Hi all! Now that I’ve been photographing newborns for several years, I’ve found that I’ve really gotten into a flow with my newborn sessions. It helps so much to start out with a plan for all of the poses and props I’m going to use, and I have everything set up before my little clients arrive.
Before the session, I ask my clients what colors they prefer to use. I have, literally, hundreds of baby hats, blankets and props, and because there’s so much to choose from, it’s nice to coordinate those things so that the photos look good when they are put together later for an announcement or a wall display. Usually we match the colors to the nursery (or maybe another room they have in mind for the photos).
Little Jesse’s nursery has mint green walls and pops of brown and tan. Because there’s already so much mint green in the room, we decided to mostly use brown and tan (with one little mint green hat thrown in for good measure). His session is featured below.
When the family arrives, the first thing we do is make sure the little one has a full belly. Newborn babies with full bellies are (90% of the time) super sleepy and relaxed. Next, we talk about the family photos, which I always do first because the studio is hot (around 85 degrees), and I don’t want the parents to be sweating in the photos. Doing the family photos first also allows the parents to relax the rest of the time. I even have a guest bedroom beside the studio where parents are welcome to nap if they want to escape the heat and catch up on their much-needed zzz’s.
For the family photos, I give the parents the option of swaddling their baby or having the baby nude. I explain there’s a 50/50 chance they’ll get peed or pooped on if the baby is naked. They usually choose the swaddle. LOL! I only photograph new mommies from the chest up, so you needn’t worry about your baby belly.
Not sure about doing the family photos? Remember, the family photos are for your baby, not for you! How great would it be to have a portrait of your mom holding you as a baby? Also, people are going to be taking photos of you and your baby all throughout the first few months. It might as well be someone who knows how to make you look good, right?!
Here are Jesse’s family photos!
Jesse loves his mom and dad!! Those smiles are too sweet!
Next, we move onto the solo newborn portraits. Based on the colors we’ve chosen for the session, sometimes I will pose a swaddled baby on a flokati blanket prior to taking off the swaddle. Jesse was still awake at this point, so this made for some really great portraits of him!
Such fun expressions! Doesn’t he look just like a Jesse, too? His name fits perfectly!
Next, we go to the first blanket backdrop. Here, we’ll do the first three poses – side-lying, tushie-up, and hands under the chin (I need a better name for this one!). I will usually pose the baby first, photograph the baby in that pose, and then add a hat, wrap or other props in. I’ll shoot these from several different angles to try to capture both how tiny they are and show off all of their amazing little features.
After those three poses, we move onto the first prop, which is usually a bucket, bed or bowl where baby is on their stomach. This makes for an easy transition from the last pose. I just pick them up from the blanket and move them straight over to the prop in the same pose or do some little modifications to get the baby into the correct position. One of the parents (usually dad) sits beside the baby while I do these photos.
Next, we go back to another blanket backdrop. For this session, we stuck with cream, but this is often where we’ll introduce a color or darker backdrop. We’ll do three more poses here – taco, froggie, and what I call the “Home Alone” pose. 😉
To finish up, we’ll move onto two more props, both on the baby’s back. I love saving these for the end because it’s easy to add a swaddle if the baby decides to wake up. They’re also really great for capturing detail shots of the hands and feet.
Newborn sessions usually last around 3 hours, but can be shorter or longer depending on how sleepy the baby is. After the session, the work continues with a lot of cleanup (there’s usually a lot of laundry to do, and I’m usually a bit of a mess as well!), and then the editing which can take anywhere from 6-10 hours depending on the baby’s skin (some babies may have a little peeling, baby acne, stork bites, and jaundice to retouch).
In the end, you’ll have these beautiful portraits to remember your baby’s first few weeks in this world. They grow so fast! I love photographing these beautiful new souls! 🙂
If you’re interested in scheduling a session, please contact me as soon as possible! I’m currently scheduling for late-November and beyond.
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