Below is everything you need to know about baby plan sessions! I have included info for EVERY milestone session. So regardless of which package you purchased, you'll be able to read about them here.

GENERAL INFORMATION REGARDING MILESTONE SESSIONS:

Sessions are scheduled Monday-Friday only. Availability varies throughout the year one what days I schedule which types of sessions, as I have to schedule around what days my little ones are in school/nursery school, etc. Keep in mind that my schedule stays full. The earlier we schedule your milestone sessions the better. Normally we will sit down and schedule your next milestone session as we are wrapping up a session.

STUDIO VS. OUTDOOR FOR YOUR SESSION: Please keep in mind what time of the year it will be. Newborn sessions are done in studio. But other milestone sessions may fall on extreme weather months. I typically do all child sessions in the months of December-February IN the studio. March-November vary, depending on weather, but keep in mind that early Spring and late Fall can have colder temps and late June-August can sometimes be in the triple digits. If the weather is too hot/cold, we may want to schedule that particular session for the studio and do the next one outdoor. We can discuss this prior to your session.

STUDIO SESSIONS: Studio sessions are normally scheduled to start between 9am and 10:00am on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays.

OUTDOOR SESSIONS: Outdoor sessions are scheduled in the late afternoon. Approximately 1-2 hours before sunset.

TSP COUTURE CLOSET: I also have a collection of boutique and high end little girls dreses available for sessions. Most are larger sizes (perfect for big sisters) but I am trying to grow my baby collection as well. I do also have a few items for baby and toddler boys as well. You can find all of those HERE. These are available for your child/children to wear during their session. Only tutu's (not picured in the gallery) would be available for cake smashes. Collection dresses and items are not available for "messy" sessions.

NEWBORN SESSION

Newborn sessions need to be done within the first 2 weeks. I prefer between 5 and 10 days old if at all possible. Newborn sessions are scheduled in the morning, normally beginning at between 9:00 and 9:30am.

Make sure you start getting ready and plan to leave earlier than you need to. Almost all of my newborn clients end up running late, because they are still getting accustomed to how a baby makes everything take twice as long. ;)

Here are some tips to make things easier for getting out the door (they sound silly, but they help, I promise.) Pack everything you need and set it by the door the night before (or even in the car already.) Just keep out what you'll need that night/following morning and if you need to bring it with you, leave out another tote bag so that you can throw those things in there too. You'll be

racking your brain to make sure you don't forget anything that morning, so it's best to have already packed and ready the night before to minimize that you have to think about the following morning.

CHECK LIST FOR PACKING:

1. A few swaddling blankets. These are just to wrap him/her in during feedings or while we are trying to calm him/her. They will smell familiar to him/her and be more soothing. They won't be in pictures, so you don't have to worry about what they look like. But make sure to pack 5-6 just to be safe, (because of spit up, peeing/pooping while doing any pictures with his/her diaper off or while being held while his/her diaper is off.)

2. Plenty of diapers AND wipes.

3. Whatever you need to nurse/bottle feed your baby. If you are formula feeding, bring plenty of formula and bottles. If you are breastfeeding, but also pumping, please bring a few bottles with breast milk. It's much easier and quicker to feed breast fed babies with bottles during the shoot. If you are breastfeeding and NOT pumping, bring whatever makes you comfortable- Boppy or other breast feeding pillow, cover ups if you use them, etc. I want my breastfeeding moms to feel comfortable. While you are feeding, I will usually be rearranging props and blankets, getting ready for another setup. You are more than welcome to hang out on one of the sofas to nurse, where you are the most comfortable.

4. Gas drops, if you are using them.

5. Pacifier. Even if he/she acts like he/she doesn’t like them or he/she doesn't take them very well.. they almost ALWAYS DO take them during their session. So bring a couple just incase. These can make a big difference.

6. Items of your own that you would like to incorporate. If you have anything you would like to use, such as  hats, headbands, stuffed animals, special/handmade blankets, old/antique items that belonged to mom or dad or other family members, diaper covers, sentimental things, items from his/her room, etc. Do not feel obligated to bring anything and don't worry about bringing a lot. Just bring the things that you absolutely want to use. I have plenty of hats, headbands, etc. that we will be able to use, so you don't have to worry about not having anything for the session. But to feel free to bring things that are special to you and that you want to incorporate.

7. A couple of comfortable outfits for AFTER the session. Bring a couple of outfits for him/her (not for pictures) but just for his/her "going home" outfit from the studio. You can bring him/her IN one of these outfits, and just pack 1 extra. The reason for bringing 2 is sometimes they have accidents (spit up, leaky diapers) so it's best to have 1 extra, just incase.

