Your newborn’s first photography session is an exciting experience but it’s also one that you need to properly prepare for. Newborn photoshoots generally last 2-3 hours, which is a long time for anyone, especially a child just several weeks old, so take note of the following tips to prepare your baby and help make their first photoshoot a wonderfully rewarding experience.
Arrive On Time
As newborn photoshoots yield their best results in the morning, arrive at the location on time so as to get started as soon as possible. This helps the photographer maximise the time they spend photographing your baby during the best hours of the day for newborn photos.
Keep Baby Awake Until the Shoot
The best newborn shots are taken whilst baby is asleep, so try to keep your newborn awake until the photoshoot starts so they fall asleep quickly and the time is used as efficiently as possible. There are several tricks you can use to keep your newborn awake until the shoot, such as:
Give them a bath or keep their clothes off
Apply an ice pack intermittently on their feet
If you can keep baby awake for about 2-3 hours before the photo shoot starts they’ll likely fall asleep straight away, maximising the time spent photographing and ensuring the best photos.
Minimise Contact with Mum
Naturally, you’ll want to be close to your baby during the shoot, but as newborns have such a remarkable sense of smell and hearing they tend to respond to mum’s presence and that, unfortunately, doesn’t make for sensational newborn photography. To minimise distractions and enable the photographer and your bub to get into the rhythm of the session, you’re advised to:
Not enter the studio while the shoot is taking place
Bring a bottle of formula/breast milk and dummy
It’s understandable that the latter point may not appeal parents trying to reduce baby’s reliance on pacifiers, but the photographer will only use it if they need to help baby settle.
Of course, if you are uncomfortable with the use of a pacifier, the photographer will respect your wishes. Moreover, although it’s best if you wait outside the studio, if baby wakes up and is in need of breastfeeding, it isn’t a problem to take a break while you breastfeed your newborn.
As the photographer needs baby to fall asleep as soon as possible, you need to schedule a full feeding for your newborn to help them sleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the shoot.
If you’re breastfeeding, bear in mind that some foods which you eat may cause baby to experience an upset tummy. This may distract them during the photo shoot, so don’t eat anything gas inducing or spicy that may upset baby’s tummy within 24 hours before the shoot.
And lastly, prepare yourself for the shoot. To keep baby comfortable, the studio will be warm and cosy at about 28 degrees, so dress lightly or in layers that you can take off when needed, and if you’re planning to have photos taken with your newborn, advise the photographer in advance so that they can prepare the studio.