Newborn Session —

Thank you for choosing a newborn session with Katy Hayes Photography. This page is set up to give you an idea of what to expect during your session and hopefully answer any specific questions you might have. However, I am always available by email {} if you have any other questions!

My in-home studio is at 25573 Quits Pond Ct, Chantilly, VA 20152.
Please feel free to park in my driveway.

Day of session prep —

I put together this session prep guide to help alleviate added stress while preparing for your newborn session. The overall goal of this prep guide is to provide tips so we can start your session with a well-fed, sleepy baby. These are just suggestions, so please don’t stress about it!

  • I ask that you arrive 10-15 minutes before your session time so we can start your session by 10AM.

  • If you can, avoid coffee the morning of your session. There is a Starbucks less than 1/2 mile from my house if you want to enjoy coffee during your session!

  • Suggested timeline for the morning of your session…
    1 HOUR BEFORE LEAVING: warm bath for your baby, put lotion on any dry or flaky skin.
    10-30 MINUTES BEFORE LEAVING: feed your baby/burp your baby and then dress them in something that doesn’t go over their head (zip or button up sleeper)
    DRIVE TO STUDIO: If your drive is longer than 20 minutes, please try to keep them awake for the first 10-15 minutes in the car, then let them fall into a deep sleep.

  • Once you arrive, I will get your baby undressed and ready for the first set-up. Unless your baby is wide awake, I always start with newborn only photos. Then we move onto sibling, family, and parent photos.

  • Please bring the soothie pacifier the hospital sent you home with. It's the bendable, green/blue/orangish/pink one, and won't leave marks around their mouth when we take it out. Even if you haven't used one, just for the few hours that I'm posing him/her really helps. If they take another paci, please bring the one they prefer. I have extras in the studio, if needed.

  • PLEASE DON'T STRESS before your session! Easier said than done, I know! I photograph newborns every week and have plenty of patience and experience helping newborns stay asleep throughout our session. Babies are unable to focus at this age, so the best photos of newborns are taken while they are peacefully sleeping!

During your session —

  • Plan to spend up to two (2) hours in my studio. Session length will depend on how sleepy your baby is, if they have tummy troubles, or are going through a growth spurt and need to eat more often.

  • I have my workflow set up to deliver a variety of photos and plan out my sessions ahead of time. For newborn sessions, I typically split the session into three parts: newborn only, family/sibling, and end with Mom + baby and Dad + baby.

  • My studio is relatively small and I aim to keep a quiet soothing environment for your baby, so if you have siblings, I will ask one parent to take the kids to our playroom during the newborn only part of the session.

  • Although I would love to duplicate all your requested poses, I don't guarantee any specific poses. I will not force any newborn into a pose that they don't fall into naturally.

  • I like to be particular with the details (fingers flat, head positioned into the light correctly), so each pose can take up to 20 minutes to get set up. A bit of fussing is normal during transitions. I typically spend about 15-20 minutes on each pose and if your baby isn't comfortable or doesn’t settle, I will move on.

  • Newborn safety is my top priority. If anyone in your family is sick, we will need to reschedule your session. I have anywhere from 1-3 newborns in my studio each week, so I can't risk passing anything on to another newborn or getting sick myself. I almost always have an assistant (her name is Sadie) with me during each session. One of us will always be within a foot of your baby with our attention focused solely on your newborn.

After your session —

  • I typically post a few images after your session to my business Facebook & Instagram pages. Depending on your privacy settings I may or may not be able to tag you, but I encourage you to tag yourself or any family members in the photos I post. Please feel free to share them on your personal page, or use those images as your profile picture or header.

  • Within 3-4 business days of your session I will send you a link with approximately 40-60 unedited images from your session. You will be able to mark your favorites from your session. 20 digital images are included with your session fee. You can purchase additional images: $25/each, $150/10 images, or $300/20 images. Once you have marked your favorites, please email me and let me know. I only edit the images you select.

  • Your entire gallery will be emailed to you within 3 weeks of selecting your images. I try to send out your gallery within 1-2 weeks, but during the spring or fall that isn't always possible. Newborn sessions take a little bit longer to edit if your baby has flaking skin, baby acne, or is jaundice/red. You will be able to view your gallery online and download the full size images from the website to your computer.

  • As far as editing goes, I don't change/alter any physical features that won't change within 2 weeks. I will edit out cuts, scraps, zits, etc. I aim to minimize peeling skin and can reduce redness/baby acne as much as possible but I won't do it to the extent that it takes away the natural features of your baby or makes your baby look "plastic". Babies have more color, and I like to keep babies looking real. If you notice a lot of baby acne before our session, cutting out dairy (if you are breastfeeding) usually helps within a day or two. As mentioned above, a bath followed with some moisturizer helps peeling skin. Although I am able to photoshop out some some skin blemishes/peeling skin, it really takes away from the texture and realness of your babies skin to do too much editing. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please email me before your session.

Outfit choices —

  • When taking family photos at a newborn session, Mom, Dad, and siblings are a big part of the show too. Photographing the connection between parents/baby and sibling/baby is one of my all-time favorite things. While style is a personal choice, and I want you photographed in something that represents you as a family, please know that your outfit choice can completely change the feel of your session. As you have seen from my portfolio, I love neutrals and rich color tones! I would strongly recommend against putting everyone in one color. I recommend pulling together a few tones to create a color palette that coordinates your family. Feel free to add in dimension by using textures and layers. Most importantly, make sure you feel comfortable and beautiful in whatever you choose!

  • I always encourage Mom to pamper herself before the session. That might mean getting her hair and nails done or maybe that means planning out the morning so Dad has the kids to allow Mom to take her time getting ready. I tend to spend a little more time focusing on Mom during this session. After a long and exhausting journey through pregnancy and delivery, I like to make sure Mom feels beautiful during this session. There will be time for finishing touches in the studio, if needed. You are welcome to step away to get ready while I am doing the newborn only photos.

  • I recommend hair down and loose curls or waves for Mom and daughters. For Mom, the most important thing when planning your outfit is to make sure you feel comfortable! Brand suggestions for Mom: Pink Blush, Asos, Show Me Your Mumu, Nordstrom, and Anthropologie. Brand suggestions for girls: Zara, Jamie Kay, H&M, Rylee and Cru, and Asos.

  • Boys look adorable in jeans and sweaters, suspenders, collared shirts, or simple, fitted long or short sleeve shirts in neutral or soft colors. Brand suggestions for boys: Zara, Jamie Kay, H&M, Rylee and Cru, Gap Kids, and Asos.

  • For everyone, I would avoid any big logos that I can’t edit out and would recommend against black. Black seems to collect hair, dog hair from home, and any fur from my studio that makes it very difficult to edit out.

  • Remember that hands are usually in many newborn family photos, so bare nails or light nail polish is recommended.

I included a few family photos from different sessions so you can see how the tones and colors photograph.
I mostly shoot on a cream backdrop, but also have a gorgeous chestnut brown and gray color to use, when requested!

Also, feel free to change into your outfit after you arrive. You will have plenty of time to change and touch up your make-up while I photograph your baby alone.

Best Northern Virginia Newborn Photographer_1322.jpg

I look forward to helping you document this special time in your life!