MY STORIES IN PICTURES
Why is Photographing Your Newborn a Must?
Your new family member has arrived home, you have had a few days of adjustment, and now you can start thinking about all the practical stuff that needs to be done, but also about keeping the memories of those blessed days for the future.
Every new parent knows how difficult it is to do it themselves, because no matter how much photography experience they already might have, the fact is: babies are cute, but they are in no way easy models.
This is exactly the reason why you should leave that job to a professional: so you can just relax and enjoy your bundle of joy, while the photographer does all the work about preserving your most precious memories.
However, the successful photo shoot requires some preparation, and although there is no definitive newborn photography prep guide for parents, there are some tips and tricks that we recommend.
The Best Time to Schedule a Newborn Photography Session
The first important question is when should the session take part. First, you should ask yourself whether you want the photos of the baby asleep, and, if that is the case, the session should be done early, within their first 14 days. Around 8 days old, babies start stretching out, so it is more difficult to get them into those cute, sleeping poses.
However, some parents do not really understand why you would even want to take baby photos when they are asleep, and they want playful and awake baby photos. That changes the timetable, and those photographs should usually be taken after the four-week mark.
Managing Your Expectations for Baby’s First Photography Session
Before the actual photo shoot, you should take some time to talk to your photographer about your vision or the ideas for the newborn photography session. While preparing for the newborn photo shoot, parents often do some research online and/or come with their own ideas, which are often cute and fun. However, the photographer might have some tips about realization and facilitating those ideas, but also some realistic facts and advice. This might be about posing, props, shooting style or really anything connected to the session itself.
The parents should always first check out the photographer’s quality and style of work to ensure they will get what they expect. Some photographers do more portraits, some prefer posed scenes, some lifestyle images, and all of those styles should be discussed in advance. Also, always keep in mind that every newborn photographer will always first take into account the safety of the baby, and only then the quality and creativity.
Most photographers have a great selection of props, hats, headbands, bow ties, blankets, baskets and backdrops to choose from. The parents should discuss their desires before the session and let the artist know of any special items of their own that you would like them to use.
When it comes to the style, the parents should decide whether they would like a candid home photo session or a posed photo studio session. These will look quite different and have a very different atmosphere, so it is best to decide in advance what suits you and the baby. If you are doing a newborn home session, you do not have to leave the house, which can take a load off, and you will end up with a very intimate scene.
However, if you would like something more fancy and stylish, the studio session may be the right thing for you. In the studio you can use more props, try out a variety of different poses and different backgrounds, and, also, in most cases, the studio session will have better quality of lightning, which can produce some very classy portraits.
Another important thing that should be discussed in advance is the session timing. Some parents could expect that the infant photo shoot would have the same timeline as when shooting adults. In reality, shooting babies takes more patience and time, even compared to shooting toddlers. Parents cannot even imagine that the posed newborn sessions can take about 3 hours. This is why the photographer should walk them through everything that is going to happen, especially if there are older siblings or pets on the scene too.
The clients could also expect that the final number of images will be the same as per adult photo shoot, while in the newborn photography they will receive a gallery with only 20 images. Taking good baby photos simply takes more time, editing process takes longer, and it is better to have these things explained in advance in order to avoid disappointments.
Checklist for Parents: What Should You Bring to a Newborn Photo Shoot?
A lot of photographers have prepared a newborn photography checklist for parents, in order to facilitate preparations, and to avoid confusion and misunderstandings on the day of the photo shoot. So, here are some newborn photography essentials:
Bring a snack and water for yourself and any pets and siblings. The photoshoot can be long and tiring.
If siblings are coming, bring some entertainment for them.
Bring at least one change of clothing, just in case any accidents happen.
Bring everything for changing and feeding the baby, including any special creams and products you use.
If the newborn has hair, bring a brush.
Bring any toys or props you would like to add into the photos.
If the baby is using the pacifier, bring that as well. It often helps soothe babies into the poses and facilitates getting them to sleep. If your baby is not used to a pacifier or you do not feel comfortable offering one, do not worry, it is not a must.