How to Prepare for a Newborn Photoshoot

Baby photoshoots are a trend that has continued to rise in popularity and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. And with good reason. Baby photoshoots always look beautiful and are a source of beautiful memories for you and your kids when they are older. Let’s talk about the things you should look out for and how to prepare yourself and your baby for a photoshoot.

Decide who you want to be in the shoot: one of the first steps is to decide who will be in the photo and prepare all participating parties accordingly. Is it just the baby, is it the whole family? Is it the baby and a sibling or the baby and just you or the baby and the dad? Prepare everyone and take note of the different shots and combinations you want. Your inclination may be to avoid being in the photos, but we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to be photographed with your baby, even though you may not be feeling at your best. In years to come, you and your child will be glad to have these early photos, and you’ll want to include your spouse or partner, too.

Decide the Outfits: This includes both the outfit for the baby, yourself, and every party involved. If your baby is a newborn you might want to stick to simple and comfortable clothes and you can turn the lookup with accessories like floral Skinny Bows, or stripes or bold colors. And you pick an outfit for yourself, choose something comfortable that reflects your personality and don’t be afraid to do some shopping and pamper yourself. Keep it simple. Throw in a little color if you’d like, but skip the busy patterns.For moms, we suggest cotton knit camis and knit tops. You can also choose a theme and do something more sophisticated and go all out with a royal theme of gold and purple or a red carpet theme if you must, it’s your choice to do whatever pleases you. You can also do skin to skin portraits which always come out looking beautiful and earthy. Also if you plan to do naked shoots, loosen your baby’s diaper and clothing at least 30 minutes before the session. This gives those little imprint marks time to disappear.

Using Props: We already talked about choosing a theme above. When you choose a theme, more likely than not, you will need props to help with the decoration. You can use family heirlooms, baskets, blankets and lots of other things to make your shoot look more like what you want. You can also discuss with your photographer (if you are using a professional photographer) as they could have props they bring with them to shoots or ideas that you wouldn’t have thought about.

Type of Photos: Decide the type of photos you want so you can plan ahead. If you want sleepy baby photos (which always look lovely) make sure your baby is in the mood to fall asleep during the shoot. You can do this by keeping them awake the time before the shoot so they fall right into a deep sleep once you are ready. Make sure your baby is well fed and rested and even burped right before the shoot. You might also need to take breaks to feed your baby and have them get some rest during the shoot so they don’t get too tired or worn out being out in different otherwise awkward positions. 

Calm Environment: Make sure that during the shoot there is as little noise as possible. Keep the nose and distraction down so every party involved can concentrate including the baby. If you have toddlers, have them be in a separate room or out of the house. Keep your pet in a separate room as well and bring them in only if they are part of the shoot and needed at that particular time. If you want your toddlers to be included in the shoot, try bringing them in at the beginning or end of a session and then having someone take them. Only those being photographed should be present to help maintain a calm environment.

Be Patient: From experience, it’s been said that 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 you can predict. You can do most of the above tips to have some control but it doesn’t always guarantee a good shoot because babies will be babies. Remain calm and don’t tense up if you are not getting the results you want as babies can pick up on your tension and just become more restless. And if your baby refuses to fall asleep, wide-eyed baby pictures are great and beautiful too.

Use Good Lighting: Open up all your window blinds in your house to enable the photographer to find the best source of lighting and lighting angle. Even if you are using artificial studio lighting, it doesn’t hurt to have natural light as well. Nothing flatters like natural light, so use it whenever possible. Plan the shoot to be done mid-morning to late-afternoon when window lighting is at its best. Sometimes the best location ends up being a foyer, by the back door or kitchen or usually wherever there is a large window.

Perfect Temperature: If you are going to be doing some naked or diaper only baby shoot, you should turn up the heat in your house or apartment. Keeping the heat a bit warmer than usual helps keep your baby comfortable if they are naked or if they are going through frequent outfit changes.

Newborns are used to being all bundled up, warm and cozy so when you take off their clothes for some naked shots and they fell cold they might burst into tears which means photo ruined. Pushing up the thermostat is guaranteed to make the session flow more smoothly and help them sleep better. Crank the heat 30 minutes before your photo session to ensure that it’s warm enough in time for the clothes yanking.