Tips for a Successful Newborn Photoshoot
We recommend that you schedule your newborn session PRIOR to your birth to ensure a spot on our calendar. Contact us in your second trimester and we’ll pencil you in. Then shoot us an email soon after you deliver so we can arrange a time for the session.
Newborn sessions MUST be scheduled within the first 14 days of life. However, the BEST time is between 3-7 days after their arrival. We’ll be moving them around and scrunching them into those sweet sleepy newborn images, so we want to make sure they’re sleepy enough to allow us to handle them. Plus, babies tend to do a lot better with the session within their first 7 days. Somewhere around day 8 they discover the joy that is stretching! Once that happens…they’re not about to let us get them into those curly poses without a fight! After day 14, it’s almost impossible to get baby into that deep sleep that came so easily in their first few days…so it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to get them into any of the more bendy newborn poses. And, keep in mind that newborn acne (and sometimes colic) is likely to flare up after day 14. While we can easily edit problem areas, we prefer to do as little retouching as possible to baby’s skin.
Turn up the Heat
Please be aware that we’ll have the heat in the photo area turned up to a toasty 85 degrees. Newborns are used to being all bundled up, warm and cozy…and then we come in and yank off all their clothes for those adorable naked baby shots. They tend not to like that too much! Pushing up the thermostat is guaranteed to make the session flow more smoothly and help them sleep better. We may be sweating, but baby will be nice and warm…and that’s really all that matters!
Most of the images we’ll be shooting work best if the baby is nice and exhausted. Keeping your little one awake on top of your own sleep deprivation might feel like torture, but we think it will be worth it in the end.
A well fed baby is a happy baby! Please feed and burp baby right before our session to ensure a happy, sleepy (“milk drunk”) baby. We’ll also be more than happy to take as many breaks as needed to help him/her re-fuel. It’s tough work being a model!
While we’ll have the white noise machine playing, we need to do what we can to keep the noise level at a minimum during our session. If you have children and would like them to be included in some photos, we recommend bringing them in at the beginning or end of a session and then having someone take them. Only those being photographed should be present to help maintain a calm environment.
Patience is Key
Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. It all depends on baby’s mood and willingness to sleep. Unfortunately, this isn’t something we can predict! We ask that everyone remain calm, should he/she not want to sleep, since your baby will pick up on any frustration in the room. And if sleep doesn’t happen, that’s okay! Wide-eyed newborn photos are beautiful too!
Let me say it again: Relaxxx! We’re pretty comfortable holding and posing newborns. (Camille has several years experience working in the NICU.) Your baby is in safe hands, we promise! So yes, feel free to rest during the session.
In Case you Missed that: Relax!
Moms tend to stress out because this is a new experience…and they aren’t used to the waiting game that is Newborn Photography. They see their baby being fussy or having a difficult time getting settled and panic.“This is a disaster! They aren’t going to get ANY good photos!” It isn’t and we will!! We take the baby’s lead: getting them to sleep before posing takes time and they may need to be fed or cuddled a few times first. In fact, we’d say that a good 50% of your session will involve feeding, diaper changes, and cuddling to get baby comfortable. If that doesn’t work, we’ll take a break or we’ll work with what baby is giving us. Sometimes the best photos happen when baby isn’t doing what we want. Just remember, babies can sense stress and anxiety (especially from their mommy’s!) It’s super important that EVERYONE remain calm and relaxed during the session. Keeping the environment as mellow as possible is pretty much the only way we’re going to get the shots we’re looking for.
Your baby is going to be in the buff for the majority of this shoot. Please don’t panic if your baby decides to use our blankets (or us) as his/her own personal potty.This is natural and we expect it! Please don’t feel embarrassed or worry when this happens, because they all do it. We wash all of our baby props and blankets between each session. If you’d like shots in a diaper, it’s a good idea to have a cloth diaper, diaper cover in a solid color, bloomers, or something to put over the diaper. Diapers on their own tend to look messy and distracting in photos, but throwing a cover over it cleans things up.
We have a collection of baskets, blankets, knit hats and headbands that we can use during your session. You are also, of course, welcome to use any of your own props. Look for items with texture and color to help make your images unique. If you have any family heirlooms, toys, hats, props, etc. that you would like us to use in your session, please bring them. We may not get a chance to use ALL of the items, but we’ll look through them with you to determine what will work best. We also STRONGLY recommend that you discuss any ideas, props or poses you have in mind at least a week prior to your session. We start planning out your session weeks in advance, so dropping a huge idea on us mid-session (that requires an unavailable prop) can cause stress on everyone! So talk to us early on and let us know what you have in mind!
The Nose Knows
As a mother, your smell is so recognizable to your baby, that it may be necessary for mom to step out of the room for a portion of the session. This is not meant to hurt your feelings, only to allow us to help get the baby thinking sweet, sleepy thoughts…instead of “where’s my milk?!”
Your baby’s safety comes first! If there is ever a point where you become comfortable, just let us know! We take every measure to ensure that your baby is never in any danger. For that reason, we will always make sure that a parent or assistant is nearby to lend support if needed.
Did we miss anything? Have a more specific question? We’re more than happy to help in any way we can.