I’ve been photographing newborns for over 10 years and can say with confidence that the best newborn portraits come from a seasoned photographer working with a happy, comfortable baby. They take patience, too!
I recommend booking your session at least 3-6 months in advance of your due date! As soon as baby comes, it’s non-stop late nights and hard work for Mom and Dad. Coordinating a photo session seems like the last thing on your list of priorities. This is why I recommend booking your session in advance to make sure everything is lined up ahead of time and you don’t have to worry! Once your little bundle of joy arrives, please contact me to let me know the good news. I will work closely with you or a family member to find a day and time that works for everyone. Newborns are best photographed under 2 weeks of age; the ideal timing between 8-12 days.
Before the Session
The day of our session, try not to stress too much. With a new baby - everything is new! It takes time to get into a rhythm with your little one, and predicting when naptime will happen is generally difficult. However, if you can manage to have baby fed and changed before the shoot, this will increase chances of happy baby! If you have any outfits or props you’d like included in the photos, please lay them out ahead of time in a place easily accessible. On the day of your session, it’s possible that baby won’t be feeling well. I may be able to reschedule within a short timeframe if my schedule allows. Please contact me immediately if there’s an issue!
I’ve put together some tips based on my experience with photographing babies. Use this little guide as a quick reference on how to make your session a huge success from start to finish!
During the Session
At just a few days old, a regular feeding, sleeping, and potty schedule is out of the question. I understand this, and as a result require a minimum of 3 hours blocked out for newborn sessions, Of course, parents are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the session. For all sessions starting at 3 months and older, we typically spend about 1 hour photographing. During this time, we focus on 4-5 set options to capture baby’s current milestone such as smiling, sitting up, ect.
To Keep in Mind
- Newborns are best photographed under 2 weeks and ideally before 10 days.
- If you have any outfits or props you’d like included in the photos, please lay them out ahead of time
- Most of the poses work best if the baby is in a deep sleep. To encourage this, please keep the baby awake for an hour or two before the session--a bath, changing, or playing with the baby helps.
- A well fed baby is a happy baby! When you arrive for your session, you will give the baby a full feeding and burping to ensure a happy, sleepy baby. Be prepared to nurse or give the baby a bottle at some point during the session (it is helpful to bring a bottle even if nursing to top off a restless baby while positioning).
- PLEASE bring a pacifier (even if you don’t normally use one).
- Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-3 hours. It all depends on the baby's mood and willingness to sleep; unfortunately, this isn't something we can predict! A good portion of your session will involve feeding, diaper changes, and rocking to get your baby comfortable.
- Your baby is going to be in the nude for the majority of this shoot. Please don't panic if your baby decides to use my blankets (or me) as his/her own personal potty. This is natural and I expect it! Please don't feel embarrassed or worry when this happens, because almost all of my newborn do it. I wash all soiled baby props and blankets between each session.
- Baby safety is number ONE! If there is ever a point where you become uncomfortable, just let me know! I take every measure to keep your baby safe. For that reason, I will always make sure that a parent or assistant is nearby to lend support if needed. I am extremely gentle and patient with every baby I photograph but do not be surprised if your baby is fussier than normal. I am, after all, constantly touching and moving them while they are trying to sleep!
- The room is kept around 85 degrees to keep the baby nice and cozy. Keep that in mind when you are choosing your own outfit (dressing in removable layers is recommended!).
WHAT TO BRING
I have a fabulous prop selection for my newborn clients, so there is no need to bring anything for your baby unless you have special items you would like photographed with your baby.
- Swaddling blankets
- Formula or Breast milk
- For mom, bring a black or white tank, short-sleeved shirt or tube top is great. Simple is best, try to avoid patterns.
- For dad, a black or white t-shirt. If dad is comfortable shirtless, we encourage shots like this because they create precious images with dad and baby.