Milestone Session Prep Guide

YES! I’m so glad you’ve decided to book with GGP! I am excited to work together to create some beautiful memories for your family to enjoy for many years to come.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions at any step along the way. My ultimate goal (besides creating gorgeous photos) is for you to enjoy this process. I pride myself in the awesome service I provide, and I hope you walk away from your session experience completely satisfied and in love with your portraits.  

This prep guide is full of information I’ve gathered over my 6+ years in business.  It contains pretty much everything you’ll need to know to make the most of your time with me: from what happens before, during and after your session, to what to wear, to tips I’ve found to help create a successful session for everyone.

-Natasha

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Let the fun begin!

A Milestone Session is short and sweet! The session typically lasts around 45-60 minutes, sometimes less, sometimes more – it all depends on what baby needs.  I tend to move pretty quickly with little ones, since most have short attention spans. Milestone sessions are great for babies 3-12 months of age and beyond.

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LEADING UP TO YOUR SESSION

SESSION QUESTIONNAIRE


After booking, you will receive a session questionnaire that will ask about your personal style, specifics you want for the session, ideas or concerns you might have, etc. It is important to take your time and fill out the questionnaire as completely as possible. The more you can tell me about what you’re hoping for, the more successful our session will be. I welcome you to send along photos of my past work that you love.

WHAT TO WEAR


Here are some overall thoughts on clothing for your little one, but please read each age description below for more detailed information. Solids and simple prints are best to keep the focus on faces. Textures and layers are great to add interest. Make sure clothes fit well and aren’t too baggy. Avoid neon colors, orange and red near the face, large prints, as well as large, distracting logos. Please choose outfits and accessories that don’t need fixed constantly. I do have a growing collection of baby clothes for your little one, so you are welcome to borrow things from me as well.

I typically ask that you send me some quick photos of the outfits you plan to bring in the week leading up to your session. That way I can have some setups planned in my head.

WHAT TO BRING


In addition to the necessities (diapers, wipes, etc), feel free to bring a favorite toy or blankie to comfort baby. It’s also wise to bring extra milk/formula/drinks and a snack just in case baby needs a break.

STRANGER ANXIETY


I’ve found that babies as young as 6 months can start to feel uneasy around strangers. This has been particularly noticeable during the pandemic. When you arrive, one of the first things I do is assess how your child reacts to me. Some children have no problems interacting with me and others are immediately leery. Sometimes we can dive right into the session, and other times we might spend the first 10-15 minutes playing on the floor, letting them adjust to me and their new environment. Please know that your child’s comfort and happiness is of top importance.

RESCHEDULING


Life happens! If there is a family emergency, if anyone isn’t feeling well, or your little one takes a tumble (scrape/bruise), just reach out and we can discuss a change of plans. Please know that I am happy to work with any issues that arise, and that I leave time in my schedule to accommodate them. I’d love to hear from you 24+ hours before the session if at all possible.

SESSION DAY IS HERE!

Please plan to be with me for 60+ minutes. Often, I am done quicker than this, but sometimes baby needs some extra snuggles or snacks to get comfortable. My time is almost always flexible, so leave your stress at home and we can work together to have the most successful session possible. You will very much be a part of the session, even if you aren’t in any photos. Family photos are taken first (if you choose to do them), then you will help me with getting baby into place the rest of the time. This can be quite a workout once baby is on the move, so dress accordingly.

AGES & STAGES
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3-5 MONTHS

At this age, baby spends much of their time photographed on their backs. I will change setups and outfits often to get some variety. If baby is willing, I will also try to pose on their belly and safely propped in a sitting position

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Smiles are not always common at this age, but I will certainly try my best. I know, no matter what, we will get some beautiful portraits of your little one that captures their sweet dispositions and how much they’ve grown.

Clothing suggestions: keep things very simple. A onesie, a romper, a pair of shorts/pants or bloomers. Avoid clothing that is too baggy or bulky.

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6-10 MONTHS

Baby’s personality is shining through now! I will feature baby sitting on their own, pushing up, and maybe even crawling. The age a baby masters each of these can vary greatly. Some clients choose to wait until baby is sitting well to schedule their session, and others prefer to capture them at a specific age. Feel free to chat with me about what works best for you.

Clothing suggestions: Keep things pretty simple. Bring items that let baby kick and wiggle around comfortably. Feel free to bring your favorite outfits from home or borrow from my growing Client Closet. This is also a great age to feature that beautiful baby skin. I typically get through 3 outfits/setups at this session.

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FIRST BIRTHDAY

Can you believe it’s been one year?! A one-year session typically lasts a bit longer, up to one hour. We will probably spend quite a bit of time chasing your little one around as they explore the studio. Be ready for a workout!

I’ll be ready to capture your little one no matter how quick they are! Some are still comfortable crawling, others love to stand, walk or even run. I move quickly at these sessions, but snack breaks and a snuggle are always welcome if baby needs it.

Clothing suggestions: I have some limited clothing options available for this age, but I suggest bringing 2-3 favorite outfits from home as well. I aim for 3 outfits/setups at a one-year studio session. This includes a cake smash setup and/or a splash setup if you choose to do one (more on that below).

If you’d prefer to be outdoors for the one year session, I’d suggest 1-2 outfits in total so we can focus a bit more on the scenery and any other family members you would like to include.