Years ago, I wrote up this super helpful guide to help my moms prepare for their newborns photo session. Over the years, I find that as I continue to grow and experience new things, I find better and more successful ways of doing things! Who would have thought? So I thought, I think its time to update my Newborn Prep Guide!
Booking & Scheduling:
I recommend that you schedule your newborn session BEFORE your baby’s birth to ensure a spot on my calendar. Contact me during your second trimester and I will get you tentatively booked.
It is best that your newborn session takes place within the first 14 days. I do a lot of moving and scrunching your baby into those sweet squishy poses, so I want to make sure they are sleepy enough to allow for posing. I find that if we stick closer to day 7 & 8, moms milk typically comes in and baby has found a happy eating pattern. After about two weeks, it is not typical that we will be able to get baby into that deep sleep that came so easily in their first four days, and they have learned to stretch and don’t like to scrunch up into those newborn poses.
*I photograph newborns Monday through Friday, at 10:00am. Newborn sessions can take anywhere from 2-3 hours, and babies sleep best in the morning. I always keep my mornings free for newborns, but don’t likely have afternoon/evening or weekend spots open that allow the length it takes to photograph a newborn.
Where Photos are Taken
Although we do offer in home photography sessions, we also have a studio location on main street in Dell Rapids. Some have found that if the weather is warm enough, we can sneak a few outdoors.
Our studio is a very warm and cozy environment. We have a comfortable, private seating area and we keep the studio plenty warm for baby. (I recommend mom and dad dress in layers, because it is likely going to get nice and toasty to keep that naked baby warm!) I also sometimes may turn on some white noise or a heartbeat app to help baby sleep (I have also been known to note rule out running a hair dryer for some more white noise!)
If you are taking any sibling or family shots, I do ask that someone comes to take siblings away after those pictures. I like to keep a quiet, safe environment for baby with peaceful energy to help carry baby into a deep sleep for those squishy poses!
What to Expect
- Most of the poses we will be working with work better if baby is in a deep cozy sleep. To encourage this, I have a few tips:
- Keeping your little one awake before the session
- Giving baby a bath before arriving
- Feeding baby when you arrive
- Baby’s sleep much better when they are full! I typically ask mom to feed baby, or “top baby off” right when they get to the studio to ensure a happy, sleepy baby. We can take as many breaks as needed to help baby refuel.
- I ask that you help me do whatever we can to keep the noise level to a minimum during our session. If you have other children with, I ask that you have an extra hand to keep siblings entertained. I do use white noise and other soothing apps to help!
- Newborns can last anywhere from 2-3 hours, so I want to remind my moms to remain patient. Remember, baby is boss, and its super important to remain calm as baby tends to pick up on any tension that may be in the room.
- Relax! I have been photographing newborns for 6 years, and have had a ton of experience! Moms find that this is a great time to catch up on some sleep, or slip out of the room to take a break and walk around.
- Babies poop. Let me state that again. Babies poop. And that is totally ok! If your baby poops on one of my blankets, or even me, thats ok! I wash all of my baby props in between sessions with non-scented baby detergent and I keep plenty of rags and wipes on hand! I even “dress the part” with sweatpants and a loose fitting shirt! I call it my “poop gear.”
- Sometimes I may ask mom to step out of the room for a portion of our session. Babies can smell mom, and sometimes that can be distracting for baby!
Props & Poses
I do have a pretty good selection of baskets, bowls, hats, and headbands. I also have a few crates, and a ton of backdrops. I like to keep some fun furs and blankets on hand, especially ones with fun texture! I do suggest you discuss any special props (or poses), heirlooms, toys or props you plan on bringing to your session ahead of time. I plan your session in advance, and love to be in the know!
*Important: The safety of your newborn is my first priority. There are times that some props and poses may not be best for your newborn and may not be within their limitations. Because of this, I cannot gaurentee any specific pose or implementation of props thereof.
Family Shots + Siblings
It is so much fun to incorporate mom and dad into the session. If you are planning to do so, please let me know so we can plan to do this at the beginning of your session. Try to keep outfits simple, and comfortable. Remember to dress in layers as the studio does get pretty warm! I do use hands quite a bit in sessions, so be sure that your hands are tended to (dads especially wink wink!)
Remember, that having a new little man or lady in the family can sometimes be stressful for siblings too. Not all siblings will want to do photos with their new baby brother or sister, and some even tend to act out. I do my best to implement siblings according to the level of their cooperation.