Everything You Want to Know About Planning Your Newborn Session!
Updated: Jan 19
If you've found your way to this page and are expecting, then congratulations! Welcoming a new addition to your family is such an exciting, and crazy time. Those first few weeks after baby is born seem to go by in a blur. Newborn photo sessions are a great way to capture baby in their first few weeks because believe it or not, they will look so much different within a month or two! As a Mom of a 2 year old, I'm still astounded when I look back at the monthly photos of my daughter, how much she grew each month. Honestly, I am convinced she would grow even when I put her down for a power nap!
So what exactly is a newborn photo session?
A newborn photo session typically takes place during the first few week after baby has arrived home, aimed at capturing baby and all their little tiny features. These sessions can include family members, be made of posed, pinterest worthy shots, as well as some in-the-moment "lifestyle" images. Each newborn session is as unique as the baby we are photographing!
When is the best time to have my baby photographed?
The general rule of thumb in the photography world is that for sleepy newborn images, the best timeframe is between 10-14 days after baby has arrived. This is due in part to the fact that they are still sleeping most of the day, and their startle reflex hasn't matured yet.
However, from experience, while helpful, the timeframe should really be seen as more of a suggestion. In fact, some of the easiest babies to work with, have been photographed well beyond that time frame. My general guideline is within the first four weeks if possible. Now, that isn't always the case. Sometimes scenarios arise that prevent a baby from being photographed during that time period (for example a stay in a the NICU). I will never turn down a baby for newborn photos. But it is important for parents to realize the difference between a 10 day old baby and a 4 week old baby. The older the baby is, the higher the likelihood of them being awake during the session is (so you may have more awake images in your gallery than sleeping ones). Also, there will be some poses and props that would be too uncomfortable or small for baby (depending on their size). I have plenty of props that are justt for older newborns, so no need to about that!
How soon should I schedule a newborn session?
It seems silly to schedule a newborn session months ahead of time because you have no idea when baby is actually going to arrive. Typically when a mom books with me, I will make sure that I have a slot open for her session in the two weeks before her due date and two weeks after her due date, to give us the most flexibility with timing the session. Even if baby is born outside of that timeframe, we will still be able to get your session scheduled, so no fear! I only take a certain number of newborn sessions per month due to this reason. The earlier you reserve, the greater the likelihood that I will have your due date (and the weeks surrounding it) available.
What does a newborn session consist of?
With your newborn session you get a choice of having the session photographed in your home, or if it's more convenient, you can have your session in our studio space. With each session, you have the option of using some of your time for family photos. That includes full family, siblings and individual images with each parent. The rest of the time is for baby! Prior to your session we will come up with a plan for the session. This includes picking colors for your session, props and any special setups. I have lots of props and outfits for you to choose from, but you are welcome to bring any special items that you would like to include as well! Once we get started, baby runs the show! We'll stop if baby needs to eat, or have a diaper change. If baby doesn't like laying on his/her stomach, then we will do other poses. Your baby's comfort and safety is my biggest concern. I am always within arms reach of the baby, and will often ask Mom and Dad to assist with spotting to have extra hands near baby.
My biggest piece of advice- having a newborn is exciting, but also a stressful time! There is so many new things you are experiencing. Your newborn photos should not be an added stress. So parents, don't worry if baby is a little fussy, or taking a little longer than normal to settle down. I have lots of tricks up my sleeve and will try them all until we find one that works for baby. Don't worry if baby has an accident during the session (it won't be the first time a baby has pooped or peed on me and won't be the last!). If baby doesn't want to sleep, no worries- some of my favorite newborn images are of baby's with their eyes wide open, making great eye contact with the camera!
And now, here are some of the adorable newborns I have been lucky enough to work with other the last two years!
Interested in booking a newborn session of your own, or finding out more? Contact SBS Photography for more information! I am currently completely booked for newborns for through March, but am booking through the summer!