Hello, Lovelies – I’ll be writing today about how to get the most out of your newborn session. This is actually the 3rd of this series of blog posts – you can read the Child/Family version here and the Product version here. Some of these topics will be specific to my studio, procedures, style and point of view – but even if you haven’t chosen me to be your newborn photographer – there might be some helpful tidbits in here for you regardless.
First I’ll be addressing some frequently asked questions:
I’m not due for another 6 months – how am I able to schedule a newborn session when I don’t know when my baby will be here? Babies tend to come whenever they feel like it – they might come before their due date or well after their due date, even if you have a scheduled induction or c-section – baby might have other plans. What we do is schedule your due date, and then I’m “on call” for your session. You’ll contact me within 48 hours of baby being born to set up your actual session date and time which will take place when baby is between 5-10 days old.
I didn’t know that I had to schedule my newborn session before my baby is even born – why is that? I take a certain number of babies due each month. Each newborn session comes with a number of hours that goes into prepping for the session, editing the images from the session and preparing your image gallery for viewing. I take a limited number to allow for the workload each newborn entails so that I can meet my deadline for each client. The other very important reason is that there is a very small window for a newborn session – it has to be done before baby reaches 2 weeks old, though I prefer to do before 10 days old. After this point, they start to become more alert and stretched out of their default fetal position – I need very sleepy, flexible babies to get them into all of the sweet womb-like poses you see in my work.
What do I need to bring for the session? You need to bring the baby, a means to feed the baby, and maybe a receiving blanket and a pacifier and that’s it. I provide all of the accessories – hats, headbands, little pants, rompers etc. I have vendors that specialize in making high-end props, accessories and clothing made to fit newborns properly, and made to photograph perfectly. Newborn clothes that you can buy in the store are not flattering for your studio newborn pictures. I do make exceptions for tightly fitting sleepers for lifestyle (in-home) sessions only. If you have a sentimental item such as a quilt or wedding veil or Daddy’s police uniform, etc that you would like to incorporate into the session, absolutely bring it with you and I will do my very best to work it into your session in a tasteful, beautiful way.
Should I send you pictures of newborn photo ideas that I found on Pinterest? Haha..oh boy. I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. How can an expectant mother be expected to NOT look at newborn photos on Pinterest – I get it. There ARE some great examples on Pinterest, and then there are some really terrible, cheesy and unsafe examples on Pinterest. So, if there’s something that you really, really love the idea of – by all means, send me a link (please limit yourself to just two or three lol) and I will work out a way to give you a similar, and hopefully much better version of it. HOWEVER, I’m assuming if you’ve hired me, you’ve done so because you love my work and I hope you’ll trust me to give you even better than “Pinterest-worthy” photos of your new baby.
Now, let’s wrap this all together with WHY you’re getting newborn pictures done. Thanks to Pinterest and Buzzfeed and other internet portals, we’ve all seen just what can be done with newborns. Please understand, that just because we CAN, doesn’t mean we SHOULD. Sure, I’ll turn your newborn into a mermaid – if you have a mermaid themed nursery for her. I’ll hang your baby from an apple tree branch – if your family owns an apple orchard and that’s something special and significant to you. I will SAFELY create an image of your newborn baby in a glass bowl filled with candy – if you’re a candy shop owner. See what I’m saying? As photographers, and sometimes parents, we tend to take advantage of a newborn’s teeny, squishy, flexible form and photograph them in crazy, albeit, creative ways just because we can and it’s cool and not because it holds emotional value.
Now let’s say that I agreed to photograph your baby in every cool scenario we could imagine – on the beach in her mermaid tail, hanging from a rainbow, coming out the top of a tier of cupcakes with a cherry on his head. Where would you even display those pictures? Do you have cupcake wallpaper in your foyer? A beach themed hallway? RAINBOWS??
I create these images for you so that you can display them beautifully in your home. I make them versatile so that if you repaint or remodel or move houses, you’ll always have a place to hang these pictures that tug on your heart every time you pass by them. I create them so that they’re timeless – when you look back on them in 20 years, you won’t be distracted by whatever the trend was back when – all you’ll see is your beautiful baby.
Your newborn pictures should be about your newborn. Their tiny noses, wrinkly feet, the peach fuzz on their ears. They’re for you to remember just how small they were in your arms, how much hair they had, what their breath felt like when you held them against your chest and how sweet they smelled to you.
Newborn photography is really, really cool – but let’s stay focused on what matters.