Preparing for Your Newborn Photo Shoot

Hello Mums & Dads!

First off, thank you for choosing me to take your newborn photos! Newbie baby shoots are my absolute favourite photo sessions, as they combine the things I love most about photography with another passion of mine – little ones! Long before I dreamt of a career in photography, I worked at a Nursery School, where I focused on infant care & early childhood development. My years of experience in child care are definitely a huge advantage when it come to photographing newborns, as this is rather a specialised job. Just because someone is a great photographer, does not mean that they are qualified to do your newborn session. I’m my opinion, infant care experience is an absolute must for anyone who’s going to be handling your precious newborn.

That having been said, what happens at a newborn photo session? What should you wear? Where should you have it?

Everything you need to know, you will find below:

 

What types of newborn shoots do you offer?

There are three main styles of newborn photography:

Posed

Posed newborn photos generally involve props & careful posing of the baby, which can only be done once baby is in a deep sleep. Posed shoots don’t include family shots. 

Lifestyle

Lifestyle shoots are very relaxed & natural. The idea is to capture unposed moments & interactions between family members. Throughout such a shoot, I will however guide you, making suggestions on how to sit, stand, hold baby, etc.

Birth 

Birth and ‘first 48 hours’ photography is becoming increasingly popular. If you would like a professional photographer to capture the birth of your baby, first sight, sibling’s first reactions, and all those amazing moments that pass in an instant, this type of shoot is for you. If this interests you, contact me & we can discuss the possibilities. 

That having been said, I personally lean towards Lifestyle shoots. During the shoot, I do like to do a few of those cute poses with baby, but keeping it natural is always a priority for me. Before your shoot, let me know what kind of photos appeal to you, what you have in mind, if you have any ideas, and if there are any specific poses or props you wants to include. I always aim to mould a shoot around what you would like or feel comfortable with.

Where should I have my shoot?

Here too, the choice is yours, with two main options:

In your own home

This is a very convenient & comfortable option. If you decide to do the shoot in your home, your bedroom can be a great place to do the photos, provided that it is well-lit with natural light from windows. If it is not a very light space, another room may be best. Having plain, neutral coloured bedding is best, although not a must. Another good room in the house is the baby’s nursery.

You may feel dubious about having a shoot in your home, especially after you have just had a baby, life is upside down, and the house is a mess. Don’t worry! I understand! This is perfectly normal. All I need is one clutter-free area, the room where the shoot will be done. If I move anything, I’ll put it back in place. Your only job is to relax & enjoy yourself.

At an outdoor location

Location shoots are not only for older kids. In summer, when the weather is warm, at outdoor shoot in a pretty local setting can be adorable. Of course, in this case, the weather is a big factor, and we’ll need to reschedule if it is chilly or windy.

When should I do my newborn session?

The earlier the better. It is generally accepted that the newborn shoot is best done during the first seven – ten days of your baby’s life. Why is this so?

Sleep

First, and most important, your baby sleeps more of the time & more deeply during their first week. Being able to move your baby around while he remains soundly asleep is vital to the success of the photo session.

Flexibility 

For the first few days, baby is still very flexible, and can be easily & safely moulded into all those cute positions you see in newborn photos. After his first week, it becomes increasingly difficult to get him to stay put in a pose without him squirming about. 

Looks

Your baby will be changing so fast during his first two weeks that he will so quickly lose that ‘newborn’ look. Capture it while it lasts! In addition, the earlier your infant photos are done, the less likely he is to have developed baby acne or flakey skin, which is rather a challenge to smooth out during editing.

It is important to book your newborn shoot well in advance to make sure that you will get a spot during your baby’s first few days. If for some reason you are unable to do your baby’s newbie session during his first ten days, don’t stress, we can still have a beautiful session.

What should my baby & I wear?

Outfit choice can have quite an impact on your photos, so plan your outfits before baby is born. Trust me, the last thing you’ll have energy for with a new baby in the house is outfit planning! For some great ideas & inspiration, check out my Newborn Photography Pinterest Board.

Mummy & Daddy

Mum, wear something that makes you feel comfortable & beautiful. Neutral colours are always a good bet. Give yourself enough time before your shoot to do your makeup & pamper yourself. As for hubby, once mum has chosen her outfit, coordinate what you will wear with her, so as to have outfits that go well together.

Baby

Your newborn’s first photo session is a time to focus on him, not his outfit. So colourful, fancy outfits should be avoided, as these will distract from your perfect little newborn himself. Some great choices are a white or solid neutral coloured vest / onesie, just a nappy, or baby’s birthday suit. If you go for a onesie, be sure to leave baby’s feet, hands, and head uncovered, so that we can document those special little details. There are adorable headbands, crowns, hats, etc that you can purchase as props for the shoot.

How do I prepare for my newborn shoot?

There’s quite a bit you can do beforehand to make sure the session goes smoothly & that you & baby are comfortable.

Preparing Baby

The night before your baby’s photo session, make sure to give him an extra good feed. On the morning of the session, try to keep him awake as much as possible, so that when it comes time for the shoot he will sleep soundly. Give him a nice bath to relax him, and a good feed about half an hour before the session. And don’t stress, newborn sessions allow plenty of time for niggles, feedings, and changings. If you are going to have baby undressed for photos, remove his clothes & undo his nappy half an hour beforehand, so that he won’t have unsightly creases. You can keep his nappy on loosely with him wrapped in a blanket until his session.

Preparing the environment

Having the room warm for your baby is important. How warm? Enough to make you begin to perspire. On the South Coast, mid summer heat is severe enough to warrant a fan or open windows. But in winter, a heater may be needed. If you don’t have one, let me know beforehand so that I can make suitable arrangements. The space where we do photos also needs to be clear of clutter.

And there you have it! You are now 100% ready for your newbie baby shoot. I can’t wait to meet your adorable tot & capture all your beautiful earliest memories with him!