**HE/SHE WILL NOT NEED NORMAL CLOTHING FOR THE SESSION. Normal clothing means, onesies, dresses, outfits, etc. That does not mean tutus, petticoats or diaper covers if you have them. Normal newborn clothing (no matter how small) fits frumpy and does not look good in pictures. The baby will be posed throughout the session and no matter how well they fit, when we pose the baby, the clothing will try to cover his/her face, or be bulky. This is the only time he/she will EVER be this tiny, and we want to show off how tiny and beautiful he/she is. ;) Nothing "bad" is shown. All poses are of him/her curled on her belly, swaddled, in a diaper cover or in specific newborn prop clothing. There are handmade newborn outfits/clothing that are made specifically for babies to wear during sessions. I have a few items that we can use for the session (I try to add things all the time.) These are hand made pieces that fit very snuggly and are normally worn without a diaper on so as not to look bulky. This type of clothing is normally the only clothing I like to photograph a newborn in.

THE MORNING OF THE SESSION

The morning of the session you will need to keep him/her awake an hour BEFORE you head this way. This is usually best done by giving him/her a bath. Immediately after the 1 hour of awake time, you’ll need to feed him/her. As soon as feeding is done, you’ll head this way. I don’t expect the baby to stay away for the car ride. The 1 hour of awake time prior to the feeding is plenty. Dress him/her in something that is LOOSE fitting, comfortable for him/her and easy to get him/her out of (without disturbing too much.) Just a sleeper or something simple. Anything that fits snug or tight will leave "lines" or "marks" on his/her arms or legs that take a while to fade.

If you have a long trip to get to the studio and need to feed the baby again as soon as you arrive, that is completely fine. As soon as arrive, I'll have you take him/her out of the carrier and undress him/her down to just a diaper, then wrap him/her in one of the swaddle blankets that you brought.

He/she will most likely eat a time or 2 during the session. Sometimes they want to "snack" because we disturb them during sleep moving her around. This is completely normal during the newborn session. The majority of our session will consist of posing him/her and waiting for him/her to sleep in the set ups. This is completely normal as well. 80% of newborn sessions is "waiting them out."

If you and your spouse would like to be in some of the shots, we will do the normal "mom and dad" pictures with him/her and you'll have a few more things to add to your packing list. You will each need a simple/neutral colored top. Black, grey, cream are usually the best colors. Do NOT wear these to the studio. I tell EVERY mom and dad coming with a newborn... come in something comfortable! The studio will get very warm during her session (to keep him/her comfortable) and by the time it's time for the family shots they will be wrinkled and most likely covered with fuzz balls and lint from baby blankets and even flakes of baby skin. Go ahead and have your hair and makeup done, but dress in something comfortable for you. When I'm ready for the "mom and dad" shots, I'll have you both go change in the bathroom. (The reason I said bring shirts only, is most of these pictures are from the waist up. So unless you WANT to wear different pants for these, they really won't be shown.)

If there are big brothers or big sisters that will be participting in the session as well, be sure and bring them a coordinating outfit as well. We will do photos of the family and some of the baby and big brother/sister as well.

Newborn sessions usually last anywhere from 2-3 hours. I try not to go over 3 hours. But be sure and grab you something to eat on the way here so that you aren't hungry. If you have other children that will be coming as well, make sure you bring activities for them so they don't get board and restless. Tablets, crayons, coloring books, etc.

3 MONTH SESSION

This session is the least “exciting” session as baby is not sitting and is usually still learning to hold their head up. The majority of this session will consist of shots of them sitting up (leaning) in chairs as well as on their back and on their belly. The session will last no more than 1 hour.

 Bring: 4-5 outfits (although we might not make it through all outfits during the session), a bottle (incase we need to stop for a feeding), any small toys from home that make your baby laugh or smile. Your also welcome to bring any props from home that you’d like to incorporate.

6 MONTH SESSION

This session will showcase your baby at the “sitting” milestone. Although some ARE crawling at this stage, normally this is right before baby starts to become mobile. The session will last no more than 1 hour.

Bring: 4-5 outfits (although we might not make it through all outfits during the session), “puffs” or crackers, a bottle or sippy cup of something (for any quick snack breaks), any small toys from home that make your baby laugh or smile. You’re also welcome to bring any props from home that you’d like to incorporate.

9 MONTH SESSION

This session will showcase your baby standing (pulling up) on different props. Your baby should be fairly mobile at this point and it will consist of a little bit of chasing. ;) The session will last no more than 1 hour.

Bring: 4-5 outfits (although we might not make it through all outfits during the session), “puffs” or crackers, a bottle or sippy cup of something (for any quick snack breaks), any small toys from home that make your baby laugh or smile. You’re also welcome to bring any props from home that you’d like to incorporate.

