First and foremost, a big congratulations on the arrival of your sweet little one. I cannot wait to meet him/her for their newborn photos soon! Since these first few days and weeks are just so magical, it is such an honor to document your little one.
I assure you that it will all be worthwhile since you have decided to preserve this fleeting moment with your child and to always remember them precisely as they are right now.
But, it’s no secret that these first few weeks are stressful. You have a whole new person living in your home with their own schedule, needs and feelings who depend on you for everything! I’m a mom of four myself – I completely understand where you are right now. So, to help you prep for your session, I’ve created this guide for getting yourselves and your baby ready for your first photos! Let’s get started!
The best time to do newborn sessions is when babies are between 5 and 14 days old. Newborns sleep peacefully and sweetly throughout the first 14 days or so after birth, and they can easily adopt positions that are similar to when they were in the mother’s womb. During this time, the most iconic “sleeping” pictures are taken. When you schedule newborn photos within the first two weeks, you can benefit from the baby’s regular sleeping patterns.
To make sure we get baby into the studio in a timely manner, I always have a parent shoot me a text soon after baby’s birth to schedule the session. If I hear from the parents within 48 hours after birth, I can plan the session for 7-10 days later. If clients wait a week to text me, I cannot guarantee immediate openings on the schedule!
The secret to getting classic newborn pictures flawlessly is by having your baby sound asleep during the photoshoot. A great way to do this is by making the baby take a warm and long bath approximately 1 to 1.5 hours prior to the scheduled session The baby usually gets soothed, relaxed, and sleepy after the bath.
Prior to the session, spend 1.5 to 2.5 hours playing with the baby to try to keep them awake. It is important that your little one not fall asleep in the car on the way to the studio (but of course it happens). By keeping them awake, the baby will be exhausted when they arrive at the studio and will easily fall asleep just before the session begins.
Newborns are known for being hungry all the time, and it’s normal for baby to want to eat more during the session because they’re in an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar person. Before the photoshoot, make sure your baby is well fed. When you feed baby just before the session, they will cry less and be more at ease. Furthermore, a full belly will result in a happy and sleeping baby! Remember that we are aiming for the baby to be fully asleep throughout the session. Please feel free to arrive at the studio a bit early to feed the baby before, especially if you have a longer commute. If at any point during the session baby needs to take a break or eat again, we will stop and let them eat. Baby is the star of the show and 100% in charge of their session.
You don’t need to pack anything for the baby to wear. I will provide all the clothing, props, headbands, and wraps. Don’t stress about their clothing unless you want to bring anything unique for your baby’s photos. Please let me know if there is something special you want to bring so I can plan the set around it. After booking you will receive a questionnaire that will help me style the session with your style and vision in mind. If you have a Pinterest board for newborn photos, please feel free to share it! I’m a visual person, and seeing your ideas helps me tremendously!
I know that during the first several months after having a baby, parents are running on little to no sleep at all. Because of this, I always recommend packing your bag the night before if you can, so you are ready to go for your session the next day. If you aren’t sure what to bring, here’s a few ideas to make sure you’re well prepared!
You may also bring anything to make you comfortable (ipad, books, nursing pillow, sleepers, etc.) or toys for older siblings! Our studio does have several toys that older children are welcome to play with while baby is having their photos done as well.
Sit back, relax and take in the session. It may sound corny, but it’s true: Enjoy this moment while it lasts because it won’t last forever! I want you to enjoy seeing the first photoshoot of your new baby. The outcome will be spectacular! I am really excited!
If you have any inquiries, need outfit ideas, or need help with anything else, please email me at email@example.com and I would be happy to assist!
Designed by Ashleigh Maxey, 2023
Images by Photos by Ashleigh, LLC