How To Prepare For Your Newborn Session

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I LOVE photographing newborns!

Newborn photography is incredibly challenging, but it’s so rewarding in the end.

There’s a bit of prep and planning that needs to go into these sessions to make them more successful though. I have compiled a few tips below to help us get the very best out of your upcoming newborn session.

 I recommend that you schedule your newborn session PRIOR to your baby’s birth to ensure a spot on my calendar.. Especially if it’s the busy busy summer season. Contact us during your second trimester and we’ll pencil you in. Better yet, lets schedule a maternity session too so that you can forever treasure your beautiful growing body.

Email, Call, text soon after you deliver so we can arrange a time for the session.
BIRTHDAY!
Newborn sessions MUST be scheduled within the first 14 days of life. However, the BEST time is between 3-7 days after their arrival.
I will be moving them around and scrunching them into those adorable sleepy newborn images, so I want to make sure they’re sleepy enough to allow me to handle them.
Plus, babies just tend to do a lot better with the session within their first 7 days.
Somewhere around day 8 they discover the joy that is stretching! Once that happens…they’re not about to let us get them into those curly poses without a fight!
After day 14, it’s almost impossible to get baby into that deep sleep that came so easily in their first few days…so it’s unlikely that I will be able to get them into any of the bendier newborn poses.

Don’t worry about the newborn acne that most little bundles get, I will minimally edit the newborns skin so it looks natural with out having those pesky little red dots to distract us.

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WHERE?
The newborn sessions can take place in your home or my home studio. If the weather is warm enough and you’re comfortable with the idea, we can take the session outdoors. (Baby being all pose-y and cute in a big, open field or at the base of an old tree? CUTEEEE)
Worried because your house is a mess? Don’t even stress out! You just had a BABY! If you didn’t have dishes piled in the sink, dirty clothes and baby items strewn all about, I would think you were weird. Clutter is definitely expected!
I might need to move some furniture around to get that beautiful light right but Don’t worry ill put it back when we are done!

If its easy for you to travel to me then this is the better solution! When I travel to your home you get much more limited props.

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PERFECT LIGHT!
We ask that you open all of the blinds and curtains in your home prior to our arrival. This enables us to find the best source of natural light in your home, so that we can set up our “mini studio” in the best possible location. Nothing flatters like natural light, so we prefer to use it whenever possible.
For this reason, sessions are normally done mid-morning to late afternoon when window lighting is as its best.
When we arrive, we’ll walk through your home looking for the best light and that is where we’ll do a majority of the shoot. Sometimes the best location ends up being a foyer, by the backdoor or kitchen…usually wherever there is a large window.
We’ll also bring additional lighting equipment to help out when needed.

 

CRANK THE HEAT!
We recommend that you keep your home a bit warmer than normal during the session. (Like a toasty 80 degrees or so.)
Newborns are used to being all bundled up, warm + cozy…and then we come in and yank off all their clothes for those adorable naked baby shots. They tend not to like that too much!
Pushing up the thermostat is guaranteed to make the session flow more smoothly and help them sleep better. We may be sweating, but baby will be nice and warm…and that’s really all that matters!
Crank the heat 30 minutes before our session to ensure that it’s warm enough in time for the clothes yanking…and we’ll bring along a space heater to help keep baby in a steady warmth. Bonus points if you’re willing to make a few back and forth trips to the dryer to keep baby’s blankets warm! They love that! If your not comfortable cranking the heat that high, come to my home studio, the majority of my home is at a regular heat and the studio room is the only one that’s newborn warm.

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LOOSEN UP!
Please loosen your baby’s diaper and clothing at least 30 minutes before the session. This gives those little imprint marks time to disappear. (Your baby will be naked in most of the shots, but we pose them so that all the “important bits” are not on display.)

 

HUNGRY?
A well-fed baby is a happy baby! Please feed and burp baby right before our session to ensure a happy, sleepy milk drunk baby. We’ll also be more than happy to take as many breaks as needed to help him/her re-fuel.

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VOLUME CONTROL!
Please do whatever you can to keep the noise level to a minimum during our session. If you have other children that might create noise, try to find a sitter or family member to take them away from the home for a few hours. If you have a noisy pet, you may want to do the same. I will bring a white noise machine, but it doesn’t always block out everything
If you have children and would like them to be included in some photos, we recommend bringing them in at the beginning or end of a session and then having someone take them. Only those being photographed should be present to help maintain a calm environment.

 

PATIENCE IS KEY!
Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. It all depends on baby’s mood and willingness to sleep. Unfortunately…this isn’t something we can predict! We ask that everyone remain calm, should he/she not want to sleep, since your baby will pick up on any frustration in the room. And if sleep doesn’t happen, that’s okay! Wide-eyed newborn photos are beautiful too.

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RELAX
I am pretty comfortable holding and posing newborns.
We take the baby’s lead; getting them to sleep before posing takes time and they may need to be fed or cuddled a few times first. In fact, we’d say that a good 50% of your session will involve feeding, diaper changes, and cuddling to get baby comfortable. If that doesn’t work, we’ll take a break or we’ll work with what baby is giving us. Babies can sense stress and anxiety. It’s super important that EVERYONE remain calm and relaxed during this session. Keeping the environment as mellow as possible is pretty much the only way I am going to get the shots we’re looking for.

 

POOP & PEE HAPPEN!
Your baby is going to be in the buff for the majority of this shoot. Please don’t panic if your baby decides to use the blankets (or me) as his/her own personal potty.
This is natural and we expect it! Please don’t feel embarrassed or worry when this happens, because they all do it.
We wash all of our baby props and blankets between each session with non-scented baby detergent. (This is why we only schedule one newborn session per day!)
It would definitely be helpful if you had a stack of old towels, extra wipes and blankets available for when things get messy though.
*If you would like shots in a diaper, it’s a good idea to have a cloth diaper, diaper cover in a solid color, bloomers, or something to put over the diaper. Diapers on their own tend to look a little messy and distracting in photos, but throwing a cover over it cleans things up.

 

PROPS!
We have a collection of bowls, baskets, blankets, knit hats and headbands that we’ll be bringing to your session. You are also; of course, welcome to use any of your own props. Looks for items with texture and color to help make your images unique.
If you have any family heirlooms, toys, hats, props, etc. that you would like me to use in your session, please gather them before we arrive. We may not get the chance to use ALL of the items, but we’ll look through them with you to determine what will work best.

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BUT WHAT DO *I* WEAR?
I know! You just had a baby and aren’t feeling your best. But we think this is the perfect time to pamper yourself!
Keep it simple. Throw in a little color if you’d like, but skip the busy patterns.
We’re also big fans of skin-on-skin portraits with you holding your baby against you.

They’re so simple + timeless!
So if you want some portraits like this with your newborn, consider bringing a strapless top or tank as an alternative.

 

FOR THE MEN.
Your hands, and possibly even your feet, will play a major role in this session, so it’s important that you tend to them too!
Long or short-sleeved knits are best.   Undershirts also work well.
We suggest you NOT wear button down shorts, and make sure your t-shirts are free of logos or too much writing.*Wrinkles do show up in photos, so please make sure all clothing is ironed or steamed.

I do my best to edit out all the little imperfections but I do want you to have your photos as soon as possible and ALL these little details help the process!

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