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Let’s talk prepping for a successful newborn session! At the time of your session, you’ll likely be knee-deep into this new parenthood thing (or new parent of two, three, etc.). With all the things on your mind, it’s easy to forget to bring the blankie that your grandma lovingly knit for the baby. So let’s run through some tips that I give my clients to prepare for a successful newborn session:
1. Consider Shooting In-Studio
In recent years, it’s been popular to have lifestyle shoots at home so the photographer can catch candid everyday moments, and I certainly understand the appeal of authentically documenting the way life has dramatically changed for your family. While I am not opposed to doing in-home sessions, I’d like to make a case for scheduling your shoot in-studio. If I have the privilege of photographing your newborn, I’d assume it’s because you want your pictures in my light and airy style. That being the case, those images are much easier to achieve in my home studio because the lighting and background are consistent. With a newborn, you’ll be comfortable in a home setting that is neutral and classic. An added bonus of choosing to shoot in-studio is that you won’t have to worry about cleaning and making your own place presentable. Speaking from my own experience, in the first weeks of having a newborn, my house looked like a tornado had passed through it. It would’ve been such a relief not to have to worry about making my house presentable or having the ideal lighting conditions.
2. Dress for Success
For newborns, I like to keep the color palette simple and timeless. The focus is on the amazing new little human you’ve brought into this world, so we don’t want their clothing to distract from that. I recommend bringing multiple onesies, swaddles, and accessories (hats, bows, etc.) in light, neutral tones (e.g., blush pink rather than hot pink) and being thoughtful about patterns (avoid prints that are too loud or busy). Also, bring diapers or diaper covers in a style that you’d be okay to have photographed. I always encourage parents to be in the photos, so come photo-ready! You’ll be glad you did when you see those sweet family portraits of your new crew. I would suggest light neutrals to complement your baby. And if you’re a nursing mom, bring along a pretty robe or a nursing-friendly top, especially if you’d like some pictures of you feeding your baby.
3. Pack Your Props
While we will provide the furniture and basic backdrop pieces, it’ll be nice to bring in some special items to personalize your shoot. If you’ve got lovies, blocks, signs, or an heirloom item like the blanket that you used as a baby, remember to bring them to your session!
4. Count on a Feed
Newborns eat throughout the day, so given that a newborn session typically lasts 1.5 to 2 hours, it’s highly likely that they’ll need a feed while you’re there. To make things easier for everyone, arrive at your shoot with everything you’ll need for a feeding—all the bottles, formula, and water if you’re bottle-feeding, and a nursing pillow and nursing-friendly attire if you’re breastfeeding. No matter how you go about it, feeding your baby involves wonderful moments of bonding, which can translate to some really beautiful and endearing photos!
If you’ve already got a newborn session booked, hat tip to you for being so on top of things! After reading this post, I think it’s needless to say that actually prepping for a successful newborn session is key to making that investment worthwhile. I hope you’ll refer back to these tips as your session approaches, and also check out my other post on How to Prevent Your Baby From Being Cranky at a Photoshoot. If you’re still thinking about whether a newborn session is right for you, take a look at some of my recent newborn posts (Los Angeles Newborn Photography, Pasadena Newborn Baby Photography, and Newborn Photography in Orange County), and don’t hesitate to reach out to inquire about a session!