Planning Your Session
First of all, congratulations on the upcoming new addition to your family! I'd be honored to take your newborn's first photographs. Newborns are my most favorite photos to take and I consider myself truly blessed to be around these little miracles so much. Whether this is your first or fourth child, I know that you are excited to welcome your new little one into the world. As a mother of four, I remember those months of waiting with so much anticipation and excitement. Meeting this new little person is the most amazing experience that you will want to remember forever. My goal is for you to look at these images for years to come and be brought back to these first days together and remember every little detail about this new little blessing.
What's the first step to your dream session with JCP? Scheduling your newborn session during your second trimester is ideal. With all of the other things that you will have on your mind while preparing for your baby's arrival, it's nice to have your session already on the books. Newborns are best photographed within the first two weeks of life. Your baby will still be nice and sleepy and easier to pose in those sweet cuddly womb-like positions they are used to. As soon as you book your newborn session I will get your due date on my calendar and await your phone call/text message/email letting me know that your baby has arrived. At that time we will schedule the day the session will take place.
What to Expect
There are many things that go into making a newborn photography session go off seamlessly and have the outcome be as optimal as you could hope for. This includes some preparation from our brand new (or second-third-or more-time around) parents. Follow these steps and you will help your baby feel calm and relaxed during our time together increasing your chances of having your very own perfect newborn photo session.
A typical newborn session is between 2-3 hours long, all depending on the baby's temperament and willingness to sleep soundly. Please be prepared to block out a 4 hour time period in your day for your newborn photo shoot. Hopefully I will not need all of that time but it's best to set it aside in case we need it for extra feedings/diaper changes/snuggles. The last thing we want is to be stressed regarding timing.
Please feed your baby 2-3 hours prior to our session, and plan on feeding him/her as soon as I arrive at your home. You read that right! I bring everything I need with me to turn your home into a studio. I need very little space and lighting is no issue because I bring my own when natural light is scarce. This is just one more way JCP provides a full service experience for you. Who wants to leave their home so soon after giving birth? And having the session in your home means that your session will feel that much more comfortable and your images more natural. The furniture is yours. The environment is yours.
If you read nothing else in this guide read this. Please keep your baby awake and active for the few hours before our session and at minimum the hour before I arrive. This is super important. Please try to keep from feeding your baby a whole meal before the session, a little snack is fine but ideally your baby should be hungry when I arrive. By keeping your new baby tired and hungry, you are setting yourself up for the absolute best possible outcome for photos. Once I arrive it takes me a solid 20 minutes, sometimes longer, to set up in your home so you will have that time (and more if you need) to feed your baby and rock him/her to sleep. Be sure to get a really good burp in before you allow the baby to fall asleep, after all a gassy baby is NOT a happy baby! If you are having a hard time keeping your baby awake, one little trick is to give him/her a bath. Play with him/her, sing and talk. All of this stimulation will help to make your baby nice and sleepy. This will ensure your little one is ready for a nice long nap when I arrive, and we will be able to those cuddly, sleepy newborn poses. By doing all of this, we can (hopefully) assure that your baby will fall asleep and stay asleep for the entire session.
Try to keep your baby's diaper nice and loose before you feed him/her for the last time before the session and use a blanket for warmth instead of clothing. Doing this will make it easier to remove and prevent little marks on the skin which allows me to capture your baby's perfectly flawless skin.
I bring a space heater with me to ensure your baby is nice and comfy. Newborns cannot regulate their body temperature during the first weeks of life, so while I am working with your baby, we need to keep things toasty and warm. I highly recommend dressing in layers so that you can be comfortable too.
I also recommend having a soothie pacifier on hand. These are the bendable green/blue ones that the hospital sends home. These are great because they can help soothe your little one without leaving marks on the skin around their mouth. Sometimes babies just need that extra element of comfort as we move through our poses.
Feel free to stay close by and observe if you would like or take a nap on the couch. Both are perfectly acceptable by me. However, if you choose to stay nearby and would like sleepy pictures of your newborn please refrain from talking to your baby during the session. Your voice (as well as the scent of mother's milk nearby) may very well be keeping him/her awake. If you want awake shots by all means talk as much as you would like!