If you know me, you know that I. LOVE. BABIES! Newborn photography can be very challenging, but it's so wonderful to be a part of the baby and families life when they are just days old! There is a bit of prep and planning that needs to be done prior to make these sessions successful. Below are some tips to help us get the very best from your newborn session.
* Scheduling your session - I recommend scheduling your newborn session no later than the beginning of your 3rd trimester to make sure I have availability. I'll put your due date on my calendar, and then shoot me a message or email within 24 hours after you deliver so we can get a date and time booked.
* Birth Day! - Newborn sessions are the best between 3 and 14 days old, however I prefer around days 5-10. The older they get, the less "bendy" they are and the more alert they become. It becomes harder to get them in that deep, deep sleep. Newborn acne and colic also often arise after a few weeks, and while I can easily edit acne out, I prefer to do as little retouching to babies skin as possible.
*Come Prepared - Be sure to bring bottles, formula, and/or a breast pump if you need to. I also recommend bringing a pacifier if you plan to use one. Even if you don’t plan on using one, this can really help your session go smoother. Also, bring a bottle of Gripe Water or gas drops if your little one has gassy. Babies tend to get gassy easily and a gassy baby doesn't rest well.
* Heat Wave!!! - I do newborn sessions in my studio. I do CRANK. THE. HEAT for newborn sessions, so you may want to dress cool. The warmth is almost guaranteed to make the session go smoother - you and I may be sweating, but baby will be comfortable, cozy, and happier for us!
* Loosen Up - I ask that you loosely put your baby's diaper on before you come to avoid any diaper lines on baby's skin. (Your baby will most likely be naked for some shots, granted your permission - but I'll make sure their little bits are covered. I also ask that you put baby in a loose fitting sleeper (no onesies) that can be easily removed when you get to the studio.
* Zzzzz - Most of the shots will work best if baby is very sleepy. I recommend trying (keyword...try) to keep baby awake for an hour before your session. Keeping baby awake on top of your own exhaustion may feel like torture, but it'll be worth when you see the end results. If baby refuses to stay awake, no biggie! Just let them sleep.
* Hungry! - A full baby is a happy baby! Try to feed baby as soon as you arrive to your session so we can get some deep sleepy shots right away. Anticipate a few feeding breaks during your sessions as well, as needed.
* Patience - Full Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on baby. If baby decides they don't want to cooperate - try to stay calm so they don't pick up on the frustration. If baby is just not willing to cooperate, we can discuss rescheduling for a different day. This is rare, but it does happen.
* Relax - I've gone through the newborn stage four times with my own children, and I am very comfortable holding, posing, and comforting newborns. You are encouraged to sit back and relax while you're at your session with me. There are some poses I may ask for assistance with, but it won't be too often. I will also be sure to take baby's lead - if baby is hungry, we'll take a break. If baby is fussy, we'll cuddle and comfort. Patience is key. If you ever feel uncomfortable with a pose, etc - PLEASE let me know. I want you to feel 100% comfortable with your session!
* Props - I have a stash of various props, wraps, hats, headbands etc that are available for use. Feel free to let me know if you have something special you would like to incorporate as I am happy to do so. A generous heads up would be great so I can start to get some ideas in my head and planning your special session.
* Family Shots - I adore family and sibling shots - those are the ones that get framed first at my house! I encourage them! I recommend simple clothing - no busy patterns, and a classic cream, navy, or black top always looks really nice and is flattering. Keep it simple. I like to do sibling shots right away, followed by family/parents + baby. This way dad or a grandparent can take the siblings for a walk, to the park, or out front to color/play games while we continue with the rest of the session.
*Pardon Me! - Chances are I will look like a total bum at your session. I apologize in advance. I never wear hair products, perfume, or make up while photographing newborns. Sometimes the chemical smells can throw them off. I also wear old, comfortable clothes to newborn sessions because chances are that I will get peed, pooped, or puked on... Sometimes all three.
* MOST Importantly- Be On Time. Having four kids of my own, I often have to rely on a hired caretaker to be present for you session. If you’re late to your session this can result in deducted time, limiting us from getting all the shots needed to give you a complete gallery.