The MOST important thing you can do to prepare for your newborn portrait session is to keep your baby awake for two hours prior to your session, then feed her just before you leave home. Assign someone to be in charge of keeping baby awake. Give him a bath, walk him around, if he starts to fall asleep, shift his position so he wakes up again. In order to get all those adorable newborn portrait poses every parent wants I need a very sleepy baby, so keeping baby awake prior to your session means better newborn photographs. I can take beautiful portraits of a baby who is awake, but an awake baby will not do some of the poses parents love most.
Dress your baby in something that does not go over her head. A sleeper that zips or snaps down the front is perfect. This helps minimize how much I have to move the baby to get him out of his outfit and into a wrap.
Be prepared to feed your baby during the session, which can last up to three hours.
Be aware that the studio will be HOT. I usually keep the studio temperature around 85 degrees during a newborn portrait session. This keeps the newborn comfortable, even if everyone else is sweating.
If we are doing family and sibling shots, we will do these portraits first. After we are done with the siblings, please have someone available who can take the siblings home or somewhere to play for several hours. During the newborn session, it’s important that we have a quiet, stress-free zone of peace for the baby to totally relax.
Prepare siblings for the portrait session by letting her hold the baby, with assistance. Make holding the baby a big deal. Get excited about it! Tell her “you get to hold the baby now” and make it a fun experience. Make it seem like a special treat. That way she’ll want to do it when you get to the studio. Maybe. Please be aware that some siblings do not find it a treat and are a bit out of sorts about this “new baby thing.” I will do everything I can to get a portrait of the siblings together, but please understand that it is not always possible to do so when you have a younger child who just isn’t cooperative.
Please please please do not tell your child to “smile” unless you happen to love the way her face looks when she does this. Telling a child to smile usually elicits a cheesy grin that no parent actually wants in a photograph. I will be goofy and silly and hopefully get some natural smiles. Please make sure Dads are on board with this rule as well.
Everybody should be wearing the same color. I recommend black, light blue, gray or white t-shirts and jeans. Stick to simple simple clothing. I want the focus to be on faces and relationships, not outfits, so the simpler the better. Don’t worry about clothing for your baby. He will either be naked or wrapped.
Please do not bring extended family members to your portrait session.
Still have questions about your newborn portrait session? Hit the contact page. Thanks! I look forward to photographing your new baby.