Newborn Session Tips
TIPS ON PREPARING FOR YOUR NEWBORN SESSION
There are many factors that help make your newborn session go as smoothly as possible. Because your bundle is so new I like to help parents prep as much as possible for what to expect when they arrive for their session. There is a lot going on in those first few days, so having everything prepped and ready is key to a successful session.
DATE: Once you have decided to schedule your session with me, we will set a tentative session date based on your due date. I completely understand that babies rarely come when they are predicted and we will absolutely accommodate their own plans. Your due will give us something to start with though. As soon as your infant is born, please get in touch with me as soon as possible. I prefer to photograph babies in their first 5-10 days of life. They sleep better, don’t have reflux or colic, and usually haven’t developed baby acne or cradle cap.
THEN WHAT?: When we schedule your session we will discuss what you are looking for from your session. Are there specific poses you are looking for? For example, if your husband is a firefighter, would you like your infant photographed in his helmet? Will Dad be there? Do you have some props from my website images that you would like to use? Do you have props of your own to incorporate?
WHERE: My studio sessions are done in my home studio here in Winnipeg. I have a huge variety of props, blankets, etc. The studio is already set up and heated optimally for your session. The lighting is always consistent. It is a relaxed, comfy space where we can sit back and enjoy the session together. For home lifestyle sessions, once I arrive at your home I will take a peak around (PLEASE do not worry about it being messy, or cluttered, or dishes everywhere. I don't mind, I have three kids. I get it). I will find the room, hallway, entrance, or whatever, with the best natural light. I honestly do not need much room to work. If it's too cloudy, or there's not enough light I always have my lighting equipment in the car as well as back up.
HEAT, HEAT, HEAT: Babies like it hot. They are used to being all bundled and squished in mom and now they are out in the cold world. These sessions go best if you are prepared to sweat. My home studio is already warm enough for your baby. Extra precaution is used to heat the area where baby will be sleeping on as well. For in-home lifestyle sessions, about 30 minutes prior to my arrival, please turn up your heat. Once we get baby naked they will definitely feel a chill if it's not super toasty in there!
Soothing: It is always nice to have a pacifier on hand. This will help me to sooth your baby in between poses. If you have chosen not to use a pacifier with your baby or they don’t seem to care for them that is ok, and we will work with that as well. I will also have white noise and a space heater on hand to help make your baby feel more comfortable. I do turn on the heater in my home and/or turn off my air conditioning one hour prior to your arrival. I also have a heating pad set on low under the blanketed bean bag setups before baby is placed on them as well (that is taken off when baby is placed on). This way when your baby is unclothed they won’t be chilled and get upset. If the photo shoot is in your home I ask that you also either turn off the air an hour prior to the session, or turn up the heat.
OUTFITS: We can discuss any choices of outfits, headbands, props, etc that you would like at our initial consult. When placing baby in the car seat to come to your sessions please dress them in loose fitted clothing that can be unbuttoned and taken off around them instead of over their head and a loose diaper. If baby falls asleep in the car on the way to your session that is perfectly ok!! Sometimes we can even just transfer baby right into the session and they don't wake up. Remember to bring an extra outfit for coming home in, sometimes for yourself as well!
WHAT DO YOU WEAR?!: I know, you just had a baby. You aren't feeling up for photos. I promise you though, 5 years when you look back and you're making a collage with your kindergarten kid and he is looking at his newborn pictures, you're going to wish you had a few with you in them. Siblings too! Plain colors (no patterns) always flatter, and a regular white tshirt or long sleeve is just fine! Simple is best, and will always match your baby! If you want to dress up a bit more, or take more than a 1 minute shower before the baby wakes up again, GO for it. If you have any questions or need some help deciding, let me know, we'll figure it out! :) This goes for dad as well. A simple black or white tshirt, or undershirt, is perfect. Stay clear of shirts with big logos on them.
SHHHHHHH, THE BABY'S SLEEPING: Or not... try your best to keep baby up prior to the session. If baby is up for about an hour to 30 minutes before I arrive we have a better chance at putting baby to sleep for the photo shoot to achieve all of the posed/sleepy shots.
DURING YOUR SESSION:
FEEDING: For studio sessions, if baby has woken up from his or her car seat we will usually start the session off by a nice long feed. If they are still asleep and transfer well then please feel free to sit back and relax and you will definitely get a chance to feed baby once they awake. For in-home sessions it usually works out best if baby is fed as I arrive. This, combined with the sleepy baby, and a nice warm environment usually makes for a 'milk induced sleep' that keeps baby happiest for our session. I am happy to stop for as many feedings and cuddles as baby needs. We will watch your baby's cues and make sure she/he is getting what they need. Also, as the space is heated more than normal, sometimes babies will want to feed more because they are more thirsty. This is normal and we will definitely accommodate this!
PATIENCE: Newborns have their own agenda. They don't always want to go down for a nap when we want them to. They don't always want to eat when they want to. They will poop all over the props. The will pee on you (I have yet to have a session I haven't been peed on!). And this is all normal, and OK! Newborn sessions are booked for 2-4 hours because while some babies sleep the entire time, some may not sleep the entire session at all!!
SAFETY: No matter what your baby comes first and I strive to make sure everyone is comfortable, and safe. I will never attempt to put baby into a pose where he/she is not comfortable and relaxed into. Please keep in mind that many of the poses that you see are composite shots. This means they are a series of photos stitched together in post production. Many poses (such as the Froggy pose) are exactly this and difficult to achieve with the older babies, or ones that are not fully asleep. If I feel at any time that your baby is not going for it, we change it up and go to another pose. Your babies safety and comfort are my number one priority.
Lastly, if you think of anything before our session, please please feel free to contact me. I promise there has never been, nor will there ever be, a stupid question.