Newborn sessions are my joy. Those sweet brand new little angles are my muse and photographing them simply and genuinely makes my day. I spend some time every day learning to perfect my craft. I have prepared A Guide on What to Expect at Your Newborn Photo Session. This little guide will help you prepare for your baby’s newborn photo shoot and help answer any questions or concerns you may have.
A Guide on What to Expect at Your Newborn Photo Session is your essential roadmap for capturing the beauty and innocence of your little bundle of joy during those precious early days. Safety is my top priority, and we adhere to the highest standards of baby safety throughout the session. My commitment to quality extends to scheduling. I only accommodate a limited amount of newborns each month to photograph to ensure each session receives the attention and care it deserves.
From the moment I step into your home, you can expect me to be warm and nurturing where your baby’s comfort is paramount. This guide will walk you through the process, offering tips and insights to make your newborn’s photo session a memorable and delightful experience for you and your family.
A Guide on What to Expect at Your Newborn Photo Session
Capturing the little details of your baby’s newborn stage is a precious endeavor, and in-home sessions have become increasingly popular for their ability to preserve the authenticity of these early days. At your in-home newborn photo session, you can expect the focus to be on your baby’s comfort and the natural beauty of your home environment. The last thing you should worry about is a sterile studio backdrop.
Instead, your photographer will work with soft lighting and cozy spaces to create timeless images that truly reflect your family’s unique bond. These sessions offer an intimate glimpse into your everyday life with your newborn, emphasizing the warmth of your home and the tenderness of those fleeting moments you’ll want to cherish forever.
Your Newborn Baby
Your Newborn photography session is a very special milestone and I want to help you capture this fleeting moment. Newborn sessions are designed for babies 14 days and younger. The best time to photograph your little one is from day five to day ten. During this time Newborns tend to be sleepier and retain that fresh newborn curl. After 14 days, newborns tend to develop things like colic and baby acne, they also tend to be more alert and stay awake longer.
During the Newborn Portrait Session
Most newborn sessions take place in the comfort of your own home. You will have access to my large selection of props. In addition, I will provide & create the perfect lighting and cozy setting for a sleepy and happy baby. Before the session, your baby should be well-fed. Expect Debra to arrive approximately 10-15 early to allow for any feeding time and setting up the photography equipment. To ensure that your newborn is warm and comfortable, I will provide a warmer. During your session, I will pose and handle your baby with the utmost care. There is no need to worry if you are not feeling 100% yet. I will soothe, swaddle, and ensure the baby is kept happy.
When to schedule a session
By the end of your second trimester, you want to start thinking about booking a newborn photoshoot with a Professional newborn photographer. Newborn sessions are designed for babies 14 days and younger. The best day to photograph your little one is from day five to day ten. This is the ideal time for newborns that tend to be sleepier and retain that fresh newborn curl. After 14 days, newborns tend to develop things like colic and baby acne, they also tend to be more alert and stay awake longer. I will set your newborn session date on a temporary date (usually your baby’s due date). Once you have given birth, simply give me a call, and we will select a few tentative dates for your newborn session within the first 5-10 days, depending on the arrival of your new baby.
Photo ideas to think about
When we schedule your session, we will have a conversation about what you are looking for. Do you want only pictures of the baby? Are you more interested in your infant being photographed with family than in some of my props? Are there specific poses you are looking for? For example, if one of you is a soldier, do you want your infant to be photographed with props that you will bring from home like a flag or helmet? Are you including older siblings? Will Dad be there? Do you want some skin-on-skin shots? All of these questions will help me to build a session that is a perfect fit for you.
Feeding the baby
When I arrive at your home, I will give you space and time to feed the baby and soothe your newborn to sleep once I arrive. The reason this works best is that if you feed your baby before I arrive, your baby will start their sleep cycle a little too early. I will get everything set up to ensure that your newborn is warm and comfortable.
With the session taking place at your home, ensure that your heat is turned up to 80 degrees before I arrive. Start nursing baby 30 minutes before my arrival, without any clothes, just a diaper, and then remove some of the layers of blanket to keep them awake and feeding longer.
The Checklist for Your Newborn Session
The Day Before
- Do not schedule vaccinations the day before your session!
- Tire baby out with stimulating activities so s)he will want to sleep the next day
The Day Of
- Keep baby awake at least 90 minutes before the session
- Ensure the diaper or any clothing isn’t strapped on too tightly to avoid red marks
- Clothe baby in something easy to slip on and off without causing disturbance
- Feed baby until (s)he is full
During The Session
- Turn on a fan or white noise to help the baby sleep
- Mom should dress in layers for the heated room
- If the session is in your home, crank up the heat! It should feel like a sauna (80 degrees+)
- The surrounding environment should be quiet and relaxing – free from loud noise & distractions without causing disturbance
What to keep in arm’s reach
Spare shirts for both of you, clean diapers & baby wipes as pee/poop accidents happen. It is also a good idea to please have a pacifier as it helps to get babies to sleep and soothe them. If you have one (even if your child won’t take it) please have it for the session as it may help. I strongly encourage you to bring any special hats, hair bands, bracelets, etc You may not like what I have and I may fall in love with what you want to include. So not only will your additions give us more to choose from they are also extra special since they belong to your little one.
