About your newborn session
Now that you have done your research and picked the right newborn photographer for you, you have done the preparations leading up to your session and know the general overview of the process, here is a more detailed look at what to expect from your newborn session.
Covid Safety Reminders
Before your session please do a self check for yourself and all members of your household. You are checking for any symptoms of Covid, any travel or orders to isolate within the past 14 days. Please remember to bring a mask for you and anyone else who will attend the session. Covid protocols.
The day before
The days leading up to your session are a good time to pack your diaper bag, pack a bag for anyone else attending the session and to do some personal grooming. I suggest bathing baby and wash her hair the night before. If you or your children wear nail polish it’s a good idea to remove chipped or neon nail polish and opt for clean nails or neutral polish. If either parent usually shaves please do so before you come. If you wear makeup please apply before you head out or bring it along to do your makeup here. Here is a more detailed post of how to make yourself camera ready.
What to pack
Pack your usual diaper bag with burp cloths, several diapers, spare clothes, baby hair brush if you have, baby wipes and 3-5 pacifiers. If you are using formula pack more than you think you need as babies tend to eat more during sessions. Read this post to help you plan what to wear to your session. Sometimes babies will spit up or have accidents on parents so it’s a good idea to bring a set of comfy clothes for you and your partner if they will stay for the session. The room is very hot so please bring something comfortable such as a tank top and sweatpants. I have light packaged snacks such as chips, bars, treats, coffee, juice, pop, hydration drinks and bottled water.
Pacifiers are an amazing tool to help keep babies asleep while they are moved from one pose to another. They are also wonderful for helping to get your baby to sleep if they are a bit unsettled. Even if you won’t be using them at home they are still an important tool for your newborn session. Please bring 3-5 pacifiers without clips or attachments. If you forget yours I have new packaged pacifiers and a sanitizing machine in the studio. These are my favourite soothers 0-3m from Avent.
When you arrive
There is hand sanitizer available for when you arrive and I ask that you leave your shoes by the door. Arrive 30 minutes before your start time so you can get settled, undress baby, change her diaper and feed her. After she is fed and sleepy we will start your session.
How long is a session
Newborn sessions are approximately three hours long but can be faster if your baby is very sleepy that day or longer if there are young siblings included who may need more time to warm up to me. During your session I will hold and pose your baby. My assistant is there to ensure your baby is safe and secure while you sit back and relax.
Feed on demand
You will feed your baby a nice full feed before you leave the house but they will need to feed a few more times during your session. If you are following a feeding schedule or timed feeding please consider putting the schedule aside for your session. Hungry babies are unsettled or lightly sleeping but for the best posed newborn sessions we want baby to be nice and full. Whenever baby is showing signs of hunger (rooting, eating fists, fussing etc) I will suggest feeding them. Babies often eat more during their session than they do in a typical day. For more on feeding your baby read this post.
The room is hot
One key to keeping babies asleep during unwrapped and unclothed poses is making sure the room is really warm. For a baby who is unclothed the temperature is warm and cozy but to anyone else the room is very hot. For this reason I suggest that you pack comfortable loose fitting clothing for yourself to wear after your family portion. Do not wear a thick sweater as you will be too hot.
Parent and sibling photos
If you have older children I would love to take gorgeous sibling photos for you. We will do the sibling portion either at the start or at the end of your session. Depending on the age and personality of your older children we will aim for one or two different poses of them with their new sibling. After your sibling photos we will do parent photos and a family photo of everyone together. Once we are done the family portion one parent or a family member will take your older children home while we finish the baby focused part of the session. Once your photos are done you can change into your comfortable clothes and sit back and relax. Many parents even succumb to the warm room and white noise and squeeze in a short nap themselves. For more information about preparing your children for photos have a read of this post.
After we have done the parent and sibling photos we will focus on the baby only portion of the session. Before your session we worked together to create a wish list of poses, shots, colours and ideas that you love. I will work through the wish list and aim to accomplish as many of the shots as we can depending on how baby is feeling. I aim to achieve a mixture of beanbag poses and prop poses.
If you’re not familiar with newborn photography you may wonder what a “beanbag pose” is. The genre of newborn photography has evolved and really exploded in popularity over the past 10 years but most photographers either started with a beanbag or still use one. The beanbag is just a large styrofoam filled cushion that is a firm but soft surface to rest your newborn on. I have since switched to using a table but I still call these poses beanbag poses. So what are beanbag poses? You probably know them as the sleepy photos of babies resting on smooth fabric. These shots give a smooth simple background that makes your baby the focus of the shot. Babies are either naked or in a little outfit for their beanbag poses which means they must be in a deep sleep. If your baby is awake or unsettled we will move to wrapped poses.
Wrapped poses- swaddled poses
Wrapping or swaddling a baby is a great tool to help them get to sleep or stay asleep if they are waking up or feeling unsettled. The tight and comforting pressure of the wrap simulates the feeling of being all cozy in the womb. Sometimes just a light wrap around baby is enough to keep her settled and sometimes they need a few layers to help them feel secure. Many parents think that their baby does not like a swaddle because they initially fuss. This happens in a baby carrier too, they fuss but quickly settle and it helps to calm and sooth them to sleep.
Props are adorable and a staple of posed newborn photography. Some prop poses feature baby unclothed or in a small outfit and others feature baby wrapped up. Just like the beanbag poses, if baby is unwrapped then they must be in a deep sleep to achieve the prop poses. If your baby is awake or unsettled then we will check his diaper and offer food. Most likely we will then use fabric to wrap or swaddle your baby.
After your session
After we have achieved a variety of images from your newborn session we will finish up your session. After your session I will select and edit your images and send them to you along with your highlight video. Sessions are edited in the order in which I receive selections. You choose the images you want to print and I will put your order into the lab for you or you can order your own photos directly through your gallery.
Storing your photos
After your session I will remind you to click download all and save your photos to two separate places such as an external hard-drive and a CD. After each session I will also make two copies of the session and store them on two separate hard-drives. I keep images indefinitely and have images backed up from more than 15 years ago. Over the years clients have lost images in a move or have had their photos ruined in a house fire and I am happy to be able to replace them. Although I keep your images indefinitely I cannot guarantee that my own devices will never become corrupt or destroyed and so it is your responsibility to save your photos. After each session your images are guaranteed for 1 month, if my files become corrupt or ruined in that time I will reshoot your session.