newborn session Prep guide
Few tips to prepare for your session:
Newborn sessions are best photographed when Baby is 5-14 days old. During this time, the baby is still very sleepy and most pose-able. They will not be like this for long because they change and grow so quickly. After 14 days baby is easily awakened and more difficult to pose. So it will be very hard to get those nice sleepy poses that you see in my portfolio.
If nursing or bottle feeding breastmilk, try to eliminate caffeine from your diet for 72 hours prior to your session.
If bottle feeding, breastmilk or formula, please bring along a bottle if we need to feed baby during your session.
Please keep your baby awake for as long as possible the morning of our session. This is probably the most important step you will take to prepare for your session. A bath, awake time and/or interacting with your baby for at least 2 hours if not more before the session will ensure that they are asleep during the session. This will ensure those squishy, sleepy newborn pictures! It is so important to do your best to keep them awake. Many parents come in saying “baby has been sleeping all morning, but don’t worry, they sleep SO well this time of day!” only to have baby wake up, since they will be unclothed and unswaddled.
Once you arrive you will feed your baby right away. A full tummy equals a sleepy baby! Once burped, we will then start preparing him/her for their session, meaning any and all clothing must be taken off, except for the diaper. Please do not overly dress baby in clothing that is hard to take off, a onesie or easily removed pajama outfit will work great so they do not have to be disturbed. No tight socks or clothing that may leave indentions in the skin. As you might know babies don’t like the feeling of being naked, they want to be warm and completely snuggled (although we will have a small heater in place to keep them warm) still, they are naked. That alone completely startles and wakes up a baby faster than anyone expected and because of that, they are now fully awake. Some babies fall into a deep sleep once picked up, or wrap in a small blanket and soothed for about 15 minutes and then there are the babies that have been asleep for 3+ hours before arriving and are now refusing to go to sleep. From experience, babies that have been asleep prior to arrival are unfortunately the babies that are more difficult to pose because as soon as the blanket comes off, they get startled again and it’s back to trying to put them to sleep. That alone can take up to an hour. Keeping in mind these two instructions will most certainly give you a well-rested baby. In return I’ll be able to maximize the time you have in the studio with plenty of scenes and photos so for that reason please do not underestimate and risk how well your baby sleeps after a feeding. We need your bundle of joy to be very exhausted, tired and a bit hungry. I know it will be hard, on top of your own sleep deprivation but I promise you, it will be well worth the effort!!
The shoot may last up to 4 hours; getting a baby to sleep before posing them takes time and they may need to be fed during the shoot as well. Babies usually need to eat more during a session, so even if you are on a schedule, or the baby eats at certain times, please be flexible with on demand feeding during the session.
Please have a pacifier handy! It does not stay in the baby's mouth for long periods of time, a few seconds here or there is all we need to calm the baby. If we do not have a way to soothe the baby while posing, we may not be able to accomplish as much during the session. A bottle or a parent's finger can also be used for soothing, but the pacifier is the easiest and most effective way. It will help soothe the baby when he or she becomes restless, making it much easier to continue with the photographs.
I have a huge and growing collection of headbands, hats, bonnets, wraps, boxes, outfits and more, so no need to bring anything from home unless there is something special or important to your family that you’d like included, just let me know ahead of time so I can include it in the flow of your session.
If you are planning on parent photos, a simple white or light colored top or tank will be perfect (black works, too!)! Same goes for dad. I also offer Mommy & Me photo and provide beautiful wardrobe for moms. Parent photos will take about 20-30 minutes of your session in the beginning or at the end of the session. I do love photographing the connection between you and your baby! Even if you don’t think you want a photo with you and your baby, please do reconsider. For the most part, parent shots are taken chest up and take just a few minutes. They are only little for a little while :) If you do decide to have parent and/or family photos, please be sure that your nails are manicured (nothing fancy, just not chipped polish ideally :)) as your hands will make their way into the photos. Also, please know that I aim to photograph using flattering angles and light to create beautiful images you will cherish.
If you have older children, please arrange for your husband or family member to either take them home after their pictures are taken or occupy them during the session. It is very hard to photograph the newborn if older siblings are restless during the remainder of the session. Family and sibling photographs will be taken first, and then the rest of the session will focus on the baby. If for some reason that is not choice you can bring items from home such as a tablet etc. But please do whatever you can to keep the noise to a minimum during our session. Maintaining a calm environment is also a big key to a successful newborn shoot. I do have a white noise app and soothing music that will play throughout the session to help soothe him or her. Babies love strong and rhythmic sound.
Cream, ivory or white (without patterns or logo) is recommended for older siblings. Top with jeans or even dresses for girls. They will be barefoot, so no need to look for clean shoes.
Notes to consider:
I recommend bringing no more than yourself, your spouse/partner and children. Lots of people in the studio make for somewhat challenging creative conditions.
Please note, not all babies will go into every pose. If that is the case, I will do a variation of the pose.
Because I do not work with an assistant, mommy or daddy may need to help “spot” baby for some poses.
Your little darling will poo and pee on all the props. This is natural and expected. Please do not feel embarrassed when this happens, because they all do it. Any experienced newborn photographer will be completely accepting and expecting of this fact.
I spend a lot of time getting every little finger and toe positioned perfectly when photographing your little bundle. First and foremost, it is important to me for your baby look comfortable and peaceful in the photographs and for each image to be a piece of art. It’s not unusual to spend 20 minutes working to perfect one pose. I have a lot of experience and patience with newborns. Safety is my top priority. I will never put your newborn in an unsafe pose/prop.
I supply all of the backdrops, props, hats, headbands, outfits and wraps for the session. I am always open to new ideas. If you see something you like in my newborn gallery, be sure to mention it BEFORE your session. I am open to suggestions on poses that you may have seen from Pinterest but please understand that every pose we do depends on how well baby cooperates and how safe the pose is for your little one. I cannot guarantee any pose for this reason.
- Nappies and wipes
- Pacifier (optional but very helpful)
- Parent and siblings outfits
- Baby go home outfit
- Extra baby blanket