For many of you, your first introduction to a professional photography session is your wedding. Perhaps you even had an engagement session prior and this was done in a quiet and peaceful setting, just the two of you and your photographer. It was a relaxed atmosphere with beautifully staged shots. In contrast, your wedding was anything but. In that crazy hectic day, your photographer was most likely a fly on the wall, capturing the day’s events and moments without you even knowing. The whole day was a whirlwind and at the end of it you are left with beautiful memories to cherish for a lifetime.
Skip ahead a little bit and now you are excited and nervous parents-to-be with a newborn on the way. In a few months you’ll be blessed with a little bundle of joy. If it’s your first, you are overwhelmed with questions and uncertainty of becoming a parent for the first time. What will we name him or her? Will I ever sleep again? Will I know what to do when they cry?
Newborn sessions are very different
Well I understand all to well what you’re going through and with all the questions you have, I want to take the mystery out of your newborn photography session as they are very different from what you’re used to.
The first few days of a baby’s life are so magical and a very special time. There is nothing in the world as precious as a brand new baby and I aim to capture exactly that on film, or I guess I should say digital film these days.
It is important to schedule your newborn session
when you are still pregnant to ensure that there is availability. I usually schedule the shoot when your baby is 6-10 days old. This is the most important part, as newborns are very sleepy at this stage and it is easier to manipulate them and pose them into the shots you’re looking for. At such a new age, they’ll usually, well I should say hopefully, stay asleep. Some babies just love to stay awake the whole time, and that’s alright, we can make it work.
Newborn sessions are typically done in your home, so you can show off your baby’s in their new nursery. Having an in house shoot also avoids having to pack up and trying to get the baby out of the house in that first. For in home sessions, I ask that a room with lots of available natural light is chosen and tidied up before the shoot. If this room isn’t the nursery, we can move into there for a few shots.
Our newborn sessions usually last anywhere from 1-2 hours but, with that said, I never limit my time and will shoot until I get the shots that I need! Babies are on their own schedule and during your session we will be following it! It’s not uncommon for sessions to run 3-4 hours. And this is nothing to worry about and nothing to apologize for.
Below is some information for what to expect during your newborn session to help you prepare for your photoshoot.
- Plan to feed your little one just before your session. A well fed baby is a happy, calm baby
- Please don’t feel stressed if we need to stop to allow your baby time for a feed, change or just be soothed by Mom or Dad. Babies have their own schedule and I make sure to account for that.
- Please don’t panic if the baby goes to the bathroom on me or on any of the equipment 🙂 It’s happened before and WILL happen again.
- I clean all of our items and wash all backgrounds and blankets after each session.
- Please have plenty of diapers, wipes and receiving blanking to use during the session as well as a change of clothes for mom and dad in case the baby does have an accident on you.
- Please have a black/white t-shirt for yourself and your spouse/partner. This is an important element needed in the process of capturing many popular poses with the parents.
- We love for you to have any important or sentimental items with you to incorporate into the session. I love handmade quilts, blankets, hats, bonnets or anything that has special meaning… It really adds some personalization to the session.
- Clothing for babies should be kept very minimal and simple…less is better in almost every case. Most of the portraits will be done naked or swaddled. That being said, before the session have diapers and/or clothes on loosely to avoid any red indentations on the skin.
- I will have on hand a space heater and play soothing music, the white noise like ocean waves are particularly conducive to helping your baby sleep right through the session.