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Planning for a Newborn Session

I’d like to introduce you to the “chatty cathy” side of myself…so the rest of this page may be a smidge lengthy, but it will include any and all necessary information for your Newborn Shoot! If you have any questions at all, or need ideas on what to bring, just let me know!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

A newborn session can go one of two ways…completely smooth or not. : ) Remember that we are working with a newborn, and just like at home we are on their schedule. I will do my best to work with your little one to get as many shots as we can, sometimes these sweet, squishy little ones have other plans… but no worries, I am very patient.

Please review these instructions in its entirety and follow them for a smooth newborn session.

It is a good idea to feed the baby and then immediately place them in the car to come to your session (if we are using my studio)…this helps to ensure that the baby will fall asleep in the car and remain asleep once you arrive for the sleeping newborn poses. Often newborns and babies can be fussy, so I ask moms to be prepared to be in some portraits. Usually we will disguise mom and she won’t be seen. There is a lot of magic that goes into a good newborn session.

The following are some guidelines that will help you to get the most out of your session:

Many times Mom and Dad are not photographed during a session. Much of the What-to-Wear section is to keep the baby happy and free from scraps or items to pull and grab onto; but feel free to wear what you want.

Mom’s list to wear: Wear solid black (or any solid, dark colored shirt), no lace. Small earrings are good, no necklaces; in fact keep jewelry to a minimum…wedding rings are okay…no watches. Please be mindful of low cut or V-neck tops as sometimes they can drag down with the weight of the baby. Black (or dark colored shirts) and jeans work best.

Dad’s list to wear: Wear solid black (or any solid, dark colored shirt), no stripes. Just like Mom, keep jewelry to a minimum…wedding rings are okay…no watches. Black (or dark colored shirts) and jeans work best. Khakis do not photograph well in these sessions. And please do not wear a white t-shirt under your black/dark shirt.

For Mom and Dad, consider bringing a change of clothes just in case there is an “accident” during the session!!

Before leaving your house, it’s a good idea to clean the baby’s eyes with a warm wash cloth and to check baby’s nostrils for anything unsightly that you don’t want photographed! Please do this before feeding and leaving home…we don’t want to upset the baby upon arriving for the photo session!

If we are photographing baby with no clothing on…I suggest unclothing the baby and leaving a loose tab diaper on the baby and placing them in their car seat and covering them with blankets. This is an assurance of no clothing marks or indents on the skin…plus if you are wanting to do some sleeping baby portraits, it’s super easy to undo the diaper and place the sleeping baby (sleeping from the car ride) right on the table and start shooting once you arrive. ** No clothing with elastic should be on the baby…IE: socks, booties with elastic on the ankle, elastic on the wrist, no booties over hands, etc. Many of these items leave indents on the skin that don’t make for great photos. If the baby is sleeping when you arrive for your session, please DO NOT wake the baby…we will try to snap a few portraits first!!

**Upon arriving, I recommend placing a blanket over the entire car seat before removing it from the car so that the sun beaming into the baby’s eyes or any cold air does not wake them. When you arrive, you will see a small portrait area set up with only necessary equipment. A heater is available to keep baby warm and sometimes we use soft ambient music or white noise to keep the baby calm. We will place the car seat close to the area used for sessions and I will gently attempt to place the baby without waking up the newborn.

Please bring a blanket that may be photographed with your baby….and one that they may be swaddled with. I would recommend one with very little print. Be sure to bring bottles, water, formula (if used), baby wipes, and a change of clothes for baby, a white t-shirt, extra diapers, burp rags, hair brush, pacifier, and anything else you think you may need. We may not use any of it, but it’s good to have as back up!

If you are planning to have the baby wear clothes, keep the following in mind: Simple clothing works best for creating successful, timeless portraits. Avoid patterns, busy prints, stripes, and logo clothing as they can be very distracting and tend to draw focus away from the faces. If possible, keep pants darker than tops…this draws attention up to the face. Think of every detail, down to socks and shoes…however, barefoot is always the best choice!! Big kids clothing like blue jeans usually do not look good on newborns…newborns simply do not look good or comfortable in them and they don’t often photograph well.

Please feel free to bring anything that you would like to incorporate in the portraits:

·         a blanket

·         headbands and/or hats

·         diaper covers

·         blocks that spell out babies name

·         a stuffed animal

·         toys, etc.

I am happy to personalize your portraits! I love being creative with items that are special to the family. If you ideas or suggestions, I am game to try them!! I will also have some blankets, backgrounds, hats, headbands, etc to use if you wish.

I understand this is an investment for your family and will understand if your child is sick. A sick or unhappy child just doesn’t photograph well. Please call and reschedule if needed…I will completely understand!

The time you spend on planning your session and clothing will pay off in the end with a beautifully coordinated portrait…one that will never look dated. It is worth the effort! Again, I am happy to discuss with you any questions or additional clothing options, just contact me to talk more about it.

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