cause color cast on the skin.

  • Matchy-matchy: matching outfits are super cute, even for twins. Having different colors, patterns, textures, etc. is super important to create interest and diversity in your family's images. 


Newborn Portrait Session Prep

Things to keep in mind


  • Newborns are best photographed between 6-14 days old.  Please contact me when you know your due date, and we will set your session date ‘in pencil.’ This date is not set in stone as babies come when they want to. Contact me when your baby is born so we can adjust your session date if needed. 

  • Newborn sessions will take place in my Downtown Fairmont studio.  The room will be kept very warm to ensure that we have a nice warm, sleepy baby.  I use studio lighting so that the studio will be a cozy, warm, dark little cave.  Please note that your session will be 2-4 hours long. Please plan your day accordingly.  Babies sense their parent's feelings and nerves.  Please remember to stay calm and relaxed so that your baby will be as well.  Babies that are calm and relaxed are easier to fall asleep and pose. 

  • Remember your baby will most likely cry.  It's OK, it does not bother me.  Your baby may not act the same.  He may not sleep as well or go to sleep that quickly.  It's okay, babies aren't used to being repositioned and posed every few minutes.  We will take breaks whenever needed.

  • I do not photograph newborns nude.  I keep a diaper on the baby at all times. As far as props, I have everything we need for your session. My studio is packed with things such as knit hats, blankets, headbands, etc. and they are on hand and ready to use.

  • Siblings - If older siblings are being photographed with the baby, we will discuss this before the session.  We will decide together whether we want to do the sibling images at the beginning of the session or the end, and how comfortable you are with siblings holding the new baby.

  • What to Wear - Please keep clothing simple.  Avoid patterns and logos.  We want the focus to be on the baby, not on distracting clothing.  Any color is fine, as long as everyone is wearing complementary colors.  I love little girls in dresses and little boys in jeans and solid t-shirts. Don’t worry too much about shoes because I will most likely make you take them off.  I love bare feet.


Please use the following as a checklist in preparation for your newborn session:


  • Keep the baby awake at least 1 hour before the session if possible.  The more sleepy baby is, the easier he/she will fall and stay asleep. Play and interact with your baby to keep them awake for 1-2 hours before your session. Great tips to keep them awake are giving the baby a bath or undress them and keep them naked. This will ensure they are very sleepy while they are here. 

  • Dress baby in a loose item of clothing that is easy to remove (no onesies that have to come off over the head, etc.…)  Please avoid any clothing which might leave marks on the skin, such as socks.

  • If at all possible, please try to time feedings so that the baby can be fed upon arrival.  Full babies sleep better, and sleeping babies are easier to position and can handle the session for longer.  This works best because if you feed your baby before you come here, they will start their sleep cycle while in the car seat. We don’t want that; we want the baby to do that at the studio. If the baby is formula fed then bring additional formula and bottles.  We will take breaks throughout the session to feed the baby more if he still seems hungry or needs comfort nursing.

  • You do not need to bring anything if you don't want to.  I have many items and props for use during your session.

  • Please bring a pacifier, even if your baby hasn’t started using one yet.  Please buy one just for this session.  We might need it just for a minute or two while in a pose to keep them asleep.  I recommend the “Soothie”  because they don’t leave marks on the babies to face like other kinds.   Please try to avoid the pacifier with the animals attached to them, as the animals tend to drag and touch the baby, which can startle them awake.

  • When you arrive, please take the baby down to just a diaper. Please wrap the baby in a blanket for warmth and comfort.  I will have a space heater to keep the shooting area warm for the baby. 

  • I may ask you to help throughout the session.  If you are unable to help because of pain (c-section or sore from giving birth), it is helpful to bring dad or a grandparent along because I do not have an assistant. 

  • Feel free to bring yourselves a snack and drinks, as it may take a few hours for your session. I do have water available at the studio.

  • Be prepared for messes.  Babies don't care where they use the bathroom. Please have wipes and extra diapers handy.  I have been peed, pooped, and puked on.  It's OK.  Don't worry about your baby messing on my blankets or other props, it happens. I clean, wash, and disinfect all my props after each session if this happens.  

  • Most of all know that I love babies. I have lots of patience, and I'm very caring.  I take my time and stay calm.  There is nothing your baby can do that will upset me.  I will hold, comfort, and love on your baby throughout the session. 


Cake Smash SEssion Prep

Things to keep in mind

  • Keep it simple! - A cake smash session is a fun and joyful way to commemorate this milestone in your child’s life. Take this opportunity to capture your child’s delight as they tear into their first real taste of sugar!

  • Cake Smash sessions last about 30 minutes. The first part includes milestone pictures. We typically have time to get through 2 outfits and backdrop changes, depending on the cooperation of our little client. 

  • The second part is the cake smash. We begin by taking pictures of them with their cake smash outfit before introducing the cake.  Once we bring in the cake, the photo session takes approximately 15 minutes.  We let your baby set the pace, as some little ones dig right in and destroy the cake, and others need a little bit of encouragement and sometimes even help to get into their cake.  Be ready to get your hands dirty and help your little one get past all that frosting to the cake underneath!

  • What to Wear - I will help you style the session! For First Birthday/Cake Smash Sessions I feel less is more. I love a simple diaper cover, bib, cute little jeans or overalls for boys, and a diaper cover or cute skirt, pretty bib, and headband for girls. MRP cake smash sessions are simply styled. Sorry, no commercial themes or props will be used. I like to keep the focus on your little one! 

  • The Mess - I hope that your little one makes a huge mess!  That’s the whole point of this session and most of the fun of the day.  Be sure to check out what to bring from the list below. 


Things to Bring

  • The cake will be purchased from My Little Cupcake! I do recommend bringing a sippy cup to help wash down the cake. I also suggest snacks (think Cheerios or puffs) in case they don’t like the cake.  We can hide puffs in the cake to make it look like your little one is digging in.

  • 1-2 additional outfits for the baby will be provided by the parent. Please discuss this prior to your scheduled session so that we can coordinate with the cake smash outfit. I do have a small client closet that you can choose from and use during the session.

  • Change of clothes for parents, just in case, and an extra outfit for the little one. 

  • Also, remember to bring a bag for any messy clothes. 

  • Most bring extra baby wipes to clean up their little ones but I also have a sink in the bathroom that can be used for clean up. 



Directions to the Studio

My studio is located at the 304 Collective Studio 

700 Morgantown Ave, Fairmont, WV 26554.


Street parking is available along the left side of the building on Arch Street and there are a few spots directly behind the building. Please do not park at the business across the street. 

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