Helpful Tips for Families Before Their Portrait Session

Helpful Tips for Families Before Their Portrait Session

Helpful Tips for Families Before Their Portrait Session

Spring is here and this is the perfect time to photograph your outdoor family portraits in Houston! We have compiled a list of our 5 most helpful tips for families before their portrait session. Lisa & Michael Carr, one of Houston’s top family photographers, both have over 20 years of photographic experience.

They will make sure your Family Portrait is beautifully crafted. We will help you with coordinating and planning clothing for your family portrait to make sure everyone looks their best.

Children Portrait Photography

Here are the 5 tips for families before their portrait session:

  1. Scheduling
    The timing of your family portrait session is very important. We recommend early morning, around 9am, or late afternoon, around 4pm. As summer approaches, 6:30pm may become an option. We use a balanced mixture of natural light and professional grade location lighting equipment to insure everyone is lit properly.

    The portable location lighting is equivalent to studio lighting but used in an outdoor setting. The lighting results are a crisp well exposed portrait. We will work with you to determine the best time of day for your portrait based on the location as well everyone’s schedules.

    If young children are to be included in your portrait, you should pick the time that is not right during their nap time but when they are at their best. For outdoor portraits we always recommend scheduling two dates in the event of rain or bad weather. We do have a studio available which can also serve as an option for your family portrait should weather become an issue.

  2. Clothing Selection
    Everyone’s clothing does not need to match in colors, but there should be harmony with everyone’s attire in the portrait. For example, if you want a casual spring or summer portrait then the children could wear shorts with light colored tops or dresses, and the adults could wear casual pants and khakis with light colored shirts and blouses.

    Colors should be complimentary and in the same tonal range. It is always recommended to stick to solid colors or a very small pattern so clothes are not distracting. Long sleeve shirts work best as well.

    We will discuss your portrait vision and clothing options during your pre-portrait consultation here in our studio.
Family Portrait Photographer
  • Hair and Makeup
    For men and children in the portrait, we recommend a hair trim about 2 weeks before your portrait. For ladies, a trim or haircut and color if needed 2 weeks before your portrait is recommended. This is not the time to try a new hair color or a new haircut or hair style!

    We partner with a nearby salon that takes care of our client’s hair and makeup for their portrait. The salon will help you look your best and make sure you are picture perfect and ready to go! Remember to have a manicure and pedicure the day before your portrait too! On the day of your portrait be sure to bring a hair brush and comb, powder, lipstick or gloss and makeup for touchups during your session.
  • Get Plenty of Rest
    Rest is so important before your portrait. If you are tired or up late, it will show in your images. Go to bed early and stay well hydrated before your portrait.
  • Portrait Location and Scale
    During your consultation, we will discuss where you plan on hanging your selected portrait in your home. This is important for us photography wise so we capture your images with the end in mind. For example, if the space warrants a vertical portrait, we want to make sure we have plenty of vertical images for you to select from.

    During your portrait order appointment, we will show your images and project your images in our studio. We will also show you the proper size portrait based on the space in your home where the portrait will reside.

About Us

Michael and Lisa Carr are full time portrait photographers specializing in creative and timeless family portraiture. We offer outdoor family portraits, at home portrait sessions in the Houston area, as well as timeless in studio portraits.

We are a full service portrait studio. What this means to you is that we complete your portrait from the beginning to the finished phase: conception, capture and full artist embellishments to your final wall portraits. We also offer custom framing for your wall portraits.

We hope you have found the 5 tips for families before their portrait session a helpful article. To learn more about our studio and portrait photography for your family portraits, visit our online portfolio to learn more. We would love to talk with you about your family portrait. You can call  us at 713-461-2862.

Houston Family Photographer

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Why is newborn photography so expensive?

Why is Newborn Photography so Expensive?

Why is Newborn Photography so Expensive?

I’m going to address questions that I get asked A LOT: “Why does newborn photography cost so much? And “Why is newborn photography so expensive?”

I’m sure you all have noticed that the price of newborn photography is just as expensive as family portrait sessions. I get so many inquiries that start off with raves about my work and then fall off the planet when I forward my pricing.

A good rule of thumb is: If you are paying under $200 for a newborn session chances are your photographer is either A. inexperienced or B. not running a legal business. I have taught myself lighting, bought a camera, lenses, and fully stocked my professional studio with lots of props and accessories for the babies. On top of that, I also pay professional association dues, insurance and don’t forget the business taxes. It is simply not possible to run a profitable business at the end of the day only charging $100 for a portrait session. 

Here are a few things that come into play as to why newborn photography is so expensive:


Your little one’s safety is of the utmost importance and should be priceless.

