A Mother’s Love | Favorite Ways to Pose Mom and Newborn Baby

Sarah Borchgrevink Photography, located in Houston, previews the most stunning and sweet mothers who have visited the studio recently! Check out Sarah's favorite ways to pose new mothers and their babies. 

There is no greater love than a mother has for her child

Howdy, friend! I am super excited to see you're visiting my little 'ol blog! Today's post chats about my favorite ways to pose newborn babies and their mothers as well as why parent posing is included in all three custom, curated collections I offer to fresh new babies in Houston TX. Please allow me to introduce myself! My name is Sarah Borchgrevink. Yes, yes - I know my last name is a mouthful but the fellow I am married to is such a sensational lad I had to take that last name, ha! We've been married since we were 19 years old and 8 years later we have four little ones! Motherhood influences my portraiture work because it allows me to relate to my clients on a personal level. 

Because I am a mommy myself, I truly believe parent posing is of the utmost importance and it's included in all three collections I offer. If you'd like to take a quick peek at them, check ' em out. :-) There is a mini, petite or full session; these typically takes place at 5-8 days new, though I will take newborns up to 14 days if needed. 

There is no greater love than a mother has for her children. I often am reminded that the depths and multifaceted dimensions to our relationships with our children deserve to be preserved and honored. This in mind, I enjoy working with parents during our newborn session together. As a perk, I do include parent/family set ups in all of my sessions and I do hope you take advantage of this.

I include parent posing in all of my sessions because this time is incredibly special and fleeting; parents have no idea how quickly time passes until they bring their new baby home from the hospital or birthing center. All of the sudden, your baby is months old or even a year! The first year of life, for instance, is a whirlwind of adjustments and milestones in which we are constantly looking forward and not always in the moment. By including parent and family posing, such as mom and baby, in my collections you will fondly look back on these images and be filled with love for your sweet newborn cherub. I know many new parents do not feel camera ready, however, you'll be super happy to have taken these. 

BACK LIT MOTHER AND NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY

Creating soulful, dynamic and stunning portraiture is one of my favorite parts of being a Houston Newborn Photographer. In my studio, you'll find the most gorgeous ethereal lighting and this is truly a cornerstone to my baby sessions. I simply adore the way the light fills the room, illuminating the subjects, thus adding a sense of peace, serenity and joy to the final product.

I always include back-lit images in all of my sessions and galleries. While I do have an impressive wooden wall, this gives two looks, so diversity is a wonderful element, too.  When implementing back-lit images into your session, the process is simple: back-lit simply means Mom stands paralell to the light and is lit from behind. I like baby to be facing her at all times so we're able to see a beautiful profile of darling little one's features.

Mom and Newborn Photography
Posing Mom and Newborn Baby
Newborn Photography with Mom
Houston Newborn Photographer
Newborn Photography Houston
Best Newborn Photography Houston
Houston Newborn Photography
Newborn Photographer The Woodlands TX
Newborn Photography Katy TX

The Criss-Cross Pose of Mom and Baby

I love posing a mother and her newborn baby in the "criss-cross" pose, which is essentially a pattern of intersection straight lines or paths, meaning the arms of mom are crossed over her shoulders with baby sweetly nestled into her palms. This can be done in many different ways. Each baby is different; some are longer, shorter, chubbier, more petite, or curly. However, they're wrapped for each and every parent shot, as wrapping is a huge cornerstone to how I create unique and timeless newborn portraiture. 

Cypress TX Newborn Photographer

When doing this pose, you can always have mom back-lit, explained above, or you can use a simple background. I usually use my wooden wall in studio since it contrasts with parents. If you're unsure about to what to wear to your session, have no fear. Each parent is given a detailed newborn prep guide on what to expect and clothing suggestions are given. 

Houston Baby Photographer
Newborn Photography The Woodlands TX
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Newborn Photography Spring TX

The Shoulder

The third pose I typically implement is baby gently placed against Mom's shoulder. I like this pose because you're able to see Mom's face and all of baby's gorgeous little features such as their sweet little newborn toes, button nose, hands gently folded beneath their chin, and of course their faces! 

This pose is simple to achieve and never causes me stress or worry. I am able to do it quickly, too, and make mom feel comfortable because she is not awkwardly holding baby for a long period of time while we adjust things. I personally like wrapped parent and baby images, so this helps me do a session much faster. By wrapping baby, baby is the perfect little package and easier for parents to hold, I can leave their diapers on and it makes for much less clean up and messes, and also makes baby happy. Babies adore being wrapped - I cannot stress this enough. 

