Preparing For A Newborn Photo Shoot

newborn photography Preparing For A Newborn Photo Shoot

newborn photography Preparing For A Newborn Photo Shoot

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Did we miss anything? Have a more specific question? We’re more than happy to help in any way we can so just shoot us an email: [email protected] or give us a call: 910-502-0860

LET’S PENCIL YOU IN! 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, shoot us an email soon after you deliver so we can arrange a time for the session. (And we always feel super special when dad’s put us on the official “baby is here!” call list!  Just sayin’…)  BIRTH DAY! Newborn sessions MUST be scheduled within the first 14 days of life.

However, the BEST time is between 3-7 days after their arrival. We’ll be moving them around and scrunching them into those sweet sleepy newborn images, so we want to make sure they’re sleepy enough to allow us to handle them.

Plus, babies just tend to do a lot better with the session within their first 7 days. Somewhere around day 8 they discover the joy that is stretching! Once that happens…they’re not about to let us get them into those curly poses without a fight! After day 14, it’s almost impossible to get baby into that deep sleep that came so easily in their first few days…so it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to get them into any of the more bendy newborn poses.

And, keep in mind that newborn acne (and sometimes colic) is likely to flare up after day 14. While we can easily edit problem areas, we prefer to do as little retouching as possible to baby’s skin.

 WHERE? The majority of our newborn sessions take place in your home. If the weather is warm enough and you’re comfortable with the idea, we can take the session outdoors. (Baby being all pose-y and cute in a big, open field or at the base of an old tree? SWOON!) Worried because your house is a mess? Don’t even stress out! You just had a BABY! If you didn’t have dishes piled in the sink, dirty clothes and baby items strewn all about, we’d think you were weird.

Clutter is definitely expected! We’ve shot in-home sessions in the middle of moving in/renovating and in some very tiny spaces…and rocked them! We really don’t need much space and can shoot around any problem areas.

We’ll also probably be moving furniture around if we need to make room for ourselves, but don’t worry – we’ll put it all back when we’re through! LOVELY LIGHT! We ask that you open all of the blinds and curtains in your home prior to our arrival.

This enables us to find the best source of natural light in your home, so that we can set up our “mini studio” in the best possible location. Nothing flatters like natural light, so we prefer to use it whenever possible.

For this reason, sessions are normally done mid-morning to late-afternoon when window lighting is as its best. When we arrive, we’ll walk through your home looking for the best light and that is where we’ll do a majority of the shoot.

Sometimes the best location ends up being a foyer, by the backdoor or kitchen…usually wherever there is a large window. We’ll also bring additional lighting equipment to help out when needed. CRANK THE HEAT! We recommend that you keep your home a bit warmer than normal during the session.

(Like a toasty 80 degrees or so.) Newborns are used to being all bundled up,warm + cozy…and then we come in and yank off all their clothes for those adorable naked baby shots. They tend not to like that too much! Pushing up the thermostat is guaranteed to make the session flow more smoothly and help them sleep better.

We may be sweating, but baby will be nice and warm…and that’s really all that matters! Crank the heat 30 minutes before our session to ensure that it’s warm enough in time for the clothes yanking…and we’ll bring along a space heater to help keep baby in a steady warmth.

Bonus points if you’re willing to make a few back and forth trips to the dryer to keep baby’s blankets warm! They love that!  LOOSEN UP! Please loosen your baby’s diaper and clothing at least 30 minutes before the session.

This gives those little imprint marks time to disappear. (You baby will be naked in most of the shots, but we pose them so that all the “important bits” are not on display.) SLEEPY? Most of the images we’ll be shooting work best if the baby is in a deep sleep.

To encourage this, we recommend that you do whatever it takes to make sure baby is nice and exhausted. Keeping your little one awake on top of your own sleep deprivation might feel like torture, but we think it will be worth it in the end!  HUNGRY? A well fed baby is a happy baby! Please feed and burp baby right before our session to ensure a happy, sleepy (“milk drunk”) baby.

We’ll also be more than happy to take as many breaks as needed to help him/her re-fuel. It’s tough work being a model!  VOLUME CONTROL! Please do whatever you can to keep the noise level to a minimum during our session.

If you have other children that might create noise, try to find a sitter or family member to take them away from the home for a few hours. If you have a noisy pet, you may want to do the same. We’ll bring a white noise machine, 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 bringing them in at the beginning or end of a session and then having someone take them. Only those being photographed should be present to help maintain a calm environment.

