Let’s talk about newborn photography – you know, those adorable photos of infants posed in baskets and buckets? Tiny smushed faces swaddled by their future favorite blankie? These poses can only happen within the first couple weeks of your precious child’s life, so it’s best to think about scheduling them while you still have the free time.
The ideal age for a newborn session is between 5-12 days. There’s a reason for this limited window of opportunity; when babies are tiny, they spend a lot of time sleeping and can still curl up in womb-like poses. It’s easy to pose them at this age, but after two weeks, babies go through a growth spurt and start stretching their arms and legs. They become both less malleable and more alert, so it becomes difficult to capture the angelic, curled up, sleeping images that are favored in newborn photography.
We recommend booking these sessions 3-4 months in advance. There is such a short window of time to take these special portraits, so you want to ensure that we get you on our calendar. There’s going to be a lot going on as baby comes due - we want to give you something to look forward to! We recommend booking the session a week after mom's due date. We hold time both before and after your booking, so that you are guaranteed space no matter when your baby arrives.
Timing is important when you will have had such a limited time with your newborn. When scheduling your appointment, know that a studio or outdoor session typically takes only 2-3 hours. This may seem like a lot of time, but half of the time is usually spent with you feeding and comforting your baby to get them as sleepy and happy as possible. We all want a happy baby! Once your newborn is content, our newborn package includes portraits of baby alone, with each of the parents, and then with the whole family together.
Most studio newborn photography is done naked to capture the tininess of being a newborn, so bring your little one in something that is easy to take on and off. Avoid putting mittens or socks on your infant since they leave elastic marks. As diapers are an absolute necessity at this age, aim for a loose fit in order to avoid lines around your baby’s waist. If you would rather have your newborn clothed in the pictures, or we are shooting outdoors and it’s not warm enough for your infant's birthday suit, it is important to dress him in something that fits very well. Choose light-colored clothing - both white and pastel colors will bring out your baby’s complexion. Bring along an accessory such as a beanie or a bow to soften your baby’s face and give some definition to their baby-soft head. You should also bring pacifiers, a change of clothes for yourself, diapers/wipes, formula/bottles if you are not breastfeeding, and any special blankets or toys that you want included in the photos. If possible, feed your infant prior to leaving home. This will allow their tiny tummies to settle and reduce any spitting up and fussiness.
Parents need to be prepared as well! We realize you haven’t slept much since those contractions started, so we encourage you to take some time to primp before the shoot. Give yourself a manicure so we can take close-ups of your hand cradling the baby’s head, feet, and hands. Eat something before the shoot and pack a snack in case your energy drops. We don’t recommend wearing your favorite shirt or expensive dry-clean only clothing, and bring at least two changes of clothing for each of you. Again, spitting up may happen. It’s best to be prepared.
As for the environment you’re bringing your precious little darling into - we are safety obsessive! We weigh down all buckets and props so that your baby can’t tip over and get hurt. Everything from blankets to hair bows get washed between every session to keep all accessories germ free. Our photographer washes her hands before the session and continues to disinfect throughout with natural hand sanitizer. We are always looking out for your baby. If we need to step away from your little one, we will ask you to watch over her (newborn photographers get peed and pooped on, a lot). Everything we use at the shoot is 100% washable. If something gets soiled, we just throw it in the wash; no big deal. You and your baby’s comfort and happiness are our number one priority. If we are working indoors, we use space heaters to keep your little one warm and we will play white noise or soft music to lull them to sleep.
We put a lot of thought into our sessions, and we know you have too. Try to stay calm during the shoot, even if there’s spitting up or fussiness. The worst thing a parent can do during a newborn session is to be nervous - babies are very in tune with their people. If your baby is crying, you can trust us to comfort her. We have experience. One of the hardest lessons to learn is that your baby will be okay, and that continuously swooping in and handing the baby back and forth between persons can make them even more distressed. Take a deep breath and relax. We know it’s easy to be nervous, especially when it’s your first. Just sit back and relax while watching your newborn master all these adorable poses!
If you are interested in booking your own Newborn Portrait or have any questions, click here.
My name is Sariah; welcome to my blog!