NEWBORN SESSION TIPS AND INFORMATION
Raise the temperature in your home a bit. I know, you’re hot! I totally understand. However, baby isn’t used to this chilly world just yet. We want him or her to be as comfortable as possible, especially while being photographed. Raising the temperature just a bit will make a big difference in baby’s comfort level, especially if you choose to do naked/diapered baby photos!
To prepare your home, it’s nice to do a quick pick up, especially paying attention to clutter. I don’t expect your home to look like a magazine cover though. Not to mention, you just had a baby!! Please move anything you may not want pictured in the background of your photos before your scheduled shoot. Items to consider moving are diaper pails, breast pumps, those giant (amazing) cups the hospital gives you, and baby swings. Just stick them in a closet or room we won't be shooting in. Once I arrive, I will do a quick look around your house to find the best lighting locations. We may have to move furniture, decorations, etc. but I promise to move them back!
Be patient. If the baby gets fussy, don’t worry! A baby can sense your anxiety and we want to keep the environment as mellow as possible. We can take a break or we’ll work with what he’s giving us. Two hour sessions are created with your little one in mind. That means there is plenty of time for nursing breaks, diaper changers, or anything else your little one may require.
I am a natural light photographer and love dramatic lighting, so I will turn out all of your lights and open up all your window coverings.
I'm not a prop photographer, however, if you have something special to your family that you would like your little one to be photographed in or with please have it ready before the shoot. This could include an heirloom blanket, special outfit, or headband/hat.
At the end of your session, we might head outside for a couple of photos around your home if weather permits.
If you have guests in town or staying with you, I ask that they find something else to do during our shoot. Additional people hanging around can create additional chaos and distraction when trying to get those most desired photos. If you have additional family that you would like to include in your session please have them come the last 20 minutes of your session and we'll include them in a few shots!
Because I am all about genuine emotions and connections, I will most often instruct you not to look at the camera with few exceptions. Don't worry, we'll get "the grandma shot" where everyone is looking and smiling, but my focus is always more towards your beautiful relationship with your new little one.
Don't forget to let me know as soon as your little one arrives, or if anything changes (i.e. scheduled c-section or induction.) I will put you on my schedule for the following weekend or two depending on when your little one arrives. Keep in mind, the sooner we do your photos the more sleepy your little one will be. If we wait a bit, the more alert your baby will be and the more connection will show. Both are beautiful and desirable!
FOR SESSIONS WITH SIBLINGS
Sibling shots are one of my favorite things to capture. The love and curiosity your older child has for the new baby is so fun to see in print! The best thing to do when preparing for those sibling shots is to practice. Have big brother or big sister practice holding their new baby sibling. Not big enough to hold? Then have them lay down and snuggle together, maybe even give kisses or at least talk to. This gives the older sibling(s) a chance to get used to the baby. It also gives you an idea of how much cooperation you can expect from your older child or children. You’ll then have a much more realistic idea of just how cooperative the older children will be, which is especially important if the new big sister is still pretty much a baby herself! Some other things to think of is timing. When is the older sibling in the best mood? I don’t suggest bribery if it can be avoided. Especially for kids under 5. They just don’t understand delayed gratification yet, and it can back fire on you. I’ve seen time and time again, once a treat is mentioned, kids become so focused on that, they no longer participate in the shoot. We’ll get a few cute shots of the siblings together, just give that older guy or gal some time and keep the session fun so they WANT to stay involved in the photo session!
WHAT TO WEAR
Moms: I recommend neutral colors and solids for you and your little one. You want your baby to be the focus, in the photos, not bright colors or overwhelming patterns. Moms look great in soft flowy tops or dresses or I’m also a big fan of skin-on-skin portraits with you holding your baby against you. They’re so beautiful and timeless. If you want some portraits like this with your newborn, consider a strapless top or tank top as an alternative.
Dads: I suggest solid colored shirt to complement moms. Try to stay away from prominent logos or writing on clothing. Subtle patterns, like a striped button down shirt looks great, and adds interest.
Baby: Naked babies are my favorite, and I always suggest at least a couple in diaper only/diaper cover. I suggest NOT putting baby in newborn outfits. They are usually too big and tend to swallow the baby and cover their face when holding or posing him/her. However, if the baby has a special outfit from Grandma, friend, or someone else special, then by all means we'll take a few shots! If you want an outfit for the baby, then something solid and snug fitting will look best on newborns. Swaddles, diaper covers, thin blankets, and even scarves are a great way to bring in color and texture, while still keeping your little one comfy, warm, and in the spot light.
For siblings: If they’re young, I love toddlers in diapers/diaper covers for a couple of shots. For kids a little older, I love shirts off for little boys, or simple classic dresses for little girls. Again, simple neutrals and solids work best. And as always try to stay away from logos, writing, or any uncomfortable clothing that could make the child upset.
Please have an additional outfit planned for everyone in your home in the even of a leaky diaper or spit up. It will save you time and panic if you already have a backup plan prepared!
PLEASE SEE STYLING FOR ADDITIONAL TIPS