Bringing a new life into the world is such a joy filled journey. As a Dallas, Texas newborn photographer, I consider it an honor to capture these precious moments for families, preserving them as timeless memories. To ensure your newborn session is a smooth, stress-free, and memorable experience, here are a few things to know ahead of time when preparing for a newborn session.
Timing of Your Newborn Session
It is best to schedule newborn sessions between 5 to 14 days after your baby is born. During this period, babies are more fresh, flexible, sleepy, and usually free from baby acne, which makes it the ideal window to capture those adorable squishy moments.
For each session, I typically allocate one to two hours. This is the perfect amount of time, allowing us to capture a variety of poses with parents and siblings, as well as individual shots of your baby. I begin each newborn session with family portraits, followed by posed shots of your newborn, including some with those sweet, wide-awake eyes.
Lighting is essential to any photography session, so sessions are scheduled at times when natural light is best. Usually, sessions start at 9:30 or 10 in the morning. I recommend planning a 30-minute buffer for getting ready so that your session can start on time. We want to take full advantage of every minute we have together. If possible, feed baby right before the session, this helps ensure baby is sleepy and content.
Newborn Session Setting
Many people prefer to do an in-home newborn session, which is an ideal location! However, I do have a studio option available for those who have that homes lack natural light, or who simply do not want a session in-home. If you’re not sure, you can read more about the pros and cons of an in-home session vs. a studio session here.
For an in-home session, I suggest choosing one or two rooms with ample natural light, free of dark shade-screens and clutter. A room with large windows and light-colored walls works best to achieve my signature light and airy style! To Enhance the setting, you can add simple touches like fresh flowers, meaningful heirlooms, or neutral decor to the chosen rooms.
Typically, I start each at home newborn session by taking photos of the nursery while mama is getting dressed or feeding baby. Then I’ll wrap baby in a swaddle and we’ll take your family photos for about 45 minutes, followed by their individual, posed portraits. If there’s any item you’d like included during the individual, posed photos, please have those handy beforehand.
Pets are cherished members of the family, and including them in your session is a wonderful idea. This is one perk of an in-home session – your pets can easily be included. However, I do suggest having your pet present at the start of the session, and then arranging for them to be taken elsewhere or kept away when necessary. Exercising your pet before the shoot is also highly beneficial to help them burn off any excess energy. I also suggest having their favorite toy or treats within reach, as well as a lint roller to keep your clothes looking fresh!
Preparing for a Comfortable Newborn Session
Whether you’re a birth mom or adoptive mom, comfort is paramount during this special time. If you’re breastfeeding, choose nursing-friendly clothing for ease and convenience. I understand how often newborns need to feed, and a happy, fed baby makes for a smoother session.
I also recognize and understand that every woman has areas of her body she may be self-conscious about, especially after childbirth. Choose flattering silhouettes and colors that compliment your features. Loose, flowy dresses are often preferred for comfort and are flattering options for moms, making them my favorite choice!
Selecting Your Outfits
Part of my elevated photography experience includes access to my client wardrobe, which has a collection of gowns that are available to borrow. However, if you are wearing your own dress, select clothing in soft, neutral shades. Large patterns are best, but stay away from small, intricate patterns as they can appear busy in photographs. Avoid logos, graphics, and overly bright colors, as they can distract from the focus on your baby. Off-shoulder or long sleeve dresses have a slimming effect on arms, while strapless, sleeveless, or spaghetti strap dresses can have the opposite effect.
Dads should wear solid shades of light gray, blue, khaki, or white and opt for bare feet or neutral socks. Shoes are best left in the closet for this occasion.
If you have multiple children, don’t feel like you need to put them all in the same type of outfit. For example, one of your daughters could wear a dress, while the other wears a skirt. One of your sons could wear a button-down, while the other one wears a long sleeve t-shirt. Mixing up the wardrobe pieces will add visual interest to the photos.
When in doubt, choose white! White clothing, or other very neutral colors, complements my light and airy style. It will instantly brighten your images, regardless of your home’s decor or natural light.
A Stress-Free Experience
During the session, I’ll guide you through poses, ensuring a relaxed and enjoyable experience. Don’t worry about a thing; I’ll keep an eye on hair, makeup, and outfits to ensure everything stays in place. If I tell you to do something that feels a little funny, it’s probably because I know it’s going to make you laugh, which is the photo I’m hoping to capture!
This is such an exciting moment in your family life! I want each family to be relaxed and comfortable, and just enjoy slowing down and snuggling with their baby. Expect laughs, cuddles, and maybe a few unpredictable moments during the session. If you have other young siblings, I suggest planning something fun as a treat or reward afterward, like an ice cream date or a bowling adventure. This can help keep kids focused and excited about the day.
However, give them (and yourself!) lots of grace. I’ve seen it all and will make sure to deliver timeless, gorgeous photos, regardless of their moods. My goal is to make this as fun and stress-free as possible for you and your family!
Preparing for a Newborn Session
During the session, your baby is the star. Swaddles and wraps work better than clothing for newborns, and I’ll have all my swaddles, headbands, and accessories ready. If possible, try to ensure your baby’s nails are trimmed to prevent scratches on the faces. Here are a few essential items to have ready before your newborn’s session:
Essentials to Have On Hand
Pacifier, bottle, and/or breastfeeding pillow
Water for parents
Snacks and water for little ones
A close friend or family member to assist with pets or toddlers
Small, neutral-colored toys for children
Consider limiting screen time for children on the morning of the session
What to Expect After the Session
Once the session is over, I will come home, give my own family some hugs, and then start downloading your photos! Typically, the turnaround time is two weeks. This allows me enough time to properly go through the images. I will cull through the multiples and those with someone blinking, and edit them in my unique style. Two weeks after your session, I will send you an email with a link to your gallery. There you can view your photo proofs and make selections for your album or prints. I use a user-friendly program called Pic-Time to share your photos with you. In the final gallery, you can download your photos with ease and convenience.
An Elevated Photography Experience
My goal is to make your photography experience stress-free and enjoyable, from start to finish. I know how quickly time passes and how much kids change in a short amount of time, which is why I want each family to have quality, timeless images that they can enjoy and cherish for generations to come. I also want every family to feel confident and know what to expect when planning their session with me, which is why I offer an elevated photography experience for growing families that provides guidance and support throughout the process, as well as stunning, timeless images.
Ready to book your newborn or family session with me? Contact me here to get started.
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