You just scheduled your newborn session. Maybe they are still cooking or earth side. You're just trying to prepare or document these precious moments before they pass, way too fast. Well, im so happy you chose me to be the one to capture this moment for you. Ive made this guide to help you know what to expect and how to prepare.
Newborns are best photographed when they are blissfully unaware they are being photographed (aka, sound asleep!) Therefore, most of the notes you’ll see in this guide are to help make your new baby as full, warm and comfortable as possible, to set the tone for deep, sweet newborn sleep! Even though we will be capturing lifestyle images in your home, you will be much happier with the results if your baby is not restless & squirming in the photos. Realistically, your precious new baby will dictate just how the session will go, so these are simply just guidelines. We will roll right along with him/her to make it a successful session!
The session should last approx. 60-90 minutes. This allows plenty of time for room transitions, feeding, and soothing, so no need to worry if the baby needs to eat or gets fussy.
The best time for in-home sessions are during daylight hours, usually in the morning (starting your session between 9am - 1pm usually gives the best light and happiest babe!). I realize sometimes with big siblings/family members this time frame is not always possible, but I will do my best to work with whatever time works for your family and babe.
When do we schedule a newborn session? I typically advise parents to schedule as soon as they feel comfortable after birth! Truly, the ‘newer’ the baby, the better the session typically goes. The younger babe is typically the sleepier they are = more cooperative for pictures. Sometimes after a few weeks baby acne sets in, scratches appear, etc… so I really try and encourage in-home sessions as close to birth as possible/comfortable for families. Ideally within the first two weeks after birth, but the sooner the better :)
Step 1 … Relax & Breathe
First & foremost, please try not to stress out over your photography session. As a Mom, I understand how important these photos are to you, and how you want everything to go well. But the calmer you are, the more at ease your baby will be be. I promise. Your baby will pick up on your nervous energy, so while I want you to properly prepare for our session, it’s important to not let it drive you crazy!
We will be embracing your home’s natural light (open up those window blinds!), turning off the overhead lights and taking advantage of the natural brightness as much as possible (another reason why I like doing these sessions during the bright part of the day). Generally, this is the nursery, master bedroom, and a living area. Big brother/sister rooms are also a possibility. This will help me assess which rooms we’ll be shooting in upon my arrival.
Please de-clutter these spaces as much as possible. Floors, beds, tabletops, nightstands, etc. should be clear of books, coffee mugs, breast pump parts, etc. Less is more! I usually recommend just hauling everything into the kitchen or an office for the morning, then you can put it all back as soon as I leave. No need to go overboard cleaning the rooms (you just had a baby!), but clutter can be very distracting in photos.
Turn up that heat! I’ve found that baby is soooooo much happier in a warm environment. This allows for babe to be comfortable for any naked/diaper pictures and isn’t so upset to have their clothes changed if the house is extra warm. Please let me know if you'd prefer me to bring a portable heater to help this.
I bring with me to every in-home newborn session a few props: basket with fuzzy blanket, and swaddle blankets in a few colors. We don’t have to use any props at all! But they are available if you’d like.
Along with what I bring, I absolutely encourage parents to have out to use for pics their own swaddles, hats, headbands, outfits, etc… for babe. Outfit/blanket changes are absolutely okay and I love when we get some a variety of pictures of babe in different outfits and blankets!
What types of pictures will I take? I cannot emphasize enough the lifestyle nature of this session: it is super heavy on the candids and truly just capturing your new life at home with your newest family member! We will do lots and lots of candid pics to really get some genuine smiles and laughs and all of that with babe. Posed as well, but we lean heavy on the candid!
Mom & Baby Prep
If you are not interested in capturing breastfeeding images during our session, I will ask that you feed the baby just before I arrive, to help us move through your session as quickly as we can between feedings. If you’d like to capture your baby breastfeeding, we will work that into our session, depending on when s/he is hungry! Let me know if you want/don't want this.
Try to keep your baby alert for a 1-2 hour period in the morning, just before our session. This will hopefully make them extra sleepy when I arrive. Newborn babies like to sleep a lot, so just do your best.
The day of the session, please dress baby in comfortable & loose clothing. Please no socks or mittens. We want to prevent marks in baby’s skin from tight diapers or clothing. You may want to wait to dress the baby in the outfit s/he will be wearing for photos when I arrive, in case of spit ups or blow outs.
Parents, Siblings, Pets & Guests Prep
Typically, I suggest that parents keep your outfits very simple. Neutral tones– tans, whites, creams, grays, or pastel blues or pinks are best. Leggings, jeans or khakis work well, but some women wear dresses if tight clothing makes them uncomfortable after birth. I always tell mom, pick out your outfit first, then coordinate your partner with it! Shoes are not required.
Same goes for siblings. No contrasting colors or busy patterns. Some parents like photos where their older children (usually boys) have no shirts on, which is perfectly fine. Some like them to wear a “Big Brother” or “Big Sister” shirt, which is also fine for one or two photos, but I would recommend another outfit as well. I don’t suggest clothing with other large prints or logos as those can be very distracting.
** That being said– look around your home and think about where these photos will be displayed. If your home is filled with bright, bold colors, and that’s what you usually wear as well, then you do you. **
If you have a pet that you want in photos, just know im ALWAYS up for this, we take our time and allow the pet to get comfortable.
With siblings and pets, some people like to have a back up person there to help distract them when we are shooting other shots, this is an option, know that we are in this together! Do not worry if one or the other pops in and you feel they "are in the way" we work around this. Just know im used to this, this is normal. DON'T STRESS!!
After The Session
I will have some “sneak peeks” ready for you to see within a day of our session. I will share these on Facebook and Instagram and tag you(if it allows me. Some settings are weird and I can't tag some clients. Make sure you are following and like my pages to help this). Then, in approx. 2-3 days, I will send you a private digital gallery of your fully edited images. These will be available for instant download. This gallery is active for 30 days. If at any point after this you need access again. Just contact me!