If you are here reading this, I will assume it's because you are an expecting parent thinking about booking a newborn portrait session. So, congratulations! Whether through birth, surrogacy, or adoption, welcoming a new baby is something truly remarkable and I am glad you've stopped by for some advice and to help clear some of your doubts.
As a mother of soon to be four, I know that a new addition to the family makes your heart swell with joy. A newborn session with a professional photographer is the best way to guarantee that those first tender moments after your little one's arrival are captured and preserved in the most beautiful way. If you are a new parent or booking a professional photoshoot for the first time, it can be confusing and even stressful. You might have questions about the process, or maybe you're not quite sure what exactly happens during a newbor session, or how to even find the right photographer. Not to worry.
I have asked my newborn photographer buddies (each with their unique style) for help and have gathered their best advice for you. Below are the most important things you should know when booking a photo session for your sweet bundle of joy. I've also included a sample from each of my talented photographer friends. Be sure to click on the links to see more of their amazing work because who doesn't love seeing beautiful photos of babies!
1. FIND THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER
When searching for your newborn photographer there are some important things to keep in mind. First, be aware that newborn portraiture is an investment. This is one of those times when money should not be the only deciding factor. Of course, that does not mean to ignore your budget completely, but there are other things to take into consideration. As with anything in life, you get what you pay for. Because your baby is only a tiny newborn once, you want to make sure that you select a photographer who will deliver the perfect images. It's best to hire someone who specializes in newborn portraits, rather than someone who does it all. This will guarantee that they have the right equipment, a solid portfolio, and plenty of experience. A good newborn photographer will prioritize your baby's safety and will be up to date on her vaccinations. You don't want to expose your little one's health. You also should make sure that the photographer's unique style fits yours, otherwise you may end up unhappy with the results. Take the time to look through the photographer's website, look at their previous work, look at the colors and textures that she showcases in her portfolio. If the images you see are what you would like to display in your home, then that is the right photographer for you.
-image by yours truly | Tender Nest Portraits in Houston, Texas
2. BOOK IN ADVANCED
It really is helpful to book in advance, preferably no later than the early stages of your last trimester. Most newborn photographers are booked at least 2-3 months ahead. While your photographer won't have your official session date yet, it ensures they will be able to fit you in when your baby arrives. It breaks my heart when I can't take clients because they've contacted me in their last days of pregnancy or when baby has already arrived.
-Brooke Drumm from Brooke Drumm Photography in Seattle
3. PLAN AHEAD
Plan ahead of time to make the day run smoothly. Take a few minutes to lay out everything you need for your session at least the night before. Getting out of the door takes a little longer with a new baby and you never know when the unexpected blow out or feeding will occur. You don't want to be frazzled when you come for your session, because [then] your baby will feel stressed too.
-Brittany Bennion from Brittany Bennion Photography in Ann Arborn
4. KEEP BREASTFEEDING IN MIND
Moms who are breastfeeding should avoid drinking caffeine the night before and until the session. Some babies can be sensitive to caffeine and this can affect their ability to sleep and go into poses for the session. Sleepy and fed babies, will be happier to be photographed. Once baby arrives for the session, after you are done feeding is a perfect time to sit, relax, and treat yourself to a coffee while baby is being photographed.
-Chelsey Shaw from Chelsey Shaw Photography in Tacoma
5. TO MAKE THINGS EASIER
Feed baby as much as you can before you leave your home, and dress baby in loose fitting zipper onesies. The car ride will put baby to sleep and when you arrive to your session, your photographer can undress baby without disturbing him or her and get right to work!
-Reina Procee from Reina Procee Photography in Montreal
6. BE PATIENT
A newborn session is no quick affair. Newborns dictate the flow of the session and how long it takes. Be prepared to spend 2-3 hours with your photographer. It takes time and patience to get baby into those adorable poses.
-Danielle Gores from Danielle Gores Photography in Anoka, MN
Don't stress. Don't worry if your baby cries or is fussy, the session is long for that reason, and it's normal for babies to cry! Be patient and trust your photographer. Don't stress.
-Lauren McCormick from Lauren McCormick Photography in Frederick, Maryland