Newborn sessions are about as unique of a session as you can get. From scheduling them, to the actual experience. These are images you will treasure for years. There are always lots of questions on what to expect, hopefully this will help ease your mind.
We start with your due date. I pencil that in on my calendar and it let’s me keep track of how many babies I have schedule per week/month. Since babies like to arrive on their own timeline, I book a limited amount of newborns per month to help keep my schedule flexible. We want to have the session within the first 6-14 or so days after birth, so it’s important for me to have a flexible schedule. When you go into labor, or shortly there after I ask that someone either call, text or email to let me know. That way I can start to clear my calendar and find some available times to schedule the session. Once you get home and settled we can pick a day that works best for you. To reserve a spot on my calendar, a 50% session fee retainer is due at time of booking.
The typical newborn session lasts 2-3 hours – which includes time to soothe baby and feed them if necessary. They are shot in my home studio, typically in the morning. The newborn mini session is a 45 min. to 1 hour session.
I have photographed hundreds newborns. Here is what I have found to lead to the most successful session:
1. If you are nursing, try to avoid eating anything spicy (i.e. pizza, hot sauce, etc.) that might upset baby’s tummy for 24 hours preceding your scheduled session.
2. If your baby takes a pacifier, please bring one to the session. Sometimes if baby is not hungry but is fussy, the sucking soothes them and allows us to continue posing them. Please inform us prior to your session if your child has any special needs, such as reflux, colic or fussiness so we can accommodate accordingly.
3. I will have a sound (white noise machine) during the session to help keep baby sleepy and drown out any background noise. The studio will be kept at about 80 degrees to keep your little one warm while in their birthday suit, so I recommend dressing in layers so that you can remove some if you get too warm. I also have a waiting room attached to the studio room where you can sit and still observe the session. I know most of the dads prefer to sit where it is cooler! Feel free to relax and even take a cat nap. I know how tired having a newborn can be.
4. With naked baby shots, it is very likely blankets and myself may get soiled. Please don’t worry about it. Occupational hazard, and it happens at every session. It really is not a big deal.
5. Please feed the baby before you drive to the studio. This way, when you arrive, baby is ready to go. If he needs a snack on your arrival that is fine too especially if you are driving for more than 45 minutes.
6. Please dress baby in loose fitting clothes to avoid any lines on skin – a simple button-up sleeper is best. I prefer items that we don’t have to take over their head.
7. When you arrive, please leave them baby in their car seats. They will be warm and cozy and asleep. Taking them out will cause the baby to be alert and awake.
8. Prior to your session we will discuss if there is anything special you would like to see in your session. These photos will be hanging in your house and on your walls so we want them to match your style and decor. I often start with simple, classic poses with a neutral color. From there I start to incorporate props (hats/headbands), or color depending on what we discussed. Some like to keep the entire session simple and organic, while others want to see lots of color or props. A good starting point is to see what color your nursery is, or if there is a theme in there.
9. I typically do parent shots at the end of the session since it is ok if baby is awake for those and also if needed we could always do those at a later time if baby is not cooperative at that point. If there are siblings who will be included in the session, then I reverse the order and typically do those first so that the siblings can then relax or even leave after with dad or a relative.
10. While I have been trained in newborn posing and newborn safety, some babies simply may not like a specific pose. If you have your heart set on a specific pose, I will try my best but if baby is showing signs that they are not comfortable then I will not continue with that pose. Their safety and comfort is my top priority and some babies just may not enjoy being on their stomachs, or backs etc. Also please understand that some of the images you may see on the internet or Pinterest are actually composite images. That is where you have multiple images that are photoshopped together. This if often the case with the baby holding their head on their hands or any images of babies in buckets or “hammocks”. Even if you do not select me as your photographer, please make sure the photographer you do choose is aware of newborn safety and would never just try something they have seen but not know how to do it correctly and safely. This is your precious newborn child, please just do not hand them off to anyone. Newborn safety and experience are crucial.
After the session
I often will put up a quick sneak peek on my Facebook Page or my blog to let you see how the session went. It typically takes about a week and a half to two weeks for your gallery to be ready. I will load your images onto an online gallery where you will be able to view and share them. From there you can order any prints, products, or download your digital images if you purchased the digital collection.