Ahhhhh…a new baby, an exhausted–but completely smitten–mommy and daddy, and quite possibly an older sibling or two…or seven. There’s nothing quite like the early days of bringing home a sweet and tiny babe. But those moments pass all too quickly, and often you’re in such an exhausted daze that it’s hard to take it all in. The beautiful thing about a newborn session is I will do all of that for you. I am about to freeze time so that you can go back in time–whether that be next month, next year, or when your little baby has grown and begins having their own children. I am honored that you have chosen me to make art with your tiny one, and I would like to give you some helpful information for your upcoming session below.
Before the Session:
Newborn sessions typically last from 3-4 hours, and on the longer end if we are doing family images as well. We are on baby time during this session, so getting those posed sleepy images takes awhile. There are a few things you can do to BEFORE you arrive to make the session go as smoothly as possible:
- Don’t change anything about the baby’s diet the day before or during the session. Any sudden changes to their diet will contribute to fussiness, so keep things consistent with breast or bottle feeding. Be prepared to feed the baby during the session. It is helpful to have a bottle on stand-by if needed. Also, please bring along the pacifier from the hospital to help with transitions between poses.
- Before the shoot, feed baby 2-3 hours before coming. Then as much as possible, try to keep baby awake.
- A fresh hair wash and cleaning baby’s skin is a great idea, as the camera will pick up on small details.
- Before coming to the session, dress baby with in a snap-up outfit and a looser-fitting diaper. (This is to avoid marks on the skin that may show in the images.)
All posed newborn sessions are done in my home. I have a studio set-up I use with the babies, and couches for you to kick-up your feet and relax while your little one makes his or her modeling debut before the camera. So feel free to bring along a book or whatever else to enjoy during the session!
At the Session:
When you arrive at the session, I will have you feed and burp your baby before we get started so we have a sleepy and content baby.
If we are taking family pictures or sibling pictures, I will do these first. Bribes with siblings are certainly helpful! If you bring them a snack for a bribe, make sure it isn’t something that will stain around their mouth or their teeth. I usually keep the candy Smarties on hand, as they are small and don’t melt or stain. After the siblings’ pictures are finished, I encourage dad or another caregiver to take siblings back home or to another location to play. Young children usually don’t have the patience to sit through a 3 or 4-hour newborn session, and I will need to keep the environment calm and undistracted so that I can focus on capturing your newborn.
Once the family portion of the session is finished, I encourage you to kick your feet up on my couch and relax. Feel free to bring along reading material or a laptop or anything that makes you comfortable. These sessions take awhile, so I will have water, coffee, and light snacks on hand for you to enjoy. Please be patient during the process. Sometimes the baby will get fussy or make a mess if their diaper is off–don’t stress! This is completely normal for newborn sessions and I fully expect both to happen. If your baby needs to be fed or just have a small break, that is no problem–we are on baby time! If for some reason your little one refuses to settle in, we can talk about rescheduling.
I have a workflow I generally follow for newborn sessions, however, I always flex around each baby. I never force a pose, and if a certain part of my workflow just doesn’t work for your baby, I will move on to what does. Also note, I try to schedule newborn sessions for when the baby is between 7 and 14 days old. However, sometimes circumstances don’t allow for us to catch those days. If this is the case, we will still capture beautiful images of your baby. But often older babies are more awake and less flexible in their ability to pose, so the images may not be exactly what we get with a younger baby.
For your baby, I will have everything we need. If you have a special item you would like included, feel free to bring it along! If this is the case, let me know what you are bringing ahead of time so I can plan the best way to work it into the images.
For newborn family and sibling pictures, think neutral and soft. The focus of these sessions is your connection with your precious baby–this is not the time to distract from those connections with bold and loud clothing. So put away your glamour wear and pull out something comfy and soft. Now that doesn’t mean go for baggy and frumpy, especially since we don’t want to lose your little one in really loose clothing! Also, pay attention to the colors in your home, as you’ll want to choose outfits that compliment your current décor. Muted and neutral colors usually work best. I would also steer clear of visible logos, if possible. Socks or bare feet are perfectly fine. And young siblings will look sweet in a light-colored (white, gray, etc.) cotton t-shirt or tank top. Think timeless and classic–something you can look back on in twenty years and love, regardless of the ever-changing fashion trends.
For the family portion of the session, there are three possibilities for look of these images. Please take a minute to look through the options, and then let me know which options you would like so I will have the set-up ready for when you arrive.
Studio Option: Set up with a simple backdrop, this is a very classic studio look with a timeless feel.
Lifestyle Option: We will photograph in a neutral bedroom next to a window. This has a more casual feel of being in a home, with the focus being the connections between your family members and your new precious baby.
Outdoor Option: This option will be the area right around my home, weather and light permitting. If you’d like to choose this option, please also choose a back-up option in case conditions don’t work for being outside.
Before I close this post, please take a couple of minutes to fill out a questionnaire HERE so that I might best prepare for your session. Because I often order props and backdrops specific to your session, it is important to have this information as soon as possible so that I can be fully prepared for your arrival.
I am looking forward to meeting your family and your new baby! Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you have before our session begins. You are certainly welcome to call or text me at 314-239-2075. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you soon!