As a new mom, things get overwhelming, the to-do list is never-ending and you don't always know what day it is. Mommy-brain is REAL. This post is meant to give you a gentle heads up, before or after baby is born, to schedule your newborn session, or request it as a shower gift. Trust us when we say, you won't regret having these photos.
When to Schedule
Its really hard to know when to schedule a photoshoot for, when the due date is usually just a suggestion, not a fast and hard rule of when your little one will arrive. What we recommend is to pick a day approximately a week after your due date, to tentatively plan your session for. If baby is born early or late, the session will be adjusted. This allows both parties to "plan ahead" without being stressed about losing their session time or over-booking becoming a problem. If we know how many babies to plan for in a week, it is easy for us to schedule "rain dates" for those babies that show up when they want. We always recommend that newborns come in when they are right at that 5-10 day mark. Typically speaking, before that time is way too early, and afterwards is fine, but not ideal. Baby needs a few days to get into a feeding routine with mom, have plenty of skin to skin time and the parent/s to get into a semi-normal routine.
What do I need to plan on bringing for the session?
You really won't need to bring much. We send out a full prep email, with tips and tricks on preparing for your session. We highly recommend reading the entire thing before coming in. A well stocked diaper bag, a warm blanket, a baby and perhaps a blanket for yourself will suffice. As a full service portrait studio, we provide the wraps, headbands, newborn props, flowers, bowls and hats. We do have a selection of newborn rompers too, but please email us if you have a specific look in mind. It is quite common for our newborn parents to nap on the couch, while we work. This is highly encouraged and doesn't bother us one bit. You will be in the immediate area where the photos will be taken, so feel free to watch us work too. We also encourage ordering take-out or bringing in snacks.
Why do newborns need to come in so early after birth?
Newborns are sleepiest, most flexible and easiest to work with during those first two weeks. Babies tend to hit a 2 week growth spurt, after which they are not as sleepy OR as small as they were at birth. They usually have also not had their 2 week appointment yet, which can make them irritable, sore or tired after vaccinations or any procedures. There are some babies who are born too early, who will need photos done closer to their original due date. While these sessions can be more difficult to do, we always encourage parents to come in anyway, so we can capture that beautiful newborn stage. Hospital photos or "Fresh48" sessions are also a possibility, in case your newborn cannot leave the hospital for some time. We do recommend avoiding bringing boys in directly after a circumcision.
This is a big one. We have seen so many photos and sessions that were done with untrained newborn photographers. Not only does it look really bad and doesn't do your baby justice, but its unsafe. In our studio, sessions almost always involve two people (unless one of us is sick) or we ask that the parents spot baby for poses that require it. A hand is on your child at almost every point of the session. This is because babies can be "jumpy" and jolt forward when they sleep. Some of our poses are composited together (using two images to create one) to keep baby safe. This often is the case with "froggy pose" or poses that involve dogs or pets. This has taken us several years to figure out. It did not come to us overnight, nor did we figure it our on our own. Training videos, workshops, online training and many hours of observation and studying successfull photographers has resulted in the techniques and work that we provide. It is very important to us to keep your baby safe while they are in our hands.
Okay, We want to book. What's next?
Send us an email and we will send you our availability and our full pricing guide. We highly recommend that you read over the guide and ask questions prior to comitting to a session time. We will send over an invoice for the session date, which can be paid right online. We will send you a prep guide about a week prior to your session and request that you keep us up to date when baby is born or if baby is "late". We will then make a decision on whether or not to move your session date. If you want to tour the studio, or meet us in person, please just ask! We are happy to welcome you in for a consult. Consults are available Monday through Friday.
-Katy and Tim