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Newborn Photography Session Prep Guide

 

Newborn photography is one of the harder niches to specialize in, because baby is boss! Getting them to settle in poses and into a deep sleep can take longer than most people expect. I have complied this prep guide to help you prepare for the best newborn session possible!

 

Scheduling Your Session

I recommend scheduling your newborn session as early as  2-3 months before your expected due date. This allows for me to ensure I have availability for your session and I can properly plan the session and purchase any other props if needed.

In addition, I also offer payment plans for my sessions. The earlier you book, the easier it is to space out payments if needed.

 

Baby Time!

Once baby is born and you’ve made it home from the hospital, contact me to let me know. At this point we can schedule a definite date and time for your session. This is important, because it’s best to do newborn sessions within the first 2 weeks of birth.

Babies older than 2 weeks tend to stretch more, sleep less and are generally harder to pose than babies in the 4-14 day time frame.

If you have to schedule your session after the 2 week mark, no worries! I have worked with many newborns and I would still love to work with your new bundle (I mean, who wouldn’t want to snuggle cute babies all day?!).

 

Help Keep Your Baby Sleepy

This step is really important, because a sleepy baby will pose better than an alert baby. I highly encourage you to stimulate baby for about 2 hours before your session. I recommend a bath or naked time during this time, as it will help keep them awake (but make sure to not put lotion or oil in their hair. It can make the hair look greasy in the images).

It’s also important to refrain from feeding your baby in those two hours. Once you get to the studio, you’ll immediately feed baby. Once he/she is fed and burped, he/she should be in a deep enough sleep for the session.

If your baby is hungry or fussy during your session, we will take a break and allow baby to be fed and burped again. Your babies safety and needs are at the top of my priority list and I will never sacrifice their safety or needs for a photo!

*Another pro tip* If you breast feed, refrain from drinking caffeine, eating anything spicy or eating anything that can cause your baby to have gas (hot sauce, broccoli, pizza, dairy products, eggs, nuts, etc.) for 24 hours before your session. A gassy baby is a fussy baby! For a full list of foods that can make a breastfed baby fussy, visit this website.

 

Soothing Your Baby

Please bring a pacifier and a bottle with some formula or pumped milk. This is only to help comfort your baby while they settle into positions. If you’re concerned about introducing pacifiers or bottles, have no fear – a baby won’t develop a pacifier or bottle habit during such a small period of time!

 

Dress for Success

Make sure to get baby dressed in a loose-fitting outfit and secure the diaper a little looser than usual. This will help make sure there aren’t red marks on baby’s skin, which can be hard to edit out.

Baby will be naked or wrapped or the majority of the session, but I am very careful in making sure your baby’s lady/boy parts aren’t showing in any of the photos.

**Pro Tip** dress baby in a button down or zip down pajama outfit so we don’t have to pull a onsie over his/her head (this can upset them and cause them to wake).

 

Potty Time!

It’s extremely common for a baby to pee or poop during their session. Sometimes it’s on me, sometimes it’s on props and sometimes it’s on mom or dad. I suggest bringing an extra pair of clothing if you’re worried about your own clothes. But you can rest assured knowing that nearly every baby will pee or poo on me or the props, so don’t feel embarrassed if it does happen. I have 3 (going on 4) kids of my own and that stuff just doesn’t scare me anymore!

 

Sit Back and Relax!

Your job is easy! I just ask that you sit back and relax while I do the session. Hearing or smelling mom can cause your baby to have a hard time falling into a deep sleep. There may be a few times where I ask for assistance, but for most of the session you are welcome to take a well deserving break! Feel free to respond to emails, bring a book or just rest. I also recommend bringing a snack and a drink, as these sessions can last a few hours.

 

Sibling and Family Photos

If you have opted into a family session and you have siblings who will be at the session, please bring two cars with you. This allows us to do the family portion first and then dad can leave with the other siblings once the family portion is done. It’s very hard on children to sit still and quite for such a long session period.

 

What to Wear

For family and sibling sessions, have you and your family members wear neutral colored tops with no logos (or small logos) and jeans (or dresses for little girls, if you prefer).