Fort Mill’s Featured Newborn Myths

big brother baby sister, Fort Mill newborn photography

Over the years, I’ve photographed hundreds of Fort Mill newborns for their first official portrait. I love documenting this for parents with my stress-free portrait process. For more information on when to schedule your newborn portrait session, please visit this resource. 

Sweet boy snuggled up

So, I’ve been asked a lot lately about newborn portraits and some expectations from first-time parents that aren’t realistic. So I thought we would do quick myths versus reality post today to walk you through the top three myths. 

The Top Three Newborn Portrait Myths 

1.) Can We Get a Portrait of My Newborn Smiling?

Can we get a portrait of my newborn smiling? The answer is probably not. I apologize to the first-time parents who have seen my work and think that an adorable smiling newborn is the norm. It’s really like seeing a unicorn and taking a photo. Some days we just get lucky, but the reality is newborns are expected to smile by three months old. That’s normal. And I photograph babies between 5-14 days old. So those adorable smiles you saw are just plain luck. Some babies smile in their sleep, and we get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to click the shutter at the right time. Most of the time, it’s just not possible. Nothing I say or do will encourage a smile from a newborn this young. 

newborn myths Fort Mill New baby photographer, baby wrapped in pink hat

2.) Can we Get a Portrait of My Baby Looking at the Camera?

Here again, that milestone is around three months. Why, you ask? Baby’s vision and ability to focus just doesn’t line up with what’s going on in a professional camera. According to this AOA article about infant vision, “Their primary focus is on objects 8 to 10 inches from their face or the distance to the parent’s face.” from birth to 4 months of age. As a general rule in professional photography with a standard lens, I need at least 3 feet between my subject and the lens to properly get them in focus. That’s at minimum 36 inches. Baby just can’t focus on me at that distance. They may look in my direction, but again, it’s like with the smiles, even if I shoot fast, it’s a lucky shot to get both eyes looking into the camera. 

Secondly, babies at this age are very sleepy; just getting them to open their eyes is a feat. Newborns sleep between 16-18 hours a day during the first two weeks. 

custom portrait artwork album of newborn photo session

3.) Why Not Wait a Few Weeks to Take Newborn Portraits? 

So now I hear the wheels turning. Why not wait a few weeks and photograph them a bit older or a bit bigger? Here are a few reasons for you.

  • Baby acne – ugh, not a fun thing to think about, but it happens a lot, and it starts around two weeks old 
  • Cradle cap – this is similar to acne but on the scalp starts around three weeks old
  • The newborn curl – Eek, so sweet. Honestly, this is what so many moms choose newborn portraits to capture. That newborn curl is the sweetest position and reminds us that our baby just spent nine months inside our bodies growing and becoming a baby. 
pink sweetness, newborn portrait of a baby girl, natural posing, Charlotte, NC, Clover SC

Baby Sleep Doctor tells us, “Most babies grow out of the “newborn curl” within the first few weeks of their life” sad but true. This is the number one reason I encourage moms to call me before their baby arrives so we can get them in during the precious newborn stage. 

Mom holding her newborn for a portrait worth of the family gallery wall.

The thing is, by three weeks old baby is more aware that we are moving her. She may have acne, cradle cap, or not. But she will sleep less soundly as the days go by, she will stretch more, and if you want portraits like you see in my gallery, they are best created by two weeks of age. The older baby gets, the longer the session may take, and the more post-processing is required to remove acne. Post-processing takes time and increases your costs for a newborn session.

Your newborn portrait artwork will anchor the wall art without overpowering your theme or asthetic.
an example of a newborn portrait artwork displayed in the home

Your Fort Mill, SC Newborn Portrait Photographer

I feel lucky to meet and photograph your sweet baby! I get to relive the precious newborn stage over and over again. To create the best experience for my clients, I can only take on a limited number of newborn sessions per week. I would love to be your newborn photographer. Just send me a message here to schedule a time to chat or to schedule your session. Tell me did you find these newborn portrait myths helpful? Please let me know in the comments.

charlotte, nc, Newborn Photography,
Just a few precious new babies ❤️

6 Reasons Newborn Photography Safety Is My Top Concern

There’s a lot on your mind as your prepare to welcome your new baby. If you’re thinking about scheduling a newborn photography session, you might have some questions about safety. I’m here to explain newborn photography safety and why it’s so important. 

