Ultimate Newborn photo session prep guide for parents; Tips to Prepare for your Newborn Photo Session.
Table of content
- Schedule your session ahead of time
- Time frame
- Keep your baby awake before the session
- Feed your baby before the drive
- Undress to impress
- Feeding & Breaks
- Props and Wardrobe
- Family & Sibling photos
- What to wear
- Sit back and watch
Schedule your session ahead of time
It is important that you schedule your photography session ahead of time. Most Professional Newborn photographers in Brisbane will ideally agree to book a newborn photo-shoot when infants are between 5 to 14 days old (within the first two weeks after birth). At this intervals, they are still sleepy and curly which makes it easier to pose them in different ways and take a lot of stunning shots. That’s a small time frame, so you need to be thinking ahead. So, to ensure that your photo session goes effortlessly and to reduce stress, it is best to book ahead of time and beforehand.
It is important to understand that during your baby’s first two weeks they will be more likely to sleep through the photo session. This will allow your photographer to capture all of those gorgeous sleepy newborn photos you desire.
By planning on time, you and your photographer will be ready and prepared before the birth of baby. It also will be less likely that your photographer will be fully booked. If you delay until after your baby is born there are chances your photographer may be all booked up within those first two weeks and you may not get your preferred photographer or your preferred time. Therefore, leaving you with options of shopping based on availability instead of finding what fits your preferred style and taste.
The ideal time to start the booking process is around your second trimester as early as three months prior to your approximate due date. Reach out to the photographer you want and tell them your due date. If anything else is needed such as a coordinating headband or matching outfit, props, your photographer will have enough time to research and purchase any additional items needed for the photo-shoot. Book your spot and wait for baby’s arrival.
Newborn photography can either be in studio or in your home. Generally there are two styles of newborn photography. Lifestyle and posed. In Lifestyle photos, babies are not posed, they are placed on the bed in a natural sleeping posture while been photographed. However posed portraits are when baby is posed and the look super cute and adorable. this is usually what parents look for.
However most times, posed photography is done in the studio while lifestyle can be done at your home.
It is important to check with your photographer for their style of photography and the location where the photo shoot will take place. This is to ensure you are not taken unaware.
Chances are your photo session (especially posed styles) will last for close to 4 hours so I greatly recommend eating a good robust breakfast before leaving your home. I know this can be a very exciting and demanding time for you, particularly when adding sleep deprivation in the mix! As much as the goal is for your baby to be relaxed and happy, Mum should also be comfortable and strong! Having a photographer shoot this precious moments for you, means a lot!
Parents can keep themselves busy on the phone or entertainment if provided. Usually some photographers request parents’ assistance in spotting. By parent lending their helping hands during the photo-shoot, they may not feel time pass.
KEEP YOUR BABY AWAKE BEFORE THE SESSION
It’s a known fact that babies sleep a lot. But sometimes, their sleep patterns don’t cooperate with plans for the photoshoot. If you want your little one dozing off during the photo session, so you can receive those adorable sleepy newborn poses, keep them up for a while before your photographer arrives.
Although this is not an easy task, parents are advised to only try their best and not stress out. The truth is that bub will eventually sleep but it may take a longer time for that to happen. A nicely fed baby and burp is likely to sleep off faster. This helps prevent hiccups and gas trapped in the tummy.
Keeping your baby awake preceding to a photo session is a great way to ensure they will sleep through most of the time. That will lead to peaceful and relaxed photo session, instead of ones where they look infuriated or red-faced from crying.
FEED YOUR BABY BEFORE THE DRIVE
Infants of most animal specie are some of the hungriest beings on this Earth. You don’t want their photo shoot interrupted by their desperate cries for milk. It is a good idea to feed and burp your newborn right before your photo session begins so as baby is nice and sleepy this could mean; a smooth newborn photo session, less crying, more photos, cute poses, better sleep, and relaxed parents and happy photographer!). If you are lucky, he might even drift off into a deep nice sleep.
Try your best keep them happy and awake during the drive. It is normal that babies sleep once the car is on the move. Even adults love to sleep during a travel. Most professional photographers will slowly undress baby if he comes into the studio asleep.
