Congratulations! There is nothing more exciting than bringing a new baby into your life and I am so thankful that you have chosen me to be part of that journey and capture your baby's first photos! Whether your baby has already been born or you are still waiting for their arrival, this guide has some very helpful tips, tricks and recommendations to prepare for your session!
Newborn photography requires a lot of time, work and patience and having your newborn's photos taken for the first time can be very exciting and maybe even a little overwhelming. I want to give you a guide to make sure your session goes smoothly!
Ideally we'd like to capture your baby's photos while baby is asleep. The more closely that you follow the prep guide, the less time we will spend feeding and soothing and more time we will spend photographing.
- Be aware that I will always be working safely with your baby. I have been trained in newborn photography safety. At no point during your session will I allow your baby to be in a harmful situation. I do work through fussiness though!
- By the time of your session, you may not have established a feeding schedule. Please feed baby a full feeding right before coming to the studio OR you may wait until you get to the studio. Use your judgement! If you are coming from further away, I would suggest waiting until you arrive to feed baby. This helps to keep your baby feeling content and sleepy for your session. Please keep in mind that babies tend to eat more and more frequently during sessions. It is very helpful if you are willing to feed baby when they seem hungry, regardless of how long it has been since they have eaten.
- Be sure to bathe baby the morning of your session. Dress your baby in loose fitting clothes for easy removal and to avoid lines on the skin. Either a zip up or button up outfit is best; Nothing that has to be removed over the head. If baby uses a pacifier, bring one with you. If baby doesn't typically take a pacifier, still bring one with you! I prefer not to use pacifiers, but they can be helpful during sessions. Babies tend to take a pacifier during sessions even if they do not typically take one.
- (For full newborn sessions only) Keep in mind that mom and dad (and siblings, if applicable) will be in photos as well. Please be sure to have hair/makeup done as well as nails manicured. (Tip for moms: Curled hair looks best in photos AND makes your face appear smaller.) What you and your family should wear depends whether you'd like lifestyle or posed photos. (Please see examples.) For posed photos, either solid cream, grey or black is best. (Black is my favorite.) Stick with something simple; Nothing frilly, not a ton of layers or big sleeves. (I prefer tank tops for moms IF you are okay with arms showing.) Dads: If you prefer not to be shirtless for your posed photos, I ask that you bring a tight fitting, solid t-shirt (cream, grey or black to coordinate with mom - no words or symbols on shirt, not baggy and no wrinkles) to wear with a snug pair of jeans. I aim to photograph using flattering angles and light. Most images will be taken from the chest up for posed photos. Shoes/feet will not show for moms and dads.
For lifestyle photos, I suggest wearing cream. Dresses for moms and girls, cream shirts and jeans for dads and boys. I have a studio wardrobe full of dresses for both moms and little girls that you are welcome to use for your session. I aim to photograph using flattering angles and light. Lifestyle photos are taken close up and further away, so shoes/feet do show. That being said, barefoot is best.
- If you have other children that you will be including in the session, have dad or someone else drive separately. I do have a waiting area in my studio with a play table and toys for kids, but the atmosphere must remain calm and quiet throughout the session. The room that I shoot in will be kept warm (between 80 to 85 degrees), which is not suitable for small children for very long. I always do sibling parent and family photos first. That way, whomever can take the sibling(s) home and mom can stay for the remainder of the session with baby. You are welcome to bring a grandparent, friend, sister, or whomever to stay with you for the remainder of the session, but I do ask that any children are taken home immediately after their part of the session is complete.
- Ideally, baby will sleep throughout the session and you get to relax and enjoy it! What is most important is that parents and baby are comfortable and calm. While you are at the studio, all feedings (unless breastfeeding), burping and diaper changes are on me! Take the time to have a break! The room will be kept between 80 to 85 degrees for baby's comfort along with a space heater being present. Dress accordingly. Please, no pacing or going back and forth around the studio during your session.
- What if baby is awake? While I do love photos of babies awake, babies don't know to look at the camera. Awake babies typically stare at my studio light so those photos are of them staring off and not at the camera. It is best that your baby sleeps throughout their session.
- If your baby has extensive acne, bruising, redness or jaundice, please let me know PRIOR to your session so that we can assess whether or not a reschedule is required.
- I TRY MY BEST TO PROVIDE BOTH WRAPPED AND UNWRAPPED/NAKED POSES. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT SESSIONS ARE BABY LED AND SOME BABIES ARE NOT COMFORTABLE BEING UNWRAPPED.
- I am hopeful that you booked your session with me because you like my work and my style. I do not copy setups or recreate Pinterest photos. Please do not arrive with a wheelbarrow, 20 movie props, a stuffed donkey, a 5 man band or anything similar; They will not be used. I am happy to incorporate a sentimental prop into one setup but I stick to a workflow during sessions to ensure efficiency and images produced. It is best that your baby is the main focus of your photos and not props. Please refer back to my website and Facebook page for examples of my work and what to expect from your session. If you are wanting something other than the work I typically produce, I suggest finding a different photographer that suits your needs.
- Newborn sessions typically last anywhere from 2-4 hours (2 hours for mini sessions and up to 4 hours for full sessions), so be sure to eat prior to your session. I provide water, Powerade, wine/beer and small snacks in my studio as well. Feel free to bring any of your own snacks/drinks if you would like. Moms, if dads plan to stay, please make them aware of how long sessions last so they know what to expect and how long to be there.
Hopefully this helps and gives you an idea of what to expect at your newborn session. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me!