Tips for Getting Ready for Your Newborn Photoshoot
by Richelle Krzak
Having a new baby is a precious experience that you wish you could hold on to forever. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Your tiny newborn will change right before your very eyes, and in a matter of months, you will look back at the hospital photos and barely recognize the chubby little baby who is now sitting up, crawling, and even walking in front of you. What happened to the time? Newborn photography is a great way to freeze moments in time so that you not only have mementos for your family to pass down, but also create artistic imagery for the home incorporating your favorite thing in the world—your baby. Before you book that newborn session, be sure you consider a few details about the photographer you select:
- Do they have an online portfolio of work you can see?
- Do they have experience with newborns or maternity sessions specifically?
- What is the cost for the sitting fee and do they charge extra for siblings to be included?
- Is there a minimum purchase requirement?
- Do they allow you to bring your own accessories or props?
- Will they sell a CD of the images to you for future printing?
- How long do they keep the images on file (in case you want to buy more)?
- Do they come to your home or have a studio?
- How long do they allow for the shoot? (Note: Newborn shots take two to four hours, so if they limit your time, this may be a concern.)
- Is there an age limit for newborn photography? (Babies are most cooperative within the first week of birth when they are sleepy.)
Once you have chosen the photographer that best meets your needs, there are a few things you want to prepare for the day of the photo shoot:
- Pack a lot of extra wipes and diapers—even if the shoot is in the buff. You will be there a few hours.
- Feed your baby right before you leave the house.
- Bring plenty pumped milk or formula, or be ready to take breaks and nurse on site.
- If you have treasured blankets or props, bring them with you. Interesting textures represent well in newborn photography.
- Don’t apply any new lotions or creams to the baby that may cause an allergic reaction before picture day.
- Bring your baby’s best swaddling blanket in case he/she needs to feel comforted during breaks.
- Allow the photographer to do his/her job. It’s OK to give input as to how your photo shoot is going, but what the photographer sees through the lens is different from what you see in person. Trust the professional.
- If the shoot is in your home, crank up the heat. A cozy baby is a happy baby.
- If the family plans to be in any of your pictures, choose solid, non-patterned clothing and a complimentary color scheme. White, black or neutrals work well.
- Expect your newborn to pee or poop on themselves or the photographer at least once. It happens.
Of course, you should also leave the house early that day! It can take ten minutes just to get yourself out the door. Don’t be late for the big day. If you want to buy handmade blankets or hats to use for your shoot Etsy.com is a great place to look. Because many of these items are made to order, allow for the seller’s recommended production time. Four weeks or more is not unusual for delivery when buying handmade goods. Plan in advance.