8 Tips to Prepare for Your Newborn Session
Much of your pregnancy has been spent preparing for the arrival of your baby. From choosing a baby name, to designing their nursery, these months and weeks leading up to birth can be tiring. While it may be easy to get caught up in the practical aspects of planning for baby, it is also important to consider their future. When your child grows up, what will you have to remember their earliest days?
Newborn photographs are a necessity when considering your child’s legacy. Tiny features change and grow, and exhaustion makes these days blurry. Too easily, these days fade into a blur of diaper changes, feedings, and cat naps. Documenting your baby’s first days through photography is the only sure way to preserve your memories.
Even with advancements in camera phone technology, do-it-yourself newborn photography is not only challenging, but ill-advised. Let’s face it – babies do not pose themselves, and incorrect posing by untrained parents or photographers can cause lifelong injury to your your child. That is why it is best to leave newborn photography to trained professionals. Professional newborn photographers are trained in safely handling and posing your child, while creating heirloom art that will stand the test of time.
We want to serve your family by photographing every little detail of your new baby in our newborn photography studio.
Here are 8 tips for preparing for your newborn photo session that will help ensure a stress-free experience.
1. Schedule Your Session Early
One of the most-asked questions from pregnant Moms is “when should I book my newborn photo session?”
The best time to book your photo session is during your second trimester when possible. Booking your photoshoot early in your pregnancy ensures that we will have availability for your due date, and takes the stress off of wondering and waiting. Booking early also gives us plenty of time to discuss your dream photo session, plan any special props or set ups that you want, and gives us time to order any new outfits that we may want to include. Overall, earlier is always better!
2. Ask Your Photographer What to Expect
Just like in many other businesses, every photographer has their own processes and procedures surrounding session preparation and planning, photoshoot day, and image delivery. Knowing what to expect from your photographer can help put your nerves at ease and reassure you that you are making the right choice in who you are hiring. Here are some great questions to ask:
- What is the booking process like?
- Does your photographer supply props, wraps, and outfits for your baby?
- Will your photographer help you plan what your family should wear?
- What will your session day be like?
- What is the editing and image delivery process like?
- Will your photographer help you order albums and artwork?
The answers to these questions will vary from photographer to photographer, so it is best to ask.
3. Pack a Baby Bag for Success
Diaper bags are usually filled with many of the supplies that may be needed to comfort your baby during their photo session. However, there are a few absolute necessities when preparing your diaper bag for your newborn photography session.
Here is a necessity list of what to pack:
- Change of clothes for baby
- Extra diapers and wipes
- Pacifier (even if your baby doesn’t usually take one)
- Breastfed babies: pumped milk in a bottle and Mommy!
- Formula fed babies: extra formula and bottles
- Cozy baby blanket
Your photographer may have extra things like diapers and wipes, but it is a good idea to bring them just in case. This is especially true if you are concerned about skin sensitivities or allergies to specific brands. Please consider bringing a bottle or two of pumped breastmilk if your child is breastfed, though we know that this is not always possible.
4. Keep Your Baby Awake
Babies usually sleep a lot. However, those sweet little poses require posing, adjusting, and touching, which is something that your baby is probably not used to. While most newborn photographers are considered “baby whisperers,” our job is usually a lot easier when babies are sleepiest. You can help ensure that your baby sleeps well by keeping them awake for 1-2 hours prior to their photoshoot.
5. Feed Your Baby Before the Session
A full belly makes for a happier (and sleepier) baby! Whether your baby is breastfed or bottle fed, try feeding your baby about 30 minutes prior to their photoshoot so that they are full, relaxed, and sleepy. You can also expect that keeping to your baby’s regular feeding schedule may happen during your photography appointment. But don’t worry – babies adjust back to their regular feeding schedules within about a day.
6. Dress Baby Simply and Comfortably
We have everything that your baby will need to be wrapped in or clothed in for their photoshoot in our fully-stocked studio. However, what they wear TO the session is important. It is easiest to get a baby undressed if they are wearing an outfit that does not have to go over their heads, such as a button-front or zip-front onesie. “Fancier” outfits such as those with multiple layers, bow ties, hoods, etc. are very difficult to remove while keeping your baby comfortable and asleep.
7. Prepare Older Siblings
Older siblings are so much fun to include in newborn photoshoots! They can be the life of the party, and the love that they have for their new baby is absolutely precious.
It is important to consider your timeline when incorporating older siblings. Newborn sessions can last 2-4 hours, longer than most siblings are comfortable in the studio. It may be best to have your partner, parents, friends, or other family member plan to pick up older siblings after being photographed. That way, your older children do not become restless or noisy and allow for the most successful photoshoot possible for your newborn.
8. Relax & Trust Your Photographer
Some parents may feel anxious about someone else handling their new baby; that Mama Bear feeling is real. But you hired us for a reason: talent, care, training, and professionalism.
Your baby is in good hands now. It’s time to sit back and relax while we comfort, pose, and feed your baby. Doesn’t it feel nice to kick back and relax….and maybe even take a much needed nap?