Holding Your Memories In Your Hands: Getting Your Newborn Ready For Their First Photo Session

You’re elated. You have finally reached the destination of the journey you started nine months ago. You are holding your newborn child in your arms, and you just want to remember this feeling for the rest of your life. This makes this the best time to preserve the essence of that feeling by capturing their earliest days in pictures. You’ll be making a memory you can hold in your hands.

Scheduling Your Session
Believe it or not, the best time to capture your new bundle’s first pictures is within the first two weeks after their birth. Within the first week is even better, as your baby will still be quite sleepy during this period and will be more willing to be posed as you like. Also, don’t forget that while the saying about how your baby grows and changes every day might be cliché, it’s also true. Don’t wait to make those memories.

What You’ll Need
We have a plenty of options here in our studio that you’ll be welcome to choose from for your session. These include backgrounds, props, baskets, and many other accoutrements that will bring that special, unique feeling to your final portraits. Of course, you are welcome to bring in your own personal items to provide that intimate touch to your memories. We encourage it. Some items you might consider bringing:
• A cute outfit (though try to make sure it’s something in which your little one will be comfortable.)
• A special blanket. Maybe it’s the blanket in which you first brought them home from the hospital, or one that a family member knitted in anticipation.
• A diaper cover (you don’t want your memories to be advertisements for Huggies)
• A toy or rattle that you had as a child. It can be fun to capture the passing of your favorite toy on to your little one.
• Seasonal items. If your baby was born near Christmas, maybe a wrapped present or a stocking. If they were born in Spring, maybe something floral.

Getting Baby Ready
There are three things that your baby needs to get ready for their session: milk, milk, and milk! Babies at so early an age will still be sleeping most of their day away, and making sure they have full little tummies helps the process along. We encourage you to feed your baby right before your scheduled session to make sure we have a happy baby when we make your memories. Don’t forget to burp!
Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure their clothing on the way to the studio isn’t too tight. Tight diapers, onesies, or socks can leave creases and marks on the skin that you want looking as smooth as it feels.

Getting You and Other Family Ready
We recommend simple, dark clothing for parents. You don’t want to draw attention from your beautiful new baby so try not to pull out the crazy patterns! Of course, if you’re after a particular theme like matching monogrammed sweaters, feel free to match away, just think about wearing something simpler underneath so you have some options in the final portraits.

How Long Should You Expect The Session To Last?
We set aside X hour blocks for newborn sessions. Will it take X hours? That depends. Just like your new baby, every session is different, but we find that you and your baby benefit from having the allowance to break whenever necessary. Remember, you’re on the baby’s schedule now, and we will be too.

How to Prepare for Your Family Photo Shoot

Hosting a family photo shoot is way to bring all of your loved ones together for a memorable picture to last a lifetime. Hosting family photo shoots can often feel hectic and overwhelming, which is why it is important to prepare for any family photo shoot ahead of time. Whether you are taking photos with your spouse and parents or your entire household with children included, preparing for a family photo shoot ahead of time is a way to ensure the process goes over as smooth as possible.

Plan the Shoot in Advance

Whenever you are thinking of having a family photo shoot for your immediate family or even for your entire extended family, it is important to plan the shoot months in advance. Giving enough notice to all family members who are invited to the shoot gives them time to rearrange plans and schedules so they are able to attend once the shoot is beginning. Be sure to plan the shoot on days that are most convenient for all members of your household.

Coordinate Clothing Ahead of Time

If you are planning an immediate family photo, coordinating and choosing the clothing and attire that is most appropriate for the shoot should also be done prior to the day of the shoot itself. Whether you and your family choose to wear similar outfits or if you simply want to have the clothing ready for the day of the shoot, selecting attire and accessories weeks in advance can help with feeling overstressed and worried on the day of the actual shoot.

Keep Makeup and Attire Simple

Avoid going overboard with makeup and attire in family photos, especially when there are other members of your family in the photo who are not as dressed up or in a glamorous outfit. Wearing simple clothing and light makeup is ideal to capture your family’s genuine look and appearance. Use nude colors, basic foundations and avoid too much makeup as it may take away from your natural look and true appearance.