 PATIENCE IS KEY! Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. It all depends on baby’s mood and willingness to sleep. Unfortunately…this isn’t something we can predict! We ask that everyone remain calm, should he/she not want to sleep, since your baby will pick up on any frustration in the room.

And if  sleep doesn’t happen, that’s okay! Wide-eyed newborn photos are beautiful too. RELAX! Let me say it again… Relaxxx! We’re pretty comfortable holding and posing newborns. (Ashley has several years of experience working with special needs babies + toddlers and nanny-ing kids of all ages.

) Your baby is in safe hands, we promise! So yes! Feel free to rest and leave the room for a bit if you’d like. We’ve had parents who’ve used this time to take a nap, shower…and even run out for a quick dinner.

All totally acceptable to us! If we have a question or need you for feeding, we’ll come and track you down. IN CASE YOU MISSED THAT: RELAX! Moms tend to stress out because this is a new experience…and they aren’t used to the waiting game that isnewborn photography.

They see their baby being fussy or having a difficult time getting settled and panic. “This is a disaster! They aren’t going to get ANY good photos!” It isn’t, and we will! We take the baby’s lead; getting them to sleep before posing takes time and they may need to be fed or cuddled a few times first.

In fact, we’d say that a good 50% of your session will involve feeding, diaper changes, and cuddling to get baby comfortable. If that doesn’t work, we’ll take a break or we’ll work with what baby is giving us.

Sometimes that best photos happen when baby isn’t doesn’t what we want. Just remember: Babies can sense stress and anxiety (especially from their mommy’s!) It’s super important that EVERYONE remain calm and relaxed during this session.

Keeping the environment as mellow as possible is pretty much the only way we’re going to get the shots we’re looking for. POOP HAPPENS! Your baby is going to be in the buff for the majority of this shoot.

Please don’t panic if your baby decides to use our blankets (or us) as his/her own personal potty. This is natural and we expect it! Please don’t feel embarrassed or worry when this happens, because they all do it.

(Ashley gets peed on at least TWICE at every session.) We wash all of our baby props and blankets between each session with non-scented baby detergent. (This is why we only schedule one newborn session per day!) It would definitely be helpful if you had a stack of old towels, extra wipes and blankets available for when things get messy though.

*If you would like shots in a diaper, it’s a good idea to have a cloth diaper, diaper cover in a solid color, bloomers, or something to put over the diaper. Diapers on their own tend to look a little messy and distracting in photos, but throwing a cover over it cleans things up.

PROPS! We have a collection of bowls, baskets, blankets, knit hats and headbands that we’ll be bringing to your session. You are also, of course, welcome to use any of your own props. Looks for items with texture and color to help make your images unique.

If you have any family heirlooms, toys, hats, props, etc. that you would like me to use in your session, please gather them before we arrive. We may not get the chance to use ALL of the items, but we’ll look through them with you to determine what will work best.

*We also STRONGLY recommend that you discuss any ideas, props or poses you have in mind at least a week prior to your session. We start planning out your session weeks in advance, so dropping a huge idea on us mid-session (that requires an unavailable prop) can cause stress on everyone! So talk to us early on and let us know what you have in mind! THE NOSE KNOWS! As a mother, your smell is so recognizable to your baby, that it may be necessary for mom to step out of the room for a portion of the session.

This is not meant to hurt your feelings, only to allow us to help the get baby thinking sweet, sleepy thoughts…instead of “where’s my milk?!” SPEAK UP! Your baby’s safety comes first! If there is ever a point where you become uncomfortable, just let us know! We take every measure to ensure that your baby is never in any danger.

For that reason, we will always make sure that a parent or assistant is nearby to lend support if needed. BUT WHAT DO *I* WEAR? I know! You just had a baby and aren’t feeling your best. But we think this is the perfect time to pamper yourself! Go have your hair + makeup done (or better yet, have someone come to you!), schedule a massage or have your nails done.

Looking super relaxed and at your best will make you feel more comfortable during the session. This is an exciting time in your life and we want to capture all of that…so take care of yourself first! And feel free to tell your husbands that we’re making you if they need a little convincing! As far as clothing? Keep it simple.

