What Should You Expect During Your Newborn Photography Session?
Congratulations on your new baby (or their impending arrival). Having a child is one of the most life changing and wonderful things in all of the world. Seeing their faces for the first time is a moment that you will never, not once, forget. To say that they are your heart, walking around outside your body, is an understatement.
Unfortunately, this newborn period is fleeting. Blink, and it’s over. You’re soon walking hand in hand to drop them off at kindergarten, or you will be taking them to their first Tae Kwon Do tournament. Blink again and before you know it, you’re teaching them how to drive and discussing college applications.
Having a newborn is over in a split second. No joke. My youngest and last baby is going to be 6 in a few months and my soon-to-be 8 year old is way too tall to carry (despite me wanting to!) She is almost as tall as me!
So, it is important that you immortalize your fresh new Earthbound baby with a newborn photography session.
When Should You Schedule a Newborn Photography Session?
I recommend booking your newborn photography session within the first 7 days after birth. Your baby will most likely still be tired from birth and haven’t yet had to go through a major growth spurt. Sometimes, though, things can happen and you or your baby may not be available within the first 7 days — and that is okay. But keep in mind that the older they are, the more awake and fussy they will be; therefore, the newborn photography session will take longer. Because of this, some typical newborn poses may not be possible. Some older babies just won’t have it. 😉
If you have time and the patience, as I most certainly do, and your child is beyond the recommended 7 days — you can still have the newborn portrait session of your dreams. It will just take longer to accomplish it.
Arriving at the Studio
You will want to:
- Meet your photographer and acclimate yourself to the studio. Feel free to ask for something to drink as I have an entire fridge of drinks for my thirsty clients. Look for and use the bathroom if needed. Find somewhere comfortable to park yourself and rest your body. Take off your shoes. You’re going to be here a while.
- Feed your baby at the studio. Please try NOT to feed your newborn before you leave (unless you have a long car ride.) Instead, try and wait to give a good feed when you arrive at the photography studio. You will want to get him or her undressed (except for their diaper) and then feed them. Having your child as naked as possible will help your photographer be able to move the baby around without the unpleasant experience of getting undressed. Babies hate that. Plus, giving your baby a really good feed right before the session will help put him or her into a deep and comforting sleep, making posing the baby that much easier.
During the Session
- The room will be warm. For each newborn photography session, I set the room at 82-85 degrees. It’s not comfortable and you will sweat. But for a baby fresh out of a 98 degree womb, it will be extremely comforting to them and help your newborn sleep more comfortably during their newborn session. I use a space heater for directional heating on the baby, as well, as it provides a nice warm breeze.
- White Noise. I use a white noise machine, placed near the baby’s head during their posing. This further helps keep the baby calm. You may even like it too and want to fall asleep on the couch. Feel free. I know you need your sleep.
- Each Session takes 2-4 hours. I will spend a lot of time comforting your baby and preparing them for posing. When and if they startle, I will calm and repose them. Sometimes it takes multiple tries to get the right shot. Sometimes your baby will not quite be full enough, dry enough, or asleep enough. This is how I get my newborn cuddling in.
- I take hundreds of pictures. But they’re not all going to be good. I just want to make sure that, when I photograph, I get all angles possible and that I don’t miss that surprise smile. Out of these many pictures that I take during the newborn session, you can expect to see about 20-30 professionally edited photographs. Believe me– any more images to look at will just be overwhelming and no, I will not show you ALL of the raw images I take. That would be a lot of unnecessary time wasted and you are already seeing the best of the best.
After the Session
- I try and get a preview up within 48 hours. How I pick the preview image has no rhyme or reason. I simply see a photo that stands out to me during the exporting off my camera, and I do a quick edit and post it to Facebook to show off your sweet baby’s face. If your Facebook permissions allow, I’ll tag you. Feel free to tag your loved ones and show that baby off!
- Viewing and Ordering Session. Editing newborn sessions takes a lot of time, and can take up to two weeks or longer. However, if you are in a rush to get newborn announcements out, or to simply see your images — then we will schedule your viewing and ordering session within the week. At each viewing and ordering session, I will showcase my favorite newborn images from your newborn photography session, and help you figure out which ones you like the best and, then, help you figure out what you want to do with those pictures! That’s often the most difficult part! However, when you hire a professional portrait artist, it is my pleasure to help you find the perfect solution.
Things to Know
- Don’t try to wake up your baby. Other than the occasional “open eyed” photos, you will want your newborn baby to be sleeping the entire time. This makes them easy to pose. When they are awake at this stage, they will fight the poses more and just want to eat or be held. This increases the time needed to get those much needed and requested poses!
- Your baby will pee, poop, and puke on the photographer and all of the props. Don’t apologize. It is my job and I completely expect and accept that this will happen. It’s actually RARE that it doesn’t happen. This is why I don’t wear my Sunday best while photographing newborns. You may see me in a t-shirt and pajama pants. I certainly won’t be wearing anything special; not when I often end the session with a special gift from your new sweetheart. =) That being said, bring a change of clothes for yourself, too — something you won’t mind getting peed, pooped, or puked on. Parent’s usually get the best gifts. 😉
- All blankets, props, and outfits are washed in between sessions. I wash all blankets, props, and outfits in between sessions. Germs not allowed. Rest easy that your child’s fragile and new immune system will not be compromised using items that I supply to the session.
- Don’t bring a ton of outfits. Unless there is an outfit that has significant meaning in an outfit, most likely they will not be used. The outfit is not what is being showcased, the baby is — and my style is often more simplistic in nature. Plus, the more outfits you bring, the more often you will have to undress and dress your baby — and like I said before, babies just don’t like that. Shoes are pointless until kids are walking. Plus, baby toes are so much more adorable than rubber soles.
- Rest Easy. Don’t stress about a single thing during your newborn session. When you stress, the baby stresses.
- Feel free to vent. Parenting a newborn isn’t easy. Hormones are crazy and I fully give you permission to cry or to share thoughts and feelings that you don’t feel you can share with others. As a parent who has, twice, suffered from postpartum depression, nothing shocks me. I certainly won’t judge you, and I definitely care about how you are feeling. I know what it is like to just want to be heard, and I care about you and your wellbeing, so I will carry an entire in-depth conversation with you during the newborn session, if you need someone to talk to. Don’t hesitate for a moment if you just want to talk to someone about how you are feeling — my ears and my heart are open.
Please, please, please, don’t hesitate or forego getting newborn portraits done of your tiny new blessing. They will never be this small again and you’ll want to remember every single detail. When your fresh baby is full grown, you will be very grateful for the newborn portraits taken of them, years and years later. =)