So, you have this beautiful bundle of freshness who has the most perfectly tiny features and you want to breathe it all in and record those moments for years to come. You are desperate to have these moments captured by a professional photographer so you have booked a Newborn Session, but you are really not sure how it all works and as a brand new parent, all the questions are making you anxious. The photographer has talked about needing your baby to sleep and your baby is currently very unsettled, the photographer has talked about your baby being naked and your baby hates being naked, the photographer wants you to keep topping baby up with milk and you don’t feel like you have established feeding well enough yet to do it in front of a stranger. Please don’t worry and read on…..
I can’t speak for other photographers but I can reassure you by telling you what a Newborn Session is like with Jan Sweeney Photography. My website provides a lot of information about what my Newborn Sessions are like but I also spend time reassuring parents about all the most common concerns, once baby arrives. My sessions are completely baby led so we can never really predict how things are going to go or the shots we are going to get, until the day. In an ideal world, it would be lovely if baby slept for most of the session as this allows for a whole variety of different poses. However, whether baby sleeps soundly or is wide awake and taking everything in, I can guarantee images you will love. In fact, some of my most favourite images are when baby is making great eye contact.
The session starts by making you feel welcome and relaxed with a hot cuppa and some sweet treats. I will invite you to strip baby down to their nappy, wrap them in a blanket and feed if required. Please do not think I will judge the way you feed your baby. I completely understand the stresses involved with feeding a newborn so I will not be judging anything you are doing, I will more than likely be planning the next shot in my head or tidying props away. The sessions do tend to make baby want more comfort which is perfectly normal as there is a lot going on. The comfort is normally in the form of milk but, if baby has had a dummy or this is something you were considering, I always advise you bring it with you. I normally have some spare, sterilised dummies in the studio if you want to try one. I am by no means advising you to use a dummy for your baby but this can be a great comfort to them during the session.
Most of the time, we do get to a stage where baby is naked but I make sure they are nice and settled before this happens. My studio is toasty warm (I aways advise parents wear loose, light and comfortable clothing for this reason) and I usually start with swaddling baby in a wrap to match the colour palette you have chosen. If you have opted for parent shots, we get these done first as you can be quite sweaty by the end of the session. Sibling shots are also done at the start of the session so that one of the adults can take the sibling(s) to the local park/cafe or home, to allow the star of the show to finish their session.
If you are really adamant that you don’t want your face in any of the images, there are some stunning parent shots using your hands/arms, which make for great alternatives.
Apart from baby’s usual changing bag, you really don’t need to bring anything else for the session, unless there is a special teddy/blanket etc that you would like to include in an image. I can’t guarantee that I can use what you bring but I will always try. I am more than happy to discuss unique images before the session as I can often order in special props to suit the image to help make that image extra special. For example. if Mum was a Doctor and wanted this to be a part of the session, I could order a little felted stethoscope. I would obviously need to know this quite far in advance. I am happy to discuss any requests or concerns with my clients before any session as I really do want people to feel as comfortable as possible so please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on how to choose a Newborn Photographer, read an earlier blog I have written which you can find here. I would always advise booking your Newborn Session when you are pregnant. Some time after your 20 week scan is ideal. The most popular photographers will book up quickly and as baby should ideally be less than 14 days old for the session, you will avoid disappointment by booking early. You can always adjust the time and date of the session depending on when baby arrives – professional photographers are great at juggling busy diaries and know how many slots they can sell each month.