Studio Address: 95 Rantoul St, Beverly, MA (Porter Mill Studios)
I am in studio #3 on the 3rd floor. When you come in the main entrance (which has a sign for Channel Marker Brewing on the front door), head straight until you see the elevator on your left. Get off at the 3rd floor and enter through the door immediately on your left (it says “STUDIOS”). Follow the hallway around the corner and you’ll find me on the left hand side.
Parking: Street parking is available around the building. Metered parking is enforced on Rantoul St – please plan to be in the studio for 2.5-3 hours. To prepare ahead of time, you can download the GoParkIt App from the City of Beverly to register your vehicle and pay online. If you are having difficulty locating a spot close to the building, parking is also available in MBTA garage located directly across the street (Beverly Depot).
Please make every effort to arrive on time. I understand getting out of the house with a new baby is not an easy task, so I ask that if you are going to be a few minutes late to please let me know via text or email. If you arrive more than 20-30 minutes late, this time will be deducted from your allotted session time and may result in fewer images in your gallery. Tardiness greater than 30-45 minutes may result in the cancellation of your session entirely (as per the session agreement) as I often have other sessions scheduled during the day.
*Please text me when you arrive at the studio – 978-219-9623 so I can let you in the front door if it is locked*
COVID-19 SAFETY: Please review the studio’s safety policies here Masks are required to enter the studio and must be left on for the entire duration of your stay (they may be taken off for family portraits only). Shoes must be taken off at the door. Strollers may be brought into the building but should be parked outside the studio door in the hallway.
What to Bring
- Food for baby! Breast or bottle does not matter to me, just make sure you have enough to keep baby satisfied for several hours. If your are breastfeeding, you may find it helpful to bring along a bottle of expressed milk for a quick feed but this is not required.
- A pacifier. These can be a life saver during sessions. Even if your baby does not regularly use a pacifier, having access to one during the session can help soothe baby while I pose him/her. The Soothie pacifiers are preferred (the round green ones), but if your baby has a preference for another type that’s fine too. Please avoid bringing Wubanubs (the Soothie pacifiers with stuffed animals attached) as these get in the way while I’m posing. I keep new/sterile pacifiers at the studio if you forget yours or do not plan on purchasing one for use at home.
- Food for you & your spouse. I have granola bars & small snacks at the studio for you to munch on during the session, but please feel free to bring your own snacks as well. Coffee is encouraged 😉
**Please refrain from bringing props from home unless we have discussed a particular setup ahead of time – your session will be fully styled by me with my selection of handmade, quality newborn props. Newborn “outfits” that are purchased in stores and from sites like Etsy are often too large for baby and can be disruptive to put on & take off. If you have a sentimental item (such as a blanket or a hat someone has made for you) I’d be happy to incorporate it, but please send me a photo ahead of time so I can coordinate a setup that will match.**
Preparing your Baby
- Feeding: Please make sure baby gets a FULL feeding right before you leave the house. A full belly is crucial as a hungry baby is much more likely to fuss and be awake during the session. If you anticipate a drive longer than 45 mins to an hour, please try to time the feeding to happen when you arrive at the studio (you may arrive up to 15 minutes ahead of your scheduled session time to accommodate for a feeding if needed, but please give me a heads up so I know to expect an early arrival). Some babies may need an additional feed/top off during the session if they become unsettled. Your flexibility with willing to feed on demand is appreciated.
- Awake Time: This part is really important! Your baby needs to spend some time awake before their session. Please do your best to keep your baby up for at least 30 minutes prior to coming in to the studio (you don’t need to keep them awake for much longer than that, otherwise baby can become overstimulated). It helps them burn calories & energy so they will sleep better after that last feeding. A bath is a great way to keep baby awake, or you can have some play time, let baby hang out on their play mat in just a diaper, or tickle his/her feet. Even if your baby sleeps really well during the morning, remember that this session is a lot different than their typical nap – baby will be touched and moved a lot and they will be undressed for at least a portion of the session, which is something they are not used to while they sleep. Your baby should hopefully fall asleep in the car on the ride over – please leave them in their car seat when you arrive.
- Clothing: Please dress your baby in zip-up jammies or an outfit with snaps. Avoid anything that has to go up over baby’s head (no onesies, please!) The easier it is for me to undress baby, the less likely I am to disturb them if they are already sleeping when you arrive.
