You see all the pictures online; sweet newborn babies, fresh out of the oven in those precious poses, while sleeping so comfortably. Easy peasy, right? Wrong! There is actually a bit of prep work that goes into planning and preparing for a newborn session to make sure that it goes as smooth as possible. Not only does your photographer have a lot of planning to do, but there are also a few things you can do as well. I have compiled a list of my top five tips to have a successful newborn session for your baby.
Did you know that it is recommended that you schedule your newborn baby portraits while you are in your second or early third trimester of your pregnancy? Newborn sessions are typically scheduled within the first fourteen days after delivery to achieve those sleepy, curly poses. Since there is such a short window of time, the sooner you can reserve your due date, the better.
A full baby is a happy baby. Try to feed your baby thirty minutes before your session begins. He or she will most likely need to refuel at some point (or multiple times) during our time together, and that is perfectly normal. If you are not breastfeeding, please bring plenty of bottles along just in case we need them!
I set the temperature in my studio to eighty degrees to ensure that Baby is comfortable, so it does get a little toasty in there. Newborns have a hard time regulating their heat, so I keep it extra warm to keep them content during those naked newborn poses. New moms usually still have hormonal changes going on after delivery, so being in a warm room may make you even hotter than normal. Dress in layers so you can cool down if needed.
If you are planning on having portraits taken with older siblings, please make arrangements for Dad or a grandparent to leave with the older siblings after their portion is finished. I play white noise to soothe Baby and like to keep the studio quiet for the duration of the session. That is not usually a fun environment for young children. Several of my families are not from Norfolk and travel from surrounding towns. If going home is not an easy option, I suggest grabbing some lunch with the kids, going to the park, or running some errands while we finish up the newborn portion of the session.
Watching your baby sleep is such a beautiful thing. However, don’t be surprised if it takes them a good while to get into “baby model mode.” Every baby is different. Some like being naked, some you can move around all day and they stay asleep, and some just want to be swaddled extra tight. Most newborn sessions take about two to three hours to get through feedings, prop changes, and messy diapers. If it takes some time to get your baby comfortable, do not stress! A baby can sense stress from a mile away, so if you are stressed, they are stressed. I have photographed dozens of babies, and eventually they all get tuckered out. We just have to be patient!
I hope these tips have helped you know a little bit more about what goes into a newborn session. If you reserve your due date with me, I will send you a detailed list of do's and don'ts to prepare you for your upcoming newborn session, along with a short questionnaire so I can get to know you a little better, and find out your likes and dislikes to customize your session.
If you would like more information about newborn pictures, my milestone collections that document your baby's first year, a maternity session, or any other photography that I offer, please contact me today! I would love to chat with you!