As a mom and head of your household, you’re used to leading the pack. And I’m sure you expect that I, as your photographer, will also be commanding the crew. But when it comes to your newborn session, who’s in charge might not be who you think. It’s not you, mom, and – while I come in with lots of experience at the ready – it’s not even me. The BABY is boss at photo time.
Hear me out. Newborns are unpredictable, still very much getting the hang of their preferred routine and the most important thing you and I can do during your newborn session is go with it.
Luckily, I have compiled my five top tips on how to roll with whatever punches baby has in store that day.
1. Follow their cues.
You know your baby best. If they need to eat, feed them. If they’re wet or a blowout has been had, let’s pause to change that diaper (and possibly outfit!). If they need some snuggles, snuggle away, or rock and burp them. It doesn’t feel like it now, but it goes SO fast, and soon, your baby will be mobile and won’t want to be coddled in the same ways. So trust me, if baby needs something, just tend to their needs. And I’ll make sure you have photographs of these moments that you’ll always cherish.
2. Keep a swaddle at the ready
While you’ve probably noticed that my style isn’t posed, themed swaddled newborn shots, I *do* recommend keeping a simple swaddle on hand. There is a point during every session where I swaddle the baby, as it’s so calming and helps them fall asleep. I notice that a sleeping baby has a calming effect on everyone, which is always welcomed during a session.
3. Feed away
Feeding babies round-the-clock is part of life with a newborn, and usually needs to happen at least once during a session. Unless you want some privacy, I usually keep shooting during feeding times. Or, if you and your partner prefer, you can opt for bottles during the session. It’s up to you! As with anything, I want you to do what’s most comfortable for you…and baby. 🙂
4. Embrace the tears
While I’m not suggesting that you don’t do what you can to comfort your crying baby, I just want to say right up front that babies cry. All of them. And it’s SO not a big deal to me. This is when I do a lot of pullback shots that my clients love.
5. Timing is everything
In my 9+ years of photographing newborns, I can tell you that while I always expect the unexpected (see above!), mornings are universally best when scheduling sessions of this variety. All of us know the dreaded witching hour, and we want to stay as far away from that time of day as possible. And really, babies aren’t so unique in this way – I think we’re all a bit more refreshed in the morning!
So while it’s true that both of us will play important roles the day of your session, your baby really rules the roost. It’s our job simply to follow their lead and facilitate their comfort for a session that’s most enjoyable for your whole family.
Do you have any more questions about how to prepare for your newborn session? Lucky for you I do a pre-session consult with all my clients and provide a Session Prep Guide!
Interested in more information about a newborn session with NPS Photography?