What to Expect, when Expecting a Maternity Session!

Congratulations on your pregnancy, and a warm welcome from Focus Studios! This is such an exciting time for new and experienced Mothers. There’s no better way to capture this special time in your life than with a professional session to show off your beautiful growing bump.

Preparing for your Maternity Session can seem quite daunting, but we’re here to guide you throughout the entire process, from the perfect location to suit your vision, to which outfits will look best on your entire family! We’ve prepared this little guide to help navigate through some of the questions you might have regarding your upcoming session.

Photographer

Selecting a Professional Photographer with strong technical skills and experience in pregnancy photography is the most important element in looking your best in your photos. A professional maternity photographer will know how to light, pose, and photograph you in the most flattering angles to highlight your face and body. We aim to make you feel comfortable and beautiful the entire way.

Timing is Everything

The best time to photograph your growing belly is around 28-34 weeks, when you have a nice size bump, but while you’re still comfortable to pose.

Your ideal Location

The advantage of a Studio Maternity Session (located in Newmarket) is convenient and controlled. We can photograph you at any time regardless of weather restrictions. Alternatively, outdoors in some of our favourite parks provides a beautiful outdoor backdrop and can be just as breathtaking. Disadvantages are that we are weather-dependent and hours are limited to the golden hour of sunrise or sunset. Reschedules can occur, and can trigger the rescheduling of other related appointments such as professional hair and makeup. Also, keep in mind there maybe be quite a bit of walking outdoors and changing of outfits.

Finding the Perfect Outfit

Our best advice is wearing something that makes you feel beautiful. Being comfortable and confident in your clothing will come through in your photos, so be sure to spend time choosing the right option for you. You might want to wear jeans/leggings and a tunic, your favourite dress, or a formal maternity gown. We want to highlight your growing bump, so we discourage wearing baggy or loose fitting shirts or dresses. Let’s show off that bump! We also have an array of beautiful Maternity Dresses and Gowns available for your session. Consider how you feel about the varying levels of undress in your photographs as well, and the final look you desire in your photos.

Please pay attention to how your undergarments are seen through your clothing – some tighter maternity dresses can show bra lines and panty lines and will show through in your photos. If you want beautiful undressed photos, we recommend you bring along black or nude lacy boy-short panties and a matching pretty bra that makes you feel sexy. 

Partners and Siblings

We suggest your partner not wear anything too busy, as to not distract attention from you. Jeans and a nice solid button up shirt, cotton shirts or v-necks are nice options, paired with nice shoes.  If older siblings are joining your sessions, they should coordinate with you and your partner, and again not have distracting patterns. Less is always more in Maternity Photos.

Pamper Yourself

While it’s not necessary to have your hair and makeup professionally done for your photo session, we highly recommend it. Professionals will know exactly how to highlight your beautiful features. This day is all about you, so do whatever is going to help you relax so you look and feel your best! Also, pay close attention to your nails. Many of the photographs will focus on your hands, and having chipped polish will take away from your beautiful portraits. Many of our in-studio sessions will also show your feet, and a fresh pedicure will make your toes look picture perfect!

We hope this guide helps you to prepare for what to expect during your impending Maternity Session! We can’t wait to go through details on how to make your Custom Session perfectly tailored to suit your style, and compliment your upcoming Newborn Session.

BeforeMaternity

The Before!

The After!

Top 10 Questions and Answers on what to look for when hiring a newborn photographer

Focus Studios Answers: Things to Ask Your Newborn Photographer

I hope our list of questions last week helped you to make an informed decision when hiring a newborn photographer.

For those of you that did not get a chance to ask these questions of Focus Studios, or for those that were not able to make it to the Baby Show last weekend, here are the answers.

  1. What professional training do you have? How many years of experience do you have photographing newborns?

    I graduated from Humber College’s Photography and Graphic Design programs almost 15 years ago. I have 12 years of experience as a professional photographer, and I have spent the last 10 years photographing newborns and families. I continue to upgrade my skill set through many private workshops.

  2. At what age would you prefer to see a new baby? Do you work with preemies?

    Ideally, I like to photograph a new baby within the first three weeks. The smaller the baby, the longer we can wait; bigger babies should come earlier. I will photograph preemies, but babies must be at least five pounds before they come in for a session.

  3. Are siblings and family included in the photographs?

    Siblings and family are welcome and encouraged to be a part of the session.

  4. Do you photograph in studio or in home? Which do you prefer and why?

    When it comes to a newborn session, I photograph only in studio at 1211 Gorham St., Unit 9 in the south end of Newmarket. This allows me to have complete control of the environment – I warm up the studio a fair bit so that the baby is never uncomfortable – and I can maintain control over the lighting, which is essential in a newborn session. This also allows the client to have full creative control, as all our props and outfits and backgrounds are at their disposal.

  5. What can I expect during a session? And what can I expect after?

    A newborn session lasts, on average, two to three hours. We work entirely on the baby’s schedule. We take our time; we make sure to get all the poses and shots the client would like to have. Clients have unfettered access to props, outfits and blankets available in studio. After the session, we schedule an appointment to review images and order artwork.
  • How should we prepare and what should we bring?

    After booking your session, I will send over a guide to help you prepare. It includes feeding and outfit suggestions for any siblings and family members.
  • What props and wardrobe options are available?

    The studio is filled with things you can use in your photos: crates, buckets, beds, baths, etc. We also have plenty of outfits, hats, and accessories.

  • What happens if the baby is fussy and won’t settle?

