Newborn Session Prep Guide
"God creates them, I capture them."
Congratulations! There is nothing more exciting than bringing a new baby into your life and I am so thankful that you have chosen me to be part of that journey and capture your baby's first photographs! Newborn photography requires a lot of time, work and patience and having your newborn's photos taken for the first time can be very exciting and maybe even a little overwhelming, so I wanted to give you a few tips and tricks that can help to explain what you should expect at your session and to make sure your session goes smoothly and leaves you with photos that you will cherish forever!
Newborn babies sleep 90% of the day (or hopefully at least the day of your session). While that isn't always the case, ideally we'd like to capture your baby's photos while baby is asleep.
- By the time of your session, you may not have established a feeding schedule. Please feed baby right before coming to the studio OR you may wait until you get to the studio - Use your judgement. If you are coming from further away, I would suggest waiting until you arrive to feed baby. This helps to keep your newborn feeling content and sleepy for your session.
- Be sure to bathe baby the morning of your session. Dress your baby in loose fitting clothes for easy removal and to avoid lines on the skin. Either a zip up or button up outfit is best; Nothing that has to be removed over the head. While newborn clothing is cute; for their session I prefer to use swaddles; do naked photos; and use the posing clothes my studio supplies. Reason being is newborn clothing is often bulky or to big and posing clothes help show off all the adorable features of your newborn baby!! If baby uses a pacifier, bring at least two with you. I also keep extra pacifiers & diapers in my studio.
- Be aware that I will ALWAYS be working safely with your baby. I am an AANPS certified photographer and I have been trained in newborn photography safety. At no point during your session will I allow your baby to be in a harmful situation. I will work through fussiness and crying, however I will also take breaks if parents and/or baby are overwhelmed.
- If you have other children that you will be including in the session, have dad or someone else drive separately if they tend to get restless easily. I do have a waiting room in my studio with a tv & movies, but the atmosphere must remain calm and quiet through the session. I always do sibling and family photos first. That way, whomever can take the sibling(s) home and mom can stay for the remainder of the session with baby. (If you wish.) You are welcome to bring a grandparent, friend, sister, or whomever to stay with you for the remainder of the session.
- Remember to relax! These photos are for you! What is most important is that parents and baby are comfortable and calm. The room will be kept at around 80 degrees for baby's comfort along with a space heather being present; Please dress accordingly, or wear layers.
- Newborn sessions typically last anywhere from 1-2 hours, so be sure to eat prior to your session. Please feel free to bring a light snack or water.
-A popular pose is the froggy pose; please be aware that some newborn babies no matter how small or big, older or younger don't like being posed like that. I won't force any poses on a baby.
-You’ll notice I wear yoga pants and a T-shirt to newborn sessions. It’s not my usual professional attire, but you’ll see very quickly why it’s wise for this type of photography! You may want to have comfortable clothes on hand, too.
For Mom and Dad
You are both a big part of this new baby's life and trust me, you will want these photos no matter how tired you are now. Photographing connections between you and your new baby is one of the biggest reasons I do this work and my favorite part of the session.
For Dad, a nice but simple tshirt looks best, something with a bit of weight and texture looks best. Keep the color simple and muted so it does not compete with your baby black, white, cream, beige or light grey work well. Feel free to bring a few options to choose from. Nothing with buttons so we can get baby close to you.
Moms look wonderful in simple white or neutral colored tank or tshirt. Keep the color and design simple. Don't forget to look at your nails as they will be in these images.
Remember, simple is timeless, you want to enjoy these images forever.
If you are wanting any parent pictures on the black background like what you might have seen in my portfolio, be sure to bring a black tshirt along for both of you. These pictures are some of my favorite since the focus is entirely on the people and not the clothing. All family photos will be waist up, no full body.
Attire is usually dependant on age. For sisters, a simple neutral tank or tshirt or simple dress works best. Brothers can be shirtless or a simple tshirt. A nice pair of jeans look great on the boys too.
My style is to keep your images timeless. Current trends, while cute now, usually do not stand well over time. However, I do love incorporating special to you items that have importance and meaning to you and your little one. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to incorporate into your session so I can plan for how to best use it.
Sessions with your newborn are best 4-16 days after birth. After this time it is more difficult to keep them asleep. They are not as flexible and they will want to stretch out making it more difficult to capture the traditional newborn poses. For scheduling purposes, it is very important for someone to contact me right after birth so we can get your session booked.
You are welcome to use a phone camera to take behind the scene photos of your session ONLY. You may not take close up pictures of baby or set up. Please wait for me to deliver the final images for these. If you do post these behind the scene images of your session on social media, please tag Alicia Schuette Photography and share your experience of the day.
Your baby will be naked for a portion of the session and I expect that accidents will happen. No need to apologize or worry about props or blankets. It's completely normal. You will also be holding a naked baby at some point and an accident is certainly possible during this time. Be sure to bring more than one outfit for yourself and plenty of wipes!
Everything that comes into direct contact with your baby is washable, so it will be clean and fresh for your session. Babies will always pee and poop during the session time. Messes are part of photographing babies, so I choose my props accordingly.
Dry skin, flaking and baby acne are all normal and nothing to worry about. Bathe your baby so soften the flakes and the rest will be taken off in post production of your images.
During your session
Mom, your new baby is very tuned into your smell and they have a natural feeding instinct when you are near. During the session there may be times where you are asked to be further away from your baby. This is only to make it easier for me to work with your newborn. I have lots of experience with handling babies and safety is my number one concern. Babies usually cry at some point during the session. Your natural urge will be to soothe the baby for me, but I ask that you let me try to calm them myself first. Since a 10-day-old baby associates you with both comfort and food, the baby will often want them to come together, which can make it harder for an infant to calm again once you set the baby down.
Pacifiers are almost a must with the session. They help soothe your baby when moving into another position and help keep asleep. Even if you don't use one regularly, please consider bringing one along so if baby is extra fussy we have another way to try and soothe.
• Contact me right after birth. Give this task to someone else if you prefer so you don't have to worry about it
• If nursing, eat clean simple foods prior to session
• Get plenty of rest
• Keep baby awake 1-2 hours before session.
• Pacifiers are almost a must
• Bring plenty of diapers and wipes
• Clean hands, clothes and faces on adults and siblings
• Dress comfortably and bring a change of clothes
It is my hope that while we are photographing in my studio that you feel at home with me. I am truly honored to document this time in your lives for you and look forward to sharing that time with you and your family. If there is anything I can do to help ensure a comfortable and smooth portrait session, please let me know.
Hopefully this helps and gives you an idea of what to expect at your newborn session. I also just want to remind you that not following this prep guide will lead to a baby that is awake/fussy for their session. The fussier the baby, the less images we are able to capture and that means less images for your gallery! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me! I look forward to working with you!!