Ahhh! The joy of baby’s first pictures or first family pictures. It can be a really great experience, or it can be very stressful.
With years of experience, I cannot stress enough these tips for newborns. And while “mother knows best”, if people follow my tips – we’ll make some GREAT pictures.
FEED BABY RIGHT BEFORE SESSION
I know that as new moms, you try to get your new baby on a schedule. However, I definitely suggest feeding baby 15 minutes before session. A baby with a full tummy truly seems like a happy and peaceful baby. When parents don’t follow this advice, we are spending our session time feeding the unhappy baby and that’s not the best use of our time.
As hard as this may be, keep your baby awake 90 minutes before session. This will be hard, they will be tired, but it will be worth it. It works! When the photographer arrives for your session, your baby is fed and tired. These make peaceful portraits and we want those peaceful portraits.
SHOW UP EARLY ESPECIALLY IF HE ISN’T DRESSED
This is just making the best of our time. I understand we don’t want baby spit up in the car, but just show up early to location so we can be prepared for changing him into his photo shoot outfit.
IT IS BEST TO GET NEWBORN PICTURES WITHIN FIRST TWO WEEKS OF BIRTH
While being a mom myself, I know it is hard to want to get out and take pictures with the baby in just two weeks. I sympathize with the new mom still getting adjusted. As photographers, we like those peaceful portraits of new baby, and this is the time they sleep most and it does make the best “pinterest worthy” portraits. Trust me, mom will like those portraits, too.
BE PREPARED TO BE IN THE PORTRAIT
Even if you didn’t schedule a family session, your hands may end up in the photo. We may be trying to capture little feet or little hands holding your finger. So if you worry about how your nails look, prepare ahead of time.
GET YOUR INFANT USED TO YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER EARLY ON
Always ask your photographer in the beginning of your newborn session if they do discounted rates for the rest of your baby’s milestone portraits (3 month, 6 month, 9 month, and a year). Once that little guy starts walking, sometimes between the age of 1 and 4 they can become afraid of who they aren’t used to and it doesn’t make easy portraits at times.
Don’t go overboard. Sometimes it is the simplest dressing of the baby that make the best portraits. Remember we want to focus on baby, not on their clothing. Bring a beanie to soften his face. Don’t attach the diaper too tight to avoid any diaper marks on their tummy if we plan do some portraits just in little clothing such as swaddling him in a wrap or blanket. Always plan ahead and have another outfit in the diaper bag for leaks or spit ups.
BRING SOMETHING PERSONAL TO YOUR SESSION
Maybe you got something early on for baby and had it in your maternity portraits, like a stuffed animal. Bring a favorite stuffed animal, a special blanket, etc. to incorporate into your photos to personalize your session. You’ll look back on those little things and cherish the portraits even more.