Here are a few things to note when preparing for your newborn session:
• Number one and most important… Relax and have fun!
• If possible schedule your session around time when baby is usually most sleepy. We want him or her to sleep as much as possible during our shoot so that they will relax and curl into those cute newborn poses.
• Due to the frequent breaks needed to feed, change, sooth and get baby to fall asleep, newborn shoots often last longer than the average session. Please be prepared for your session to last anywhere between 1 and 4 hours.
• Be patient and remain calm. If baby is cranky and not cooperating please do not worry. We have plenty of time to allow him/her to get comfortable and if you are stressed baby can feel it!
• Since baby will be undressed we want to make the room as comfortable as possible for him/her. Please turn your heat up a couple of degrees before I arrive. We may get a little warm, but baby will sleep so much better in a nice, warm environment. I will have a small heater running in the room, and the temperature will be 80+ degrees. Even though baby sleeps comfortably at home with the air conditioning on cold, he/she will be dressed, undressed, and posed in a strange, new environment and under conditions that are different from most days, and baby will sense that something exciting is going on and is likely to be off on sleep.
• VERY IMPORTANT– Even if you are not planning on using pacifiers, please consider having one for baby just for the duration of the session, and once photos are finished, baby never has to have use them again. The soothie will only be used during posing and soothing.
• If baby needs to nurse, have a bottle or a diaper change we can take a break at any time… We are working on baby time!
• Feel free to have some special mementos ready for the shoot, if desired (ie: handmade from grandma, knitted caps, booties ect.) These are great for making babies 1st pictures even more personalized and special.
• Details – I will often do images of babies little hands and feet. These will look best if his or her nails are trimmed and clean.
• Be ready for pee (and poo)! I don’t need to tell you that newborns pee/poo a lot. Unfortunately, we may get peed on. I can almost guarantee that baby will pee and poo on my blankets and props. This is OK! It is completely expected and I never want you to feel bad or stressed about it. I wash all of my items after every newborn session, and it will all come out. 🙂
• Minimize distractions – Please limit the amount of people present at the shoot to those who are being photographed so that there is less distraction for baby. If older siblings will be around, please have an activity planned for them during times that they are not actually in the pictures. Siblings are more than welcome to join in for a couple of photos, but the newborn session is really focused on baby. If you want to have someone available to help assist (grandparent, friend, etc) that is totally fine.
The following is my rundown on how the day should go for the session – I am very particular and this is only because I know what works and what doesn’t so please follow these as best you can! It may seem like a lot to ask but I only say this for YOUR benefit – so YOU get the images you want! Sessions typically start around 11:00am. I try to use natural light in my photos as much as possible, so when I arrive I will probably want to look around the home to find the best spot to set up.
***Don’t be surprised if I ask to move furniture around.***
1. 2 hours before the session please remove all clothing that can leave marks (socks, loosen diaper, nothing with elastic around wrists/ankles that can leave marks.) I do pretty much all of my sessions with babies in their birthday suits.
2. Your little one will need to be kept awake for a solid 2 hours before the session. I know this isn’t easy, but doing so produces the best sleepy images. I need them to be very very tired (cranky tired) before you feed them.
3. Please nurse/feed the baby starting about 15 minutes before I am due to arrive. They will need to be sleepy and full (this is KEY!) They can finish eating while I am setting up and once we’re ready to shoot, they should be in a milky dreamland from being full and satisfied.
4. Once the session starts your baby is mine =D I will generally ask for dad/grandma to be the one to help if they are available or will hold/move the baby myself. The reason for this is if baby smells mom they may wake to eat. The way to avoid this and keep sessions short is to keep them away from anything or anyone that will wake them. The smell of milk does this!
5. They WILL cry (maybe) – it’s OK! I do nothing that hurts the babies – I don’t force them into any positions that are uncomfortable for them. Babies are VERY flexible when they are born (from being in the womb). They sometimes wake and cry a bit just from being moved around. Some babies sleep the entire time and don’t stir at all, others take more time and patience. Some positions can take up to 20 minutes to get the baby correct.
6. If baby stirs and starts rooting I will give them to you to feed. Typically if you follow steps 2 and 3 we will be good for 2 hours and by the time he roots the session will be over. And that’s pretty much it! It seems like a lot but it’s pretty simple – hardest part is keeping them awake for two hours before your session! It will be worth it – promise!
I think that is all and I look forward to photographing your little one! Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Feel free to contact me at any time should you have any additional questions!