Are you expecting a baby or recently had a baby? Congratulations!! If you plan to have a newborn photoshoot when your baby arrives, here are some tips specifically for newborn photo sessions from a professional baby photographer, Bisola Ijalana of M12Photography, for you on how to get it done.
Newborn photography requires a great deal of skill on the part of the photographer and patience for both the parents and photographer. It is mainly done within 2 weeks (14days) after the baby’s arrival.
Some questions will likely be going through your mind if planning for the photo shoot, such as;
- When do I schedule the Newborn photo shoot?
- Where will the Newborn photo shoot be done?
- What happens on the day of the photo shoot?
- How long may the photo shoot take?
- What do I need or take along for the photo shoot?
The following tips will help you in planning and working along with your newborn photographer to have a fun-filled and stress free photo session. This is just to serve as a guide as your newborn photographer will provide you with more details on what to expect.
Scheduling The Newborn Shoot
If you are thinking of having a photo session for your newborn after birth, you can start by contacting your newborn photographer by the second or third trimester. At this initial contact, the photographer can schedule an appointment for you working with your Expected Date of Delivery (EDD). However since we cannot be exact on when the baby will arrive, you may be given a provisional appointment of within a week from the EDD depending on the photographer. When the baby finally arrives, you immediately contact the photographer to agree on a definite appointment date.
If you have to wait till the baby has arrived before contacting the newborn photographer, she might be fully booked to accommodate you within the 14days post delivery. If you previously had or are having a maternity shoot it becomes easier for the photographer to work with you in planning the newborn shoot, the photographer already has your details.
The age of the baby goes a long way in determining the types of poses which will be comfortable for the baby. At this age bracket it will be easier for the baby to do curled up poses, like when he/she was in the womb. Also they will tend to sleep longer and will be more comfortable without clothes on than older babies.
For baby boys, it is advisable to have his circumcision done immediately after delivery or after the photo session, as it may take up to seven days for the circumcision to heal. The baby will be uncomfortable with poses if the circumcision has not healed.
On arriving at a definite date with the photographer, take into consideration possible pediatrician visits/ immunizations for the newborn. You will not want your be baby to be cranky during the photo session, if coming from an hospital appointment.
If your baby is well past 14 days, have it in mind that certain curly poses may not be easy to perform. Also colic may set in which can make the baby cranky during a photo session.
Newborn photo sessions are done in your home or at the photographer’s studio. In Nigeria, newborns tend to stay more indoors till after the naming ceremony or baby dedication, so the session majorly takes place in the parents’ home. In some countries like in the U.S it is common to see newborn photo shoots taking place in the photographer’s studio. Whichever location is used, what is most important is for shoot to be done in a place conducive for the newborn to be photographed
It is important to keep in mind that the newborn photography sessions might take up to 2-4 hours depending on the baby. It requires a lot of patience on the part of the parents and photographer to photograph newborns. Sometimes babies may be cranky and uncooperative. Some time will be taken calming the baby, soothing the baby to sleep, changing diapers, breast feeding, putting the baby in desired poses etc. Whatever time it will take to get your newborn photographed, relax, stay calm and enjoy the photo session.
What to Expect on the Day of the Photoshoot
The day is finally here for your newborn to be photographed and you look forward to a memorable and wonderful photo session. You have exchanged correspondences and shared ideas with your newborn photographer on theme, props, desired poses etc and you feel all is set.
Generally you are not required to bring much things for the shoot as your newborn photographer will have all the props required for the shoot such baskets, head bands, blankets, wraps, bowls etc. You are only expected to come with items such as like wipes, diapers & diaper cover. Newborn photographs are majorly taken with the baby nude. Try to keep to room temperature warm. If your baby does wee or poop during the photo shoot, don’t worry yourself, the photographer has enough blankets for the shoot.
Since newborn photographs are taken with the baby asleep, try to breastfeed the baby at least 30 minutes before the photographer arrives. It is easier to get them curled up when they are asleep. You may also need to take breaks in between the photo shoot to feed the baby to be prevent them from being hungry and cranky and to get them back to sleep. If for any reason your baby becomes restless and appears uncooperative, stay calm and be relaxed. Work together with your photographer to calm the baby and enjoy the photo session.
If for any reason you are not comfortable with a particular pose, let the photographer know, but be rest assured that newborn photographers are well trained in the art of photographing babies and will not do a pose considered unsafe for the baby.
Sit back, relax and have a wonderful newborn photo session!
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Source & Photo Credits: M12fotographystudios | @m12photography