10 TIPS FOR A *VERY* SUCCESSFUL NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION
1. Call to schedule BEFORE the baby arrives. Most newborn photographers like myself will work around a due date as our estimate for when the baby will arrive, and will schedule you for 1-2 weeks after that appointment. In my studio, we give all newborn sessions first priority when needing to reschedule, because babies are born early or late ALL the time, so we'll be sure to move up/back your appointment a few days, as needed.
2. As soon as the baby arrives and you're settled, shoot an email or text to your photographer to confirm the baby's birth date. This is so we can begin to plan your session accordingly for date, time (adjusted if needed).
3. It is very important to have your session completed in the first two weeks of baby's life, so that they have not lost their "fetal tuck", and do not wake up when we move them around over and over into multiple poses for the photo shoot. In their first week their days and nights are often mixed up and will sleep heavily through the day, allowing us to do just about anything to pose them in comfortable positions even if they have no clothes on. After two weeks they tend to want to stretch out straight, wake up easier, and not a fan of being naked.
4. I use a safe small heater to keep them warm so it helps to keep them asleep throughout their session. but it can also help to give them a bath the morning of their session, which wakes them up for the hour or two prior to coming in. So when they arrive at the studio, they are ready for a hard long nap.
5. Dress them in an easy to remove outfit, that zips up the front for example, so that undressing them upon arrival is not difficult and can be done without the baby waking up.
6. Most important is a good, full feeding prior to the session. If my client lives less than 45 mins from our studio I suggest that they feed at home as the last thing they do before leaving the house. After feeding and a good burp, go straight to the car and head over to the studio. The full belly plus car ride usually does the trick and we can jump right into the session.
7. At my studio, I provide everything needed for your session as far as hats, props, etc. And I actually suggest using what I have since I know it will certain fit a newborn size. Often when I see clients bring homemade hats, or store bought 0-3 month outfits, the babies are swimming in them. A true newborn size is much smaller than most people realize. If you do have your own props, try them on at home before your session.
8. It is very important to choose a photographer that works specifically with newborns and experienced at this type of session. It is a very specific skill to learn and know how to pose newborns, keep them safe and comfortable, and photograph them properly.
9. If you want to incorporate siblings, we always welcome that! Just let us know in advance and factor in a little extra time to make it work.
10. Be prepared to be in some of the photos, especially your hands. Manicure, shave, whatever you personally need to do - make sure to do, and this goes for both mom and dad! You don't have to get a full makeover or a recent hair dye at the salon, but we'll definitely want to include some nice close ups of you holding your new baby, perhaps even just a close up of your baby's hand wrapped around your finger. Clothing is not important, it can be simple, basic and neutral.