How to get ready for a newborn photoshoot?
Thank you for booking your newborn photoshoot with me! I'm looking forward to meeting you and your little one. This might be one of your first outing together so please take a moment to read through these answers to frequently asked questions to ensure your photoshoot goes as smoothly as possible:
GETTING THE BABY READY FOR THE PHOTOSHOOT:
To ensure your baby is as sleepy as possible for all those gorgeous poses far away in the dreamland I would kindly ask you to follow a few steps in the morning of your photoshoot:
Bathe baby (perhaps daddy could look after this one) - the purpose of the bath is not just to clean the baby, but to keep them gently awake for a moment longer so they tire out. If their umbilical cord has fallen off, please give a full bath. Otherwise give a sponge bath. Make sure to carefully clean little dry bit of their eyes, but don't worry about dry skin or spots - it's all part and parcel of a newborn and can be edited in the post production stage. If you feel like a bath is too much for your busy morning, try your very best to gently keep the baby awake until a feed. Also remove any ban-aids baby may have prior to the session. The cord clamp is no problem.
Dressing baby: Have your baby wearing babygrow with buttons or a zip on the front as it is easy to take off. Do not dress baby in anything that pulls over the head so no vest underneath, please. Depending on the weather, tuck the baby in with a blanket and maybe put a little hat on for added warmth. Try not to have his/her nappy on too tight (like normal) so there won't be any nappy lines. And please do not use any nappy cream on the last change.
Feed the baby. Please give the baby a full feed right before getting in the car. If you are coming from further than 25minutes away, please time this feed so you can feed the baby on arrival. Same goes for "at home"-photoshoots; please feed the baby on my arrival as I'm setting up. I know you may have a feeding schedule, but it's essential that the baby has a full belly to start the session to he/she is comfortable and sleepy. We will of course take a break during the session if baby becomes hungry again, but most of the time that one last feed will last through the whole session.
WHAT DO PARENTS AND SIBLINGS WEAR?
Simple and timeless clothing on parents and siblings works the best in the photographs. A thought spared on the styling ensures these images are something you will not tired of looking on you wall or mantelpiece in the years to come.
Soft, light and neutral colours; white, cream, any pastel color, light blue, light grey, light brown, light pink, sage. Plain or with a small pattern (for girls).
Studio is very warm so floaty summer dresses for moms and sisters and shorts for daddies and brothers look lovely too all year around. Bohemian off the shoulder blouses, lace and frills or white shirts with sleeve rolled up photograph beautifully, but ultimately wear something you feel like you in.
If you like moody family portraits black or dark grey tops/T-shirts are great.
There's only a few items I would avoid:
Bold, block or neon colours and logos, that look distracting. Any sporting wear. The colour red and high contrast stripes (black and white) don't really look too good either.
one family member looking like the "odd one out" . Meaning here that everybody else is wearing light soft colours and one family member is wearing a black top or the other way around. For the timelessness of images some common thread - even if not matchy matchy - is the best.
FEW LITTLE TIPS FOR PARENTS:
Even though you've booked a newborn photoshoot, I normally feature parents in the images too. It might just be your silhouette or hands, if you're not comfortable infront of the camera, but I assure you the portraits with new parents are so so precious. As a mom of three I know how in the first weeks the mom still doesn't feel quite like herself, hence I use all the most flattering angles. There's a few little things worth mentioning:
As I often feature parents hands in my images, try to make sure you either have freshly applied nail polish or none at all. Your hands don't have to be manicured or pristine - they're not that much in focus - but chipped nail polish is very hard to fix afterwards.
I totally love a bit of fake tan myself and how it makes me feel, but would very much recommend a carefully applied light gradual tan to avoid streaks in your wrists and fingers (they're practically impossible to touch up on Photoshop) as they can really ruin a photo. Also, if your skin tone is very warm compared to your partner and baby/children, it may also look a little odd in the final images.
skin to skin photos with your baby look amazing so think ahead if you'd like to have baby photographed on dad's bare arms or with mom wearing a tube top or a tank top. Please mention your interest in these type of shots in the beginning of the session.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
I mostly have everything needed for the baby, but there's a few bits that you could bring along:
If you bottle feeding, please bring some extra bottles. The babies tend to get more hungry than usual during the photoshoot or it may be needed for soothing the baby. If you are breastfeeding, be careful what you eat the day before so you won’t give your baby wind or sore tummy. If you are thinking about transitioning from breastfeeding to bottle, perhaps try to avoid doing it around the day of the photoshoot as it can leave babies quite unsettled.
I always recommend bringing a soother/dodie, if you have one, even if your baby doesn't really know how to take it yet or you're not quite sure if you want to use it. If baby become unsettled, it's often enough to calm them so we can continue. I want to stress this is not a requirement, but having one available for the few hours can really make the session go smoother especially for breast-fed babies with a strong urge to suckle for comfort. If you're strongly against using one, I of course understand.
I'm happy to use any personal items in the images such as teddies or blankets or anything sentimental to you. I've had babies wrapped in Christening shawls passed down in families for generations, mom's wedding dress, a teddy gifted by a loved one etc. This is not at all a must, but a nice little personal touch. Please inform me in advance if you want to use any sporting equipment such as helmets, balls etc.
If you have sibling coming along, please bring them entertainment (toys, books, iPad etc) and snacks or organize for them to come in for a section of the photoshoot. No matter how much I love the sibling shots, please keep in mind that the sibling shot is not guaranteed depending on toddler’s age and personality. There is loads of tricks we can try to help us to get the sibling shot, but sometimes no matter how hard we all try, toddler siblings are just too small to understand and we can not force them. You can bring treat like white chocolate buttons; sometimes it does help to get the images, but please don’t give it to child unless we all agree now is the right time.
And don't forget to bring yourself a water bottle/snack/coffee/tea too. Before the Covid-19 restrictions these were all supplied for me, but to ensure hygiene it's best if you bring your own bits.
AND THAT IS IT!
Now we just wait and see when your little one makes his/her appearance and please don't forget to drop me a line in the first 48h, if possible, so we can schedule your photoshoot from there. And if there is any further questions, I'm more thank happy to answer.
LOVE, Sara xxx