12 MONTH SESSION

The 1 year finale session! This session will showcase your baby at all of the 1 year milestones. Standing, possibly walking (and if walking.. then also a lot of chasing them.) ;) At the end of this session we will have the “cake smash.” Most children only pick at their cake (we assist them in “smashing” it a little better.) So please don't be disappointed if your child doesn't just jump right into it. Some children even cry, if they don't like their hands dirty. Every smash cake session is different. It's not a bad idea to let your child have a cupcake the week before your session. Many kids haven't had any type of cake/cupcake, etc to eat, much less been allowed to tear into at their own free will. So most kids usually hesitate and look to mom to make sure what they are doing is okay. ;) Some kids don't like sweets! This is very common. Most of my moms are very excited for the came smash part. It's a sweet little milestone and fun moment to watch your child's personality come out. If they have already been allowed to "practice" on a cupcake or small cake at home, they almost always do much better. (In the past I have had clients schedule their smash cake sessions AFTER the actual birthday-- these children almost ALWAYS do better at "smashing" the cake than the children who are doing it for the first time.) So giving your child even a cupcake to play in at home, could make a big difference when it comes time for the pictures!

This session normally last about an hour and a half to 2 hours.

WHAT TO BRING:

Bring: 3-4 outfits. We might not make it through all outfits during the session-- most kids don't enjoy clothing changes at all, much less when it happens numerous times over a short period of time.. and we want to keep them in a good mood for the cake smash portion, so we normally have them wear their outfits in order of your most favorite to least favorite.

A “smash cake” outfit.

               For boys this can be denim or colored denim shorts or jeans (I recommend cuffing the bottoms), or you can also find diaper covers to match a certain theme, on Etsy. While you can also find shirts and onesies to match a theme or color scheme, I don't really recommend it. In my personal opinion, no top, is much cuter for cake smash sessions. Save the shirts and onesies for their party. If they wear it for their cake smash session, they may end up staining it from colored icing anyway. You can also find cute party hats, bow ties, etc on Etsy. Just search for colors or themes and type "party hat" after or "1 year hat," etc.

               For girl's you have a few different choices. As I mentioned for boys-- I don't recommend shirts or onesies for the actual smash cake portion. While you can easily find shirts and onesies to match a theme or color scheme, in my personal opinion, no top, is much cuter for cake smash sessions. Save the shirts and onesies for their party. If they wear it for their cake smash session, they may end up staining it from colored icing anyway. For girls you could use a tutu, petticoat, diaper cover (ruffle bloomers), skirt, shorts, bubble romper (even though this technically has a top, I am still fond of these) and on occasion (depending on the theme, sometimes a tutu/leotard would work well. You have several options-- I would pick something that best goes with the theme or color scheme that you are planning on.

Puffs, cheerios or crackers, etc. to help keep them in a good mood in between wardrobe changes.

A bottle or sippy cup of something (for any quick snack breaks and to sip on while eating cake.)

Any small toys from home that make your baby laugh or smile.

Anything you would like to incorporate into your smash cake set. (Many clients have banners, or props that they have gotten to use at the party to go along with the theme. You are welcome to bring these to possibly work in to the smash cake setup. But do not feel obligated to purchase things because you feel you have to. I do have things we can use for the cake smash session. If you want something in particular, please check with me prior to the session to make sure we have what we would need here already for your child's session.)

Wipes Remember we are going to, hopefully, have a messy baby after the session is done! ;)

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST...

The Cake! Below are a list of bakeries in my area that make custom smash cakes that I have photographed and that do a wonderful job! When calling to place an order make sure you let them know it's for a smash cake, so they will have a better idea of the size you'll be needing. Smash cakes can be simple or elaborate. You'll work with the bakery to decide on the style of the cake.

Swirlz Bakery- (903) 905-4958

Piece of Cake- (903) 739-2940

1 thing I do not have in the studio are helium balloons. Some clients like balloons for this session, while other's don't really care to have them. I feel like it depends on the theme you are going for. I HIGHLY recommend ordering balloons from the business I personally use as well, Celebrate it! They are amazing and can also make custom balloons decorations (like objects or characters made out of balloons) arches, and awesome little add on options as well as getting pretty much any color, pattern and style of balloon you can imagine!

Celebrate It! (903) 785-9966

IMPORTANT CAKE INFORMATION:

DO NOT get fondant icing. Fondant is hard and doesn't smear. We want soft icing that will smash (smear) and make a mess. Buttercream or whipped icing only for smash cakes. Some fondant decoration ON a buttercream cake would be just fine-- but make sure the baker knows that the cake itself must be buttercream. Also- for the cake, I don't recommend getting chocolate. Yellow or white cake or other fun colors (pink, blue, rainbow, etc..) look great but chocolate cake doesn't really work well for a smash cake session.

If you have a specific theme, let me know ahead of time! I love to customize the cake smash part around the theme. If you are having trouble picking a theme and would like help, I'm happy to help! I LOVE 1st birthday themes and seeing the smash cake portion come together. I have done very simple to very elaborate for a cake smash set-- and I LOVE the chance to work on different themes I haven't gotten to shoot before.

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