Throw in a little color if you’d like, but skip the busy patterns. (And please don’t feel the need to match everyone in white shirts and jeans – there’s simple…and then there’s boring!) For moms, we suggest cotton knit camis and knit tops.

We’re also big fans of skin-on-skin portraits with you holding your baby against you. They’re so simple + timeless! So if you want some portraits like this with your newborn, consider a strapless top or tank as an alternative.

FOR THE MEN. Your hands, and possibly even your feet, will play a major role in this session, so it’s important that you tend to them too! Even if you aren’t planning on participating much in the session, you’ll still be handling your baby a bit, so it’s a good idea to touch up on your grooming.

Trim and tidy your nails and apply lotion to any dry skin. (It also never hurts to dab a little moisturizer on your face to help you look more refreshed. Those late nights can take a toll on your skin!) A little clothing advice? Long or short sleeved knits are best.

 (Make sure there isn’t too much bagginess in the sleeve.) Undershirts also work well. We suggest you NOT wear button down shorts, and make sure your t-shirts are free of logos or too much writing.

*Wrinkles do show up in photos, so please make sure all clothing is ironed or steamed. The retouching involved is extensive and will incur an extra fee. MAKE THE BED! Is there anything more simple + gorgeous than a new family cuddled up in bed together? The answer is no! So we might suggest that we move the session to your bedroom at some point.

If that’s something that appeals to you, a few tips: 1. Make the bed, just this once. 2. A solid blanket/comforter (or something that isn’t TOO busy is best.) 3.We highly recommend white to light cream bedding to keep things light and airy.

(And are more than happy to bring some along if needed! Need more info to help you plan your session? Make sure to visit our What To Wear page.

Approximately one week following your session, we invite you into the studio to review all of your images, assist you in making your selections and to place your order. We recommend that all of the decision makers are present at the time of the ordering appointment. We are happy to accommodate you in the early evening for these appointments.

What to Expect from your Newborn Photographer: Frequently Asked Questions

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Do you want to do birth announcements? How about framed prints, or wallets to tuck into thank you cards? Check out the Mom365 packages and the extra products for ideas (I love the iPhone case!) If you buy digital files you’ll be able to order your own prints and products from those images. Set aside a budget; planning ahead makes you more likely to actually follow through, even in those busy first months. If you’re planning on sending birth announcements, print address labels now to save time after your baby is here!

Generally speaking, we prefer that you refrain from any picture-taking during your session…. after all, we take the time and care to set everything up for that perfect portrait using our special props and years of experience! However, that being said, we understand that social media is a big part of our lives and if an opportunity were to arise where you were able to capture a fun behind-the-scenes shot, we are all for that. And if you do, we’d LOVE it if you tagged us in the post!

We LOVE photographing newborns! Newborn photography is incredibly challenging, but it’s so amazing to be a part of baby’s life when they are just days old. There’s a bit of prep and planning that needs to go into these sessions to make them more successful though. We’ve compiled a few tips below to help us get the very best out of your upcoming newborn session.

When you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, it can be hard to imagine what it is going to be like to have a baby, let alone prepare for a newborn photo shoot in the hospital! Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. The first day or two in the hospital are intense, but a little preparation will help make sure the photos from that special and unique time are ones you will enjoy for years to come.

It can also be lovely to photograph the mother wearing a white wrap (which we have at the studio) around her torso and photograph the baby skin to skin next to the mother’s body.

We are located in historic Salem, MA near the Salem waterfront in Shetland Industrial Park. Be sure to see our detailed map and parking information on our directions page.

If you are pregnant now and you are planning on having newborn portraits taken, please contact us BEFORE the baby is here and let us know your due date in advance. We have limited availability and strongly urge you to RESERVE in advance, so that we make you our priority and GUARANTEE a spot for you. We will hold a date in the week following your due date and adjust accordingly as soon as the baby arrives. If your baby has already arrived, please call 978-744-6918 for availability.

We set aside up to three hours for your newborn session, allowing for feedings or short breaks we may need in order to capture your baby sleeping and awake. We’ll do a mixture of color and black & white imagery, with some of the baby alone and some with you together. Ideally, we love to get some angelic sleeping baby images as well as ones with your baby awake and alert.

Typically, we begin the session with the portraits the parents and the baby together, against the dark backdrop and the baby naked for a series of intimate black & white relationship portraits. Next, we move towards portraits of the baby alone, both naked and using simple props, such as blankets, hats & baskets, coaxing the baby to fall asleep for the sweetest images.

