As a Baton Rouge area newborn photographer, I know what works best to have a smooth newborn session. So I thought I’d share a few of my tips to have a smooth session. For my clients I do send out a newborn prep guide with more specific tips to have an awesome session, but here are a few general tips for anyone looking to have a newborn photography session.
1. Book an experienced newborn photographer
Newborns are small and delicate. There needed to be handled properly. I would hate for anyone to go to someone who isn’t experienced with babies and have something happen. Even though I have had three children of my own, I learned so much when I because to study newborn photography and newborn safety when it comes to photography. I spent six months studying newborn photography and taking workshops before I even made the decision to photography a baby. There’s more leeway if you’re looking to have a lifestyle session vs. a posed newborn session. Since life style is relaxed and capturing everyday life, you don’t have to worry about complicated poses. There are several poses in posed newborn photography that are the result of taking two images and stitching them together in photoshop. I highly recommend anyone looking for a posed newborn session make sure your photographer is well versed in newborn safety.
2. Book your session before you have your baby
Once you have your baby time will start to pass quickly. You may forget to even get the session scheduled. When you book early your photographer will remind you of the session and check to see how everything is going with you and your new baby. Just add it to your pre-baby checklist and get it checked off early.
3. Have your session between 5-14 days old
Newborns have a short period of time where they are more willing to pose in those adorable squishy poses. As they get older they are more awake and more likely to wake up while posing. I recommend you have your session between 5-14 days old to avoid this. I know that sometimes unexpected things happen like NICU stays that prevent you from having your session within that time frame. Most newborn photographers are willing to work around that and can still deliver beautiful images for you to treasure. They just might not be able to get into certain poses like younger newborns can.
4. Think of how you want to display your images
I fully believe in displaying your images. I personally am moving towards a service that provides prints, wall art, and digitals for my clients to treasure for years to come. How you want to display you images can change how your photographer will capture your images. If you want an album, your photographer will want to try to make sure the styling will flow well in the album. If you are wanting wall art, your photographer will need to make sure the images will be cropped correctly for wall art. You want the styling of the images to not look out of place in the rooms you plan to display them in.
5. Try to wait to feed baby at the beginning of the session
Newborns eat ALL. THE. TIME. All the do is eat, sleep, and poop. Since we want the baby to get to the sleeping part, it’s best to have the eat at the beginning of the session to get the most amount of time posing and capturing images in before baby wakes up and demands to be fed again. Because I travel right now, I advice moms to feed baby while I set up and get ready. But if your photographer has a studio, they typically plan for you to feed baby as soon as you get there. Don’t worry, you aren’t wasting any session time. And that point leads to my last tip.
6. It’s going to be a long session
Newborn sessions take a long time. I schedule mine to be 3 hours. I’m not spending the whole three hours taking images. I spend most of the time soothing and posing the baby. A fairly mellow sleepy baby might take much less time than a crankier unsettled baby. I would rather schedule more time to account for that than less time and not get many precious images for my clients. Because of this you definitely need to plan to for that long session. Try not to schedule anything around the time of the session. Just get comfortable and let me work my magic.
Mariko Searing is a Baton Rouge area newborn photographer. If you would like to book a newborn session please contact me here.