Newborn Sessions - What To Expect
Thank you for choosing me to capture this incredible event in your life! Babies grow so fast, and their first weeks are such a whirlwind that they can be hard to remember. I love that I can help you preserve those moments! You may feel so overwhelmed when you get home with your baby that you may re-consider his/her photos. But, let me help make the experience easier for you with a few tips and I assure you that you won't regret it!
1. Book your session before your baby is born. You may think you'll wait and do it after you deliver, but those first few weeks come and go as a blur. Even if you have a great sleeper, just the havoc that hormones can rage on our bodies and the stresses of everyday life can overwhelm and before you know it your newborn is a month old!
2. Newborns come into this world on their own schedules, so even though we can set a tentative week for your shoot, more-than-likely it won't happen at that time. That said, if you will contact me within a few days of your delivery I will schedule your photos as soon as possible. The best possible time is 5-12 days. During those days they are still very sleepy, can be easily posed, baby acne hasn't appeared yet and any signs of jaundice have faded as well.
3. Let's discuss what you want! I bring everything needed for your baby's session, but you are welcome to include one or two personal items! For instance, if you have your grandmother's handmade quilt you'd like to see the baby with, or, maybe you would like a certain color scheme to go with an outfit or the decor of the baby's room, just let me know these things a few days in advance and I can plan accordingly! I love getting inspiration and motivation from your items, or Pinterest ideas you like, however, there is a flow I feel works best with newborns and too many items/ideas interrupts this and may mean you won't get as many good shots of your baby as you'd like.
4. Sessions usually last 2-4 hours, but can go longer if necessary. We do not want to rush your baby and make him/her nervous, so we like to let them dictate when they are hungry, sleepy, etc. Don't stress about it, or the shoot itself. Babies can sense your emotions and are more likely to be fussy.
5. I will bring my own lighting equipment, so don't worry about windows, or lack there-of. However, I will need a space to set up my lights, backdrops and props. It doesn't need to be a huge area, but a minimum of at least 8'x10' is best (preferably a little larger).
6. Many of the poses will be without clothing on the baby, so it's easier if you have your baby in only a diaper when I arrive. You may want to keep it fairly lose too, so that it doesn't cause red marks on his/her skin. Because babies also like to be warm to be comfortable, I suggest you keep your house very warm (between 75-80) during the shoot. I will also bring a space heater, and all us big people will be sweating, but it will keep your baby happier! This also means that accidents will happen - DON'T WORRY - I'm used to it! I have yet to have a session without a baby at the very least peeing on me or my props or their parents!!! Blankets can be washed and everything else can be wiped off! It's very worth it to get these once-in-a-lifetime portraits!
7. I focus mainly on the baby, but if you plan to be in any photos (and I recommend that mom get at least one or two with her newborn) please wear simple, solid colored clothes.
8. Your baby is more likely to sleep on a full belly. So, I recommend you feed him/her 2-3 hours before I'm to arrive and then if you will try to keep him/her awake for at least an hour before I arrive (a bath during this time tends to help wear them out!) and then feed the baby so he/she will be done about 10-15 minutes after my arrival, (I will have to carry in my many items and set up a backdrop stand and lighting once I arrive) we will have a bigger likelihood of getting those cute posed photos, and having a happy baby! (I know this can't always be achieved, but if you can at least hold off on feeding until right before my arrival time, that will help! If you have a bottle to supplement with, that can be quite helpful.
9. Babies have a natural need to suck. This is mostly met by bottle or breast, but the desire can linger even after the belly is full. A pacifier can help calm a baby that is unhappy about me moving him/her. So, if your baby takes one, please have it available. I understand if you are not wanting to give your baby a pacifier. However, if we could possibly use it for a few hours if you have a fussy baby, it does help quite a bit. If not, that's fine, we just may have to take more feeding/rocking breaks, depending on your baby's temperament.
I hope this answers some questions you may have had about your newborn's session. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to contact me. I can't wait to meet your new bundle joy!