Newborn Photo Session Do’s and Don’ts

Having a child is an incredible and beautiful time that should be cherished and what better way to remember such a beautiful time than with photos to immortalize it!  Newborn photography comes with it’s own challenges, but we are here to guide you through the process to ensure your session is relaxed and has the best outcome possible.  These Do’s and Don’ts will help you prepare for a session with your little one and better inform you as to what to expect if this is your first time.

TIP #1.) DO plan for the first week of the newborn’s arrival.

Newborn sessions are generally scheduled for the first week of the newborn being home.  There are many reasons behind this, but most importantly it is because this is when the newborn is predictably to most sleepy.  Sleepy babies make for GREAT photos!  It allows us to pose them in different ways without them waking and being fussy or crying.  For this purpose, we will tentatively schedule your newborn session around your expected due date, but will play it by ear as the time draws closer.

TIP #2.)  DON’T let the newborn sleep right before the session if possible.

Going back to the first tip, sessions go best when the baby is sleepy.   This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t allow your newborn to sleep, but rather to plan the session during a time when they are already usually sleeping.  If the baby is awake before the session, we suggest keeping the newborn awake with lots of love and attention so that by the time the session begins, they are nice and tired.  Planning this in conjunction to a feeding with give the newborn a full belly and make sure they are sleeping soundly for the photos.

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TIP #3.)  DO pick out cute hats, clothing and accessories for your newborn’s session.

Since taste varies greatly from client to client, we generally don’t bring different accessories for the newborn to be photographed with.  However, this can be a fun way to plan for your baby’s arrival and their photo session.  Woven and knitted hats, costumes, headbands and other things can be a great place to start when thinking about accessories for the session.  A good place to look for such things is Esty.com.  Here you can find wonderful hand crafted newborn items that are sure to fit the style of photos that you desire.

TIP #4.)  DON’T focus too much on accessories.

Each time that we change accessories or clothing on the newborn, there is the chance the he or she may wake and start crying, so we suggest keeping the clothing swaps to a minimum.  This isn’t to say that you can’t have different looks to the photos, but we suggest no more than 3-5 looks for a newborn session.  This limits the number of times we have to disturb the sleeping baby and keeps the progress moving forward during the photos.  Once a newborn is awake, it can be quite difficult to calm them and get them back to sleep.  We also suggest the bare-bum option with newborns.  There are plenty of ways we can cover a newborn with fabrics and blankets that allows them to be in the buff and gives a more natural look to the photos.

TIP #5.)  DO prepare the space accordingly.

We prefer to do newborn sessions in your home.  This makes it much more comfortable for your family especially in the first week after giving birth.  The space required isn’t much, generally 6 feet by 6 feet.  The more room the merrier but we have also done it in smaller spaces.  By having us come to you, this allows you to not have to worry about upsetting the baby with travel and allows for you to relax as much as possible while we take the photos.  We only need access to 2 outlets, one for our studio light and another for a space heater.  The space heater is used to warm the room as much as possible and if you can heat the room prior to our arrival, that is even better.  We do this because the newborn has been accustomed to being very warm for the past 9 months and with a warm room, it allows the baby to be uncovered and not wake due to a temperature difference when a blanket is removed.  We also play white noise during the session to keep the baby calm and quiet.

TIP #6.)  DON’T focus on unobtainable photos.

Each newborn session is different in terms of what the newborn will allow us to accomplish.  Instead of sticking to s strict set of photos, we have to move with the flow and work around the newborn.  Sometimes it may be better to do one pose rather than another because that is what the newborn will allow us to do without it waking.  Maybe the newborn wakes every time we try to pose it on it’s belly, that may mean we have to focus on different poses instead.  And that’s ok.  They are new to the world and it is better to work with them than against them.  Be patient and enjoy the experience and we will make sure we get the best results possible during our time together.

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TIP #7.)  DO tell us what you are comfortable with.

The most important thing to us during a newborn session is the safety of the newborn.  Photos like the one above were taken as a composite of multiple photos where the parent was actually holding the newborn, the newborn was never on the rocking horse (or rhino) without a hand on him for safety.  We then edited out the arms in post to create this adorable composite photo.  Tell us what you are comfortable with and what you are not comfortable with.  We prefer to guide you and help you with posing the newborn so that we know the baby is never being posed in a way that you do not want, but we always encourage clients to speak up.  We will explain ideas with you before doing anything and we will not “try” something new, rather we will be posing in ways we have done before and are confident will be ok.

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TIP #8.)  DO enjoy this special time.

A newborn’s arrival is a very exciting and nerve wracking time for parents, but it is important to be in the moment and cherish times like these with them.  They will eventually grow up and no longer be small enough to pose in a washing bin.  Therefore, we ask that you be patient and calm during these delicate sessions and enjoy the process with us so that together we can create lasting memories for your family.  Planning on a new arrival to the family?  Click HERE to contact us about your newborn session!

This entry was posted in Family Photography, Newborn Photography, Photography.

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