Frequently Asked Questions

Over the years, I’ve taken note of the questions that both new and repeat clients had regarding booking their session so I decided to make the most comprehensive FAQ page I could make. I discuss all types of sessions (Maternity, Newborn, Family & Pet) and provide answers for any stage of your session process – before, during, and after! My goal as your photographer is to make this process as fun, easy, and streamlined as it possibly can be. I never want to leave you empty-handed or make you add more things to your to-do list than necessary – so I’m here to help you every step of the way. If you have any additional questions that I haven’t already touched on, feel free to contact me – I’d love to add more questions that others may have!

Scroll down for the most comprehensive guide for documenting your family!

Philadelphia Family & Pet Photographer

2 young children during their Fall Family photoshoot in Wayne, PA

What makes you different? What is your photographic style?

My style of photography is a combination of posed and candid. I usually start by putting you in good light and giving you some posing tips so you feel comfortable and confident. After that, it’s really about your interactions with each other. I have always been drawn to tableaux-style photography because I feel it gives you the best of both worlds. That way you have something solid for the family archive and something that’s more true-to-life and genuine. Your photo experience is just as important as the final product, it should be fun, relaxing, and refined. 

What are your sessions typically like?

My sessions are very go-with-the-flow and child-led, as I try to make them as easy as possible by catering to everyone’s needs. If we need to take breaks for any reason, we do! If your children need some time to cuddle with mom or dad, have a snack break, or run around for a bit we have time for that. Sometimes, this is where the best candid photos come from.

How often should we photograph our family? 

Time flies, especially in the first 5 years of your child’s life. They change so much and grow so fast. If possible, I recommend documenting the 4 milestones within your baby’s first year (Belly to Birthday Package). After that, I recommend regularly updating your family photos once a year & switching up the seasons of each session until all the kids are past the age of 5. After all the kids are a bit grown, you can update your photos every year or every other year. Read about all the reasons I recommend regularly updating your family photos in my blog Reasons to Document Your Growing Family

Fall family photo in Rittenhouse Philadelphia with their great dane dog

Can we incorporate our dogs/pets into our photos? 

OF COURSE! I am an absolute all-around animal lover! I love incorporating pets as much as possible since they are part of the family. Even my office is dog-friendly! While including your pet in your session is not mandatory, it is encouraged. We can cater to your family’s and your pet’s comfort levels. Some of my clients have brought an extra pair of hands along to help with pets or kids, which is a great idea.

How far in advance should I book?

Lately, my calendar has been filling up ahead of time, more than it ever has before! If you have a preferred season or need weekend dates, I suggest getting in touch with me as soon as possible. I recommend booking your session a minimum of 2 months in advance so you can get scheduled for your ideal date. Once you inquire about a session, we’ll schedule a phone call to chat and choose a date. I will then send you a booking proposal to complete to hold your date on my calendar. All that is due ahead of time is your session fee + tax.

urban family photoshoot in Peru by Traveling family photographer Alexa Nahas

Do you travel for sessions?

I do! I will always travel for baby bellies, newborns, families, and pets! Believe it or not, I’ve gone as far as South America for a family session! Depending on the distance, there may be a travel fee. If you are interested please contact me for a custom quote.

What should we wear during portrait sessions?

All sessions are casual and comfortable. In my experience, the more comfortable and true to yourself you feel –  the better the results. Think comfy, casual brunch attire. Try to avoid overly matching outfits and anything with bold lettering on it. I’m happy to help you pick some options out if you need help. 

What time of day will the shoot take place / how long are the shoots?

Indoor shoots can take place any time of day that works best for you and the light in your house. For outdoor shoots, we aim for an hour before sunset to achieve ideal light without rushing. If that conflicts with your child’s or your family’s ideal time, we can work together to find a time that works for everyone. 

Pet & Maternity: 45 minutes – 1 hour 

Newborn: up to 2 hours 

Family: 1+ hours

Where will the session take place? 

I always prefer using locations that have some significance to your family. Many of my clients will choose to go somewhere they regularly frequent, or a place that reminds them of a favorite memory. If you don’t have any particular places in mind, reach out and we can find the ideal spot together! I have an ongoing list of over 100 locations throughout Philadelphia and beyond. 

What if we want to do our entire shoot at home? 

We can absolutely do your session at home! Sometimes the intimacy and comfort of your own home is ideal. Your home doesn’t need to be perfectly decorated or lit to have an at-home session, we’ll always find spots to work with! Check out my blog At-Home with Baby for some inspiration and to learn more about how indoor sessions function.

Can we reschedule?

Yep! We can reschedule for illness or if the weather looks like it won’t be on our side. I only take on a certain amount of sessions per month to allow for any rescheduling that needs to be made.

