Please read this guide thoroughly and follow it to the best of your abilities to ensure a successful newborn session.
WHEN TO PHOTOGRAPH: 6-21 Days Old
Newborns are best photographed within the first two weeks of life. The best age for a successful newborn session is 6-21 days old as they are still sleeping and flexible! This is also a good time because baby acne usually has not appeared yet. This is helpful in creating a true newborn look and poses for your session. Ideally newborns should be no older than 21 days old, but circumstances may inhibit this and that is ok, we will work with it. If a baby is born early, we have plenty of time so don’t fret!
THINGS TO DO: Be Prepared
Breastfed Babies: If nursing, try to avoid eating anything spicy or anything that will cause gas and might upset baby’s tummy for 24 hours preceding your scheduled session. A gassy baby will not pose well during the session due to their little tummy being upset.
Feed Them: Make sure baby is nice and full before you leave for the session. Feed your little one right before you’re leaving for the studio, even if you live an hour away. I do not recommend feeding the baby when you get to the studio, as most babies are then awake for 30-60 minutes and we won’t be able to start your session on time. It is not unusual for your little bundle to eat during the session, however, so please plan accordingly. A full baby = a sleepy baby, and we need a very sleepy and calm baby in order to achieve the sweet, flexible poses you see in my portfolio.
Dress Easy: Dress baby in loose fitting clothes to avoid any lines on baby’s skin and to also avoid disturbing baby when getting undressed. A simple sleeper is best. Please avoid onesies, socks, or anything that has to be pulled off over baby’s head.
Skin Care: If your baby has dry/flaking skin, you may want to consider applying lotion prior to coming and bringing it with to your session. Also wipe away crust around the eyes and nose.
Pacifiers: Please, please, please bring a pacifier, even if you don’t intend to use one long term. This just helps keep the baby calm while posing, since some poses take 45 minutes to achieve. If you forget one, I do have pacifiers in the studio.
THINGS TO KNOW: Be Informed
Nakie Baby: Your newborn may be photographed in his/her birthday suit during the session unless you specify that you don’t want this. I do pay careful attention to ensure private parts are not exposed in any photos, but understand if you prefer to have your baby dressed or wrapped during your session. I also keep my shooting space VERY warm, so please make sure you dress in layers.
Outfits and accessories: I do provide a wide array of newborn bonnets and tiebacks for your session. Most newborn clothes (even hand made ones) are big and bulky, causing some unattractive shots. If you have something you’d like to bring to incorporate into the session, however, I will do my best to use it. I do not order anything specific to your session, but if there is a question on whether I have a certain color or prop, please feel free to ask. If I don’t have what you’re looking for, you’re welcome to bring it, or if it’s something I think I may be able to use again, I will consider purchasing.
Safety is Key: I will NEVER put your sweet baby’s safety at risk. Any and all poses attempted are well practiced and baby’s well being is kept at first priority at all times. I am a mom, and a pediatric nurse practitioner, and have extensive experience handling newborns.
Don’t Fret: Baby’s cry, poop, pee, spit up and lots of other fun things. I am used to it! I know specific techniques to soothe babies when crying. Trust that I will hand baby over if they are truly upset, and know that I will trust your parental instincts too! Do not worry about my blankets or backdrops involved in messy accidents. This is normal and I don’t think I can tell you how many times I’ve been pooped on! (honestly, let them get it out and they sleep much better!) All my blankets and props are washed after each session with free and clear detergent.
Slow & Steady: I spend a lot of time getting every little finger and toe positioned perfectly when photographing your little bundle. First and foremost, it is important to me for your baby look comfortable and peaceful in the photographs and for each image to be a piece of art. My motto is quality over quantity when dealing with newborns. It may seem like we are moving at a snails pace, and you may be afraid we wont get in enough poses, but babies work better when there is little stress or movement and they can relax. I’d rather you have a handful of great photos than a ton of okay ones.
Time: The session will be anywhere from 1-4 hours depending on how cooperative baby is and what type of session you’ve booked. This leaves room for changing, feeding, and soothing breaks!
Siblings: I typically start with sibling and family shots and then move on to baby only if that’s the session type you chose, but this may change depending on your newborn. If your baby is sound asleep when he arrives at the studio, I will start with the blanket poses since I need a very sleepy baby to achieve these. Because the sessions can last a very long time, it is best to have another family member help out and bring siblings either home or to another location while I’m working with the baby alone. If there is no option to have a sibling leave, just make sure to bring something along to entertain them, but be aware that no crayons or markers are permitted. Please only bring water and colorless snacks, no sugary snacks/juice/etc as these may stain or attract bugs into the studio.
Poses: Please keep in mind that not all babies will cooperate or do all the different poses. Trust in me that I will attempt what you want me to, but if I feel like it’s not going to happen, I will let you know and we will move on.
What to wear:
We want all of the focus of the image to be on the connection you share with your baby, rather than the clothing. Therefore, we suggest a simple black, white or grey tank top for mom and a matching plain tee for dad with jeans. Mom/dad and baby shots are close up so most of what you wear will not be shown.
Moms, keep make-up looking at natural as possible. Avoid using too much hairspray; soft hair photographs best with newborns. Be sure to take nail polish off, or paint your nails with a very neutral color. Avoid long earrings or necklaces. We want all the focus to be on you and your baby!
Dads, if you’re wearing a new tee shirt be sure to iron out the sleeve crease in advance. Other than that, just relax. It will be over before you know it.
Bring a change of clothes…you may be holding a naked baby. You get the idea.
A simple white or grey tee or tank with jeans and bare feet. Please remove their socks and shoes at the start of the session to get them used to it! For little girls please avoid hair accessories unless they are very small and a neutral color. I do have a few dresses available for little girls. If you’d like to use one, just let me know so that I can pull sizes.
Last, but not least: Please sit back, relax, and enjoy your time here. My goal is to make you feel comfortable and take this time to just relax. If at any point, you are uncomfortable with something I’m doing, please say something. I would never want you to wonder what I’m doing with your baby, or feel stressed. I look forward to meeting you and your precious bundle!!