While newborn photography is challenging, it is so incredibly rewarding to capture those first moments of life. Little ones change so quickly and I am committed to providing clients with beautiful newborn photos they will treasure forever. This takes some planning and preparation by both myself and my clients. Below are some tips on how clients can prepare for a newborn session in order to get the very best photos from a session.
I mention this first because safety is my first priority. I am an experienced newborn photograper and the safety of your little one is my top priority! I have been photographing newborns for several years and I have taken hands-on workshops and studied posing and safety videos. And I have my own little one... so I know how important safety is! Some shots will be done using composites of two or more images to ensure that your baby is never placed in a position that is unsafe. While I want you to relax, there may be a few times when I ask that a parent lend a hand for support if necessary. It is amazing the positions newborns are comfortable in (they are used to very small spaces) and I will make several attempts to get a pose, however in the end I will not jeopardize safety to get any particular photograph.
I photograph a limited number of newborns each month in order to be flexible with a client's delivery date. Your little one is calling the shots at this point so I will work around when they decide to make their arrival! For this reason I recommend booking early (before your last trimester). Although I may have last minute availability (please contact me ASAP if you need a session soon), it doesn't hurt to plan ahead. I normally start my sessions at 9am to ensure we have plenty of time to get lots of great shots. In addition, I normally book my sessions on weekdays.
While some families prefer to leave everything up to me at a session (and that's fine with me), others have specific requests. You migt love neutral colors and want to stick with those! Or maybe you've seen a bowl or bed I've used and love it (visit my newborn portfolio for examples of some of the props and poses I've used). Maybe you'd like to coordinate the colors in some photos to match those in your baby's nursery (great for that canvas you may want to hang above the crib), or you want to incorporate a sentimental item. Please let me know these things in advance and I will incorporate them in to the flow of the session! I take great care in planning props and colors for each session in advance.
Contact me as soon as possible after delivery so we can firm up your session date. Newborns are best photographed between 7 and 14 days. This is the perfect time to get those great posed, squishy baby shots because family and baby have developed somewhat of a schedule and baby is of the age where they are still sleepy. It may be possible to photograph your baby outside of this timeframe, but please contact me.
Make sure you do not eat spicy or acidic foods the night/morning before your newborn session as this can make baby uncomfortable and less likely to sleep. Pull out outfits for parents and siblings and make sure they are cleaned and pressed.
I only photograph newborns in my home studio (4460 S. Himalaya Ct, Aurora). I find this ideal for several reasons. I can regulate the temperature necessary to ensure naked babies are comfortable, I am able to use specialized lighting, and I have access to all props needed to make your session unique.
Please dress baby in loose clothing (with relatively loose diaper to avoid lines on skin) that can be removed without taking it over baby's head. This helps eliminate the chance of waking baby when we prepare to photograph him/her. It is EXTREMELY helpful to keep baby awake for about 90 minutes before your arrival. I know this can be tough sometimes but it is well worth it since it saves valuable time in the studio when baby is sleepy! Upon arrival, I recommend feeding your little one (even if you are topping them off) to make sure they are "milk drunk".
If your baby takes a pacifier, PLEASE ENSURE you bring it! This is often essential to settle baby into those cute positions. Make sure to bring plenty of formula if your baby does not breastfeed as well as diapers and wipes (I'll also have some available). I am also happy to help incorporate sentimental, military, or sports items (please send photos of these items in advance to help me prepare).
Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 3-5 hours. It all depends on baby’s mood and willingness to sleep. Unfortunately…this isn’t something we can predict! Please don't stress about baby not wanting to sleep as they will pick up on this, making it even more difficult. Feeding, diaper changes, and cuddling to get baby comfortable may take up a large portion of the session, which is why I allow so much time. I am extremely patient and will take whatever time is necessary to ensure baby is settled and photographed. I have a couch in my studio for parents to relax and you are always welcome to bring food or have it delivered to the studio.
I know... you just had a baby and aren’t feeling your best and you likely don't feel like your are looking your best. Maybe you want to opt out of photos with your baby, but DON'T! You may regret it later! Allow me take some family photos with your little one then decide whether your want those photos after you see them (you are under no obligation to select family photos). I guarantee that years down the road you (and your baby) will be happy to have those photos as cherised memories. Moms - this may be the perfect time to pamper yourself with hair, makeup, and/or a manicure. You've been through a lot... and you deserve it.
I am more than happy to photograph children with newborns. If you are bringing children under the age of 8 to a session, I ask that they only be at the studio for the time they are being photographed (normally at the beginning). While I do have a small sitting area (and some toys), it is best to have a calm environment that allows everyone to focus on baby so having a family member or sitter take other children for the remainder of the session is very helpful. Pets will be considered on a case by case basis, so please contact me if you would like to include pets in your photos.
Let's face it... baby's make messes. I expect this. While some photos of your baby will be while they are wrapped and have a diaper underneath, some photos will be taken while they are in their birthday suit. Please don't worry about messes. It is a normal part of the process that I expect. All my blankets, outfits, etc. are washed after each session.
Part of my service is to ensure that families have access to a wide range of props for their newborn session. I have lots of blankets and backrops as well as wraps, rompers, and hats made specifically for newborn photos. I have a wide variety of headbands for little girls. And then there are the beds, baskets, bowls, buckets, etc. that help make your newborns photos unique. Okay, I admit it... I have a slight prop shopping addiction :) All of these items are available for use during your newborn session so you don't need to bring anything but your baby!
Keep it simple... although you can have a little color, please skip anything that looks too busy for family members so we can capture some classic photos. I also recommend that parents dress in layers because the studio will be very warm... a cami under a sweater or blouse is great for Moms and big sisters while short sleeves under button-ups or sweaters is great for Dads and big brothers. Moms can also use my newborn wraps and maternity gowns for photos with their newborn.