Preparing for your Newborn Session

I LOVE photographing Newborns! Thank you for choosing me to capture this wonderful time in your life.  Below are a few tips to help ensure that we have a successful session together! Please make sure to read all of the tips as they are all equally important to getting the photos that you will cherish for years to come!

Newborn sessions typically take place weekday mornings as I am able to accommodate them easier than weekends.  Please take this into consideration with work and school schedules.  Babies are sleepiest in the morning and tend to get fussier as the day goes on, making afternoon sessions more challenging. Most clients are happy to send older siblings to school or daycare a little late (a special treat for such a special occasion – a new baby!) If this is an issue, please let me know in advance.

We will get the most of our time together if baby is very sleepy when I arrive and I recommend doing whatever you need to in order to make this happen. Most of the images I’ll be shooting during your session work best if the baby is in a deep sleep.  It might not work well if baby had just slept 3 hours straight in a swing prior to my arrival, so I encourage you to make sure baby has an active morning. Please keep in mind also though, that an overtired baby will be harder to settle so it might not be best to keep them up for 3 hours straight either.

A well fed baby is a happy one! Please feed and burp your little one right before our session to ensure a happy, sleepy “milk drunk” baby. I’ll also be more than happy to take a break if needed to help him/her stay content.

I ask that you open all of the blinds and curtains in your home prior to my arrival. This enables me to find the best source of natural light in your home. Nothing flatters like natural light, so I prefer to use it whenever possible. When I arrive for your session, I will take a walk around your home to try and find the best available light for your session. We might need to move some furniture around in some instances.

I recommend that you keep your home (or at least one room, where I will do baby’s alone photos) a bit warmer than normal during the session. This will help to keep baby nice and comfortable when I am working with him or her.  This is extremely important because babies like to be very warm in the first few weeks and if baby is cold it will be harder to settle him/her.  If it is summer, please consider keeping the air conditioning off or to the bare minimum and if there is a room that is well lit with natural light, consider closing the air vent to keep that room warmer.  If it is winter, please consider raising your heat a few degrees or using a space heater to warm up a well lit room.  Having your home a little warmer than normal may not be very comfortable for you, however I promise that it well help things go more smoothly due to baby being nice and content.

Please consider having one clean and ready to use. Between posing, props and prodding, baby may become a bit fussy.  It is crucial to minimize this and maximize baby’s comfort, and that is why I always recommend and encourage a pacifier – even if it is the only time you will ever use one. It will help make the shoot go much more smoothly.

Please have baby in just a diaper and wrapped warmly in a blanket when I arrive.  This will allow me to wrap/swaddle him or her once I arrive and we will not disturb a sleepy baby by undressing them.  I have found that a swaddled baby is a happy baby and due to the amount of handling that we will do throughout the session, it will go much smoother if baby is swaddled. If you do not wish to use one of my swaddles, then I ask that you provide your own or have baby tightly wrapped in a warm blanket for the session. If there is a special outfit you’d like your baby photographed in, please arrange that with me in advance (these outfits are typically done at the end of the session).

The most important thing to consider when planning family outfits is that you will have just had a baby and you will want to be comfortable. You will also want to feel confident in whatever you are wearing, so something that flatters the postpartum body is highly recommended. I suggest planning your outfit first and then coordinating everyone else around yours. As far as color schemes go, what photographs best indoors are neutral colors (think cream, gray, white…) however a little color is okay too. Light blues, navy and olive greens work great but keep in mind that too many reds, pinks, yellows or oranges can sometimes cast an unflattering reflection of color on faces.  

I like to try to get siblings done right away in the beginning of the session while they are still fresh and somewhat interested in me.  Please let me know in advance if you do not think your child(ren) will do well with going first and if you think they will need more time to warm up. I recommend that someone be able to take siblings to another part of the house, outside, etc. after the family part is finished as it works best to have a quiet space for baby’s alone photos.

Please click here for some tips on how to prepare siblings for your session.

Depending on which type of session you have booked, we may or may not be using props.

If you booked a styled session, I will be bringing a small collection of  props such as a basket, bowl, bucket, cradle, plenty of colored swaddle wraps, bonnets, bows for girls, as well as other items. You are also, of course, welcome to use any of your own props.  We may not get the chance to use ALL of the items, but I’ll look through them with you to determine what will work best.

If you booked a lifestyle session, there are no props included, however I will bring a few swaddle wraps that coordinate with the clothing colors that you have put down on your questionnaire.

We may also get a chance to use a special item or two if you choose to include them (grandma’s crocheted blanket, a keepsake stuffed animal, etc) so please have those ready prior to my arrival.

Did I miss something? Do you have a more specific question that was not answered in this prep guide? Simply send me a message or text me 612.440.3031.

I look forward to working with you and your new arrival!

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