frequently asked questions
1. I'd like to book! What is the next step?
If you haven't yet, fill out my contact form or give me a call at 760-405-2245 (email response is faster...I've got four noisy kids over here and rarely hear my phone ring!). I will set up a time to meet with you in person at my studio, if possible, to got over the process and answer any questions you might have. Once you have booked and secured a spot on my session calendar, we will set a date for your session (a tentative date for newborn sessions because of unpredictable births), discuss the details of your session so that you know what to expect, and I can gather the information I need to begin prepping, planning, and customizing your session to include your special requests.
2. What happens if my baby is born earlier or later than my estimated due date?
A baby's arrival is completely unpredictable. Because of this, I only book a limited number of sessions each month to allow for flexibility. I will make a note on my session calendar when your baby is due so that I don't book too many sessions around that time. Once your baby makes his/her arrival, send me a message from the hospital to notify me and we will coordinate on the best day in the week to follow for you to come in for your newborn photo session.
3. What happens if my baby or I have an extended hospital stay due to complications?
Just let me know as soon as possible and we will coordinate on the best day to get you in for your session. The sooner the better but please don't stress about it. We will make it work even if it's not within the "ideal" time frame of the first 10 days after birth.
4. How many images will we receive/how many photos do you take?
Printed and digital images are not included in your session fee--they are purchased after the session when you return for your gallery reveal. I generally take around 150 pictures during a typical session and then choose the best 20-25 images (sometimes more!) to edit and present in your gallery. I select the best facial expressions, the sharpest images, and the most flattering angles.
5. Will there be an online gallery for friends or family to see and make purchases?
At this time I do not offer any type of online gallery. I'll be blunt. Taking a screenshot instead of paying for an image can be very tempting and since I make my living creating and selling my images, that just doesn't work for me! Anyone who wishes to make a purchase should plan to attend the gallery reveal/ordering session. If you purchase digital images, you are welcome to share with friends and family as long as they will be printing only for personal use and agree to abide by my policies and share only watermarked images online.
6. Where do you recommend we print our photos if we choose to purchase digital images and print ourselves?
I recommend mpix.com if you choose to print yourself.
7. Do we receive the copywrite to our photos?
No. You will, however, receive a print release with any digital file purchase to print for personal use. All images taken are the property of Bella Rose Portraits.
8. Is there a limit to how large we can we print our photos?
Your digital images will look fabulous printed up to 30"x40." When you purchase digital images, you will receive high resolution files for printing as well as resized, watermarked, specially formatted to look great online images to share on your personal social media. Only watermarked images can be shared online.
9. What forms of payment do you accept?
Your session fee can be paid with cash, check, credit card, Venmo, or PayPal. Acceptable forms of payment for print or digital products are CASH or CHECK only. If you'd like to use Paypal or credit card for print or digital product purchases, there is an extra 3% fee. Virginia sales tax (6%) will be added to all purchases.
10. When will my images be ready?
It generally takes me about a week (often less!) to edit images for each session. Print products are usually ready for pick up within a few business days of purchase. The frames for wall art are custom-made to order and normally take 2-4 weeks to arrive.
11. Where does the session take place?
All sessions take place at my studio located in Chesapeake, VA.
12. Can we include ourselves and/or a sibling or pet in the images?
Parents and siblings can be included in a few shots for an additional $65 fee. Due to pet allergies and the need to keep my studio sanitary, no client pets are allowed.
13. What should we wear for the family images?
I recommend parents and siblings keep clothing choices very simple for a timeless look and to keep the focus on the baby. White or black tank tops, t-shirts, or long-sleeved shirts are great choices. A simple sundress in a neutral color for mom looks great too. You can also wear simple outfits to match your session color choices for a color-coordinated look that will look great in a multi-image wall display, birth announcements, or an album. If you prefer a skin-on-skin look, fit dads might choose to be shirtless and mamas can bring a strapless bra so that we can wrap her top half with a simple wrap for a bare-shoulders look. Please use natural colors for makeup and nails.
14. What outfits are best for my baby's one-year session? How many outfit changes should I plan for?
We will coordinate on outfit styles and colors for your baby's session. He or she will need two cute outfits (one for a traditional setup and another for the cake smash) and a favorite pair of cute pajamas. In addition to these, bring a cute hooded baby towel for after the bubble bath and your baby's favorite stuffed animal, blanket, and/or pacifier. I will provide headbands and can even provide outfits if needed! Click the appropriate gender below for some Pinterest wardrobe inspiration:
15. Do I need to bring any outfits or accessories for my newborn session?
Nope! I will provide all outfits, hats, bonnets, and accessories for your newborn. If you have one or two sentimental items you would like included, please let me know in advance and I will do my best to incorporate it into my session planning. If there are any looks that you love (or hate), please let me know so that I can try to accommodate.
16. How long will the session last?
Newborn sessions generally last between 2 and 4 hours to allow for variety, feeding breaks, and intricate posing. I like to keep sitter sessions limited to 30-45 minutes and first birthday sessions to 60-90 minutes. Any longer than that is too much stimulation for tiny babies! I am never in a rush but your baby will most definitely let us know when he/she has had enough.
17. How much should I expect to spend on my print products and/or digital images?
It depends on what products you are interested in! Print and digital collections start at $750. My average client spends about $1500. We will go over all of my products and pricing in detail before you book a session so that you can get an idea of how much to budget for your images.
18. How far in advance should we book our session?
I recommend booking your newborn session in your second trimester or early third trimester to ensure a spot on my session calendar (some clients even book while in the first trimester still!). Session spots are extremely limited and generally fill up a few months in advance. Booking in advance allows me to fully customize your session and order new outfits and accessories (although I have PLENTY on hand for more last-minute sessions). For sitter or one-year sessions please try to schedule at least 2-3 months in advance. If your baby is not sitting up unassisted as your sitter session approaches, just notify me and we will adjust the session date as needed. If you would like to include your one-year photos on invitations or display them at the party, I recommend planning for the session to take place a month in advance to ensure everything is ready on time.
19. Can I take photos or video during the session?
You are welcome to take one or two behind the scenes snapshots or short videos on your cell phone. These should be behind the scenes style and MUST include my equipment and/or me and I always love sharing those on my social media so please send a copy! You may not take a picture of your little one in my setups otherwise...that's what you are paying me for and I promise my pictures will look much better! I request that traditional or DSLR cameras are left at home.
20. What time of day do sessions take place?
Plan to arrive for your newborn session at 9:30 am the date that we have chosen. For sitter and one year sessions, plan to arrive right after your baby's first morning nap so that he/she is well-rested and happy (we will coordinate on what that time is for your baby).
21. Are you vaccinated?
Yes! My family and I are all current on our vaccines.
22. Can I have my baby boy circumcised before the session?
It's best if you can wait until after your newborn session to have the procedure performed. If you do not wait, you will need to give him a week to heal before his session. Your baby will be in the buff for some of the session and we do not want to risk an infection or aggravating the wound.
23. Do you photograph multiples (twins, triplets, etc.)? Does it cost more?
Yes! I love working with multiples. Please add $50 to the session fee for each additional baby.
24. Do you provide video in addition to still images?
While I occasionally take behind the scenes videos to share on my social media, I do not take/provide any professional quality video at this time!