Next up on my “Preparing For Your Session” series is preparing for your Newborn Session. Newborn sessions are generally scheduled within the first week of baby being born. There are two main reasons for this and they are 1) baby is more likely to be sleeping during your session which makes it easier to go through a few different poses, outfit changes, etc. and 2) after the first week if your baby is going to get baby acne that’s when you normally start to see it. Their skin can also start to get dry and peel at times. This is all very hard and tedious to edit. If you don’t want to schedule within the first week, then I recommend waiting a couple of weeks until all that goes away 🙂 Another thing to know is that I have a Lifestyle approach to my newborn session which means, I do not bring a trunk full of props, blankets, headbands, hats, wraps, etc… I bring my camera, a space heater and a couple baby wraps ONLY if Mom requests. I want the session to be unique to your family. I want to use YOUR blankets, your special hats/headbands, quilts made by grandmothers, your babies clothes, etc. This makes it all more real to me and personal to you. I’m there to capture your first few days at home with your newborn. Lounging on the couch or your bed, cuddling, kissing, staring at that precious baby and moments with your older child(ren) (if any) with their newest sibling. Newborn sessions can last longer than family portrait sessions and that all depending on how many times the baby needs to stop and eat but for the most part I am done in 2 hours.
Here are the steps to help you prepare for your newborn session:
Notifying me of babies arrival & scheduling
- If you have a scheduled induction or c-section please go ahead and let me know when that is! This will help me to know when (about) we would be scheduling your newborn session.
- If you are just waiting for baby to come naturally, I ask that you shoot me a text sometime right before or right after baby arrives. Just so I know she/he is here (or about to be) and I can start looking at my schedule.
- We will work together to find a time to schedule your newborn session. I like to have newborn sessions in the morning(ish) time and try to wrap up around lunch time. Its always a little bit exhausting after our session and it seems to be a good time to stop so you guys can eat and then take a nap 🙂
Preparing baby, yourself and your home for our session
- I will text you on my way. Before my arrival make sure baby has a full belly and clean diaper. Go ahead and take off babies clothes and just have him/her wrapped in a warm blanket. I always start with photos of baby unclothed. This way if the baby is asleep when I arrive, we won’t disturb by taking off their clothes.
- Turn off fans in bedrooms and make sure its not cold in your home. I will bring a space heater to help baby stay warm as well. The warmer they are, the more likely they are to stay asleep and comfortable during our session.
- I need as much natural light in the home as possible. This is very important since I am a natural light photographer. Open all the blinds, shutters, curtains, etc… to make it nice and bright in the home is very helpful.
- I usually photograph in the babies nursery, master bedroom and main family room area. Please make sure these rooms are tidied up and clutter is put away, bed is made, etc… But more importantly I have to shoot where there is adequate light in your home. So if master bedroom doesn’t have good light, we won’t end up in there, etc… 🙂
- If you have any special blankets, hats, headbands, outfits, etc… you want your newborn to wear during their session, please have them out and handy. I will do my best to incorporate these into your session. I don’t recommend having a TON of different outfit changes though, this disturbs the baby a lot, especially if they are having a hard time staying asleep. So if you do have a lot of things, prioritize and I’ll do my best.
What to wear
- Simplicity is always best, so when in doubt keep in mind that “less is more.”
- Avoid patterns, stripes and logos as they often will conflict with other elements in your home and be visually distracting.
- For newborn sessions I like to see soft neutral colors (soft pinks, blues, beige, white, grey, etc.) I like the newborn photos to feel soft, gentle, airy and wearing these colors will help achieve this look.
- Obviously you will have just had a baby and still have a little baby bump. If this is something you are not comfortable with, then I recommend a loose flowing dress or leggings and a flowy top. If you put something on and aren’t comfortable in it, then change… you want to be feel comfortable and be happy with the photos when they are returned to you.
- While your newborn will be wrapped up for most of the session, I do like to put them in some simple comfy pj’s for some of the photos. I can always look through babies clothes to help you decide when I get there. Simple is best here too.
Lastly, I want you to know that I completely understand that the first week bringing baby home is a big adjustment. I do not expect your house to be cleaned perfectly or even breakfast to have been put away yet. I understand if you spent all morning getting everyone else ready and you are running a few minutes behind getting yourself ready. This is why I give some tips above on the areas I normally shoot in so that you can focus on a couple areas of your home instead of the entire house. I’m laid back, I go with the flow and don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. I’m there to help! There has been so many times that I have changed babies diaper and got him/her dressed while Mom finished getting ready!
And what is a “Preparing for your Newborn Session” post without some photos of newborns!