I have quite a few newborn sessions coming up this month and next month, so I thought it would be a good time to write a post on how to prepare for your newborn session and what you should expect!
I prefer to shoot newborns in the nude and sleeping. Usually newborns are so tiny that even newborn sized clothes look bulky on them and do not photograph well. Also newborns tend to be a bit cross eyed when born and photographing them with their eyes open tends to look a bit funny. I prefer to photograph baby with simple props like dainty headbands/hats and wraps so the baby is not overwhelmed and their pure sweetness can shine through! 7-10 days old is the best time for the photos. Baby is still bendy and sleepy so we can pose them easily, but they have not started getting the baby acne that can come the next few weeks. After 10 days of age I can not guarantee we will be able to get bendy posed shots, after 10 days I normally focus on lifestyle type photos with mom and dad.
Getting baby into a deep sleep is the key to a successful newborn session. How do you accomplish this you ask? HEAT + MILK + NOISE = SLEEPING BABY! It is essential for the area we are shooting in to be 80-85 degrees. We will sweat! Alot! Newborns have trouble regulating their body temperature and will not stay asleep if it is not nice and cozy (especially since they are nude most of the time). I also bring a heating pad and space heater with me to heat up the blankets the baby will be laying on also. I tell most of my moms that the schedule they have started will most likely go out the window on the day of photos. Moms should try and keep baby up and stimulated 1-2 hours before our scheduled session and then begin to feed baby when I arrive and am setting up. Baby will normally fall asleep after the feeding and the full belly will hopefully keep baby asleep for the session. We will stop and feed baby whenever they might need it! Flexibility is key. I also bring a whitenoise machine with me to play during the session. It is a noisy place in the womb and babies sleep better with a bit of noise around them.
My newborn sessions normally flow like this: Posed newborn shots, lifestyle shots, posed family shots. I love to shoot in the baby’s nursery and also the master bedroom, so it’s a good idea to make sure these areas are free of clutter (I know that’s not easy with a newborn!). I shoot with only natural light so we will need to shoot in the room with the most windows and light. These sessions can take anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on how baby cooperates.
I hope this has answered some questions you might have had about newborn sessions and how to make your a success! Please let me know if I can answer any other questions for you and please visit my website to take a peek at some of my other newborn work. I LOVE photographing newborns and I would love to photograph yours too!
Thanks for looking!