Updated: Feb 28
When to book, Location (your place or mine), what to wear and how to prepare. I've got you covered!
Newborn photos are SO so special for many reasons. One being your baby will only be that little tiny size once and secondly (my favorite) is your family has grown and you have this new amazing little person adding so much joy to your hearts that it should be documented! These photos will make sure you NEVER forget how you feel at this time in your life, with this new babe and the ones you love most.
WHEN TO BOOK
You know your due date BUT as we all know babies come whenever they are good and ready unless you have a planned C-section of course.
*If you want cute sleeping baby photos, its best to book within the first 2 weeks of birth. Earlier the better. Disclaimer...they don't ALWAYS stay asleep...lol but usually!
*If you want alert baby photos, I suggest to do those in the first 1-3 months, baby is still small but they are much more active and the chances for smiling photos goes up!
When you book your session keep in mind that the date may need to change and that is OK! I have zero problems re booking if need be and I do not charge a dime to do this! Life is unpredictable as are those babes!
First 2 weeks
First few months
Both are equally adorable...want to do both? 2 weeks, 3 months, 6 months then
I have a beautiful studio in East Vancouver with some great baby props but I would also be happy to come to your home to take the photos.
I have a lot of different backdrops, baskets, blankets, props, etc. in the studio and all of my newborn sessions are done in my 'lifestyle zone'!
Some of the benefits of having your session in the studio are:
- you can get out of the house
-You don't have to feel the need to tidy/clean your house if I come over, not that you have to because I don't care but you know what I'm sayin ;)
- more options of backdrops and props as I do not bring a lot to your home, I only bring a few small items.
-It's a controlled photography environment that I am used to shooting in and I know exactly how to get the best photos in my space!
IN YOUR HOME
By doing the photos in your home, I use your personal items to make the photos unique to you. Photos in your bedroom, baby's room and/or your living room.
WHAT TO WEAR
AND read my Family photos what to wear blog HERE
HOW TO PREPARE TIPS
If the baby is under 3 weeks old:
*Loosen the baby’s diaper about 30 minutes before the session. This allows time for the diaper’s imprint marks to disappear if you are wanting to try and get bum photos. Also, avoid tight socks or clothing.
***Dress baby in loose-fitting clothes to avoid any lines on baby’s skin and to also avoid disturbing baby when getting undressed. A simple sleeper is best.
*Keep baby toasty warm. If we are doing the photos in your home, crank up that heat! This will keep the baby sleeping!
*Please make sure your little one has a full belly for the session. Please feed baby just before coming to the studio. If you would like to feed the baby at the studio prior to your session just let me know and we can talk about you coming early to do so!
***Also, the baby should be fed as much as possible in the 12 hours that precede the session. This will allow the baby to sleep as deeply and as long as possible.
***A full baby = a sleepy baby, and we need a very sleepy and calm baby in order to achieve the poses we would like.
*After eating, make sure baby is burped well. If not, gas may build up and that can make the baby fussy.
*Mom’s and Dad’s hands will be shown in many of the close-up photographs. Please make sure your nails look nice!
*If nursing, try to avoid eating anything spicy (ie. pizza, hot sauce, etc) or anything that will cause gas and might upset baby’s tummy for 24 hours preceding your scheduled session. A gassy baby will not pose well during the session due to their little tummy being upset.
***Some other foods that may cause gas are dairy products- milk, cheese, yogurt, pudding, cream, or any food that has milk, milk products, casein, whey, or sodium casein it, as well as foods with caffeine, soy, fish, peanuts, chocolate, wheat, beef, nuts, eggs, corn, or citrus fruits (Courtesy Baby center & ModernMom parenting).
*Interact with and keep baby awake for 1-2 hours before your session to ensure they are good and sleepy for the session. This is very important. Without this, we spend too much time getting them to sleep and not as much time photographing them.
***Stimulating baby with a bath or by doing ‘naked time’ prior to the session are some tricks that you can use!
*Bring a pacifier if you have one – they can be very helpful during the session!
**A note to Mom**
I know that you may not feel like yourself right after giving birth, but I strongly encourage you to have a portrait taken with your new baby while they are still so young and fresh. They will grow up and will want to know what their mother looked like holding them close to her heart as a newborn. I will shoot you in flattering angles, so don’t worry! Worst case scenario is that you don’t like the image and never look at it again, but at least your child will have this moment documented.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
*I do supply backdrops, furniture, headbands, and wraps for the session if you choose to use any. But please keep in mind my style tends to lean more toward simple lifestyle photos. I am always open to new ideas but be aware that I will not use anything that will harm, irritate, or look awkward or controversial (guns, deer antlers, etc) on your newborn. If you see something you like in any of my galleries, be sure to mention it before your session. I am open to suggestions on poses that you may have seen from Pinterest but please understand that every pose we do depends on how the baby cooperates and how safe the pose is for your little one. I cannot guarantee any pose for this reason.
