New baby? Check. Found the perfect newborn photographer? Check. Excited about the upcoming newborn photo shoot? Double check!
So you're eagerly awaiting the big day: your newborn photo shoot! If you've been following our series on newborn photography, you already know how to go about finding the perfect newborn photographer and how to think on your feet if your newborn session isn't quite going the way you'd want it to. But do you know what to expect from your session in the first place, so that there are no last minute surprises?
Your comprehensive guide to newborn photo shoots!
Preparing for your session...
For starters, most professional photographers will require you to book your session in advance since they work with your 'due date' and not the actual session date. This is so that your newborn photographer has a time frame they can work with, since babies tend to have their own plans for arrival (among other things!). Have someone get in touch with your photographer as soon as the baby is born, since most newborn shoots take place within the first two weeks- this is when babies sleep better, don't have reflux or colic and usually haven't developed baby acne or cradle cap. While booking your photographer, you would have already discussed your expectations from the session and covered the basics like location, any props to be used and any questions you may have had. Go over them again so that you're both on the same page.
Want pics of cute baby feet? Tell your photographer beforehand!
During the session...
Once the session date has been arranged your photographer will likely give you a few guidelines on when to feed the baby so that he or she is in a sleepy, happy state (perfect for those adorable baby pics!); suggestions on what to dress baby in and what outfits you and your spouse could pick as well. Every photographer is different, so try and follow their suggestions for a smooth session. At the same time, don't feel pressured to follow any 'rules'. You need to do what works best for you and your baby; and your photographer will be happy to accommodate your preferences.
Most newborn photo shoots are between 2-4 hours in length; the time varies depending on the baby and the photographer. Your photographer will be working with your baby to get the best poses and clicks, so as long as your newborn's comfort and safety is taken care of, sit back, relax and go with the flow as they do their job.
Your photographer will likely click a mix of pictures of the baby in different poses as well as relationship poses with the parents and siblings (if any). Don't be alarmed if you think they're clicking millions of pictures- this is so they can select the best of the crop and does NOT mean you have to pay for every single click! Your photographer may also require you to sign a model release at the end of your session, to allow them to use your images for their professional portfolio.
YOU are going to be in the spotlight too with your newborn :)
Most newborn photo shoots tend to take place in warm locations, because newborns are unable to regulate their body temperature, so be prepared to sweat! Dress baby and yourself in layers so that you’re both comfortable. If there are any special outfits or props that you want included in your session, don't forget to discuss them beforehand.
Cute baby props? Bring them on!
Your newborn photographer will ensure you get enough comfort breaks to feed baby and keep him/ her well rested; use these to ensure that all the baby basics are taken care of such as a full tummy and a clean nappy. And even if there are some nappy accidents, don't fret! Your newborn baby photographer has been there, done that and you need not get upset; just keep industrial quantities of cleaning stuff handy!
After your session, your photographer will need some time to sort through, edit and select the best images. Post this, they may invite you to their studio for a viewing or host them online in a private gallery for you to view. This is a good time to discuss various purchase and printing options before you move on to the most important step of all- relax, sit back and enjoy the images of the priceless moments you have captured!
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