Preparing for Your Newborn Photoshoot
Newborn sessions MUST be scheduled within the first 14 days of life. However, I have found the BEST time is between 5-12 days old for many babies.
We’ll be moving them around and scrunching them into those sweet sleepy newborn poses, so we want to make sure they’re sleepy enough to allow us to handle them.
Plus, babies just tend to do a lot better with the session within their first days of life.
Somewhere around day 8 they discover the joy that is stretching! Once that happens…they’re not about to let us get them into those curly poses without a fight!
After day 14, it’s almost impossible to get baby into that deep sleep that came so easily in their first few days…so it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to get them into any of the more bendy newborn poses.
And, keep in mind that newborn acne (and sometimes colic) is likely to flare up after day 14. While we can easily edit problem areas, we prefer to do as little retouching as possible to baby’s skin.
Our newborn sessions can typically take place in Kamilah's home studio. There is a $150 travel fee for those who prefer the shoot completed at their home. All we need is a large window where the sun is unobstructed by trees or fences.
Don't worry if your home is a mess! You just had a BABY! We completely understand. We won't need a lot of space, but may have to move some furniture around. If so, don't worry, we will put it all back when we are finished!
The home studio is very warm and if you choose to have us shoot at your home please plan to keep your home a bit warmer than usual during the session. A toasty 80 degrees or so will do!
Newborns are used to being all bundled up, warm, and cozy…and then we come in and yank off all their clothes for those adorable naked baby shots. They tend not to like that too much!
Pushing up the thermostat is guaranteed to make the session flow more smoothly and help them sleep better. We may be sweating, but baby will be nice and warm…and that’s really all that matters!
If we are meeting at your home please crank the heat up 30 minutes before the session to ensure that it’s warm enough. We also have a space heater to ensure that baby is extra cozy.
Please loosen your baby’s diaper and clothing at least 30 minutes before the session. This gives time for little imprint marks to disappear.
MOMMY I'M SLEEPY!... PERFECT!
The poses we place your baby in work best if the baby is in a deep sleep. To encourage this, we recommend that you do whatever you can to make sure baby is nice and exhausted by the time of the session. Try to keep your little one awake 3 hours prior. We know it may be torture with the lack of rest you've been receiving, but it will be worth it in the end!
A well fed baby is a happy baby! Please feed and burp baby right before our session to ensure a happy, sleepy (“milk drunk”) baby. We try to keep our sessions to 1-2hrs. However, we will be happy to take as many breaks as needed to help him/her re-fuel. It’s tough work being a model!
TURN DOWN THE VOLUME
Please do whatever you can to keep the noise level to a minimum during our session. If you have other children that might create noise, try to find a sitter or family member to take them away from the home for a few hours. If you have a noisy pet, you may want to do the same. We’ll bring a white noise machine, but it doesn’t always block out tantrums and playtime.
* If you have children and would like them to be included in some photos, we recommend bringing them in at the beginning or end of a session and then having someone take them. Only those being photographed should be present to help maintain a calm environment.
PATIENCE IS KEY
Although our sessions are a bit shorter than most newborn sessions, they can last up to 2-3 hours. It all depends on baby’s mood and willingness to sleep. Unfortunately…this isn’t something we can predict! We ask that everyone remain calm, should he/she not want to sleep, since your baby will pick up on any frustration in the room. And if sleep doesn’t happen, that’s okay! Wide-eyed newborn photos are beautiful too.
Let me say it again… Relaxxx!
We’re pretty comfortable holding and posing newborns. Kamilah has several years of experience working with babies and toddlers. Your baby is in safe hands, we promise!
So yes! Feel free to rest and leave the room for a bit if you’d like. We’ve had parents who’ve used this time to take a nap, shower, go to another room and watch a quiet movie…and even run out for a quick lunch. All totally acceptable to us! If we have a question or need you for feeding, we’ll call you.
IN CASE YOU MISSED THAT: RELAX!
Moms tend to stress out because this is a new experience…and they aren’t used to the waiting game that is newborn photography.
They see their baby being fussy or having a difficult time getting settled and panic.
“This is a disaster! They aren’t going to get ANY good photos!”
It isn’t, and we will!
We take the baby’s lead; getting them to sleep before posing takes time and they may need to be fed or cuddled a few times first. In fact, we’d say that a good 50% of your session will involve feeding, diaper changes, and cuddling to get baby comfortable. If that doesn’t work, we’ll take a break or we’ll work with what baby is giving us. Sometimes that best photos happen when baby isn’t doesn’t what we want.
Just remember: Babies can sense stress and anxiety (especially from their mommy’s!) It’s super important that EVERYONE remain calm and relaxed during this session. Keeping the environment as mellow as possible is pretty much the only way we’re going to get the shots we’re looking for.
Your baby is going to be undressed for the majority of this shoot. Please don’t panic if your baby decides to use our blankets (or us) as his/her own personal potty.
This is natural and we expect it! Please don’t feel embarrassed or worry when this happens, because they all do it.
We wash all of our baby props and blankets between each session with non-scented detergent.
If at your home, it would definitely be helpful if you had a stack of old towels, extra wipes and blankets available for when things get messy though.
*If you would like shots in a diaper, it’s a good idea to have a cloth diaper, diaper cover in a solid color, bloomers, or something to put over the diaper. Diapers on their own tend to look a little messy and distracting in photos, but throwing a cover over it cleans things up.