Welcome! Thank you for choosing me to photograph you and your family. I am honoured I will be able to capture some special moments for you to cherish in the years to come.
Whether you have done a photo session in the past or it is your first one, I would like you to feel as relaxed as possible and enjoy the experience. These guidelines will hopefully help you with decisions around your session and answer any questions that you may have. If you still have questions after reading this, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While I will definitely take portraits of your baby, I do not pose them in props like baskets and dolly prams nor do I photograph them wearing themed outfits that they wouldn’t wear in everyday life. Those type of sessions are normally done by highly specialised newborn photographers that offer styled sessions and have expertise on how to safely pose babies. Above all, your baby’s safety is the most important thing during the session, so please understand that I will not take such posed photographs of your baby as I am not qualified to do so. Instead, I will be happy to take photos of you feeding your baby, having cuddles and just loving on him/her, much like you do every day. If you have not yet done so, please have a look at my newborn and baby portfolio to see examples of my newborn work.
Scheduling a newborn session
I aim to schedule a newborn session in the first two weeks after the baby’s birth for full term babies without any health complications. During the first two weeks babies still display their newborn features and tend to sleep a lot, which makes it much easier to capture some sweet moments, especially if you also have other young children that you wanted to include in the session.
When newborn babies are awake they tend to grimace and move their arms and legs a lot, which makes it more difficult to capture them looking beautiful and sweet.
If the baby was born premature or if you have twins (or more), the session could be scheduled later than 2 weeks after birth as these babies tend to be smaller and sleepier for longer. If in doubt about the best time to schedule your session, just get in touch.
Time and location
A photo session is normally done at your home where you and your family will feel most comfortable and at ease. I love photographing a baby in their first ever home as these photos will serve as a time capsule when they are older. I only use natural light to photograph, so I will aim to have all the lights off in the area where I am taking photos. For this same reason I normally look for bright areas in your home near large windows which will provide good light. If your house décor is dark – darker wood, dark wallpaper or wall paint – this is even more important as there won’t be much light reflected back inside the house. Most of the time the master bedroom is a good location for the majority of the photos as the whole family can sit together on the bed.
A photo session can be scheduled at any time of the day while there is still sufficient natural light streaming in. In the winter months when days are shorter, especially on a rainy day, it is preferable to schedule the session in the middle of the day rather than early in the morning or late in the afternoon, as there may not be enough natural light available to achieve good photos. Anytime between 10am and 3pm (or 6pm in the summer) would be a good time.
Prepare for your session
Preparing for a photography session, especially when you have kids or a new baby to take care of, can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. You are probably wondering what clothes to chose for yourself and other family members and how to get everyone to cooperate. I find that planning ahead significantly reduces the stress and with a little bit of organisation, you and your family will hopefully be able to relax and enjoy the session itself and not just the result.
Preparing the house
Many parents are worried whether they will have the time to clean and tidy the whole house before the session. I do not require the entire house to be clean and tidy and would not want to put that pressure on you, especially if you’ve got kids – because let’s face it, it’s not that easy to tidy up with kids running around! Whatever area in your house we choose to photograph in, all I ask is that you move distracting objects like clothes, chargers, cups and mugs out of the view. As mentioned before, the master bedroom is usually the best place and I normally ask that you put plain, neutral coloured – preferably white or cream – linen on without strong patterns.
Choosing your outfits
I advise that you have clothing for yourself and any family members chosen the day before, making sure that it is all available and clean. By no means do you have to go buy new clothes for the session – although it does make for a good excuse. Everyone should wear clothes that they feel good and comfortable in. Family members don’t have to all match – I advise against identical outfits for children, same colours on all family members – but try to make sure that the outfits complement each other with colour tones and style. Neutral and light colour tones are usually a good choice, with a pop of colour here and there. Very strong colours can create a colour cast on people’s skin – for example, if you are wearing a bright red top, your face may look slightly red on the photographs.
On the day of the session
Your baby will be happier and more likely to fall sleep if the room is warm, so I suggest that you warm up the bedroom before the session and then keep it at a comfortable temperature.
I love to photograph special items that you bought or received for your baby, so have them ready and let me know what they are. It is also good to have a large thin blanket or muslin cloth at hand to capture some photos of your baby swaddled – if the baby enjoys that.
If possible, dress your baby in clothes that fit well. Depending on the size of your baby, newborn or even tiny baby size clothing may look best. Bigger clothes tend to hang loose, which doesn’t look as nice. Try to avoid wearing too many different patterns among the family members and any brand logos displayed large across clothing or children’s characters on children’s clothing. They tend to distract from people’s faces on photographs.
Organise your time
On the day of the session, if possible, try to be ready by the time we have scheduled. However, I fully understand that those first nights with a newborn are not always smooth and the mornings can be unpredictable based on your baby feeding and sleep patterns. Based on my own experience, it often leaves little time to get ready yourself. Therefore, I am very relaxed during newborn sessions and I allow plenty of time for feeding, changing and settling your baby. I also like to capture these everyday moments and am more than happy to photograph you feeding your baby if you wish me to – it is a very special time for mum and baby, whether you breastfeed or bottle feed.
How to pose?
Don’t. I want you to have fun during the session. Interact with your partner and kids, play, the more spontaneous you are, the better. Spontaneous moments make the best pictures. Not everybody has to look at the camera at the same time in order for a picture to be great. In fact, it’s often the moments where parents are looking at their children or each other that will be closest to your heart, as they will capture the connection and love between you. You may have an idea of what kind of photograph you would like of your children together but please keep in mind that it may not always be achievable depending on the age of your older children and their mood and willingness to cooperate with me on the day.