Tips for a Successful Newborn Session
The ideal time for Newborn sessions is the first 14 days after their arrival. The sooner, the better!
We’ll be moving them around and scrunching them into those sweet sleepy newborn images, so we want to make sure they’re sleepy enough to allow us to handle them. Plus, babies just tend to do a lot better with the session within their first 2 weeks. My preference is day 10-20 giving you time to get settled at home but still in the newborn curl phase. There are various reasons why this time-frame doesn’t work for some people, so if you find that you’re more comfortable planning for a later time, than No Worries, we can make that work too. I am flexible and the key is that you & the baby are comfortable.
Newborn sessions take place at my studio, Darling Chic Photo Boutique, located at 266 Main St. Plympton, Ma. (on Route 58). My cell phone number is 617-833-2478. If the weather is warm enough and you’re comfortable with the idea, we can take the session outdoors. We have 5 parking spots in the front of the building. They are a little close to the street and may feel awkward to pull into, but you are able to pull in from the street facing the studio. There are two spots to the left of the building (the 3rd belongs to the tenant next door). On some occasions I am available to do Lifestyle sessions in the comfort of your own home rather than studio session. Ask me about the details if you are interested.
It helps to keep the baby awake for the majority of the morning before the shoot. We want to spend as much time photographing them as much as possible and less time trying to put them to sleep. Tricks on how to keep him/her awake: give the baby a bath or get them naked, it should wake them right up.
My studio has a large window that provides plenty of gorgeous natural light. For this reason, sessions are normally done mid-morning to late-afternoon when window lighting is as its best.
HOT HOT HOT!
I keep the temperature in my studio pretty hot. (Like a toasty 80 degrees or so.)
Newborns are used to being all bundled up, warm & cozy… and then we come in and yank off all their clothes for those adorable naked baby shots. They tend not to like that too much! Pushing up the thermostat is guaranteed to make the session flow more smoothly and help them sleep better. We may be sweating, but baby will be nice and warm…and that’s really all that matters!
If you are nursing, try to avoid eating anything spicy (i.e. pizza, hot sauce, etc.) that might upset baby’s tummy for 24 hours preceding your scheduled session.
A well fed baby is a happy baby! Please feed and burp baby right before our session to ensure a happy, sleepy (“milk drunk”) baby. I’ll also be more than happy to take as many breaks as needed to help him/her re-fuel. It’s tough work being a model!
Feeding the baby as much as possible during the 12 hours that precedes the session is very helpful. This is especially true for breastfed babies. Feeding the baby an extra time or two (yes, I know it lasts 40 minutes) will help amazingly with getting them to sleep deeply. This will allow for baby to sleep as deeply and as long as possible. If you are already supplementing – the feeding just before the session is one to do this for. As formula sits heavier on the belly and they sleep better. However, I am a strong advocate for breastfeeding and would in no way say to do this if you are not already needing to supplement. After you keep them awake and give them a good feeding, allow the baby to fall asleep in the car on the way to the studio. This will put them into a deep sleep so they are ready to go when they arrive.
PATIENCE IS KEY!
Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 1.5-3 hours. It all depends on baby’s mood and willingness to sleep. Unfortunately…this isn’t something we can predict! It is important that everyone remain calm, should he/she not want to sleep, since your baby will pick up on any frustration in the room. And if sleep doesn’t happen, that’s okay! Wide-eyed newborn photos are beautiful too.
Your baby is in safe hands, I promise! I have studied many online newborn posing safety courses. I am also a nurse and have pediatric nursing experience. I am very comfortable handling babies safely. Moms tend to stress out because this is a new experience…and they aren’t used to the waiting game that is newborn photography. They see their baby being fussy or having a difficult time getting settled and panic. “This is a disaster! They aren’t going to get ANY good photos!” It isn’t, and we will! A good 50% of your session will involve feeding, diaper changes, and cuddling to get baby comfortable. If that doesn’t work, we’ll take a break or we’ll work with what baby is giving us. Sometimes that best photos happen when baby isn’t doing what we want.
Just remember: Babies can sense stress and anxiety (especially from their mommy’s!) It’s super important that EVERYONE remain calm and relaxed during this session. Keeping the environment as mellow as possible is pretty much the only way we’re going to get the shots we’re looking for.
Your baby is going to be in the buff for the majority of this shoot. Please don’t panic if your baby decides to use my blankets as his/her own personal potty. This is natural and we expect it! Please don’t feel embarrassed or worry when this happens, because they all do it. It might be a good idea to bring extra clothes for yourself in case he or she uses the bathroom on you, it happens often.
I have a collection of bowls, baskets, blankets, diaper covers, wraps, crochet hats, knit hats, and headbands in my studio. You are also, of course, welcome to use any of your own props. Looks for items with texture and color to help make your images unique.
If you have any family heirlooms, toys, hats, props, etc. that you would like me to use in your session, please gather them before we arrive. We may not get the chance to use ALL of the items, but we’ll look through them with you to determine what will work best. Feel free to send me pictures so I can be prepared.
THE NOSE KNOWS
As a mother, your smell is so recognizable to your baby, that it may be necessary for mom to step out of the room for a portion of the session. This is not meant to hurt your feelings, only to allow me to help the get baby thinking sweet, sleepy thoughts…instead of “where’s my milk?!”
Your baby’s safety comes first! If there is ever a point where you become uncomfortable, just let me know! We take every measure to ensure that your baby is never in any danger. For that reason, we will always make sure that a parent or assistant is nearby to lend support if needed.
BUT WHAT DO *I* WEAR?
I know! You just had a baby and aren’t feeling your best. But we think this is the perfect time to pamper yourself!
Go have your hair + makeup done (or better yet, have someone come to you!), schedule a massage or have your nails done. Looking super relaxed and at your best will make you feel more comfortable during the session. This is an exciting time in your life and we want to capture all of that…so take care of yourself first! As far as clothing? Keep it simple. Throw in a little color if you’d like, but skip the busy patterns.