Preparing for Your Newborn Portrait
I am so excited to work with you and your precious little one soon! There are several things I would like for you to know prior to the session. Babies do best in the studio for posing when they are in a very deep sleep. To encourage this, I highly recommend stimulating your baby during the few hours leading up to your appointment. Here are a few things you can try to encourage your baby to be sleepy for the session and to help things go smoother:
Give your baby a nice, warm bath prior to leaving home for the session. Not only will it help to stimulate them, but they'll be squeaky clean and photoshoot ready!
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 then 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.
Nurse/Feed your baby at the studio
It may sound crazy, but if you are able to, 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 when babies can 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 at all possible. There are some mothers who have to breastfeed their babies 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 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. 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!
A note about working with 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!
I do not have a restroom in the building where my studio is set up, so 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 in our home.
I believe that covers everything! Remember that these are only recommendations to help maximize the time we have in the studio. Just do your best to follow these pointers and in return 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. 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!