You are having a baby! Congratulations! As you begin nesting, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of your little one, one of the things you should be considering are your newborn photos. There are so many options! Do you want photos in the hospital, lifestyle photos in your home, or studio photos? Once you have decided on the type of photos you want, you should contact your photographer to get on their schedule. Of course, all newborn photographers understand that a date cannot officially be set until you have had your bundle of joy. I ask my clients to let me know within the first 48 hours that s/he has arrived, so we can make sure to get the session booked within the first 7-10 days.
Once you have this amazing child in your arms, the last thing I want you to do is stress over your session! I want to make it a fantastic, memorable experience. So, I have put together my top 10 tips for a smooth, carefree newborn session. Let's get started!
Tip 1 - Crank the heat!
The studio, or your home, should be a bit warmer than normal during the session. Newborns love to be all bundled up, and then I come in and take all their clothes off for those precious naked baby photos. So, increasing the temperature to around 80 degrees is guaranteed to make the session run smoothly and help them sleep better.
Tip 2 - Let it loose!
You will want to loosen your baby’s diaper and clothing at least 30 minutes before the session. This ensures that those little red marks don't show in any of those adorable naked shots!
Tip 3 - Keep them awake!
Most of the images I capture work best if the baby is in a deep sleep. To encourage this, you should do whatever it takes to make sure baby is sleepy. Keeping them awake for a few hours before your session will be completely worth it!
Tip 4 - Feed 'em!
A full baby is a happy baby! Please feed and burp baby right before our session to make sure your little one's tummy is nice and full. Of course, we will take feeding/changing breaks as needed to help s/he stay clean, sleepy, happy, and full.
Tip 5 - Keeping it quiet!
You want to keep the noise level to a minimum during the session. Loud noises can startle your little one, and we wouldn't want that! I suggest having older siblings in another area until it is time for them to be photographed as well. If they are not going to be included in the session, it would be a perfect time for them to get some one-on-one attention with Grandma/Grandpa!
Tip 6 - Stay patient!
Newborn sessions can take a long time. You don't want to get frustrated if your little bundle of joy isn't wanting to sleep. S/he can pick up on that frustration, and find it harder to calm down.
Tip 7 - Poop happens!
Let me tell you, it happens! It's a job hazard. If your little one decides they need to go while wrapped in my items, it's OK. Having a few wipes/towels close by helps with the cleanup, and I wash all of my items between sessions.
Tip 8 - What's that smell?
I start all of my sessions with just baby photos, then move to siblings, daddy and me, family, and finally mommy and me. Why? Because that sniffer knows! Your little one can smell their mommy, and knows that means food. It makes things runner smoother if you aren't right up in the action until the end.
Tip 9 - Speak up!
Your babies safety and well being is the most important thing! If you feel uncomfortable, please say something! If you want something specific, please say something! I don't know what you are thinking unless you tell me.
Tip 10 - RELAX!
I know I said to be patient before, but it is worth repeating! I am a professional. I am a mother. I am comfortable, holding and posing your baby. I know this is new for you. It is important to know that I expect 25-50% of our time together to be cuddling, changing, and feeding your little one. It is important to know that even if your baby chooses to stay awake the entire time, you will have amazing photos. It is important to know that babies can sense stress and anxiety, so you want to stay as calm as possible to help the shoot run smooth. So relax, have fun, and enjoy soaking in the memories of your new tiny human. They don't stay that way for long!