I receive tons of emails daily that tend to ask me a lot of the same questions. I sure don’t mind!… but I think you may find it helpful to be able to browse my most frequently asked questions from past clients of my Raleigh newborn photography sessions.
Where are you located?
I am located in Raleigh, North Carolina. My in-home studio is very close to the RDU airport, Brier Creek and Leesville/I-540.
What are your studio hours?
Hours are available by appointment only. General studio hours are M-F from 9:30am-12:00pm for newborn, baby and maternity sessions and W/Th from 7:00pm-8:30pm for maternity sessions as available. Melissa reserves a maximum of 6 due dates per month to ensure availability for her newborn clients. It is important to schedule your newborn session while you are still pregnant to reserve your due date on my calendar.
How do I book a session?
Please use the book a session form in the main menu. I will answer any of your questions and give you the link(s) to your online portrait agreement. After you submit your online portrait agreement, you will be automatically directed to Paypal to pay your non-refundable retainer to secure your spot on the calendar. Once your agreement and payment is received, your session is booked and pricing is guaranteed for those sessions. You will receive an online appointment confirmation via email, that will send you reminders before and after the session.
How much do you charge for custom photography?
I am proud to be a legitimate small business owner in the state of North Carolina. Please see my complete custom photography pricing details located in the main menu under “Investment”. 7.25% NC State Tax is in addition to any pricing information provided on my website and via email. Careful consideration has been given to pricing in order to offer my clients the required amount of time and attention to produce high quality portraits and a great experience. I am not a high volume “shoot and burn” type of studio. Each of my clients are like family and I spend a considerable amount of time ensuring that they are happy and well taken care of.
How do I prepare for my newborn session?
I fully prepare all of my clients – including tips for a sleepy baby, what to wear and what to expect via email before your session takes place. The newborn session itself is a lot of fun for everyone and many parents are surprised at how good their baby is while in my care. I have been dubbed “The Baby Whisperer” by many of my clients! Some parents even learn a few tips and tricks, especially about soothing while in the studio! My newborn sessions can be a learning experience and a bonding experience for families and I absolutely love being a part of that!
Do you offer a First Year Package?
I love photographing “my” babies as they grow up during their first year! :) I offer baby milestone sessions at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 1 year (cake smash). These shorter sessions are for the baby only to show their growth and advancement in milestones. I offer all of my newborn clients a discount on maternity and subsequent baby sessions throughout the first year. Please check the Investment menu for the current specials.
Do you offer Family Photography beyond the first year?
I do offer limited seasonal family photography in the Fall and sometimes in the Spring as well, based on demand.
When should I schedule my maternity session?
I generally recommend that you schedule your maternity session between weeks 28-36. I believe that bellies are beautiful at any size but I leave that up to my clients and how they are feeling. I generally do not recommend scheduling maternity sessions after 36 weeks since many clients can become uncomfortable posing, standing, laying or sitting for a long period of time. Plus if you’re booking in advance, you never know when baby will decide to make their appearance! That being said, I let my clients decide what they are comfortable with as long as my schedule allows.
When should I book my newborn session?
It is never too early to book your newborn session! I generally recommend booking your newborn session at least 1 month in advance of your due date. Some parents to be, book me the minute they find out they are pregnant and I’ve even had people contact me while still trying to conceive! I only accept a limited number of newborns per month to ensure I provide quality customer service to my clients so make sure you contact me in advance.
What if my newborn has already arrived?
In the event that you are looking to initially schedule your newborn session after your baby has arrived, it is less likely that I’ll have a spot available in the 7-14 day range. I will still schedule babies up to 4 weeks old to attempt a newborn style session. At any age, we may come across a fussy or non-sleepy baby but that risk increases after 14 days old and generally after 14 days it’s the pose-ability that is mostly affected. They usually aren’t as used to being curled in those womb-like poses and their arms and legs have had time to get used to the extra wiggle room. I have had great sleepers at up to 6 weeks but I cannot guarantee that your baby will sleep during their session (at any age). Babies at 6 weeks are also much bigger and do not have the same “newborn look” that you see in my portfolio – that’s just a testament as to how fast your baby will change! In the event that we have an alert and awake newborn that does not want to be posed, we will focus on wrapped shots, eye contact (which my clients love!), baby led posing and parent/sibling shots and you will still have incredibly beautiful timeless images to enjoy for a lifetime.
