First things first. CONGRATULATIONS!
Babies are equally joyous and exhausting and there's absolutely nothing better. That being said, documenting these first moments as a family is something that is so important and there are a few key things that can help you prepare and relax in order for your session to go as smoothly as possible.
That's where this guide comes in handy.
WHAT TO EXPECT.
If you know me, you know I shoot in a very relaxed, minimalist & real to life way making friends as I go. I really just want to hang out with you and your family. Being able to capture you and your new baby in your element is something I've grown to love, and I realize the less stress I put on too many poses, the better images I tend to get...and that makes the both of us happy. I love candid shots and those "in between" moments are always my favorites. Also, sessions are on average about 2-3 hours- depending on your babies temperament, so plan for that in your day.
We all know that having a newborn is a lot of hard work and sleepless nights, so take a deep breath! I do not expect your home to be spotless. Leave those dishes in the sink and the laundry can wait. The only rooms I care about are those that you want photographed, such as the nursery (if wanted and ready) and any well lit living space (main living room?) and bedroom/guest room. Whichever one you like the best that has the most window light.
Newborns tend to do better in warmer spaces (especially since we may need to change their clothing at some point) so turn your air up to about 78-80 that way they can stay cozy as we go.
Also, very important, be sure to open your shade and let in as much window light as possible! That gives us the best result.
Since it's still fairly early for your little guy/gal to be on a strict schedule, these sessions can take time and patience (average 2-3 hours) since we will be stopping to feed/nurse and change when necessary and allowing everyone to chill in between when needed. Key, right?
I do encourage moms to feed about 20 minutes before I arrive and try to settle your little one into a relaxed state. If sleeping photos are something that is important to you, then make sure to keep your little one awake as much as possible the day of until I get there...no naps yet! That way he/she hasn't slept all morning and won't be as quick to fight sleep when we need them to drift off.
I keep a few swaddle blankets, texture elements and dainty headbands for girls (read: not big, glitzy or gaudy, since that tends to take away from the details in the photos) but if there are any personal items (not so much props, but blankets or outfits, etc.) you'd like to incorporate, I will do my best to make that happen, so collect those ahead of time. Again, I don't typically do very posed images, but moreso simple lifestyle - baby and family in their natural habitat - photos. I still swaddle your baby up nice and cozy and get all of those sweet, sleepy & squishy details, just without the million outfit changes, backdrops and baskets involved.
Babies without a doubt can smell their mommys from feet away, so I may ask you to step out of the room if the baby seems distracted by your presence (understandably so!) but please don't take offense. Having had and nursed two myself, I know how important you are to your baby! Just take that time to do something that you may not be able to do otherwise, in the meantime (quick nap, maybe? have a much needed snack break or throw a load in the wash!) I also ask that if you are not opposed, to keep a pacifier near by if they take one. That will help to keep them calm and soothed if your baby is a comfort nurser in the individual baby shots. If you've decided not to introduce that yet or at all, it's no problem, it just may take a little longer, but I'm in no rush!
*Turn A/C to 78-80
*Open shades for more natural light
*Plan to feed about 20 minutes before schedules session time, to settle baby into relaxation (but no sleep yet!)
*collect any swaddles/bows/onesies etc, that you'd like to incorporate
* RELAX :)