Newborn Baby Photos | Zoe
“A half an hour earlier?” I repeated into the speaker of my new cell phone, as I pulled into the school parking lot. This seemed like an impossible feat to accomplish so early in the morning. I barely had enough time to drop off the kids and prepare all my gear, before heading out to the shoot. But knowing that Jody has followed my instructions from our pre-session consultation of not feeding Zoe prior to my arrival, fueled me with what felt like super-human speed! If she can be strong and resist her natural urge to feed her precious newborn girl on command, then I have to do my best and arrive as early as possible.
By some unexpected miracle, I made it thirty-two minutes early! Armed with five tons of photo and lighting equipment, blankets, swaddles, headbands, a beanbag and a portable heater, I made my way up to the top floor into Zoe’s beautiful new nursery.
Jody’s face lit up as she saw me, realizing that she can now attend to her newborn’s primal needs, and finally feed her. Zoe snuggled in her mommy’s arms, nursed for a few minutes, and was asleep in no time. Allowing me to “play” with her until we decided that we got all the shots we were looking for, resulting in a successful newborn photo session!
Way to go Zoe! :)
Getting Ready for Your Newborn Photo Session
In the last blog post, I talked about the importance of your pre-session consultation. Asking you why you want to get your portraits taken, and inquiring about your style and home decor.
Today, I wish to share a few simple tips for getting the most out of your newborn photo session. Of course, speaking to your photographer is vital to the success of any photo session. But it is especially important when working with unpredictable newborn babies. As a trained professional, I have years of experience working with children, and want to make sure you are fully prepared and excited for your newborn session!
When to schedule your session?
Did you know that there is a very short window of opportunity to photograph newborns in those curly and cuddly poses? Within the first two weeks after birth, babies sleep soundly and deeply. Newborns are still adjusting to their new environment, and get tired and cranky. That’s because when they are awake, all five of their senses are on overdrive, they get overstimulated quicker than older babies, and need to rest more often.
This is prime time for a newborn baby photo session. At this time I am usually able to get the baby sleeping for several minutes at a time; position and re-position the baby without waking them (and have a higher chance of getting “the shot”).
Feeding and Burping a Tired Baby
I suggest to keep them awake as long as possible before the session, so that their nap time falls within the duration of the photo session. And because these precious little people have tiny bellies that require a regular fill up, it’s best to feed them right before the beginning of the session. A good feed and burp will keep the baby content longer, so take your time and make sure the baby does not fall asleep half-way through their meal. That way they can then sleep and be at peace when I touch and move them around the set.
Room temperature is subjective. It depends on your comfort levels and what you are personally used to. I prefer to see a warm twenty degrees Celsius on my thermostat, while some prefer a cooler fifteen degrees. Like anyone else, babies have their own preferences, which is usually quite hot.
Imagine spending nine months in a warm Jacuzzi, and then stepping out into a “room temperature” environment. Well, I think it’s safe to say, you would feel cold and uncomfortable.
Same goes with babies. After spending all their time in mommy’s warm belly, they feel comforted by warmth. That is why my studio is always warm. Or when I travel to a client’s home, I make sure to request that they crank up the heat in their home the morning of their newborn portrait session. If you’re not sweating, it’s not warm enough! :)
Step right up and don’t be shy. These are portraits that you and your baby will treasure all your life.
For nine months, you have waited to meet your precious baby, and compromised your comforts for their well-being (eating and doing things you hate, knowing that your baby will be healthier and stronger). And you deserve to be celebrated for all your hard work!
I encourage both mom and dad to participate. Although many of my clients initially did not feel comfortable with the idea of having their portraits taken so soon after childbirth, I have received countless compliments post-session, thanking me for talking them into it.
Yes, newborn photo sessions are about babies. But also, they are about a wonderful new addition to your family. A joy that cannot be expressed with words. An emotion that can only be felt when looking at a new mother embracing her beloved baby in her arms. A memory that every mother revisits when looking back at that extraordinary time in her life. A moment in time that will be treasured forever.
Of course who could forget the excited older sibling? They were just as eager to meet their future companion. But after a few days of sharing their mommy and daddy with the new baby, many children feel threatened by the newcomer.
That is why including older siblings in these portraits is a wonderful idea! Not only do they get additional attention and recognition, but they will feel important and “part of the team”. You can distribute special jobs such as helping to select the perfect wrap for the baby, picking out their own outfit, watching the baby while I photograph them, and finally posing with the baby. This is a wonderful way for the older child to positively interact with the newborn baby, and start building a loving relationship with them.
Follow these simple tips and your newborn photo session will be a tremendous success! :)
Expecting a new baby, and looking to book a Newborn Portrait Session?