Newborn Sessions – What to Expect

A helpful guide so you know what to expect from newborn sessions.

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Newborn sessions are my joy. Those sweet, brand new little angels are my muse and photographing them simply and genuinely makes my day. I spend some time every day learning to perfect my craft. Hopefully, this little article will help you to prepare for your baby’s session and help answer any questions or concerns you may have. 

 

Newborn Basket

Sheena Photography 2020-2021

 

BEFORE YOUR SESSION

When to schedule a session?

Newborn sessions are designed for babies 21 days and younger. The best day to photograph your little one is from day five to day ten. During this time newborns tend to be sleepier and retain that fresh newborn curl. After 21 days, newborns tend to develop things like colic and baby acne, they also tend to be more alert and stay awake longer. I will set your newborn session on a temporary date (usually your due date + 7 days). Once you have given birth, simply give me a call or a text and we will select and solidify a date for your newborn session within the first couple of weeks.

Newborn

Your consultation

When we schedule your session, we will have a consultation over the phone or in person to discuss what you are looking for. Do you want only pictures of the baby? Are you more interested in your infant being photographed with family than with some of my props? Are there specific poses you are looking for? For example, do you want your infant to be photographed with props that you will bring from home? Are you bringing siblings? Will Dad be there? Do you want some skin-on-skin shots? All of these questions will help me to build a session that is a perfect fit for you.

Feeding the baby

Please, please, please do not feed your baby before coming to see me. I will give you space and time to feed and soothe your newborn to sleep once you arrive. The reason this works best is that if you feed your baby before you come, they will start their sleep cycle a little too early. Our studio is kept at 26 degrees to ensure that your newborn is warm and comfortable.

 

Studio

What to bring with you?

Spare tops for both parents as babies do pee/poop and accidents happen. Please bring a soother, if you have one, as they help to get babies to sleep and soothe them. Even if you don’t regularly use one or wish to continue using one, they can really help during the session. If you don’t have one, I always have a supply of new sterilised soothers in the studio. The only other thing to bring with you is your regular changing bag with nappies/wipes/ bottles (if using) etc.

Props Galore

We have a nice collection of bowls, baskets, blankets, knit hats and headbands available for your session. You are also, of course, welcome to use any of your own props. If you have any family heirlooms, toys, hats, props, etc. that you would like me to use in your session, please feel free to bring them with you. If there are any specific poses or props you would like to use, please let us know in advance on our questionnaire. We will also ask you to choose a colour palette around which your session will be based.

Props

Props

Props

Props

What to Wear for Parents

I know! You just had a baby and aren’t feeling your best. But we think this is the perfect time to pamper yourself! Go have your hair and makeup done (or better yet, have someone come to you!), schedule a massage or have your nails done. Looking super relaxed and at your best will make you feel more comfortable during the session. This is an exciting time in your life, and we want to capture all of that…so take care of yourself first! And feel free to tell your husband or partner that we’re making you if they need a little convincing! As for clothing? Keep it simple. Throw in a little colour if you’d like, but skip the busy patterns. (And please don’t feel the need to match everyone in white shirts and jeans – there’s simple… and then there’s boring!) For mums, we suggest cotton knit camis and knit tops or a plain blouse or shirt. For Dad a non-patterned shirt that compliments Mum’s.

DURING YOUR SESSION

Relax, be calm and enjoy the moment

Once you arrive, I will give you some time in my studio to feed and soothe your baby. As soon as baby is happy and sleepy, we can get started. During your session, I will pose and handle your baby with the utmost care. There is no need to worry if you are not feeling 100% yet. I will soothe, swaddle and ensure baby is kept happy. If the baby is really wide awake and does not want to sleep, I will swaddle the baby to get some photos. Baby will drift off in their own time and meanwhile we will get some great eyes open shots! I encourage all of my parents to take part in the session and I love capturing relational type photos with Mums, Dads and siblings.

Sessions usually start by taking some portraits of your baby on a beanbag. I am looking for some great body shots and capturing some of baby’s bits and pieces like her hands and feet. We will then take some shots of baby in a prop or two. It’s at this point that we will include young siblings, either posed with baby in the basket or bowl or cradling them on the beanbag. I have developed some super safe ways of photographing toddlers with their new brother or sister. After that I will get my pictures with Mum, Dad and a Family shot.

Your newborn session will last approximately 3 hours. This ensures we have enough time to pose and take whatever breaks necessary such as feedings. You are more than welcome to bring along a few snacks or entertaining items such as a book or an iPad for little ones. Tea, coffee, bottled water and snacks are all available in the studio along with Free Wi-Fi to make your time with us as comfortable as possible. No outside cameras, videos or mobile phone cameras are allowed to be used during the session.

AFTER YOUR SESSION

Now comes the best part …

Now you can go home and relax and dream about all the beautiful images that will soon be yours. I go through the images from your session and select the best. I am looking for the cream of the crop and usually narrow it down to 20 – 30 images. Once I have the “final cut” selected I go through each individual picture and edit, crop and colour correct. Your images will be ready for viewing within a week. Once your images are ready, I will invite you back to the studio for your viewing session. This is one of my favourite parts of the process as I love to see Mum and Dad’s reactions to the images we have created! At this session, you will choose your wall art, prints, albums or any additional items you may wish. I will discuss all of the options with you and help you select the right images and the right products to suit your needs.

Room Set

Download this guide as a PDF