The information I give my clients ahead of time says “Even if your baby has just finished eating, almost all of the babies want just a little bit more after being moved to help them fall deeply asleep. If you have your heart set on sleeping baby portraits, this is one of the most important things.”
PATIENCE Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. The key to getting good images is to be patient. Relax and try to enjoy the quiet while I work.
PROPS AND BACKDROPS I have a great selection of props, hats, headbands, bowties, blankets, baskets and backdrops to choose from. Please be sure to discuss your desires with me before the session and let me know of any special items of your own that you would like to use.
HUNGRY BABY Getting baby into that Milk Drunk state is what we shoot for so try to wait to feed your baby until right before we start. Of course, we’ll take plenty of breaks for messes, feeding and cuddling.
We recommend that you schedule your newborn session PRIOR to your baby’s birth to ensure we will have a date open for you. Contact us during your second trimester and we’ll pencil you in for a date range around your due date. We ask that you call or email us as soon as you can after your baby is born to set up your session time.
LOOSEN BABY’S CLOTHES Please loosen up your baby’s clothing and diaper at least 30 minute prior to our session. This gives time for those little imprint marks and redness to disappear. Your baby will be naked for most of the session so we want his or her skin to be its natural, flawless self.
1. Spend some time with mom. I like to check in throughout the pregnancy to see how everything is going, especially around the due date. This way when I ask about things like circumcision and doctor appointments right after the baby is born, we’ve already established a relationship.
When I arrive I ask mom to wrap the baby in a blanket with just the diaper on and feed while I set up. This way I don’t have to undress the baby once they’ve fallen asleep.
Including your clients in the planning will hopefully make your sessions flow smoother. Posing newborns takes a ton of time and patience, so I’m always looking for ways to make my job just a tiny bit easier!
Learn the EXACT techniques that I use everyday to photograph my kids. Stop feeling frustrated with your DSLR. Let me help you with this FREE webclass.
POO IS AlRIGHT! I expect your baby to poop and pee all over the blankets and props. It happens! I wash everything after each session I do, so don’t worry about it. If you have any extra wipes or towels handy, bring them out for the session. I will always have some clean up items on hand too so don’t stress.
2. Make sure the parents know exactly what to expect during the session. Imagine if they didn’t realize posed newborn sessions can take about 3 hours? That’s a lot of time to be invading their space if you’re on-location like I am. Walk them through everything that is going to happen, especially if there are older siblings they are worried about. I always do sibling images first, but be aware of scheduling your session around nap time!
This brings me to the first decision the parents help you make: when to do the session. I try to get all my sessions scheduled within the first two weeks, but this doesn’t give you a lot of time to work with!
4. Tell your clients what they can do to make the session a success. In the winter, I ask them to turn up the heat and in the summer, the air conditioning off in the morning before I arrive. As soon as I’m done with the posed part of the session, they can adjust their thermostat comfortably!
FAQ’s and Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Newborn Photography Session
Have you ever put your family in front of the camera? It’s an incredibly nerve racking experience! You’re a bundle of nerves ahead of time… what if everyone misbehaves, no one smiles, our outfits look ridiculous, I look terrible… and so on. Now factor in a new mom who hasn’t gotten a good nights sleep in probably a month. Being nervous before your own session can make you feel helpless. You can help your clients ease a little bit of stress by taking the time to prepare them. Let them help you, give them a job to do, it will make them feel less helpless and give them something to focus on before the session.
WHERE DO WE SHOOT? Newborn sessions take place in the studio at 1022 Maine Ave., Suite #5, Durango, CO. I can also provide an in home newborn session for additional costs. I am located through the door just to the right of Carver Brewing CO, upstairs and on the left. I can also come to your house for a home session. Contact me for details.
3. Discuss the wardrobe. One of the best things about going on-location is how easy wardrobe decisions are. I ask mom to lay out a few choices before I arrive and we discuss what works and why when I arrive. If you’re incorporating the home and nursery, choose an outfit that compliments their decor. If you’re going for traditional portraits against a solid background, you’ll want something simple so nothing distracts you from your subjects.
WHEN DO WE SHOOT? Newborn sessions must be scheduled within the first 14 days of life. However, the BEST time is between 5-14 days after their arrival. In order to get those adorable, sleepy images we all desire, it’s best to do the session while your baby is still unaware and tired from birth. Plus, babies just tend to do a lot better with the session within their first 7 days. Around 8 days old, babies figure out that they can streeeeetch out and it’s more difficult to get them into those scrunchy newborn poses. After day 14, it’s almost impossible to get baby into that deep sleep that came so easily in their first few days. And, keep in mind that newborn acne (and sometimes colic) is likely to flare up after day 14. While I can edit problem areas, I prefer to do as little retouching as possible to baby’s skin.
HEAT I will have the room in the studio heated to a warmer than normal temperature so be sure to wear something light and comfortable and be prepared to sweat a little. Newborns cannot regulate their body temperature therefore we heat up the studio so your baby can be comfortable when we remove his or her clothing.
The most important thing a mom can do to ensure a successful session is be flexible with feedings. This can definitely be a touchy subject as some moms are adamant about sticking to a schedule or monitoring ounces. Push this one as far as you comfortably can. I can overcome just about anything during a session… except a hungry baby!
PACIFIERS If you can bring a pacifier for your baby, even if only for the session, this will make the work much easier. Baby’s often love to suck and it helps soothe them into the poses we are looking for and makes for easier transitions and getting them to sleep. If your baby won’t take a pacifier or you do no feel comfortable offering one, don’t worry. I can work with whatever is right for you and your family.
If mom is nursing, you might want to do it in the second week to make sure her milk has come in. Find out when they have scheduled their pediatrician appointments for so the baby isn’t getting shots an hour before your session. Last, but not least, give the baby at least 3 days to heal from a circumcision.
If you plan on having some sibling images done, we’ll do those first and then the older kids we be able to leave with Grandma, Dad or whoever can watch them. Neutral, earthy tones are best for clothing and jeans with solid color shirts are preferred.
Cuddling, posing, and capturing newborns is the best part of the job, right? But taking the time to prepare and educate your clients on newborn photography can make the actual session easier! You have to find the right balance between wanting your clients to sit back and relax by taking care of everything and allowing your clients to help prepare for the session.
SLEEPY BABY All of those classic, sleepy newborn images we like to capture, require your baby to be in his or her deepest sleep. It may sounds counterintuitive, but try keeping your baby awake 30 minutes to an hour just before our session time. Don’t stress if you cannot do this! It’s simply a suggestion but baby’s have their own ideas of when they want to sleep and that’s ok too.