A little information about both what to expect from your photoshoot and how you might like to prepare for it.
Milk, Milk & More Milk!
By far the most important ingredient to a happy and successful newborn photoshoot is milk! A well fed newborn is inclined to sleep, especially in the warmth of our studio! Please aim to feed and wind baby on arrival at the studio to help with inducing the sleepy state. Because the studio is quite warm they may well drink more than usual so please bring a good supply. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you need a jug of hot water to warm bottles.
A special note to mum’s who are breastfeeding. Your baby gets to enjoy all the the lovely food and drink that you consume too. However your baby might not quite be ready for spicy food or a glass of your favourite wine and it may well cause them upset including excessive wind and discomfort. Please avoid these foods the day before your shoot as we need baby to be as settled as possible.
We understand that many newborns can suffer a little from dry patches of skin, especially if the baby is slightly late on arriving, but please do NOT use any oily products on baby before the shoot as it can create problems with very shiny skin under our studio lights.
Most of the images we’ll be shooting are when your baby is in a deep sleep or “milk drunk”.
We take your baby’s lead; getting them to sleep before posing takes time and they may need to be fed or cuddled a few times first. In fact, we’d say that a good 50% of your session will involve feeding, nappy changes, and cuddling to get baby comfortable. If that doesn’t work, we’ll take a break or we’ll work with what baby is giving us. Once asleep, the shoot happens quite swiftly. Your baby is pace setter, of that you can be sure!
We’re definite believers in sleep-promotes-sleep so please go with your baby’s patterns, there is no need to try and keep them awake beforehand.
Using a dummy goes a long way to creating harmony in newborn photoshoots when babies are unsettled, and is an absolute must! So many times, newborns want to be held and cuddled, and become unsettled away from the closeness of a parent. The innate response to suckle means some breastfed babies find it hard to be away from mum, especially if coupled with a touch of colic or trapped wind. That’s when a dummy is a godsend! It can make the difference between a lengthy, noisy experience or a smooth, settled and timely photoshoot capturing the images you want.
We fully appreciate that using a dummy is contentious, but it’s an essential aid to settling newborn babies during their photoshoot and if only used for an hour, can easily be thrown away at the end of the session.
Please do whatever you can to keep the noise level to a minimum during the shoot. If you have other children present that might create noise, try to find a sitter or grand parent to take them away from the studio for a while if they get restless. (We’ve found that many newborns are stimulated by the sound of their siblings playing while at the studio.) If you have other children and would like them to be included in some photos, we recommend bringing them in at the beginning or end of a session. Only those being photographed should be present to help maintain a calm environment.
Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-3 hours. It all depends on baby’s mood and willingness to sleep. Unfortunately…this isn’t something we can predict! We ask that everyone remain calm, should he/she not want to sleep, since your baby will pick up on any frustration in the room. And if sleep doesn’t happen, that’s okay! Wide-eyed newborn photos are beautiful too.
We’re very comfortable holding and posing newborns so please feel free to rest and chill out. We understand this might be a new experience, and can’t impress enough that newborn photography is so much about the waiting game.
Please try not to see your baby as being fussy or awkward because this is absolutely to be expected with newborn babies brand new to the world. Just for reassurance, we’re very used to unsettled, awake newborns (including our own a few years ago!) and we always eventually capture some lovely images. Patience is key.
Of note, babies can sense stress and anxiety. It’s super important that everyone remains calm and relaxed during this session. Keeping the environment as mellow as possible is pretty much the only way we’re going to get the shots we’re looking for.
A change of clothes
If you or your partner think you might like to be included in some lovely intimate shots with your baby then please make sure you both bring a set of clothes that you’re happy to be photographed in. Simple dark colours work best from experience, especially black, and please try to avoid heavy pattern that may be distracting in the final images. Please get in touch if you’ve any concerns or want any further advice.
If the weather allows and you are able to bring your baby in a front fastening baby grow (and preferably without a vest), it will help minimise the disruption undressing them on arrival. This is only a suggestion and second to the priority of keeping your baby warm enough!
Your baby’s safety comes first! If there is ever a point where you become uncomfortable, just let us know! We take every measure to ensure that your baby is never in any danger. For that reason, we will always make sure that a parent or assistant is nearby to lend support if needed. We’re trained in the safety of posing newborn babies and will never put your baby at risk in an unsafe pose, constantly checking their comfort and welfare as we work.
Most of all please enjoy your shoot with us. Our clients tell us it’s a very unique and enjoyable experience plus you’ll get to enjoy the gorgeous photographs we create forever!