How to Prepare for Your Newborn Session

November 19, 2018

annapolis newborn photographer


After photographing nearly 100 newborns in the past two years, an update to my client prep guide is long overdue! I’m going to tackle this Q&A style to help my clients know exactly what to expect from the experience. Please take the time to read through this post to ensure the best possible outcome for your session. I can’t wait to snuggle your little babe!

Where is your studio located?

My in-home studio is located in Lusby, Maryland, about an hour south of DC. We routinely have clients come from as far as two hours away for their session, so please don’t worry if it’s a bit of a hike! It’s an easy, rural drive, and you’ve got some serious relaxing waiting for you when you arrive!

maryland newborn photographer

When will the session take place?

Newborn sessions occur on weekday mornings, within fifteen days of baby’s birth (or within 15 days of your due date for preemies). While we often photograph babies as old as 5-6 weeks, please know that these images may look drastically different than what you’ll find in my portfolio, with fewer poses and likely a wide awake baby.

When should I book my session?

Because newborn sessions are created in the first 2-3 weeks of life, it is crucial to get on the studio schedule long before baby arrives. We’ll pencil you in based on your due date, and once baby is born, firm up a date for the session. While last-minute openings do occasionally occur, your best bet is to reserve your session early in the third trimester.

maryland newborn photographer

Are parents included?

YES! Parents and siblings are welcome and encouraged to participate in full newborn sessions. We always save those poses for last, so that you have a chance to kick back, relax, or even finish getting ready while we photograph baby. For families with older siblings, we recommend that dad drop mom and baby off at the studio, enjoy some one-on-one time with the older kids, then come back when we’re ready for the whole family. This allows mom a chance to relax and enjoy some girl talk, and keeps kids (and dads!) from getting bored – it’s a win-win!

With that said, newborn sessions are not a spectator sport! The studio will be extremely warm for baby’s comfort, and gets crowded quickly. Please try to limit attendees to those who absolutely have to be there.

How long will the session take?

If you’ve worked with me before, you know that I shoot quickly and like to keep things moving. This is not the case during newborn sessions! It takes a great deal of time to feed and soothe baby, transition between poses, and clean up any messes that will occur along the way. Plan to be at the studio for 2-3 hours for full sessions, and 60-90 minutes for petite sessions.

What do we need to bring with us? Do we need to bring props or outfits?

Bring your diaper bag essentials, an extra change of clothes for everyone, and baby. The studio is fully stocked with fabric, headbands, bonnets, wraps, and props. Our prop collection has been carefully curated to include only high-end, organic products that are safe for baby and won’t distract the eye. We’re big fans of timeless, classic images that keep all the focus on baby. Most props you’ll find in big box stores or even on Etsy are way too large for a newborn, or are overly trendy or poorly made. Of course, if you’ve got a particular theme or idea in mind, let’s chat about it! We love finding beautiful, artistic ways to interpret a theme that still fit our classic style.

When you arrive at the studio, you’ll be able to select a few favorite colors and props from our collection. Then we’ll build a custom set based on your preferences!

annapolis newborn photographer

What do we need to do during the session?

Sit back and relax. That’s it! My assistant, Leigh, is on set for every single newborn session. We don’t believe in asking parents to assist or help spot baby – you’re tired, and let’s be real, you’re still figuring this out! Leigh and I photograph newborns together every single week, and she’s been specially trained to keep her hands and eyes on baby at all times. This means baby is completely safe in our care, and you get a much-needed break in one of the most transformative weeks of your life. The studio is stocked with snacks and drinks for your enjoyment, and you’re welcome to grab a catnap on the couch – we won’t tell!

Can I request a pose that I found on Pinterest?

Pinterest is so fun for planning and inspiration! However, it’s important to manage expectations when working with newborns. I suggest carefully studying a photographer’s portfolio prior to booking, and choosing inspiration images directly from their body of work. Even still, not every baby can do every pose! Size, age, and temperament all play a role in what poses will work best. We’ll do our best to create images that exceed your expectations while always ensuring baby’s safety.

Do you offer mini sessions?

Yes! We offer a petite newborn session that lasts just 60-90 minutes and features baby only. We also offer online gift certificates, making it super easy for friends and family to contribute to your newborn session and artwork purchase. Add us to your baby registry – it beats getting another set of burp cloths, trust me!

How do we book?

Head here to get in contact today and to reserve your place on the calendar! We typically book 2-3 months out. A signed contract and retainer are due at the time of booking.

annapolis newborn photographer

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At home near the sea. Ever-focused on beauty and the thrilling art of creation; found in the moments that matter most.

Amanda is fueled by a desire to preserve the best humanity has to offer: our love for one another. She draws her inspiration from classic literature, sprawling wildflower fields, thoughtful design and architecture, and her travels across the world, particularly Europe. 

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