What if I don’t want my child’s photo to be used on the internet? 

I understand and appreciate your concerns. Typically a standard model release is included in your contract. However, if you choose to keep photos private, the contact will be adjusted to accommodate your privacy. Your digital gallery is delivered in a password-protected gallery that can only be viewed by people you choose to share it with.

family beach photo with a baby girl in Ocean City, New Jersey

Do you take photos down the shore?

Yes, for a travel fee! Preferably your shore session will take place on weekdays to avoid typical weekend crowds & traffic. Beach family sessions are a great opportunity to do an extended family session, while everyone is on vacation together!

 Are gift certificates available? 

Absolutely! Most people purchase the certificate for the session fee + something extra for an a la carte credit to get the recipient started. Gift certificates are sent digitally but are printable as 5x7s if you want to give a physical gift. They are great to put in a frame for display (plus they will now have a frame to put a print in later!) 


woman's maternity photoshoot in Lorimer ParkNortheast Philadelphia in a red gown

When is the perfect time to do my maternity session? 

Ideally, we aim to schedule a month ahead of your due date. This allows us to capture your perfectly round belly while still giving us time to reschedule for weather conditions if need be without cutting it too close. 

What should we wear? Do you have a client closet?

I do not have a client closet, as I’d like for everyone’s personal style to be shown through their photos – however, I have an entire blog post filled with maternity outfit inspiration which also includes various places that are great options – Check out “What do I Wear for my Maternity Photos?”

lifestyle Maternity and newborn fall photos in Mt. Airy Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

Is there an advantage to booking maternity & newborn sessions together? 

Yes! Booking the two sessions together (Belly to Baby Package) guarantees you priority on my calendar as well as a discount. Your newborn session should be booked before the baby arrives, and if it isn’t booked far enough in advance I will not be able to take on your session. Read all about the benefits of booking your Maternity & Newborn sessions together in my Maternity & Newborn blog.

What can I use my $100 a la carte credit for from my Maternity Session? 

You can apply your a la carte credit to anything besides digital files. Most of my maternity clients apply the credit towards getting some prints and/or a custom album.  I like to give the credit as a way to give you a gentle nudge to start your family’s physical archive.  


older brother laying with his newborn baby brother in his Philadelphia home during a lifestyle newborn session

How and when should I book my newborn session? 

The ideal booking timeline is AT LEAST 2 months before your due date. Once your session is officially booked & confirmed, your due date will be put on my calendar as a placeholder for your newborn session. Once the baby is here, you can reach out to me to set an official session date. If this is your first child, I recommend planning your session for within the first 2-3 weeks to get true, squishy newborn photos. While, some of my second-time parents may opt for something a bit later to accommodate for adjustments. 

Are you trained in the safe handling of newborns? 

Yes, I am. I’ve always preferred a natural approach over a posed, studio approach. I prefer to take a more natural approach to avoid overhandling or moving your baby in uncomfortable positions. 

Will you wear a mask during the session?

I will always do anything I can to make clients feel safe –  whether that includes wearing a mask or taking a rapid test. Typically, I wear an underarmour mask, but I will wear a medical mask if you want. Please just remind me when I get to your door, in case you don’t see me already wearing one! 

newborn baby lying on an orange blanket during a lifestyle newborn shoot in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Do you provide props and backdrops for newborn sessions? 

While I don’t bring any studio props or items with me, I do have some blankets to supplement anything you may have. My approach is more lifestyle – I want your photos to reflect exactly how you will remember this time of your life. I, of course, am always happy to include any personal items within your shoot, such as family heirlooms.

What if my baby doesn’t want to sleep during the session?

No worries – not every baby is predictable. Babies sometimes get FOMO too & just want to be awake and see what’s going on in the world around them. We’ll always try everything we can to get them to settle, but if we can’t we go with the flow.

What’s the difference between a newborn session and a 6-9 month session?

There are many times to photograph your child within their first year. Most first-time parents prioritize true newborn photos within the first 2-3 weeks for fresh, squishy baby photos.  6-9 months is a great option if you’re more interested in capturing your baby when they can sit up on their own & start developing their personality. If you want to see a visual comparison, check out all of Jack’s 1-year milestones


lifestyle family photos during the summer in their Philadelphia suburbs backyards

How can I best prepare my kids?

Not all sessions start with smiles. Sometimes they start with tears, stranger danger, and the occasional no – and that’s okay. If you think your child may be a bit hesitant, you can always prep them by telling them their new friend Alexa is going to come and hang out with the family for a bit. I always prioritize spending some time easing kids’ worries or taking breaks when they need them. Whether that’s sitting on the floor with them to talk or pulling out their favorite book to read before even taking my camera out; all of my sessions are child-led to make them feel comfortable & to get the best outcome for your photos.