How do newborn sessions work with scheduling if my baby is not here yet?
When you book with Melissa Berg Photography, your due date is added to my calendar as a soft schedule. Once your baby arrives, I ask that you contact me within 48 hours so that we can set the actual date and time for the newborn session within 7-14 days after birth. Newborn sessions are conducted during weekday mornings at my home studio in Raleigh, NC.
Do you use natural or studio lighting?
I use my fully dedicated home studio with two complete studio lighting setups. Newborn session timing is crucial and I can’t depend on the weather. Not enough light that day? Not a problem with my studio lighting. Studio lighting is more consistent and can almost mimic natural light when used properly. All of the newborn images on my website and in my portfolio were captured using my studio lighting technique.
Do you ever conduct on-location sessions?
March through November, Maternity sessions may be conducted outside on my property, surrounding neighborhood and trails. Newborn sessions are only conducted in studio due to the large amount of equipment, props and setups that go into each of my sessions. In the summer months, we may opt to spend some time outdoors towards the end of the session to attempt an outdoor setup if requested in advance.
Do you photograph anything else besides maternity, newborns & babies?
Besides the occasional family session for past newborn clients, no. :) My love for newborn photography has pushed me to focus and specialize in these areas of photography so that I can provide the best photographs for my clients. I do not photograph seniors or weddings but I’d be happy to give recommendations for local photographers if that is the genre of photography you are looking for. I find that specializing in the specific kind of photography that I love, has helped set me apart as one of the top newborn, maternity and baby photographers in our area. My clients come to me because they know that they will get beautiful, consistent and quality images from their session with me. They find peace of mind that they don’t have to worry about what their photographs are going to look like after the session because they know they can trust in my abilities and natural talent for this kind of photography.
When can I expect my images to be ready?
At your newborn session, we will schedule your in studio design + order appointment for approximately 2 weeks after your session. I will present you with your edited images and help you select the perfect keepsakes and heirloom pieces for your home. We can also use this time together to custom design your birth announcement, a wall gallery, an art box and/or a wall gallery. Payment is due in full at the design appointment and cash, Paypal or debit/credit card is accepted. I love getting to see my clients again!! Not only do we get to catch up on how they’re adjusting to their new family life, I also get to see how big their baby has gotten in just a few short weeks! It’s really fun to see how much they’ve changed so quickly – and my clients are so grateful they’ve captured that genuine and special newborn period in their baby’s life. I also love seeing my clients’ emotional reactions to the images of their baby – many times there isn’t a dry eye in the room! It’s such an amazing experience! For those clients who live >1 hour away, I do provide the option of an online Zoom meeting to provide a similar virtual experience. I get many clients from Fayetteville who take me up on that offer and are appreciative. :) Online galleries are only released to the client after full digitals have been purchased for downloading and sharing.
When can I expect my products to arrive?
Once you place and pay for your order at your design appointment, most products will take approximately 1-2 weeks for production and shipping time to my studio. Some popular items may be available to take home with you the night of your ordering appointment. If the digital files are purchased in advance, your USB is ready for you to take home that evening. Custom Art Boxes and Full Session Albums take up to 4-6 weeks for delivery to the studio. I notify you by email when your order is ready for pick up. Shipping to my home studio is included in the cost of all of my products. Smaller items, such as birth announcements, can be shipped Priority at no additional charge. Larger items, such as wall art, can be picked up at the studio or shipped for an additional fee. I do not drop ship directly from my professional labs, as I like to inspect each item to ensure quality before my clients receive them.
Have a question that’s not listed here or need more clarification? Feel free to email me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to help you!