I have invested thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in classes to learn proper safety and posing techniques for newborns. I also attend classes in order to continually learn and improve. Newborn photography is one of the hardest genres to learn and proper technique and placement of your baby’s limbs is crucial to their safety and comfort.

professional newborn photos

Please chose someone that you know is experienced to handle your fragile and precious new gift.


Babies come on their own timeline.

 We can plan and pick dates all we want but they show up when they are ready. I cannot designate a day on my calendar for a session until the baby is actually born.

Sessions need to be done within a two week window after birth. This means that there are a limited number of sessions I can book per month. Limiting the number of sessions means upping the cost to make up the difference in my number of clients.

Time: Newborn photography takes time. The average full gallery newborn session can last 2-3 hours or more with multiples. Once the baby arrives at my studio, he or she will need to be fed and then soothed to sleep.

From there we move to posing, soothing, positioning, changing backdrops, changing outfits, stuffing props, cleaning messes, stopping for cuddle time, and possibly another feeding. Those of you who have seen me work know it takes a lot of patience to get every finger and toe settled into the perfect place and position. It took many hours to learn how to manipulate your little ones in a way that does not disturb them.

newborn photographer Houston


My work only just begins when you leave my studio,
this business is WAY more than pushing a button.

I pay for editing software, presets, and I pay myself for my time. The amount of time spent editing is more time consuming compared to most other sessions.

We all have this ideal picture in our head of newborns with creamy smooth skin when the reality is just the opposite. Newborn skin can be red, yellow, purple, blotchy, acne covered, or all of the above. They come with peeling skin, stork bites, hairy bodies, Mongolian spots, and gunky eyes.  

Many hours of work go into creating the creamy and beautiful finished product that you receive.

Newborn Props

 Although they may be for the smallest humans, the outfits for newborns are probably the most expensive.

I spend around $25 per headband, $25 per hat, and $30 and up per diaper cover or tutu on the LOW end. That is for ONE item. Custom designs are even more expensive.

It is not uncommon to pay $40 shipping costs on something as simple as bowls. Newborn poop can stain and occasionally things cannot be hand washed and have to get thrown away and replaced. I also wash in between every single baby for sanitary reasons so things tend get worn out quickly.

 professional newborn photos

Lastly, I ask you to remember that while this is a passion of mine, it is not just a hobby. It is a business. I pay taxes, rent, insurance, and have to buy groceries just like everyone else. These days, it seems like anyone and everyone calls themselves a photographer.  

However, it really takes time, money, and passion to get to know your craft and give your clients quality and professionalism. I urge all of you to consider these things next time you’re pricing photographers in your area and thinking newborn photography is so expensive. We make room in our budgets for so many extras; trips to the movies, dining out, the latest cell phones, etc.

The cost of documenting your memories should be priceless. 

We encourage you to view our online portfolio and to learn more about our sessions and artwork. Belly to Baby Studios is a full service studio, conveniently located in the Galleria area in a commercial office building. Our studio has a private nursing lounge so you can relax and feed your baby between sets.

Houston newborn and family portrait photographers can be reached at 713-461-2862 to discuss your session and help you create art for your home and family to enjoy for years to come.

Newborn Photography in Houston

Belly to Baby Studios offers newborn baby photography in Houston, TX. A newborn’s first photography session is recommended to be scheduled within 7-12 days of birth. We recommend calling and having a consult before your session so you can prepare in advance.

We always have an assistant on set to help with baby safety, and posing. We want to make sure your baby is relaxed and in good hands during the session. We do have a variety of props such as wraps, backdrops, baskets, pants, diaper covers, tutus, hats and hair accessories in a variety of soothing colors.

We strive to create artwork for your home that can be hung in a nursery or hallway. Newborns stay this small for a short window of time. So many parents come back to us at 3 months and 6 months to document the growth of their baby. It is very important to capture this time in a baby’s life since they grow so fast.

Newborn Photography in Houston

Clothing choice is a key ingredient to making sure your portrait stays timeless. We recommend solid colored clothing, and long sleeves so the focus is more on your relationship versus your clothing. All of our printed portraits include retouching so you can guarantee you will look like you have had ten hours of sleep. We will be happy to discuss all the details during your portrait phone consultation.

Our studio is located in a professional office building, and is equipped with a private nursing and relaxation room that is available during your baby’s session. We also have a full prop closet for your newborn portrait session, which includes over 15 wraps, 10 baskets, 20 different backgrounds, diaper covers, hats and pants for your little boy.

You can view more of our newborn portfolio here and our Family Portraits here . Our studio is conveniently located in the Galleria area. Call us at 713-461-2862 and we can schedule and discuss your portrait session.

