Newborn Session Prep Guide
Hopefully you will find this A-Z guide on how to prepare for a newborn photo session helpful! I've complied a list of frequently ask questions and most overlooked topics to help make your session as smooth as can be. Have more questions, refer to the Q&A page or reach out to me, I'm always happy to help! Come session time the only thing left to do will be to enjoy the moment!
Ask me anything
Except where babies come from, I've been trying to explain it to my 4 year old and it's exhausting! Honestly though, if you're wondering about something just ask and if you have any important information that I didn't cover in your consultation just let me know.
Freckles, Stork Bites, and Mongolian Spot are unique features that I do not edit out however I do touch up scratches, acne, and eczema. My general rule of thumb is that if it's a temporary condition lasting 2 weeks or less, I remove it. Many newborns have dry flaky skin. I usually include that feature in the close up detail shots but smooth the skin slightly in others. If you have any specific preferences please inform me during the session.
Babies sense your energy and will be tense and irritable if you are nervous and stressed out. Trusting someone else with your precious bundle isn't easy but rest assured that I am an experienced professional and your babies safety is my first priority. I have been educated in infant safety, I stay immunized, always have an assistant act as a spotter when photographing your baby, and only pose your newborn in positions that I know are safe. These poses are strategic with every limb and head position planned out. Babies are are all different sizes with different levels of flexibility which means that certain poses are more comfortable for them than others. If your baby shows any signs of discomfort I reposition him/her to a pose that suits them better.
Your baby should arrive in a loose fitting button up or zip up sleeper (one that does not go on and off over their head). Make sure that their diaper isn't too tight so that it doesn't leave marks on their skin. Bring plenty of extra diapers and wipes if you have a preferred brand. If not, I have a supply for you to use.
As in degrees! The newborn corner of the studio is kept to a warm and toasty mid-eighty degree temperature to keep naked little babies warm and toasty! The client lounge is considerably cooler so it's a great spot to relax!
I HIGHLY encourage parents and siblings to take part in the session. I recommend that everyone dress in neutrals and bring an outfit or two along and change in the studio to avoid wrinkles and spills. Dads if your feeling buff you can ditch your shirt for some of the shots. Little babies in daddy's big arms is always an adorable image! Most of these shots are done barefoot so make sure those feet are looking tip top. Mamas, your hands will be in close up shots so this is a good excuse for a manicure (wink wink dads...spa day!) Let me know if you would like me to have a hair and makeup artist on hand to paper you!
Every parents phobia! I do everything I can to avoid spreading germs in the studio. If you or anyone in your family comes down with anything that is potentially contagious we will reschedule your session for when everyone is healthy. The same goes for me. If anyone in my household is ill I will not risk putting your family in danger of catching it.
My family and I recently relocated from Westerville to Centerburg. One of the major factors was finding a home that had an area we could turn into a studio. I choose to have a studio in my home as opposed to an offsite location so that I could balance my job as a mother with my career. We have converted a 1300 sq ft basement into the studio of my dreams and I couldn't be happier! So when I invite clients into my studio, I am also inviting you into my home, and into my life!
And Facebook! Tag and Brag! Feel free to post behind the scenes shots but please be sure to tag me and check in at the studio. Follow me on both platforms for sneak peeks and when you see them share them from my Facebook page and regram them taking me. If your friends end up being future clients that means freebies for both of you! Reviews and referrals are very important to me so if you enjoy your experience with me I'd really appreciate an honest review on google plus and Facebook!
Don't worry if you still have a few extra pounds of baby weight, dress for your body and I'll pose you in ways that will conceal the areas that you are not comfortable with. Documenting this important moment in time is what's important. When your child grows up, looking back and seeing what you all looked like will mean the world to him/her. So stopping dwelling on your flaws and enjoy the moment!
I typically do these shots towards the end of the session. I have movies, snacks, toys, and wifi in the lounge area but if you think your child may be restless you can have someone drop them off for the second half of the session. The poses we do with your baby and older children depend on their age and energy level. Mixing toddlers and babies can be tricky but once again, safety is my number one priority. It's imperative that you set expectations not only for you children, but also for yourself. They may not be willing to cooperate for the exact pose you have in mind but that doesn't mean that we will walk away with nothing. Some of the best images come from their natural interactions with one another.
Sushing, rocking, whispers, white noise. This makes up about 75% of the session! Sleepy babies are posable babies so the entire session revolves around getting them to relax.
It's typical best to feed your baby before you hop in the car and head to the studio. Once you arrive you can feed your baby as needed. If you're bottle feeding bring some extra bottles and you can store them the fridge and heat them up with warm water from the Keruig in the lounge. If your breast feeding, relax in the rocker in the lounge while you nurse. Once topped off, make sure to give your baby a good burping. Gassy babies are fussy babies! And nursing moms, don't feel bad if I kick you out of the studio area! Some babies have a hard time settling when they smell their food and sense you're close by.
About half of the shots I take will be showing off that adorable little baby tush. All other bits and pieces will be covered up. If this isn't something you are comfortable with be sure to let me know during the planning phase of your session.
I supply all of the outfits, blankets, wraps, and props for your babie's session. We get together ahead of time and plan out any color schemes or themes that you may want to include. If you have any outfits or props that you would like to include let me know ahead of time so that I can arrange them into the workflow of the session.
Binkies, plugs, dummies, and any other name I forgot can be a great way to soothe your baby. If your baby frequently uses one we will take advantage of that to keep them settled in between shots. If you haven't incorporated one into your babies routine I encourage you to bring one along anyway. I use it to relax your babies lips if his or her face is tense (as opposed to sticking my finger in their mouth!) and will not let them suckle on it if you are not wanting to induce a pacifier.
Ringers off, voices low, shhhhhhhhhhhhh.
About 2 weeks after your session we will schedule a live reveal. This gives you a chance to see your images for the first time and for us to discuss the best way to display your new artwork. You'll place your order during this session so it's important to make sure that all decision makers are present.
If you wear glasses be prepared to remove them for a few shots or bring a few extra pairs. The glare of studio lights can be more challenging with some glasses than others and I want to be able to show off your beautiful eyes!
What new parent isn't!?! Feel free to cat nap on the couch in the lounge. Or pour yourself a cup of hot coffee if you want to stay awake and observe the session. I can't function on less than 2 cups!
Things don't alway go as planed! Have no fear, we will adapt and come up with some beautiful images. Some of my favorite photos are ones that happened unexpectedly.
A lot of planning goes into the session. If you have ideas that you want to incorporate please let me know. Feel free to share Pinterest boards with me but know that the image I take will not look exactly like the one you show me. Tell me what you like about it (style, outfit, pose, etc.) and I will do my best to incorporate that aspect into my style of imagery.
A nice warm bath in the morning followed by a comfortable sleeper outfit and fully belly of milk is a great foundation for a smooth session! Newborn sessions start in the studio at 10am as this is the average time that 1-2 week old babies are in the deepest stages of sleep.
Babies pee, babies poo, babies puke. It's the majority of what they do! Don't apologize when you little one does this all over me. I'm used to it...really! Just be prepared with extra outfits for their car ride home and for yourself!
The ideal age is 5-12 days. This is when they are sleepy, curly, and haven't yet begun to cluster feed. Check out the fun fact I wrote about in the newborn gallery.
Try to follow this guide as best you can for a sleepy baby and smooth photoshoot.