CONGRATULATIONS! Having a new baby is such an exciting time in your life. The first few weeks can be such a whirlwind when you are trying to adjust to this new adventure, but it is also a time that doesn't last long. To make your newborn session a much easier and relaxed day, make sure to follow these tips.
It is very important to schedule your session while you are in your first or second trimester. This is to make sure you have a spot on the calendar. If you wait too long, I may get booked up and then you will have to decide on a new photographer. I know that babies most likely will not come on their due date, but we can at least narrow it down to a certain time period and know that we will need to work in that session. Make sure you contact me as soon as possible once the baby has arrived to lock in a date and time.
A newborn session must be done within the first two weeks after the baby is born, although the best time is five to seven days. This is because babies are usually the most sleepy during this time. The more a baby sleeps, the easier the session will be.
You may be wondering where a newborn session will take place since I primarily shoot outdoors. A lot of people choose to have their session in their home. It makes things easier on the parents and other siblings. Plus, all of baby's things are there and you don't have to worry about forgetting to pack something in the diaper bag. Lifestyle poses are the most popular sessions now and they are best done in your home. This type of session will be you and your family interacting with the baby in your home like you normally would. Trust me, I don't care if your house is a mess. I understand that you just had a baby. Being a mom myself I can completely relate. The only thing I would say is the bed and the nursery are some of the best places for pictures. So make the bed (just this once!) and use a blanket that isn't too busy. A solid creamy color works best. I also have some equipment that I can bring with me if you would like some of the more typical newborn poses. If you would prefer not to have the session at your house, contact me to see if there are other options available. When it is warm outside, an outdoor shoot is very cute.
Please let me know if you already have a certain style for the session in mind. I need to know of any particular colors, themes or props that you would want to use. You are also welcome to use any of your own props, heirlooms, blankets, etc. We will go over this in the consultation before baby arrives. If parents or siblings are going to be in the pictures, I recommend not wearing loud patterns. Simple clothing with neutral colors is best as to not take focus away from the baby. I don't really recommend that the baby wear newborn clothing. It doesn't always fit very well and doesn't look flattering in the photos. Baby will be naked, in wraps or blankets for most of the pictures.
If the session will be at your house, you will want to open all of your curtains and blinds before I arrive. Once I get there, we will do a quick walk through of your home to see where the best light for pictures will be. This is where I will set up for the posed newborn pictures. Then we will decide what areas of the house we want to use for the lifestyle poses.
Heat is very important for a newborn session to be successful. Babies are used to being very warm and it also helps them sleep better. I recommend making sure your house is a little warmer than usual.
About thirty minutes before the session, you should loosen the diaper on baby and make sure they are wearing loose clothes or just covered with a blanket. This will reduce any imprints and red marks on the skin. Also, keep baby awake for two hours before the session (at least one hour). A bath can sometimes help with keeping them awake and will make their hair fluffy and cute. Make sure to feed and burp baby about twenty minutes before the session. This will help them to be calm and sleepy. I may also ask you to feed baby during the session if they get upset. Make sure to have any props and/or blankets you want to use ready to go when I get there.
Don't worry if we need to take time to calm baby. If the baby gets fussy, we may take a break for feeding, changing or even just some cuddle time to get them back to sleep. This could take some time. It's fine and completely normal. Baby can tell when the people around them are stressed or getting frustrated. So just take this time to relax and keep a mellow environment.
Just a warning...things could get messy and that's totally okay. There is a good chance that at some point, baby will pee or poo on something or someone. Don't let it embarrass or fluster you. It's to be expected and we will clean it up and move on. If the session is in your home, it may help to just have some extra towels and rags together just in case.
If I have forgotten anything or if you have a question I didn't cover, feel free to send me a message or call.