Newborn Photo Sessions: What to Expect

By , On , In General

Newborn photography can be a challenge: so much depends on your little one that it can be hard to plan and prepare for a photo shoot. I’ve prepared a little guide to take some of the guesswork out of preparing for a newborn shoot. We’ll cover the Hows, Whens and Whys of newborn photography!

Preparing for a Session

Newborn shoots should be done in the first 10 days after giving birth. Of course, your newborn’s health and happiness are the most important consideration. If possible, try to feed your baby just before the shoot. Be sure to dress your child in loose clothing, so if she’s sleeping we can easily remove her clothes for the shoot without disturbing her. For your own comfort, wear light, breezy clothing, as I keep the studio quite warm for the baby’s comfort.

What to Expect

Before I take any photos, we will meet for a consultation to decide the direction of the shoot. We can discuss your vision for the shoot, including clothing and props, and schedule a date and time to complete the shoot.

Sessions take anywhere from one to three hours on average, and I can provide a wide variety of props if you’d like to go in that direction. If you’re interested, I encourage parents and/or siblings to take part in the shoot! If baby is asleep, I will begin with solo sleeping shots. As she wakes up, we can move into parent and child photos to help them settle.

black and white newborn child sleeping

What if…

…My baby won’t settle?

Don’t fret! This is quite common for newborns. If your baby is fussy or crying, we can call a time-out to give you a chance to feed and comfort them. Once they’ve settled, we can resume the shoot. If the baby won’t settle, we will adapt the shoot as best we can.

…My baby leaves a ‘mess’?

Don’t stress about messes. I’m very used to babies leaving messes. All the materials I use are washable, and are cleaned before and after each session.

…My baby has acne/blemishes?

Many newborns develop acne or rashes in the first couple weeks after birth. If this happens, don’t worry. I include photo retouching for all shoots to smooth out blemishes.

To prop or not to prop?

I enjoy minimalist and stylized photography equally! It’s completely up to you whether you include props or keep it simple. We will discuss this in the consultation before your shoot is scheduled.

Young Siblings and Newborns

black and white photo of siblings with newborn child

When shooting newborns, their brothers and sisters often want to join in. These sibling photos are great, but they can be challenging, especially with very young children! To ensure the best experience for you and your children, try bringing someone to the shoot who can take your newborn’s siblings home after their shoot is done, as a complete newborn shoot can take quite a long time. I will usually try to get the youngest children finished early in the shoot, so they don’t get too bored or fussy. I encourage parents to bring snacks for their young ones. It’s a good idea to bring a favourite toy, as well. This can help distract and entertain them while they wait, and get them smiling for the photos!

Avoid dressing your children in clothes with lots of patterns, logos, or fonts on them, as they can be quite visually distracting. Make sure they’re dressed comfortably to pose for the photos. I usually avoid having the children hold the newborn, as it can result in awkward poses. I prefer for them to lie down with or kneel behind the baby.