Behind the scenes of a newborn session
Why should you choose to have a newborn session?
Your baby is the most important and precious thing in your lives right now, and because I’m a mother of two, I understand that completely – I’ve been right where you are now. I also understand that this time goes by so very quickly and you want to ensure that you are marking it in some way, so that you don’t forget how tiny this little person was. He or she will change literally in a matter of weeks and it will leave you wondering where those tiny toes have gone!
Because I know how important your images are, I have spent years training to understand how different babies respond to all aspects of photography, so that I am able to deliver you the very best gallery. Your baby is an individual, with his or her own personality and it may sound like a cliché, but every baby is completely different. Reading your baby so that your newborn session can be tailored to this/he personality, is something that takes years of experience and expertise.
It is so important to choose the right session for you, be it a posed studio session detailed in this post, or an at home lifestyle session. I feel it is so important to chat about your session before you book so you are happy about the style of images you are choosing and also that your photographer has had the right level of training to carry out your session.
What happens after you book your newborn session?
From the moment that you enquire about your session, be it after your 20 week scan, or when baby has arrived, I will contact and chat to you about what you can expect from your session and how to prepare for it.
The session is captured before 14 days old. There are many reasons for this which include your baby still being sleepy and settled for the session to take place. When we decide to schedule this in, will be completely dependant on your situation and how your baby is (and how you are). At the point of booking we will pencil a rough date in, usually about a week after your due date and then I will keep in touch with you to see when baby has made an appearance.
We will work together on a date that works for you and your family. Siblings, feeding, recovery will all influence this, but don’t worry, I keep some days free in my diary around your date for this reason, to ensure we can accommodate your session when it is right for you.
When we have chosen your date, we will decide what colours you would want for your session. I often ask what colours you really don’t like and then omit them. Often if I ask clients what they want for their boy/girl, they answer with blue/pink and this is fine! But I want you to know that I have plenty of options for both genders that are much more creative than the standard blues and pinks, and as my style leans towards the rustic I often match the colour scheme to the season your baby was born in.
Before your session, I will send across a prep sheet that you can have a read through to prepare for your day. Don’t worry, it’s nothing to worry about, just a few pointers about your session such as bringing extra milk etc. I have baby changing facilities in my studio, should you need any additional nappies etc.
When you arrive for your newborn session...
I want you to relax during your newborn session, so I have an abundance of snacks and tea and coffee (yes!) to keep you hydrated during your time with me. My aim is to let you sit back and enjoy some time whilst watching your beautiful baby being captured by me.
Once you have arrived, settled in and you have a coffee in hand, I will ask you about when baby last had a feed. My prep sheet covers feeding and ideally, it’s best to feed baby just before the session or on arrival in my studio. This will ensure that baby has a full tummy before we begin. I have two children so I know this isn’t always achievable and we will work around it if needed so please don’t worry if baby has already had a feed.
I will offer to feed your bottle fed baby for you, and the reason for this is that I’m not mum. I don’t smell like mum, I don’t feel like mum, and your baby is so tuned into you, that he/she will know this, so the sooner we can get him/her used to me, the better. Feeding is a really lovely bonding time so it’s great for me to share this with baby before we start any posing. It also helps to me assess how baby has fed, winded and how he/she generally likes to be handled.
Once your baby has had a nappy change and a full tummy, we will gently move him/her onto my posing bed. We will do this initially without any baby grow and I will have some warmth on baby to keep him/her comfortable.
I start with the posing bed before anything else as again, baby will slowly get used to the way I handle him/her and also get used to the constant touch as I gently move through the poses. At this point I will be reading your baby and taking all my cues from him/her. Because I have a wealth of experience in this field, I know when to move, touch and settle your baby based on what they are telling me from their reactions. Remember that this is all new to your baby. Unfamiliar sounds, smells and touch, so I spend this time easing your baby into the new surroundings to ensure they are happy throughout the session. Your babies safety and wellbeing are my main focus throughout the session and whilst it is important to me to capture the poses for your beautiful images, if I feel that baby is not completely happy, I will not continue with a set up.
You will notice that as the session progresses, your baby settles more into the session. It is not unusual for your baby to be most unsettled at the start of the session, because as mentioned above, this is all new to your baby and although they are so tiny, they are still small people with their own personalities! Once we work through this with your baby, you will see they will be much more relaxed as the session flows.
Once we have captured some beautiful images on the posing bed, I will gently wrap your baby and capture your baby in a variety of lovely rustic props. Wrapping your baby is very comforting at such a small age as it mimics being in the womb, so I often find that babies are more than happy to be snuggled up in one of my cosy wraps. We can also capture any parent, sibling shots at this point too whilst baby is wrapped and settled. As you will see, wrapping is done at the latter part of the session when baby is used to being handled. It will also keep your baby settled if they are getting ready for their next feed. If they do need to feed at any time during the session, we will take a break to do this.
I always encourage you to have some parent/sibling images as a part of your package, because your baby is so small and you really won’t remember just how little they were when they grow up (trust me!). Your baby will look back in years to come and will love to see the photos of what you looked like when he or she was a baby. I do really encourage these photos and I totally get it, you might not feel up to it, you might not be feeling yourself, but I want you to know that there are poses that we can do if you are feeling more self conscious. I have some really lovely silhouette images that work so well if you just don’t feel like stepping directly in front of the camera. It’s a great way to capture that memory without pushing yourself too far out of your comfort zone. I’m happy to chat through these options with you when we discuss your session.
I often get told by my clients during my sessions that they are/were worried that baby might cry or not comply throughout the session. I remember feeling this way when my children were babies. I would often be worried that my babies might cry in a situation that I felt wasn’t appropriate. Experience has taught me that it’s something you shouldn’t worry about and I want you to walk into my studio and not worry about it. Babies cry, it’s a way of them expressing themselves until they learn to talk. They will cry if they are hungry and haven’t quite had enough milk, or if their tummies are hurting. I have the experience to work through this with you and yes, some babies do cry more than others and that’s fine. I will take my cues from them and if we need to change up the session to accommodate a little winding tummy, then that’s what we will do.
Is there anything else you would like to know about my newborn session?
I have been capturing newborn babies in my studio for around six years and in that time I have trained with some of the UK’s most experienced and knowledgeable newborn photographers. Training is so important in this field as safety plays such a huge part in the session. Babies airways, temperature etc are all monitored during your session so that you can be completely comfortable that your baby is in the safest hands. Experience and expertise are so crucial when posing because all these safety aspects need to be observed at all times. I am more than happy to chat further about this during the booking process.
If you have any other queries with regards to my newborn sessions, or you would just like to have a chat, you can email me directly or fill in my contact form. (link to both)