San Diego Newborn Photographer

Find out how to prepare for your newborn session with Studio Freyja

As an expectant mom looking for a newborn photographer you probably have a lot of questions. This blog post is to aid you in your search as well as knowing what to expect from a newborn session.

Most newborn sessions are scheduled within the first 2 weeks of your baby's birth. Most photographers will urge you to book your newborn session while you are still pregnant. I'm sure you are wondering why.

When to schedule your newborn session

Within the first two weeks of your baby's life they are more likely to curl up in these tight adorable poses that you so often see in newborn pictures. This is because their bodies are still formable and bendable from having spent 9 months in the mother's womb. 

I prefer to schedule my newborn session between the ages of 7-12 days. Any earlier than 7 days and I feel like most babies are still figuring out how to properly breastfeed and/or take a bottle. If the mother's milk is still trying to increase in volume, the babe might still not be able to feed fully resulting in a long session. At 7 days and older the baby is more likely to have a full feeding and will fall into a deep milk coma during the session. 

However, babies are unpredictable. One never knows when they decide to make an appearance so it's always good to book your session while you are still pregnant. I only schedule a limited amount of newborns each month to ensure there is room for your baby when it's their time to shine in front of the camera. 

When you book your newborn session with me I'll mark down your due date in my calendar. I then plan my calendar around that due date to ensure that two weeks leading up to your due date, and two/three weeks after your due date there will availability. That is why it's is great to book your session while you are still pregnant, to ensure that your photographer has room for your session in their calendar.

Something else to consider when scheduling your newborn photography session is if you have a baby boy and if you are planning on having them be circumcised. It usually takes about 5-7 days for a circumcision to heal properly, so if you are planning on having newborn pictures try to either schedule your circumcision right after birth or after your newborn session. I have had sessions with boys just recently circumcised, and although it's not ideal, it's all about being careful with their incision, and be mindful that some poses might not be comfortable for the baby boy to be placed in.

Older Babies

Just because 7-12 days is my ideal age of having newborns in the studio, doesn't mean I'll turn away older babies. Older babies can have a successful newborn photography session as well. Just like with any session, I let the baby tell me what they are comfortable doing, so wether they are 10 days old or 20 days old, they will let me know what they can do. An older baby might not be as sleepy or as willing to be curled up in tiny positions, but they might give you some stunning awake shots and some more personality instead.

Rescheduling does happen

Sometimes a session might not go as planned. The baby might be getting sick, having an unsettled belly, or having issues eating properly; for what ever reason the session might just not go the way you and your photographer wanted it to. Like I previously mentioned, I let the baby dictate what they allow me to do and what they won't allow me to do. I would never push a baby beyond it's limits, and if I can tell the baby is very uncomfortable I will make the decision to reschedule the session for another day. Even the next day the baby might be completely different, and you will receive the images you so much longed for.

How to prepare for your session

Now you've book your newborn photography session with me so it's all just a waiting game from here on out. At least for me, I'm sure you have a ton of stuff yet to do to prepare for your little ones arrival. I always ask my clients to add me to their list of first people to contact after baby's arrival. Have I not heard from you on your due date I will reach out and see if the doctor's have told you anything new about your due date.

When we settle on a date I'll send you a confirmation email with more details about where the session is and how to prepare for the newborn photography session. The email includes the steps I would like you to take to better prepare for a successful newborn photography session. These steps include:

  • Keep the baby awake! This might seem really challenging for a new mother, as I'm sure you are already tired dealing with a newborn day and night. However, by keeping the baby awake the hours before the session, will ensure that we'll have a tired baby boy or girl that will sleep well for our session.
    • Tips for keeping baby awake would be to give them a bath, change their outfits, play with them. Fair warning: they might get really pissed at you, but the images we'll create will be well worth it!
  • Wait to  feed them! As if keeping your baby awake when all they want to do is sleep isn't enough to piss them off, wait to feed them until you arrive for your session. Not only do we want them to be sleepy when they arrive, we want them hungry as well so that they'll eat a full feeding of milk right before the session. This will make them fall into a deep milk coma and allow them to sleep soundly during out session.
  • The studio is warm. For starters, be prepare for a warm studio. I always say that if I'm not sweating during the session, it's not warm enough for the baby. Remember, the baby has lived inside for your belly for 9 months where it's warm and cosy. We want to try to keep it as familiar to the baby as possible
  • Bring a change of clothes. Accidents happen, both on me, my props and sometimes on the parents as well! So bring a change of clothes, especially a clean shirt. Photoshop magic can happen, but if we have a clean shirt to change into in case of an accident, it would be a lot easier and a lot cleaner.
  • It takes time.. A session can last anywhere between 2-4 hours, sometimes even 5 hours, so plan for it. The baby can sense when we are stressed, and a stressed baby does not equal a sleepy, happy baby. This is why I always ask that siblings who are coming the sessions have a separate ride. This way they don't get bored during the session, and the parents don't stress about entertaining their other kid.
  • Safety first! My main priority during the session is your baby's safety. I will always be within a hands reach of your baby, and sometimes I might even ask for your assistance during the shoot for some of those poses where two hands are just not enough.

A newborn session is an investment in your baby's memories

This quote comes from www.newbornphotography.com

"These photographs will be in your family for generations, they will be shown again in 30 years time at your child’s wedding, then resurface when your child is expecting their own baby. When you hold these photographs in 35-40 years time, you will close your eyes and be able to recall everything about your child when they were newborns – their baby ‘smell’, the warmth of their bodies, their little fingers and toes. These photographs will not only serve as documentation – they will serve as food for your soul. Although cost is a factor, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Choose a professional newborn photographer that will provide you with stunning images that you can’t live without."

Reach out today to schedule your newborn session and document this beautiful time in your life!