10 Tips for Newborn Sessions

1.     Let me know as soon as possible after birth (or before if you have a scheduled birth) to schedule your newborn session.  It is recommended that newborns be photographed within the first 10 days after birth with 14 days being the maximum age to achieve sleepy portraits, though I can photograph your baby at any age.  Your session will be taken at your home.  I will soon be featuring a permanent newborn studio which will give you access to all of my backdrops and props as well as space heaters, a comfortable chair, etc.

2.     Have your home warm by either setting the thermostat to 80-85 degrees or have a space heater nearby.  I can provide a space heater as well.  Babies like the white noise space heaters make.  I also have additional white noise if necessary.  I can provide a heat pad to place under blankets the baby will lay on.

3.     If you would like to incorporate any items into the session (heirlooms, toys, blankets, pictures of desired poses, etc.) please have them gathered and ready before the session.

4.     Loosen your baby’s diaper 30 minutes before the session.  This makes diaper removal easier and minimizes imprints left from the diaper.

5.     30-minutes to 1 hour before I arrive, try to keep baby engaged and awake to get their energy used and help them become sleepy for their session time.

6.     Make sure baby has a full belly before I arrive.  If you breastfeed (but also use bottle) it may help to have a bottle of pumped milk or formula available to top baby off if baby has issues falling asleep during the session.

7.     After the baby is fed, make sure they are burped really well, because gas can make a sleepy baby irritable and unable to fully fall asleep.

8.     A mother’s smell is so recognizable (and sometimes distracting) to a baby, that it may be necessary for the mom to leave the room for portions of the session. This is not meant to hurt your feelings, but only to allow me to get the baby thinking sweet sleepy dreams, instead of hungry “where’s my milk?” dreams.

9.     If there is ever a point where you’re uncomfortable with the poses, simply let me know. I only want to do poses and shots that you are comfortable with.

10.  Be patient and flexible if baby gets fussy or alert.  Keep the environment as mellow as possible because the baby can sense your anxiety.  We will try to get the baby comfortable again, but sometimes that is not possible.  We can take feeding/rocking breaks and if that doesn’t work, I will be flexible and work with what the baby’s giving me.  Some of the best portraits are captured when the baby isn’t cooperating.  When this occurs, I will usually switch to the more interactive parent/baby portraits as cuddling helps calm a fussy baby.