When parents book me to be their baby’s photographer, they often want to know how to maximise the chances of of great photo session. It’s true that babies are very unpredictable but there are a few things you can do prior to your photo session to make your baby’s photo session as smooth as possible.
NEWBORN PHOTO TIP #1 – FULL TUMMIES As any parent of a newborn will know, brand new babies eat A LOT. On average they need to be fed every 3-4 hours and sometimes if they’re having a growth spurt even more often than that. I will never tell parents to disrupt their baby’s feeding patterns for a session however if you can, it can be helpful to give your baby a quick top up feed just before getting in the car to drive to your session. I usually find that babies with a full tummy will last longer in their session before they wake wanting to be fed again and we have more time to get through their photos.
NEWBORN PHOTO TIP #2 – DRESS LIGHT For brand new newborn sessions, our aim is to keep your baby in a nice deep sleep for as long as we can. Often the car trip will mean that your baby will already be asleep when they arrive. Trying to get them undressed to start their session and keep them asleep is very hard where they are dressed in lots of layers. Sometimes in the Winter babies have arrived with up to 4 layers as well as gloves and booties. It’s almost impossible to get them out of all those layers without waking them up. The best thing to do is to dress your baby in something that is very easy to take off. Onesies with a zipper are the best! Singlets should be avoided underneath. If it’s cold, feel free to put a wrap over their seatbelt in their capsule (not underneath the seatbelt as this is a safety hazard).
NEWBORN PHOTO TIP #3 – STAY CALM So many new parents arrive at their baby’s newborn photo session feeling very stressed and concerned that their baby isn’t going to cooperate for their photos. Perhaps their baby has been very unsettled and crying a lot at home. Sometimes parents feel under pressure for their baby to sleep for the duration of their session. Please don’t worry! After 5 years of photographing babies, I have seen it all! I’ve been pooed on, spewed on, weed on, I’ve had babies who have been very unhappy, I have had babies who have slept so soundly during the session that I haven’t managed to get one awake photograph. All of these behaviours are perfectly normal for a brand new baby who is fresh into this world. Your baby’s newborn session is all about them. I take my time with them and get to know what they like and don’t like. I never rush. In my 5 years of experience I have never had to re-shoot a session. Yes, some babies are more difficult and don’t always do what we want them to do, but I always get enough beautiful photos for my clients. Sometimes babies just don’t like being unwrapped and we have to do their entire session with different wraps on to help them feel secure. In my experience, I’ve learned that you just can’t control what babies are going to do, and that you just need to go with the flow of the session. I always make it work regardless.
NEWBORN PHOTO TIP #4 – BE PREPARED FOR EMOTION In the first few weeks of your baby’s life you will likely feel so many emotions. Ecstatic, scared, overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, and overwhelming love for the new little person in your life. So many of my clients feel a flood of emotion during my session where they get the rare opportunity to sit back, relax, and take in the beauty of their baby without the distractions of laundry, nappies and the “to do list”. Don’t be embarrassed if you get a bit teary during your session. It happens so very often and is one of my favourite parts of being a newborn photographer – seeing the emotion that this new little person brings into your life.
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