Preparing for your Newborn Photo Session - Stacy Washburn Photography


How to Get the Most Out of Your Newborn Session

Thank you for trusting me to capture photographs of your lil’ one during these special first days.  I’ve compiled a few tips below to help us get the very best out of your upcoming newborn session for you, baby, and any siblings you may want to participate.

When to Schedule:
Please try to schedule your newborn session prior to the baby’s birth. I know your mind will be on other things, but when you think of it, shoot me a text to let me know as soon as your little one is here.

Timing is Everything:
The most successful newborn photos sessions take place in the first 14 days following birth. The BEST newborn sessions are between 5-10 days and this is my preferred schedule. The posing and curled positions are most successful with a sleepy newborn and after those first two weeks, baby doesn’t sleep as deeply and tends to stretch out more than sleep as tightly curled as they did during the pregnancy.

Location:
All newborn sessions take place in the home. If the weather is mild and you would like to do part or all of the session outdoors, there is nothing sweeter than a new baby with a backdrop of trees, flowers, or water.  Please don’t fuss about housework or the tidiness. I don’t want this session to disrupt you or baby any more than necessary.  Besides, this session is all about you and baby not laundry.

Communication:
You and I will talk several times prior to your session.  You are free to call me or email me at any time as well.  It is important that I understand what your wishes are for the images as well as any concerns about baby's safety or comfort. Remember, my top priorities are baby's safety and comfort and images your love. Please let me know if you are keeping a Pinterest board of your ideas for poses or photos you have collected for inspiration. I will be sure to follow your board and check your pins out to see if we can capture some of those.

Let There Be Light:   
Whenever possible, nature light lends itself to the prettiest photos. When I arrive, you and I will take a look around to find the best light possible in the home. This may be a doorway, sliding glass door, or in front of a window. The best times of day for nature light in the home is early morning or late afternoon. Don’t worry if natural light is not available or it is an overcast day, I will bring lighting with me.

It's Getting Hot In Here:
Turn Off the AC Ceiling fans!  Blowing AC and being cool will upset the baby quickly and will not allow us to keep baby warm enough for sleepy baby. I remove most to all of baby’s clothing for the photos and they are used to be bundled up in blankets. Please turn the AC off at least 30 minutes prior to my arrive. It’s Florida and I know it sounds horrible to have the AC off in the summer but trust me, nothing fails a shoot faster than a chilly room. I may also use a small space heater if needed to warm up the session area.

Clothing Marks:
Because most of the photos being taken are with a naked or close to naked baby, please be sure to loosen up baby’s diaper and clothing at least 30 minutes prior to my arrival. This will let those creases and marks fade prior to taking pictures. If there are marks, no worries as I will remove these in post processing but I really do prefer to limit editing baby’s skin. Helping baby sleep In order to take the photos you and I both are hoping for,  baby needs to be in a deep sleep. To help us achieve this, please try to keep baby awake a little more than usual for two hours prior to the photo shoot. I know you and baby both need lots of rest so I will be punctual and try to move quickly through the session.  

Feeding When I Arrive:
I will have you feed and burp baby so they are full, content and a little milk-drunk. This will help  baby sleep soundly and posing will be easy. We will stop the session as often as necessary for baby to eat. It is not uncommon for there to be several mini-feedings during a session as baby is getting lots of stimuli they are not used to.  We will stop for feeding, soothing, and  cuddling as often as we need to keep baby and mommy comfortable.

Mommy and Baby Photos:
You may not feel up to photographs after having just delivered your little bundle of joy but this really is a perfect time to get some photos with your newborn that won’t come around again as they grow so fast. It is my focus to make sure you look and feel as beautiful as possible. Trust the process and let’s be sure to include you in the session. Please keep clothing choices simple and without much pattern. Light colors work best. I would also like you to consider skin-on-skin photos as these are stunning. I will be very discrete and no intimate areas will show. If you are a nursing mother, you may want to have some shots that capture that as well.

Daddy and Baby Photos:
If daddy is going to participate, please have him dress similarly to the description above. Attention will also be paid to hand shots with the baby. Please have a black shirt on hand for a few pictures. There are a few poses I like to try to get that have the parent blend into the backdrop. A black shirt will work for these.

Patience and No-Stress:
The photo session can last 1-4 hours depending on baby and the location. Please don’t worry or feel stressed. This is the normal time frame and there is a lot of feed, burp, wait, take pictures, and repeat. This is a fun process but it can be a long afternoon and I want this to be as peaceful and stress-free as possible. Please let me know if you are getting overtired or need a break. If you need to rest or leave the room, please feel comfortable to do so. Baby will sense your stress so it is important you are comfortable. Baby is very sensitive to you.  Your stress, your smell, and voice are so recognizable to baby and it may be necessary for you to step out of the room for a portion of the session if baby is having difficulty staying settled. I will be very careful with baby and am comfortable handing them. I want you to tell me immediately if anything is making you uncomfortable.
 
White Diapers or Diaper Cover:
Because baby will be nude for some poses, please don’t worry if potty accidents happen. I try to time the photos without the diaper for after a bowel movement but it is a “crap shoot” (pun intended) and is nothing to worry about. My blankets and props are laundered after each session. For shots that include the diaper, white diapers or a white diaper cover are best. These are hard to find so don’t worry if you can’t find them as I have diaper covers in my bag.

Props, Costumes, and Knick-Knacks:
I have a small collection of outfits, headbands, hats, and minimal props that I will bring with me. Less is more and I do not use a lot of props or strong colors in my session as they tend to overpower the baby in the pictures and often won’t stand the test of time for wanting photos displayed down the road. If you have something that is special to you, a family heirloom, or a prop you would like included, please have these gathered and ready when I arrive. I will try to use them in some shots for you.

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