When should I schedule my newborn session?
Today! It is impossible to know how far out my schedule will fill up. Sometimes I’ll have availability in 3-4 weeks, and other times I book up several months in advance. After you find out you are expecting, call your parents, call your friends, and then call me 😉
I will tentatively schedule your session for your due date. As your due date approaches make sure to keep me filled in on any changes to your due date or if you schedule a c-section. Once you’re in labor you will need to call me so we can set a firm date on your newborn session! Please don’t wait until after you’ve left the hospital to call me… usually once the baby comes home family starts scheduling visits with you, and doctor appointments and lactation consultant appointments are made in the first two weeks. It can become difficult to get your session scheduled on time. Not to mention I need to get you in my schedule asap as I only schedule sessions certain days of the week.
If your baby was just born and is less than 14 days old, call me today! I may have availability to photograph your little one.
At what age should my baby be photographed?
A newborn is BEST to photograph in the first 14 days of life. I prefer 6-14 days old. That way baby will be sleepy and mold-able. I can get the sleeping and peaceful shots MUCH easier that way. After 14 days old, baby is typically more alert and baby acne and colic are common at that age.
If baby is 2-3 weeks old it is still possible to capture posed newborn images. It will require a lot of patience on both our parts, as baby sleeps less and lighter. The finished product will be well worth it!
Where will my session take place and how long will it last?
I offer newborn sessions in my NE Minneapolis studio.
The studio is very very warm as babies like to be warm and cozy, especially when they are naked. I like babies to have a full tummy so they sleep. If baby doesn’t sleep, don’t worry! The milk usually kicks in and if we are patient we can usually get the shots we want! I love awake babies too though! A newborn session usually lasts 3 hours, but depending on baby can take up to 4. I know, that sounds like a LONG time. It takes a great deal of patience to coax baby to sleep and gently pose. A large part of the session is spent from baby taking breaks to eat, being soothed to sleep and being gently/meticulously posed.
Are sessions scheduled at a specific time of day?
I like to schedule newborn sessions in the mornings usually between 10:30am-1:30pm. I will schedule you for a specific time after your baby is born and we have a firm session date scheduled.
How should I prepare for my session?
A full baby is a happy and sleepy baby! That’s how we want them! Sleeping babies are so fun! They let me mold and move them, curl them and pose them all while sleeping! This is a result of a full tummy and tired baby! If you can try and keep baby awake for 1-2 hours before your session, it will make baby sleepier for me when you arrive. Also have baby fed before you arrive and I’ll ask you to feed baby again once you get here if needed. I totally understand if you are on a schedule, however we may have to tweak it a bit. More feeding, sleeping and such. Baby will be calling the shots! Keeping baby happy will ensure the best pictures!
Also loosen diaper & clothing an hour or so before our session, it will help prevent red marks or diaper creases from showing up on baby’s photos. Avoid clothing baby in socks or pants the morning of the session as this clothing tends to leave marks on skin. Footie sleepers are a great clothing option for baby.
If you are breast feeding or formula feeding bring extra milk if possible. Babies always eat more during newborn photo sessions. We want your little one asleep and full, and running out of formula or milk with a hungry baby could cause a session to end short.
What should my baby wear?
The best outfit a baby has is their birthday suit! I love to photograph baby in little or nothing at all. With that being said, I EXPECT baby to make a mess on my blankets, floor and me. Don’t worry, it’s all washable! I have blankets, wraps, headbands and hats, and spend a great deal of time before your session coordinating colors, backdrops and props with accessories for each pose/shot. If there is a special blanket or accessory you would like to have your baby photographed with please let me know ahead of time so I can coordinate.
Also, as mentioned above, avoid clothing baby in socks or pants the morning of the session as this clothing tends to leave marks on skin. Footie sleepers are a great clothing option for baby for the drive to my studio.
Something comfortable and light to wear while I photograph baby. Keep in mind I keep my studio nice and warm. I will always make sure to do a family photo and/or a sibling photo so make sure to bring an extra shirt for this part of your session. Short sleeve shirts or button-up dress shirts are great for dad. Please no old undershirts! A basic cami for mom is great, or I have cream wraps at my studio I can wrap you in. White or very pale colors are best. No graphics, bold stripes or prints. Jeans for dad are great. Bring an extra change of clothes incase baby has an accident on you.
Anything else I should know?
I almost always have my assistant at newborn sessions. Having an extra pair of hands to help me transition set-ups, help pose baby and spot baby while I’m shooting is a tremendous help.
If you want to bring a sibling, please have someone to watch them. They will get bored as there is not much to do, and the sessions do last quite awhile. In order to have great photos we need a quiet calm atmosphere. I can’t emphasize this enough, so PLEASE no toddlers/ small children in the studio after family photos are completed. I will complete family photos first so that Dad or another friend/family member can take the little one back home or out for a shopping trip.
If you have another family member that would like to come to the session please keep in mind that my sitting area is only meant to accommodate a small number of people, and I also need the studio to be as quiet as possible. I would rather have baby wake up from hunger rather than bothered by a sibling or a relative talking loudly. We want baby sleeping so we can capture those sweet photos! I really want you to be happy with my work, so we need to work together, and baby and I will work best in a quiet, non-distractive atmosphere. So Dad may have to take a sibling for a car ride or shopping trip, while we work. Please also make sure to silent your cell phone.
Expect baby to eat A LOT during your session! Moms and Dads are always surprised at how much more babies eat while they’re here. It’s normal for a newborn to eat almost double what they normally would during a session.
Sometimes I have a client ask if they can bring a friend or family member with to their newborn session, because that person is very interested in photography and would like to watch how I capture newborn photos and ask some questions. I have spent a great deal of time and money on educating myself on the art of newborn photography. Please remember that the purpose of your session is for me to capture your little one’s images, and not to teach others. Thank you 🙂
What should I bring with to my session?
Here’s the checklist!
– Feeding supplies: anything you will need to nurse or bottle feed baby. Make sure to bring extra formula, or an extra bottle of breastmilk! I will need the extra bottle to help soothe baby into poses.
– A pacifier or binky. I will need this to help soothe baby. I understand if you are nursing you may not be using a pacifier regularly yet, but it will be very important to have one available during baby’s session. Please make sure to bring one! I prefer to use the Soothie brand pacifier during the session as it has a flat front and won’t leave marks on baby’s face.
– Extra diapers! I say 8-10 to be safe. I use diapers to spot baby in-between poses, so It’s common to go through quite a few diapers in a session.
– A set of light/comfy clothes to wear while baby’s photos are being taken. A set of clothes to wear for a family photo (white shirts and jeans work best, no logos or busy prints please). Extra clothes incase baby has an accident on you 😉
– Entertainment: a book/e-reader or magazine, a laptop or tablet ( I have wifi) and quiet toys for siblings.
– Food for you: You may build up an appetite over the course of the session. You are welcome to use my refrigerator or Keurig, and there are also some fast food and delivery options close to my studio.