Preparing for Your Newborn Portrait
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 for at least two hours before your scheduled arrival. Giving your baby a warm bath prior to leaving home for the session really helps. I also suggest keeping your baby awake as much as possible during the car ride to the session. It may sound crazy, but if you can refrain from feeding your baby for 2 hours prior to your arrival at the studio, that helps greatly as well. Once you arrive at the studio you’ll be given a chance to feed your baby and change his/her diaper before we get started. From my experience, it’s best for babies to start the session feeling satisfied and comfortable.
As soon as your baby has been fed and burped, I will then start preparing him/her for their session. I try to keep outfit/swaddle changes to a minimum (usually no more than two or three) because as soon as the blankets/outfits come off, the baby can startle and it can be difficult to get them to go back to sleep. From experience, babies who have been asleep prior to their arrival at the studio are unfortunately the babies who are more difficult to pose and 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 does count against your session time.
If your baby uses a pacifier, please be sure to bring one or two along with you as they can really help to keep baby calm while transitioning from one pose to another.
I highly recommend that if you’re solely breastfeeding to pump and bottle feed your milk during the session. I’ve had mothers who breastfeed for up to an hour and unfortunately that does delay the session quite a bit (and that does count against your allotted time coverage as well). If you are feeding with formula, please be sure to bring more than enough to make sure you don’t run out - just in case your baby decides to feed more than normal during the session. You’d be surprised… I’ve seen this happen time and time again! These are only recommendations to help maximize the time we have in the studio and in return you’ll be able to showcase and display more than the average number of photos from your 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. Once I have finished photographing the family/sibling portraits, children can become restless during the remaining time. I recommend that you bring 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. Some of my clients have actually brought along a friend or family member who was able to take the other children out of the studio for the remainder of the session. I do not have a restroom in the building where my studio is temporarily set up, so please keep that in mind as well!
Keeping these instructions in mind will definitely help your session go much smoother! In return, I’ll be able to maximize the time you have in the studio and provide you with a variety of scenes and poses. I know it may be hard because I’m sure you’re more than likely sleep deprived yourself, but I promise it will be well worth the effort!