TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL NEWBORN SESSION
Newborn photography is my passion! THANK YOU so much for trusting and choosing me to capture this special time for your family.
Yes, newborn photography can be challenging, but it’s so amazing to be a part of baby’s life when they are just days old. There’s a bit of prep and planning that needs to go into these sessions to make them more successful. I've compiled a few tips below to help us get the very best out of your upcoming newborn session.
Let's get started...
LET’S PENCIL YOU IN!
You have already taken the first step. Your session or Due Date has been confirmed and it's on the calendar. If we have only secured availability with your due date, now comes the hard part of waiting for that bundle of joy to arrive. Then, shoot us a text or email soon after you deliver so we can arrange a time for the session (we always feel super special when dad’s put us on the official “baby is here!” call list! Just sayin’…).
While the first 10-14 days is usually optimal for newborn portrait sessions, I have found most babies do great if scheduled within the first 21 days of birth. I will be moving baby around and scrunching him/her into those sweet squishy poses so we want them quite sleepy. Somewhere around day 8 they discover the joy that is stretching! Life outside the womb is new and they will want to take it all in. There are advantages and disadvantages to both younger and older babies. A younger baby may not have gotten the hang of nursing or want to 'cluster feed', whereas an older one that is eating like a champ may have developed acne or flaky skin. The most important thing to remember is every baby is different. We will schedule at a comfortable time and let baby be baby.
Newborn sessions take place in my home studio. If the weather is warm enough and you’re comfortable with the idea, we can take the session outdoors for a few shots.
THE HEAT IS ON
The studio will be set to a toasty 80 degrees throughout the session. Newborns are used to being in the womb all warm and cozy. They also need a little extra help as their bodies aren't regulating temperature just yet. We may be glistening, but baby will be comfy…and that’s really all that matters! Dress light!
Most of the poses work best if the baby is in a deep sleep. Try to encourage baby to stay awake as much as possible before the session. Depending on age, a warm bath can also help encourage a sleepy baby.
SKIP THE COFFEE
I know it hardly seems fair after a long, sleepless night, but try to cut out all caffeine if mama is breastfeeding. While it may be exactly what you need to help keep your eyes open, it will also keep baby wide eyed and bushy tailed too.
A well fed baby is a happy baby! Please feed and burp right before our session to ensure a happy, sleepy (“milk drunk”) baby. Be prepared as baby will be more hungry during the session so we take several breaks to help him/her re-fuel. It’s tough work being a super model! Some babies will 'cluster-feed' in their early days as well. Many new parents elect to bring a bottle (breast milk or formula) to help baby get a fuller tummy for the photo session.
TO BINK OR NOT TO BINK?
Yes, it can be a touchy topic and I fully understand. Many parents are advised against the binkie and worry about nipple confusion or getting 'hooked'. Because it is for such a short time in the studio, using a binkie is unlikely to have any effect on baby. Their natural instinct when awake is to eat, so sometimes a little fooling is enough to get them right back to sleep. Should you choose to avoid a binkie, rest assured I will certainly respect your wishes.
We want to do whatever we can to keep the noise level to a minimum during our session. If you have children that will be included in some photos, we recommend bringing them in at the beginning or end of a session and then having someone take them. Only those being photographed should be present, for safety and to help maintain a calm environment.
Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-4 hours since baby runs the show. Unfortunately…this isn’t something we can predict! We ask that everyone remain calm, should he/she not want to sleep, since your baby will pick up on any frustration in the room. And if sleep doesn’t happen, that’s okay! Wide-eyed newborn photos are beautiful too.
Let me say it again… Relaxxx!
Your baby is in safe hands, I promise! Feel free to rest or leave the room for a bit if you’d like. There have been many parents who’ve used this time to take a nap, …and even run out for a quick meal.
IN CASE YOU MISSED THAT: RELAX!
This is all a new experience, whether its baby number one or number six. Parents may stress or panic. It's OK. But try not to worry. No matter how bad you 'think' the session is going, it isn't. Just remember: Babies can sense stress and anxiety (especially from their mommy’s!). Keep calm and RELAX.
Your baby is going to be in the buff for the majority of the session. Don't worry if baby decides to use the blankets (or me) as his/her own personal potty. This is totally natural and it's expected! All props and blankets get a good cleaning after the session and we have plenty of supplies on hand.
The studio is full of bowls, baskets, blankets, outfits and headbands galore ready to dress up your little one. You are also, of course, welcome to use any of your own props. If you have any family heirlooms, toys, hats, props, etc. that you would like me to use in your session, please let me know. We may not get the chance to use ALL of the items, but we’ll look through them with you to determine what will work best. *I STRONGLY recommend that you discuss any ideas, props or poses you have in mind at least a week prior to your session.
Your baby’s safety comes first! If there is ever a point where you become uncomfortable, just let me know! I take every measure to ensure that your baby is never in any danger. For that reason, I will always make sure that a parent or assistant is nearby to lend support if needed.
BUT WHAT DO *I* WEAR?
I know! You just had a baby and aren’t feeling your best. Why not use this as an excuse to get your hair/makeup/nails done? Looking super relaxed and at your best will make you feel more comfortable during the session. This is an exciting time in your life and we want to capture all of that…so take care of yourself first! And feel free to tell your husbands that we’re making you if they need a little convincing! As far as clothing? Keep it simple. Throw in a little color if you’d like, but skip the busy patterns. For moms, we suggest a simple cotton knit cami, or we have a few beautiful maternity gowns available at the studio.
FOR THE MEN.
Your hands will play a major role in this session, so it’s important that you tend to them too! Trim and tidy those nails and apply lotion to any dry skin. A little clothing advice? Long or short sleeved knit/polo shirt are best. Got tats? Shirtless daddy shots are always amazing! *Wrinkles do show up in photos, so please make sure all clothing is ironed or steamed.