Newborn photography is such a special gift for you and your baby. Your family will have these first official portraits to look back on for the years to come. Plus, meeting my newest client is always such a highlight for me. This is why your newborn’s safety throughout the session is of utmost importance to me.

As a professional, I follow important newborn photography safety guidelines and ensure that your baby is comfortable and safe throughout the session. Let me share a little more about newborn photography safety and what I do to keep your sweet baby safe.

Newborn Photography Safety 

Training and Experience – I complete ongoing newborn photography training to keep up with the latest techniques. My most recent training was with the world-renowned newborn photographer Ana Brandt just this September. 

Baby-led Photography – We very much let your baby run the show during the session. We set up different backdrops and attempt different poses, but ultimately, it’s up to your baby.  We never force a pose that could be unsafe or uncomfortable. Some babies don’t like to lay on a certain side or lift their arm a specific way. And that’s okay; we aren’t here to make them do anything they don’t want to, babies are just tiny people with very big opinions 😉

Gentle Posing – With that said, we will try very gently posing your baby into our desired pose using the latest techniques and my years of experience to ensure your baby is totally comfortable. You’ll be surprised how quickly we can get the shot once your baby is in the best pose. 

In Tune with Baby’s Needs – We’ll make sure your baby is warm, cozy, and fed. And feeding, changing or soothing breaks are needed and encouraged. Your baby’s comfort is the most important thing during the session. 

Never in a Rush – I schedule my newborn portrait sessions with plenty of time so that we’re never rushed or pressured to “get the shot” quickly. We can take our time if needed. 

Speaking of rushing, sometimes a parent or older sibling is in a hurry because of work or school. I get that, and we can work around it. Just let me know, and we’ll take those portraits first.

Safely Posing with Siblings – We want to capture the perfect portrait of your older child holding your newborn. During the session, we’ll make sure that everyone is comfortable trying this pose. If not, we can make a composite from several images to create the perfect image for your family. Baby’s safety is my number one rule, and we never ask a young child to hold an infant if they don’t want to. Again we can work around even the feistiest personalities. 

Finally a note about what you see on social media- Every once in a while, I get sent a request in the form of an image from social media. We know Pinterest has some amazing things to see. Often the images that grab your eye aren’t created the way you think. For example, the ones with the elephant. We all know no one is letting an elephant hold their infant, but some of the more subtle ones might seem doable. They are not! We will never hang your baby from a swing, wreath, or anything high off the ground and risk a fall. Never. We even put a beanbag under very tired parents just in case. Did I mention newborn photography safety is my #1 rule? 

How to Get the Perfect Newborn Portrait

My secret to getting the perfect newborn portrait for you is patience and experience. Newborn sessions are a sweet, special time for me because I get to meet and document your brand-new baby. With love and experience, I can capture the portrait that you’re dreaming of. 

Fort Hill, SC Newborn Photography 

Your sweet baby will be here soon. I recommend looking for a photographer that you love and will keep your newborn’s safety in mind for these precious portraits. Over the years, I’ve photographed hundreds of newborns, and it’s always a privilege to capture these images for you because they are so precious.  Finally, if you have any questions for me or wish to schedule your newborn session, please send me a message here. 

When Should You Book Your Newborn Photos

Newborn girl on pink. Charlotte Newborn Photographer

Mama, I know you have a lot on your mind right now as you prepare to welcome your newborn baby. From planning your baby’s room, buying everything you need, and so much more, there’s a lot on your plate! 

If you’re here, you’re probably wondering when you need to actually schedule your newborn photos with a photographer. I’m here to help you! 

Want the answer?

Drumroll, please….

When Should You Book Your Newborn Photos 

The answer is that you should book your newborn photos as soon as you can! In fact, I’ve had clients book their newborn sessions with me before they share the big news with family and friends. (I can keep a secret) So, while you may not want to book as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test, booking as soon as you’re ready can ensure that you can work with the photographer that you want! 

