Prepping for a Successful Newborn Session
WHEN TO PHOTOGRAPH:
Newborn sessions are recommended to be done before 2 weeks of age, preferably between 6-10 days. This is necessary because they are still in that sleepy and curly stage. After two weeks of age, they tend to be disturbed more easily while sleeping and it is not as easy to get the true newborn poses and look. After this stage, they may become colicky, acne may flare, more alert and tend to be more comfortable being stretched out
STEPS FOR SUCCESS:
1. If nursing, try to avoid eating anything spicy or anything that will cause gas and might upset baby's tummy for 24 hours preceding your scheduled session. A gassy baby will not pose well during their session to their bellies being upset.
2. Interact with and keep baby awake for as long as possible prior to the session. This will ensure your baby is sleepy for the session. This is very important. If this is not done, we spend a lot of time trying to get them to sleep and that will cut into the photography time. Stimulating baby with a bath or by doing "nakey time" prior to the session are some tricks to keep baby awake.
3. Full bellies result in sleepy babies! Please feed baby just before you leave for the studio. If the baby is awake when you arrive, I will do everything possible to get your baby back to sleep. If baby is bottle feeding, please bring extra bottles and milk. If breast feeding, and you feel comfortable, please pump and bring an extra bottle. I will use these bottles to help sooth and get baby to sleep. Baby should be fed as much as possible in the 12 hours prior to session time. This will allow for baby to sleep as deeply and as long as possible. This step is essential. We need a very sleepy and calm baby in order to achieve the sweet, flexible poses you see in my portfolio. I may ask you to ignore a strict feeding schedule for the 2-3 hours at the session. The only way to achieve calm, flexible poses is if baby is full and sleeping. This will also eliminate worries on your behalf that baby isn't sleeping and we are missing out on some cute poses.
4. Dress baby in loose fitting clothes to avoid any lines on baby's skin and to also avoid disturbing baby when getting undressed. A simple sleeper is best. Please avoid onesies or anything that has to be pulled off over baby's head. A lot of photos of your newborn will be in their birthday suit, but there will never be bits that are exposed in the photos. Clothes tend to be bulky and awkward if they are not custom made for newborns (I have plenty of newborn clothes to choose from that will fit if you rather not have birthday suit photos).
5. BRING A PACIFIER! I cannot express how important this is. Even if your baby doesn't take a pacifier for you, I will need it to sooth the baby's natural sucking. They tend to want to suck more while being formed into positions so they can sooth themselves. A pacifier can make or break a session.
6. The studio will be kept at around 80+ degrees to keep your baby warm while being photographed. I recommend dressing in layers if you get warm.
7. When you arrive, please leave baby in the car seat and I will remove your baby very slowly to avoid disturbing them as much as possible.
8. During the session, please sit back and relax! I won't need much assistance, so take advantage of this time to rest and relax!
Parent portraits with their new baby are done at the very end of the session. A white/cream short sleeve shirt is suggested for Dads and white/cream tank or blouse top is suggested for Moms. Dads may choose to remove their shirts for more artistic shots and very tender images. Moms, you may not feel like yourself right after giving birth, but I strongly encourage you to have a portrait taken with your new baby while they are still so fresh and new. The best image that your child will have to cherish as they get older is seeing their mother holding them close to her heart as a newborn. I will shoot in flattering angles.
If older siblings will be photographed with your baby, we will do these shots first. Cream, ivory or white (no patterns or logos please) tops with jeans is recommended for the siblings. They will be barefoot, so no need to look for clean shoes. Important note: because the session does take a few hours, I highly recommend that your spouse/partner take the siblings home or out for something to do while we finish up with the individual newborn shots. You will call your spouse/partner back when it's closer to family shots.
I supply all of the backdrops, props, hats, headbands, custom newborn clothing and wraps for the session. My style is simple photos that focus on the baby. The more props or themes that you have in a shot, your baby may get 'lost' in the image. I am always open to new ideas and if you see a photo that I have done or have seen on Pinterest that you like, let me know ahead of time so I can make plans. Please understand that every pose I do depends on how well baby cooperates and how safe the pose is for your little one. I will not use anything that will harm, irritate or look awkward. For this, I cannot guarantee any pose. Some of the photos that I create are composites (multiple photos into one) and baby is never in a dangerous or unsafe position.
NOTES TO CONSIDER:
I spend a lot of time getting every little finger and toe positioned perfectly when photographing your baby. It is important to me for your baby to look comfortable and peaceful in the photographs for each image to be a piece of art. I have a lot of experience and patience with newborns (I have photographed hundreds of babies) and have a grand daughter of my own :) Be prepared to spend 2-4 hours at my studio. I am a perfectionist and I want to capture your baby in ever way that I can (it is not unusual to spend up to 20 minutes working to perfect one pose). One last thing, don't freak out when baby decides to pee, poop and/or puke on me OR even yourselves! It happens daily to me, and I'm sure this wont be the last time your baby will do it to you :)