Do you want posed or lifestyle photography?
Typically, posed studio sessions are done within the first 2 weeks of life, but the best time is during the first three to seven days of life. At this stage, the baby is still pretty sleepy and willing to be “molded” onto poses. This type of session focuses on getting the perfect images of your baby’s full body to the tiny little details. Lots of blankets, backdrops and other props are available for use during your session. However, you are more than welcome to bring your own blankets, wraps, hats, headbands, “going home” clothing and any other special items. Newborn photo sessions can be pretty lengthy, up to four hours. Your baby will likely need to eat during the session. You and your baby will be given privacy during feeding time. Continue reading for more information about what to expect from your newborn session below.
Lifestyle sessions are more casual and are typically taken at your home. Some posing will occur with you and your baby. Ideally, these sessions are done for newborns up to 6 weeks old. Carve out one to two hours of your day for this type of session. Capturing your family at this new and delicate time is precious. Preserving features, expressions and poses of your newborn nestled perfectly on your chest are a small portion of this style of photo shoot. Several family photos will likely be taken while you are all cuddle up together on your bed, so make sure you straighten the sheets and comforter. If you have a solid comforter or duvet for the bed, that will work best. Busy patterns will distract from the true focus of your images. Open all of the blinds and curtains in your home prior to the start of your session. Finding the best source of natural light in your home will determine where most of your photos will be taken. Natural light is flattering, so a naturally well-lit spot will be preferable whenever possible. When necessary, some furniture could be moved for lighting purposes, but it will be moved back before the end of your session. Sessions are normally done mid-morning to late-afternoon when window lighting is as its best. Additional lighting equipment will be on hand to use as needed. Newborns typically like to be warm and cozy, so having them in their birthday suits for photos can be unsettling. Keep blankets handy and warm your home up a bit to accommodate your newborn’s flesh.
Get on the schedule with an estimate of your baby’s due date. Once your baby has arrived, please contact the studio to set a date for your newborn session. Many moms choose to feed their baby just before coming to the studio. Have the baby in a loose fitting diaper and loose fitted clothing at least thirty minutes before the session. Diapers tend to leave marks on the baby’s skin, so having a loose fitting one will help prevent the indentations and “pinking” of the skin. The baby can come dressed in an outfit that you would like to have photos taken in or you can change clothes just before your session starts.
Relax! Parents may get stressed out because this is a new experience; however, newborn photography takes time and patience. If your baby is fussy or having a hard time getting settled, don’t panic. Time is allowed for tending to your newborn’s needs as they arise. Getting the baby to sleep before posing takes time and he or she may need to be fed or cuddled a few times first. Most of the images will work best if the baby is in a deep sleep. To encourage this, we recommend that you do whatever it takes to make sure baby is nice and exhausted. Keeping your little one awake on top of your own sleep deprivation might feel like torture, but it will be worth it in the end! If your baby is resistant to sleeping, we will take a break or work with what baby is giving us. Up to half of your session 50% will involve feeding, diaper changes, and cuddling to get the baby comfortable. Sometimes the best photos happen when baby is sharing his or her own tricks and poses.
Remember that babies can sense stress and anxiety. It’s important that everyone remain calm and relaxed during the session. Having a calm environment is beneficial for getting the shots we’re looking for.
Your baby’s safety comes first! If there is ever a point where you become uncomfortable, just speak up! Every measure is taken to ensure that your baby is not in any danger. You can be in arm’s reach of your baby without being in the photo. Holding and posing newborns is a delicate process. Your baby is in safe hands!
Your baby is going to be wearing his or her “birthday suit” for the majority of the session. If your baby soils the blankets, it’s okay. It’s natural and expected. Don’t worry! Everything that is used can be washed or disinfected.
If you would like photos of your newborn in a diaper, please have a cloth diaper, diaper cover in a solid color, bloomers, or something to put over the diaper. Diapers typically have prints and colors on them and they tend to look distracting in photos, so covering them up with bloomers or a blanket will work perfectly.
A collection of baskets, blankets, and other props will be available to you for your session. You are also,welcome to use any of your own props. Looks for items with texture and color to help make your images unique. If you have any family heirlooms, wedding rings, toys, hats, blankets, tutus, bloomers or anything else that you would like to use in your session, please bring them to the studio or have them gathered at your home for your lifestyle session. All of the items might not get used, but we will make extra special items a priority.
Planning for your session starts weeks in advance, so dropping a huge idea mid-session can cause stress on everyone, especially if it involves a prop that isn’t available! Share your ideas early on so your session will be more likely to go as planned.
Follow the baby’s lead
Ideas flow from all sorts of places – friends, family, Pinterest. If you would like to share some of your ideas for poses, please email or text them in advance of your session. It is a great idea to have some poses in mind before you arrive at the session. However, your baby is an individual with ideas, too. Catching smiles, yawns, dimples, and all of the baby’s precious little details make your images unique to your child. Some of the best images are unplanned. One thing I learned when I became a parent, was that the baby is the boss regardless of how much control I pretend to have. The same is true for newborn photography. If the baby doesn’t want to go to sleep, we will take some lifestyle shots: mommy rocking the baby, kissing the baby’s forehead, holding your swaddled newborn close to you, just to give you an idea.
Mom, Dad and Siblings can join in on the photo shoot
Only days after having a baby you might not feel ready to jump in front of the camera, but its a precious time to capture all the newness and tenderness of you and your newborn. Moms will often be behind their own camera, so while you have the opportunity, get in a few photos with your family.
If the baby has older siblings, we can get the pictures of them together and the family as a whole taken first. Once the family and sibling photos are done, they can play quietly in the studio or they can head home with another adult.
Considering you are a few days out from having a baby, you might not be feeling or looking your best. Ask a family member or friend to help with your newborn while you pamper yourself a little bit. It’s an exciting time in your life and capturing this time is simply beautiful, so take time to take care of yourself!
What should mom wear? Keep it simple. Solid knit camis or knit tops are perfect. Add a cardigan or scarf to throw in a little color if you’d like. Busy patterns can be distracting, so stick with solids. Black clothing is always slimming. Skin to skin portraits are beautiful, too. If you would like to have portraits like this, wear a strapless tank a black wrap will be available for you.
What should dad wear? Dress shirts or long or short sleeved knits are best. Undershirts work well, too. Some full length pictures may be taken, so make sure the whole outfit works well together. Make an effort to wear clothing that is free of logos or too much writing.
Wrinkles in clothing do show up in photos, so please make sure all clothing is ironed or steamed. The retouching process is involved and will incur an extra fee.
Your hands and possibly your feet, alongside your baby’s, will be included in some close up shots during your session, so it’s important that you tend to them too! Trim your nails and apply lotion to any dry skin on your face or hands. It’ll help make your skin appear refreshed, even if you’ve had a rough night.