Use Bribes to Help Toddlers and Young Children Through a Family Photo Shoot

Although it is not often recommended as solid parenting advice, offering small bribes such as getting ice cream or watching a movie after the photo shoot may be a way to get babies, toddlers and young children to behave and pay attention throughout the shoot. Because young children’s moods are often unpredictable, getting them excited about an activity or event later in the day can help to keep them well-behaved while you are having your photos taken.

Understanding how to go about preparing for an upcoming family photo shoot is a way for your to feel a bit of stress relief throughout the planning process and scheduling of the shoot itself. The more you know about preparing for a shoot and how to go about planning one to fit your family’ schedule, the more you are capable of enjoying the moment rather than fretting over all of the small details of the photo shoot once it begins.

Choosing a Newborn Photographer

One of the most exciting joys a person can ever experience is the journey of parenthood. The months leading up to birth are usually filled with nervous anticipation, excitement and joy. The preparation time is also filled with nursery shopping, doctor visits and tons of decisions. Decisions like where the baby will be born and how the baby will be born are also made. While it is important to make sure that the vitals are taking care of, never forget one of the most important traditions to carry on: documenting. Documenting the baby’s first steps, height and weight are special as well as how the baby first looks. To adequately capture the beauty of your newborn baby, choose a newborn photographer. A professional can photograph a baby better than a well-meaning mommy or daddy with a point and shoot can. It’s best to do adequate research for a newborn photographer before the baby is born. Below are a list of points to consider when choosing a newborn photographer.

1. Safety
While it may be cute to hoist babies into little hammocks, swings, jars and any other contraption that may be ordinarily unnatural for any human to be in, consider that you’re dealing with an actual live baby and not a toy. While this may seem like common sense to most, it still needs to be made clear. Babies do not belong in glass vases or jars. A newborn baby needs to spotted when the photographer is taking a picture where the head is being “held up” by the baby’s own hands. The neck needs to be supported. A baby needs to be in a position that is both comfortable and safe. If you are someone who is very particular about who comes around the baby, don’t hesitate to find a photographer who is forthright about whether or not they are for or against vaccinations. If they are for it, make sure they are up to date with their vaccinations. It can be a little taboo but for the price that you’re potentially paying for the safety of your baby, it warrants honesty and total peace of mind for you as the parent.

2. Experience
Just because a person is an experienced wedding photographer does not mean they are experienced in newborn photography. Newborn photography takes a special type of sensitivity and ease since the subject is an extremely fragile human being. Find out how long the photographer has been shooting newborns and how many they have shot. Make sure to view their portfolio to see that the work is consistently beautiful and displays professional quality.

3. Price
Realize that newborn photography is a worthwhile investment. Newborn photos are souvenirs that will be treasured and remembered forever. Now is not the time to pinch pennies. At the same time, shop around for a photographer that suits your needs and budget adequately. It is important to inquire about the costs of the session. If there are any digital/physical prints that are included in the session, find out the specifics i.e. how many. Consider everything you might be asking for in terms of safety, experience and professionalism and understand that when a photographer has all those components, the price for said photographer will be higher than the run-of-the-mill options but it will shine through in the pictures.

4. Photography Style & Editing
Does the photographer have a studio? Do they come to you? Do they have props already set up? Do they pose the baby or let the baby do his/her own thing? These are all questions to consider when choosing a photographer. When babies are newborns, a lot of changes happen within the first few days and weeks. By week 3, the baby is not the same baby that was brought home at 3 or 4 days old. Their skin will shed. There are some babies who may experience rashes or even acne. A newborn photographer should be sensitive to those changes and also be able to edit them out. Take note of their technical edits. If the picture looks like it was taken and run through a ton of photoshop filters, it may be best to choose another photographer. It’s ideal to capture the baby in their most natural form. Editing should be used to enhance the baby’s beauty and not transform the baby into a ball of photoshopped light.

Overall, this is a process to be enjoyed and remembered. With the right newborn photographer, all of this will be made possible!