I have a nice collection of bowls, baskets, blankets, knit hats, and headbands that we’ll have available at your session. 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. If you have any family heirlooms, toys, hats, props, etc. that you would like me to use in your session, please gather them before we arrive. We may not get the chance to use ALL of the items, but we’ll look through them with you to determine what will work best. We also strongly recommend that you Discuss any ideas, props, or poses you have in mind at least a week before your session.
What To Wear For Parents
I know! You just had a baby and aren’t feeling your best. But we think this is the perfect time to pamper yourself! Go have your hair + makeup done (or better yet, have someone come to you!), schedule a massage, or have your nails done.
Looking super relaxed and at your best will make you feel more comfortable during the session. This is an exciting time in your life and we want to capture all of that…so take care of yourself first! And feel free to tell your husband that we’re making you if they need a little convincing! LOL As far as clothing? Keep it simple. Throw in a little color if you’d like, but skip the heavy patterns. (And please don’t feel the need to match everyone in white shirts and jeans – there’s simple… and then there’s boring!) For moms, we suggest cotton knit camis and knit tops. I am also a big fan of skin-on-skin sessions with you holding your baby against you. They’re so simple + timeless! So if you want some portraits like this with your newborn, consider a strapless top or tank as an alternative.
Shooting in Natural Light
In lifestyle newborn photography, harnessing the best natural light is paramount to creating stunning and heartwarming newborn portraits. The soft, gentle illumination that streams through windows or filters in from outdoor sources often provides the best light for capturing the innocence and beauty of a newborn. I am skilled in this style of photography and understand the art of using the environment’s available light to its fullest advantage. By doing so, I can create newborn portraits that radiate a timeless and authentic quality, showcasing the true essence of those precious early days in a way that artificial lighting simply cannot replicate.
Relax, be calm & enjoy the moment
Once I arrive at your home, I will give you, the new mom some time to feed and soothe your baby. This is the perfect time for me (your photographer) to set up & wash my hands. As soon as the baby is happy and sleepy we can get started. During your session, I will pose and handle your baby with the utmost care. There is no need to worry if you are not feeling 100% yet. I will soothe, swaddle, and ensure the baby is kept happy.
If the baby is really wide awake and does not want to sleep, I will swaddle the baby to get some photos and use the parents as a prop, holding the baby over the shoulder or in your arms. A fussy baby almost always settles down when held by mom or dad. Furthermore, I encourage all of my parents to take part in the session. I love capturing relational-type photos with moms, dads, and siblings.
I start my sessions by taking some portraits of your baby on a Beanbag.
During this time, I am looking for some great body shots and capturing some of the baby’s bits and pieces like his/her hands and feet. After that, we will move on to some relationship poses. I will get my pictures with Mom, Dad, Siblings & the entire family at this time. Once we have these more important poses under our belt, I will move on to photographing your newborn in the props that you have chosen. Your newborn session will last approximately 2-3 hours long. This ensures we have enough time to pose and take whatever breaks necessary such as feedings. Lastly, Once the session is complete, I will pack up, and before I leave, I will go over the last-minute details on what to expect next.
Note: Please that no outside cameras, videos, or cell phone cameras are allowed to be used during the session.
Now comes the best part …
It’s the end of the session & now you can go relax and dream about all the beautiful images that will soon be yours. I go through the images from your session and select the best, and I am looking for the cream of the crop. I usually narrow it down to 45-50 images. Once I have the “final cut” selected I go through each individual picture. I look to correct any blemishes. Tiny details like baby acne or hairs on shirts once corrected can make all the difference in an image! My process also includes looking for images that would shine with a special touch like a vignette or a special color application.
Your beautiful photos will be ready for viewing within two weeks. You will have the option to purchase the entire gallery, prints & products. Once full payment is received I will send you an email and we can discuss how you would like them delivered. All selected images will be delivered to you via download from the online gallery. I will provide a print release so that you can print your images (up to 8×10) at the lab of your choice without any hassle. You will need to have it with you when you place your order and/or when you pick it up. The license does not give you full copyrights to your images. It simply allows for printing and using your images in products you might want to purchase.
Getting your photos printed
You have two options to get your images in print. You can either order prints directly from me or you have the option to order your own prints. If printing yourself here are some things to keep in mind. First, your pictures are all sized to be 8×10′s. This is the native ratio my camera captures images. If you are printing in any other size you will need to re-size your image. Second, I have processed your pictures and I think they are perfect as they are.
If you forget to tell your lab to not “auto-correct” (often times it is a box on the order form that is automatically selected), then they will add saturation and contrast to your images. They will not resemble the professionally edited images I have provided for you. Third, be careful which lab you choose. We recommend a professional photography printing lab as opposed to labs like Walmart, Costco, etc.
Choose me! Get 20% off!
If you choose to let me handle your printing needs I will take care of all these issues and ensure you get some great quality prints. Additionally, you can receive 20% off print orders by using my printing service. I also offer many a la carte products for your prints like birth announcement cards, collages, wall art, canvases, and more. Contact me for information!