Newborn Session Tips

How to prepare and what to expect

I just love photographing newborns. Newborn photography is challenging, but it is so amazing to be a part of a baby’s life when they are just days old. There is a bit of prep and planning that goes into newborn sessions for them to be successful. You've just had your entire life turned upside down by a brand new little life. It is an overwhelming, emotional, and completely euphoric time for you!

With a newborn portrait session coming up, you may be feeling a little confused about what you need to do to get ready. I’ve compiled a few tips below to help us get the very best out of your upcoming newborn session. 

What should I expect?

My portrait sessions are very low-key, relaxed, and not jarring for young children (and parents). The newborn session is really all about the new little one, your relationship together, and the love in your home. I shoot primarily lifestyle images when working in your home, which means that we will use your furniture, belongings, and the natural light in your home to capture the love you share. I don't care about your house (you just had a baby!) so please, please do not worry about dishes in the sink or toys on the floor.

What should we wear?

I know, you’ve just had a baby and aren’t feeling 100%. But this is the best time to pamper yourself. Looking super relaxed and at your best will make you feel most comfortable during our session. This is an exciting time in your life and we want to capture all of that…so take care of yourself first! Have a shower, blow dry your hair, put on some mascara. Whatever makes you feel the most comfortable and most YOU. As far as clothing? Keep it simple. Your baby is the focus of the session, so keep clothing to neutral colors and stay away from logos and busy patterns. Casual clothing and bare feet look most natural in a home setting. I will do photographs of your baby without clothing, in a diaper, and swaddled - newborns tend to swim in new clothing. 

What else do we need to have prepared for our newborn session?

  • Have your house warmer than normal. Crank up the heat about 30 minutes before I arrive. Ideally, you’ll want the thermostat set around 80. For us it will be a bit hot and uncomfortable, but the baby will be toasty and happy.
  • I ask that you open all the blinds and curtains in your home prior to my arrival. This allows me to find the best source of natural light in your home. Nothing flatters like natural light, so I prefer to use it whenever possible.
  • Have your baby's nursery organized and clean. I like to capture the details of the nursery. 
  • Is there anything more simple and gorgeous than a new family cuddled up in bed together? The answer is no! A few tips: Make your bed, just this once and use solid blanket/comforter (or something that isn’t TOO busy is best). I highly recommend white to light cream bedding to keep things light and airy. 
  • Most of the images I'll be shooting work best if the baby is in a deep sleep. To encourage this, I recommend that you do whatever it takes to make sure your baby is nice and exhausted. During the morning prior to our session, try and keep baby awake and stimulated as much as possible. Give baby a bath, play for awhile, and try to feed him/her about 2 hours before our scheduled session. This is VERY important!  Once I arrive, I will ask that you feed your baby at that time, so I have about 15 minutes to get ready and also photograph you nursing (if you are comfortable) or feeding. Let them eat until they don’t want another drop. If you are bottle/formula feeding, don’t worry about measuring this time.They will be so full and happy so they will be knocked out in no time. Aren’t we all happier with a full belly? And please make sure your baby is burped VERY well.
  • Undress baby and loosen baby’s diaper completely about 30 minutes before the session. This allows time for the diaper’s imprint marks to disappear from their skin. Swaddle baby in a warm blanket until I arrive.  If your baby’s skin is a little dry or flaky, try applying a small bit of baby lotion to those spots the day before our session. 
  • Have music or the television on for white noise for baby or, if he is accustomed to being in a very quiet house, no noise is fine too!  Whatever environment is “normal” for baby, that is when he will be most comfortable and resting peacefully.
  • Patience is key. Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. It all depends on the baby’s mood and willingness to sleep. Unfortunately, this isn’t something we can predict! I ask that everyone remain calm should they 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. :) And if you follow these tips, it makes the session all the better for everyone involved. 

Above all, RELAX. You brought a new life into this world and this is the time to celebrate, love and cherish. Our photographs will capture your love as a family and the beautiful new life.