So you're in your third trimester; you've started buying all of the essentials, noticing some aches and pains you didn't feel before, and you've maybe even packed your hospital bag already. The nesting instinct is strong and you've likely bought all of the products you'll need to make sure life easier once baby arrives (as well as all of the nappies and baby clothes in the world!).
If you were hoping to document your new baby on their first few days on earth, you should absolutely book a newborn photography session with an experienced photographer. Yes, pretty much everyone has an phone with a camera these days but nothing compares to having professional, high resolutions prints and wall art for your family home.
More importantly, if you choose the right photographer, they will likely have had plenty of training in newborn safety and creating those adorable curly poses you see online. Not only are those traditional newborn poses harder to recreate than you'd expect (believe me, I was shocked when I first started how difficult it is to get those poses looking "right"), but as a newborn photographer I have been taught how to achieve these poses in a way which is comfortable and safe for baby; without restricting airways, stopping blood flow to their limbs, and without putting pressure on their little joints (which haven't had chance to form properly yet). Newborn safety is always my number one concern and should be the primary concern of any professional newborn photographer you choose.
For me, your newborn session is so much more than "taking a few pictures". I want to create beautiful, timeless art of your little bundle looking adorable, peaceful and comfortable, or maybe awake and cheeky if that's is more their personality. I want to create a safe and relaxing space in which you and your partner can unwind (and even nap if you need to!). I want to create flattering portraits of you with your new baby which evoke all of the emotions you're feeling in those first few days of (tired) baby bliss. Sometimes, if you're behind the phone camera snapping pictures of your baby or relatives with your baby, it can be easy to forget or reject the idea of getting in photos with baby too. Even if you're not feeling your best, in the studio there are ways to include you in your newborn's images which create lovely memories for you to look back on rather than worrying about how you may look or feel. You will never regret getting a professional portrait taken with your new baby when you have it to treasure for years to come.
I've put together a few things to help you prepare for your newborn session with me and what to expect during our time in the studio together:
Before your session:
Before your session, I will send you a questionnaire to help decide which colour scheme(s) or theme(s) you'd like to go for, or which colours we could include in your session which would match the colours of your walls and furniture at home - that way your prints and artwork will look perfect on your walls. This questionnaire also covers who will be included in the photos and whether there are any birth/medical problems I should know about to help make sure your session is as safe as possible for your baby.
Wear cool and comfortable clothing, as the studio will be nice and warm. If you or your other children are also being photographed, neutral colours and tones always photograph well. Please avoid logos and patterns on shirts. And just in case there are any small accidents, bringing an extra set of clothes is always a good idea. I do have a a few gowns for mums to wear if you'd prefer more of a luxurious look to your images.
If you're breastfeeding, it is best to avoid spicy/acidic/gassy food for 24 hours before the session. Also, try to keep baby awake for as long as possible before the session and ready for a big feed just before you leave the house or as your arrive at the studio.
Please dress baby in something easy to remove and keep their nappy as loose as possible to avoid marks on their skin.
During your session:
As you arrive you your session we'll have a chat about the session flow while you help yourself to tea, coffee, bottled water, and any studio snacks. If you're little one is awake and alert, I will start the session with your swaddled images, and if they're settled and sleepy I'll start with the posed beanbag images.
If you are bringing other children with you, it is always best to also bring some sort of entertainment for them. I will always get sibling pictures at the start of your session, so if necessary you, your partner, or another relative can feel free to take your other children away after their pictures if you think they may get bored waiting in the studio.
To help baby stay asleep during the session, try to keep them awake as much as possible on the day of your session by talking, playing and even bathing them. I also recommend bringing a dummy for the session even if you won’t be using one normally as it can help soothe them when they being posed and moved.
I like to allow plenty of time for feeding and cuddling during your session, so plan to be at the studio for between 2 - 4 hours. Throughout this time you may get hungry so I recommend bringing some snacks with you (I do also have studio snacks), or there is a Co-op 2 minutes away from the studio.
I have plenty of props for you to choose from and like to involve you in the styling of the session. If you have a special item you would like to incorporate, I would love for you to bring it along.
Feel free to watch me work my magic photographing your baby, relax and do your own thing in my seating area, or even take behind the scenes pictures/videos if you like! I love to see and post these BTS shots on my social media, but make sure they don't impede on the shots I am being paid to take for you.
After your session:
Around one week after your session I used to invite you back into the studio (pre-covid) to preview your session images, however, to minimise contact now I upload the best 20-25 images from your session onto a private online gallery for you to look through in your own time. The photos will have some basic edits and minor tweaks but will not be properly retouched yet. Then you can choose which Newborn Session Image Collection you'd like to purchase and if you want to add any extra digitals, prints, or wall art onto your collection.
Your final edits should take around 1-2 weeks. During this time I will be retouching any hair, skin, clothes or backgrounds by hand to make sure everything is perfect for your final images. I will then order your prints and wall art, send over your digitals via high resolution download, and package everything up perfectly for you.
I hope this answered any questions you might have about your upcoming newborn session or helped you decide whether you'd like to invest in these beautiful memories for your family!
Paige Edge Photography