I love photographing newborns! They change so quickly after they are born and I think it’s so important to capture them in that first week or two. It really is crazy, the difference you can see between a 4 day old and a 1 month old! Newborns can be tricky though! So, I am going to go through a little list on how to prepare for your newborn session.
You want to schedule a newborn session, I’d recommend between 4-8 days old. After about two weeks old, they start moving more, stretching, and are just in general more alert. The less irritated they get by being moved around the easier a newborn session is, since we will go through different poses, wrapping them in different blankies or cheese clothes, placing them in baskets, or fluffy textures. You get the idea. Although safety and comfort for baby are always the #1 importance. 🙂
I photograph newborn sessions at your home in natural light. I have props and things that I will bring for your little munchkin that you can choose to use, but I definitely recommend picking out some special blankets or maybe a little stuffed animal, anything that means anything to you that you would like your baby photographed with. It’s always nice to have personal touches.
Before I arrive at the scheduled time, I am going to ask you to turn up the heat in your house a half hour or so prior, especially if it is during cooler months. I also have a small space heater than I will bring for the area I will be photographing in. If you’re not a little too warm, then baby probably isn’t going to be warm enough. We want them toasty, cozy and happy. Now, if it is a beautiful warm day, we can absolutely bring baby outdoors for photographs!
Besides turning up the heat in your home before I arrive, please get babies belly nice and full! An exhausted, full, warm baby makes for a happy baby during photographs! Of course, during the newborn session you can stop as absolutely often as needed to feed baby and get him comfy and back to sleep. These sessions are typically a solid 2-3 hours, it all depends on how he/she is doing. Sometimes baby is just not going to sleep, and that’s perfectly okay!
Newborn sessions require patience. If baby wants to eat/nurse, by all means relax and feed your baby. If baby needs to just be held, cuddled, and rocked to sleep, by all means take your time doing so. Patience, patience, patience! With that, I definitely recommend keeping the house as peaceful as possible during this session. Barky dogs? Maybe a neighbor can doggysit for a few hours. Other children or toddlers? Perhaps, grandma and grandpa can take them out for ice cream or to the park. It is really VITAL that the atmosphere is peaceful during a newborn session. I have a white noise maker as well, which I have found in my experience as a mom, makes a big difference in my daughters nap and bedtimes, and also very helpful during a newborn session.
Now, besides breaks for tending to a hungry or just cranky newborn, plan to have plenty of messes! I personally don’t care for keeping babies’ Poo-Bear themed pampers in the picture, so with that, if baby has to go, baby will go! And it’s all good, I’m prepared for it, and really, it’s not a big deal! Clean up baby and we keep going! 🙂
I always think it’s great for Mom & Dad to pop in with some photo’s of their new joy. Mom’s especially try and stay out of pictures right after having baby. Pick out a soft one toned shirt that you are comfortable in and get in for a few photos! Baby resting asleep in their mama’s arms is precious, or holding baby in the new rocking chair of the nursery. I think it’s important for mom and dad to get those precious moments to cherish.
With that, please get in touch if you have anymore questions regarding newborn sessions! Really, the time should be relaxing for baby and parents, it’s nothing to stress over. I enjoy being able to capture such a precious time for parents and family to cherish!
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Stephanie Anne Photography is a Michigan Wedding & Equine photographer serving Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Detroit, and Beyond.
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