How to Prepare for a Newborn Session | Arlington, VA Photographer

January 13, 2019

Filed in: Newborn

How to Make Your Newborn Session Run Smoothly


Doing newborn photography can be so unpredictable. There are so many factors involved in a successful newborn session that it’s hard to list all of them. I have put together a letter that I mail to Moms and Dads on how to prepare for their session and I have found it very helpful. I hope you find it helpful!

Things to Take in Consideration for your Newborn Session

Best Time to Schedule a Newborn Session:

My recommendation as far as scheduling a newborn session is within the first 7-10 days of baby coming to this world 🙂 I recommend you book your session before baby arrives, to ensure you will have a photographer. As the baby grows more, it is more difficult to keep the baby asleep during the photo session. If Mom is nursing or planning on nursing baby, then schedule your session once the mother’s milk comes in, so baby will have a happy tummy and will sleep better.

Preparing for Baby’s Session:

I offer Newborn sessions both on location, and in my home studio. I also give the option to Parents to choose the location, so make sure you ask your photographer if she/he offers in studio and on location sessions. Some of the things I’ve observed and learned about newborn sessions; There are lots of advantages of doing a newborn session in a studio, and those advantages are that your photographer has access to all of her/his props, and the light is going to be great! When doing a Newborn session on location (unless it’s a styled session), the photographer can’t bring every single prop, she/he owns to your home, and will bring only the necessary. However, one advantage is that Mom doesn’t have to get out of the house. 

Whether if you decide for an on location session, or a studio here are the top four most important things you need to know before your Newborn session.

1)Preparing Home: I require to all of the blinds in the house to be opened and all of the house lights to be turned off. This will create natural light and will get better results. I usually arrive at least 15-20 minutes prior to your scheduled time, and I will walk through the house to find the best source of natural light. I will also need adequate space to set up everything, so we may have to move some things around ( I’ll do the moving) I will bring backdrops and other things needed for the session, but please feel free to let me know if there’s something in particular you would like to be included in the photos. One hour before your session, set your house temperature around 80 degrees. I will bring a portable heater and will set it close to baby to keep him/her warm. This will allow your newborn to stay warm especially when baby is without clothes. 

2)When to feed baby: Newborns take a lot of time eating and usually fall asleep in the process. You know your baby better, so please make sure baby is well fed and in the process of falling asleep or asleep when I get there. Newborn photography requires your baby to be in a deep slumber, because it is very difficult to take good shots if they are awake and moving. Some babies have a deep sleep and that makes it easier, other babies wake up easier when they’re moved and that will limit the kind of poses we can do. So please keep this in mind. 

3)Length of Session: It usually takes at least two hours. This is the time we all need to practice our patience. Your baby is in charge and he/she will decide the time the session will last. Please plan accordingly, although in your photo session package states it last two hours, I’ll stay up to three hours if needed.

4)What to Wear: When I do newborn sessions Dad, Mom and siblings participate in the photo shoot at no additional cost. However, if you prefer to not be in the pictures that is fine too. My recommendation as what to wear, is to wear solid colors such as black, white, cream, or browns, this will keep the focus on your bundle of joy. You all not need to match colors, but pictures will look a lot better if there’s some sort of “color coordination” Please make sure you have different outfits for Mom and Dad…yes sometimes there are accidents with your newborn without a diaper.  The most important thing is for you to relax and enjoy your photo session. I will do the rest 🙂

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