Preparing for Your Newborn Session
I am so excited to work with you in the studio soon! There are several things I would like for you to know prior to your portrait session. Newborns do best in the studio when they are in a very deep sleep. To help with this, I highly recommend trying to keep your baby awake as much as possible during the few hours leading up to your appointment. Below, you'll find suggestions to help things go more smoothly. Don't worry if you can't do everything perfectly. Just do the best you can!
Give your baby a nice, warm bath prior to leaving home for the session. Not only will it help to wake them up, but they'll be squeaky clean and photoshoot ready!
I know this one can be tricky, but try to keep your baby awake as much as possible during the car ride to the session. From my experience, babies who have been asleep for a long period of time prior to their arrival at the studio are unfortunately the babies who are more difficult to pose. If babies are wide awake during the session, we have to exert more time and effort to try and get them to go back to sleep. That alone can take up to an hour or more and unfortunately, it does count against your session time.
This will sound crazy, but if it's at all possible, please hold off on feeding your baby for 2 hours prior to your appointment. Once you arrive at the studio you will be given a chance to feed your baby and to change his/her diaper before we get started.
It’s best for babies to start the session feeling full, satisfied and comfortable. I understand that the timing of feedings can be sporadic, so no worries if you have to feed your baby prior to arriving to the studio. If your baby becomes hungry during the session, we can certainly stop for a short snack break if needed!
I highly recommend that if you are solely breastfeeding that you pump ahead of time and bottle feed your milk during the session, if possible. I realize that some babies nurse for up to an hour or more and unfortunately that does delay the session quite a bit. Stopping to nurse/feed does count against your overall session time.
If you are feeding with formula, please be sure to bring more than enough to ensure that you don’t run out. You’d be surprised… I’ve seen it happen time and time again where babies tend to want to eat more frequently during the session. It wouldn't be good if we ran out of formula before the session was over!
I do have a bottle warmer in the studio that you are welcome to use if you'd like.
I try to keep outfit & swaddle changes to a minimum (usually no more than two or three). This is simply because as soon as I begin to remove swaddles or clothes, babies can startle and it can then be difficult to get them to go back to sleep. You are welcome to bring your own outfits for baby to wear if you wish, but I do have a wide variety of stretchy swaddling wraps to choose from. I also keep a few newborn outfits on hand at the studio.
Bring the Pacifier
If your baby uses a pacifier, binky, soother, etc., please be sure to bring one or two of them along with you. Using a pacifier can really help to keep baby calm while transitioning from one pose to another. I understand that not all babies will take a pacifier, so if your baby does not, that's completely fine. We will make do without one!
Family & Siblings
When I photograph newborns with their parents and/or siblings, I try to get those poses at the beginning of the session. If you have other children who will be coming to the studio, please keep in mind that your session can last 2 hours or more. Children typically become restless by the end of the session, so for that reason I recommend bringing along a quiet activity and drinks/snacks to keep them entertained while we continue to work with your baby. Keeping the noise level down in the studio will help your baby stay comfortable and sleepy. Ideally, if it's possible, you may want to plan to have a friend or family member come and pick your other child/children up once I am finished working with them.
Plan Ahead for Potty Time
Unfortunately, I do not have a restroom in my studio. Please try to plan ahead for potty breaks if possible. In the event of a potty emergency, I am happy to let you use the restroom next door in our home... if you are comfortable doing so. I always keep it clean, just in case!
That's All for Now
I believe that covers everything! Remember that these are only recommendations. If you'll do your best to follow these pointers, I'll be able to maximize the amount of time you have in the studio by providing you with a wider variety of scenes and poses in return. I promise it will be well worth the effort in the end and you’ll receive more than the average number of photos from your session!
Please feel free to ask questions if you have any. I look forward to working with you soon!