5 tips to prepare for your newborn photo session!
Speaking from experience when you're expecting a baby you have a long mental checklist of all the things you need to buy or things you need to prepare in order have a tiny human in your home! As If that isn't overwhelming enough! You hop on social media and every few second of scrolling you are bombarded with ads for the newest and greatest gadgets, parenting advice, sleep training, potty training,..... Whoa....Goodness! Let's just get the baby here first, right? All I am saying is every where you look someone is marketing their product to you and it can get super overwhelming, not to mention expensive! There is always going to be something you think you need to buy that is truly over priced and maybe not even necessary! Newborn photography may be the furthest from your mind of things you need to worry about while you are pregnant. You may know how important newborn photos are, but you may not truly know just how much you will regret it if you don't have them taken. I am a mom to four beautiful boys my oldest is nine. I don't think photography was quite what it is today nine years ago. Sadly, we did a DIY newborn photoshoot in our living room. (before i was a professional) Have you seen those "nailed it" post online where someone tries something at home that a professional makes look so easy, it usually ends up terrible and nothing like what it should look like, Yep, that was my first sons photoshoot. My second oldest son is seven and we paid to get beautiful photos of him, then hired the same photographer Four years later to photograph my twin boys also. Truth be told I was too stressed about all the other gadgets I needed to buy with my first born that I just simply didn't prioritize how important his newborn photos would be. Now nine years later i still have regrets for not seeking out a trained photographer to capture my first son as a newborn. We get to display our other children's photos in our living room, and I feel terrible that we don't have the same for our oldest. This is why I am here to help guide, and prepare you so you can have a successful newborn photoshoot! You don't want to have an epic fail like we did with my first born!
Schedule your newborn session ahead of time
When you Schedule ahead of time this ensures that your photographer will have time on their schedule. Most photographers won't photograph a baby that is more than 3 weeks old. 5-14 days old is ideal. This means if you wait till your baby has arrived you will be scrambling to get in with a photographer quick! Waiting till the last minute to research a photographer might mean that you don't get your ideal photographer of choice. Scheduling ahead of time will give you time to research the newborn photographers in your area, I suggest asking to view their portfolios. You really want to find someone that can deliver consistent results with every photoshoot. The last thing you want to end up doing is investing your hard earned money with a "last minute photographer" just because they have the an opening, chances are you will be left disappointed!
Feed your baby 30minutes before your session time
You are paying your photographer to capture sleeping photos of your baby. Newborns are hungry every 2-3 hours. The goal is to get them nice and sleepy. If you feed, and change your baby 30mins before your photo session with luck your baby will be totally milk drunk p.s ( a newborn photographers dream) Of course if you schedule with a photographer that specializes in newborns they come to the session also prepared to have a baby potentially be unsettled at some point during the session. We just like to do all that we know we can do to try and ensure that the photo session is a good experience for everyone! Newborn sessions last around 2-3 hours typically and it is always helpful if that time can be spend photographing your baby vs feeding your baby!
Babies don't like being cold. The studio will be warm! Newborns, will sleep better if they remain warm. The heat turned on, and a space heater directed towards the baby. It is always best to dress in layers we don't want parents to get too uncomfortable during their session. We know postpartum moms still have a hard time regulation their body temperatures, so it is just best if you can remove an article of clothing if you get too warm!
Dress baby simple!
Skip all the cute outfits for the day of your session. Simple is better! I recommend a zip up or snap up sleeper. We want to be able to easily remove their outfit without disturbing their Sleep. It is best if we don't have to pull anything over their heads. The goal is to hopefully remove them from their car seat, undress them, and start the session without over stimulating them to the point that they wake up!
If you have hired a professional they will come to the session prepared, and ready to give you the photos you are paying for. I know it is hard to not want to jump at everything little noise your baby makes. I can promise you an experienced photographer knows what they are doing, they will know what poses are safe, and comfortable for your baby. However, if at any point something is making you uncomfortable during the session let it be known! Babies can sense when moms are stressed, so try and just relax!
Additional things to know
- We want to keep your baby asleep, it is helpful if we can keep the room calm and quiet, typically your photographer will have white noise playing. Any movement of the baby is done slowly and gently as not to overly stimulate them to keep them sleepy
- Come prepared for you baby to have fussy moments, having a pacifier handy or a bottle made is always helpful. The reason a newborn session takes up to 3 hours is to allow time for baby to have feeding breaks.
- Come prepared to be in a photo with your baby, You don't need to get all dolled up just bring a simple neutral toned top. You want your photos to have a timeless feel to them.
- If you plan do have you other children in a photo with you baby is is always best to do that at the end of the session, in my studio we usually have grandparents or dad bring the kids when we are ready for them. Back to keeping to studio peaceful most children get restless during the duration of the entire shoot. I suggest talking with your photographer about doing family shoots last.