Think about what you want to do with your photos and set aside a budget

Don’t forget about yourself! You don’t have to get all dressed up. A simple white shirt or black T-shirt will work great along with your favorite pair of maternity jeans (bring a belly band if you’re worried about post-baby fit). A beautiful necklace and some simple earrings can add a special touch.

1. Liam 2. Jayden 3. Jacob 4. Emma 5. Mirha 6. Layla 7. Sebastian 8. Emily 9. Luke 10. Lucas

These newborn tips were created to help put our parents prepare for their baby’s session. We’re so happy some of our photographer friends have found it useful as well! However, please do not steal by “borrowing” images or wording without prior written permission. Not only does image and/or written content theft make you a jerk…it’s a copyright violation too.

For siblings, it is best to dress them in soft colors… pastels, creams, light blues, etc. Or even just bare skin like their baby brother or sister!

Alternatively, for color images, especially if we photograph the family which includes an older sibling, we suggest that the parents wear white or light colored shirts, and any siblings may wear a solid color top.

Although there will be individual portraits, newborn photos don’t just have to be of your baby. We highly recommend planning on photos of the whole newly expanded family at this special time. And yes, that includes you! Your inclination may be to avoid being in the photos, but we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to be photographed with your baby, even though you may not be feeling at your best. In years to come, you and your child will be glad to have these early photos, and you’ll want to include your spouse or partner, too.

Unfortunately, no. We kindly ask you to refrain from any picture-taking during your session, even with your smart phone. With all the time and effort to pose your baby, we reserve the right to be the sole creators of the portrait art of your baby. We appreciate your understanding.

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Don’t feel you have to wear make-up, but if a little make-up will go a long way to making you feel confident in front of the camera, put some in your hospital bag now! At minimum, some eye liner and/or mascara, blush and your favorite lipstick will help make you look good on camera. Hair products such as gel or mousse can also help keep stray hairs to a minimum and save on retouching.

If your spouse, partner or other children will be in the photos, talk with them about what they will be most comfortable wearing. Keep it simple and don’t aim to get too dressed up. If you keep it casual and comfortable, everyone will be more relaxed. Don’t worry about having everyone match either. Just lay out all the outfits together on the bed to look and see if anything clashes. If it looks good to you, it will look good to you in the photos too.

Get your spouse or partner on board and excited about your hospital newborn shoot. Find out about any hopes, expectations or concerns he may have and how much or how little he wants to be involved in planning. You may be surprised as to what is and isn’t important to him, and you should let him know about what is important to you also. If a friend or family member will be present at the shoot, make sure to get her or his input.

Congratulations! We are so excited for you! We welcome you and look forward to creating a delightful experience for you in our studio.

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In our experience, babies younger than two weeks will sleep more soundly, allowing us to position the baby in ways that create the very best portraits for our clients. Babies are also more flexible at this age. Older than 2 weeks, most babies tend to be more alert and a bit restless, and much more difficult to capture the images our clients have come to expect from us.

If you have a special outfit in mind for your baby’s first photo shoot, pick it and pack it in your hospital bag now! You might want to bring a couple of options in case one doesn’t fit well. Focus on outfits with special meaning, but if you don’t have anything in mind, don’t worry. Your baby will look great without clothes or wrapped in a blanket.

A soft, special stuffed plush toy, especially one that belonged to a parent when he or she was a baby makes an ideal prop.

Your hospital newborn photos can include siblings as well. They will be pleased to be included in the shoot and your newborn will be excited to see how little his or her older siblings were back at the time of the birth

Newborn sessions take place on weekdays in our Salem studio. Here, we have all the props, lighting, supplies and resources necessary to capture amazing portraits for you. In addition, we’ve got plenty of extra wipes, diapers and baby blankets on hand. We set aside as many as three hours for your special session.

Newborn portrait sessions are $150 for a 3-hour session at the studio. Included in your initial investment is Bobbie’s time and talent during the session and a personalized follow up consultation to assist you in making your portrait order selections. The session does not include portraits.  See our Special Offers page to see our full year baby plan special also.

