When is the best time to book my newborn photo shoot?
I would advise that you book your newborn session at the earliest opportunity possible, I always recommend after your 20 week scan. I book in minimal shoots this ensures I can be flexible if dates change (which usually happens with due dates).
I will take note of your due date in my diary and ask that yourself or a member of your family contact me as soon as you have had baby so I can schedule in an available session date and time.
How should I prepare my baby for the shoot?
On the morning of the shoot it is advisable to try and keep baby awake for as long as possible before the shoot. After their first morning feed when they first wake keep baby stimulated and awake by bathing them, letting them kick in their nappy and keep them moving around. Delay the next feed until just before you leave home for a studio session and just before I arrive for an in home session. Babies take around 20 minutes to fall into a deep, settled sleep, which is perfect for me arriving at the your home, setting up and being ready to start the session. If you arer coming for a studio session, baby should fall asleep on the drive.
To really get the best out of your newborn session the main aim is to keep baby happy, sleepy and settled therefore I would advice you to dress baby in something easy to take of without disturbing them too much. For example have baby in a baby grow with no singlet on and then cover them in a blanket to keep them cosy. To make things even easier you could undress baby down to their nappy and wrap them in a blanket prior to your feeding before my arrival. This will allow me to take baby and begin their session with minimum fuss.
It is really important to maintain a quiet and peaceful environment to ensure baby stays in a deep sleep. I would ask that a maximum of 2 adults observe the photo shoot to help ensure the session runs as smoothly as possible.
What do I need for the session?
There really is very little you will need for the photo shoot, except your gorgeous newborn! I have a variety of beautiful, tasteful props, along with a small collection of bonnets. beanies, tiebacks, and different blankets and wraps.
Most newborn photographs are done using my props or nude. If you have a particular outfit you would like me to photograph baby in I will be happy to do so at the end of your session.
Though not compulsory I do ask that parents have a pacifier even if they do not intend on using one with their baby. A pacifier can make your session much quicker and smoother particularly if you have a baby that can be difficult to settle, or who is quite sensitive to sound and touch. Being a mother of three myself, I am very aware that pacifier use with a newborn who is breastfed can lead to feeding difficulties, however using it just once for a photoshoot will not cause you problems. Problems only occur with continual use or when used before your baby has learnt to latch on to the breast.
How do I prepair myself and my home?
I use a space heater to keep baby’s body temperature warm throughout the shoot, however a space heater alone will not be enough to warm a room adequatley of cooling such as an airconditioner is running. I ask that on the morning of the shoot that you do not attampty to cool your home in the room we intend on using for the posed portion of the session as baby will be too cold to stay sleepy.
Due to the temperature of the room needing to be pretty toasty I would advise you wear something lighter or some layers as so you don't get uncomfortable! Additionally I encourage all of my parents to be in at least one photograph with their baby, I feel it is very important to exist in photographs with your baby. I would encourage parents to wear something that they would feel nice being photographed in. Light neutrals or muted colours work best. Avoid prints and clothes with large logos.
If you have other children I would love to photograph them with your new baby however during the posed portion of the session I need the envoironment to be nice and quiet and relaxed. It would be advisable to allow Dad or another family member to take your older child into another room to play until we have finished photographing baby. The posed portion of the session usually takes the longest, and your older children especially toddlers can get restless.
How long does a newborn session take?
Newborn photoshoots can take anywhere from 1 hour to 4 hours depending on how settled baby is. I always allocate at least 3 hours for each newborn photo shoot to ensure there is plenty of time to stop for feeds and changes. Your newborn photo session should be a relaxed and enjoyable experience, baby will always lead the session, as with all my photo sessions. If you follow all the advise on here you will maximise the success of your newborn’s photo shoot.
What if my baby cries or won’t sleep at the session?
It is very possible that your baby will cry at some point in the session. This is because they are babies and babies do cry when they are tired, hungry or have gas. I will always take my time to settle baby to ensure they are in a deep settled sleep. My knowledge of baby sleeping patterns and experience with babies has allowed me to build up my own soothing methods which are usually very effective at helping baby to sleep. It is very normal for the first hour of the session involving settling the baby. Some babies sleep within 2 minutes, others can take a little longer.
Will you be handling my baby for the whole session?
I will always lead the session with baby to ensure we get maximum results from the session. I have found through my experience that baby settles easier if they are put to sleep with me and not their mum, as they associate mum with feeding (bottle or breast fed) If baby is extremely unsettled I will hand them back for a little cuddle or a top up feed.
I always take the upmost care when handling your baby to ensure they are completely safe at all times. I have worked hands on with babies for 8 years and have also completed a specialist newborn posing courses. I will pose baby is lovely but more natural poses and will always ensure baby is safe air conditioner happy at all times. If you are unhappy or uneasy about any poses please let me know at the session.
I may ask you or your family member to take part in supporting baby during certain set ups to ensure maximum safety.
What if my baby makes a mess on your blankets/set up?
As most poses are done with baby’s nappy off it is highly likely that they will have a little tinkle or poo on my blankets. This is completely normal and happens at most newborn shoots. I layer special pads under each set up and all of my props/blankets and set ups are washed after each session.
Any other questions?
I hope I have covered everything you would want to know about newborn photography sessions.
Thank you for allowing me to be part of your baby’s special first few days. I look forward to meeting you and your new baby.
Warm Regards, Jessica x