FAQs and pointers
Natural yet striking photographs by Louise Downham, a professional newborn photographer south London. Louise Rose Photography covers mainly south, southwest and west London. Highly experienced in photographing newborns, babies, children and families, Louise provides excellent customer service and creates photographs to treasure.
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Planning your portrait session


Where will the portrait session take place?

  • Maternity: For your maternity portrait session, we’ll start off taking photographs in your home, and then if you’d like outdoor shots too, we can head outdoors (weather permitting). We’ll usually take photographs in a few different rooms, making the most of the light and the space in your home. We can also take all the photographs outdoors if you’d prefer.
  • Newborn: Your newborn portrait session will almost always take place entirely in the comfort of your own home.
  • Family: We’ll start off taking photographs in your home, and then after an hour or so head outdoors to your garden or your favourite park. We’ll usually take photographs in a few different rooms, making the most of the light and the space in your home.

If you’d like to have photographs taken in a park that requires a permit (for example a Royal Park or National Trust property), you’ll be responsible for arranging the permit and paying the associated costs for the permit.

How long will it take?

  • Maternity sessions take around an hour.
  • Newborn portrait sessions take between 1.5 hours and 2 hours.
  • Family portraits take 1.5 hours.


What time of day is best?

The best time is when your children have had a sleep and a feed, or rather when they’re not tired or hungry! Many families find a 10am / 10.30am or 2pm / 2.30pm start works well, but the timing’s absolutely up to you. We only book in one portrait session per morning or afternoon, so you have flexibility on the timings.

Newborn sessions tend to work best in the mornings as newborns can become more crotchety in the afternoons.

In autumn / winter, we’d ideally start before 2pm so it’s not getting dark towards the end of the session.

My home is small and cluttered – will it work?

Yes, absolutely! Lots of portrait sessions take place in small homes amidst clutter – it doesn’t matter at all, I can always find a good spot.

Do I need to clean and tidy?

There’s certainly no need to clean. We’ll probably end up moving a few things around anyway, and if something’s distracting in the background of a shot I’ll move it or point it out.

Can you bring a studio backdrop?

I’ve got a pop-up background with a choice of white or black backdrops. Just let me know beforehand if you’d like me to bring it.

Scheduling a newborn portrait session:

Once we’ve booked in your newborn portrait, we keep a session free the week before and after that date, so we have the flexibility to play it by ear according to how you and your baby are getting on.

The ideal window:

  • We aim to photograph newborns when they’re 7-10 days old, or at their six week milestone.
  • If your baby is premature, we’ll calculate this from your due date rather than the birth date to give them a chance to catch up a little. If your baby’s only born a week or so early, see how you feel at the time – your baby might seem calm, solid and happy, in which case we can bring the date forward; if your baby seems a bit fragile or uncomfortable, we can keep the date originally scheduled.
  • If your baby’s born late, it’s a good idea to have your newborn portrait session at around 7 days old, as your baby’s growth spurt might come a little sooner.
  • Weeks 2-5 are generally best avoided as newborns can go through an uncomfortable phase with skin issues and digestive problems rearing their heads. If your newborn is very settled and doing well, though, we can photograph him/her earlier than 6 weeks.
  • Six week milestone: newborns are generally much more settled at 6 weeks old – whilst still being tiny and snuggly, more alert and open-eyed – and often starting to smile.


What about re-scheduling?

We require 48 hours notice of cancellations or changes to your portrait session. If you’re ill, we’ll waive the 48 hour notice requirement.

We’re glad to offer one re-schedule free of charge – please note that if you re-schedule a second time, you’d need to pay a new Session Fee.

What if the weather forecast looks bad beforehand?

Overcast skies actually create lovely soft light and are very flattering. It’s always possible to get beautiful photographs no matter the weather, so don’t worry too much about it!

If it’s forecast to rain and outdoor shots are really important to you, we can re-schedule your portrait session. Please note I may not be able to offer a date for the same week as your original booking, and weekends can get booked up several months ahead.

Getting ready for your portrait session


What should I have ready?

For young children: pick out some favourite toys to distract your child and keep them entertained – bigger toys are better for photos. Bubbles are a surefire hit, as are some noisy / musical toys for keeping their attention.

It’s also worth having a wet wipe ready for any little bits on your child’s face: a dribbly nose is cute, but you might prefer it wiped off for the photo!

For babies that aren’t yet crawling: it’s a good idea to have some blankets handy that we can use for different backgrounds – blankets that have different colours and different textures from each other are great, but blankets with a strong pattern (eg tartan) are best avoided.

For newborns:

  • Some blankets that we can lay your baby on. Blankets that have different colours and different textures from each other are great, but blankets with a strong pattern are best avoided.
  • A change of clothes (or two!).
  • If you have one, a babygrow that doesn’t have feet – so we can photograph your newborn’s tiny feet.
  • A muslin cloth.
  • If you can, trim a baby’s nails beforehand – it looks better for close-ups of tiny fingers and toes!

On the day of your portrait session


What if it rains on the day?

If it rains on the day, we’ll take all the photographs indoors, and keep an eye on the weather – if there’s a break in the weather, we can dart outside.

What should I / we wear?

Pick out clothes that don’t have a graphic or logo on, and ideally that are one plain colour (NB. plain white or black clothes don’t photograph that well). A gentle pattern is fine, and stripes or spots are ok but they can be a bit distracting.