Most photo sessions last around 2 to 4 hours, which leaves sufficiently of time for top ups if your child wakes up wanting a drink. Just make sure to have an extra bottle on hand if you use formula. At times like this, dummy/pacifier comes in handy to keep the distracted while posing and curling those little bodies.
However, they are likely to wake up at interval for top-ups due top frequent stimulation while trying to pose them.
Feed and Burp Baby During the Shoot
If your infant has a packed tummy, they will probably be more cooperative during the entire photo shoot. This is because they are more likely to fall into a nice deep sleep on a full belly. ”A milk drunk and burped baby is a sleepy baby”.
A satisfied and comfortable baby will make it easier for your photographer to capture quite a number of cute sleepy poses. In addition, when your baby is fast asleep positioning them in all those gorgeous poses that you want will be much easier and quicker.
A full stomach will also help to keep your baby settled throughout the photo shoot. Posed Newborn photography sessions may take up to 3 hours, so this is very essential to have a calm baby. Lucky for everyone it may take less than 2 hours for some babies who just love their sleep.
Don’t forget to come along with baby’s formula and expressed milk. Infants will need feeding breaks during the course of the newborn photography session, especially if they are a little fussy and unhappy. A quick meal paired with some cuddling and your little bubba will be good for the spotlight once more! Hungry babies wake up often in the middle of the session crying and desperately seeking food.
If you are having a photo-shoot in your studio, most newborn photographers will recommend dressing your baby in a loose pair of pyjamas or wonder suit. It is best if these clothing items zip or button all the way down, as this will make it easier to undress them slowly without waking the and gradually placing them on the posing bed
A loose diaper is best because it will avoid creating diaper marks around their waist. This will give any little red marks that resemble clothing seams time to disappear before photo time although these marks can be taken of at post production. So, it’s nothing big to worry yourself about.
It is also important to loosen up your baby’s clothing and diapers before the photo shoot. This will give any little red marks that resemble clothing seams time to disappear before picture time.
If you are holding the photo shoot in your house then, undress baby and swaddle him or use a blanket to keep your baby warm before the photo shoot. As most baby photographers love to pose babies naked or they come with their own outfits and wraps. A loose blanket around them or a nice swaddle is less likely to leave red marks and leaves baby already undressed for the photo session.
Loosen Up Clothing
Regulate the Temp!.
Speaking of naked babes, loosen the diaper a little before we arrive if you are interested in having cute newborn photos without a diaper. This will eliminate any annoying diaper lines and the need for retouching later.
Since babies are usually photographed naked, the studio will be set at a temperature of 80F to ensure baby is warm and comfortable. If we’re not sweating, it’s probably not warm enough for baby! Parent’s please make sure to wear comfortable loose clothing. I will also provide water and snacks.
Feeding & Breaks
I highly recommend if you’re solely breastfeeding to pump and bottle feed your milk for your babies session. I’ve had mom’s that breastfeed for up to an hour and unfortunately that does delay the session quite a bit and does count against your allotted time coverage as well. If you don’t pump, my only alternative is to formula feed just for this session only. As a mother to 3 boys I’ve realized breastmilk doesn’t keep our babies fuller longer so choosing to formula feed for the session, will not only be a little easier for you but it will keep them asleep longer during the handling and posing for a scene. Moms, please just be advise, it’s just a recommendation so if you choose to do neither, its completely okay. As a newborn photographer, I just feel it’s my duty to offer any advice or tips that you as a parent can use to maximize the time we have in the studio and in return you’ll be able to showcase and display more than the average number of baby photos! ♥
SIT BACK AND WATCH
Your photographer knows what they’re doing. Let them run the show. As a mother, you may have that innate urge to pick your child up with every grunt they make, and it can be hard to see someone else handling them. This is why it’s important to find a professional newborn photographer with experience and positive reviews.
Photographers know how much your infant means to you, and they are treated accordingly. Any experienced newborn photographer will know exactly what positions will be comfortable for your child and how to move them delicately so they won’t wake up.
Your photographer should be used to working with worried parents and will know how to put you at ease. However, if at any point during the session you start to feel uncomfortable, make sure to let your photographer know. It’s just as important for you to feel comfortable as it is for your little one.
Also, try not to stress if your tot is being fussy. Babies can feel their mama’s stress or tension, so if you’re calm, your infant may relax too.