    We do not set a time limit on the session. The baby dictates how the day flows. They need extra snuggles, they get extra snuggles. It’s a particularly hungry day? Then baby gets fed frequently. We want to ensure that baby is comfortable and happy and sleepy. The studio is a warm and calming environment; we don’t rush perfection.

  • Do you have an assistant?

    I will often have my studio manager assist during newborn sessions.

  • And the most important of all: How do you ensure the safety of the newborn?

    Not only do I have two young children of my own, but in the past ten years I have photographed more than 300 babies. I will never ever put a baby – or anyone for that matter – in a compromising pose. If I want a particular shot, and it cannot be done safely, I will digitally compose it later. There is always a spotter for the baby who is never more than an arm’s length away. The safety of your baby is my number one priority.

If you want any more information, or have any more questions, I am always more than happy to answers those. You can call or send me a text at 416-888-8775 or shoot me an email at [email protected]

Baby M at 7 days new

Things to Ask Your Newborn Photographer

As you head out this morning to the Baby Show, I’m certain you have a list of questions ready to ask of the vendors you meet. I did, too, when I was pregnant and even more when my first son was born.

I’d like to arm you with a few more questions, these ones to ask any potential photographer. Please feel free to come by Booth 110 to ask me these same questions – and any more you might have.

Here are my suggested Top 10 questions to ask:

  1. What professional training do you have? How many years of experience do you have photographing newborns?
  2. At what age would you prefer to see a new baby? Do you work with preemies?
  3. Are siblings and family included in the photographs?
  4. Do you photograph in studio or in home?
  5. What can I expect during a session? And what can I expect after?
  6. How should we prepare and what should we bring?
  7. What props and wardrobe options are available?
  8. What happens if the baby is fussy and won’t settle?
  9. Do you have an assistant?
  10. And the most important of all: How do you ensure the safety of the newborn?

I cannot wait to meet each and every one of you this weekend at the Baby Show. Come and visit me at booth 110 – I am having a draw to win a free stroller and a show special! You don’t want to miss it! In the event you can’t make it this weekend, I will be posting all my answers to these questions – and feel free to send me any more you might have, I will include those too — next week in a follow-up post.

Spring – New Beginnings

Hello Focus Friends!

After what feels like a very long winter, I can feel spring on the horizon!

We have many exciting things coming up for spring, starting with The Baby Show at the Enercare Centre on April 6 and 7. Come visit us at booth 110. We will have show specials and giveaways, and would love to see you and your friends. https://thebabyshows.com/toronto/spring/

This season of change and re-growth is also a great time to make sure that your memories are preserved. While digital photographs are wonderful, and we can scroll through them at any time, they are not a secure way of saving your photos. Unfortunately, technology is not foolproof. Don’t fret! We can help! Come spend some time with us picking out your favourite photos and printing them, so you never have to worry about losing your memories when technology changes overnight.

Did you know when you book a session with us, you can customize your session to match your décor, style, childs name even.  From props to digital composites, we strive to make each session a unique and incredible experience.

There are still a few spaces available for sessions this month, and a select few in the spring, so if you’ve been thinking about maternity photos, newborn photos, family photos, milestone photos, or that special session, act quick!

That is it for now, but we have some more exciting ideas in the works. Stay tuned!  

I look forward to seeing you next month at the Baby Show.

Some beautiful photos from my last session:

Newborn Photography Trends and Styles

Happy 2019 Everyone!

I get asked at almost every session where I get my props, outfits and headbands/hats for the custom sets.  It’s not such a straight answer obviously because it ranges from local vendors, vendors over seas, antique shows, other photographers and even big box store. Homesense and Michaels is actually one of my favourite places to visit. It’s also a great way to see what trends and colour palettes are coming for the next season.  Fabricland is a great source to make your own outfits, banners which I love to do for my cake smashes.  Even Indigo is fantastic for pillows, decor, accents, and even baby gifts!

I found a great article that says: For 2019, there is greater interest in biophilia–emphasizing the relationship between humankind and nature, and the connections between the two. Natural, organic materials–such as wood floors, stone, and daylight and plant life–remind us of the exterior and brings the outside and nature, in. We are machine- and technology-driven society, but nostalgic about past processes and handiwork, so opportunities for custom Millwork and crafted materials are very important.”—Angie Lee (https://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/trends/g23550602/design-trends-2019/)

This couldn’t be more true to my art. It is right up my wheelhouse of style I try and achieve at every session. Muted tones, layers and textures!! YES!

This year, I am going to concentrate on exactly that trend; bringing in some more natural and genuine materials. Flowers, woods, even some metals. It’s going to be stunning, having more depth, more life and taking it all in with a deep breathe.   I am still staying true to my current style, ensuring the “subject” aka baby and family is the true Focus and don’t get lost in translation.

To the start of a new year, a new page in your 2019 book! I’m a phone call, email away… I’d love to meet you or see you again. It would be an honour to freeze some of those moments and fill your pages with you.

Spreading the love for local vendors:

Headbands for newborns, sitters and 1 year olds: https://madelineann.com

Michaels: https://canada.michaels.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-MichaelsCanada-Site/en_CA/Home-Show

Homesense: https://www.homesense.ca/en

Fabricland: https://fabricland.ca/MAIN/main.php

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/

Image of this beautiful babe: flowers, barrel, window shutter and crate all purchased from Michaels.

Flowers, Spring, Baby, Photography, Newborn, Newmarket

Newborn Photography studio in Newmarket.  Also servicing entire GTA: Toronto, Aurora, Bradford, Richmond Hill, Stouffville, Markham, Scarborough, Thornill, Vaughan, Maple, Woodbridge, Brampton, Mississauga and Bolton.