Newborn Photography – 5 Tips to Prepare for Your Session
You have a baby on the way! It’s so exciting to capture that beautiful face and tiny fingers and toes and it’s definitely true– they grow so fast. Whether you’re a new parent or a seasoned one, the first couple days and weeks after your sweet baby is born can be a whirlwind and a blur. That’s why planning for your session is important. When the time comes, I want it to be a wonderful experience for you. Here are 5 tips to prepare for your session.
1. Schedule in Advance. Typically, the ideal time for newborn sessions is between 5 days and 2 weeks if you want those cute, sleeping poses. It goes quickly, so be sure to schedule your session in advance so if your little one arrives early or late, your photographer will already be prepared. Reach out sometime during your second trimester with your due date, and once your baby is born, the session can be scheduled.
2. Expect a morning session. Even if you’re up much of the night before with your infant, the good time for baby photography is in the morning when they’re freshest and most agreeable with eating then going back to sleep. Though sometimes not possible, a good suggestion is to try keeping your baby awake for 30-60 minutes prior to the session. Then, once they’re fed, that long, deep sleep will be needed for those cute curled up poses we all love.
3. First, it’s mealtime. Once you arrive, I will have you get comfortable in a quiet room to feed your baby, which could take anywhere from 20-30 minutes. A full feeding is best, so if you can avoid a full feeding in the few hours prior to the session, that would be great. Milk-drunk is really a thing, and a relaxed/sleeping infant (and relaxed mom and dad) makes for a smooth session.
4. Birthday suit is best. We have a huge variety of wraps and clothing options, so we will work at least some of the time with nude and/or diaper only. (The studio is very comfortably warm). Undressing the baby down to the diaper when you first arrive, then feeding, will help if the baby then falls asleep so as not to disrupt them to get them swaddled or wrapped.
5. Enjoy the moment. I know how hard it may be so early in your sweetie’s life to hand them over to someone. It’s a delicate process and will take some time. Newborn photographers should be carefully trained with safety first and to carefully work with your infant’s comfort for any positions needed for pictures. Remember to be patient and don’t feel pressure if your babe is extra fussy or if things get a little messy. They’re brand new, so it’s expected! It’s just as important that you also feel at ease, know that we will work through all of it. If you’re calm, your baby may be relaxed, too.
Additional Tips (Just a few!)
- Bring a pacifier, extra formula, extra diapers, an extra outfit, diaper cream…you know, all the things you’ll typically have in your diaper bag.
- Plan to be in a few of the pictures. You may not feel like you look your best, but this is just as important of a time in your life as it is for your baby girl or baby boy. We’d love to take a few minutes at the end of the session to include you. If you want siblings or other family included as well, we’ll have them come toward the end of the session so they’re not waiting around. What to wear? Solid colors are a must, and I would suggest choosing one or two neutral colors (greys, creams, muted blues, etc.) then coordinate with different tones.
- Sessions can take up to about 2-3 hours. When you first arrive, feeding and getting to sleep will be the first 30-45+ minutes. Session times vary because babies are unpredictable, and delays are built in. She or he will need feeding breaks here and there and may even be extra fussy that day, so we’ll have extra time to cuddle and soothe.
- We have plenty of beverages and snacks, but if there’s something special you need to keep up your energy (gluten-free, vegan, etc.) please feel free to bring it with you.
- We have a variety of wraps, outfits, and props to choose from. Bring anything special you’d like included. This can include outfits, onsesies, stuffed animals, toys, and blankets.
- Lastly, talk to me about any preferences for the session, as well as any concerns or questions you have. It’s the most important you have a successful session, and I’m happy to provide a full Checklist for Your Newborn Session to help fill in all the details.
I know it’s a lot to remember, especially if you have pregnancy brain right now, which is why I’m here to help.
Photography: Stilwell Photography & Films | Alisa Stilwell