It’s not necessary to bring any clothes for the baby. Newborn babies are best photographed naked, or adorned with simple props such as knit hats, bows or tiny tutus. We have a number of hats, wraps and blankets here to adorn your baby, so relax and let us do the styling! As a general rule, we believe the more skin showing the better. A naked newborn baby is so lovely and so perfect. Newborn clothing rarely looks good in portraits. Even if a parent is determined to dress the baby in an outfit that they have brought with them, 9 times out of 10, they see the results and agree that the unclothed portraits are the best!

Additionally, if you plan to be photographed with your newborn, you may also want to bring a change of clothes in the event of any small accidents while your baby is naked.

If you have a special blanket, toy or family heirloom, pack them, too. Maybe you have a silver rattle or other keepsake from when you were a baby, or a hand-knit blanket from a special relative (knits are my favorite!) Plain but textured blankets work great in photos, either in muted or bright colors, but avoid busy patterns if you can.

We all know that there is a mountain of ideas on Pinterest, but not all items are made for newborns as small as a few days old. Be selective if you choose to bring any special props or costumes. Besides, we find that most clients honestly prefer the portraits that show off the baby more than the props!

All photos and text are copyright © 2010 Ashley + David Photography (unless otherwise stated) and may not be reproduced or used in any manner without permission.

No worries — we see this all the time. Every portrait you select as part of your order will be individually enhanced for lovely skin tones. We will smooth and soften blemishes or boo-boos or dry skin, so not to worry!

If you have a special handmade receiving blanket, that would be great to bring with you to add to the portraits of your newborn baby. Or you may bring a special stuffed plush toy that you would like to incorporate into a portrait. Simple is best.

For the black & white portraits, we suggest wearing a solid black, long sleeved top. The dark top is both flattering to the mother as well as being a lovely contrast to the baby’s skin. We recommend long sleeved shirts to cover the arms, thus capturing a portrait with the emphasis on the baby’s features.

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The best time to come for a newborn session is in the first two weeks of life and we strongly urge you to RESERVE a session in advance to guarantee a spot in our calendar.

1. Liam 2. Sebastian 3. Jayden 4. Isaiah 5. Emma 6. Luke 7. Jacob 8. Kayden 9. Brayden 10. Lincoln

Bobbie Bush Photography 35 Congress Street, Suite 222 Salem, MA 01970 978-744-6918

Yes, of course. We encourage it. We adore when the parents choose to be photographed with their baby, as there is a lovely connection between a parent and a newborn infant. The relationship between you and your baby at this early stage is precious to behold. You’ll want to remember just how tiny your baby was at the time.

We understand that personal emergencies, illness or inclement weather sometimes require sessions to be rescheduled. We kindly ask that you provide as much notice as possible in order to make the time available to other clients.

We may photograph dozens of captures in a given session, however not all are keepers. We will capture as many images as necessary in order to present you with a strong body of images. Typically, we will present you with the best 25-35 images in order to simplify your selection process.

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Of course! In fact, we encourage you to come visit the studio in advance of your session, to preplan your session and to get to know us. This is such an exciting time for you and we invite you to see our work and discuss your wishes for a successful newborn session. We recommend that you schedule a specific date and time with us so that we are able to give you our fullest attention.

It’s entirely up to you how much you decide to invest in from your session, choosing from our gift portraits, framed wall art pieces, gallery wraps or custom hardcover books & albums. We offer personal, gift & desk sized portraits which range from $65 to $195. Our signature hand-finished wall art pieces range from $325 all the way up to life-size.

We have a wonderful selection of birth announcement designs available and are always adding new ones. Turnaround time on birth announcements is quick — we usually have them ready for pick up in one week’s time from your approval of the layout.

Try not to get too stressed out about the shoot—it will be casual and simple, and the more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your baby and the rest of the family will be, too. Enjoy this opportunity to bond and start out a lifelong tradition of captured moments.

The best results take place when newborn babies are fewer than two weeks old. We strongly recommend all newborn sessions occur when the baby is FIVE to TWELVE DAYS old.

We welcome you and your loved ones and any caretakers assisting you. We encourage both parents to be photographed with the baby and we do these portraits at the start of your session. If there is an older sibling, these are also completed early in the session. We like to photograph the family images first, then concentrate our attention for the remainder of the session on the baby alone, both awake and asleep. We set aside the time in order to allow the baby to become drowsy and fall asleep in the latter half of your session time.

We’ve created a simple booklet to assist with a checklist of what to bring and sample images of what to expect. Click here to download our Newborn Baby Getting Ready Guide.

Preparing For A Newborn Photo Shoot