If you’re a planner, this probably sounds great! If you’re not a planner, this may sound crazy to you. Let me explain why it’s important to book your newborn session as early as possible.

As a Charlotte area studio newborn photographer, I only take on a certain number of newborn sessions per week. I do this for a couple of reasons. 

1. I stay flexible around your due date because babies come when they want to! I make sure to have availability in the weeks before and after your due date to fit your session in. 

2. I dedicate time and energy to your session. When you’re in my studio, you’re never rushed for time. I block off several hours for each newborn session so that we have plenty of time. If baby needs a feed or a break, we can accommodate his or her needs. 

Finally, you don’t want to be researching and calling photographers during your postpartum season. Book your newborn photographer in advance so that you can just enjoy your baby those first few weeks. Check out my other resource on how to prepare for your newborn session here. 

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until Baby is Born to Schedule Newborn Photos 

The window to photograph your sweet newborn is relatively short, about 5-14 days is the best time to take newborn photos. If a client reaches out after their baby is born, we have to move quickly to fit in the session. Unfortunately, I have had to turn away sessions because I’m already booked up! That’s why I highly recommend booking your session well in advance so that you don’t have to worry about any of this. 

Special Circumstances for Newborn Photos 

Of course, I want to touch on any special circumstances when it comes to newborn photos. If your baby needs to spend some time in the NICU or mama needs time to recover from the birth, you still deserve beautiful newborn photos. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about this. I’m happy to help. 

Charlotte Newborn Photographer

As a studio Charlotte newborn photographer, my goal is to handle everything for you so that all you need to do is arrive at the studio with your beautiful family. From start to finish, you can trust me to not only document and capture your sweet new addition but to help you display these precious new portraits on the walls of your home. Click here to learn more about a portrait session with me.

How to Prepare for Your Newborn Session in Charlotte, NC

how to prepare for your newborn portrait session

The day is finally here! It’s time to capture that sweet babe you’ve been growing for nine months. You may be wondering what you have to do to prepare for your newborn session, and the answer is… not much! My mission is to handle all the details and run the session so that you don’t have to worry about anything. 

newborn boy holds a stuff elephant for his portrait

The Benefit of a Charlotte Studio Newborn Portrait Session 

This is where being a studio newborn portrait photographer really comes in handy because all you have to do is show up with your family! You won’t need to worry about cleaning your home or keeping your toddler out of their toys. I have everything we need for baby within reach, including props, wraps, and accessories. Plus, you might not even have to worry about what to wear with my client wardrobe! How nice is that?

On the day of your session, I’ll have everything ready to go, including the backdrop, lighting, and any other equipment that we’ll need. Once everyone is settled, we’re able to get started! 

Preparing Your Other Children for Your Newborn Session 

During our consultation, I always ask my clients who will be in the photos. Once I have a list of who will be in the photos, I’ll ask for a run-through of everyone’s personality. That might sound goofy, but the more I know, the better I can prepare for the session. If you’re worried that your three-year-old will not cooperate, let me know so that I can come armed and ready to do whatever is necessary to get the perfect photo. I’m all about bribes on portrait day, of course! When used correctly, bribes work wonderfully to encourage any child to cooperate for the photo. 

I’ll have the right things on hand that will entice your toddler, like suckers and snacks. Foods that can be eaten quickly and won’t leave a mess. For that reason, I avoid chocolates or red candies. I’ll make sure to clear any treats or bribes with you beforehand!

Picture Perfect Backup Plan For Young Toddlers 

During our pre-planning process, we’ll go through our ideal portrait, our backup option, and our hail-mary photoshop plan for the session. That means we are prepared for whatever happens and won’t need to stress at all. The ideal plan is that everyone cooperates, and we’re able to get the perfect portrait. For example, a photo of your toddler holding your newborn is every mom’s dream. If we need to use the backup plan, we can photograph the baby in a prop, then capture your older child coming in for a kiss or photograph them next to the prop. 

