Congratulations, you’re pregnant! It is such an exciting and busy time! Scheduling doctors appointments, baby showers, purchasing and putting together baby gear, getting the nursery ready…the list goes on and on. Unless you have already considered a photo session for maternity images, planning for a newborn session in the first two weeks of your baby’s life is something most parents don’t even have on their mind. And, with the demands of a newborn, by the time most new parents think of scheduling pictures, the baby is well past the time a photographer can capture those sleepy, curled newborn images. Instead of feeling the baby blues over this lost opportunity, read on and you too can have those precious newborn baby images.
When to have your baby photographed:
As a photographer in today’s environment, I have witnessed a trend for parents to have the entire birth photographed! While this is not something I personally offer, I feel it is a wonderful documentation of the birth of a family. Aside from this photojournalistic style of newborn photography, the best time to have your baby photographed is in the first two weeks of life. Why so early? This is when newborns are the most sleepy and able to be positioned in those adorable poses. Additionally, newborn acne usually appears at about week 3 – not optimal skin for a portrait. I know most mom’s do not welcome being photographed so soon after giving birth, but, be prepared to be photographed anyway – a professional photographer will know how to position mom and baby so as to flatter you both.
Most professional photographers offer a consultation session to discuss your photography needs. This should be scheduled no later than the beginning of your last trimester. At the consultation, inform the photographer of your due date and if a c-section is planned, go ahead and schedule your newborn photography session. Once your baby arrives, call the photographer (or a family member can call) as soon as possible. If you have missed the time-frame for a consultation while you were pregnant, don’t worry, most professional photographers realize the limited time-frame to capture your newborn and will work you in their schedule. Most newborn sessions are scheduled for 3-4 hours to allow for feedings, diaper changes, etc.
What to bring:
Of course you should bring bottles (unless nursing), and plenty of diapers and wipes. Babies should be dressed in loose fitting clothing (to include loose diapers) to minimize clothing marks on baby skin. Don’t forget pacifiers, and any sentimental item you want included in your images. Personally, I prefer to photograph newborns in little to no clothing and use lots of blankets, fabrics and hats. If you have some of these, be sure to bring them too! Stay tuned, I will be soon updating my blog too with more information on how to dress for newborn and infant sessions and some ideas on where to shop!
For mom and dad, bring a change of clothes as you may get wet during the session (we can’t ever guarantee what a baby will do!) Also bring a long sleeve white and black shirt for both mom and dad and jeans or khaki pants. The photographer will most likely include your hands in images so be sure they are neat and manicured if desired.
Most importantly, parents need to bring a relaxed attitude to the session as babies can sense when parents are nervous or upset – especially in nursing mothers.
In summary, plan ahead, come prepared and sit back and relax. Your efforts will be greatly rewarded with a beautiful piece of newborn family portrait art.