Newborn Session Tips

Hello! I am so excited to be working together for your newborn session. Baby snuggles are probably my most favorite thing, and I definitely get a lot during each session! My newborn sessions last between 2 and 4 hours. They are done in my studio (289 King street - thrid floor). I do them in studio only so I can provide the best possible session for my clients. It ensures that I have all of the props that I need, the space is heated correctly, and I always have the perfect light and space to work.

Your session is dictated by baby. Sometimes they go really fast, and sometimes they don't. And that's ok. Sometimes we get peed on. Sometimes we need to change outfits. Some babies need a lot of rocking and help falling asleep, while others just need a gentle shush. The studio is kept quite warm to ensure baby is as warm as possible, safely, especially for naked images. I tend to find babies therefore sleep better as well when it's warmer (but of course if it's too warm for baby we would adjust accordingly). I have had a few parents fall asleep as well. ;)

While I have a general workflow of how I go through my newborn sessions, the order is pretty much dictated by baby. If you come in and baby is sound asleep sometimes I can get some sleepy shots right away without them waking up, and other times they come in wide awake and we adjust our posing accordingly. I work efficiently to ensure baby has the best possible session while making sure all of their needs are well taken care of throughout our session.

There are sometimes some tips and tricks that I've learned along the way that can help make the session go a little bit smoother, and I've outlined them below.


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.  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? In your newborn session package you will find a link to the Newborn Session Questionnaire. Please fill this out so we can start planning your perfect session together!

  • WHERE:  My studio is located at 289 King Street in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We are located on the 3rd floor of the building. There is a free parking lot just outside of the entrance door. You will enter through a large steel door that has a sign for "Aspire Studios" beside it. The first two floors are windows and furniture stores. If you need my number it is (431)334-9851

  • 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. We keep the studio quite warm for newborn sessions to ensure they fall into a deeper sleep, and aren't startled awake from the cold. I encourage you to bring extra clothing to change into, or layers, so you do not get so warm when we are done with the parent/family images. Because it is so hot in the studio babies also tend to eat more. While we generally try to make sure baby is nice and topped up right before the session, most of the time they need an extra feeding in the middle of the session (or two or three or four) depending on the baby. It's hot, they get thirsty too. :)

  • Soothing: I always like to encourage my clients to bring a soother along. Even if they aren't taking one well yet it can definitely help in a pinch for a shot or two to sooth between poses. We also have a white noise machine going to help sooth baby. I do a lot of rocking, shushing, rubbing backs, patting bums, etc, to help your baby feel comfortable and safe throughout their entire session.

  • 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: This is probably the most asked question for my sessions. You're welcome to wear whatever you're comfortable in, but neutrals will always remain classic and perfect for any session. Moms tend to like long sleeves, dads tend to go with short sleeves. I would try and avoid clothing that is too dressed up (sometimes even a button up top on dad can be distracting). A plain white tshirt or fitted long sleeve can look quite beautiful. Of course, skin to skin images will always remain a favorite of mine as well.

    You can check out my Pinterest board for some inspiration:

  • BEFORE YOUR SESSION I recommend keeping baby up for as long as possible. Generally if baby has been awake for at least an hour before our session, then if they fall asleep on the way to your session, or right at the start of the session it goes a little bit smoother and faster.

  • SAFETY: Safety in newborn photography is definitely a priority of mine. I have taken many newborn safety classes and I will never attempt to put baby into a pose that I know is unsafe. Many of the images you see in my work, or on Pinterest, are composite images. That means they are a series of images stitched together to create one image. An example of this is the one where baby has their head on their hands (called the Froggy Pose). It's an image where there is someone holding the babies top of her head, and then a photo is taken, then someone is holding the bottom of her hands/head and another photo is taken, and then these images are stitched together in Photoshop. There are certain poses like this where there should and will be someones hand on the baby at all times to ensure their safety. Buckets generally have weights in them to ensure they don't tip, sometimes parents hands and fingers are Photoshopped out.. there is a lot that goes into some of these images and I'm proud to be able to say that we take the newborn safety aspect of our job very seriously. Continually monitoring baby for their color, making sure they're not overheating or too cold, watching their hunger cues. It's all ways we can make sure your session is going to be in the best possible hands.

    While I think that covers almost everything, if you ever have any questions regarding your newborn session please feel free to contact me!

    Jennifer Doran
    289 King Street - 3rd Floor Winnipeg