New tiny clothes. New soft blankets. New routine. New lack of sleep. All the joys of a new baby.
Newborn sessions are my favorite. I love being there to capture the first few days of a baby's life with the family. But let's be honest... prepping baby and the whole family can be a little stressful. So, we've gathered some of our best tips and tricks in one place for you.
Schedule Your Session Before Baby Arrives
That's right - it's time to consider your photographer a part of the family and let us know well in advance when baby is coming. Reach out during the second or third trimester, and we can pencil in a date or time frame.
Why do we do this? Newborns need to be photographed between day 3-14, preferably in their first week. Babies tend to be much more cooperative and sleepy during this time, allowing us to capture most of the poses while they are snoozing. By giving us advanced notice, we'll be able to help finalize booking while you focus on your newest addition.
So, when baby has arrived, let us know right away. We'll lock in the date and be over in that ideal timeframe.
Set the Scene
Most newborn sessions take place where you and baby feel most comfortable - your home. While we certainly don't want to you clean the whole house top to bottom, a little tidying up does help.
Also, we love natural light for newborn sessions. We'll ask you to open up your blinds so we can get a sense for the best place to set up. Most likely, furniture will have to be moved into a different position, but we promise we will put it all back as we found it!
We're going to sound like mom - but please make your bed. Sometimes we like to get a cozy shot of everyone snuggled up in a scene of blankets and pillows. If you have plain white/cream or light colored bedding, those colors usually work best to give us a nice, airy feel. Otherwise a cool quilt/designed blanket can add some character too!
Lastly, sometimes things can get a little messy. That's OKAY, we are used to it! Just make sure we have some extra wipes or towels on hand in case it happens a little unexpectedly.
Warm it Up
Keep your home nice and toasty! In short, a warm baby is happy baby.
If it's a warm summer day, we can use the natural heat from outside, so open windows works nicely. But if it’s in the middle of the winter usually keeping the house at about 80 degrees is best. Sessions don’t last too long, so we won't rack up your heating bill.
Give Baby the Model Treatment
Plan out your outfit(s) the day before, so we - and baby - are ready to go. Be sure to have a few options, just in case things get a little messy. And if you're unsure about what to pick, we're happy to lend our opinion and provide some suggestions beforehand.
Baby's bums are the absolute cutest, right? If you plan on having any "nakey baby" shots, loosen baby's clothing and diaper about twenty minutes before the sessions start. This way, we won't see any impressions on baby's skin.
Baby's skin a little dry and flakey? (Don't worry, baby, this happens to all of us.) Make sure to moisturize baby’s skin beforehand. This also goes for mom and dad if you plan to include any of your hands or feet in the pictures.
Lastly, be sure to feed baby a healthy serving of milk/formula right before session starts. This can even happen right as we arrive and while we are setting up our scene so baby is ready to go with a nice full tummy. We also plan on taking breaks throughout the session to keep baby happy. No worries if we have to stop and feed.
Have Some Backup
If you have other children, we find that it is extremely helpful to have an extra set of hands to help take care of them while we focus on the baby. Enlist the help of your kids' favorite aunt, babysitter or grandparent. This way you don't feel like you have to pay attention to baby and the kids at the same time. It takes a lot of stress off of you!
Prep the Props
We'll primarily communicate with you via email as we plan out your session. Don't be afraid to let us know while we're prepping if there is something special you would like to include in the session like a special prop or location. That way everyone is prepared, and we can walk in with a game plan, keeping the session moving and baby happy.
Relax and Have Fun
This is the most important tip. You can do all the prep in the world, but undoubtedly something won't go according to plan. And that is OKAY! Most often, the best photos come from the unexpected moments.
This is such an exciting time for your family. Let us capture it and let yourself enjoy every second of it.