Successful Newborn Session Guide
It’s incredible how much your baby will change during the first few weeks. Although it can be extremely challenging, it is well worth every effort to capture these precious moment in time.
I've put together some key tips that will help you plan and prepare for your successful Newborn Session!
Click here to for information on scheduling a Newborn Session
Let's get you on the Calendar!
PRIOR TO BIRTH: We recommend that you book approximately 3 months before your expected due date. Since the baby's arrival can be unpredictable, nothing is set in stone. I simply "Pencil in" your due date on my calendar. Pre-booking allows us to design and plan your ideal session well in advance, allowing time for obtaining any additional props or accessories.
BIRTH DAY: As soon your baby is born, contact me right away to schedule a date and time for your session. A non-refundable deposit of $50 is required to book your session (your date cannot be reserved without this). The remaining balance is due before or on the day of the session. It’s highly recommended that the session is scheduled with the first 14 days of life, however, the BEST time to schedule is between 3 - 7 days after arrival. Within the first few days, babies are naturally sleepy and bendy, making it easier to curl them into those cute little newborn poses. After 14 days, babies learn the joy of stretching, making it extremely difficult to pose them.
What to Expect
My newborn sessions take place in your home. This reduces any stress of having to pack up and leave. You just had a baby, so please don’t worry about clutter - it’s expected! My goal is that you and baby are as comfortable as possible.
I will look for an area with the best natural light and setup my portable studio in that location - usually in the living room, or spot with a large window. Most sessions are scheduled in early morning through early afternoon when the lighting is best. I also bring extra lighting equipment to use as needed. Sit back and relax while we do all of the work.
During our consultation, we plan and design your custom session. I have a selection of baskets, bowls, outfits, blankets, and headbands that you can choose from - which I bring to the appointment. You can certainly bring your own props. I love to recommend ETSY to my clients to look for unique items they’d like, and send me pictures occasionally of some posing and prop ideas they’d like in their session. Early planning is key to ensure items that require ordering will arrive in time!
3) BABY RUNS THE SHOW
I learned early on that things don’t always go as planned. While we have wonderful plans for designing a great session & taking photos, your baby is totally on their own agenda. A typical session involves feeding, diaper changing, soothing time to get baby settled and comfortable, etc. We accommodate this by scheduling 2 - 4 hours and TONS of patience. I generally work through the fuss when wrapping and posing - as the baby will generally calm down once settled. Please don’t get frustrated if your baby doesn’t want to sleep. It happens! Wide awake photos are also adorable.
4) THE MORE HEAT THE BETTER
About 30 minutes before our session, turn up the heat to ensure it’s warm enough for the baby. Babies are used to a warm environment (during pregnancy), and more heat will help them sleep better, and be more comfortable during the session. They will often have little to no clothes on for many of the poses. I will also bring a portable heater to use as needed.
5) SLEEPY & HUNGRY
Most of the poses we shoot work best when the baby is in a very deep sleep. To help ensure this, I highly recommend keeping the baby awake at least 1 -2 hours before the session, as well as a bit hungry - feeding them right before our session. As your baby may get hungry during the session, I recommend that you have a bottle prepared to eliminate any prep time. (For breastfeeding mom’s, feel free to take this time to nurse). Special note for breastfeeding moms, please avoid caffeine 48 hours before the session as it can make the baby more alert and jumpy doing the session.
Maintaining a calm environment is a very big key to a successful newborn shoot. I bring a white noise app that I will keep close to baby during the session to help soothe them - they love strong and rhythmic sounds - which helps them sleep better. If you have other children, please plan a separate area (with a sitter) to reduce any additional noise or distractions. For children who will be included in some photos, I’ll bring them in at the end of the session to help keep the environment calm throughout the shoot.
Safety is my number one priority when handling your baby! I often include mom or dad to be my spotter or assistant. During my sessions, all eyes and hands are kept around baby during posing and transitions at all times. Being a mom of 4 (one of which was a preemie), I have plenty of experience handling newborn and will hold them with care - as if they were my own! The props are completely sanitized and linens used will be washed after the session. If I am sick, I will definitely reschedule your session - notifying you in advance, to protect your little one.
8) OH POOP!
During the session your baby may poop in their diaper, or on blankets and props (for shots in the buff). DON’T WORRY - it happens! It’s natural, and believe it or not, expected. We will be sure to clean the area, and wash all props and blankets between each session with non-scented baby detergent. Please have extra towels/wipes on hand for messy moments. For shots with diapers, it’s best to use a solid color diaper cover or blanket wrap to eliminate any distraction in the image.
9) WHAT TO WEAR?
MOM/DAD - Mom, Neutral colors work best. Definitely keep it simple. Portraits of mom and baby with skin on skin contact are beautiful. A solid color top or cami will do just fine - cream, grey, or dark brown. For hands only shots, it’s important to wear a long sleeve knit top that fits on your arms and wrist.
BABY - Loose clothing - to prevent lines or seam marks, dress baby in a loose pajamas that zip all the way down. This also makes it easier to change and dress baby for the session right away. Pacifier / Nook - if you baby takes a nook, please be sure to have one on hand in case they get fussy.
10) IT’S A WRAP
After your session is complete, I will take time to review and edit the portraits as needed in order to present the best possible images! Look for you proofs to be available approximately two weeks from the date of your session via an online secure gallery. Thank you for your patience!