Finally, if those options are not going to work then we will use Photoshop to create your dream portrait. I’ll photograph each child alone and then composite them together. That way, everyone is happy and safe, and you get your siblings’ photos. Because let’s be honest, everyone wants a siblings’ portrait.

Newborn Portrait Session Experience | Charlotte, NC

My mission is to create a stress-free portrait session experience for you and your entire family. Everyone’s safety and happiness are my top priority while ensuring we create that dream portrait for you to display on the walls of your home. If you’re interested in learning more about a newborn session near Charlotte, please send me a message here.

 

Looking for some Maternity portrait inspiration? Check out my friend Nani’s work she’s out in Texas y’all!

How to Choose Your Newborn Portrait Photography Style | Charlotte, NC

sweet newborn girl poses for her newborn portrait session

You spend nine months waiting to meet the love of your life. All those months, you dream about this little person who you can’t wait to hold in your arms. It’s a surreal and beautiful moment when that moment arrives, and you get to hold your sweet baby for their newborn portrait.

Charlotte mama holds her sweet newborn during a newborn portrait session

Those first few weeks with your newborn are a crazy blur as you get to know each other. It’s so important to capture this important milestone with newborn portraits. An essential part of planning your newborn portrait session is to decide which type of newborn portrait style you wish. I’d love to walk through the different styles and help you decide which one is right for your family. 

Family meeting their sweet newborn during their studio photography session

Baby Photography Styles

There are two styles of newborn portraits to choose from and they are studio or lifestyle. Both are beautiful, but you need to understand the difference and choose the right style for you! We want to start with the end in mind for every portrait session. How do you want to display and love on these portraits? Are you going to display them in your living room or create an heirloom album? Maybe both! Knowing this helps us plan your style. 

newborn twins during their portrait session in Charlotte, NC

 

Lifestyle Newborn Portraits 

A lifestyle photographer will come to your home after the baby is born to capture lifestyle newborn portraits. The photographer works within your home to take photographs of your baby and usually doesn’t bring props or wraps. Instead, they use your home and decor as a backdrop for the portraits. For this reason, parents need to clean and prepare their home before the session so that it’s portrait ready! These portraits can feature the rest of your family as the photographer captures your family’s big milestone. 

Studio Newborn Portraits

All you need to do is bring your beautiful new baby to the studio for this style of newborn portraits. Everything is perfect and ready for your peaceful session within the studio setting. Something special about studio portraits is that your newborn is the primary focus of the studio portraits.

Newborn girl poses for her newborn portrait in the studio

I have everything we need for your baby’s session, including props, wraps, and even a wardrobe for mama. The studio-style offers the ability to sweetly and safely pose your newborn to get the perfect photo. 

Studio portrait photographer Alicia Smith has all the props needed for your newborn session

If mama has a specific pose in mind, I have training and experience to pose your baby. However, your newborn runs the show. If your sweetie isn’t feeling a particular pose, sometimes I can use some Photoshop magic to create the perfectly posed portrait for you. This is a much safer option than trying to force a pose that might be uncomfortable for your baby. Of course, if you have other children, you’re welcome to bring them to the studio for this special session. I love creating sibling portraits, and they are almost always one of mom’s favorites.

siblings pose during a studio newborn portrait session

Charlotte Newborn Studio Photographer

Your newborn portrait session is such an important milestone to capture, and you only get one shot to get it right! Newborn portraits are best to capture between 5 and 14 days old. Trust an experienced newborn studio photographer located right in Charlotte, NC. I’m honored when families choose me for this precious time, and I don’t take a moment of it for granted. If you think I may be the right fit for you, let’s have a conversation. 

Why Work With The Same Maternity & Newborn Photographer | Rock Hill, SC

studio maternity session near Rock Hill, SC

Meeting my newborn clients will never get old! I absolutely love when mamas book their maternity and newborn sessions with me. Not only do I get to relive that special time over and over again, but I find that I’m just as excited to meet the new baby as I am to see the mama again. 

