What to Expect During Your Newborn Session: Tips From a Professional Photographer
If you’re a new parent, one of the things you may be wondering about is newborn photography sessions. What should you expect during your newborn session? How long will the session take? Will it be stressful for your baby? How should you prepare for the session? What happens next? Here are some tips from a professional photographer to help ease your mind and make sure your newborn session goes as smoothly as possible!
Newborn photography session: What to expect during your newborn photoshoot
First and foremost, try not to stress about the details! I know it’s easier said than done, but the calmer you are, the better. Relax as much as possible and enjoy this time with your newborn.
I like to start newborn sessions with some family portraits. This is a great way to get everyone in the mood and help them feel relaxed. From there, we’ll move on to individual shots of your newborn. I always ask parents
What to expect: What should you expect during your newborn session?
How long will the newborn photo session take? Typically, the session will last between two to four hours. Newborns need to be fed and have their diaper changed frequently, as well as get lots of snuggles and love, so we’ll take plenty of breaks as needed to allow for the best experience for your baby.
I always recommend newborn sessions be done in the morning, when babies are typically the happiest and sleepiest. This is often the best time of day for a newborn photography session. We like to get started around 10am.
When you arrive for your session, we’ll chat for a bit and I’ll get an idea of what you’re hoping to achieve. I always want my clients to be happy with the final product, so it’s important that we are on the same page from the start.
Since we’ll have already planned all the details for your session, when you arrive, you’ll just get to relax and I’ll get started on photographing your sweet little newborn. The start of the session will depend on a few factors; how sleepy your baby is when you arrive, which type of poses we’ve planned, and whether or not you have other children who will be photographed. This can look different for each family, so you’ll be prepped with how things are planned. Of course, things may change up a bit, because babies aren’t always so interested in what the adults have planned, but in most cases it will only change my workflow – you’ll still be able to relax while I do the work!
What to expect: Will it be stressful for your baby?
Absolutely not! The studio will be nice and warm (super cozy for your sweet babe), so keep this in mind while dressing yourself for the session! For the posing station, there are lots of comfy layers to keep baby on a nice soft, but sturdy surface. We’ll have some background noise to keep baby from being easily distracted or woken. Sometimes your little one may cry during some posing, often times this is just them working out getting settled; however, I do not force babies into any position that seems uncomfortable for them. The safety of your newborn baby is my absolute priority. This doesn’t mean you won’t get those cute cuddly poses, they just may be modified if your baby isn’t loving a certain one or it seems unsafe for any reason (if your baby has any medical concerns, please be sure to let us know).
I’ll guide you through the session, letting you know when I need you to step in for a cuddle or feed. Other than that, just sit back and relax! I’ll take care of everything else.
What to expect: How should you prepare for the session?
This is a great question! The great news is that you’ll be thoroughly informed and prepared well before the session. We will have discussed in detail what to wear, what to bring, and what to expect for your individual, customized session. In general, what to wear really depends on the aesthetic of the photos we have planned ahead of time. Most often, this looks like a simple neutral palate. I recommend solid, coordinating colors or subtle patterns, after all, the focus of this session will be your sweet little newborn, not the pretty clothes! What to bring? A way to feed the baby! If you’re nursing, well, then you know what to bring! If bottle feeding, you’ll want to bring a bottle or two (we have a warmer here in the studio!). I’ll always keep extra diapers here, but if you have a brand preference you’ll want to bring a few extras to your newborn photo session. If you’ll be using a soother for your baby, bring that too as it can often help the session go smoothly if baby isn’t settling as well. I also tell parents to bring an extra change of clothes for baby and themselves, just in case!
As for how to prepare baby before a newborn session; you’ll want to be sure to feed the baby right before you head to the studio, or plan to feed baby when you arrive. A full belly means a sleepy baby, and a sleepy baby means a smooth session, ensuring we can get all those sweet cuddly poses! I always recommend you bring baby in a loose fitting zip up onesie, either loose socks or no socks, and loosely fasten the diaper to prevent any skin marks from clothing or diapers. That’s it! You’ll leave the rest up to me!
What to expect: What happens next?
After your newborn photography session, we’ll schedule an ordering appointment. This is where you’ll see your images for the first time, and you’ll choose how you want to display each image and place your order!
I hope this article has helped ease your mind about newborn sessions and what to expect during your newborn photography session.
If you found this post helpful, please share it with expectant parents you know! And be sure to stay tuned for more posts in the “Planning for Your Newborn Session” series. Up next: why is newborn photography important?
If you have any other questions about newborn photography sessions or what to expect during your session, please don’t hesitate to contact me! I’m always happy to help. :)
-Amanda, The Newborn Photographer