How To Prepare For Your Newborn Photography Session | Houston Newborn Photographer
Photographing Your Newborn is a Must!
Not just because its the trend nowadays (my baby photos sure didn't look like these) but because this moment goes by so fast, and, thanks in large part to sleep deprivation, so does your memory of it. It's also a lot of fun!
I went crazy when I was planning my son's newborn photos, I had diagrams and photoshopped images of what I wanted my photos to look like. But as always, I procrastinated and did all this at 38 weeks pregnant. We had to build, buy and gather all our things in such a short amount of time it created a lot of unnecessary stress. Luckily Jacob remained relatively sane (we were just a week away from becoming parents), and his mom was able to help us prepare as well. I've worked in the newborn field for years and knew that I should have been prepared earlier but time just flew by.
So I've put together some tips for all the moms-to-be out there. Some of these tips I've learned from years of experience in newborn photography but most of them are from my personal experience as a mother.
Schedule Your Newborn's Photos ASAP!
As you near the end of your pregnancy, you and your partner will have plenty of decisions to make and more than enough plans to finalize. Fortunately, preparing for your baby's first photo shoot can be a lot of fun!
The best time to photograph a newborn baby falls within 5-10 days after birth. Babies are easier to pose and curl up into those adorable positions during this time. After you've booked a solid date with your newborn photographer, set a target date to finalize the style of your baby's first portraits, pick out any outfits and props, and pack your bags. Setting that date around the 32 week mark in your pregnancy gives you more than enough time to avoid rushing around, but not too much time that you might be tempted to start changing plans. If you want to order anything special from Etsy or an online boutique shop, you'll want to allow plenty of time for production and shipping.
Have a Vision for Your Baby's First Portraits
Know what types of newborn photos you love and might want taken during the shoot. If you're not sure, at least have a style in mind. Find a professional newborn photographer that fits your style and adds their own creative ideas that complement your style. When you and your photographer have the same vision, you'll be able to collaborate and carefully incorporate the perfect outfits and unique details into your photo shoot ahead of time.
Communicate With Your Photographer
Communicating with your photographer is key. Let your photographer know what you are looking for, your style (rustic, modern, classic), or certain colors you want to use in the shoot, if you have any clothing or props to incorporate into the shoot (clothing, headbands, blankets etc), and which shots are most important to you (full lengths, close-ups, detail shots, family shots).
Embrace the Exhaustion
As futile as it may seem, mentally prepare to feel sleep deprived especially during the first few weeks. You will likely be more exhausted than you have ever been in your life. But don't worry! That's why you hired a professional newborn photographer, right? During the shoot, the photographer will handle all the posing, props, and in many cases will even do baby's wardrobe changes. All you'll have to do is relax (catch a few minutes of shuteye) and provide the milk, of course.
Pack Your Bags
I suggest having everything you need set aside in a bag so it's ready to go. You don't want to be frantically grabbing everything on the day of your newborn's photo session.
Plan on packing:
- Your Normal Diaper Bag
- Baby Clothes
- Special Props
- Anything bottle or nursing related!
- Your Outfits for Family Portraits
"Feed Me, Seymour!"
Feed your newborn 30 minutes prior to the shoot. Don't be surprised if you spend a good bit of your session feeding and comforting your baby. Babies are on their own schedules (and they're the boss) but even a little top-off will help prolong their sleep.
Our portrait studio offers new moms a calm, intimate space to feed their babies, which can make all the difference when you need to nurse your baby until they're full and sleepy. For bottle-fed babies, have a bottle ready and handy so we can feed them mid-pose to keep them calm and relaxed. You could also have a "paci" or two nearby to help soothe.
Your baby may eat a little more than usual during your session. When babies wake up, their first thought is often, "Oh! I'm awake, so it must be time to eat!" Don't stress! Newborn photos take lots of patience and time, which is why we schedule extra time for newborn sessions.
Remember: A full baby is a happy baby! And a happy baby makes for beautiful photos!
Dress For Success
Dress your baby in simple button/zipper footie pajamas. These are much easier to take off rather than something that goes over their head. We don't want to disturb a sleeping baby too much.
You should also dress comfortably. The studio will be extra warm with space heaters and cranked up central heat - essential for baby's comfort and deep sleep.
You should also plan on bringing extra clothes for your first family portraits with your new addition. Your newborn session should include more than enough time for you to change outfits in between the newborn photos and your family photos.
Don't stress! That's why you hired a professional photographer. We have lots of tricks up our sleeves and plenty of experience. So kick up your feet (those poor swollen things), try out your new rocking chair, and relax.
Finally, have fun with it!