Sweet studio newborn portrait session

There are so many reasons why I highly recommend using the same photographer for both your maternity session and your newborn session. I have my reasons, but it’s really a great thing for mom. Let me share a few reasons with you!

gorgeous studio maternity portrait session

Using the Same Maternity Photographer and Newborn Photographer

These are just a few of the best reasons why you should consider booking the same photographer for your pregnancy photos and your newborn photos. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. 

maternity photography Alicia Smith shares this sweet session

  1. No Strangers Here – At your newborn session, you won’t be meeting a new photographer for these precious portraits. You’re already confident and comfortable with your photographer, and you know exactly what you’re going to get. Instead of saying, “Nice to meet you,” you’ll say, “It’s so great to see you again!” 

why use the same maternity and newborn photographer

  1. Easy Newborn Session Planning – You can plan out both sessions when you have the same photographer. Instead of wondering what poses you want or what props you’ll need, you can work through that during your pregnancy.

parents holding their newborn daughter during their studio portrait session

  1. Priority Scheduling – My newborn clients have priority scheduling. Of course, babies come when they want, but I have my booked in newborn clients’ due dates on the calendar and make sure to be available around that time. Mamas just need to let me know when their baby is born to finalize the date of the session within the ideal two-week timeframe.

Beautiful mom during her studio maternity session

  1. Don’t Be Camera Shy – For some of my clients, their maternity portrait session is their first professional photos since their wedding. Whether you love being in front of the camera or not, having the same photographer means you and your partner have an opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera. 

Couple posing for their studio maternity session

Displaying Your Portrait Artwork

  1. Style Your Session – The best part of my job is to deliver my clients amazing portrait artwork they can treasure forever. You see, my job isn’t over until your portraits are displayed in your home. It’s that important to me! When I work with my clients for their maternity and newborn sessions, we can style their sessions so that their portraits match their home’s styles. We also offer installation for your wall art. I want to do this for you so that you can focus on bonding with your baby and not asking your partner to hang the art. That way after your baby arrives you can focus on bonding with them and we can get your portraits on your walls for you. 

newborn boy in a belly cast during his studio portrait session

Maternity and Newborn Photoshoot | Rock Hill, SC

Honestly, I can hardly wait for when my clients walk into the studio with their newborns. Meeting your sweet babies is such an honor, and after getting to know you at the maternity session, I am genuinely excited to hear the good news!  I love that I am able to get to know my clients and be part of their growing families. As a maternity and newborn photographer, I’m here to capture your most precious moments. Please send me a message here if you want to schedule your session with me. 

 

Interested in something different for inspiration? Check out this milk bath maternity session a friend of mine created. 

Charlotte Photographer Newborn Posing Safety Most Important

newborn baby girl, charlotte NC, posing safety

Above is a newborn portrait of sweet miss Carli from my newborn posing safety workshop I attended this past weekend. She was a doll to work with and her parents were really great for bringing her in after the ice storm the night before.

Learning to safely pose new babies…

became a top priority for me once I decided to specialize in newborn photography. Posed newborn portraits have become very popular as of late and I quickly learned with my new baby posing him was not as easy as it looks on Pinterest.  After doing a little research and taking my first live newborn class I found out just how unsafe some posing could be if done incorrectly. I’ve made it my mission to learn the right way to pose your infant while keeping them safe at all times. 

The unexpected part of the class was…

learning more about babies and what happens during birth. For example I found out which in hindsight seems obvious that babies can have a preference of one side or the other because of bruising or trauma from delivery. And some poses they just won’t like for the same reason. Another a ha moment for me was learning that you can actually tell when a baby is dreaming? Pretty cool right, having this information is great because it tells me what stage of sleep baby is in and when is better to begin posing or wait. Hint the dreaming stage is very close to the conscious stage so we wait for this stage to end. My mind was totally blown babies are really amazing. 

Below is the link to our posing safety recent press release.

They include information about the Making Memories Newborn workshop that I attended.

NC Headlines – Alicia Insley Smith of  Insley Photography completes Newborn Posing Workshop for infant safety

NC Headlines – Insley Photography Newborn Posing Workshop

Expecting a baby soon? check out my most recent work here 

New Baby Gallery