It’s hard not to love newborns. I will admit they are some of my favorite sessions to shoot. There is just something about a newborn that is irresistible and it’s fun to watch the parents just marvel at the life that they’ve created.
As you’ve noticed from the sneak peek I’ve posted over the past few weeks that I’ve had the privilege to capture the first portraits for several new babies this spring. And, based on the numerous inquiries I have received and continue to receive daily, more and more babies are on the way this summer!
I thought I would share some notes about what makes a newborn session successful.
Earlier is better!
Some of the best newborn portraits are captured between the ages of 5-14 days old. Unfortunately, the first two weeks are the ones that go by in a flash! For this reason, I really encourage expectant parents to contact the studio ahead of time about a newborn session. I highly recommend the Maternity/Newborn package (the maternity session is discussed HERE) as a way to capture the entire pregnancy experience, but if you’d prefer to just do a newborn session, don’t hesitate to call before the little one arrives so we can put you on the schedule with a tentative date!
Loose is best!
On your way to your session, make sure that there are no tight fitting clothing, such as socks or elastic bands, on the baby. All newborns are stripped down to their birthday suits and these type of items leave red marks that take several minutes to fade.
Speaking of naked babies
I swear that the second you remove a diaper the baby likes to pee. It’s okay. They all do. All of the blankets and cloths I use for the newborn sessions are washable. When it happens, we get a good laugh, clean up the baby and continue on with the session!
Work up a sweat!
You may end up sweating, but it won’t be from physical exertion! When working with naked newborns, the room temp should be a little elevated so that your baby doesn’t get chilled (and unhappy!) I typically keep the studio around 80-82 degrees for a newborn session, which is a bit warm for us adults who are wearing clothes. Since your newborn may actually prefer the room to be closer to 90 degrees, I use a small heated fan that blows warm air on your baby. I never use a heating pad or any other heat source under the baby (major safety issue!) and the heated fan works great as I can keep a constant eye on the amount of warmth blowing over your baby.
I am not sure what it is about newborn sessions, but most babies decide that they would just prefer to eat their way through the session. It’s not a problem to stop for a break so that junior can get a bite to eat. It’s usually when they have a full tummy that they will doze off for those adorable sleepy newborn pictures. I do recommend bringing a pacifier with you to your session if possible.
It’s amazing how quickly a newborn forms an attachment with you as his parents. They know the best place is in Mom or Dad’s arms and this can be where we capture the most emotional images. With this in mind, I recommend all parents come to the session ready to be photographed. I suggest jeans and a solid black shirt as the black will allow the baby to really stand out against the clothing and it’s slimming/forgiving color for your post-pregnancy body.
Newborn and sibling portraits can be some of the more difficult images to capture. Is it possible? Yes. Can I guarantee success? Unfortunately, no. Each newborn and each toddler is unique in their attitude towards each other. I have several ideas for trying to capture siblings together, but sometimes, no matter what we do, it just isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t possible. I will happily attempt to take a portrait of your newborn and toddler together, but cannot guarantee the outcome.
Been There, Done That!
I am a mom to two kids – trust me when I say there isn’t anything your baby (or toddler!) can do that mine haven’t already done. 🙂 Ã‚Â I love my job and always feel privileged to be the photographer you choose to capture this special time.