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 5-16 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 probably have everything needed for your baby's session, headbands, hats, buckets, backdrops, etc. but you are welcome to request items and colors and even 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 on the questionnaire I will send you when you book your session. In this way, I can plan accordingly! I love getting inspiration and motivation from your items, or even Pinterest ideas you like. However, there is a flow I feel works best with newborns and too many items/ideas interrupts this flow and may mean you won't get as many good shots of your baby as you'd like. Therefore, I try to limit the number of props you provide.
4. Sessions usually last 2-4 hours.. 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 like to start with a simple, clean, white look. So, please either bring, or put your baby in, a clean white onesie.
6. A few things that might help your baby to sleep: If breastfeeding, please don't eat anything spicy the night before, and no caffeine the morning of the session. Both can bother babe and keep them awake and/or fussy. A bath before you come, may help them sleep. You can either feed them right before you leave to come to my home, or as soon you get to my home. Whichever, you think will allow them to sleep for the first couple hours after you arrive.
7. Accidents will happen!!!- I have yet to have a session without a baby, at the very least ,peeing on me or my props or their parents!!! Opps! :) Blankets can be washed, and, everything else can be wiped off. I'm used to it! And, it's a small price to pay to get these once-in-a-lifetime portraits!
8. I recommend that mom get at least one or two photos with her newborn. Neutral solid color clothing is recommended. Bright patterns will detract from the focus being on your little one. It can just be your hands on the photo, if, you aren't feeling up to getting yourself ready.
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 a lot! If not, that's fine, we just may have to take more feeding/rocking breaks, depending on your baby's temperament.
10. Finally, babies are unpredictable. I can not guarantee sleepy images. It's possible you might be getting some, or even, a lot of awake images; and possibly all swaddled/covered, if that is what is making baby most comfortable. Fortunately, these too can be beautiful! I will though, try to do as much as I can to make these sleepy images, within reason. I make sure the room is warm, baby is fed, pacifier is used (if you don't mind), baby is swaddled snuggly, until they fall asleep, then very slowly peel off the layer to get a sleepy shot. Remember, baby runs the show and awake photos are ok!
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 of joy!