*No matter what your baby does, please know that I am always relaxed. I do newborn sessions all the time and I have seen almost everything. This session is supposed to be a special experience for you, and I don’t want you stressed if the baby starts to cry. The baby can sense stress, which usually makes them cry more. If we need to take a break (to feed, walk, rock, etc.), we can do that. I want you to enjoy the experience of your session and this special bonding moment for your family.
*I'm looking to create a variety of photographs of your baby, capturing how special and tiny a newborn can be. I take some images of the baby sleeping, the baby wrapped in soft blankets, and the baby in your arms. Plus, I will capture those tiny newborn feet!
*Moms, do not worry about the baby weight you haven’t lost, or any skin issues you may have. I can retouch all that away if you would like me to! And I am very good at angles to showcase your best sides!
*Don’t worry about baby acne or little scratches. I will either eliminate or drastically minimize these imperfections in editing. If your baby has extremely dry skin, try putting baby lotion on prior to coming to your session and bringing extra with you. This will help the retouching process. But please note additional editing fees may apply as it takes a lot of time and skill to edit.
RANDOM AND USEFUL TIPS
Have older kidos coming to your newborn session? Be sure to read this!
Scheduling with Kids
Do your best to schedule your photo shoot when your kids are at their happiest. You can’t always get the time you want, but if you have the option, I highly recommend working your appointment around your kids routines. I have seen it many times, though: photo shoots during nap time. Yes, it can be done, but it is a much more delicate operation. Let your photographer know if it should be nap time and let them know if there are any tips for them on how to keep you sleepy little one calm and happy! A shorter session may be best (like 30min) and if your kid is usually super active, take advantage of their sleepiness and get those awesome cuddle photos! TIP WITHIN THIS TIP: If it is nap time, don’t push them to be ‘happy’ and ‘energetic’. It could really set them off. Just let them be who they are and go with the flow! You love everything about them so having some photos of their grumpy stink faces will be something to remember!
Bribes for kids?
I'm on the fence with bribes. Some parents swear by it, others disagree. I really believe that if you involve your child with the process of the photo shoot and TALK to them about it (what is expected of them, what the plan is), there should be no need for bribes. But, some kids work well with rewards for their work. Thinking of it like that makes me feel a bit better about it….lol. If you want to offer a reward to your child for being a good listener or behaving politely, be my guest! They are working hard, so why not give them a treat AFTER the photo shoot? That is another thing, if you give up the reward/bribe before the session is over…good luck getting them to listen anymore. Also, if its a ‘sticky’ candy treat or something they have to eat for a while, do you want photos of that? Nope, I didn’t think so. So if you are going to reward your child for good behaviour just be sure to save it until the session is over.
Be positive when talking about the photo shoot prior to the session. If you and your spouse have a great attitude about it (and don’t say things like ‘lets just get through this’ or ‘its only an hour out of your life’ etc.), then the chances are your kids will get on board and be stoked for your photo shoot. Husband not keen on the idea? Well, stay positive FOR him. Perhaps he had a bad experience as a child and is jaded. Try not to do the same to your kids or you will have a heck of a time over the years getting everyone to get on the fun family photos train! Also, if your hubby is not so excited, for the sake of everyone, ask him to at least pretend (really well) so that you will have an easier time with the kids. Who knows, maybe he will have a blast! We see it all the time! Photo shoots should be a fun experience and I believe that with a great photographer ANYONE can have a good time! It’s not a chore, it’s an experience!
What do you want to do with your photos after?
Print, post to online sources, make a book? Where are you going to print or make a book? Does your photographer offer these services (yes, of course, I do!) After deciding these things you will need to then decide if you want to make a book, order the prints, frame your images yourself or have your photographer do it. Again, what is your budget? If you decide to do everything yourself, it may save you money, but keep in mind your photographer knows what they are doing and will do a professional job!
I can not stress enough how important it is to HAVE FUN! You and your kids have fun, right? Well, why not in front of the camera? Let loose a bit! I know it's nerve-racking for some to be in front of a camera, but don’t stress yourself out about it ahead of time and get all worked up (your kids will see that). Breathe and know that your photographer will make you feel comfortable and relaxed!
Kind of on the same note…don't be so hard on YOU. Most of us have our own things that we like and don’t like about our look or shape (mine are my arms and hips). If you have something specific, tell your photographer so they can help you with your angles and posing. Communication with your photographer is key. Inform them, so they can do what they do best: organize, manage, direct, tell stupid jokes, put you in your best angle, make you and your kids laugh and smile!
ALWAYS have them......!!! But please try and avoid giving them to the kids during the session as it will 'eat' into the time of your session, haha but it will....and if you need to be sure to clean their face after.
Get lots! I know you know how important that is. I won’t go on!
Get everything ready the night before your session, rushing the day of your photo shoot will put a huge stress on everyone. Get organized, snacks, clothes, props, etc. All in one spot, ready to go.
Going to the studio or a location, make sure you leave with enough time to get there so you can be 10-15 minutes early. Is your shoot during rush hour? Check the traffic report. Not sure the best way to get there? Plan your route ahead of time. This way, you can get to know the photographer a bit before your session. I know for me, I have a tight schedule and if my clients show up a bit early I can get the kids comfortable without going into the booked shooting time for the session.