Newborn Photographer Cypress TX

As always, I would love to thank you for visiting my blog! I enjoy writing about new topics and creative projects I'm working on. Check back in a few days to see new posts! Looking forward to your visit. :-) 

Specializing in posed baby portraits, Sarah Borchgrevink Photography is a Houston Newborn Photographer serving the surrounding areas including Houston metro area, Cypress, Katy, Spring, The Heights, Sugar Land, West University, Bellaire, and The Woodlands, TX. In addition to breathtaking newborn images, Sarah also offers stylish natural light family photography as well as dynamic outdoor maternity sessions for expecting couples.

 

Ultimate Nap Fighting Champion | Working with Alert Newborns in Studio

Sarah Borchgrevink Photography, located in Houston, shares how to photograph an alert newborn in a posed studio setting. 

Dylan's Petite Posed Newborn Session | 12 Days Fresh & New

Hi, gang! Welcome and greetings! I'm glad you're here to read about ways to photograph a newborn who may not be interested in sleeping during the posed newborn session. As a newborn photographer who specializes in posed studio work, I am always really excited when a brand new baby visits my space! In fact, for this particular baby boy named Dylan, I already had the honor of documenting his parent's natural light maternity session so take a peek at that post if you'd like to more information on creating meaningful pregnancy portraits. Today, however, is all about working with babies who are alert.

Before we begin, it's important to note that newborn sessions take place in the first 14 days of life. I offer three options for parents to consider, so click on over to the full pricing guide to see a mini, petite or full newborn collection. Dylan's parents chose my petite newborn collection, which is a lovely option! Featuring all things cozy wrapping, a handful of naked bean bag posing, vintage inspired props, and family/parent images this session is a remarkable and authentic way to preserve this incredibly special time in your baby's life. Once you've notified me of baby's earth side arrival, I send you 3-4 dates to consider that take place in the first two weeks. You're also given a detailed prep guide on how to have a successful newborn session and also how I keep baby content during their posed studio session.

Nevertheless, despite prepping baby and visiting my Houston Newborn Portrait Studio in the first 14 days, some babies are simply more alert than others. They are all individual people and it's important to treat each baby with respect. They have their own autonomy. I can spend hours soothing, rocking, feeding, and providing a calm environment, however, sometimes baby is just a nap fighting champion.

Here is my studio policy on alert babies:

*If baby is already close to the 14 day mark, we spend the 2 hours capturing what we may capture. If your baby is 4-5 days old and is just cluster nursing non-stop, we will bring you back in on day 7 to try again if we've spent 60 minutes and baby is crying or seems unhappy. 

Let's get started, shall we? :-) 

Cozy, Sweet Potato Sack Wrap

Houston Newborn Photographer

Potato sack wrap is the best way to keep baby asleep when they're feeling alert. This is because the wrap is snug around baby's joints and reminds them of being back in the womb. Paired with white noise and an 80 degree environment, it's sure to help them go to sleep. At this point, you can take advantage of baby sleeping. Take this opportunity to take images of baby with a hat, without a hat, on their side, sitting up, in a floor prop, etc. The trick to working with an alert newborn is making sure you make the most of each and every set up. Newborns are challenging! Even the most laid back newborn session can take around 2 hours to photograph. However, by starting with potato sack wrap, you're sure to keep things running much more smoothly than if you began with a naked bean bag pose.

Newborn Photography Houston

Floor Props & Keep Baby Snug

Newborn Photographer Houston TX

Another trick to working with a newborn who's not sleepy is to utilize different floor props. If baby finally falls asleep, try not to disturb them. Keep the heat close so they're content and very carefully wrap out hats, wraps, and floor prop items. All of my floor props, for example, are low to the ground and also keep baby safe. For this session, Dylan was ready to party and while he is super duper handsome, he truly made me work, ha! I pulled a classic wooden trench bowl, antique metal pail and a simple, rustic weaved basket to provide variety for his parents. 

Houston Newborn Photography

Moreover, to create more variety in your sessions, don't be afraid to experiment with different colors and textures. While baby is wrapped in very similar styles, I used texture to ensure each set up looks different, despite being in three different wrapping styles. Since his parents chose my petite gallery, I needed to come up with 30 images that are all different. Thankfully, I am very experienced in posed newborn portraiture and am comfortable working with alert newborns, however, three years ago I may have felt a little frazzled. 

