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Planning for a Newborn Photo Session

Updated: Jan 10

Newborn baby wrapped in yellow blanket poses on a yellow and gray flowered blanket

Twelve-day-old Gianna was a great newborn to shoot. She slept most of the time and was easy to put and keep in the newborn poses I put her in. Ideally, you will want to have your baby photographed within the first ten days.

Being pregnant is such an exciting time for a woman. Fixing up the nursery, shopping for baby clothes and stocking up on diapers are just a few of the things an expectant mom is planning for. New moms, who are wanting to capture beautiful photos of the baby just after birth, get so busy that they sometimes forget about planning for a newborn photo session before the baby is born. This is something that really needs some prior planning, and this post should help guide you in doing just that!

Find a Photographer and Reserve the Date

First thing you want to do is to find a few photographers in your area to choose from and get in touch with them. Start the process of communicating with them so that you can ask them questions and get to know their style. Make sure you pick one you feel comfortable with and whose photographic style matches your style or personality.

Once you have picked the newborn photographer you would like to work with, secure a date to have your newborn photo session within 5 to 10 days of your baby’s expected birth date. This can change so just be sure to let your photographer know if it does. To get the popular newborn poses, you really want to try and schedule the session by day ten while the baby is still easy to put and keep in these poses. By week two they tend to wake easier when changing poses and want to stretch out of poses more. Also, past the second week, they often develop baby acne and colic. This is very common, and while acne can be photoshopped out, it is obviously better to try and schedule the session earlier on. Once they hit one month, they are building muscle in their little limbs and have a much harder time staying in newborn poses.

Plan for Your Session

If your photographer can meet with you ahead of time to consult with you about the session, that is ideal; however, many photographers are too busy to do this and will hopefully be ready when you arrive with several different basket, blanket and backdrop options. I, myself, have over 15 different blankets and backdrops and ten different baskets specifically for newborn photo sessions. Most newborn photographers will also have hats, headbands, diaper covers and other cute newborn photo accessories. Make sure to do your homework and research so that you can be prepared with ideas and any outfits or props you want in the photos.

I love to customize my sessions and sometimes these ideas can take weeks to prepare for such as in the photo below of the baby mermaid. The mother wanted a mermaid/ocean scene. I bought the fabric for the water and felt for the sea creatures. These took me several days to make because I made paper templates then had to transfer them to the felt which was a difficult fabric to work with. I then decorated them with eyes and glitter. The whole process was a lot of fun to create and execute, but I could not have done this spur of the moment. It definitely had to be planned for! You will be much happier with the results if you plan for the session and work closely with the photographer, as much as is possible for the two of you.

Baby in mermaid outfit posed on an ocean scene

Photos like this one take some time to prepare for but the results are amazing with a little bit of planning.

The Day of Your Photo Session

On the day of the session, make sure to keep the baby awake for one to two hours before the session so that during your time with the photographer, your baby will stay asleep and be much easier for the photographer to work with. Also, feed your baby just before you leave the house or even at the start of the session. Babies sleep better on a full stomach, and newborns are much easier to pose when sleeping! Don’t be worried about your baby peeing or pooping on the photographer’s props. A good photographer plans for and is prepared for these things. This usually happens at least once during a newborn photo session! So definitely bring extra diapers and a change of clothes for the baby and for yourself.

Also, I think it is really important for mom to be in some of the photos. I have had mothers not want to be in the photos because they weren’t happy with how their bodies looked yet. Keep in mind, clothing and different photo techniques can help with the extra baby weight. You will most likely regret not having some photos of you and your baby together at this very special time in both your lives. So put on your most flattering outfit, do your hair and makeup and be mentally prepared for having your photo taken!

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up!

Finally, don’t be afraid to speak up during the session to voice your wants and needs. We want you to be happy with the photos. That is most important! Hopefully these will be photos that you will be proud to hang in your home and that will be cherished for years and years to come!

If you would like to book a newborn photo session with me, just click here or you can call me at 808-344-1550.

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