The days after having your newborn are such a whirlwind. You spend so much time sleeping and feeding, changing diapers and cuddling your sweet new baby. You will definitely want to remember how tiny and sweet and squishy your baby was. As your photographer, we want to make sure you have portraits that last from generation to generation. Here are a few tips to help make your newborn portrait session go as smooth as possible.
As your photographer, I want to make sure you get all of those cute curled up, sleepy newborn poses. This is why we recommend that you schedule your newborn session PRIOR to your baby’s birth to ensure a spot on our calendar. Contact us during your second trimester and we’ll pencil you in. Then, once your baby is born you can call, text, or even send us an email deliver so we can arrange a time for the session. The best time to photograph your newborn is in the first fourteen days of life. During this time they sleep more soundly and curl up more easily into adorable poses. For babies that are born early and spend time in the hospital I try to get them into the studio within the first seven days of them being sent home.
Most of the images we’ll be shooting work best if the baby is in a deep sleep. I always ask that parents try to keep their baby awake for 1-2 hours prior to their newborn portrait session. This will make your photographers job a lot easier. A good way to have them do this is by giving their baby a bath. This is a great way for the babies to exercise their lungs a bit before coming and tire themselves out a bit. It also helps any hair they may have to be nice and fluffy.
Your photographer will ask that you loosen your newborn's clothing and diaper 30 minutes prior to their portrait session. This gives the imprint marks caused by diapers and elastic to fade. Your newborn will be naked for most of his or her session, but we will be sure to make sure all of their baby bits are covered.
A full baby is a happy baby. I have the parents feed their baby first prior to beginning the session. If the baby is happy when they arrive then I start with the family images and then have them feed their baby while I am setting up the beanbag. I also stop anytime during the session to let baby eat some more. Babies with a full belly will sleep much more soundly, which helps your photographer get those sweet sleepy portraits.
Please do whatever you can to keep the noise level down during our session. If you have other children that might create noise, try to find a sitter or family member to take them for a few hours. We’ll provide white noise, but it doesn’t always block out tantrums and playtime.
If you have children and would like them to be included in some photos, we recommend photographing them in at the beginning of your newborn portrait session and then having someone take them. Only those being photographed should be present to help maintain a calm environment
Babies are very perceptive and can pick up on our energy. If you are nervous your baby will sense that and will not settle easily. We’re pretty comfortable holding and posing newborns so your baby is in safe hands, we promise! Feel free to rest and leave the room for a bit if you’d like. Use this time to take a nap, read a book, or just relax and watch us work. If we have a question or need you for feeding, we’ll come and track you down. Although you may feel the need to hover over your newborn, your smell is so recognizable to your baby that he or she may not settle as easily which make your photographers job more difficult.
Don't worry if your newborn seems fussy during his or her portrait session. We allow plenty of time for our sessions and never rush or stress over a fussy baby. In fact, often times, up to half the time is spent feeding, changing, and cuddling your sweet new baby. We work on baby time....not our time.
So sit back and enjoy! We know you are going to love looking back at your newborn's portraits for years to come.