PREPARING FOR YOUR NEWBORN STUDIO SESSION
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW BABY!
The newborn session is one of the most important sessions because these are the first professional photos of your baby & he or she will change so fast! Here are some helpful ideas of what to expect & how to prepare so your newborn session can go as smoothly as possible.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Because newborn sessions tend to include a lot of feeding & waiting for baby to settle, please plan for your session to last anywhere from two to three hours.
I will be doing the majority of the handling & posing of the baby during the session. This means you can just relax for a while! I might need assistance with a few poses, but for the most part you can just observe. Babies can sense & smell when their mother is nearby and it might make him or her fussy when they realize Mom is not holding or feeding them.
The room will be quite warm while we are shooting-- heated to 80-85 degrees. Since baby will be naked for many poses and is used to the temperature of the womb, keeping the room hot will help keep him or her sleepy while I am posing. This means you should plan to dress in layers, since baby will be comfortable, but we may get quite warm.
Relaxed parents make for a relaxed baby! No need to stress over the newborn session. Follow baby’s lead the morning of the session as far as feedings go, and you can feed here as many times as you need.
Moisturize your hands and have clean trimmed nails for the session-- your hands will likely end up in some of the photos. No need to have painted nails, but if you prefer to paint them, I generally recommend a neutral color.
If you are nursing, try to eat a pretty simple dinner the night before. Avoid spicy foods and caffeine if possible so baby has less of a chance of an upset tummy for the session.
WHAT TO BRING
There is no need to bring anything from home as far as props, blankets, headbands, etc. I have a full collection of quality items which I will use to style the session so your images can look just as great as what you’ve seen on my website. If there’s something special you’d like to bring from home and incorporate into the photos, please run it by me first to make sure it is something we will be able to use.
If your baby takes a pacifier, or you are open to trying it, please please bring it along! This can be extremely helpful to soothe him or her when posing, and does not have to become a habit when only used during the short timeframe of the session.
If siblings will be coming along, please bring some quiet activities for them to do while waiting. A newborn session can last up to three hours, so it can be hard for kids to sit still that long. Bring non-messy snacks and water for all of you. Also consider having one parent take the sibling(s) home or for a drive after family images are done.
Plan for the possibility of extra feedings (and in turn, extra diapers)! If you are formula feeding, make sure to bring more than you anticipate using. Your baby will be getting moved around more than he or she is used to & it is sometimes helpful to give them a little snack between regular feedings to keep them calm & happy. Let me know in advance if you are bottle-feeding and will be needing a bottle warmer-- I can have one ready for you.
Most often we will be starting with baby wrapped, because being warm and secure will help them fall into a nice deep sleep. From there I usually do parent/ family/ sibling poses when baby is still wrapped. Then we will move onto relaxed poses of baby alone on a blanket. Typically at the end, I will dress baby in a simple onesie (provided in studio) and do a set-up on a white blanket.
I prepare most setups in advance of the session, so if there are any particular poses or colors you’ve seen in my photos that you’d like (or that you don’t like), please let me know beforehand!
It is important to remember that the session is generally baby-led. I always have an idea of the setups I want to do and a loose workflow I stick to, but it is all based on the baby and how he or she reacts to certain positions.
WHAT TO WEAR
Baby will be naked for the majority of the photos, other than using some wraps and rompers I have in studio, so there is no need to have any clothing for the baby. If we are doing a white onesie setup, the onesie is also provided in studio. It’s generally easiest to arrive with your baby in a simple outift that buttons or zips up the front, so we are disturbing him or her as little as possible when beginning the session.
For other members of the family, I am a huge fan of neutrals/ muted/ faded tones and textures. Avoid things like bright colors, words on clothing, and bold patterns because they can be distracting. Simple textures like a knit sweater, or patterns like faint stripes or vintage floral are lovely, but otherwise keep it simple and comfortable! Be coordinated rather than matchy. Flowy dresses or shirts can be a great flattering option for moms. To keep it more casual, men can wear something like a henley tee rather than a button down top.
For sibling shots where the older sibling is under 3, I often have the siblings with no shirt on. It gives the photos a very natural feel and is less distracting. If you prefer to have them in clothes, follow the same guidelines as for adults. If you are buying the siblings new clothes for your session, I'd suggest getting ones that fit now rather than ones they will grow into, as tempting as it is to get things that will fit longer. We don't want them to look like they are swimming in their clothes for your photos!
See below for some suggestions on great shops to check out!
FOR KIDS & TODDLERS
* Target and Old Navy are also really great options for any member of the family. especially if you don't have time to order online, or if you want to work with a tighter budget.
aimee liz photography client closet
I have a whole collection of clothing items for older siblings up through 5T available to clients to borrow for their session. These items all photograph well and coordinate nicely with a variety of colors. If you'd like to see what I have, just let me know what size(s) you need, and I'll send along your options!
Get excited for your baby's first photo session!