Newborn sessions can seem overwhelming for new parents. You haven’t slept in days, you just got home from the hospital, and now you have to deal with portraits. But honestly, they’re really relaxing! By just taking a few simple steps before your session, you’ll have an easier time, and be able to rest!
The most important rule for a newborn session is to have spare clothes! This is easy, since newborn sessions take place in your home. But newborns are generally photographed nude, and they don’t come potty trained! There will be messes. Don’t worry – I’m prepared, and everything I bring is washable. I’ll bring spare clothes for myself (and sometimes I need them!) but make sure you’ve got some handy for yourself.
The second thing you’ll want to remember is that we want your baby warm and sleepy for the session. To assist with this, I recommend the following:
- Keep your newborn awake for an hour or two before the session (I know, this isn’t always possible – newborns will do what newborns will do, and keeping them awake isn’t always possible. But do your best – it’ll pay off!)
- Turn the heat in your house up to 80° about 20 minutes before the session. It’ll be horribly hot and uncomfortable for the grown-ups, but your baby’s been floating in a 98° sea for 9 months. She likes it warm!
- Feed your baby just before the session. If he’s a slow feeder, start about 10 minutes before I arrive, if he’s quick, just start once I get there. Once I’ve got everything set up and ready to go, he’ll hopefully have a full belly and be zonked out.
I’ll always bring a variety of adorable newborn hats with me, but if you’ve got something special you want to use, have it handy and let me know at the beginning. Heirlooms are also a great prop for newborn sessions – mom’s christening gown, grandma’s baby blanket, dad’s favorite bear, etc. Professions or hobbies can add a fun element to your newborn photos too – baby in a fire helmet if dad is a fireman, or on a football if mom’s a Redskin’s fan. Get creative, and feel free to bring up any ideas you might have.
For the most part, your newborn session will be all about your newborn! Parents can sit back and relax! Some like to watch the session, or even doze off nearby. Don’t worry – if your baby gets hungry, needs a change, or just needs a break, I’ll let you know. If you want any shots with parents or siblings, let me know ahead of time, otherwise I’ll assume that your newborn is the star.
Remember – newborns photograph best in the first 10 days of life. My schedule fills up quickly, so it’s important to contact me while you’re still pregnant to ensure I can fit you in! Your baby will change and grow so fast, so be sure to capture those first precious moments when they’re so new.