Why do we need to prepare for a baby photography session?
A newborn baby photo shoot takes around 3h, no matter if you come with few days old baby or 1-2 month old one, shoot still will take around 3h.Why does it take so much time? Newborn session is not only about taking photos (this part takes maybe 30% of the session time), but mostly we focus on the baby’s well-being, relaxation and calmness. The session goes accordingly to the baby’s mood and comfort, not the other way around.
The main point of a newborn baby photo session is to capture the sweetest, pure sleeping poses. As a new parent you probably can’t wait for the child’s first smiles, giggling, and then sitting, crawling and walking, but as a parent of 2 wonderful daughters and auntie of… 5, I promise, You will miss those tiny fingers, toes and sleepy, innocent faces.That’s why we always try prepare ourselves to adapt session plan to baby’s sleepy and relaxed mood as much as possible.Of course, every baby is different, and what we imagine and expect, doesn’t have to correspond to the child. Despite of our preparation and perfect planning, the baby could have its own plan 😉
Planning the session
Before the session you will be asked to fill the questionnaire. This way you will give me expectation and needs of the final images. Around 2-4 weeks before the session date I analyse all information from you to prepare accurate props, colours and posing plan. Then I also order some accessories, if something special is required. To this moment I should get all necessary information: filled questionnaire, any sample pictures if You want some specific pose, any additional things, which I usually ask about in emails, like sibling and parent posing, problems with childbirth and health condition.
The day before a newborn session
As a photographer, I am responsible and always prepared with a studio equipment to take photo according to our plan. There are also a few things you should be equipped with and it’s good idea to prepare it one day before, not grab it in a hurry just before going out to the studio, when it’s likely to forget about something.
This is a list for you:
- spare milk
- baby wipes
- spare baby’s blanket
- hair brush if the newborn have long hair and for yourself if You need
- toys and props You would like to use in photos
- spare clothes for parents and siblings
If sibling is attending the newborn session…
You will find some useful tips for the session with older children HERE. Remember, the newborn session takes 3 hours. It’s not the time which a toddler or a few years’ old child can spend in one place and not be bored! Usually we do sibling and parent poses as the last part of the session, so it’s a good idea to go outside with older children during first 2 hours of the session or just come to the studio with siblings for the last half hour. This practice is also recommended for all additional session’s participants (if You want grandparents, auntie or any other loved one to be at the images with the new baby), due to limited space in the studio, they would be advised to come to the last part of the session.
On the day
During the session we do what the baby is likely to allow us. But to increase the chance to use our 3 hours productively with beautiful memories on final images, as parents You can make some influence to your baby’s well-being. Here are some tips which help to get the baby in good mood:
Ideal is to feed a baby in the studio just after arriving. Of course, we don’t want to starve him! The trick is to feed the baby 2 hours before going to the session and then it will be probably hungry again after these 2 hours. If You can’t wait with feeding, please dress the baby only in necessary clothes, easy to remove.
2. Keeping awake
Again ideally is to keep a baby awake 2 hours before the session. When You arrive to the studio, feed the baby, bring the wind and it’s ready to sleep.
A lightweight blanket is useful to wrap the baby during feeding and to make him comfortable and cosy sometimes when we change poses.
If You’re solely breastfeeding, it’s recommended to pump and bottle feed your milk for the session. If You don’t use a pump, You can either consider using formula or let me know and arrive to the studio a bit earlier to have enough time for feeding. I know sometimes one breastfeeding (especially with very fresh newborns) can takes 1 hour!
I know not every parent wants to use it for a baby, but just for the session sometimes it’s a game changer.
Please don’t put any cream or oil on the baby skin in the session day. Even if the child has dry skin, it’s easier to retouch it instead of unwanted shine.
7. Poo accidents
Most of poses will be done in a diaper, but we can do also some naked shots. Poo and pee accidents are very common. You should not be embarrassed, it’s nothing unusual that babies pee! All props, blankets are washed and steamed carefully after every session and UV lamp preserves the safety of the studio environment. Poo accident can happen also when the child is in your hands, so spare clothes for all session participants is recommended.
8. Studio temperature
For your child safety and comfort, temperature in the studio during a newborn session is always higher than normal. A baby is naked or half-naked and to feel comfortable without clothes, the air has to be really warm. We will be sweat, so please, wear loose, comfortable clothing. You can change outfit for parents posing in the studio.
Remember, the session will take 3 hours! Good, hearty breakfast will help also you to keep good mood during entire photo shoot.
Keep in touch. In the next blog post I will share the most frequently asking questions about newborn sessions.