Newborn Session Prep Guide
Get ready for your newborn session!
Your Newborn Session with Jennifer Trego Photography is just around the corner, so now is a good time to think about how to prepare. I’ve put together some key pieces of information that will help guide you in the days leading up to your session! I'll go over everything from wardrobe to how to get the kids (and dad) ready. My goal is to make this an easy and relaxing experience. This guide will help you to have the best possible session. I'm so excited to work with you and your family! If you have any questions along the way, please just let me know. I love to help!
When to have your newborn session
Newborn sessions are recommended to be done before 2 weeks of age, while they are still in that sleepy and curly stage. After two weeks of age, they tend to be disturbed more easily while sleeping and it is not as easy to get the true newborn poses and look. They can also become colicky or baby acne can start to flare.
In order to ensure that the newborn session runs as quickly and as smoothly as possible, please follow these steps:
If nursing, try to avoid eating anything spicy (ie. pizza, hot sauce, etc) or anything that will cause gas and might upset baby’s tummy for 24 hours preceding your scheduled session. A gassy baby will not pose well during the session due to their little tummy being upset.
*Some other foods that may cause gas are dairy products- milk, cheese, yogurt, pudding, cream, or any food that has milk, milk products, casein, whey, or sodium case in it, as well as foods with caffeine, soy, fish, peanuts, chocolate, wheat, beef, nuts, eggs, corn, or citrus fruits (Courtesy Babycenter & ModernMom parenting).
*If baby happens to be gassy the day of your session, Oval or Gripe Water can be used to help ease baby’s discomfort.
Interact with and keep baby awake for 1-2 hours before your session to ensure he/she is good and sleepy for the session. This is very important. Without this, I spend too much time getting them to sleep and not as much time photographing them.
*Stimulating baby with a bath or by doing ‘naked time’ prior to the session are some tricks that you can use!
It is best if you arrive with a hungry baby! I always say, the more mad and screaming, the better! This way you can feed baby when you arrive. Once the baby has a full belly, they will normally go right to sleep. If baby is bottle feeding, please bring extra bottles and milk (formula or breastmilk) - (babies work up quite the appetite being constantly moved around in the warm studio). *A full baby = a sleepy baby, and we need a very sleepy and calm baby in order to achieve the sweet, flexible poses you see in my portfolio. I may ask you to ignore a strict feeding schedule for the 2.5 hours at the session. The only way we will achieve calm, flexible poses is if baby is fully satiated and sleeping. I would rather have you give baby an extra feeding than have you worry that baby isn’t sleeping and we’re missing out on some cute poses.
Dress baby in loose fitting clothes to avoid any lines on baby’s skin and to also avoid disturbing baby when getting undressed. A simple sleeper is best. Please avoid onesies or anything that has to be pulled off over baby’s head.
Bring a pacifier – they can be very helpful during the session! There are some poses that babies will get fussy and giving them a pacifier helps to distract them and soothe them to sleep.
Your newborn session will take place in my home studio. I use a small space heater to keep your little one warm while being photographed. I recommend dressing in layers in case you get too warm.
During the session, sit back and relax. I won’t need much assistance, so take advantage of this time to rest in my sitting area (I’m sure you need it!). Parents will often answer emails or read in my sitting area while I work with your new little one. I’ve even had some parents take a nap!
Remove all bandages (from shots, etc) from baby’s skin at least one hour before arriving to the studio.
These bandages cannot be removed in post-processing and, if left on, will show up in the final images.
I always encourage parent portraits with the new baby, and these are usually done at the beginning of your session. I like to do several different combinations such as mom and dad with baby, mom with baby, and dad with baby. I also will have you look at the camera as well as look at your baby. A note to Mom: I know that you may not feel like yourself right after giving birth, but I strongly encourage you to have a portrait taken with your new baby while they are still so young and fresh. They will grow up and will want to know what their mother looked like holding them close to her heart as a newborn. I will shoot you in flattering angles, so don’t worry! Worst case scenario is that you don’t like the image and never look at it again, but at least your child will have this moment documented.
I will also photograph the entire family, so mom, dad, siblings, and baby. I usually photograph the entire family first, then the siblings, and then I move on the just the baby's photos. This seems to work best for everyone.
If you have older siblings that you would like photographed with your newborn I will do these shots FIRST. Siblings that are 4 and under tend to have a short attention span so I like to get their photos done in the beginning. Due to the nature of the session and the fact that it can take up to two hours (three if the baby is fussy or needs to eat a few times), your spouse/partner may want to take the older siblings home or out for something fun to do while I finish up with the individual newborn shots. Many families choose to drive two cars so that dad or a grandparent can take the sibling home after their photos. SIBLINGS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GO UPSTAIRS AND PLAY IN THE HOUSE WHILE I FINISH YOUR NEWBORN PHOTOS. My insurance does not cover this.
What to wear
Keeping it simple is usually best in these situations. Parents posing with their new baby should wear things neutral or muted in color with minimal designs and brand logos, if possible. Moms can wear anything from a simple camisole to a long-sleeved top to a maxi dress. Something lacey, if that’s your style, is also beautiful! Dads can go with a basic t-shirt in white, tan, gray, black, soft blue, etc. As long as all the colors flow, it will be fabulous. Also, a very important thing to be mindful of is bra straps and fingernails/hands. Be sure your nails are neat since your hands will definitely be shown in the photos. Siblings should also have neat hands/fingernails and clothes should fit well. If shirts or pants are too big, it tends to look sloppy.
Notes to consider
I spend a lot of time getting every little finger and toe positioned perfectly when photographing your little bundle. First and foremost, it is important to me for your baby to look comfortable and peaceful in the photographs and for each image to be a piece of art. I have a lot of experience and patience with newborns. I have children of my own and have photographed over 400 newborns. My motto is safety first. I will never put your newborn in an unsafe pose/prop. Be prepared to spend between 1 and 2 hours at my studio. I am a perfectionist and I want to capture your baby in every way that I can even down to their little lips and eyelashes – it’s not unusual to spend up to 20 minutes working to perfect one pose. Just to warn you: When being photographed with your baby, you may get peed or pooped on if baby is naked for any of the parent shots. My studio is in my home, in my fully finished basement. I like to let clients know that there are stairs to get there.
After the Session: "How long do we have to wait to see our photos?"
I take great care to go over all of your images and pick out the best ones. After your session, I immediately back up your images so they are safe. Once they are safely backed up, I go through each and every image looking for the best quality as well as expressions! My turnaround time for your full gallery is between 2-3 weeks. You will receive a gallery of soft edits (meaning not fully edited) of anywhere from 25-75 images. You will then choose your favorite images by clicking on the heart for each image that you want. Newborn sessions come with 15, 25, or 35 enhanced full resolution images (depending on the package that you select). However, I offer the option to purchase additional images if you decide you want more. Once I've finished editing your session, I will upload your gallery and email it to you. Then you are free to download, print, and share your images.
Newborn Sessions are so much fun and really the point is for them to be as little stress on you as possible. So my best advice for you is to come and enjoy your session and don’t stress over it. I’m here to capture beautiful memories of your family and brand new baby. Newborn sessions are normally quite relaxing for parents so think of it as a break for a couple of hours!
I hope these tips were helpful but if you still have questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.