Can we make special accommodations for my child’s needs? 

I’m always happy to make any accommodations necessary. We’ll never force your child to do something they don’t want to do. If the opportunity presents itself, we’ll circle back later in the session but if it’s not working for your child we’ll just do the best we can with other shots. Feel free to communicate any needs you and your family may have, and we’ll work together to create a game plan. 

2 young girls with their grandmother during a lifestyle newborn session in Philadelphia

Can we add in grandparents & cousins? 

Grandparents are always free to include! Additional family members can be added at additional cost, depending on the family breakdown. 

Should we bring anything to our session? 

Anything you think will make your child feel more comfortable & confident. Snacks, comfy clothing, or toys for the little ones to help get their attention & smile can be helpful. I also recommend bringing blankets or something to sit on the ground – but I also usually have some on hand to use! A change of clothes is never a bad idea, especially if you think the kids may get messy or are in a drooling phase.


Fall pet photoshoot, with 2 dogs,  in Fairmount Park Philadelphia by Alexa Nahas Photography

What if my dog can’t be off-leash? 

That’s okay. Fun fact! 90% of the dogs on my website & social media are on leash, even if it doesn’t look like it! I will always cater to the specific needs of your dog, whether that means staying on leash, staying in an enclosed area, or staying away from other dogs, people, or distracting sounds. 

What if my dog isn’t perfectly trained? 

Neither are mine! Most of the dogs I work with have been trained to minimal levels. As long as they can sit & stay for half a second, we can work with them to get great pictures of them!

lifestyle Spring pet photoshoot of a tuxedo cat in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Do you photograph cats?

I do! While I definitely have more experience with dogs, I am happy to photograph your feline friend, as long as they’re okay with greeting strangers. 

How can I best prepare my pet?

I recommend not feeding them up to 2 hours before your scheduled session time and trying to get most of their energy out in the morning if possible. It’s also a great idea to have 3 differently valued treats on hand, but not visible, during your session. For example, cheerios, jerky treats, and a high-level treat (like a hot dog or something they REALLY love). 

Can I bring more than one pet to my session? 

Of course! Additional dogs are $50 each. Cats can always included during indoor shoots for no additional cost since they’re a bit of a wild card. 

Woman kissing her golden doodle during their fall pet photo session in Philadelphia

Can I be in my pet’s photo session?

Yes!! I always encourage you to get in at least one photo. You may not feel like you want the photo now, but you’ll cherish it later on. Pet sessions can include up to 2 people; if you want to include more people, it then becomes a family session. 

After Your Session

young boy jumping on his bed smiling during his lifestyle family session in West Philadelphia home

When will the photos from my portrait session be ready? What’s the next step?

At the end of your session, we’ll schedule a time for you to come into my office to view your images on a nice big screen. Meetings will occur 2-3 weeks after your session date. We will go over your archiving options together to make sure you get exactly what you need and want. 

How will I receive my items?

Any digital purchases will be available for download through a password-protected gallery available the same day as your meeting. Your physical items purchased will be delivered to me (unless otherwise requested), so I can review all items. Once all of your products arrive, they will be available for pick-up or in-person delivery. 

Is there an a la carte minimum, or a certain amount of money I have to spend? 

There is no a la carte minimum. You only have to spend money on what you need and want from your session. This is one of the reasons I value my in-person meetings, as it gives us an opportunity to sit & review all your photos together and figure out the best options available to you, with my help. 

Do you sell digital files?

Yes, I offer digital files to be purchased in a few different quantities. While digital files are great & important to have, I always encourage you to think about adding 1-2 physical items to see, feel, and enjoy from each of your sessions. Feel free to contact me for a full pricing list to discuss all of your options. 

Heirloom archival family photo album by Alexa Nahas Photography

What kind of products do you offer? 

I only offer the most archival options for all of my products. After doing research, I was able to curate a selection of the most high-quality items to offer to my clients. I believe that high quality is the only way to go when starting your family archive, which is why everything is picked with longevity in mind. Your heirloom items will have a lasting effect on your family’s archive throughout generations. 

Why should I print my photos?

Digital files are great to have if you want them, but they shouldn’t be the only thing you purchase. Prints, wall art, and albums are great additions to your family photo collection that can be passed down through generations. After all, if it brings you joy- you should see it as often as possible. It should never require electricity to see a photo of someone you love. Read more about #PrintYourPhotos here!

Where can I leave a review? 

You can leave a review by clicking here or by googling Alexa Nahas Photography! 

Feel free to call or email me with any other questions! 

fall family photoshoot with a dog walking on a park trail in Wayne, PA

Check out more Philadelphia lifestyle photography blog posts here.

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