Newborn Photo Shoot Preparation Suggestions
1. Communication is Key - Please keep me in the loop as to how things are going. If difficulties arise during the pregnancy/birth it can be helpful for me to have a heads up. Also, please communicate with me during the session. Don’t be afraid to speak up if I have chosen an outfit/prop/background that you are not fond of. I want you to love your pictures. Also, if there are religious/cultural standards you follow please inform me ahead of time. An example of this would be if your baby girl cannot be photographed topless.
2. Book Your Session in the First 2 weeks of Birth - Please contact me by e-mail or phone as soon as you feel up to it after your birth. If possible, schedule your newborn photo session within the first 2 weeks of birth. This is when your baby will be the most sleepy and easiest to work with. Also, this is when babies are the most flexible and easy to curl up into those adorable newborn poses. If there are difficult circumstances around the birth leading to health issues with Mom or baby we may need to schedule your session later. Please keep in contact with me and we will schedule your session at the earliest possible date.
3. Circumcision - If you are planning to have your baby boy circumcised please schedule it after the photo session. If this is not possible, allow 4-5 days between the circumcision and newborn photos. The area can be red, swollen, and uncomfortable for the baby immediately after and does not make for a relaxed baby when trying to pose him on his tummy or without a diaper.
4. Bringing Special Items From Home - You are not required to bring anything from home. I have all the props/outfits that are required. However, you are welcome to bring some special items if you wish. Please prepare the items you would like to bring to your session at least a day in advance. Getting ready with a baby takes way longer than you expect. The last thing you want to be doing is rushing around trying to find items. Please limit yourself to 1 or 2 special items/clothing so it doesn’t become overwhelming. If you plan to bring an outfit please make sure it fits (if it is too big consider saving it for a later photo session). If you are bringing something particularly unique please make sure I know in advance so I can be prepared. I am not always the best at “thinking on my feet” when presented with a unique item (I need some planning time for unique items….some examples that have stumped me in the past include a shield, violin, large Star Wars props). If you are bringing something of this nature please let me know and I will be happy to accommodate you ;)
5. Breastfeeding - When you book your session I will provide you with a breastfeeding guide. Please do your best to follow the recommendations as closely as possible. In general, avoid spicy food and caffeine for 24 hours before your session. This cuts down on tummy troubles caused by gas. Please feed the baby immediately before the session and top up the baby as needed during the session.
6. Bottle Feeding- Feed the baby prior to the session and bring at least one extra bottle of formula to the session. If you have started to establish a feeding schedule it may need to be altered slightly, just for the day, so we can have the photos run as smoothly as possible.
7. Dressing Your Newborn To Come To The Studio- Dress your baby in an outfit that doesn’t go over the head (choose a button down or zippered onesie instead). This makes it less likely to upset and wake up the baby when he/she arrives at the studio and is being undressed for the photos. If you want some naked pictures of the baby, change their diaper before leaving the house and then put a new diaper on loosely. This will prevent red marks on their skin. If the baby will be clothed or wearing a diaper cover this tip can be disregarded.
8. Bring a Soother - If your baby takes a soother please bring it. This helps settle the baby during posing. Even if your baby doesn’t normally take a soother consider bringing/using one just for the session.
9. Sibling Tips - Newborn photography generally requires a lot of time. The newborn session will take approximately 3 hours. This is usually way too long for siblings to sit though. I offer two options: 1) We will photograph the family portion of the session first and then have Dad or another family member take the sibling(s) home. 2) Break down the newborn photos into 2 shorter sessions. One for the family portion and come back another day for pictures of your baby alone. Please let me know what works best for your family at the time of booking.
Also, please be realistic about what your child can handle. If they are having trouble adjusting to the new baby you may not get the “picture perfect” image that you dreamed of. With patience (and possibly some bribes) you will still get a lovely picture documenting this moment. Bringing snacks, water, and some small toys can also be helpful.
10. What To Wear - In general, choose neutral plain colored shirts without logos. Please let me know if you would like more specific instructions. The room will be warm as this is best for photographing babies so you may want to dress in layers or bring something cool to change into once the family photography portion is finished.
11. Allow Plenty of Time and Relax - Don’t book anything after your newborn photography session. If the baby is a bit fussy you may need to stay longer than expected. Try your best to relax. Even if your baby is not “cooperating” try to stay calm as babies are incredibly tuned into their parents emotions. I have many techniques to calm fussy babies such as white noise, heat, wrapping/swaddling and will be able to take amazing pictures. If all else fails, and I am not able to obtain a full gallery of images, you may be asked to return another day. Babies can have bad days just like us!