Five years ago I became a photographer, and over the years I have learned a lot about what it takes to have a successful newborn photography session. In the hopes you get the most beautiful images from your session I thought I would write this blog post.

Have your newborn photos taken when your baby is between 6-14 days old.

This has to be the information that surprises parents the most, and a lot of parents think the babies in my images are a lot older than they are, when really the majority are around 10 days old.

So why take your photos at this time?  For posed newborn photography (I explain what this means next) babies need to be sleeping.  In order the move their limbs in the way that looks most flattering, the baby needs to be in a sleepy state so that they are not aware of the photographers touch.  Newborns between the age of 6 days to 2 weeks, are less responsive to touch and fall into a sleepy state much easier.  They are also a lot more flexible at this time allowing for those curled up newborn images that we all love.

 

 

Decide what type of newborn photography you would like, posed or lifestyle?

There are basically 2 types of newborn photography to choose from, posed and lifestyle.

Posed:  The baby is posed either with the parents, sibling, in a prop such as a bowl or basket and on a beanbag.  Like I mentioned, for these type of shots it is important that the baby is sleeping, but if your newborn doesn’t feel sleepy during the session, your newborn photography should know how to take beautiful awake shots. These types of sessions are mostly done at the photographers studio. I primarily shoot posed sessions.

Lifestyle:  These sessions are less posed and the photographer takes on a more hands off approach.  Lifestyle sessions have less to do with props and more to do with the natural interaction of parents and sibling with baby, they are mostly taken at the parents home and in these cases are mostly looking for memorable moments and great lighting.

newborn photography

 

 

Studio vs Home Newborn Photography

I photograph 90% of my sessions from my home studio in Brampton Ontario, but occasionally I do get asked to photograph newborn sessions from the parents home.  I absolutely understand the request, mom has just given birth and parents are adjusting to a completely new way of life.  When parents are absolutely unable to come to me I will absolutely come to them, but I would like to discuss the pros of coming to your photographer.

Pros of having your newborn photos done in studio

I cannot emphasize enough how important lighting is to photography and living in Canada with our short days in the winter and unpredictable weather, I could not rely on natural light and have invested in studio lighting.  My lighting system is quite large, and although I can travel with it, it has a hard time fitting in most parents homes.  I also have a hard time getting the lighting just right mostly due to lack of space.To do posed photos I need a lot of stuff!  Baskets, stuffers, wraps, outfits, posing beans, white noise, stands, backdrops etc.  Because of this travelling to parent’s homes adds a lot of time to the session, a good 30 min every time I have to load the car, so we are looking at a good additional 2 + hours added to the shoot. For that I do add a fee of $50 to cover this time.You don’t have to clean!  When I come to your home I ask that a large amount of space be cleared so that I can set up.  That usually takes some time and a lot of effort on your part.  If you’re coming to me, you just have to get dressed and get out of the door.  Also, the drive here helps to put baby to sleep ;).

Newborn Photography

Of course if you are looking for a lifestyle session, then of course we would have to do this at your home.  In this case I wouldn’t be bringing props, lighting or backdrops.  The focus is on you and your baby.  We would have to find a good time of day with nice natural light!

Be prepared for a 2-4 hour newborn session.

This also surprises a lot of parents, well until they are in the session, then they understand!  Babies are not used to being posed and sometimes have very specific desires in terms of how they want to lay, how they want their hands and whether they want to be touched. They can have acid reflux, they could be going through a growth spurt, or they could just be plain hungry and cranky.  Experienced newborn photographers usually know how to work through these situations, but that usually takes some time. Most of the session is spent soothing, posing and feeding the baby.  You will hear my camera fire for only a tiny portion of the session.

Most parents who did not have newborn photos taken regret it.

I do not only photograph newborns but older babies as well.  When these parents come in with their toddler I always ask if they had newborn photos done.  If they didn’t, almost 100% of them say they regret it.  Honestly. This time comes and goes so quickly, make sure you capture it!

Family newborn photography