Newborn Preparation Guide
Newborn photography is absolutely the most rewarding, but challenging, type of photography. We have created a list of things you can do leading up to the session to help make it go as smoothly as possible.
1. If nursing, please avoid eating anything spicy (i.e. hot sauce, pizza, etc.) that might upset your baby’s fragile tummy for 24 before your session. Bring gas relief for baby in case it is needed.
2. Stimulate and interact with baby to keep them awake for 1-2 hours prior to your session to ensure he/she is good and sleepy for their session. This is VERY important, without this, we spend too much time getting baby to sleep and not as much time photographing them. If you need to, give the baby a bath to help keep them awake or undressing them and keeping them naked usually helps as well. In addition, the baby needs to be fed as much as possible during the 12 hours before your session. This will allow them to sleep as deeply and long as possible.
3. Make sure the baby has a full belly before your session. Please feed the baby just before you leave for my studio. If the baby is formula fed please bring additional formula and bottles.
4. Dress the baby in loose fitting clothes to avoid any lines on the skin. A simple sleeper is best. Please avoid onesies or anything that we have to pull over the baby’s head. Make sure that diapers are loose fitting at least a half hour before to avoid marks from their diapers. (Usually once you arrive and we are getting set up). About two hours before please remove any clothing that can leave marks (socks, booties, and nothing elastic around wrists or ankles)
5. Bring a pacifier, it can be extremely helpful to sooth the baby during the session (even if your baby normally doesn't use them, Nam pacifoers are the greatest).
6. The studio will be around 80-85 degrees to keep the baby warm while they are undressed. I recommend that parents dress in layers so that you can be comfortable in the warm environment.
7. During the session sit back and relax. I won’t need much assistance so take advantage of this time to rest. Feel free to bring your laptop, a book, or anything else you might want to catch up on!
8. Due to the frequent breaks needed to feed, change, sooth and get baby to fall asleep, newborn shoots often last longer than the average session. Plan on being here for around 2-3 hours. Feel free to bring drinks and snacks with you.
9. Please bring extra receiving blankets to wrap the baby in while changing sets etc. (3-4). Avoid patterns with receiving blankets if possible because they may and will be used during the session.
10. If there are any special items that you would like photographed with the baby please bring them along. (Hand made items from grandparents, booties, something special to each parent)
11. If you are interested in any parent pictures, a soft neutral sort sleeve shirt is suggested for Dad and a soft neutral tank or blouse top for mom. (Whites, creams, greys, tans, etc.) If Dad is comfortable bearing his chest for a few photos that can make for some very sweet images. Please avoid anything with a pattern.
12. If you have older siblings that you would like photographed with your newborn we will do those shots first. Cream, ivory, or white is recommended for older siblings (tops with jeans for boys, dresses for girls)
13. Seating in our home studio is very limited so I recommend bringing no more than yourself and your spouse/partner (or a helper).
14. Due to the nature of the session I ask that your spouse/partner take the older siblings home or out for some fun while we finish up the newborn shots in order to keep the studio as quiet as possible.
15. Be patient and remain calm. If baby is cranky and not cooperating please do not worry. We have plenty of time to allow baby to get calm and comfy, and if you are stressed, the baby can feel that.
16. We are working on baby time, so we break when I feel they need a break to feed, change or anything of the sort.
17. Details – I will often do images of babies little hands and feet. These will look best if his or her nails are trimmed and clean...
18. Be ready for pee (and poo)! I don’t need to tell you that newborns pee/poo a lot. Unfortunately, we may get peed on. Have a backup change of clothes for ready yourself in the event that this does occur…especially if you are in some of the pictures. Also, please have a couple of changing pads available to use. I can almost guarantee that baby will pee and poo on my blankets and props. This is OK! It is completely expected and I never want you to feel bad or stressed about it. I wash all of my items after every newborn session, and it will all come out. :)
19. Absolutely NO cameras (including camera on phone) at shoot besides mine. It is extremely distracting to both myself and those being photographed.
20. Your high resolution images will be emailed to you via an online gallery approximately 2 weeks after your session with a print release. There will also be a gallery with watermarked images that are formatted for the best viewing on social media. We ask that you use these images for sharing on social media or, if you chose to share un-watermarked images, please include a link to my Facebook page or website in your post.
21. I do the majority of my newborn sessions with babies in their birthday suits. They SWIM in clothes and honestly – don’t look good in them.
22. Your little one will need to be kept awake for a solid 2 hours before the session. I know this isn’t easy, but doing so produces the best sleepy images. I need them to be very very tired (cranky tired) before you feed them.
23. Once a session begins, my assistant and I will exclusively handle the baby unless a feeding is needed. The reason for this is if baby smells mom they may wake to eat. The way to avoid this and keep sessions short is to keep them away from anything or anyone that will wake them. The smell of milk does this!
24. They WILL cry (maybe) – it’s OK! I do nothing that hurts the babies – I don’t force them into any positions that are uncomfortable for them. Babies are VERY flexible when they are born (from being in the womb). They sometimes wake and cry a bit just from being moved around. Some babies sleep the entire time and don’t stir at all, others take more time and patience. Some positions can take up to 20 minutes to get the baby correct.
25. If baby stirs and starts fussing and is hungry, I will give them to you to feed. Typically if you follow the guide to keeping them awake and fed when arriving, we will be good for 2 to 3 hours and by the time he/she gets fussy again the session will be over.
26. If you would like nursing shots (if you are nursing) that is something else that I offer. You may not realize how much you would have loved to have that moment captured until after they stop nursing and you may wish you had a photo to remember that time by. If it is something you are interested in, just let me know. Tasteful shots only, of course.
I look forward to photographing your little one! Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. My cell phone number is 469-450-7600.