13 WAYS TO PREPARE FOR A NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE FOR PARENTS
I recommend that you schedule your newborn photography session before your baby is born to make sure a spot for you is available. If you contact me during your second trimester then we will be able to select a range of dates to make sure we will be able to meet on one of them!
Once you give birth, send me an email (or add me to the official “baby is here” list) so we can arrange a time to meet and capture your little bean!
THE BIG DAY
Newborn photography sessions SHOULD be scheduled within the first 14 days since birth.
The best time from my point of view though is from 3 to 7 days from the arrival.
After that the baby will find out that he or she can move around and stretch - none of the trendy poses and arrangements will not work out as the baby will not allow me to pose it the way I want!
Basically we want the baby to be as sleepy as possible so they are easy to handle and not so bothered to be moved around and posed.
On the other hand, after 14 days it is literally impossible to get them into that deep sleep that was natural in their first few days. The nice bendy poses you see on internet fly out of the window too.
Also, since we want the baby to look as natural as possible, I do not want to retouch too much. After the first few days, the possibility of colic and baby acne grows a lot.
2. THE LOCATION OF NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION
Most of the newborn sessions take place in your home, but there are always possibilities to do them on location or in my home studio. The on location session might happen outdoors or at location of your choice. It mainly depends on the weather and temperature - if it is warm enough, it’s good enough.
If you are worried about the mess in your house - do not. You just had a baby, it would be weird if you had all this extra time to keep everything squeaky clean. I will make a mess once I come anyway - probably moving furniture, spreading all my kit. I do not need a lot of space, and anything that is not flattering to the photo will be removed from it.
3. NATURAL LIGHT IS KEY IN NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY
There is nothing more flattering than natural light, if controlled properly.
To save time, I will ask you to open all the windows and curtains in your flat or house before I arrive. It will allow me to find the best light in your home quickly, which will result in a quicker setup and more time for different variations of the photographs.
The best light happens in the morning and in the evenings, but the beautiful thing about light is that I can control it in any way I want, so time of the day is not a problem for me personally.
I will also have additional light equipment just in case.
4. KEEP THE HEAT UP DURING THE SESSION
To keep the baby sleeping I would recommend you heat your house to a solid 25 to 26 degrees.
Since the baby used to be warm and cosy until just now, when we try to take some of these adorable naked baby shots, there is a high chance our newborn will not like that and decide not to cooperate if the temperature is too low. The baby is the priority in this case and even if we sweat like mad keeping the baby nice and warm is all that matters.
Start heating the space about 30 minutes before our session to make sure it is warm enough for outfit changing. I will bring a heater with me just in case.
5. MAKE SURE THERE ARE
NO DIAPER MARKS
When you start heating the space, make sure to loosen diapers so there are no marks on newborns skin. I recommend doing it about 30 minutes before the session as well! Unless you do not want any photos without clothes, then do not worry.
6. MAKE THE BABY SLEEPY
Most of the photos I will be shooting work best if the baby is in a deep sleep.
That is why I recommend to make your baby tired, or even exhausted before the session starts. It might sound like a torture since you probably will be exhausted yourselves, but I believe it will be worth it in the end.
7. FED BABY, HAPPY BABY
Please make sure to feed and burp just before the session to make sure the baby is milk drunk and happy to sleep! We can take many breaks during the session to fill the baby up with some more fuel, after all our model will be working hard!
8. KEEP THE NOISE LEVEL
TO A MINIMUM
It is very important to create a calm environment during the session. If there are other children or pets that might create noise, try and keep them occupied, or even better, get a family member to take them out. I have a white noise device but it does not block everything out. If you want to include some family photos I advise to do it at the beginning or at the end of the session. Only the people being photographed should be present.
9. THE WAITING GAME
Since we can not predict how the baby will behave, newborn sessions can last from 2 to 4 hours. It all depends on the mood and how sleepy the baby is. Babies are like radars, that is why I ask everyone to stay calm even if the baby does not want to sleep. And photos of babies with open eyes are beautiful anyway and many people prefer these! :)
10. WHAT ABOUT PROPS?
I will have all the usual stuff with me, but I encourage everyone to think of props of their own.
I really enjoy setting up scenes involving your work equipment and/or attire.
For example, if you are a construction worker - use a helmet and some PPE etc.
If you have some family heirlooms or some amazing clothes, shawls, scarves or uniforms that is great!
I encourage you to speak to me about your ideas and I will bring them to life!
11. WHAT ABOUT ME?
You just gave birth. Go and pamper yourself! Go and have your hair done, get a massage etc.
When it comes to men - I recommend tending to your hands and feet as they might play a large role in the whole session.
12. THE MOST IMPORTANT BIT
All you have to do is relax. Go and have a nap, leave the room and rest, go and take a shower or go for a dinner! I will call you if I will need you, your baby is in safe hands . I understand that you will be stressed but believe me, newborn photography is a waiting game and you are not used to it. Before you know it you will be stressing out even more, thinking that it is a disaster and no photos will come out of it.
Rest assured, I got it.
In most cases when mother leaves the room, everything gets easier as the baby recognises your smell and keeps craving more food. And I will definitely need you at some point as inevitably we will need to change the diaper and feed the baby!