Tips for a Successful Newborn Photography Session
1. Schedule a meeting with me ahead of your baby’s birth
An in-person appointment will give you an opportunity to get familiar with my studio, props, and outfits. This first meeting is the perfect time to share your ideas for the session, discuss favorite colors and styles, and make any special requests.
Our appointment will also help us to get to know each other. It’s important for us to be comfortable working together: the average newborn session is about 3 hours long, and I will be holding, changing, and posing your baby throughout this whole time!
2. Schedule an approximate date for your session
Unless you’re planning a scheduled C-section, it's difficult to predict your baby's arrival. However, it still helps to have an approximate session date in mind. Knowing your preferred date ahead of time helps me accommodate your needs. Ideally, you should schedule your newborn session when your baby is younger than 2 weeks old.
I will check in with you when your session date is approaching, giving you an opportunity to reschedule if baby arrives later.
3. Fill out my pre-session questionnaire
The pre-session questionnaire helps me make sure you’re 100% satisfied with your experience. Please be sure to let me know if you’ll be bringing something to the shoot (e.g. a special family heirloom or a favorite outfit.) And don’t be shy about sharing your ideas - I am always happy to try something new. It's your baby and I want you to love every single photo!
Preparing for Your Session
4. Let me know when your baby is born
If at all possible, please update me within 48 hours of your baby's birth to give us sufficient time to confirm (or change) the session date.
5. Be careful with feedings for 24 hours before the session
If you’re using formula, don’t switch to a new type or brand in the 24 hours before your session, unless you have a medical reason to do so.
If you’re nursing, please try to avoid these foods to minimize fussiness and gas:
● Spices (cinnamon, garlic, curry, chili pepper)
● Citrus fruits and their juices (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, etc)
● “Gassy" veggies (onion, cabbage, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, and peppers)
● Fruits with a laxative effect, such as cherries and prunes
6. Feed and burp your baby just before you leave for the studio
A full tummy makes baby sleepy, which helps me take beautiful newborn photos!
7. Dress your baby in easy-to-take-off outfits
When you arrive, I will remove your little one from the carseat, change him/her, and start posing and shooting right away. A one-piece outfit with a zipper or buttons will make this process much easier.
Do not put socks on your baby - they leave marks on the skin that will be visible in photos. Also avoid onesies - they are difficult to take off without waking the baby up.
At the Studio
8. Be ready for a last-minute consultation to run through the plan for the session
At the beginning of your session, we will briefly discuss outfits and colors again. I will show you my ideas for poses and setups. You are welcome to choose your favorite baskets, props, and blankets.
9. We will work together to keep baby comfortable throughout the session
To keep my littlest clients happy, I have a white noise machine running in the studio and keep the studio temperature at 85 o F.
I’ve also found that pacifiers are lifesavers during sessions, even if you don’t use them at home yet. Pacifiers help keep babies calm when I move them from pose to pose or change their outfits. If you have a pacifier, please don’t forget to bring it with you!
During the session baby might become fussy; if this happens, I may ask you to feed her. If baby is on formula, I will feed her. This is standard practice among newborn photographers: it helps us make sure baby stays sleepy throughout the session rather than perking up in your arms! You will be by my side watching me the entire time.
10. Be ready to start the session with family photos
If siblings and parents are participating in the shoot, we will photograph the children first, then the whole family.
After family photos are done, it is best for one parent to take older children to the nearest cafe or playground instead of keeping them in the warm studio for hours. I would be happy to recommend kid-friendly places near my studio - just ask!
11. Don’t worry about accidents
Babies cry, pee, poop, and spit. This is all totally normal. Don't worry about my outfits or blankets! I will wash everything after the session. I also sterilize and clean the room after each baby.
12. Help me maintain a quiet, calm environment
You’ll find that I don't talk much during newborn sessions. I want to keep a positive, calm energy in the studio and I encourage parents to do the same. Please keep your phone on silent, make any phone calls outside the studio, and, most importantly, relax! Remember, your baby can feel your mood.
13. Help with posing as needed
It is essential to have a spotter for some poses. If my assistant is not available, I may ask you for a little help.
14. Please leave your cameras at home
I know how hard it is not to share the cuteness with your friends and relatives, but I kindly request that you do not take photos of your baby during the session. You’ve entrusted me to capture these once-in-a-lifetime moments, so please let me be the one taking the photographs!
One exception: I love behind the scenes photos of me with your baby, especially if you give me credit on social media!
15. Be patient
Sessions usually last 2-3 hours, so be patient, relax, and enjoy this special experience with your newborn. In just a few weeks, your baby will seem like a whole different person, so savor these moments!
After the Session
16. Schedule a post-session appointment
Don’t forget to schedule a time to come into the studio after your session. At the post-session appointment, you’ll have a chance to look through your photo gallery and choose your favorites.
Your unedited photos will be available to review one week after your session. (I will edit just a few photos as samples). After you choose your favorites and place your order, I will artistically edit each of your selected photos. I will also edit out all flakes and acne from baby's skin and ensure that the skin color looks even (unless you request otherwise).