Preparing for your newborn session
Exciting times! Your baby is arriving soon (or has just arrived!) and you’ve been looking forward to these all-important baby and family portraits. I can’t wait to welcome you to my studio or to visit your home for your photo session.
Here are a few tips to prepare for the big day. They are not hard and fast rules, but following them as much as possible will help us make the day run smoothly, enjoyably and with an end result that you will truly love.
1. What to wear
We want your portraits to be timeless, so my best advice is to keep things as simple as possible. Neutral, light-toned colours work best and complement all skin tones: beige, warm white, cream, light grey, pale blue are all excellent choices. Mums are also more than welcome to borrow any items from my studio wardrobe.
If possible, avoid dark colours like navy or black, big logos, patterns, and cartoon characters as they can create a stark contrast with the neutral tones of the image and divert the focus away from the stars of the show – your baby and your connection with them.
Your baby will be wearing just a nappy and a wrap during the session; I will provide a great variety of scarves and wraps for them. You are also very welcome to bring any outfits for them, if you like. Neutral coloured rompers, bodysuits, footless leggings all work well. At the newborn stage, I would avoid dresses as they tend to ride up when baby is laying on her back. If you’d like some inspiration, Zara‘s baby clothes are highly recommended and photograph very well – it’s where I source most of my baby wardrobe!
Finally, it is always best to iron clothes beforehand, as wrinkles can be distracting and hard to edit out.
- Neutral colours – beige, off-white, white, cream, light grey, pale blue (a mix will be great – you don’t have to all wear the same colour!);
- For Mum: knitwear, blouses, t-shirts, string vests, dresses, jeans;
- For Dad: knitwear, t-shirts, button-up shirts, jeans, light-coloured trousers;
- For siblings: jeans, simple dresses, t-shirts, knitwear.
- Dark colours – especially navy and black;
- Tops with big logos, words/lines across, patterns or cartoon characters;
- Dresses for newborn girls;
- Wrinkled clothing.
2. Before we begin
During your session, we will capture a variety of moments in your baby’s day – from wide awake and interacting with you, to fast asleep and all curled up. Here are a few things you can do before the shoot that will help us get the session flow just right.
- Try and keep your baby awake for a couple of hours prior to the session (a slow, playful bath is a great way to do this). By the time we start, they will be very tired and quite ready for that sweet sleep!
- Dress baby in loose, easy-to-remove clothing that doesn’t go over the head, so that I can undress them without disturbing them if they are asleep. Fasten their nappy loosely so that it doesn’t leave marks on their skin.
- Give your baby a big feed right before we start. A full belly makes for a happy and calm baby!
- If your baby takes a dummy, bring it along! They are very helpful to soothe little ones, should we run into a little “baby turbulence” 🙂
- A full length newborn session can run up to 4 hours so, if you are coming to the studio, I recommend bringing some entertainment and snacks for older siblings to keep them busy & happy!
- As baby will be wearing very little clothing, the room in which we shoot will need to be nice and warm. If you are coming to the studio, it will be well heated prior to your arrival; if I am coming to you, please turn up the heating to around 25C. You might want to dress in layers in case you get too warm.
3. DURING THE SESSION
Whether at my studio or in your home, the session will flow at a natural and unrushed pace, taking anywhere from 2.5 to 4 hours. Here are just a few things worth remembering:
- If any older siblings are joining us, we will shoot the family and sibling images at the beginning of the session, so they can be relieved of “photo duty” before they get bored. If you are visiting the studio, we have several play parks within easy walking distance for visiting with Mum or Dad, while we continue with the session.
- Don’t worry about feeding schedules for the day. Your baby will likely want to feed more often than usual, so we will feed on demand to keep them happy and relaxed. Breaks for feeds and cuddles may be frequent and that’s perfectly fine – following your baby’s cues is integral to our photo success.
- If your baby is unsettled during the session, please don’t worry or feel stressed. This is perfectly normal and can be due to being in a new environment, being (gently!) handled more than usual, or even some tummy discomfort. We will take the time we need to settle your baby, and if necessary, change the structure of the session slightly to accommodate their need to be held.
- If I am coming to you, we will be shooting in a few different rooms of the house, including the living room, the bedroom with the most light (usually the master) and the nursery. I am always happy to clear space as we go along, but would recommend that any bulky items are moved ahead of the session.
Phew! Thank you for making it to the bottom of this list. I can’t wait to meet you and your family very soon! Please don’t hesitate to drop me a message if you have any questions.