How To Prepare For Your Newborn Photography Session
This guide is written to help (sleep deprived) parents prepare for your newborn photography session. There are a few easy things you can do to help feel more prepared, such as to turn up the heat, have a few outfits ready, and to pull out sentimental items to include in your photos.
Overall though, as a newborn photographer I can tell you that the most important thing you can do to prepare is to let go of expectations and roll with your new baby’s routine. Being yourselves and enjoying each others company is the best way to guarantee great newborn photos.
Book Your Newborn Photographer In Advance
I always recommend booking your newborn photos in advance, before the baby arrives. After the baby arrives you will undoubtedly be busy and the days will slip by quickly. Take at least one thing off your mind and book a newborn photographer in advance.
I give my clients the option to do their photos right away or a few weeks after birth, depending on which preferences they have. If you’d like to document some of the birth details, have a super sleepy baby, and photograph them as small as possible then I recommend booking your session within the first 7-10 days.
If you’d rather have time to settle into a routine, let your baby gain weight, and be more alert, then book your newborn photography session anywhere from 2-3 weeks old.
Prepare The Location For Your Newborn Photos
I specialize in lifestyle newborn photography. This style of photo session happens in your home and has a more relaxed feel. Prepare for your newborn photography session by selecting a room in your home that has great natural light and that you can easily declutter.
The first thing your photographer will probably do is turn off any artificial light. So pick one or two rooms in your home with windows that let in lots of light. Make sure to declutter the entire room so that your photographer can use all angles (it’s ok to shove it all in the closet). You can always ask your photographer to help you look around your home and find some great spots for your newborn photo session.
Babies love to be warm and cozy, so during the colder months prepare for your newborn photography session by turning the heat up. This is especially true if you want to do any naked or diaper photos with your baby.
A baby hack that I love to use is to put a heated blanket underneath them (if you have one).
Keep Your Baby Awake + Fed Before Your Photography Session
I know, you are just getting to know this little human. It’s natural not to perfectly understand their schedule or how to sooth them yet.
Do your best to try and schedule your newborn photography session at an approximate nap time. Or on the day of, try your best to keep them awake and fed before the photographer arrives. Hopefully then they are ready for a good deep sleep and we can work quickly.
Follow Your Newborn’s Routine
100% of babies go through their cry, eat, sleep, change routine during their newborn photography session. You can mentally be prepared for this and know that it’s normal. I purposely schedule extra time for newborn sessions so that we can follow their routine, whatever it is that day.
Plan for Naked Baby + Diaper Photos
Actually, after a diaper change is a good opportunity for naked baby photos. These are my absolute favourite images to taking during a newborn photography session!
Doing some photos in a cute outfit and then some in their birthday suit is a great way to add variety to your newborn photos. We can photograph other details such as their skin wrinkles, little hands and feet and their baby fuzz at this time too.
Prepare 1-2 Outfits, Just in Case
Shit happens. Best to be prepared and have one or two outfits ready for your newborn photography session.
Include Sentimental Items in Your Newborn Photography Session
You can easily prepare for your newborn photography session by pulling out any sentimental items beforehand. These are things that you might want to incorporate into your newborn photos. For example, a blanket the grandparents made you, a favourite stuffed toy, your ultrasound photos, something from your childhood, or an item to compare your babies size against.
The Ultimate Way To Prepare For Your Newborn Photography Session: Release Your Expectations + Go With The Flow
The very best way you can prepare for your newborn photography session is to let go of expectations. As a photographer, I will search for the beautiful moments that naturally happen. I get to see the way you smile at your spouse, the specific ways your hands cradle your baby, and the little moments of love that happen. These all happen without your knowing because you are just being yourself, and that’s what makes a beautiful photograph.
I promise that even though a newborn photography session can feel a bit stressful, documenting your journey into parenthood is always a beautiful thing.