Here are some tips and reminders to make sure your newborn session is stress free for you, AND your newest little one.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What outfits do I need to bring?
Honestly, you really don’t need to bring anything. All wraps, hats, outfits, and head bands are provided by myself. Most newborn outfits tend to swallow baby and distract from the photograph. Baby will either be tastefully nude, in a diaper, or in an outfit provided by myself. If you would like a unique outfit for the shoot, there are several newborn photography outfits on etsy that will fit the bill quite nicely. I always welcome any outfits, and we will discuss how we can include them in your session when you arrive. Newborn headbands are always welcome and can easily be worked into any session.
Do I need to bring props?
That depends; Do you have any specific interests? Do you or your partner play sports or have any specific hobbies such as music? If so, feel free to bring a prop and I will gladly find a way to work it into the session. The chances are higher of being able to successfully incorporate your own props into the shoot if you let me know ahead of time that you’ll be bringing something.
Example include: Guitars, baseball gloves, jerseys or helmets of a favorite baseball/football team, footballs, nascar items, job specific items (such as a fireman’s helmet, policeman’s hat, badge, etc,) and handmade items such as crocheted/knit blankets or hats, or an item from baby’s nursery (stuffed animal, knick-knacks).
I aim to make each session unique to your and your new baby. So, I don’t consider anything off limits or out-of-the-ordinary. As long as it can be safely incorporated into your session!
What does baby need to wear to the session?
Put your child in as little clothing as possible, babies hate to be undressed, and I like to start the session with a happy baby! Avoid anything that marks (socks, shoes, tight diapers, or tight hats.) I usually suggest putting baby in a onsie, and if the weather is cool, simply snuggle the baby in blankets in the car seat to keep him/her comfortable and warm! This is generally sufficient for the short trip from the car to the studio.
What/When do I feed the baby?
This can vary on if you are nursing or not.
If you are nursing-try to time your feeding to where you will feed baby as soon as you arrive to the studio, or if it’s a home session, right before or as soon as I arrive to your home. Nursing mothers should avoid spicy foods and any foods high in fiber such as beans, broccoli or acidic foods that can cause tummy upset. You should be prepared to feed baby a little more often during the session, as this is generally a trick we use to get baby to sleep soundly!!
Formula fed babies are the same, without food restrictions for Mom, obviously. Be prepared to feed baby as soon as you arrive to the studio. You may also need to feed baby more often (although smaller amounts) because a full baby is a happy, sleepy baby!
What if they won’t sleep?
Then we will get images of them awake. There are always ways 🙂 As long as baby is happy and not in full meltdown mode, we will keep shooting. Otherwise, we can reschedule.
I always prep my parents to not expect anything in particular. We will attempt for the sleepy, posed shots; however, not all babies are up for this. The images will be beautiful no matter what.
Any other tips?
I always encourage my parents to arrive about 5-10 minutes earlier than their scheduled time, this allows us time to complete the necessary paperwork that unfortunately is part of the process, and for me to get to know you and your new little one! It also gives me a chance to discuss outfits, and let you choose your “must haves” from the set-ups I have prepared. I will usually have 4-5 different props/setups in place for your baby. We will generally in a typical session, use 3 of these. In a perfect session we will use them all. This isn’t really up to us, it’s up to your newborn, we work on their terms!
Newborn sessions are scheduled for 2 hours, I reserve a 3 hour window and 50% of the time the extra hour isn’t needed. Worst case scenario, if your little one isn’t “having it” that day and just doesn’t want to have pictures taken, we will reschedule at another time at no additional cost to you. As mentioned before, we work on their terms!
Also, I encourage my parents to bring a pacifier, even if baby isn’t taking one. Even breastfed babies can be soothed during the session with a pacifier which makes for a quicker workflow and a smoother session. Typically, by the time a nursing baby is scheduled for a newborn session, they have established a good latch and nursing pattern, so nipple confusion is not of big concern, especially when only used for a short period. This, however, is up to you Mom! I will never try to pressure you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable concerning care of your infant. So, if use of a pacifier is something you are strictly against, then we won’t even attempt it!
I also always encourage at least two people (either both parents, or the mother and a grandparent) to come along to the session, especially if siblings will be present. I sometimes need assistance to ensure adequate safety is in place (such as spotting when baby is placed on a posing beanbag) and I need whoever is assisting me to be completely undistracted. Also, nursing mothers, your baby can smell you and having you nearby may lead to restlessness and the want to nurse by your little one. So having someone else there can be helpful.
Those are my most frequently asked questions regarding a newborn session. If you have any others than I haven’t covered here, always feel free to ask me! You can message me on facebook through my business page at any time, text, call, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a wonderful blessed day!!