Congratulations on the arrival of your newborn baby! This is certainly a very special time for you and your family. Newborn sessions normally take place in the comfort of your own home when your baby is between 4 and 12 days young. The session itself can take onwards up to 3 hours which allows plenty of time for feedings, cleaning up accidents and most importantly, sleep.
If you are expecting, it is very important to book as far in advance so I can add your estimated due date to my calendar and secure availability. Please, please, please understand if you call me to try to book a session after your baby has already arrived, I may not be able to accommodate a newborn session due to my calendar and availability.
Here are some of my tips to prepare for our newborn photography session:
- Book your session at the beginning of your second trimester so I can add your estimated due date to my calendar. This is very important in preparing for our newborn photography session!
- Keep me posted towards the last 4 weeks or so in your pregnancy. I love to hear how you’re doing, how baby(ies) is/are doing and if you might be ahead of schedule, or if something has changed (i.e. might need to have a c-section). Please contact me as soon as your baby has arrived and again once you are home. A quick email or phone call will be just fine by me. I will confirm your session at this time, keeping in mind I prefer to hold the newborn session as soon as you’re home! All right, if I can’t meet you the second you’re home from the hospital or birthing center, then just as long as baby is between 4 and 12 days new. I can certainly make exceptions, so let’s talk if your circumstances don’t allow you to meet these preferences. I prefer babies this new because they are less likely to be disturbed as they’re sleeping and still enjoy being curled up, however I have photographed “newborns” up to 57 days new (and twins at that)!
- The session will take place in your home in a room with large windows that will provide me the best natural light possible. Please do not worry about the state of your home. You just had a baby and I have a job to do. I’m not there to care about how clean your house is. (I am a mother of two myself and I’ve been there and am still there on most days!) If you prefer to travel to a studio space, we can arrange that as well.
- Have your house warm and please do not try to skimp on this step. You’ll want the thermostat set around 80-85 degrees.For the adults it will be hot and I will be glowing as I work, but your baby will be toasty and happy and that’s what matters most.
- If your baby has any band-aids on the foot, thigh, etc., please remove them as soon as you possibly can to allow the imprint marks to disappear. Band-aid imprints on newborns can be quite harsh, so the sooner you’re able to remove these once you’re home, the better. I’ll be able to soften any stubborn imprints in the digital darkroom, but I try to capture the best image possible straight out of the camera.
- Loosen your baby’s diaper about 30 minutes before the session. This allows time for the diaper’s imprint marks to disappear. My best suggestion would be to loosely place a cloth diaper onto your baby and swaddle him or her with a warm blanket a little while before our session.
- Collect any items you want used in the session beforehand – family heirlooms, toys, monogrammed blankets, cute little hats, hair bows, etc. I’ll go through these with you to determine what will look best in the photos. I do not promise we will photograph all of the items, but we may be able to include one or two.
- If you’d like pictures taken of your baby in the nursery, be sure all the curtains and shades are open to let in lots of natural light. No need to clean, but just try and make sure the clutter has found its way to a closet.
- Decide if you’d like pictures taken with your baby, pictures of your other children with your baby, pictures of your spouse with your baby or if want pictures of only your baby. If you do decide you want your family in a few pictures, do keep your tops simple (dark tops, without any logos/patterns work best).
- Make sure your baby has a full belly right before I arrive. I know I get pretty cranky when I’m hungry, so best that baby is full and happy!
- Be sure to burp baby really, really well after the feeding. Gas can take a sleepy, happy baby to an uncomfortable and irritable one in seconds.
- A mother’s smell is so recognizable (and sometimes distracting) to a newborn, that it may be necessary for mom to leave the room for portions of the session. This is not meant to hurt your feelings, but only to allow me to get the baby thinking sweet sleepy dreams, instead of hungry “feed me” dreams.
- Be patient. If your baby gets fussy or alert, don’t stress out. Your newborn can sense your anxiety and we want to keep the environment as mellow as possible. We will try and get your baby comfortable again, but if that just doesn’t seem possible, we’ll take a break or we’ll work with what he’s giving us. Sometimes the best pictures are ones when your baby isn’t doing what we want.
- Be assured that if there is ever a point where you’re uncomfortable with the poses, simply let me know. I only want to do poses and shots that you are comfortable with and your baby’s safety is of utmost concern.
- A majority of the pictures will work best if your baby is asleep so anything you can do in advance to encourage this is recommended.
- And lastly, I ask that my camera be the only camera in use during our session. I work very hard to pose baby for the various shots, so please respect my artistry. If you would like to take photos of myself in action, you are welcome to take a few pullbacks, as long as you’re willing and able to send those to me after our session. Thank you for respecting my work and my passion!