Preparing for your newborn session
Newborns are normally done within the first 4 to 12 days. This is when the baby is still very sleepy and easily pose-able. That is when I can mold and shape them in to all of those adorable squishy poses . They will not be like this for long and generally in and around the 2 week mark is when those changes start to happen.
Before your session there are a few things to consider. Below are few simple tricks and tips to make your session go smoothly and be a success:
1. Please keep your baby awake for as long as possible the morning of our session. A bath works great, awake time, talking to baby, keeping them stimulated, for at least an hour if not more before the session, will ensure that they are asleep during the session. Keeping a 5 day old baby awake can be a challenge but trust me this will benefit in the long run. Please plan your time so baby will be fed when you arrive or if you are close by plan to feed right before you leave.
2. Please do not over dress the baby! Keep it simple! A onesie or easily removed sleeper works great so they do not have to be disturbed. No layers, if the weather is cold or damp etc, consider using blankets or sleep sacks, bundle me, etc.
3. The majority of the session your baby will be naked, but posed so that all private areas are covered. If you don’t want these types of photos of the baby taken, just let me know! These are your pictures you need to be happy with your outcome! I have tons of simple rompers, pants, hats, props etc.
4. The session may last up to 2-3 hours; getting a baby to sleep before posing them takes time and they may need to be fed during the shoot as well. Babies usually need to eat more during a session, so even if you are on a schedule, or the baby eats at certain times, please be flexible with on demand feeding during the session.
5. If you have older children, it is sometimes easier for your husband or family member to take them home after their pictures are taken. Or to bring them at the end of the session. I do have a den/playroom where they may be happier, as well as a park behind my house if you prefer to spend time there during the session. It is very hard to photograph the newborn if older sibling are restless during the remainder of the session. Family and sibling photographs are generally done at the end of the session. Sometimes siblings need a bit of time to warm up, if you feel best to do it first then we will plan accordingly. Then the rest of the session will focus solely on the baby.
6. I may require a “spotter” to be near the baby at times, depending on the set up. If mom isn’t feeling 100%, another adult will have to help ensure the baby stays safe throughout the session. If you are having a C-section, and you have older siblings, it may be best to bring an additional family member to help with the children.
7. Your little one will most likely poop and pee on all the props, as well as me! This is 100% natural and expected. Please do not feel embarrassed when this happens, because they all do it. It is all just a part of the process! Consider it a job hazard ;0) LOL!
8. Breast feeding mommies! There are certain foods that you should definitely avoid for a 2-3 days before the session to limit gassiness, and restlessness during your session. Foods such as coffee, chocolate, and soda can keep the baby awake because of the caffeine. Citrus fruits can cause gas, spitting up, and diaper rash. Dairy can be another culprit of colic symptoms, as well as broccoli, nuts, and wheat. Seems like a long list....But avoiding these foods will more than likely ensure a happy and calm tummy for your little one.
9. The studio will be warmer than your home is usually so that the baby is comfortable during the session, so please wear light clothes or layers to ensure your comfort.
10. Please have a pacifier handy! Even if you are against pacifiers, or do not plan on using one with your child, I highly recommend having one for the session. It will help soothe the baby when he or she becomes restless, making it much easier to continue or transition from shot to shot.
11. Don’t worry about baby acne or little scratches. All photographs are retouched and edited, this will either eliminate or drastically minimize these. If your baby has extremely dry skin, try putting baby lotion etc. on prior to coming to your session and bringing extra with you. This will help the retouching process.
12. If you are having a boy and are going to circumcise him, it would be best for us to photograph him closer to day 8, allowing it to heal before our session.
What to wear?
For newborn sessions, your clothing can play an important role in how the photos turn out. I always advise clients to wear neutral colors, and fabrics that are either solid in color or with subtle prints. Moms look great in maternity tops or flow-y blouses, and Dad look great in anything from fitted t-shirts to simple button downs with the sleeve's rolled up. Please feel free to bring a few tops with you, we can choose the perfect outfit for your photos at the studio.
Also, I highly recommend that new mommies have some makeup on if you decide to be in pictures at your session. It doesn’t have to be much, blush, lip gloss, and mascara will enhance your new mommy glow.
If you have other children, coordinating, not matching, is great. If you have a theme in mind, using colors that complement each other will look the best.
No matter what your baby does, please know that I am always relaxed. I do this all the time and have seen everything. Your session should be a special experience for you and stress free. Babies can sense stress and it usually makes them cry more. I allow plenty of time for your session and if we need to take a break to feed, walk, rock, etc. we can do that. I want you to enjoy the experience of your session and this special bonding moment for your family.