This brings up another point: don't get stressed. I know it can make newborn photographers feel anxious when you have a baby in studio who is not sleepy. You have a game plan in your mind on what you want to accomplish and you also are eager for the parents to love the photos. Newborn photography is truly customized and a special art because it takes someone with patience, skill and attention to detail to truly create beautiful baby images. Keep calm. Remember your newborn training and mentoring. You also may go over on time a little bit and that's okay: don't forget parents have invested in these images and while it's great to stay on schedule, if you spend an extra half hour in order to achieve the look you need, it is well worth it! 

Dylan made me work but he is just so handsome!

Houston Baby Photographer
Baby Photography Houston

Tootsie Style of Newborn Wrapping

After floor props, I moved Dylan into tootsie wrap style. This is the foundation for all my macro images from his session. You'll see those below. Once I was able to get him back to sleep, I moved him to bean bag and pulled the most lovely, charcoal grey color scheme featuring a matching wrap, back drop, and bonnet. I did have to rock him for a bit and rub his eyes, but his Dad was very helpful and kept the heater really close and moved my white noise machine so baby would sleep even deeper.

The sweet smiles make the whole session worth it for me! His parents will truly treasure his adorable little smirk and stunning features. Even on the most challenging of sessions, I am happy to be with babies. Each baby is also a learning experience and way to better yourself as a newborn portrait artist. 

The Woodlands Newborn Photographer

Don't forget your precious macro images

Since Dylan is already wrapped in a precious tootsie style, I took this as an opportunity to capture his macro details. This is an example of making the most of each set up during your time with baby. Instead of moving him and risking him waking up, I delicately adjusted his body so he is parallel to my light and photographed his darling characteristics such as his brand new, curly toes, sweet profile, his lips, nose, cheeks and eye lashes. He did not want me to touch his hands so I kept his hands inside of the wrap, but we still achieved enough variety for a petite newborn gallery. I ended up showing his parents around 80 images! I call that a successful newborn session, even if baby did not want to sleep. :-) 

Newborn Photography The Woodlands TX
Spring TX Newborn Photography
Newborn Photography Spring TX
Spring Newborn Photography
Newborn Photography Cypress TX

Get Creative With Your Sliders in Processing

The final tip I suggest is to be creative with sliders in post processing of images. All of these images were photographed on a blue back drop, but by adjusting my sliders in Lightroom, which is a post processing software professional photographers utilize, I was able to give his parents 4 different colors. So, for each image shown below, I gave them a grey, green, teal and blue version of the photos plus a black/white edit. 

Cypress TX Newborn Photographer
Katy TX Newborn Photographer
Newborn Photography Katy TX
Katy Newborn Photographer

Thanks for stopping by my blog to read ways to work with alert newborns, even if they are the ultimate nap fighting champions, ha! I hope you enjoyed seeing styles of wrapping, vintage floor props, and tips for a successful posed newborn session. If you liked this post you may enjoy reading about the other topics such as:

Specializing in posed baby portraits, Sarah Borchgrevink Photography is a Houston Newborn Photographer serving the surrounding areas including Houston metro area, Cypress, Katy, Spring, The Heights, Sugar Land, West University, Bellaire, and The Woodlands, TX. In addition to breathtaking newborn images, Sarah also offers stylish natural light family photography as well as dynamic outdoor maternity sessions for expecting couples.

 

Set Your Business Apart | 9 Top Notch Tips for Customer Service

Houston Portrait Photographer, Sarah Borchgrevink Photography, shares how to set your business apart through the best customer service driven experience. 

9 Effective tips For Creating An Amazing Client Experience. Be the top ranked photographer in your service area.

Greetings and good morning to you! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read how I create a top notch customer service driven experience for my portraiture clients. My name is Sarah Borchgrevink and I'm a Houston Photographer specializing in gorgeous posed newborn baby sessions. While I love working with dreamy newborns and sweet parents, I recognize this is the "fun" part of my job and running a successful full time business has a lot more to do with customer service than it does with taking pretty pictures.

I've been in business for over 4 years and have worked full time during this time. I average around 20 clients per month, year around, and truly enjoy my interactions with them! This customer service flow is how I retain clients long term and provide a fantastic experience for everyone! It's all about managing clients, their expectations, and answering questions and concerns before they're ever asked. From start to finish, your client should be comfortable, at ease, and know exactly what's going to happen. It's your job to do so. 

