Newborn Session Tips

There is much that goes into a successful newborn photography session.

Please review the following information so that you are prepared.

When is the session?

We recommend that you contact us about the newborn session prior to your baby’s birth to ensure a spot on our calendar.
Contact us during your second trimester and we’ll make a note on our calendar.
Then, send us an email soon after you deliver so we can schedule a time for the session. Our baby photographer, Olga Novikova, is happy to work with you to ensure a safe and fun photo session.

Newborn sessions MUST be scheduled within the first 14 days of life. 

You want to aim for a photo shoot between 5-7 days after their arrival.
Your baby will have it's best complextion by this time.
Any redness or jaundice skin colouring should be mostly gone.

We’ll be moving them around and positioning them into those sweet sleepy newborn images, so we want to make sure they’re sleepy enough to allow us to handle them.
Plus, babies just tend to do a lot better with the session within their first 7 days.
Around day 8, babies start stretching and it can be difficult trying to get the right poses.
After day 14, it’s almost impossible to get baby into that sleepy state, which also makes posing difficult.
Also keep in mind that newborn acne is likely to flare up after day 14.
While we can easily edit problem areas, we prefer to do as little retouching as possible.

Where is the session?

Newborn sessions usually take place in your home.
Worried because your house is a mess? Don’t be! You just had a baby!
Don't worry about dishes piled in the sink, dirty clothes and baby items strewn all
about. Clutter is definitely expected! We really don’t need much space and can shoot around any problem areas.

Let in the Light

We ask that you open all of the blinds and curtains in your home prior to our arrival.
This enables us to find the best source of natural light in your home, so that we can set up our “mini studio” in the best possible location.
Nothing flatters like natural light, so we prefer to use it whenever possible.

For this reason, sessions are best done mid-morning to late-afternoon when window lighting is as its best.
When we arrive, we’ll walk through your home looking for the best light and that is where we’ll do a majority of the shoot.
Sometimes the best location ends up being a foyer, by the backdoor or kitchen…usually wherever there is a large window.
We’ll also bring additional lighting equipment to help out when needed.

Turn up the heat!

For the baby's comfort, we recommend that you keep your home a bit warmer than normal during the session. (Like a toasty 80 degrees or so.)
Newborns are used to being all bundled up and warm, and when they are posed for those adorable naked baby shots they do not to like that too much!
Pushing up the thermostat is guaranteed to make the session flow more smoothly and help them sleep better.
We may be sweating, but baby will be nice and warm…and that’s really all that matters!

Turn up the heat 30 minutes before our session to ensure that it’s warm enough in time for the session.
If you have a space heater or are willing to make a few back and forth trips to the dryer to keep baby’s blankets warm, then your baby will love that!

Loosen up!

Please loosen your baby’s diaper and clothing at least 30 minutes before the session.
This allows time for those imprint marks to disappear.

Sleepy baby = great shots

Most of the images we’ll be shooting work best if the baby is in a deep sleep.
To encourage this, we recommend that you do whatever you can to ensure the baby is tired during the session.

Full belly

A well fed baby is a happy baby! Please feed and burp baby right before our session to ensure a happy, sleepy baby.
We’ll also be more than happy to take as many breaks as needed to help him/her re-fuel.

Noise control

Please do whatever you can to keep the noise level to a minimum during our session.
If you have other children that might create noise, try to find a sitter or family member to take them away from the home for a few hours.
If you have a noisy pet, you may want to do the same. We’ll bring a white noise machine, but it doesn’t always block out tantrums and playtime.

Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-4 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.

Relax and have fun

Moms tend to stress out because this is a new experience.
Babies can sense stress and anxiety (especially from mommy).
It’s super important that EVERYONE remain calm and relaxed during this session.
Keeping the environment as mellow as possible is essential for good newborn photography.

Oopsy Poopsy!

Your baby is going to be in the buff for the majority of this shoot. Please don’t panic if your baby decides to use our blankets (or us) as his/her own personal potty.
This is natural and we expect it! Please don’t feel embarrassed or worry when this happens, because they all do it.
We wash all of our baby props and blankets between each session with non-scented baby detergent.
It would definitely be helpful if you had a stack of old towels, extra wipes and blankets available for when things get messy though.
*If you would like shots in a diaper, it’s a good idea to have a cloth diaper, diaper cover in a solid color, bloomers, or something to put over the diaper.
Diapers on their own tend to look a little messy and distracting in photos, but throwing a cover over it cleans things up.

Props

We will bring some props to your session, but you are also welcome to use any of your own props.
Look for items with texture and color to help make your images unique.
If you have any family heirlooms, toys, hats, props, etc. that you would like me to use in your session, please gather them before we arrive. We may not get the chance to use ALL of the items, but we’ll look through them with you to determine what will work best.

Speak up

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.

Hair, Clothing and Makeup

It's best to look your best, so treat yourself to a mani, pedi, hair style, and makeup.

For clothing, throw in a little color if you’d like, but skip the busy patterns and bright colours.
For moms, we suggest cotton knit camis and knit tops.
We’re also big fans of skin-on-skin portraits with you holding your baby against you. They’re so simple + timeless!
So if you want some portraits like this with your newborn, consider a strapless top or tank as an alternative.

For the men

Your hands, and possibly even your feet, will play a role in this session, so it’s important that you tend to them too!
Even if you aren’t planning on participating much in the session, you’ll still be handling your baby a bit, so it’s a good idea to touch up on your grooming.
Trim and tidy your nails and apply lotion to any dry skin.
A little clothing advice? Long or short sleeved knits are best. (Make sure there isn’t too much bagginess in the sleeve.) Undershirts also work well.
We suggest you NOT wear button down shorts, and make sure your t-shirts are free of logos or too much writing.
*Wrinkles do show up in photos, so please make sure all clothing is ironed or steamed. The retouching involved is extensive and will incur an extra fee.

Make the bed!

Is there anything more simple and gorgeous than a new family cuddled up in bed together? The answer is no!
So we might suggest that we move the session to your bedroom at some point. If that’s something that appeals to you, a few tips:

  1. Make the bed, just this once.
  2. A solid colour blanket/comforter with no distracting patterns.
  3. White to light cream bedding is best.
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