Do you want beautiful photos of your newborn baby while they’re still so little and fresh? Well, I want to help you to prepare for a posed newborn photography session, so that we can get the best images together.
The key to a successful newborn session is a sleepy newborn. You would think all newborns are always super sleepy, right? Well, not always. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to the baby being awake during this sleepier time. We want to make sure we address them all.
First and foremost, we need a well-fed baby (like, milk drunk). This is definitely the most important for preparing for a posed newborn photography session. However you feed your baby, whether that be breastfed or bottle-fed, we need babies to have a nice full tummy to keep them dozing during their newborn photography session.
Plan to feed the baby with a full feeding right before your newborn portrait session.
You can do that at home if you have a shorter drive to the studio, or you can do that when you arrive at the studio. Some babies tend to need to eat a bit more during photo shoots, as well, so it’s important that you are comfortable with breastfeeding your baby at the studio. Otherwise, bring at least 2 extra full bottles so that you can bottle-feed feed the baby as needed. I also have an on-site bathroom if you just want to bring some powder formula and some spare bottles.
If you’re breastfeeding your baby it’s important to pay attention to what you’re eating and drinking for a few days before the photo shoot. Remember, what you eat, the baby eats. Things like caffeine, sugar, gassy foods (beans, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts), and acidic foods (oranges and tomatoes) can have an impact on your baby’s digestive system leading to an upset tummy and gas. Take a look at this article outlining the foods you should be eating and avoiding while breastfeeding.
After the baby has a nice full feed, it’s helpful to have a pacifier on hand for the baby to suck on. We don’t want the baby to overeat. Some babies just need something to suck on to keep themselves soothed while they go into a nice deep sleep. If you don’t have one, I’ll have unopened spare pacifiers at the studio. You can even take it home with you after we’re done with your newborn portrait session.
Bring extra diapers. I keep newborn diapers at the studio, but if you have a particular brand you use, bring some extras with you. Keeping babies in a nice dry diaper is also key to keeping them comfortable so they can sleep during the session. Every baby is different and some don’t mind sitting in a dirty diaper. But the last thing we want to encourage is a diaper rash. The session will last anywhere from 2-3 hours, so we’ll be changing the baby as needed during the session.
At my posed newborn photography sessions, I’m not only concerned about keeping the baby comfortable. But I want you to be comfortable, too. Keep in mind the session will last roughly 3 hours with family/parent photos and photos of your newborn. The studio will be quite warm (around 75-80 degrees) to keep the baby warm, so dress accordingly. Feel free to bring a spare outfit to change into once we’re all done with family photos.
Bring a beverage and/or some snacks. There are vending machines in my building, but you might want to bring your own snacks. Breastfeeding mamas in particular need to stay hydrated and keep their energy levels up. My newborn photography sessions typically start around 10 am, so that means the session could go until 1 pm or 2 pm. Often one of the parents (usually dad) will run out and grab coffee or lunch after the family portion is done. My studio in Brooklyn Park is just a 5-minute drive from many fast food restaurants and coffee shops in downtown Maple Grove.
You may also want to bring in your laptop, iPad, or book. It can get a little boring for the parents while I’m working with the baby on their posed newborn photos. I try to work quickly, but if the baby is unsettled for any reason the session may take a bit longer.
Lastly, I need your patience. This is a process that cannot be rushed. My sessions are baby-led meaning I take my queues from them. As I stated above, babies that are unsettled will take longer to fall asleep, stay asleep and pose. I strongly recommend that if you have a spouse or partner that will get too impatient to wait it out, have them drive separately to the session. That way they can take off once their part of the session is over (and we can hang out and have some girl talk!) This will ensure that we get all of the poses and as much variety out of your session.
Remember, your newborn is only a newborn once. It’s important that you come well-prepared for the session so that we can make the most out of this time together!