Tips on how to prepare for your newborn photography session
A newborn girl wrapped in a white blanket on a gray background.

As a parent, you understand the importance of documenting each milestone in your child’s life. Whether it’s first steps or their first Christmas, there are moments that should be captured and preserved forever. One of these important moments is your newborn baby’s first photo session. While this might seem like an overwhelming task, it doesn’t have to be! If you prepare ahead of time and get organized, you can make sure your newborn photography session goes as smoothly as possible. In this blog post, we will provide tips on how to best prepare for your newborn photo session so that you can capture those special moments with ease.

What to do the night before to prepare for your newborn session

The night before your newborn session, be sure to:

– Give your newborn a bath and apply any hypoallergenic lotions to keep the baby’s skin moistened. Dry skin can be rating during a newborn session and may make it more difficult for baby to settle during the session. 

-Try and restrict introducing anything new to your routine.  If baby has a hard time sleeping during the night it may make for a more difficult session.

-Do try to get as much sleep as you can so you are well rested for the session. 

How to prepare your baby for the session

It is important to remember that your baby is the star of the show during a newborn photography session, and as such, there are some things you can do to help prepare them for their closeup. First, try to schedule the session when your baby is feeling well and alert. If they are tired or fussy, it will be difficult to get any good shots. Secondly, make sure they have a full tummy before the session begins -this will help them stay calm and content during the shoot. Lastly, have patience! Newborns take time to warm up to strangers and the camera, so try not to get too frustrated if things don’t go according to plan at first.

When do we feed baby?

It is recommended that you feed your baby before the photography session. This will help to ensure that your baby is comfortable and relaxed during the session.  When you arrive at my studio, I will have you get settled in and then we will start with a full feed and a diaper change so that once baby drifts off into a dreamy milk induced sleep, I can work my magic while baby snores away. 

What to bring to your newborn session?

-A list of photos that you want captured. This will help the me as the photographer know what is most important to you and tailor the session to your wishes. I will also ask you prior to your session.
– Any special blankets/stuffed animals, or heirloom items maybe from grandparents that you want photographed
-A drink and snack for yourself. The shoot will probably last 2-3 hours, and it’s important that you stay hydrated and nourished. The studio will be about 80 degrees to help regulate baby’s body temp so it will be toasty.  Make sure to bring water.
-A change of clothes for your family photos.  You can arrive in sweats while I work with baby.  Then towards the end of the session, I will let you know that family photos are coming up, and to change into your family photo outfits. 

What should you wear?

The most important thing to keep in mind when deciding what to wear is comfort. You will be spending a lot of time holding your baby, and if you’re not comfortable, it will show in the photos. It’s also important to avoid anything that will take away from the focus of the photo, which is your newborn. So, steer clear of clothing with busy patterns or bright colors and logos.  Instead, opt for simple, solid-colored clothing that won’t distract from the softness and intimate nature of family photos.  

The colors that I would recommend are soft, natural colors such as creams, tans, blushes, stone greys.  Think colors that occur in nature, so no crazy electric greens or neon pinks.  We want soft, subtle colors. Long sleves are best for both mom and dad, so that the first skin that our eyes are drawn to is the soft skin of your newborn’s face.

How I handle Sibling Photos

When it comes to sibling photos, I like to keep things fun and relaxed. After all, these are the moments that your kids will remember forever. If you have younger children, I typically start the session with sibling photos, because lets face, it, a toddler will be bored in 5 minutes.  There are several poses I do with siblings and have a helper to make sure all poses are done safely.  When the sibling session is over, they can leave the studio so they want be bored for the rest of the 2 hour session. 

How I incorporate Family Photos during a newborn session

I love incorporating family photos during a newborn session! It’s such a special time for the parents and grandparents, and I love being able to capture those precious moments.  Family Photos typically will be done at the end of the session if sibling photos are not requested. If sibling photos will be included, then family photos will occur at the beginning of the session and it will take a maximum of 30 minutes. 

I usually begin with a few full family poses, then transition into parent 1 with baby and then parent 2 with baby.  Then any grandparents photos at the end with another round of full family photos. 

Inform the photographer of props ahead of time

If you have any props that you would like to use in your newborn photography session, it is important to inform the photographer ahead of time. This will allow me to plan for the props and ensure that we are able to capture the perfect shot while ensuring that proper safety measures are being followed while using your prop. Informing your photographer ahead of time can make sure that they have enough space and light for each item. It is also important to let the photographer know if any of the props require special care or handling. This is especially true for delicate items like fabrics and stuffed animals. 

Props for the Session

Props can add a unique touch to your newborn photography session, and they can also be used to help posedowns.  At my studio, we have a collection of bowls, baskets, blankets, knit hats outfits and headbands. 

Some common props that I use during your newborn session are the following
– Knit hats and headbands
– Faux fur blankets and wraps
– Buckets and baskets
– Handmade quilts and pillows
– Toys, stuffed animals or other accessories
– posing pillows

You are also, of course, welcome to use any of your own props. Look for items with texture and color to help make your images unique.

What to do if baby is fussing during a newborn session

If your baby is fussing during a newborn session, we will try to soothe them with a pacifier or by gently rocking them. If that doesn’t work, we will try taking a break for a few minutes or changing your position. Remember newborns are often fussy during their first few weeks of life, so don’t worry if your baby isn’t cooperating. Just take your time and be patient!  There isn’t a newborn that I have not been able to work with.  It is just a matter of patience and working with each baby’s individual needs. 

Patience is Key

Remember, patience is key. Your newborn will not be on a schedule and may not cooperate at first. It’s important to take breaks and give yourself (and your baby) time to relax. Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. It all depends on baby’s mood and willingness to sleep. Unfortunately…this isn’t something we can predict! I ask that everyone remain calm, should he/she not want to sleep, since your baby will pick up on any frustration in the room. And if sleep doesn’t happen, that’s okay! Wide-eyed newborn photos are beautiful too! Don’t worry if things don’t go exactly as planned. These photos will be cherished memories for years to come.

Newborn photography can be a wonderful way to capture the precious moments of your newborn’s life. With these tips on how to prepare for your newborn photography session, you can make sure that everything runs smoothly and that you get the most beautiful photos possible! From gathering all the necessary props and equipment to finding the right photographer and setting up a timeline, there are many things to consider when planning for a successful photo shoot. By following our advice, we’re confident that you will have no trouble making this special event one that both parents and baby will enjoy looking back on forever.

If you would like to book your own newborn session Click here to check out my collections and to start the process.  I would be honored to capture your little one’s first photographs! 


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