Contact your photographer (that's me!) prior to your due date, preferably during your second trimester, so that I can ensure I've saved some time for you in my calendar. Once your precious little bundle of joy has joined the world outside your womb, contact me again and we will book you in for a specific date and time.
When is a newborn not a newborn?
These sessions are only considered to be "newborn" sessions when done during the first 14 days of your child's life. The most optimal time to do it is between days 3 and 7 when your child sleeps nearly all day long, but you've had some time to recover and adjust after delivery. Ultimately, however, the day we schedule your session will be up to you; just understand, however, that the longer we wait, the more difficult it will be to achieve those iconic "newborn" poses.
Party of five?
Consider who you would like to be in the photos. Will it just be your new baby, or will the parents and/or siblings be joining in? Knowing who is going to be involved and roughly how old they are is important so that I can more efficiently plan a workflow of how we're going to progress through the session.
No "pillow scars," please!
You know how, when your face lands on a discarded sweater after you pass out on the couch in a pregnancy-induced coma, you sometimes end up with weird creases across your face? I call these "pillow scars." But of course you can get them from contact with just about anything! Even your baby will have these temporary indents in their skin from wearing tight little diapers and newborn outfits. But we don't want those lines showing up in your photos, so it's best to please loosen your baby's clothing and diaper at least 30 minutes in advance of the session.
We'd like for most of your images to be shot while your baby is in a deep, relaxed sleep. For this reason, it's a good idea if you do what you can to ensure your baby is fairly exhausted leading up to the session. Be careful not to deprive them of too much sleep, however, as sleep is super important to your baby's development.
Babies sleep better with a full tummy, so please try to schedule a feed as close to the beginning of your session as possible.
Keep it down!
If you're bringing family members, especially other children, along to your newborn session, please ensure they are able to remain fairly quiet for the duration of the session. Not only will sudden, loud noises wake your sleeping baby, but they could very well startle your baby into a fit of tearful wailing. White noise, however, can be extremely helpful as it reminds your baby of what the world sounded like from within your womb. I will be playing white noise softly for the duration of your newborn session to help keep your baby nice and calm.
Newborn babies like to be warm. Really warm. So for this reason I will have the heat cranked up! Please be sure that you and anyone else you bring along is dressed appropriately so that you're not feeling uncomfortably hot.
Patience, young Padawan
Above all else, patience is key. Newborn photo sessions can take anywhere from two to four hours, depending on how well your baby sleeps and poses. It's important that you not schedule anything important directly after your session so that you feel as little stress to finish as possible. You'll be able to make yourself at home, indulge in some coffee or tea, and just enjoy watching your new little bundle of joy. Don't worry if your baby completely refuses to sleep; wide-eyed babies full of wonder at this new world around them are simply gorgeous and can make for breathtaking photos.
Your baby's safety is always our NUMBER ONE priority. I will never put your child in danger. There are definitely a lot of poses and props out there that look like a child could be in danger, and many amateur photographers will attempt to replicate these photos in a dangerous manner. Fortunately, I am adept at what's called "compositing" images: digitally combining two or more images to make a single picture. It's in this way the professionals are able to get that iconic "froggy" pose, or make it look as though a baby is hanging in a blanket suspended from a delicate tree branch. If at any point you ever feel uncomfortable with something I'm doing, please speak up!
With your consent, some photos will be taken while your child is not wearing a diaper. Don't worry; your baby's privates will not be visible in any photos. Sometimes during this part of the session your baby will
poop and/or pee. Please don't worry or feel embarrassed about that; everything your baby comes into contact with is something I am 100% comfortable cleaning the poop and pee off of. In fact, everything is cleaned prior to and directly after each newborn session, regardless of whether your child decides to paint it yellow.
So many props, so little time...
We have a selection of cheesecloth wraps, hats, headbands, buckets, baskets, blankets, crowns, etc. for you to choose from. I strongly believe that, for these photos, less is more. The more stuff you add to the setup of a photo, the more that stuff detracts from the main subject: your adorable little baby. That said, these are YOUR photos, and I am here to give you what YOU want! I begin preparing my work flow of your session weeks in advance, so if you want to add in props of your own or have any specific ideas you'd like me to capture, please discuss them with me well in advance.
Sometimes when your baby is fussing, it's because they can smell Mom's milk, and they WANT THAT. Moms, I may ask you to step out of the room (don't worry, it's open concept) to give your baby time to calm down and fall asleep.