What to Expect at Your Newborn Photo Session


When is the best time to get newborn pictures taken?

I prefer to schedule newborn sessions 3-11 days after the baby is born.  During this time, newborns tend to be more flexible, making them easier to pose, and they tend sleep a lot (when their tummy is full, of course).  Past 11 days, it’s possible, but not as easy to get those good newborn shots.  Plus, newborn acne can start to appear after this time.


Where should we have the session?

I prefer to schedule newborn sessions in my studio so I can control the lighting and heat, plus my props are there.  If you prefer an in-home session, it will be more 'lifestyle' in nature and close to window light, as I do not bring my professional lighting and backdrop stand.  There is also an additional fee for in-home sessions. 

I like to schedule newborn sessions in the morning since that’s when they tend to be most content.  We also need to consider your newborn’s feeding schedule.  I like for babies to be well-fed before beginning the session, as they're usually sleepy when they have a full tummy.      


How long do newborn sessions last?

Newborn sessions take between 2-3 hours.  It takes a lot of time and patience to get baby just right in those cute poses.  This also allows time for feedings and soothing in case baby gets fussy or hungry.    


How should I dress baby to come to your studio?

It's best to dress baby in a button-up or zip-up sleeper.  Preferably a loose-fitting one.  If baby arrives sleepy in his/her car seat and then you have to remove shoes and socks, pants, and take clothes off over baby's head - it almost always wakes them up.  Instead, it's simpler to zip down and slip-off pajamas while baby remains asleep.  And if the pajamas and diaper are loose-fitting, then ideally there won't be many lines left behind on baby's skin. 


How should I dress for the session?

I highly recommend dressing in layers or wearing something light.  To keep your newborn in a deep sleep, I use a space heater to keep the room nice and WARM. We all will be sweating, but we need to keep baby nice and warm so he/she will sleep.  If mom/dad/siblings plan to be in pictures, you can bring extra clothes to change into when it's your turn.  It's best to wear something comfortable and simple if parents/siblings plan to be in the pictures.  Solid colors usually work well as they're less distracting than stripes and patterns.


What do I need to bring?

Extra bottles - If you are bottle feeding, make sure to bring extra bottles (i.e. more than one extra).  Most babies tend to eat more than normal during their photo session, so it's best to be prepared with extras.  And if you are breastfeeding, I will provide a private environment for you to feed your baby. 

Pacifier - Don't forget to bring a pacifier, as they can come in very handy to soothe a fussy baby.  Some pacifiers can leave red marks on baby's mouth, so try to select one that doesn't cause that, if possible.  The 'soothie' kind from the hospital is preferred.

Extra clothes for yourself - It is normal for babies to pee or poo during a session since they will typically be unclothed in some of the pictures...and that's ok!  I'll have plenty of wipes and towels in case there is a mess.  However, you may want to bring a change of clothes for yourself just in case.     

Props - I prefer to photograph newborns unclothed or swaddled, as they tend to swim in clothing at this point.  I have a variety of blankets, wraps, headbands, etc. so it is not necessary to bring anything except the baby.  If you plan to bringing a headband, hat or other prop, please let me know ahead of time so I can incorporate it into the session.


How can we get baby to sleep during the session?

I highly recommend trying to keep baby awake in the couple hours leading up to the session.  If baby has slept for a long stretch and then arrives at my studio, he/she just might be ready for a long awake period, which makes the job of getting baby sleepy that much harder.  Some tips to keep him/her awake are- play with baby, talk with baby, give baby a bath before the session - whatever it takes to keep baby alert for an hour or two.  Then, when baby arrives in my studio, he/she will be ready for a long nap!  However, if the baby is awake, we can always start by swaddling your baby and taking some ‘awake’ pictures.  In most cases the baby will fall asleep during the session, and we can capture some ‘sleeping’ pictures as well.


Is the anything else I should know?

I know the first few days after a having a newborn can be very stressful! I also know photo sessions can be stressful for parents as well. My goal is to get some memorable shots of your new baby. While doing that, I hope that you can relax, get a break, and enjoy the experience!