Newborn Session Prep Guide
Thank you for booking a newborn session! I am so excited for the opportunity to photograph your new little love and capture this beautiful journey.
Below I've expanded on some of the frequent questions I get asked prior to a newborn photoshoot. I hope this better helps you feel at ease as you prepare for your upcoming session with me. If you're booking your session before the baby arrives, we'll confirm the day and time for your session after the baby is born.
In the meantime, please feel free to reach out with any other questions you have!
Newborn sessions will take place in the comfort of your home in the rooms which have the best natural light. Ideally this will be the nursery and your main bedroom, but we can also use a living room or any space with lots of windows. Your bed is a wonderful place to create natural and intimate images of your family, as well as a great place to take individual portraits of the baby. The nursery is also a perfect backdrop for your photos, which can highlight all the loving detail that went into this special place. I know it can be stressful having someone in your home, especially when you are likely getting little sleep and transitioning to a new schedule. Do not worry about having your house be perfectly clean and immaculate. These pictures are all about highlighting your home and family as it is. Anything that we do not want included can easily be moved out of the frame in the moment. My goal is to make things as easy and simple as possible for you and for this to not to add any stress.
I usually schedule sessions in the late morning around 9 am or 10 am. This is when there is the most natural light indoors. I know "schedules" and timings of feedings are uncertain in the beginning, so we can be flexible and adjust that morning if needed. While it makes sense to aim to start right after a feeding, some families like to incorporate nursing or bottle feeding, which is something to consider beforehand when making a plan.
Since this is a lifestyle photo session your baby can be any age! As we won't be formally posing the baby other than for a few portrait shots, it is not necessary for your session to happen within the first week or two of their life. In fact, I prefer that we wait until they are at least two weeks old, so you have some time to adjust physically and mentally to this big and exciting life change. If you prefer sleepier baby pictures, they'll still be in that wonderful snuggly phase at this age. Or you can also choose to wait a little longer if you'd rather that they'd be alert. I would aim to schedule your session within the first six weeks, just so we can capture their newborn phase.
Length Of Session
I plan about two hours for newborn sessions. This allows plenty of time for feeding, diaper changes, and any other immediate needs of the baby. We can always go longer or shorter depending on your needs.
What To Wear
First and foremost - wear something you feel comfortable and yourself in. The best part about having these sessions in your home is that you can wear whatever you like! You can even wear a robe or leisure/sleep wear. I recommend choosing clothes that not only coordinate with each other, but also with the colors found in your home.
I prefer for babies to be dressed more simply in neutral colors and in outfits without any text. This helps eliminate distractions within the photos and allows for a more raw and authentic image of your newborn. I am happy to incorporate multiple outfits and also strip the baby down to diaper - its up to you! I recommend having a few options handy in case of a blow out or spit up.
What to Expect During Your Session
I try to keep my sessions low key and stress free, allowing plenty of time to take photos as you go about your routine. These sessions are baby led, so we listen to and prioritize the needs of your little one first and foremost. If they are hungry, we'll take a break so you can feed them. In that moment I can either give you some time or incorporate their feeding session into the series. If the baby is fussy or tired, we'll adjust what we are doing to make them the most comfortable. I have two little ones myself and never want you to feel anxious about the baby crying or as if the session is being interrupted to address their needs. This is why I schedule two hours and also why I love documentary style images of newborns - it allows me to capture your family being a family. During your session I will photograph a mix of candid moments with directed poses. These poses will help create the space for little loving interactions and I will encourage you to primarily look at each other and the baby throughout the session. Most of the time I will have the baby held and close to its parents, but I will also take some portraits using your bed or the crib as a safe space to lie the baby on its own.
Have furry friends? I love incorporating pets into my sessions, so don't feel that you need to keep them out of the away if you would like your cats or dogs to be included in the photos.
Props & Spaces
Because my photographs are lifestyle I do not usually use props during the session, however I am happy to speak with you if you had something in mind and to make sure we can incorporate it in a natural and authentic manner. I like to incorporate your surroundings and daily routines. So if you read to your baby, we can always take some photos of you reading with them. If you play with certain toys or have a tummy time routine we can also find ways of using these activities to create fun and intimate portrayals of your family.
For the session I would recommend having a neutral or white swaddling/receiving blanket that we can use to wrap the baby for a few photos. I also recommend having sheets on the crib that aren't too busy or that clash with the outfit that you choose for the baby. If we are able to use your bed for photos, it is best to have a neutral and basic comforter, or we can strip it down to the sheets. These are all things we can do in the moment (again I want to keep it simple), but I want to prepare you for ways we can minimize outside distractions in the photos so that they truly highlight your family.
How to Prepare Siblings
If you have other children, I will ask them to be present in the photos as they feel comfortable. This may be done by asking them to help you get something for the baby, or interact with the baby by sharing a toy or reading book to keep them engaged and present. This often leads to more authentic representation of their personalities and will help them feel more at ease. If your older kids are not interested in being in the photos or jealous, don't stress! I have two young kids and get that they don't always act or react the way we wish and that's ok! I also know how easily our own mood can effect their own. I encourage you to not get frustrated if they aren't eager to be photographed or won't stay still. While we take photos, they can continue to play around us and will be encouraged at times to visit with the new baby. If there is anything I need to know about their interests or personality that will help me make them feel more at ease, please don't hesitate to share.
Did I forget anything? If you still have unanswered questions, please do not hesitate to reach out!