Tips to help you prepare for your newborn session
If the session will be at your house, please do not worry about the state of your home! You just had a baby! I only require that ample shooting space with good lighting in an area of your house. I may likely ask Dad to move furniture if I do not have enough room to work with.
Undress baby about 30 minutes before the session. Swaddle baby in a warm blanket until I arrive. If baby’s skin is a little dry or flaky, try applying a small bit of baby lotion to those spots the day before our session. But don’t worry if it doesn’t go away completely…Photoshop does wonders on red, flaky, bumpy newborn skin!
Have your house warmer than normal. Ideally, I want the room to be near 80. For the adults it will be a bit hot and uncomfortable, but the baby will be toasty and happy.
Collect any items you want used in the session beforehand – family heirlooms, toys, monogrammed blankets, hats, etc. We’ll go through these together to determine what will look best in the pictures. I bring enough props and blankets that you don't really need to provide anything. However, anything important to you will certainly be accommodated!
During the morning prior to our session, try and keep baby awake and stimulated as much as possible. Give baby a bath, play for awhile, and try to feed him/her about 1-2 hours before our scheduled session. Also, try not to let them sleep for over an hour right before the shoot. Every baby is different so use your best judgement as you know your baby more than I do.
Once I arrive, I will ask that you feed baby at that time, so I have about 20 minutes to get ready. Let them eat until they don’t want another drop. If you are bottle/formula feeding, don’t worry about measuring this time. You won’t spoil baby and they will be so full and happy, they’ll be out in no time. Aren’t we all happier with a full belly?
After the baby is full, make sure they are burped really well. Gas can take a sleepy, happy baby to an uncomfortable and irritable one in seconds.
Be prepared for a longer visit. Newborn sessions are the most challenging, usually lasting about four hours but occasionally lasting longer. The more tips you can follow, the faster I am able to work!
Be patient. If the baby gets fussy or alert, don’t worry. A baby can sense your anxiety and we want to keep the environment as mellow as possible. I will try and get the baby comfortable again, but if that just doesn’t seem possible, we’ll take a break or we’ll work with what he’s giving us. Sometimes the best pictures are ones when baby isn’t necessarily doing what we want.
Have music or the television on for white noise for baby or, if he is accustomed to being in a very quiet house, no noise is fine, too! Whatever environment is “normal” for baby, that is when he will be most comfortable and resting peacefully. I will also be bringing a white noise machine to help baby stay asleep. If the baby takes a pacifier please let me know that the beginning of the shoot. I don't require this but I will take all the soothing help I can get if allowed.
And MOST importantly, the only job you have while we are together is to RELAX. I don’t need you to wait on me or even stay with me while I work with your baby, although a lot of moms like watching me work. As a mother, I know it’s hard to not be right beside them when they are so new and little, but I am very careful and will take good care of your baby.