Preparing for Your Newborn Session
This is meant to be a helpful list, not a strict set of rules. These suggestions will help your session go as smoothly as possible so your newborn photos will be the best they can be.
1. If you're nursing, try to avoid spicy food and caffeine for at least 24 hours prior to your session as it can affect baby. Some babies are sensitive to lactose and soy so if you can stay away from those as well, I definitely recommend it.
2. Try to keep baby up for 1-2 hours prior to the session if possible so s/he will sleep better for posing. Awake babies can be very difficult to photograph unless wrapped. And we want to see all those tiny fingers, toes and wrinkly skin! Don't worry though, even if we do need to wrap we can still achieve beautiful results like the images below.
3. If you live quite close to the studio (10-15 mins) or if you've booked a Simple Session, please give baby a full feeding before leaving the house. If you booked a full session and live far from the studio, try to time it so baby can have a full feeding upon arrival at the studio. We will have lots of time! A simple session is only an hour so it's best if baby will not need to eat during your visit (but obviously s/he might be hungry anyway!).
4. Give a diaper change right before you leave the house. A loose fitting diaper will help prevent skin creasing and redness. Dress baby in clothing that can be buttoned or zipped to avoid pulling a tight neckline over the head in case s/he is sleeping when you arrive.
5. Bring extra formula or milk if you bottle feed. You may be surprised how much your baby will eat during a session. Even if you nurse, but are okay with baby taking a bottle, please bring one just in case. It can be helpful if I'm able to help feed baby during the session. Some babies will want to comfort suck around mom, which can limit the actual photographing time.
6. Don't forget the pacifier. Some babies just want to suck, even after they are fed. For a successful portrait session, it's important to have a calm and soothed baby so a pacifier can help a lot, even if only used for a few seconds. If used, it will be removed immediately once baby calms. I do have some new ones on hand just in case.
7. Consider trimming baby's nails if they are raggedy. You may also be tempted to put lotion, cream or oil on baby's skin if s/he has flakes but please do not do this! I can easily edit flakes but shiny skin will reflect light and will not look good in your photos. Shine can also be very time consuming to edit.
8. My studio is quite warm in order to help the babies stay sleepy. I'll have a heater going through the session so be sure to dress in layers if you tend to get hot.
9. If you've booked a newborn family session with sibling posing, it's best if siblings only attend while they are being photographed. It can be difficult for young children to be patient for the entire duration of a newborn session. Sibling posing will be completed in the first or last hour of the session. It's best if they are picked up and dropped off accordingly.
10. For parent, sibling or family portraits: I recommend wearing (or bringing) solid colored, neutral or earth toned items that coordinate with each other, but don't match exactly. I recommend not wearing all black as it can look overly dramatic and can overwhelm newborns with fair skin. I also recommend not all wearing white as it can make skin tones look washed out. If you want, bring a few options (one long sleeve, one short sleeve, one tank, etc) and try to avoid collars, prints, logos and bright colors. I can help you choose what will be most suitable. The simpler, the better as we want the focus to be on baby and the family, not distracting clothing. It's always a good idea for parents to bring an extra shirt if you'd like photos of yourselves holding your baby naked. If a sibling wears a skirt or dress, be sure to have leggings or tights covering underwear to ensure they won't show. Parents will be photographed from the waist up.
11. For boys who will be circumcised, it's best to either schedule the procedure for after the portrait session, or allow at least 4-5 days between the procedure and the session. We don't want baby being uncomfortable. If the session takes place too soon afterwards, the diaper may have to remain on and posing options may be limited.
12. Feel free to bring a book, kobo reader, tablet, laptop or anything else you may want to do or catch up on. You are welcome to watch movies in my parent lounge too. If you'd like to bring food or take a nap during the session, feel free! I have a full coffee/tea bar and snacks so you won't need to worry about stopping for coffee on the way! I even have decaf :)
13. Please try to arrive on time. If you know you will be late, call or text as soon as possible to let me know. If you are late, it may cut into your session time.
If there's anything I've forgotten or something you're unsure of please contact me here. I can't wait to met your new baby!