I thought that I should take some time to put this together as I always mention all of those things to my clients before their newborn session and this will help you prepare for yours.
1) Turn Up the Heat
Newborns like it warm and cozy so crank up the heat in your house a couple of hours before I show up. It will help keep your baby sleepy which is what you need, especially for the studio style portion of the session. And we want to show off those tiny toes without them getting cold!
2) Light and Airy Clothes
This is kind of a continuation of my first point. Don’t over dress because you will cook in the house you just made really warm! Also, light airy fabrics are beautiful and showing skin with a short sleeve adds a lot of emotion and makes the pictures look a bit more intimate with the skin to skin with baby.
3) Have your Outfits Complement Each Other
I feel like all of these are interconnected! For outfits, you do not want to match, but you want your outfits to complement each other. Keep the palette neutral. Cream, gray, navy, burgundy are all great options. They are colours that you can play around with and use to complement what baby is wearing. For example, I find that burgundy is the best color to complement a little girl dressed in old rose. Avoid big busy patterns. My one big exception – some baby wraps have really cute patterns and look fantastic!
4) Keep the Palette Neutral
When choosing your outfit, you can take into consideration the colour of the room you prefer to have the majority of the pictures taken in. The nursery theme or the colour of your bedding in the master bed room, colour of the couch, etc. Again, neutral rooms work best, but if you have a pop of colour in baby’s room, you can definitely play off that when choosing outfits to create more interesting images.
5) Pick One Space and Tidy it Up
I completely understand that having a newborn is a giant life change and that caring for that tiny human is very time consuming so I do not expect to turn your whole house into a photography studio. But choosing one room and really tidying it up goes a long way. When there are siblings involved, I greatly favor the master bedroom as the bed is usually big enough to play around with the whole family. It also usually has a big window that provides lots of natural light. Light light light. I do have flashes and screens to enhance lighting, but natural light is by far the best. And bonus points for really big windows because I like using them as a white backdrop.
6) Food Bribes
Food bribes for older siblings are 100% appropriate! Don’t hand them all out at once and we need to make sure that they aren’t too messy and that the mouth gets cleaned before we start taking photos again, but I say use that tool! I do focus on the true interactions between siblings, and that might mean that most of the pictures aren’t perfectly posed, but it doesn’t hurt to try for a couple of super cute super perfect pictures of all of the kiddos together!
7) Breastfeeding Photos
You do not want to rush the process. I like taking breaks here and there and letting you reset and relax. If baby is fussy, let’s stop, let him/her drink lots of milk, get lots of snuggles and we can resume a few minutes later. If your baby is breastfed, I will also offer to take pictures of mommy nursing in those times. It is completely up to you whether or not you want those taken, but I love capturing those precious bonding moments between mother and child.
8) Wraps, Swaddles and Accessories
I can provide some wraps and headbands but I much prefer when families provide their own. Some families have also found the cutest little outfits. I love the idea of you being able to keep and cherish those things forever. I have keepsake boxes for my girls and I love that I get to keep the little bows they wore for their newborn pictures, because I chose them and it makes them a lot more special.
9) Include Meaningful Items
Something else that is great to have on hand is a family heirloom, like grandma’s beautiful scarf or brooch, a small keepsake from your wedding or a blanket made by a relative. A lot of people don’t think to include those until I mention it but once I do they always respond that it will mean so much to the person who gifted or made the item to see it with the baby in their beautiful newborn photos.
10) Be Yourselves
Don’t worry about posing too much. All you have to do is snuggle and love your baby the same way you have done from the minute you have met that perfect little soul. I am a lifestyle photographer and am looking to capture what it truly feels like to grow your family and welcome that little one home.
And side note, pets are more than welcome, they are a part of the family too!
Finally, I don’t want you to overthink it, but here is a chart of different colour palettes that can help you coordinate your outfits.
I hope that this is helpful in preparing for your newborn session. Basically, keep it simple with the colour palette, keep your house nice and toasty, have some personal, meaningful items on hand and just show me how much you love your baby!