Newborn Session Prep Guide!!
The first few days of a baby’s life are so magical and incredible! Being able to freeze those moments for you is such an honor for Palm Beach Newborn photographer, Olga of Scribbled Moments Photography! ♥ I thought it might be helpful to write down how parents play a important role to a successful, pleasant and enjoyable experience for the successful newborn shoot.
So…. lets get started!
Let’s Pencil You In!
I highly recommend booking your newborn session as early as three months prior to your approximate delivery date. That gives me enough time fully customize a newborn session just for you! If anything else is needed such as a coordinating headband or matching outfit, I will have enough time to research and purchase any additional items needed.
Yay!! I know you are just excited as I am to capture those little tiny fingers and toes while it last! Once you and baby have been giving the green light to go home, please contact me right away to schedule a definite date and time for your babies newborn session. Sessions are typically scheduled 2 to 4 days, following your release.
When scheduling the session the earlier the better. Newborns much younger tend to do very well in the studio, oppose to a baby that is 10-14 days old. They tend not to wake up frequently and as easily when getting them posed for the scene. A mere 48 hours in a newborns life is very crucial when prepping them for their session. I have witness many, many times after the 10 day mark, newborns have discovered the art of stretching! Once that happens…they won’t let us curl them up in the cute little newborn poses, without a fight!
Still need to come in after the 10-14 day mark? No worries, my training and experience as a newborn photographer has taught me ways to soothe and nurture the feistiest angels to sleep and beside who really doesn’t want to cuddle and hug these little human beings ALL DAY long!! It helps calm my own baby fever..lol! ♥
timeframe is EVERYTHING
Newborn sessions need to take place at 7:30am OR 8am -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!!! The baby needs to be sleepy and tired. A session later in the day will result in a fussy baby and a rescheduling will need to occur.
Location, Location, Location !
Newborn sessions take place in my studio showroom in Palm Beach, Florida, located right in the heart of Downtown on the historic & iconic street of Clematis. It’s a custom design private studio which holds everything needed for your bundle of joy!
Babies do very well in the studio for posing when they are in a very deep sleep. To encourage this I highly recommend, stimulating the baby at least two hours before your scheduled arrival, a warm bath always does the trick. This also means keeping them awake during the car ride here and refrain from feeding 2 hours before arrival as well.
As mentioned I’ve seen it all, unfortunately their have been a few moms that will say,” my baby sleeps through anything”. Well come to find out in a very unfortunate way, no they actually don’t. Babies are usually 100% AWAKE during sessions - so the better we can prepare - the best!
Once you arrive you will feed your baby right away, once burped, we will then start preparing him/her for their session, meaning any and all clothing must be taken off, except for the diaper. As you might know babies don’t like the feeling of being naked, they want to be warm and completely snuggled (although we will have a small heater in place to keep them warm) still, they are naked. That alone completely startles and wakes up a baby faster than anyone expected and because of that, they are now fully awake. Some babies fall into a deep sleep once picked up, wrap in a small blanket and soothed for about 15 minutes and then there are the babies that have been asleep for 3+ hours before arriving and are now refusing to go to sleep. Ahhhh, gotta love being a newborn..lol!♥
From experience, babies that have been asleep prior to arrival are unfortunately the babies that are more difficult to pose because as soon as the blanket comes off, they get startled again and it’s back to trying to put them to sleep. That alone can take up to an hour, if not more and unfortunately does count against your session time.
Keeping in mind these two instructions will most certainly give you a well rested baby. In return we’ll be able to maximize the time you have in the studio with plenty of scenes and photos so for that reason please do not underestimate and risk how well your baby sleeps after a feeding. We need your bundle of joy to be very exhausted, tired and a bit hungry. I know it will be hard, atop of your own sleep deprivation but I promise you, it will be well worth the effort!! ♥
DO NOT FEED YOUR BABY BEFORE!!!! DO NOT - I REPEAT - DO NOT FEED!!!
We want you to feed that baby in our studio. That way the moment you are done will need to use the quiet baby time to start the session. This is so important. We will have to completely reschedule your session if you baby cannot stop crying. I highly recommend if you’re solely breastfeeding to pump and bottle feed your milk for your babies session. I’ve had mom’s that breastfeed for up to an hour and unfortunately that does delay the session quite a bit and does count against your allotted time coverage as well. If you don’t pump, my only alternative is to formula feed just for this session only. As a newborn photographer, I just feel it’s my duty to offer any advice or tips that you as a parent can use to maximize the time we have in the studio and in return you’ll be able to showcase and display more than the average number of baby photos! ♥
clothing for parents
I recommend you come dressed in whatever you want to our studio - but bring a change of shirts with you. Bring an extra WHITE shirt with no lint and non-faded (fresh) shirt. Please bring WHITE shirts, blouses, tops, tanks, etc for both Mom & Dad of the baby. This is because one series of the posing with be within the arms and hands up against the very top of your torso with the baby. White tops are best - but think outside the box - plain, white tees can be boring for women, but just fine for men. Sometimes with women, a cute white blouse, or tube top, or off the shoulder is very flattering, as I will pose the baby in your arms very close to your shoulders and neck, and face, and a off-shoulder/tank/tube top can be both very flattering, but also display a slight skin to skin with the baby that can be very beautiful to capture in a delicate, tasteful way. Your stomach area will NOT be in these photographs, as I am very aware that this soon after birth alot of moms are not comfortable with their stomachs, so there is no pressure at all to capture all the torso, just the upper half.
That I have been called many times…lol but no worries, it happens sometimes! Please don’t feel embarrassed, I reassure you it happens sometimes... you can't help it all and either can the baby. Don’t worry I wash all used props and blankets after each newborn session with soap twice - and all fabric (blankets, bands, outfits, and wraps get dry-cleaned professionally to maintain quality and sanitation.
Shhhhh... listen to the white noise
Please do whatever you can to keep the noise to a minimum during our session. Maintaining a calm environment is also a big key to a successful newborn shoot. I do have a white noise app that I will keep close to baby during the session to help soothe him or her. Babies love strong and rhythmic sound. Amazingly! that’s the sound the heard 24/7 in the uterus! WHITE NOISE - that's what you will hear being played on our speakers in the studio. White Noise soothes a baby just right.
Regulate the Temp!
Since babies are usually photographed naked, the studio will be set at a temperature of 77 [F] to ensure baby is warm and comfortable. If we’re not sweating, it’s probably not warm enough for baby! Parent’s please make sure to wear comfortable loose clothing. I will also provide coffee and water.
Safety is my utmost number one top priority when handling your baby. All eyes and hands are to be kept around baby during posing. During the session I will be handling and posing baby, but don’t worry I have plenty of experience handling a newborn (don’t know if I mentioned I have been in business for over 6 years with cute little ones!) I will hold and care for him or her as if they were my own, I promise!
Chances are you’ll be here close to 2-3 hours so I highly recommend eating a good hearty breakfast before you arrive. I know this can be a very exciting and stressful time for you, especially when adding sleep deprivation in the mix! As much as my goal is for baby to be comfortable, I also want you to be comfortable and at ease! Having me photograph this precious moments for you, means a lot to me so anything I can do to make it a smooth journey for you, please don’t hesitate to let me know!
Again thank you for giving Scribbled Moments Photography the opportunity to capture these unforgettable memories for a long time to come! ♥