Do you want beautiful photos of your newborn baby while they’re still so little and fresh? Well, I want to help you in preparing 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’s a lot of factors that can contribute to 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 baby to have a nice full tummy to keep them dozing during their newborn photography session.
Plan to feed baby with a full feeding right before the 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 photos shoots, as well, so it’s important that you are comfortable with breastfeeding baby at the studio. Otherwise, bring at least 2 extra full bottles so that you can bottle feed 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 baby has a nice full feed, it’s helpful to have a pacifier on hand for baby to suck on. We don’t want baby to over eat. Some babies just need something to suck on to keep themselves soothed while they go into a nice deep sleep.
While some parents are opposed to having a pacifier, it’s important to have one handy at the photo shoot. We don’t want baby to over eat and then spit up. If we know that baby’s had enough to eat, the pacifier will keep them satisfied until they start to doze off. Typically the hospital you deliver at will give you some to take home. Just throw one in the diaper bag (just incase).
Bring extra diapers. Keeping baby 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 2-4 hours, so we’ll be changing baby as needed (at least 3 times) during the session. Again, just throw a few extra into the diaper bag.
At my posed newborn photography sessions, I’m not only concerned about keeping baby comfortable. But I want you to be comfortable, too. Keep in mind the session will last roughly 3 hours with family/parent photos with your newborn. The studio will be quite warm (around 75-80 degrees) to keep baby warm, so dress accordingly. Feel free to bring a spare outfit for after the family photos.
You may also bring a beverage and/or some snacks. Breastfeeding mamas in particular need to stay hydrated and keep their energy levels up. My newborn photography sessions typically start around 10am, so that means the session could go until 1pm or 2pm. Often one of the parents (usually dad) will run out and grab coffees or lunch after the family portion is done. My studio in Golden Valley is just a 5 minute drive from many fast food restaurants and coffee shops.
You can also bring in your laptop, iPad, or a 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 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. Like 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!