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how to get the best out of your newborn session | Jen McKen, Photographer

By August 25, 2017 No Comments

preparing for your newborn session

A newborn session can be challenging, but it’s so amazing to be a part of a baby’s life when they are just days old-I LOVE their little grunts and coo’s. There are so many factors that have to come together for the session to go smoothly… and if there’s one thing a photographer must have, it’s patience AND a nice warm and toasty studio space. A session can go quick and be done in an hour, or it may take 3 hours or longer depending on baby, but the end result is totally worth it.

preparing for your newborn sessionSo you’re probably wondering, how do I prepare for these types of sessions? I’ve put together a few tips for you expecting mom’s who are interested in having their newborn photographed. You’re going to be only a week or two postpartum and we want everything to go smoothly.

• The best time to take newborn photos (because they sleep a lot and do not really move) is before the two week mark….. *IF* you are wanting those little scrunched/curled up posed baby shots! After two weeks they tend to want to stretch a little more and aren’t as easily posed into those cute little poses.

• If possible schedule your session around time when baby is usually most sleepy. We want him or her to sleep as much as possible during our shoot so that they will relax and curl into those cute newborn poses.

• Due to the frequent breaks needed to feed, change, sooth and get baby to fall asleep, newborn shoots often last longer than the average session. Please be prepared for your session to last anywhere between 1-3 and sometimes up to 4 hours so when planning which day to come, keep that in mind. I don’t want you to feel rushed.

• Be patient and remain calm. If baby is cranky and not cooperating please do not worry, it’s part of the process. You can give him/her lots of Mommy cuddles. We have plenty of time to allow him/her to get comfortable. If you are stressed baby can feel it!

• Since baby will be undressed for the majority of pictures (unless otherwise requested) we want to make the room as comfortable as possible for him/her. I will turn the heat up a bit. For your comfort feel you may want to wear shorts and a tank during the pictures you are not in.

• If baby needs to nurse, have a bottle or a diaper change we can take a break at any time… We are working on baby time!

• Feel free to have some special mementos ready for the shoot. (ie: handmade blanky from grandma, knitted caps, booties ect.) These are great for making babies 1st pictures even more personalized and special.

• Details – I will often do images of babies little hands and feet. These will look best if his or her nails are trimmed and clean. Also, please be ready to help me keep an eye on your little ones face to ensure boogies or a sleepy do not appear in our portraits.

• Before the shoot, put baby in a sleeper and loosen diaper. Lines from tight socks, diaper or pants take a while to get rid of, and do not look great in photos!

• Be ready for pee! I don’t need to tell you that newborns pee a lot. LOL. Unfortunately, we may get peed on. Have a backup change of clothes for ready yourself in the event that this does occur. Especially if you are in some of the pictures.

•..and a bonus tip: Minimize distractions – Please limit the amount of people present at the shoot to those who are being photographed so that there are less distraction for baby and so he/she can stay in a deep sleep. If older siblings will be around, please have an activity planned for the during times that they are not actually in the pictures or even a better option is to have a designated family member come along so that after we are finished with the sibling photos, they can take them home -or- have a family member bring little sister/bro an hour or so into the session.

If you have any questions or concerns about your session, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. I’m a mom too and chances are, I’ve had the same concerns. Please know that I take the safety of your baby into consideration and if there are some requested “poses” that I don’t feel comfortable with, I may turn down the request because of the safety of baby. I want this to be an enjoyable experience and harming baby would not be enjoyable or a memory you would want to remember.

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