I’ve always adored shooting newborn sessions – and now that I’m a mom – these sessions are that much sweeter of an experience. I also have much more understanding and empathy for new parents. You have so much on your plate and it can feel super overwhelming to plan and prepare for a newborn session. Hence, this blog post. :)
Here’s my number one piece of advice when it comes to newborn sessions: select and book your photographer before the baby is born. Newborn sessions are ideally scheduled 5-10 days after birth when babies are extra sleepy and easiest to work with. This is also the best time to avoid baby acne, which tends to pop up around 14 days old. You are not going to have time in the first two weeks of your baby’s life to research and book a photographer – so getting this out of the way before your bundle arrives is a smart move!
Once you have your photographer picked, just send them (or me) an email to get your session date on the calendar. I can usually squeeze newborn sessions in within a few days, but the more notice I have the better. Please use the tips below to ensure your newborn session goes as smoothly as possible.
Preparing for Your Newborn Shoot:
- Newborn sessions can last up to 3 hours, so there is plenty of time for feedings, changes, cuddles, etc. We are on babies time, so please don’t feel rushed or stressed if your little one needs a little extra time to settle and get comfortable.
- To make it easiest for you, newborn sessions with me will happen in your home. We will photograph in the room with the most natural light, so please take a few minutes to tidy it up.
- I recommend cranking the heat up so the room temp is nice and cozy. This will help your babe stay comfortable and minimize crying during the session.
- Make sure baby is only wearing a diaper at the start of your session. This is where that warmth comes in handy. :) Having them in only a diaper also helps to avoid disturbing them by undressing when we get started.
- Feed the baby 30 minutes or so prior to your session start. And know that stopping to feed during the session is totally OK!
- Have all items that you are interested in using in the session out and ready: baskets, blankets, hats, headbands, etc. I will bring some basic props with me – want to know what’s in my newborn session kit – check out this post! Do you feel sentimental about a particular prop? Let me know beforehand and I’ll find a way to incorporate it into the session.
- Make sure the nursery is nice and tidy, in case any photos are taken in there.
- If you or your partner plan on being in the photographs, make sure you are ready when the photographer arrives. Of course, wear colors that compliment you – but I always recommend light colors for a soft and gentle look against natural light and a diaper-clad baby. :)
- Be prepared for explosions of all kinds. Poop, pee and spit up may go flying or spraying on anything around. Have burp cloths, wipes and clean up stuff out and ready!
Parenthood is all about being as prepared as possible, but also about being able to roll with any unexpected changes that arise. Use these tips to plan a newborn session that works for you and your baby – but know that the photos that result will (and should be) an accurate representation of this chapter in your life. The most precious chapter of all!