Maybe you just found out you are expecting your first little one and you are starting to research newborn photography. Maybe it's your second or third child and you didn't have a chance to have a newborn session and now you want to document those first few days. Whichever the case, you know how important that session is. Your baby will literally look completely different a few weeks after the session. It is such a small window of time to document those little fingers, toes, and little expressions. So what can you do to ensure that the session goes smoothly and that baby is comfortable and happy to ensure that you get all the fun little poses? Here are a few tips...
- Choose your photographer carefully - When choosing your photographer, ask as many questions as you want! Where will the session take place? If at your home, does the photographer bring all the necessary things? If in studio, is the space comfortable and clean? Can you visit the studio before the session? Does the photographer provide all the props, outfits, wraps etc? Is the photographer insured? Asking the right questions will help you to figure out which photographer is the right match for your family.
- Prior to baby being born, keep in touch with your photographer. Update him or her on your progress. If possible schedule a tentative day for the session. Once the baby is born and you are settled, shoot a quick email to your photographer and let them know (we get very excited!!) At this point, solidify the day and time of the session. I prefer shooting newborn sessions in the morning. I find that babies are usually the most content in the morning, 10 am seems to be my preferred time.
- The morning of the session, follow all of your photographer's instructions. I typically ask that you try and keep baby awake as much as possible the morning of the session. I also suggest giving baby a nice warm bath right before leaving for your session. This tends to relax them and make them extra sleepy. You can feed the baby right before you put them in their car seat, or if not hungry, we feed them as soon as we get them out of the car seat in the studio.
- What you pack for your session is very important. If you are nursing, then this part is a little easier, if bottle feeding, I suggest bringing at least enough for 3 feedings. A well fed baby is usually a happy baby, so food is very important! What goes along with extra feedings? Extra diapers! If the baby uses a pacifier, don't forget to bring that. A pacifier can really make a difference in calming a fussy baby. Also, bring along anything you would like included in your session. Any special items or mementos.
- Once you arrive at your session, we will get the baby undressed and wrapped in a swaddle right away. The room will be warm and cozy, the adults may be sweating, but baby will be comfortable! I usually start the session on the bean bag, getting all the fun poses, close ups etc. At this point, you are welcome to have a seat, relax, help yourself to a cup of coffee and watch the process. Let your photographer soothe your baby if needed. babies tend to smell their mommies (specially nursing babies) and want to eat, so having your photographer soothe, sometimes is helpful.
- Finally, get in a photo! It doesn't matter if you haven't slept in days or what you feel like. Get in a photo! Trust me, you are going to treasure that photo for the rest of your life! Be sure to include siblings too!
When it comes to newborn photography, safety is of the utmost importance. Posing, prop usage etc will always have safety in mind. If you have any other questions, be sure to drop a comment below. I would love to hear from you!