Ahhh, y’all, I’m so excited to share this post!! It’s one I’ve wanted to write for months because I feel like it will be so helpful to the mamas-to-be out there!! Newborn sessions are one of my FAVORITE types of sessions to photograph, for so many reasons! Those first few weeks with a new baby are so precious, and they will go by SO stinkin’ fast. And let me just say that it is truly an honor to be the one to preserve those moments! Why? Because I know that in 5, 10, or 20 years, the images from our session won’t just remind you how your little one looked when you first met. They will remind you how it felt to hold him or her in your arms, and how amazing it was to watch your spouse become a mom or a dad, and then to experience your babies becoming big brothers and sisters as your family grows.
Believe it or not, newborn sessions are incredibly unique – from scheduling the session to the overall feel of the session, they are different from every other type of portrait session! And that’s why I wanted to write this post. I know you’re trying to learn #allthethings before Baby arrives, and knowing how to prepare for (and what to expect from) your newborn session may not even be something you realized you needed to think about!! My hope is that this post will give you the info you need to get the most out of your newborn session, before you even book it!
So, without further adieu, here are the six things you need to know before booking your newborn session!
1. First, think about what style of photography you really want!
Do you want a session in a photographer’s studio with studio lights and studio backdrops, or do you want a lifestyle session in your home? Do you want mostly baby-only photos with lots of props and themed outfits, or do you want a good mix of family photos and baby-only photos, that feel genuine and natural? Make sure you know what you want, so that you can find a photographer whose portfolio reflects the style you love!
I adore lifestyle images of mama + daddy with baby, and simple baby-only photos in natural poses that feel like they could have happened with or without a photographer there to pose Baby – so you’ll see a lot of both of those types of images in my work!
(p.s. I’ve created a free checklist with 5 steps to choosing the right photographer for you! Click here to get a copy sent to your inbox!)
2. Once you’ve found your photographer, book your session early!
I recommend booking (signing a contract with your photographer and paying a retainer, if they require one) as early as 3 months before your due date, so that your photographer can reserve time in their schedule for your session. You won’t be able to firm up a session date until the baby is born, but in order to have the session during the true “newborn” stage, it will have to take place within two weeks of Baby’s arrival! Which means, if you wait until you get home from the hospital (or even the last few weeks before Baby’s arrival) to book your photographer, there’s a chance they may no longer be available to shoot your session at all!
3. Expect to have your newborn session indoors, where we can keep Baby warm and content!
Because I love lifestyle newborn sessions that feel authentic to you and your family, I recommend to my clients that we shoot newborn sessions in your home, as it will feel the most natural and will usually carry the most sentimental value for you! (It’s also incredibly convenient because all of Baby’s things are right there!!) I won’t decide for sure which rooms we will shoot in until I’m there in your home, and can assess the natural (window) light we have available – but generally, I’ll try to choose a space with big windows and with light-colored, clean wall space/backgrounds! (I also love to take a few photos in the nursery, as long as we have some window light to work with in there!)
4. Know that it’s perfectly normal for a newborn session to last 2 – 3 hours,
because we’ll take breaks every once in a while, whenever Baby needs to be fed or changed! I usually spend roughly half of the session capturing those lifestyle images of the whole family together, interacting with each other and with the newest little member of your family. Then we’ll spend roughly the other half of the session taking a few baby-only images!
5. Don’t worry, I’ll bring the necessities for the baby-only part of our session:
including blankets, a posing pillow and basket, and some wraps and headbands! You don’t need to provide anything for this part of the session, unless there is something in particular that you really want to include (like a tutu or a flower crown for baby girl, a hat for baby boy, or a swaddle blanket or article of clothing that has been passed down in your family, etc.) in the baby-only photos! If so, just have it ready and let me know at the beginning of our session, and we’ll make sure to incorporate it into a few of our baby-only images!
6. Make sure you know whether your photographer will share sneak peeks of your images on social media, and where!
And be sure you follow those accounts so you’re the first to see (and share) them!!! For example, I absolutely love sharing sneak peeks while I am working on your final images, and I will always share some images on facebook (@Lindsey Rickards Photography) and other images on insta (@lindseyrickards) – so you would want to follow both accounts to make sure you don’t miss any sneak peeks! Once I’ve got my favorites picked out and fully edited, I’ll also share a whole slew of them here on the blog!
Well, friend, thank you SO much for sticking with me through all six tips! I hope that means this post has given you some direction and made you feel prepared for at least one teeny aspect of this life-changing new adventure you are about to embark on!! 🙂
Before you go – let me know in the comments if you have a question I didn’t answer, or something I touched on that you just have more questions about!! I would love to answer in the comments, or maybe even be inspired to write another blog post to answer your question! 🙂