TIPS FOR PREPARING FOR YOUR NEWBORN SESSION
Parent images will be taken from a few inches below the waist. Choose something that doesn't cling to you and extends past your waist. Feel free to wear jeans or shorts. A maxi dress is a great option. I will either shoot the parent series on a dark wood, black, cream, medium tan or light gray backdrop. If you want something classic, go with black on black. If you like light and airy, wear cream on the cream backdrop. Baby will be swaddled for these images. The studio will be about 80 degrees, so either bring a lighter change of clothing or dress in layers so you are comfortable for the rest of the session after your part is completed.
We always begin at 10 or 11 am in the morning and will probably work through lunchtime. I have stocked the studio with beverages, but you may want to bring a snack or two for yourselves and siblings.
If you prefer, you can make the session a little "date" by ordering takeout. After I have completed the family portion of the session, I need minimal assistance from mom/dad for the rest of the time. All you need to do is sit on the couch and relax or order lunch. Brewer's is right across the street. The Pizza Shoppe is a few doors down. I will set up a table in the shooting area so you can still see how your shoot is going with the baby.
If bottle feeding, please bring enough for 3-4 bottles. If breastfeeding, it is still beneficial to pump and bring a bottle or two if you have already introduced a bottle. I do realize that many mothers do not introduce a bottle until three weeks and do not expect
Try to avoid spicy foods and caffeine for a day or two before the session. Bring plenty of diapers as they will be wearing them while in some of the knitted props and more feeding equals more diapers. I have a sanitized bottle warmer at the studio.
Bathe baby the morning of your session and use baby lotion. If the baby is dry or peeling, it helps to use your doctor recommended baby lotion frequently in the days leading to the shoot. A gentle exfoliation with a baby cloth after they have been in the tub a while will help with this. Try to keep baby awake a couple of hours before the session. Have a little playtime!
When parents come to the studio for their newborn photography session, they usually have a 20-40 minute drive from their home in the Kansas City metro area. The baby will almost always need to eat when you arrive and you get them undressed, so don't worry about feeding them before you leave unless they are hungry and not content for the car ride.
1. Diapers -to be safe, bring eight
2. Bottles & Forumula - enough for four bottles
4. Baby (obviously)
5. Pacifier- even if you don't give one at home.
6. Comfy and cool clothes for you to change into
Pacifiers can be very helpful for calming baby during these sessions. I encourage you to bring one just for your time in the studio. They can make all the difference as newborns cannot self-soothe and mom can't be in every image to soothe them like at home. Remember that this is not a typical day for them and we may need that help.
Stay relaxed! We work according to your baby's immediate needs, and there is nothing that will happen that has not occurred in 12 years of newborn sessions. I am well-versed in working with every baby situation.
Do NOT stress out about your session. Babies pick up on our stress. It is normal for the baby to take 5-10 minutes to settle into a pose. If baby is having a bad day, I can tell this in the first 30 minutes of the session, and we would just reschedule for another day...no big deal. I don't encounter this situation very often (twice in 12 years), but I want you to know we have a plan in place!
Dress baby in something easy to get off that does not go over their head.
We do not charge extra for sibling shots. Please have another family member at the studio if dad will not be there to help entertain a sibling. Clients should bring two cars and when I complete the family and sibling portion, dad will take the other child home. Or, dad can take the sibling to lunch/movie/park and bring the car back when we are finished if mom is not able to drive from surgery. One parent should stay within arm's reach of the sibling, especially when they are close to the baby.
We begin with a series of images with mom, dad, and baby. We include siblings if they are present. Next, we move on to baby images and usually spend a little time with feeding and cuddling. Patience is critical during this part of the session. When baby is asleep, the session flows quickly.
The studio has an entire prop room stocked with vintage props, hats, and wraps, but you are welcome to bring a couple of things like a special blanket or hat that you would like to incorporate in a shot or two. I take care in "styling" the session with colors and textures. Please do not bring newborn outfits or costumes.
Please realize that baby is not yet on a feeding schedule. He/she will typically eat twice as much during the session from being gently posed and moved. This is a different experience for their nervous system. Having been a newborn photographer for so many years, I can easily see those tiny cues when baby needs milk. The more quickly we respond to baby's needs, the smoother the session will go.
I look forward to meeting you and documenting those precious first days! Take a peek at our FAQ page as well and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.
Captures in Time Photography