How to prepare for your baby’s newborn photo session

by | Newborn photography, Photography tips

Newborn photography clients have lots of questions about how to prepare for their new baby’s portrait session.

Preparing for your newborn’s photography session should be a time of excitement and anticipation. But a newborn photo session is a new experience for many parents, and many are unsure of what to expect.

Plan the right amount of time

Many, for example, are surprised to learn that a newborn photo session can take up to four hours. This is because your baby needs to be in a deep and relaxing sleep to be safe and comfortable in many of the curly, serene newborn poses.

In fact, helping your baby achieve a deep sleep is the second-most crucial factor (after safety) to capturing beautiful baby photos. Read more about it here.

For this reason, at Truly Madly Deeply we schedule all newborn baby photo sessions for four hours. However, we often finish sooner if the baby is super-sleepy.

While four hours might seem a long time for a photo shoot, much of the time is dedicated to making your baby comfortable. Of course, a lot of the time is also goes into family shots, changing outfits, sets and props, and feeding.

Knowing that the session is going to take a while, many clients use the time to relax and put their feet up while their baby is in the hands of a trained and experienced professional.

Below are 7 tips to help you enjoy the planning and ensure the session is a relaxing experience for you and your family:

1. Dress in layers

For your baby’s comfort, a newborn photography studio is very warm (think about the temperature of you baby’s accommodations for the past nine months, and you’ll understand why). 

At Truly Madly Deeply, we follow the Guidelines for Perinatal Care by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP)  and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG), and set the room temperature between 72-78°F (22–26°C).

Most gown-ups (and siblings), however, find this pretty toasty. We suggest you arrive at the studio dressed in layers so you can shimmy out of a layer (or two) if necessary.

2. Communicate with everyone involved … before the session!

Prior to the photography session, your photographer will likely provide you with lots of information about what’s going to happen and what to expect. Be sure to share that information with everyone who will attend the session, especially your partner and/or other adults

If a grumpy grown-up doesn’t find out until they’re at the studio that they’ll be in a very warm room for up to four hours, or that they should have brought snacks or something to keep them occupied, it can have a negative effect on the session.

3. Consider colors, props and preferences early

Typically, your newborn photographer will provide all of the props and newborn outfits required for your baby’s photography session.

However, if you have ideas about which color combinations you would like, or props and poses that you’ve seen elsewhere, it’s a good idea to share your input early in the planning process. This is usually done during an in-person or telephone consultation prior to the session.

Personally, I encourage my client’s input and I love discussing your ideas and preferences. It helps me put together a plan for your session that will deliver images that you will love.

And we’re happy to include personal props and or family heirlooms that you want to bring to the session.

It is, however, best to have those conversations as soon as possible with your photographer. Ideas or suggestions that you bring up on the day of the session may be harder to include without disrupting the entire session plan.

4. Stay nourished

Most photography studios will have light refreshments available, but do bring your favorite snacks and drinks to keep you going.

5. Bring some entertainment

Bring along magazines, books, iPad, etc. to keep yourself entertained…or use the session as an opportunity to put your feet up and rest while your baby is in the safe hands of a trained and experienced newborn photographer.

6. Schedule the siblings

If you plan to include older siblings in some of the baby photos, talk with your photographer about when best to have another trusted adult bring the siblings to the studio, so they can be there when they are being photographed but not be there longer than necessary.

I usually prefer to create the parent and sibling shots first, while everyone is feeling fresh, then let the kids go home so we can focus first on the newborn images.

7. Prepare for your baby’s feeding

Read this article to learn what you can do to ensure your baby stays full and sleepy throughout the photo session.

Interested in booking Truly Madly Deeply for your maternity or newborn photographs? Give us a call at the studio on (912) 642-8000, use the contact form below or on the Contact page to send us a message.

Have a question or want to help others by sharing your newborn portrait experience? Please leave a comment below.

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