Tips to a Successful Newborn Session
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.
• 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.
• BIRTH DAY
Newborn sessions MUST be scheduled within the first 14 days of life. However, the BEST time is between 7-10 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 days.
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.
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.
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! I 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.
• CRANK THE HEAT!!!!!!!!!
We insist 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.
• 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.)
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!
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.
• 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 end of a session and then having someone take them. Only those being photographed should be present to help maintain a calm environment.
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.
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. 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.
• 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!
Congratulations on your beautiful new bundle of joy, and I am THRILLED to help you capture this beautiful new chapter of your life!
Golden Moments Photography