WHETHER YOU’VE JUST BROUGHT NEW LIFE INTO THE WORLD AND ARE READING THIS NEWBORN GUIDE THROUGH THE BLEARY EYES OF SLEEP-DEPRIVATION, OR YOU’RE EXCITEDLY ANTICIPATING THE ARRIVAL OF A NEW TINY FAMILY MEMBER, I JUST WANTED TO SAY CONGRATULATIONS!
I AM BEYOND HONORED TO BE ABLE TO CAPTURE THIS INCREDIBLE TIME IN YOUR LIVES.
CARVING OUT THE TIME TO DOCUMENT AND RECOGNIZE THIS TRANSITION IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS YOU CAN DO. AND, AS YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER, I AM HERE TO SUPPORT YOU IN ANY WAY I CAN. THIS GUIDE IS MY WAY OF SAYING, “I’VE GOT YOU.” I’VE CRAFTED IT TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS, CALM YOUR FEARS, AND ADDRESS YOUR UNCERTAINTY.
I CAN’T WAIT TO MEET YOUR LITTLE ONE.
Week one and two of your baby’s life is magic. Of course all of the weeks are magic, but during these first two weeks, newborns are squishy, flexible, sleep more, and are still adjusting to the world outside of the womb. Often, their skin is still clear, and their bodies are shaped as if they’re still in utero – making it easier to get them into position. In order for us to get organized for a shoot this soon after their birthday, I’ll need your due date. In a lot of cases, babies will arrive whenever they want to and I couldn’t possibly expect them to abide by our schedule. What I usually ask is for you to go ahead and book your due date for baby. This gets you on my calendar, gets me looking ahead, and I also check in if I haven’t heard from you. But, once your baby is born, shoot me a text as soon as you can and we can lock in the exact time and date.
If you, understandably, have been spinning too many plates on the roller coaster ride of pre- and post- birth to lock in a date before the second week of your baby’s life, don’t worry. We can still make it work. Older babies might be a little more resistant to the swaddle, or naps, or being held by someone they don’t know, but the success of older newborn shoots are completely dependent on the personality of your little individual. However, If your baby is nine weeks or older, I might tell you to come back to me at four months. Nine weeks – four months is a pretty complicated time for a baby’s development, as they’re still not able to hold their head or sit up by themself, making it hard to get professional photographs of them in that time frame. I would suggest capturing lots of photographs of them at home with a camera and trying your hand at catching them while they’re not looking. 😉
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 the tips on the next few pages that I have created for newborns. And while “mother knows best”, if you follow my tips – this usually ensures we will get some great looking peaceful baby looking photos.
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.
KEEP YOUR BABY AWAKE 90 MINUTES BEFORE YOUR SESSION
This will be hard, they will be tired, but it will be worth it. It works! When I arrive for your session, your baby is fed and tired. As soon as I arrive and start setting up, you want to be trying to get baby to sleep. This usually gives them that time to get in a deep sleep before I actually start photographing, giving us peaceful portraits and it makes it to where I can easily pose baby.
- Also, during this time consider a lavender bath for your baby to relax him toward the end of the 90 minutes
- Once I have arrived and am setting up, have baby swaddled and lying on a heating pad to help soothe him to sleep faster.
- I’d recommend dressing your baby in a front-fastening, cosy sleep-suit just before the shoot so that when we’re ready to start, it’ll be easy to get them out of it without waking them up.
- I bring an assortment of neutral, textured swaddles and wraps so that we can change throughout the session. If you have something you want to include, just let me know.
- If you, like me, are a sucker for those little belly rolls, chipmunk cheeks, and tiny toes, it might be fun to get a few shots of baby in the nude if they cooperate, however, please note that sometimes as soon as we unwrap a baby – they can squirm and not be so happy. So really I usually save those type of photos for the end to see if we can even make them happen.
- Gravitate towards gentle colors: pastels, light colors, or neutrals. Bright colors often look garish and intense on the delicate complexion of newborns.
- If you have chosen a newborn session that includes family, when it comes to family photos, try to complement, not match the colors baby is wearing. Wear neutrals with texture, like knits, linen, or cotton.
- Also, think about your hands. Most likely your hands will get put into the photos by holding baby’s head or even their tiny feet. So if you have chipped away finger nail polish, that will be distracting. So just be prepared to make your hands look good.
When choosing in-home sessions with Memories by Candace, you get the benefit of me coming to you.I know how hard it can be in adjusting with a newborn and wanting to get out of the house. So whether we have decided to have your session in-home or even outdoors at your own home, I try my best to be as mobile as I can be in coming to you.
When I arrive, I have a large suitcase filled with things I need for our newborn session including wraps, headbands, rugs, etc. I also come with baskets or crates to put baby in and a few pieces of vinyl wood flooring and background options (if I need it).
All other items you may want to include for personalization or a theme look, will be up to you. So if you want a boho look, have some pampas grass out for me or textured rugs or blankets you may have around the home. If you want certain sports or flowers incorporated, have those items out as well.
Otherwise, I love nothing more than to come in and scan your home/nursery to see if there is anything to add as well or even different textures I can use with our time together. This is what can sometimes make it so fun, when I get to create a look just for you.
With my in-home newborn options, I don’t come with a family sized background. We use the natural space around your home.
There are a couple of different ways we can do that.
If you have a natural lit wall space to do family photos, we can use that. If you know you want that wall background look, consider clearing out the room or wall space in a natural bright lit area for it.
Otherwise, we usually do more of lifestyle type in the master bedroom or nursery. Which can make for some adorable natural looking photos as well. You will just need to let me know what you are looking for when it comes to your family photos.
If you’d like to capture your little one with their proud new bigger siblings, you’ll probably need reinforcements. If your partner or one of your parents is available to come to the shoot, bring them!
I do like to have as few people as possible on set to try to cultivate a quiet, tranquil space for your newborn. So, I’ll be asking your reinforcements to look after the bigger siblings elsewhere (but close-by) until we are ready for them during the shoot. When we are ready, we’ll bring them into the calm baby zone. Usually this is at the final portion of our session, as baby is still getting into his deep sleep at the beginning.
There are two different options for newborn photography.
Your own home doesn’t need to be Instagrammable, it doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to have a window and some natural light. Come as you are, I will make it work.
Outdoor newborn photography is an up-and-coming niche, and it yields some pretty amazing outcomes. We can do this a local park or even at your own home. I will poke around and see what looks good when it comes to backgrounds around your home, or areas showing seasons.
Once we decide on location, we will make sure we have the perfect time scheduled for your session when baby arrives.
The actual most important priority for this whole shoot is your baby’s safety. I will never put your newborn in a position that is unsafe, unstable, or uncomfortable. I often do a lot of the posing and positioning, but I always do so with the utmost respect and treat each baby as if they were my own. I know that sometimes a lot of photographers can get caught up in wanting to “get the shot,” but I will never prioritize the shot over your baby.
To help things run smoothly, I would love for you to be an active part of our session. With you sitting right outside the shot, you’ll be able to check in and monitor your baby’s comfort level.
I will regularly touch base with you and let you know what’s coming next, discuss how we’ll transition to that pose, and narrate what I’m doing as I do it so you always know what’s going on.
AFTER THE SESSION
I’ll send you the full gallery within two weeks via a downloadable web gallery.
You’ll be able to create favorites lists, share online, or print and download your images to use for baby announcements, family newsletters, and cute framed images for your mantel.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this guide! I imagine you’ll have a few questions bouncing around your head, so give me a call and let’s talk through all the things.
These photographs are going to be incredibly sweet.
I can’t wait.