Please note this is how I personally like to run my own portraiture business. You're free to take this advice with a grain of salt or even implement it into your own work flow. If you notice this works for you, I'd love to hear your own results.

Customer service is important because:

  • This is the best way to promote word of mouth referrals for your photography business
  • Creates balance in your business
  • Creates a superior business plan
  • Builds successful relationships with clients

I am happy to say I am the top rated newborn photographer in Houston, via Google, and I set my business apart by providing an amazing experience for my clients.

Nothing puts a smile on my face more than receiving a fantastic review! As a small business owner, these are the ultimate feedback and help you know what you're doing right, wrong, or perhaps can tweak. For example, many of my clients are long term customers and I delight in working with them throughout family milestones such as celebrating their baby bump through a natural light, maternity session, posed newborn portraiture in studio, updated family photos, or a baby plan membership for little one. Reviews like the following are the greatest joy!


“Sarah has photographed our family 7 times in the last 10 months." 

We LOVE Sarah! She is phenomenal to work with, so amazing with kids AND our entire extended family! Even at times when I am stressed to the max trying to get our twins to cooperate, Sarah always keeps her cool and gets beautiful shots of our girls. We love Sarah’s style, and her laid back sessions translate into breathtaking digital memories that we will have forever. I cannot say enough positive things about Sarah, we look forward to having Sarah document our family’s milestones for years to come. She is the BEST!

— Lindsey Woodard


However, you may be wondering, "How do you retain a client for numerous yearly sessions? What makes them return? How do you set yourself apart?" Customer service is key, my friends! Do so with a joyful, giving heart. Love what you do. 

UP FRONT & TRANSPARENT PRICING 

One of the number one things my clients tell me is they love how open and transparent I am about my portraiture investment and collection options. Photography is a luxury service. However, parents often make a decision based on the collections you offer and how open you are with your pricing. For instance, my sister in law is currently pregnant and asked a few questions about booking her own newborn photographer. She lives in another state; while I would love to photograph her sweet baby, I am not able to travel since I myself am about to have another baby, ha! However, I explained a few things she can ask such as if the session fee includes digital files or heirloom prints. Many photographers will list their initial session fee on their website, however, they do not list the cost of products such as full resolution digital files or heirloom prints and products. While every photographer *should* run their business how they see fit, I can attest many of my parents book simply because they know exactly how much their session is going to cost up front. It helps them plan for the investment and know exactly what to expect. I like to make the booking process as easy for parents as possible and knowing what I offer, how much the sessions cost, and if I offer payment plans is a great way for parents to connect with me. 

PHONE CALL & CHAT TO HEAR ABOUT THEIR NEEDS

Once the client has contacted me through my session inquiry form, I respond to them typically within a few hours or so, however, 24 hours or less is fantastic turnaround time! I invite them to set up a phone chat and consultation so I may hear about their family, child, pregnancy, or what they're looking for. This helps me see if I'm a good fit for them and also allows me to hear their needs. Are they looking for digital files? Are they perhaps interested in heirloom wall art? Do I have availability for them? All of this works together as a song and dance so they're able to select the best option for their portraiture needs. Moreover, it's okay to not be the perfect fit for each inquiry that you encounter. Sometimes you do not offer what they're seeking and that's okay. A quick phone chat immediately lets you know if your client should move forward with booking. If you're not a good fit, it is also great customer service to refer them to another local who you know encompasses what they're looking for. Not only does this promote community over competitetion within the photography field, but best serves the potential client. 

Studio space tour  

After the phone chat, at the very least, show your client photos of your studio space or better yet invite them in for a studio tour. These take about 20-30 minutes and is a great way to connect with your client! It puts a face with a name or voice and helps you get to know them better. I offer this to my newborn clients so they may see the props I have on hand, the types of wall art and prints I offer as an option, as well as getting to know me a little better. Don't forget how nervous your client may be about commissioning someone. It's a big step for them and this helps put your client at ease and make the experience better for them. It also gives them the opportunity to ask any questions, voice concerns, or look over your contract in person. Ultimately, you are providing the best customer service by listening to their needs.

