Are you expecting and beginning to look into newborn photography? Or perhaps your bundle of joy has already arrived (congrats!) and you’re ready to embark on capturing some sweet images of your newborn baby?
Regardless of where you’re at, it’s natural for you to have a lot of questions which is why we created “Newborn Photography 101 – Everything You Need To Know + More”. Use this blog as a guide to get the scoop on everything newborn photography and what to expect during a newborn photography session:
What is a newborn photo session?
This is when you hire a professional photographer to capture your baby’s first few days here on earth!
There are two types of newborn sessions:
1. Studio Sessions where babies are posed and the photographer has professional lighting, props, backdrops, outfits, headbands, hats, loveys, etc. and will style the entire session.
2. Lifestyle Newborn Photography where the photographer will come to your home and capture real unposed memories with your newborn.
When Should You Take Newborn Photos?
It truly depends on the type of newborn photography. Studio photography is where you pose the baby in different positions and do naked shots of the infant when they are about 7-14 days old (give or take a few days).
If a newborn photographer takes the baby’s photo before they reach 7 days old they are usually pretty red, or still jaundiced. However, when the baby is around the 7-14 day mark their natural color is coming in and they are still pretty sleepy and prone to the fetal position making it easier to pose.
The older they are the less sleep they get and it can be challenging to pose them. In this case, I offer a Wrapped Session; this type of session allows me to photograph babies who are a little older. Babies loved to be swaddled! With this session, we won’t pose the baby, but we will style them in different wraps, apply multiple wrap techniques, and incorporate unique props. If you’re interested in this type of session, I would recommend booking the session as soon as possible.
Newborn Photography 101 Pro tip: It’s also important to note that once you pass that first trimester, it’s a good time to secure a session so the photographer can guarantee a spot for you. We don’t know when the baby will arrive (even though we have a due date). Once you secure a date with the photographer, they will adjust the session date based on the baby’s actual day of birth. Newborn photographers only take a limited amount of sessions per month as they must leave space in their calendars open in case the baby arrives early or late.
Why should you get Newborn Photos taken? To capture and keep as a memory for you and your child! These are fleeting moments that you’ll never get back again. They will love looking back at these portraits and they will be passed down from generation to generation. These images can be hung around the home as portraits and bring joy to everyone when they see that precious newborn!
What should you expect during a newborn session?
The photographer should give you a Prep Guide before the session to let you know what to expect, how to prepare your baby, and directions to their studio.
Newborn Photography 101 Pro tip: Feeding the baby before leaving for the session is important as they are usually happier and sleepier with a full belly. Make sure to burp baby, too! Having a gassy baby = having a fussy baby. Put your little one in a zip-up sleeper with no onesie on underneath. That way when the photographer is ready to take your baby out of the car seat, they can just unzip the sleeper and start getting them dressed in the outfits that they have styled for them.
This will be less disturbing for your baby as we don’t want to wake them up. They usually arrive at the studio asleep as most babies love car rides, or are drowsy from a full feeding prior to leaving home. The studio will be heated to 80 degrees. This will keep the baby comfortable especially since we are changing the baby several times and even doing naked shots of the newborn. Parents can wear comfy clothes (preferably layers as it will get hot in the studio). You can expect a fully posed session to last up to 2-3 hours. This allows plenty of time to change the baby, pose the baby, feed, soothe, or change the baby if needed, and transition from posing to props, etc. I typically start the session with just the newborn since they are sleeping soundly I want to pose them right away. Then we will do the parent shots at the end.
Some clients will bring a change of clothes and change before they get photographed so their clothes are not wrinkled. If this isn’t your 1st baby and you want to include family and siblings in the photographs, we will start the session with the family and sibling shots first. That way, Dad can take the siblings home after we get the shots as it’s very hard for them to sit through a 2-3 hour session in the heat. I have an assistant that will spot the baby while the baby is being photographed so the baby is safe at all times. That way clients can relax during the session. Many clients will watch Netflix and some will even take a nap!
What Should I Do with my Newborn Photos?
Share them on social media, such as Facebook or Instagram! Most parents are so proud of their new bundle of joy and love sharing special milestones with friends and family. Friends and family also love seeing photos of a baby as it brings so much happiness.
You can also use the photos to make formal announcements! Most 1st time moms will have a baby shower, I always recommend sending an announcement to all of those guests that came to your baby shower so they know the baby is born! Some have them printed and others send them digitally.
If you have a full-service photographer (like myself) your photographer will assist you with ordering portraits for your home. Do you want some to frame? Do you want to hang a collage of images in your family room? Do you want some images in the nursery? I personally, will style the entire session based on where you will hang the images in your home so they will flow nicely with your home decor!
There is also a neat program we can use where we have you take a photo of the wall, with the measurements and we will show you what your favorite images would look like on your wall, and what sizes would work best. That way you can see it before you purchase to know if you’ll like the size. Many clients also love putting all the images from the newborn session in an album! There are several styles of beautiful professionally made albums. These are great to leave on your coffee table so your guests can look through these gorgeous images of your baby. Some of my clients have also made the decision to gift a smaller album to the grandparents because they love having their own images of their grandbaby to share with friends and family.
Newborn photography may be more challenging than most other forms of photography, but it’s totally worth it. Getting to capture such hope and love, from the baby is a wonderful experience. Here is another valuable resource on newborn photography to read.
If you would like to schedule a milestone session you can contact me today to schedule an appointment or you can learn more about milestone photo sessions with Joanna Andres Photography here. View my photo gallery here to get an idea of what types of photos we could produce for you and your baby!