Preparation tips and ideas for your newborn portrait session.
Tips For A Successful Newborn Session
We're sure anyone would agree that welcoming a new baby into the world is by far the most special day in one’s life. From the moment you hear, see and smell your sweet child your world is forever changed. One of our greatest joys is creating beautiful images of a baby just days old. Photographing newborns can be challenging and we thought it would be a great idea to create an informational page to help parents prepare for a successful newborn session.
What To Expect During Your Newborn Session:
There is nothing quite like the first weeks in a newborn baby’s life. Never again will the features of your little one change so quickly. Newborn Photography is a specialty that captures the details of a new baby’s journey in life and the beginning of a new family’s journey together. This is a priceless and fleeting time to be savored and cherished for years to come with professional fine art photographs.
We do offer lifestyle newborn sessions in the comfort of your own home, but keep in mind we will bring a limited number of props as it is more about the family connection. It is best to keep the room that we will be photographing in at about 80 degrees to ensure your little one stays nice and toasty. It is always a good idea to dress in light layers to avoid overheating. A newborn session typically takes 2 to 3 hours so plan on bringing a book & snacks or even feel free to take a little snooze on the couch. Don’t worry, your baby is in good hands.
More than 50% of the session will be spent cuddling and feeding your baby so no worries if you find an hour has passed and I have not taken a single photo. Each baby is so different and so is each newborn session. I have had sessions when the baby slept the entire time and others when the baby has cried and nursed for the majority of the session. Either way I have seen it all as well as been pooped or peed on by 99% of babies. A little poop or pee never bothered me!
Before We Arrive:
We Love Light! Natural light is the most flattering. Before we arrive, please have all your curtains and blinds open. Once we arrive we will do a quick walk through of your home looking for the best natural light for us to set up our mini studio.
Babies Love Heat!
It is recommended that you keep your home a little warmer than usual for the session. Newborns are used to being in 98.6 degree temp of your womb. We want them to be comfortable when we get those cute naked baby shots. Heat also helps them sleep better. We will be hot, but the baby will love it!
About 30 minutes before the session, please loosen up your baby’s diaper. This allows the little imprint marks time to disappear. Your baby will be naked in some of the shots, so we want the red marks to go away.
Because we want the baby sleepy for the session. We recommend that you try to keep your baby awake for a while before the session. Trust us, it will be worth it!
We love “milk drunk” babies! Please feed and burp the baby right before the session to ensure baby is happy and sleepy. We may ask you to nurse (or feed) the baby during our session if they start to get cranky.
Gather all the props you would like to use during the session.
During The Session:
Silence is Golden! During the session we need to have the house/location quiet to keep the baby asleep. If you have other children that might create noise, try to find a sitter that can take them from home for a few hours. If you have a pet, you may want to do the same. If you plan to have other children a part of the session, we recommend bringing them in the beginning or end of the session. Only those being photographed should be at the session.
Relax! We are comfortable working with newborns. The baby may get fussy, but we will get great shots; sometimes it just takes time to calm down the little bundle of joy. We let the baby take the lead. Sometimes the baby will need to eat, get a new diaper and just need to cuddle with mama. Babies know when the parents are stressed, so keeping the environment mellow and calm helps to keep the baby calm.
Poop happens! Literally! Because the baby will be naked we may see them use the blankets as a diaper. It is ok. We clean up and move on. There is no need to feel embarrassed. As parents ourselves, We've have been peed on before! It would be helpful if you had a stack of old towels, extra wipes and blankets on hand just in case things get messy.
Safety Dance! Your baby is in safe hands. If there is ever a point during the session where you become uncomfortable, please let us know. We will not put the baby in unsafe positions, even if the parent wants to get a specific pose! If we feel it is unsafe, we will not proceed. The baby’s safety comes first!
Displaying Your Images:
Think about where you want to display your images. Do you want them hanging on the nursery walls? Will they be in frames in the living room? Will they be displayed in a collage of photos on the stairway wall? Let us know so we can shoot specifically for your ideas. It will also help us know if there are specific colors we should be using to fit the style of your home……this leads us to planning for props.
Please let us know if there are specific colors you would like to use in the images. We have a collection of blankets, wraps, baskets, knit hats and headbands available for parents to use. You are also welcome to use any of your own props. Items with color and texture help make unique images. If you have toys, hats, or family heirlooms you would like to use in the session, please let us know so we can advise on what will work best.
What Should We Wear:
Parents are the most important “props” baby has. Mom should feel beautiful. We suggest short or long sleeves to flatter. Light colored, solid tops. Long dress with a light pattern for whimsy and softness. The significant other can wear a solid shirt complimentary to mom’s color. A subtle pattern on the shirt can add interest, like a striped button down.
Siblings should be in solid, neutral colors (cream, white, grey) to keep focus on the baby.
Baby will be naked for some of the images. This is the one time in their life it is ok to be photographed nude. Wraps, blankets and diaper covers can be used on the baby. Keeping everyone else in neutral colors will keep the focus on baby when they are swaddled in a colorful wrap. We do not recommend using newborn outfits because they tend to be too big and cover their face when parents hold them. However, if grandma made a special outfit, let’s take a few shots!