what to expect from your custom Newborn Session
Nothing is cuter to photograph than a newborn baby! Newborn photography is incredibly rewarding, and it's so amazing to be a part of a baby's life when they new to the world. There's a bit of prep and planning that needs to go into these sessions to make them more successful though. I've compiled a few tips below to help us get the very best of our upcoming newborn session together.
SO... LET'S GET STARTED!
Since it's impossible to know EXACTLY when your baby is going to make his or her debut, and more importantly, know just how long it'll take for us mamas to recover, we can't place a deadset date on the calendar in advance. I usually just input your due date on my calendar and create flexibility on my end for a few dates before, after, and ON your due date. Juuust in case.
Once your precious baby arrives, please be sure to contact me to let me know. (There's nothing like feeling super special when the dad puts me on the official 'baby is here' call/email list!! Just sayin'.) In terms of ideal timing, lifestyle newborn sessions are best scheduled within the first 4-6 weeks of life. There's advantages that I find to photograph at every single day in that time frame, so there is NO need to stress about a certain stringent 'day old' timeline after your baby is born. As a mama myself, I am fully experienced to be 1000% flexible.
The majority of our newborn sessions take place in your home. (If the weather is warm enough and you're comfortable with the idea, we can take the session outdoors too.) Worried because your house is a mess? Don't even stress out! You just had a BABY, NBD. If you didn't have dishes piled in the sink, dirty clothes and baby items strewn all about, I'd be very impressed. Clutter is definitely expected! I've shot in-home sessions in the middle of moving in/renovating and in some very tiny spaces... and totally rocked it! I really don't need much space and can shoot around most problem areas, or can easily clean up an area that we want to use for photos. I'll also probably be moving/adjusting furniture around if we need to make room for ourselves.
I like to start sessions in the mornings, usually around 10 AM. The natural morning light is best and it gives you time to get up, caffeinate, grab a shower and get family members going.
- HOME PREP:
- LOVELY LIGHT.
I ask that you open all of the blinds and curtains in your home prior to my arrival. Once I get there, I'll take a quick glance around your home so I can scout the best source of natural light in your home, so that I can set up most of our shooting in the best possible location. Nothing flatters like natural light, so I prefer to use it whenever possible. Please go ahead and turn off all of your home's recessed lights and lamps, because they tend to cast an unflattering yellow glow in the room. (For technical sake- it makes it extra difficult for me to white balance the scene with two different types of light.) For this reason, sessions are normally done mid-morning to late-afternoon when window lighting is its best. Majority of the shoot is usually done by a large window, so it can range from ANY room- a kitchen to the backdoor!
- MAKE THE BED.
Just this once at least, pretty please! There's nothing more intimate and lovely than photographing a new family all cuddled up in the bed together. Seriously. It tends to be some of my favorite images. I highly recommend light or creamy bedding to help keep the images light and airy. If you don't have it, we can keep the images with the bright and clean look by opening up the duvet and just using white sheets. Don't fret, I'm accustomed to making a ton of improvisations during my sessions. (Spoiler alert: kids are unpredictable. Go figure!)
- NICE N' COZY.
I recommend that you keep your home a tad warmer than usual during your session with me. If it's the summer season and your AC is running, we may temporarily turn it off so that the spot I use for the newborn portraits isn't directly under a vent (aka no need to turn on the heat). Remember, newborns are accustomed to being all warm and cozy in mama's womb. And then I come in, yanking their clothes off for those adorable naked baby shots...they tend to not be so happy! The warmer temperature is guaranteed to make the session run a bit more smooth and helps them sleep better. I may get some pit stains, but as long as the baby is warm and comfortable, that's all that matters!
- YOUR BABE.
Your little newborn is just perfect the way he or she is. I don't try to make babies sleep or place them in unnatural poses. I suggest you have your newborn with just a diaper on and wrapped up in a swaddle blanket OR in a simple onesie that is form fitting with no graphics or words (this usually means you will need a preemie or newborn sized onesie.) I will likely take it off and get some nude or near nude newborn photos as well. Also, if you have any, please gather a few favorite swaddle blankets for baby to be wrapped in. I'll be sure to bring my on-location gender-appropriate newborn inventory for your baby to use as well! I don't do any major posing or have any expectations on how the baby should behave (alert or asleep). I let the baby guide the session. What is MOST important is that we capture this beautiful time in your life.
- GOT MILK?
A tummy full of milk = happy baby! ...aka 'milk drunk.' If you CAN, please feed & burp your new babe right before our session so our little model is extra cooperative- try to time it to approximately 30 minutes prior to my arrival. I'll also be sure to allot for as many feeding breaks as needed to help your little one re-fuel. Modeling is tough work, and these newborn sessions can take quite a bit of time, and that is okay. Consider me a third parent and ready and willing to help!
Again, I know exactly what it's like to bring another babe to the home. I have two of my own, and it can be a big change for the other sibling. I usually try and get sibling and family photos right at the start because the sibling may lose interest in me quickly. I have no major expectations for the siblings, and will never force them into doing anything they aren't comfortable with. It's really best to prepare the sibling for the session by telling him or her that a friend is coming to visit and take some photos of your family. Feel free to show them my picture on FB or via my IG feed. It's always best NOT to surprise them! ;)
- MOM + DAD.
Last but not least! You are going to be both thrilled AND exhausted. You'll likely be experiencing some of the highest highs PLUS the lowest lows. Whoever said having a new baby is EASY?! Since mamas tend to be tasked to feeding baby (especially if breast-feeding), I tend to task dad to keeping mama's glass full of water and having handy snacks on hand. Your body is recovering and needs all the nourishment it can get!
My job and priority is to not make this time in your life look perfect, but rather, show you how beautiful it all is. My main goal is to show your future self and generations forward how you all FELT at this time. Those are the images I personally tend to connect with when I look through photographs.
I recommend neutral colors and comfort. Please visit my 'what to wear' blog post for some ideas and tips on what to wear, and 'busy mommy make up tips' here. What is MOST important is that you are comfortable. I am happy to discuss wardrobe with you further if you would like, or give you additional references of trusted hair + make-up artists. Just let me know!
Need more info to help plan your session?
Shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or give me a call: 312-833-2176.
This is such a special time, and I want you to be totally relaxed and excited for our fun day of documenting your first family memories together! :)