If you’ve never had a photography experience before, it is quite natural to feel nervous about what to expect. To help you understand what is normally involved, here’s what a typical session looks like with me at Newborn Art by SJ Baldock.
Before Your Newborn Session
I like to give you a call the day before our session to answer any last-minute questions you might have. It also gives me the opportunity to run through the structure of the session itself and what is going to happen and when.
After our call, I set up the studio ready for the following day. This includes setting up the props, backdrops and any accessories such as hats or headbands we have decided to use.
I also have a welcome board written and ready for my lovely family the next day.
Just before the session, I make sure the studio is nice and warm. Newborn babies cannot regulate their own body temperature and so it is vital that the room is kept at a specific temperature to ensure baby’s comfort and safety.
I make sure everything is ready for mum and dad too so they have a wonderful, relaxing experience.
How to Prepare Your Baby Before the Photoshoot
New parents often ask advice about how to prepare their baby for the photoshoot. I do say try and keep your baby awake for a while before the session. One tip is to give them a bath but do not worry if it does not work out that way, newborn babies often have their own agenda. It is always good to give your baby a really good feed as near to start of the photoshoot as you can. If it works out that your baby feeds when you get to the studio rather than at home, that is absolutely fine.
After a good feed, your baby will be super sleepy at the start of the session. This is ideal so we can start the session and have the best opportunity to capture the sleepy images of your newborn. Again, just to say please do not worry if things do not go to plan beforehand, I am used to being flexible and every baby is unique. The session is meant to be as stress-free for parents as possible, so just be led by your baby and their needs.
What Should You Dress Your Baby In?
Ideally, it is best not to dress your baby in anything that needs to be taken off over their head. The least we can disturb your baby, the better. If you can wrap your baby in blankets rather than clothed, even better. If you could try and keep your baby’s nappy loose, it avoids nappy lines when we capture those beautiful natural images.
On Arrival at the Studio
When you arrive, it’s my priority to get you settled and relaxed before I start the session itself. Do remember, every photographer has their own workflow and their own style, so your experience will vary depending on your chosen photographer. For me, I like to spoil my new mums and dads as I know how busy those first few days are and how precious a little bit of downtime can be.
Normally we will have discussed colour schemes, favourite poses and using any of your own accessories before the day but if not I will clarify the last few details with you before we start.
Working With Your Baby
Newborn photography sessions should always be led by your baby and everything should be done at baby’s speed. An experienced photographer will know how to ‘read’ each baby and quickly get to know their preferences in terms of hand position, leg position, wrapping etc. Interestingly, much of a baby’s preference will depend upon how your baby was carrying in the womb.
Experienced photographers will know this and will be able to settle your baby quickly and safely.
How Long Will a Session Last?
Working at baby’s speed and allowing for feeds and cuddles means an average newborn photography session will take around 3-4 hours, although this can vary as every baby is unique.
What Facilities Are Available for Feeding My Baby?
If you are breastfeeding your baby and would like to feed in private then I can leave you in peace whilst you feed your baby in comfortable surroundings.
If you are bottle-feeding your baby, I have bottle warming facilities but I do advise you to bring more bottles than you would normally need in the timeframe as babies do tend to feed more during their photo session.
After Your Session
After you have left for home, the studio will be cleaned down. All backdrops, wraps and clothing items are carefully washed by machine or by hand, using hypo-allergenic washing powder. The studio and any props used during the session will be wiped with disinfectant.
A Newborn Photography Experience in Summary
Your newborn experience should be as stress-free as possible for you and your family. Everything will be led by your baby and their needs. An experienced newborn photographer will have the skills to soothe and settle your baby even if they get upset. We have everything you need in the studio. For many of our clients, it is the first time leaving the house with their newborn, so take your time and do not feel under pressure to rush.
If you want to know more about organising your newborn photoshoot and are not sure where to start your search then our guide ‘How to Choose The Best Newborn Photographer for Your Family’ will give you lots of information and ideas to get you started on your search.
If you have any questions about anything to do with the photography experience itself or anything else you would like to ask, please do get in touch.