Congratulations on your brand new bundle of joy!! Now that your sweet babe is here it's time to get those adorable newborn pictures. Here are a few tips to help your session run seamlessly, and to help you know what to expect!
Newborn sessions are LOOOOOONG. We are on baby's schedule which means, they need breaks for feeding and nurturing. While there are some babies that will sleep for an entire 2 hours, and we are able to work well with them and get your session done in an hour and a half to two hours, most of the time, a session will take about 3 hours. Try not to schedule anything else the day of your session. If you are worried about timing and stressing about how baby is "performing" to get the shot so you can get going, baby is going to feel that stress and tension. We strive to create a peaceful and comfortable environment for both the baby and the family. We play peaceful music and use womb sounds for baby. Sometimes parents fall asleep during the session. Come dressed comfortable and relaxed. We only schedule one newborn session per day. We are on baby's schedule, and will accommodate it the best way that we can. So, if that means we run over a bit on a session, that's ok. This brings me to my next tip...
I know! I know! This sounds like a given, AND with a new baby it's hard to do. BUT, while you're getting prepared for the session, getting baby ready, and getting to the studio, it can be stressful! BUT, babies are like little sponges and can pick up on the stress and tension that you are feeling. Take a deep breath and try to relax. It will all work out. If you don't want to go through the hassle of getting to a studio, find a newborn photographer that can offer in-home newborn sessions. In home newborn sessions can be a little more relaxing. Don't try to clean up for us! We get it...you just had a new baby. There will most likely be dishes in the sink, dust on the table, laundry piling up, etc. We get it, and we expect it. Don't try to clean up for us! It's important that you are relaxed and comfortable so baby is relaxed and comfortable. Our top priority is baby's safety and comfort. That is it. Don't stress about the little stuff!
Some of the most important things to do before a session is dress baby in comfortable and loose clothing, feed baby right before a session, and try to keep them awake right before a session begins. The loose clothing is necessary if we are going to be changing baby or photographing baby naked. The more layers, and the more complicated clothing can cause baby discomfort and make it more difficult to settle him or her. Try a once piece outfit. This makes it easier for you to get baby dressed, and it makes it easy for the photographer to change the baby at the beginning of a session. Feed the baby right before the session to make sure he or she is full and will not need a feeding for at least an hour. This is very important for breastfed babies. Since, your milk supply may be inconsistent in the beginning, baby may be cluster feeding. This means baby will need more breaks in the session. This is normal and expected, but to get started make sure baby has a full belly. It's also important to make sure that he or she wasn't fed and napping really hard before a session. This is important because when baby wakes, they immediately think they need to feed, and it may take longer to get baby settled down again and back asleep. If they have napped already, it may take them longer to get back into a deep sleep again. I typically don't mind moms waiting to feed until they get to my studio or as I arrive at their house and get set up. Talk to your photographer and find out what they prefer.
Lighting and Temperature
Your sweet babe has been baking in a 98 degree oven for 9 months. They prefer it warm. For a studio shoot, expect the room to be warm...very warm. We typically keep the room around 80-85 degrees for a newborn shoot, and we will use a space heater as well. For in home shoots, turn the air up to at least 75. We can work with that temperature with a small space heater. I bring a space heater with me to all of my in home shoots. For in home newborn sessions, look at the area of your house that offers the most natural light. Flash photography can be used, but isn't needed if a space offers enough natural light. This can be anywhere in your home, and again, don't worry about a mess. We can work around that!
Props, props, and more props
Props are available for a newborn session, and do not necessarily have to be purchased by you. Photographers typically provide newborn props; however, if you have special items that you want to use DO NOT hesitate to let us know. We will incorporate those props the best way we know how. It should be noted that not all props can be used. If you have 15 props with 3 sets ups, we suggest that you pick the most important items, and we will make those a priority. We typically work closely with our clients on color sets, props, and have them peruse Pinterest for Newborn Photography Inspo so we can get an idea of what kind of style and color options we are working with. This is important to us because we only get one shot at this! Baby's are only newborn ONCE; therefore, we want to work closely with you to make sure that we capture what you have envisioned for the last nine months.
Allow plenty of time, don't stress the little things, prepare baby for the shoot, expect a relaxed and very warm environment, and discuss specific props you want to use with your photographer. These are just a few tips for preparing for your Newborn Session. You've been waiting patiently for the last nine months to meet your new addition, and to capture your sweet baby in a precious newborn session that you can look back on forever. We want you to have the session you always dreamed of, and timeless pictures to pass down over generations to come, and these tips can help you do just that!