Family Photography with Newborn

Family Baby Photography

Family Photography with Newborn

Lisa Carr, with Belly to Baby Studios, is a newborn photographer in Houston. She photographed this baby girl when she was 1 month old. It is recommended that you photographed newborns between 7-12 days old. If you are a new Mom, or have never had your newborn photographed professionally you may be wondering why. This time frame is recommended so that your baby will sleep a bit more and so that they are still flexible since their bones and muscles have not fully developed. Houston Newborn Baby Photographer   Babies that are older than this will typically stretch out more and reach out more with their hands during their sessions, and also may not want to be scrunched up or swaddled. We always receive calls after a baby has been born, and Moms are panicked because they did not pre-schedule their baby’s newborn session weeks in advance. Normally leave room in our calendars for these last minute sessions. Our  studio believes that it is very important to have your newborn’s photographed even if they are older than the recommended time frame of 7-12 days old. Older babies will need to be handled differently and accommodations made for extra feedings during the session. We allow extra time to capture awake babies during the newborn session. We love to capture Family Portraits during the newborn session.

Newborn Photographer in Houston

About Belly to Baby Studios

Lisa Carr, of Belly to Baby Studios, is a Houston based full time newborn and family photographer. Our studio photographs maternity portraits, newborn portraits, baby portraits and family portraits. We help you and guide you all the way from Portrait session concept to Portrait completion. At Belly to Baby Studios, we love to create finished artwork for our client’s home. The artwork will appreciate over time and provide years of joy. When you view our Portraits and albums, they will take you back to a moment in time that in the end will slip by so quickly.
You can view more of our newborn portraits , Maternity Portraits and our Family Portraits on our site. Our studio is conveniently located in the Galleria area, in a professional office building. We have a private nursing lounge so you can relax and feed your baby between sets.
Call us at 713-461-2862 and we can schedule and discuss your portrait session.

How to prepare for your Maternity Portrait Session

When clients call us to book their maternity portrait session, they always ask: What do I need to do to prepare for the maternity portrait session?

Here are 5 helpful tips that will help you prepare and look your best for your pregnancy portraits:

1. Scheduling.
You should schedule your maternity portrait to occur sometime between weeks 32-36 if you are expecting one child, and between weeks 28-32 if you are expecting multiples. The best time of day to schedule is 10-11am or 1pm. You want to still look fresh, alert and not too tired. If you are working, some moms prefer to have their pregnancy photos in the morning and then schedule a doctor’s check up visit for the afternoon or just go into the office in the afternoon time. We have wifi in our studio so you can always work remote or login periodically if you need to.

2. Pampering.
You are taking the time to have your maternity portraits taken by a professional photographer, so you want to look your best right? Go ahead and schedule your hair and makeup to be professional done as well. Remember to also have your nails and toes pampered too! You can always schedule your mani the day before to maximize your time before your maternity session. Your nails will show during your session. Remember to wear a loose fitting dress or button front top when having your make up and hair done. You will change your clothes at the studio before your session and you do not want to risk messing up your hair or makeup. Spoiler alert: you will look and feel amazing after your glam quad session before your portrait. Remember to schedule a date night with your husband and enjoy your night on the town!

3. Rest and Hydration
In the 8-9 months of your pregnancy sleep patterns will change. As your portrait approaches, remember to take it easy and get plenty of rest. You also want to make sure you are staying hydrated in the days leading up to your session. Drink plenty of water!

4. Eat before your session
Depending upon your session time, make sure you eat a full breakfast or lunch and remember to have snacks before and during your portrait session. We do have small snacks and plenty of water for you during your session.

maternity Portrait

5. Clothing for your maternity portrait session
You are welcome to bring your own clothes for your pregnancy portraits. Most ladies opt to wear the pregnancy gowns we have in our prop closet. We have a variety of styles and colors to choose from. The gowns can easily be pinned and loosened as needed to fit you comfortably during your session.

Pregnancy is a milestone time in a woman’s life and a portrait is a wonderful way to always remember this time. As your baby grows they will love looking at your pregnancy portraits.

Belly to Baby Studios is a full service Portrait studio and offers Pregnancy, Newborn, Baby and Family Portraits. We help you and guide you all the way from Portrait session concept to Portrait completion. We love to create finished artwork for our client’s home. The artwork will appreciate over time and provide years of joy. When you view our Portraits and albums, they will take you back to a moment in time that in the end will slip by so quickly.

You can view more of our newborn portfolio here, Maternity Portraits and our Family Portraits here. Our studio is conveniently located in the Galleria area, in a professional office building. We have a private nursing lounge so you can relax and feed your baby between sets.

Call us at 713-461-2862 and we can schedule and discuss your portrait session.

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