FULL GALLERY SAMPLES

Whether you do an in person consultation or e-mail consult, be sure to show your clients full gallery samples of what they're booking. For example, I specialize in three newborn collections: the mini, petite or full session option catering to different budgets. Clients are shown a full gallery before they ever sign a contract. It's important your client see the exact product they're receiving. They should not just see a gallery of pretty newborn images, but instead, a specific collection so they're able to make an informed decision. Your client should never book without full disclosure of what's included. My sample galleries are my way of providing amazing customer service because it removes all doubts from their mind. The clients needs to know what to expect at every stage. 

LET THEM KNOW EACH STEP IN ADVANCE

Now that you've established trust and a sense of ease with your client, start guiding them through each and every step in advance. The client should know where you're shooting if you're on location, how to find your studio, where to get their hair and make up done or if you offer this service, what type of clothing to wear or if wardrobe is included in your fees, etc. They should also know all of your policies, standards, and expectations in advance. This is where a new client welcome packet is absolutely invaluable! You can cater the packet to your business needs but mine, for instance, covers these topics:

  • How/where to sign portraiture contract
  • How/where to pay non-refundable retainer
  • How/when final payment is due
  • What to expect before the session
  • What to expect during the session
  • What to expect after the session
  •  resolution digital file usage + print release
  • Social media sharing
  • Rescheduling policy at Sarah Borchgrevink Photography
  • Tardiness policy
  • How to order professional heirloom prints and products
  • Retouching and editing policy
  • Outdoor, natural light locations from which they may select
  • Hair and make up recommendation
  • Vendor list for wardrobe as well as sample galleries of nice options
  • Contact form inviting them to voice concerns or ask questions

GUIDE Throughout SESSION AND ENCOURAGE CLIENT

It's important to remember your client is human and they may be a little unsure during the session itself. They are probably not a professional model. Don't be afraid to encourage your client and give clear direction. Show them what you're asking of them; ask if you can adjust their hair, or give positive feedback. Your client should never feel uncomfortable or awkward. Part of offering the best customer service driven experience is ensuring they have a positive interaction through each moment of the time with you. 

KEEP TIMELY COMMUNICATION THROUGH CLEAR, CONCISE DEADLINES

This is by far the most important tip: keep timely communication through clear, concise deadlines. Your client is going to be excited about the session, so feel free to let them know the next steps at every point in the session. This is applied to the initial phone consult to when they hang their prints. It's important to let them know your business hours, when you'll be available for calls, when their images will be retouched, how to reach you, when they can expect to see their final product, etc. Keeping deadlines and having awesome communication will clear up any miscommunication before it occurs and will result in fantastic customer service because you're meeting their needs before they even realize they need something. Go above and beyond for each client! This is how you become the best at what you do!

FOLLOW UP E-MAIL AFTER SESSION TAKES PLACE

The follow up e-mail does go hand in hand with the clear concise, deadlines but this does warrant it's own explanation. After the session, it's helpful to your client to send a follow up e-mail. I typically do this the morning after the session takes place. It includes the following information:

  • Thanking them for their business
  • Expressing happiness/joy at working together
  • When you can expect a sneak preview and what social media platform it may be found
  • What exactly their session includes
  • When gallery will be complete
  • What you may expect in the gallery
  • When you can order prints/products
  • Invite to ask questions or voice concerns
  • Give a direct link to their contract in case they have any additional questions
  • Thank client again for their business and end with your business hours

Since implementing this e-mail, I have really enjoyed my client interactions and have served my clients as well as I possibly can. It clears up any issues that may arise and lets your client know you care. 

WRITE THANK YOU NOTE AFTER FINAL PRODUCT IS DELIVERED

After the final product is delivered, whether it be digital of prints, write a hand written thank you note. I include this when my clients pick up their prints. Since all of my collections do include a professional set of prints, this is my way of expressing my gratitude and writing about any highlights from our session together. It takes a few minutes only and is a wonderful way to add an intimate gesture to their customer service experience. You can also invite them to come back for another session and perhaps let them know how much you value them! Our clients are everything - the back bone to our business and they deserve to be treated very well. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog to read 9 great ways to provide the best customer service! You may also enjoy reading about:

 

Specializing in posed baby portraits, Sarah Borchgrevink Photography is a Houston Newborn Photographer serving the surrounding areas including Houston metro area, Cypress, Katy, Spring, The Heights, Sugar Land, West University, Bellaire, and The Woodlands, TX. In addition to breathtaking newborn images, Sarah also offers stylish natural light family photography as well as dynamic outdoor maternity sessions for expecting couples.