Bear in mind that if you all wear the same colour, it will create a more staged / studio look to your portraits.

Wear clothes that you feel relaxed and comfortable in.

  • Maternity: To best show off your bump, choose a snug top that clings to the contours of your bump. An open shirt also works well if you’d like a photograph of the skin but would prefer to keep your top on. If you’d like a photograph in your underwear or nude, we can take those too. Bear in mind that if you both / all wear the same colour, it will create a more staged look to your portraits.
  • Newborns: Please try to avoid collars on babies as they often flap open and cover a bit of babies’ faces. Have a few changes of clothes to hand, as your baby’s unlikely to make it through the whole session in the same outfit! A onesie without feet works really well for photographing their tiny feet.
  • Girls: dresses look so sweet and work really well, but have some trousers ready too – if your daughter feels like sitting down, dresses can show more nappy than intended so it’s handy to have an alternative.
  • Boys: pretty much anything goes, just avoid clothes that have a big graphic on the front like a dinosaur or tractor.
  • Mums: I suggest avoiding sleeveless tops. A plain top and jeans or casual trousers work well.
  • New mums: if you’re conscious of baby weight, a good quality T-shirt works very well, or a shirt. Bear in mind that lots of breastfeeding tops are often very fitted, so if you’d like
  • Dads: a plain shirt and jeans or casual trousers is the most common combination.


Should I wear make-up?

I take natural photographs but will always try to photograph you in your best light. If you feel comfortable with make-up on, please go ahead, but if you usually go without that’s absolutely fine. 
Most women do photograph better with a dab of face powder and a smear of under-eye concealer! A pale eyeshadow also photographs well.

Do you provide professional hair & make-up?

Yes – we offer a 45 min / 1 hour hair & make up session with a professional make up artist. Jess will bring all her products and equipment to your home and will make you look and feel fabulous.

Jess is an established hair and makeup artist, working mainly in TV, film, commercial and bridal for the past 5 years. She has worked with clients such as Matthew Perry and Cara Delevigne. Jess always works with high end products such as Dermalogica, MAC, Chanel and Laura Mercier. She has public liability insurance.

Should I wake my newborn baby for the portrait session?

No – hopefully I’ll catch them awake at some point during the portrait session, but newborn babies photograph brilliantly when they’re asleep and it’s best to keep to your baby’s normal routine. It’s true what they say about never waking a sleeping baby!

What if my child’s cranky on the day?

Don’t worry – we can spend some time cheering up your child. I’m very experienced with helping children enjoy the portrait session, and it doesn’t usually take long to win them over! Even if your child seems to be acting up or not co-operating, there’ll still be a lovely set of portraits to look through afterwards – I promise!

Go easy on disciplining your child during the portrait session, and resist any temptation to tell them to be good for the photographs! It’s much easier to take great photographs of your children if they feel they’re having a fun experience rather than it being something they have to behave for.

After your portrait session


Ordering products

Your edited photographs will be available to view after approximately three weeks. If you need the photographs ready earlier, I can edit the photographs within 48 hours, for which I charge an extra £50.

Your viewing appointment will be held in our comfortable Clapham Old Town meeting room, where you can view your photographs on a large screen and also look through sample products to help you decide on which are right for you.

Orders placed at an ordering appointment benefit from a 10% discount, as reflected in the products guide. You can also order products online or over the phone afterwards, if you prefer (in which case, please add 10% to the prices in the products guide).

Prints and frames will typically be delivered to you within four weeks. Albums take a few months. If you need the prints, albums or frames ready earlier, please let me know and I’ll find out the fastest express deliveries currently available from each supplier.

What’s the difference between fine art giclée prints and high street prints?

Fine art prints are a world apart really: colours are richer and the paper is archival – plus my computer is calibrated to the printer’s profile for colour control. Please see more about this here: www.louiserosephotography.com/difference-high-street-prints-and-giclee-fine-art-prints

Do you provide retouching?

All photographs are lovingly edited to bring out the best in the colours in the image, and if you’d like any little scratches or spots removed from your children’s faces we can do that free of charge. More intensive retouching is also available – photoshopping features like correcting roots or reducing wrinkles is charged at £85 per hour (minimum charge £50). There’s no charge for retouching any images that are being framed, however.

Please let us know if there’s anything you’d like retouched and we can give you a quote for the additional editing work.

If you let me know beforehand about anything you’re insecure about, I can try to minimise it in the shots – and to choose angles where that feature is not particularly evident. It’s worth telling me even if you find it a bit embarrassing (feel free to email me these concerns!) – people really are their own worst critics and it’s usually surprising what people don’t like about their appearance.

Additional information


What’s your background?

I became a full-time photographer in 2010, and it was the best decision I ever made. I feel so lucky to be able to do a job that I really love. I have a Masters in Photography, and previously managed the Viewfinder Photography Gallery – a small art photography gallery in Greenwich. I’m passionate about photography, and spend most of my waking day thinking about photographs!

What about my other questions?

Just ask me – I’m more than happy to answer any little concerns or questions you might have.

How can I book a portrait session?

Please contact us by email or call us on 020 8133 9722 – we look forward to hearing from you!

What are the terms & conditions?

Please see http://louiserosephotography.com/terms