I have 5 nephews, 1 great-nephew, 1 little sister that’s 20 years younger than me, and my very own little one. I have a very big family, and I feel like I’ve been around babies my whole life. When I started doing newborn photography, even with all the babies that I had been around, I still didn’t really know what I was doing. Now, I’m not going to sit here and type that I know everything there is to know about babies, and I don’t for a minute believe that all babies are the same. However, I have learned a thing or two that might help your newborn session go a little smoother.
1) The easiest thing you could do before your session is make sure baby is well fed & has a clean diaper. Just like kids and adults, babies like to have a full tummy and be nice and dry. If you want naked baby pictures, it’s a good idea to keep baby’s diaper a bit loose to keep skin nice and smooth and free of diaper lines. **If you want breastfeeding pictures, it’s ok to not have baby full when I get there.**
2) I have clients confess to me that they feel stressed about cleaning their house before I visit. Your house DOES NOT have to look like you live in a magazine. The focus of your images will be baby (and possibly parents, siblings, grandparents, and the family pet). I tell my clients to just hide the visible clutter. I’m NOT there to judge you, or inspect your home. I’m there to capture beautiful images of your baby. Remember, I’m a mom too, I know how busy having a newborn in the house can make you. I don’t expect that you’ll have your home detailed before my visit.
3) Speaking of home, baby will be happiest if it is nice and warm at home. I’ve read blog posts where photographers have said to keep the area you’ll be taking pictures in around 85 degrees, I feel like every baby is different though. I say, keep the area at a temperature where you would be comfortable naked. ESPECIALLY if you want naked baby pictures. The clothed adults in the room might feel a little sweaty, but baby will be comfortable and relaxed.
4) Props. If you have a particular prop you want for your session, or an outfit (or outfits) you want used during your babies session, try to gather them beforehand. It will take a lot of stress away if you already have everything gathered that you want to use for your session. Likewise, if there is a prop you would like me to make (or have crocheted for you), I request at least 2 weeks notice, if at all possible. I love making homemade props for sessions, but making them means spending time on them, and I might not have all the supplies, so having a little time before your session will ensure that your special props did not have to be rushed to get completed on time.
5) Expect our session to last between 1 & 2 hours. Newborn sessions are not rushed, we go along at a pace suitable for your baby. Sometimes baby is content and sleepy and we can get the whole shoot done in an hour, sometimes baby is fussy and it takes a little patience to get baby to calm down and relax enough to get some great shots.
In the end, it comes down to one simple rule: baby runs the show. 😉