Q: I have a newborn session booked for my baby girl at the end of this week. What do I need to know and do in order to be prepared?
A: Mazel tov! How exciting for you! I’m so happy that you are choosing to have your baby photographed in her very first moments of life. It’s crazy how fast our babies grow, and we tend to forget how tiny they really were when we were in the middle of our own new-mommy fog.
The first thing you need to do is relax! As long as you’ve hired a professional newborn photographer (as we discussed in last month’s issue here), your baby will be in the best of hands.
There are a few things you can do to ensure your baby is sleepy during the photo shoot. Try and keep her awake the hour or so before your session so that by the time it starts, she’s ready to fall back asleep. I say “try” because babies tend to do their own thing, and we may do our best to keep them awake, but they just might not cooperate. Don’t worry! Your photographer is a pro and is used to getting babies to sleep. Also, those wide-eye awake shots that parents love is an important part of every gallery, so your photographer can always start with those. Another thing you can do is give her a bath before you leave for your session so she is calm and clean for her pictures. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to avoid caffeine that morning, just in case it enters her system and causes her to be more awake.
Dress your baby in a sleeper which has a zipper and is easy to take off. That way, when you arrive at your session, the car will have hopefully rocked your baby to sleep, and your photographer won’t need to wake the baby to get her undressed. If you’re worried the baby will be cold, just cover her with a blanket after you’ve buckled her into the car seat.
Here are some things to bring along to your session to ensure you have everything you need:
· 5-10 diapers (babies tend to need frequent changing)
· A pacifier
· If bottle feeding, several bottles
· A comfy blanket to swaddle baby in between setups
· A change of clothing for the baby
· A change of clothing for yourself (babies tend to get parents dirty!)
· A water bottle for yourself to make sure you keep hydrated (the room will be very hot, so the baby stays warm and cozy)
· Some snacks for yourself (and children) since the session tends to last 2-3 hrs
If this is not your first child and you are bringing a toddler or older children to the session as well, it’s always a good idea to bring along some sort of treat to bribe them with (I like marshmallows since they don’t stain) and an iPad or some sort of game to keep them occupied while they wait their turn.
Parents always want to know what they should wear to their newborn sessions. I always say to keep it simple. You don’t want anything to distract from your tiny little baby. Solids in soft or neutral colors are always best. You can check out this Pintrest board to get an idea of clothing options: https://www.pinterest.com/yaffakoff/clothing-choices-parents-of-newborn/. I share this link with all my parents, as they often ask for my help in choosing what they wear. I like to make sure that every detail is taken care of so that the portraits are as gorgeous as possible! Another thing to keep in mind when choosing your clothing colors is what you hope to do with your images. Hopefully, you plan on printing them on gorgeous canvases or hanging them in beautiful frames. When you do that, you’re going to want to make sure it matches the décor in your home.
I hope this answers your question. May your baby be nice and sleepy, and I’m sure your portraits will be beautiful!