Prepping for a Successful Newborn Session
WHEN TO PHOTOGRAPH:
-Newborn sessions are recommended to be done before 2 weeks of age while they are still in that sleepy and curly stage. However, I am still able to capture beautiful photos no matter what the baby's age is.
In order to ensure that the newborn session runs as quickly and as smoothly as possible, please follow these steps:
1. If nursing, try to avoid eating anything spicy (ie. pizza, hot sauce, etc) or anything that will cause gas and might upset baby’s tummy for 24 hours preceding your scheduled session. A gassy baby will not pose well during the session due to their little tummy being upset.
*Some other foods that may cause gas are dairy products- milk, cheese, yogurt, pudding, cream, or any food that has milk, milk products, casein, whey, or sodium casein it, as well as foods with caffeine, soy, fish, peanuts, chocolate, wheat, beef, nuts, eggs, corn, or citrus fruits.
*If baby happens to be gassy the day of your session, Oval or Gripe Water can be used to help ease baby’s discomfort. **Consult your pediatrician for recommended gas remedies.
2. Interact with and keep baby awake for 1-2 hours before your session to ensure he/she is good and sleepy for the session. This is very important. Without this, we spend too much time getting them to sleep and not as much time photographing them.
*Stimulating baby with a bath or by doing ‘naked time’ prior to the session are some tricks that you can use!
3. Please make sure your little one has a full belly for the session. Please feed baby just before you leave for the studio. I have many clients who arrive at the studio saying that they gave baby a small feeding about 45 minutes ago and need to feed baby upon arrival. Baby usually wakes up during this feeding at the studio and has trouble falling back into a deep, restful sleep. If baby is bottle feeding, please bring extra bottles and milk (formula or breastmilk) – (babies work up quite the appetite being constantly moved around in the warm studio). Also, baby should be fed as much as possible in the 12 hours that precede the session. This will allow for baby to sleep as deeply and as long as possible.
4. Dress baby in loose fitting clothes to avoid any lines on baby’s skin and to also avoid disturbing baby when getting undressed. A simple sleeper is best. Please avoid onesies or anything that has to be pulled off over baby’s head.
5. Bring a pacifier – they can be very helpful during the session!
6. I don't do poses such as the "froggy" pose or "potato sack" pose. I am not comfortable putting babies in these positions. The baby will dictate the poses I do. I never force any baby into a position he/she doesn't like. Safety and the comfort of the baby are number one for me. There are many beautiful poses I can achieve without making the baby uncomfortable.
7. Remove all bandages (from shots, etc) from baby’s skin at least 2 hours before arriving to the studio. If any marks are left they will hopefully fade before session. I will be fixing any marks, redness, chaffing, etc. in post processing. I always make sure to have baby looking beautiful in their first portraits.
-I encourage parent portraits with the new baby, and these are usually done at the very end. *A note to Mom: I know that you may not feel like yourself right after giving birth, but I strongly encourage you to have a portrait taken with your new baby while they are still so young and fresh. I will shoot you in flattering angles, so don’t worry! Worst case scenario is that you don’t like the image and never look at it again, but at least your child will have this moment documented.
-If you have older siblings that you would like photographed with your newborn we will do these shots FIRST. Cream, ivory or white (without patterns or logos) is recommended for older siblings (tops with jeans or even dresses for girls). The more texture the better (knit, lace, etc). They’ll be barefoot, so no need to look for clean shoes.
*Due to the nature of the session I ask that your spouse/partner take the older siblings home or out for something fun to do while we finish up with the individual newborn shots.
-Parents often ask ‘Can I circumcise my baby before the session?’ and the answer is ‘Please, no!’. Circumcision can often leave the area raw and painful for a few days after the procedure. It is important to note that newborn photos should be done either before the procedure takes place or at least 5 days after the procedure to ensure the area is healed.
-I supply all of the backdrops, furniture, hats, headbands and wraps for the session, and my style tends to lean more toward simple organic photos that focus on baby. I am always open to new ideas but be aware that I will not use anything that will harm, irritate or look awkward on your newborn. If you see something you like in any of my galleries, be sure to mention it before your session. I am open to suggestions on poses that you may have seen from Pinterest but please understand that every pose we do depends on how well baby cooperates and how safe the pose is for your little one. I cannot guarantee any pose for this reason.