So you’ve booked a newborn session (or you’re thinking about it) and now you’re wondering what to expect. Or maybe you’re wondering what to wear and if there’s anything you can do to prepare.

There is! And I’m here to help.

newborn photo tips

But before I jump into the details, let me first say that babies, although perfect little models, can also be unpredictable. Some newborns sleep entirely through their session, some newborns take a little more comforting or feedings, and some are wide awake! There is beauty in creating images just as they are though!

Hopefully, these suggestions help you feel prepared and comfortable for your upcoming photo shoot. If you are still unsure about something, just ask! I am always here to help. You know your newborn better than I do so please don’t hesitate to bring up any concerns or suggestions. 

newborn tips siblings

Location

Typically, I photograph newborns in your home because you most likely have everything you need there. It’s the place where the family is most comfortable, and there’s no place like home where you can cuddle and feed your baby as need be.

But please don’t worry if you feel like things are a little hectic at home. I understand and have been there. Adjusting to life, on little sleep, with a baby can be a little crazy. Maybe you have dishes to clean or piles of laundry in corners, no need to stress! I can work with you when I arrive and help pick out the best spots in your home. It’s easy to move things out of the frame and get a great photo.

The main thing that I will look for is a room/s with the most natural light. Windows are a great source for indoor natural light, and I love to use window light at my indoor sessions.

If you want an outdoor newborn photo session, however, we can do that instead. Just let me know! We can also do photos in your back or front yard, in addition to your home.  

Temperature + Whitenoise

 One of the best tips for a successful newborn photo session is keeping the baby warm. I suggest trying to keep your home at a temperature that will keep your little one feeling extra cozy that day. The warmer temperature will hopefully help your newborn stay sleepy and happy. You know your baby best though – and with the high heat of the Sacramento summers; I recommend using your best judgment for making sure your baby won’t be too warm. But definitely in the wintertime, it’s important to make sure we keep the rooms toasty.  

The other thing that might help your baby remain sleepy and happy is white noise. If you have a white noise machine, feel free to bring it out for us to use. I also have several apps on my phone I can turn on for the sessions too. 

newborn photos

Breaks

Sometimes babies are a little fussy or upset from changing, and a quick meal and some cuddles are all it takes for them to be ready to go. We can stop as often as you’d like. Feeding times can also allow me to capture intimate moments between mama and baby, but only if you are comfortable with it.

If it’s possible, try to feed your baby before your photo session (about 20-30 minutes before I arrive) so they will be ready to sleep when I get there. Warm milk/formula can equal a happy, model-ready baby! But if you aren’t able to do that (I know how babies can be unpredictable) before I arrive, no problem! There is no rush. 

newborn photo outside

Props

If you have something you’d like photographed, it’s more than welcome! Just keep in mind that we might not get to all your items – but I will definitely try. Props are not a requirement though, I just like to mention this in case you had something special you were hoping we could use.  

My newborn sessions, as you have hopefully seen, focus more on documenting the important and candid moments between baby and parents/siblings.

sacramento newborn photos

What to Wear

For any photos where the baby is dressed in an outfit (and not in a swaddle), I suggest keeping things simple and neutral for the baby as that is what tends to photograph better. Simple neutral onesies or body suites work well. Since newborns don’t normally fill out their clothes, I also recommend not having any big logos on their onesie since it will most likely look “baggy” on them. Bonnets and hair bows always welcome too.  

I love and encourage parents and siblings to be in the photos but I also know the last thing on your mind after just having a baby is probably what you need to wear during the photo session. But here are a few tips that I hope are helpful.

Compliment & coordinate but don’t get too matchy. Find a color palette that you love and choose outfits that complement each other. We want everyone to look unique and portray their style. Opt for neutrals with a few pops of color or a softer palette that has different ranges in a tone of the same shades. 

 Keep in mind, these are by no means rules, and if you have more eclectic tastes and love lots of color I encourage you to put as much of your personality into your clothing selection as possible. We are creating memories that are special and I want you to choose clothing that reflects who you are as a person and makes you feel beautiful and confident. 

mom holding baby

If you are having trouble deciding where to start with clothing, I suggest finding what you (mom :)) want to wear first. Pick something you feel comfortable and beautiful wearing. Once you decide what you want to wear, you can choose the clothing for your other family members.

Pinterest is a great tool for gathering ideas and inspiration. I have a few boards that may help give you some ideas and here is one in particular that will help you see a variety of different colors, tones, and palettes that work well together. Find my Pinterest board HERE.

I am also here to help you! You can always text me outfits you are considering and I will help you decide, or I can help you when I arrive at your home.

newborn photographer

When to Schedule + How Long is the Session

It’s best to get in touch to schedule as soon as you are able – even if you are not due for a few months. Once you pay the deposit for the session, I note the time you are due and add it to my calendar. When your sweet baby is born, and you are ready for our session, you can email or text me and I will be ready to get our session scheduled within a few days.

Sometimes newborn sessions take an hour and sometimes it takes 2 – this is completely normal. A mentioned above, you can take as many feeding/rocking breaks as needed.

Final Thoughts

Newborn sessions are some of my very favorite sessions (their cute toes! that sweet newborn smell!) and I have no doubt we will create beautiful moments of this time together.

Having had 5 babies, I’d like to believe I’m familiar with that newborn/postpartum life (although each time I learn something new!). So please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about anything!

I hope these tips help!  

9/13/19

Tips for a Newborn Session|Sacramento Newborn Photographer

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