To me, newborn photography is about capturing all the tiny details of your new baby as a beautiful and timeless memory for you to look back at as they grow bigger and bigger.
Today, I want to share a few tips on how you can maximise your newborn photography session and the most out of your time with your photographer.
Posed newborn photography does not require much from you as mum and dad but there are a few things that you can do to help the session go smoothly.
1.Read the preparation instructions
Your photographer will likely send you some preparation instructions. Have a quick read through them. They might ask you about your choice of styling and color scheme so pop them a quick note back and they can then ensure that they plan the session accordingly.
Choosing a color scheme and giving feedback on the style of images is one way that you can ensure that your images will match your home. I ask my clients to look at my website gallery for inspiration if they are stuck.I usually put together a number of setups accordingly to my client's preferences so that the session has a consistent and cohesive theme running through the set of images. I find that this consistency looks amazing when my clients choose a selection of images to print and hang on their walls because the images will look like a beautiful set.
Some parents also have a favorite pose. I focus on baby-led posing and not all poses are possible for all babies but if you have a special request, your photographer will do their best to accommodate you.
I also give some instructions about sleeping and feeding before the session.
2. Sleeping and feeding
I don't mind terribly is baby is asleep when they arrive. Some photographers will ask you to keep baby awake and this may work for some babies but not all babies. I do suggest that you try and time your feeds so that you feed baby when you get to my studio. This way, when you arrive you can remove baby from their car seat, undress them (and they may wake up at this point), give them a feed and most of the time baby is then nice and sleepy and we can get started with the session.
Babies are of course all different.
Some babies arrive fast asleep, stay asleep as I undress them and the session gets started right away.
Newborn photography sessions typically take 2-3 hours so likely there will a a feed during that time in any event.
Don't worry is baby is awake. Posed newborn photography works better when baby is asleep but if baby is awake, we will do some awake pictures. All babies sleep eventually!
3. Give baby a bath before the session
A nice calm warm bath will help sooth baby and lull them into a wonderfully relaxed state. You don't have to use soap or anything fancy, just nice warm water. Give them a bath in a nice heated room and you will see that some babies might even fall asleep during the experience!
4. Pay attention to the little details
I love to capture the tiny fleeting details. Yes, even dry peely skin! But everyone has their own preferences and you should feel free to talk during the session about your preferences as the photos are being taken so that your preferences are taken into account. If you are worried about dry and peeling skin you can use some olive oil or coconut oil to moisturize baby. This will reduce the appearance of the skin. For me, I like to remember their little wrinkly peeling feet! :-)
If baby still has a cord stump, I try to pose baby so that you can't see it but if you want to capture this detail just let me know and I can incorporate it in how I pose your little one.
I sometimes fluff up baby's hair if they have a lot of it. It find newborns with lots of hair so fascinating. If you have a preference for how you would like their hair you are more than welcome to chat about it during the session. Some parents love to have the hair neatly brushed which is also gorgeous.
5. Be on time
This is a hard one isn't it!
Yes, you have a new baby in the house. Life is crazy different now and there are so many new demands on your time. You haven't slept well. You want to blow dry your hair, you want your make-up to look as good as it did pre-baby, you don't know what to wear because literally nothing fits. Your maternity clothes are baggy and your pre-pregnancy outfits are too small. To top it off, newborn sessions usually take place in the first ten days after baby is born so you are still trying to find your groove.
Everyone has their own methods to stay organised.
For me, I found it helped to pick my clothes (and Dad's clothes) a few days before and when family came over to visit and offered to help, I took them up on that offer and asked them to iron my outfit. I washed my hair the night before and ran a straightener through them on the morning of the session. You can also pack a bag with a few essentials the night before. Diapers, cream, wipes, little bottle of olive oil (in case moisturizer is needed), formula and a pacifier if you want to, plus a muslin burp cloth. Get the car seat ready at the door with whatever outdoor covers you need for the season.
A bit of prep in advance will help you be on time.
I try and do only one newborn session on a day to ensure we are not rushed, but starting late could mean that we are rushed. As a natural light photographer, I prefer to start at 09:30 and finish by lunchtime to ensure we get the best light.
I hope these tips give you a little bit of food for thought as you plan your session and think about how you can maximize your newborn photography session!