Posed newborn portraiture is a relatively modern photography genre. Clients are often first time parents and have rarely even held a newborn, much less know what it’s like to photograph one. To help answer your questions, I’m answering the three biggest ones I get below, as well as breaking down the why behind each one.
When should I book?
You should book your session long before baby arrives, ideally in the second trimester. Specialized newborn photographers typically book only a handful of babies per month, in order to devote the necessary amount of time and attention to each baby. Newborn sessions occur when baby is just 5-15 days of age, so the clock is ticking from the moment baby arrives.
Booking early ensures time to consider a maternity session, which are completed in the 7-8 month timeframe. These sessions are a beautiful way to commemorate life before baby and to celebrate yourself!
What do I need to bring to the session?
Just baby! I provide everything we need to create beautiful newborn portraits. Everything you see in my portfolio is available for use, and so much more that hasn’t even been photographed yet!
In fact, I actually discourage clients from bringing store-bought props. Many of these items are far too large for newborns (even items labeled as newborn size), and may be made with materials that could irritate baby’s sensitive skin. Everything in my studio is handmade with organic materials and sanitized between uses, and items have been specifically chosen that photograph well together.
Noticed that there are no newborns wearing clothes in my portfolio? That’s because babies hate getting dressed and undressed! Something as seemingly harmless as putting on a diaper cover may cost us 30 minutes of shooting time because we’ve disrupted baby. My workflow is designed to keep baby calm and sleepy. Introducing an extra variable can throw it for a loop!
Heirlooms or items of personal significance, such as a Grandma’s quilt, an antique baby rattle, or daddy’s pilot helmet, are wonderful to include in your session when possible. But resist the urge to spree through the Target baby accessory aisle, because we’ve got everything you need!
What does the assistant do?
Ohhh I am glad you asked. My assistant Leigh (whole ‘nother blog post on her coming soon) is the secret sauce to my newborn sessions. Leigh’s entire focus is on keeping baby safe. She’s specially trained to anticipate typical newborn movements, and her hands and eyes stay on baby at all times. Baby’s safety and comfort are the most important thing, and my assistant is vital to a successful session.
Having Leigh means I’m freed up to focus on perfecting images, and YOU are free to do absolutely nothing! My clients get to totally, completely relax. Often, it’s the first chance to catch their breath since heading to the hospital. We’ll often hear a contented sigh of relief when dad relaxes on to the studio couch, and mom will say “I am SO glad we did this.” More than once I’ve turned around to see a parent fast asleep, and we’re so honored to provide that opportunity. Feel free to nap, scroll through your phone, read a book, or watch us work. Baby is in good hands!