What to Wear
My most frequently asked question – what do we wear for family and/or sibling photos? I always recommend neutral colored clothing as these colors photograph the best (think white, cream, ivory, gray, tan, etc). It’s also a lot easier to coordinate neutrals than it is to try and match other colors. Please try to avoid wearing all black. I know it’s slimming, but I find that lighter, softer colors create more flattering, soft toned portraits. Also keep in mind that not everyone has to match. It’s much better to wear colors that are slightly different (i.e. mom in white, dad in gray) than to both wear the same color. You will be posed close to one another and don’t want to blend in too much!
- Mom – a plain, neutral colored tank top, t-shirt, or sweater. Make sure whatever you choose gives you free movement with your arms (nothing too stiff or tight). You can wear jeans or leggings – really whatever feels most comfortable postpartum. Most of my family images are shot from the waist up so you don’t really need to worry about what the lower half of your body looks like.
- Dad – plain, neutral colored t-shirt (v-neck preferred) or polo. A button-up shirt is ok, but please make sure it’s neatly pressed. Nothing plaid, please!
- Siblings – little girls look adorable in dresses. I prefer solid colors over patterns, and the more simple the dress the better. Feel free to incorporate a little pop of color with a hair accessory, if desired. For boys – jeans and a plain t-shirt (boys can go shirtless if you like). Please nothing with characters or logos. Avoid neon colors! Footwear isn’t a problem – most siblings go barefoot, or you can opt for plain (clean) white socks.
- If your baby has an older sibling, please arrange to have someone take your older child home (or out for an outing) after their portion of the session has finished. Sibling photos are always done right at the very beginning of your session. The studio is kept VERY warm for baby and needs to be a quiet, calm environment to keep baby sleeping. It can be boring for toddlers to hang around once their portion of the session has concluded. If this cannot be arranged, please be sure you have adequate snacks & entertainment for your other child(ren). Out of respect for my fellow studio tenants, please do not allow your children to run around in the hallways (or inside the studio). Noise travels easily in the building. Be advised that a disruptive older sibling may shorten the length of your session and result in fewer images in your gallery.
- Please do not offer your child your iPhone/iPad or other toy they really enjoy before we have concluded the sibling & family photos. I know little ones get antsy while I work on prepping baby, but once you give your child the phone, taking it away is going to cause more problems than it’s worth.
- Bribery should be a last resort. It often doesn’t work, especially with young toddlers.
- You can practice for the sibling photos at home before you come in. My “go-to” pose is to have toddlers lay down on one of my fuzzy rugs with baby swaddled and laying next to them. If you feel comfortable trying this at home first, it’s a good way to get your toddler used to laying down with their sibling.
- I will do my very best to capture that image of your children together, but please be prepared for the possibility that it may not happen. Toddlers can be unpredictable and if there is a lot of protest from your older child(ren) I will need to move on to baby-only poses to lessen the risk of baby waking up and being unsettled for the remainder for the session.
- If your older child is ill or has the beginnings of an illness (runny nose, cough, sneezing, fever, etc.) they are kindly asked to stay home. This same rule applies for anyone else in your family. In an effort to minimize germs coming into the studio, I cannot allow anyone who has been sick to be present for the session. Thank you for your understanding to help me protect my littlest clients!
Other Helpful Tips
- The studio will be heated for your baby’s comfort. You’ll want to dress in light layers to stay cool.
- I kindly ask that you limit your session attendees to immediate family only (parents, baby, + siblings if applicable). I have limited seating available in the studio and as mentioned above, I aim to keep the space as quiet and calm as possible. If you have a grandparent, friend, or other relative coming along to help with your other children that is fine but it’s best that they head out once the sibling & family photos are finished.
- Don’t worry about pee/poo accidents – they are expected and I am fully prepared for the inevitable! A lot of parents worry about this, but I assure you it’s totally normal and everything I use gets washed after the session.
- Please refrain from taking any photos or video during your session with your personal camera or smartphone. I know you are excited about your baby’s first photoshoot (as am I!) and I am happy to provide you with a sneak peek from your session for you to share with family and friends.
- Please avoid scheduling any doctor’s appointments the day of your session. The day will be much less stressful for you (and your baby) if you aren’t concerned about coordinating the timing of your appointment with your session. And baby will be far less overstimulated if they aren’t being poked & prodded at the doctor’s office before they come in.