How To Prepare for
Your Newborn Session
Everything You Need to Know
Newborn sessions should be scheduled at a time when the baby can be fed and then immediately placed in the car to come to the studio. This helps ensure that your baby will fall asleep in the car and remain asleep once you arrive at the studio for the sleeping newborn poses. Please try to keep your baby awake for two hours before you come to your session. This will ensure your baby will be sleepy upon arrival. If you need to, talk, play and sing to your baby to keep them from falling asleep.
The following are some guidelines that will help you get the most out of your session:
Before leaving your house, it’s a good idea to clean the baby’s eyes with a warm washcloth and to check baby’s nostrils for anything unsightly that you don’t want photographed! We don’t want to upset the baby upon arriving for the photo session.
If the weather permits, I also suggest unclothing the baby and leaving a loose tab diaper on the baby and placing them in their car seat and covering them with blankets. This is an assurance of no clothing marks or indents on the skin. This helps your sleeping baby portraits because it’s easy to undo the diaper and place the sleeping baby directly on the beanbag and begin shooting once you arrive. If the baby is still sleeping when you arrive for your appointment, please do NOT wake the baby. I will do my best to photograph your baby before he/she awakes. Also, upon arriving, place a blanket over the entire car seat before removing your baby from the car so the sun does not awake the baby. Please no elastic clothing… i.e. socks, booties with elastic on the ankle, elastic on the wrist, booties over hands, etc.
I photograph newborn babies in their bare skin. Cloth diapers or a white diaper/diaper cover is best if you’d like their bottom covered. (No cartoon characters please.)
If you are planning take some photographs with the baby, I usually do these photographs at the end of the session. Please keep in mind that simple clothing works best for creating successful, timeless portraits. Avoid patterns, busy prints, stripes, and logo clothing. They can be very distracting and tend to draw focus away from the faces. If siblings are being photographed together, please have them dressed in similar toned clothing for a more unified look. If possible, keep pants darker than your shirt, which will help draw attention up to the face. Think of every detail, down to your toes. I suggest bare feet. They photograph best!
Please feel free to bring anything that you would like to incorporate in the portraits…i.e. a blanket, a stuffed animal, jewelry, toys, etc. Please bring a neutral colored blanket that may be photographed with your baby. Be sure to bring bottles, water, formula, baby wipes, and a change of clothes for baby, extra diapers, burp rags, brush, pacifier, and anything else you think you may need. I am happy to personalize your portraits! Please no large props unless we have talked prior to the shoot date about incorporating it into your session. Simple is better.
On the day of your session, please do not bring personal assistance, grandparents, nannies, or friends. The studio is small and isn’t comfortable for more than a couple people. And please, only bring siblings that are being photographed at the end of the session. I suggest bringing them for the last hour of the session. They will get bored sitting in my studio for three hours. I would like to focus all attention on your child and distractions for your baby during the session will limit the success of your session.
Please consider bringing a change of clothes for mom, dad and baby. I tend to keep the studio VERY WARM to ensure baby stays asleep. Therefore, wear light clothing. Otherwise you will sweat! Also be sure to bring some burp rags and blankets for drool, spit up and accidents. If you aren’t nursing, I ask that you bring preparations for numerous bottles. Babies tend to eat more when they are in the studio.
If you are nursing and pumping, please bring a bottle of breast milk and a pacifier, which will help ensure a smooth session. Also, if there are times that baby needs to nurse, please do not talk to the baby nor look at your baby during the feeding. This will help the baby to eat and then return to being photographed immediately.
Please no cameras or recording devices of any kind are allowed in the studio.
I understand this is an investment for your family and will understand if your child is sick. A sick child isn’t a happy child and doesn’t photograph well. Please call and reschedule if needed…I will understand!
Please also bring drinks and snacks for yourself and siblings, as we will shoot for up to three hours for full newborn sessions.
Bottles if possible (even if you’re nursing – pumped milk helps me to feed baby if they just need a quick snack to calm them – which allows me to keep them on the beanbag).
Extra formula if not breastfeeding.
Pacifier (even if they are not currently using one – this helps soothe the child without waking to feed your baby).
Parent Checklist: Please wear solid color clothing, no lace, jeans are great, small stud earrings, no necklace, and please keep jewelry to a minimum. Please no watch on your wrist. Also be mindful of low cut or V-neck tops. No sweatshirts. No bright colored nail polish, it will be distracting. Keep them simple. No makeup with sparkles. No lipstick with a high gloss. Please bring your makeup bag for touch ups. Consider bringing a change of clothes for after the photo shoot just in case there is an “accident” during the session!! Please also bring something cool to wear – I keep the room very warm to comfort the baby.
If you are nursing, I have compiled a nursing guide to help keep baby happy and gas free in preparation for their session. I recommend trying to avoid certain foods beginning two days prior to your session. This guide is a suggestion only, and as always, please consult your pediatrician.
Curry, cinnamon, onions, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, cucumber, beans.
Pineapple, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, tomatoes, ketchup,
MERCURY CONTAINING FISH:
Mackerel, swordfish, shark and tuna.
OTHER FOODS & CHEMICALS:
Peanuts, chocolate, saturated fats, pesticides. Restrict foods soda, coffee, tea, wine, beer & dairy. Babies experiencing gas or tummy discomfort may feel uncomfortable during their photo session. It is important we work together to keep the baby soothed and calm as possible.
GOOD FOODS TO EAT:
Whole grains, brown rice, salmon, avocados, eggs, lean meats, squash, apples, non-dairy items, berries, melons, and plenty of water.
The time you spend on planning your session and clothing will pay off in the end with a beautifully coordinated portrait…one that will never look dated. It is worth the effort. I am happy to answer any questions, so please feel free to call or e-mail. Last, please see other newborn examples on my Facebook page: Christina Houser Photography
If you have additional questions, please send your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to being your family photographer.