Newborn Session Prep Guide!!
The first few days of a baby’s life are so magical and incredible! Being able to freeze those moments for you is such an honor! ♥ We thought it might be helpful to write down how parents play a important role to a successful, pleasant and enjoyable experience for the successful newborn shoot.
So…. let's get started!
Let’s Pencil You In!
I highly recommend booking your newborn session as early as three months prior to your approximate delivery date. That gives me enough time fully customize a newborn session just for you! If anything else is needed such as a coordinating headband or matching outfit, I will have enough time to research and purchase any additional items needed.
Yay!! We know you are just excited as we are to capture those little tiny fingers and toes while it last! Once you and baby have been giving the green light to go home, please contact us right away to schedule a definite date and time for your babies newborn session. Sessions are typically scheduled 2 to 4 days, following your release.
When scheduling the session the earlier the better. Newborns much younger tend to do very well in the studio, oppose to a baby that is 10-14 days old. They tend not to wake up frequently and as easily when getting them posed for the scene. A mere 48 hours in a newborn's life is very crucial when preparing them for their session. We have witnessed many, many times after the 10 day mark, newborns have discovered the art of stretching! Once that happens…they won’t let us curl them up in the cute little newborn poses, without a fight!
Still need to come in after the 10-14 day mark? No worries!!
On the Day of the Session:
If you are okay with baby using one, bring a pacifier, even if baby doesn’t seem to take to it. Sucking is a soothing mechanism & can really help with settling baby once we have them in place for photos, even if we have to hold the pacifier for a bit to help.
When baby needs a break, we’ll take a break. Don’t stress if baby gets fussy. If baby needs to stop to eat or have their diaper changed, we most definitely will. Most babies need to eat at least once during their session. It’s hard work looking that cute.
Location, Location, Location!
Newborn sessions take place in our studio in West Seneca NY. It’s a custom design private studio which holds everything needed for your bundle of joy! We also can accommodate at home sessions.
Babies do very well in the studio for posing when they are in a very deep sleep. To encourage this we highly recommend, stimulating the baby at least two hours before your scheduled arrival, a warm bath always does the trick. This also means keeping them awake during the car ride here and refrain from feeding 2 hours before arrival as well.
As mentioned we’ve seen it all, unfortunately their have been a few moms that will say,” my baby sleeps through anything”. Well come to find out in a very unfortunate way, no they actually don’t.
Once you arrive you will feed your baby right away, once burped, we will then start preparing him/her for their session, meaning any and all clothing must be taken off, except for the diaper. As you might know babies don’t like the feeling of being naked, they want to be warm and completely snuggled (although we will have a small heater in place to keep them warm) still, they are naked. That alone completely startles and wakes up a baby faster than anyone expected and because of that, they are now fully awake. Some babies fall into a deep sleep once picked up, wrap in a small blanket and soothed for about 15 minutes and then there are the babies that have been asleep for 3+ hours before arriving and are now refusing to go to sleep. Ahhhh, gotta love being a newborn..lol!♥
From experience, babies that have been asleep prior to arrival are unfortunately the babies that are more difficult to pose because as soon as the blanket comes off, they get startled again and it’s back to trying to put them to sleep. That alone can take up to an hour, if not more and unfortunately does count against your session time.
Keeping in mind these two instructions will most certainly give you a well rested baby. In return we’ll be able to maximize the time you have in the studio with plenty of scenes and photos so for that reason please do not underestimate and risk how well your baby sleeps after a feeding. We need your bundle of joy to be very exhausted, tired and a bit hungry. We know it will be hard, atop of your own sleep deprivation but we promise you, it will be well worth the effort!! ♥
We highly recommend if you’re solely breastfeeding to pump and bottle feed your milk for your babies session. We’ve had mom’s that breastfeed for up to an hour and unfortunately that does delay the session quite a bit and does count against your allotted time coverage as well. If you don’t pump, our only alternative is to formula feed just for this session only. As an Uncle to 8, we’ve realized breastmilk doesn’t keep babies fuller longer so choosing to formula feed for the session, will not only be a little easier for you but it will keep them asleep longer during the handling and posing for a scene. Moms, please just be advise, it’s just a recommendation so if you choose to do neither, it's completely okay. As a newborn photographer, we just feel it’s our duty to offer any advice or tips that you as a parent can use to maximize the time we have in the studio and in return you’ll be able to showcase and display more than the average number of baby photos! ♥
That we have been called many times…lol but no worries, it happens! This is completely natural for babies to use blankets or props as there own personal potty. Please don’t feel embarrassed, we reassure you it happens more times that we can remember. Have a concern about sanitation? Don’t worry we wash all used props and blankets after each newborn session with non-scented detergent.
Please do whatever you can to keep the noise to a minimum during our session. Maintaining a calm environment is also a big key to a successful newborn shoot. We do have a white noise app that we will keep close to baby during the session to help soothe him or her. Babies love strong and rhythmic sound. Amazingly, that’s the sound the heard 24/7 in the uterus!
Safety is our utmost number one top priority when handling your baby, so either mom or dad will be our spotter/assistant. All eyes and hands are to be kept around baby during posing. During the session we will be handling and posing baby, but don’t worry we have plenty of experience handling a newborn. We will hold and care for him or her as if they were our own, we promise!
We know this can be a very exciting and stressful time for you, especially when adding sleep deprivation in the mix! As much as our goal is for baby to be comfortable, we also want you to be comfortable and at ease! Having us photograph this precious moments for you, means a lot to us so anything we can do to make it a smooth journey for you, please don’t hesitate to let us know!
Including older brother/sister(s) in your newborn’s portrait is the perfect way to document this fleeting time in your lives.
Clean, clean, clean- clean nails, clean hair, clean feet, fresh scrub teeth, and wipe away eye boogers and snotty noses. The cleaner the child, the better their photos will turn out. If your child is still of napping age, make sure they nap before the shoot.
It is perfectly okay to bring bribes to a photo-shoot–some cereal, snacks or candies that won’t stain their teeth. Avoid colorful drinks or lollipops within 24 hours of your shoot. Do not let them eat or drink anything will stain their cheeks, mouths or teeth.
Due to the duration of the newborn session, I recommend bringing young children into the studio either in the beginning of the session for about 30 minutes.
Please arrange for childcare for them when they are not being photographed. Because young children do not have long attention spans, they may not do well in unfamiliar places and will disrupt the environment in the studio necessary for newborn photography.
What to Wear:
There is no need to bring anything for baby to wear. We provide all the wraps, headbands, hats, clothes & props. Unless there is something special you want to bring for your newborn’s photos, don’t worry about outfits. If there is something special you want to bring, be sure to let us know so we can work a set around it.
Go simple for family’s wardrobe. When planning your outfits for the family & sibling shots, stick with soft, neutral colors like grey or cream as the dominant colors. This keeps the focus on baby and the family connection. Avoid neon colors. Vibrant, neon colors cast onto skin changing the color and tint of your skin.
For siblings, we recommend a classic, timeless outfit. Steer clear of logos and shirts with writing. Those can be distracting in photos as the eye immediately goes to the words or picture on the shirt instead of the sweet sibling moment.
We are more than happy to help! If you have any questions or want some inspiration for wardrobe or other help, please shoot us an email or text.
Sit back & enjoy the session. Not to sound super cheesy, but it’s true — this time is so fleeting, take it in! We want you to have fun watching your new little one’s first photo session. It’s going to be fantastic! We can’t wait!