Preparing for your Newborn Shoot
Bringing your newborn home for the first time can be an exciting and nerve wracking experience at the same time!
You’ve spent 9 months preparing for this tiny little miracle and you can’t wait to capture those precious moments.
Which is why, I have put this guide together so when the time comes you are fully prepared and can be completely at ease during your session.
What to Expect
Newborn Sessions can take place in the comfort of your own home, on location during the wonderful warmer months or even at a local venue if you should prefer! With this guide I will be mainly focusing on how to prepare for your session at Home!
My sessions are usually scheduled for around 10 in the morning.
This is usually the best time for your baby and gives you enough time to get ready in the morning!
I have a baby-led approach to my sessions, so we go at whatever pace they are comfortable and happy with. If I find they aren’t comfortable in certain poses I don’t push it no matter how cute you think it may be – the most important thing is that your little one is happy, safe and comfortable.
This is such a special time in your families life! You are probably overwhelmed with joy, excitement and absolute wonder over this tiny thing that has now entered your lives! The key to your session however is to just relax! I know you’re going to be nervous and want everything to be perfect but I promise it will be great! Babies fuss, cry, often poop all over you and me and that’s okay! Just relax and enjoy cuddling and loving your little baby and we will take it all in our stride and go according to your babies rhythm!
Lifestyle compared to Home Styled
Lifestyle newborns are a beautiful way to capture you interacting naturally with your baby. We focus on the candid moments, the emotion and beautiful bonding moments with your baby without too much posing or interference! I may take a few natural images of your baby in a way you will find them but 90% of the time you will be in the image. It’s a simple session and is great for babies even up to 3 months old!
The Home Styled session includes those natural family images but we focus more on the baby on their own and I bring all my props along to capture beautiful and natural styled images of your little one. These are ideal for when your baby is 5-10 days old as they are their sleepiest and most flexible in this time!
Before the session
There are a few key things you need to do before your session in order for it to go as smoothly as possible!
Firstly prepping in advance, even before baby arrives is important – everything you need to know from wardrobe to where we will be shooting is listed below for you!
Secondly, keeping your baby awake as much as possible before the shoot is key. I know they have just arrived and will be sleeping most of the time but if you want your little one to sleep during your session this is the golden rule. Give them a bath, let dad give them lots of attention but keep them awake.
Before I arrive plan to give your baby a FULL feed! Change their nappy and simply place a loose nappy on their bums to avoid marks and loosely wrap/swaddle them in a soft blanket. This is much easier than having to wake a baby up to undress them once I arrive – we all know they hate that!
Remember a full, dry and warm baby is a happy baby!
Lastly, prepare the space! A clean, decluttered environment that is heated up for your baby will make the world of difference in your photos. Clean neutral bedding always looks great in photos along with an empty nightstand!
Where will we shoot?
Once I arrive, after I’ve greeted you and your gorgeous little baby, I will ask you to show me around your home so I can find the spots with the best light.
Usually the best places to shoot are in the main bedroom, the nursery and the living room, so please make sure these areas are clutter free and heated up nicely so that your baby is warm and comfortable!
For Home Styled sessions I will need a spot next to a big window or sliding door with lots of light but not direct light!
A nice floor and plain wall is ideal with preferable no plug points.
Usually the main bedroom often works well for this or even the living room, I will find the best spot when I arrive.
Don’t be surprised if I start opening all the curtains and moving some furniture around it’s all to make sure I give you the best quality images!
What should we wear?
The greatest way to looking your best in your photos is feeling your best! Sounds almost impossible when you’ve just had a baby which is why a little pampering goes a long way! Taking the morning to getting your hair and make-up done will not only make you feel amazing but it will also take that pressure off you! This also means Dad can take baby off your hands so you can have some much needed me time!
As for wardrobe prepping in advance and choosing something soft, flowing and flattering is the way to go!
I suggest you both wear soft neutral or pastel colors that compliment the color schemes you have at home or the nursery. Avoid wearing anything with patterns or very bright colours – Dresses, Flowing tops, Chinos and Collared shirts always look great!
For any siblings joining the shoot make sure they are also well groomed and their outfits co-ordinate with yours!
Keep a second option available in case any accidents happen along the way!
You can always take a look at the Pinterest Boards I’ve sent you for some inspiration!
What should the baby wear?
Nothing. Ok I’m kidding, slightly. You want to be able to capture their tiny fingers and toes, their squishy rolls and this is best done if your baby is dressed as simply as possible. For lifestyle sessions and family photos I often photograph them in a nappy and loosely covered in a muslin wrap or in a simple onesie/ vest that shows off their little legs.
For your Home Styled session I will bring all the props and outfits as well as wraps for your baby so make sure they are in a loose nappy and swaddled in a soft blanket for when I arrive! Your baby will dictate whether we start with their photos or family photos first.
Siblings and Furbabies
It’s an absolute must to include any siblings or furbabies into your shoot! We usually start with sibling photos so when they are done its a great idea to have a parent or someone around to keep them busy when we’re done! It’s great to capture those precious moments of meeting and getting used to this new arrival!
How long will the session take?
Lifestyle sessions are usually around 1-2 hours and Home Styled Sessions anything up to 4 hours.
It really all depends on how well you manage to prepare for your session and how sleepy your baby is!
This allows for lots of feeding and settling time, so don’t worry if your baby is hungry and unsettled for the first half of the session!
It’s pretty normal and the more you relax they will too!
There’s nothing worse than rushing your session. I know Dad’s often have to work and people want to visit but I honestly suggest not planning anything else on the day of your session. Not only will you be stressed and rushed which will affect your little one and your images but your baby will also be stimulated a lot during the session and you will want to let them have the afternoon to just rest.
So if you can, block the day out in the calendar, schedule an afternoon nap for when we are done and just take the day to be pampered, relax and enjoy cooing over the gorgeous creation you have just welcomed into your lives.
Important Items for your session
Lots of milk! If you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding just have lots ready – babies tend to feed a lot more during these sessions as they are being stimulated a lot – so just keep that in mind!
Neutral/soft muslin wrap
Pacifier – Even if your baby isn’t used it yet it helps comfort a lot when we have a fussy baby and don’t worry one session wont get them hooked!
Anything sentimental you would like included in the shoot! Perhaps Mum or Gran Knitted something special or you have a tiny teddy let me know when I arrive so I can try plan on how to include it in your session!
Do you edit all the images?
When it comes to editing your images I want you and your baby to look as natural as possible. I still meticulously edit every single image but I focus more on colour, skin tones, and basic skin smoothing.
I won’t turn you into a supernatural being with zero wrinkles but I will remove blemishes, baby acne.
As for your babies flaky skin on their toes and their little umbilical chord – honestly it just shows how new the really are and I love it.
When will my photos be ready?
Your images will take up to 4 weeks – once they are ready you will receive a preview gallery that you can share with family and friends, after which your USB will be ready to be collected – we can also arrange for a courier if that is easier for you!
Can you help me print my images?
Absolutely! There is nothing worse that spending countless hours perfecting your beautiful images only to have them butchered by your local printer!
I work with amazing printers and can help you print anything from simple prints to canvases and albums!