Newborn Prep Guide Ashley Newman Photography

Hello baby!

Nothing is more magical than welcoming a new baby into your family. The tiny, delicate fingers and toes; the precious, soft skin; the certainty that this is a love unlike any you have known. You are certain that your life will never be the same. These moments pass so quickly. It is a privilege for us to preserve this special milestone for you and your family to remember forever.

Everyone who has been a parent knows that those early days go by in the blink of an eye. The things you treasure so much – the smell of a baby’s skin, the feel of his or her little body cuddled against yours – become distant but cherished memories as your children quickly change and grow. I'm so honored to be there at the beginning of your little one’s journey to capture this time of beauty and innocence in professional photographs that you and your loved ones will treasure.

xoxo, Ashley

The Experience



Once your little one makes his big entrance, let us know the news, and we will coordinate with you to choose a day for the photo session. Newborn photographs should be taken before the baby is two weeks old, and ideally within the first nine days.

I always like to talk with every client before pictures. It can be a phone call/skype or simple texts and emails. At this meeting I will learn about your family, and we can go over all your ideas. This planning phase is so fun and important. I will also send out a newborn questionnaire to help me get to know you even better. I can’t wait to find out the heart beat of your family and tell your story!

General Tips

To prepare for our session, you won't have to do much- just be yourself. Some parents choose to be in the photos while others do not. It is completely up to you and we can decide when I arrive if you like.

If you are going to have older siblings present at the session, build up the session to children as it really is- a time for fun and togetherness. There's no need for bribes when the event itself is the reward. Feel free to have a special toy or comfort item as well as a snack for your child just in case. You do not have to include siblings- many parents choose to use this session to focus on their new arrival.

I have a very organic and natural approach to my newborn sessions. We will plan to do some poses and traditional shots, but I want to capture your baby as naturally as possible in your home. I will arrive to photograph when you guys feel ready for visitors, but before or after family comes to visit. It's easier to capture your new baby with just immediate family present (mommy, daddy, siblings) so I will ask that extended family wait elsewhere while we work.


When I arrive, we can take a look around together to determine the best location for lighting. Occasionally we may need to move furniture or other items around to make room. Make sure you clear any rooms of clutter that you want to highlight in the photos (nursery/your bedroom/living room/etc). I may also want to walk through your house to find props or other locations to use. Please make sure to turn the temp up in your house to about 80 degrees. Even though we may be hot and uncomfortable, baby LOVES it! It's a great way to put them to sleep. (I will also bring a portable space heater.)

If your baby will be born when it is warm outside, consider asking about outside options! These are so much fun and can be quite beautiful.

Props & Heirloom Items

I have many props, baskets, hats, bows and blankets already on hand for your newborn session, but I definitely prefer a "less is more" type of session where the focus is on you and your baby. If you need some ideas or want to brainstorm, please don't hesitate to call. Some of the most amazing newborn portraits I have created were conceptualized during a conversation with my clients. Make sure you have special items/clothing you wish to be included in the photographs on hand.

Session Prop List

  • blankets that are special to you (made by grandma, embroidered with baby name, matches nursery, etc.)
  • hats or booties you love
  • diaper cover
  • plain onesie
  • fun personal items that represent a hobby, favorite sports team, family heirlooms, etc.

What To Expect

Each baby is different, so the posing can differ. I am a lifestyle photographer, which means while I may do some poses, I am focused on the details of your newborn, and interactions with family. I may rock, or sway with your baby, rub his eyebrows, use a white noise machine, etc. I want to make sure the energy in the room is always relaxed and calm, with lots of trust. They will occasionally cry- please know that this is never a bother for me. I will use a variety of soothing techniques to make your baby feel safe, secure and warm. Think of me as your baby sitter. Baby will never be placed in an unsafe position and newborn safety is my top priority.

I have a very hands on approach to newborns and I am very comfortable handling them. I have three young children myself and have taken safety courses on newborn photography/workshops. I am fully vaccinated :)

Preparing Your Baby

Try to keep baby awake for a while before your session time. Wait to feed the baby until I arrive for your session. Remember, a well fed baby is a happy sleepy baby! Please plan on feeding your baby during the session- our sessions tend to make babies hungry and you will need to plan on extra feeds to put them back to sleep.

Don't worry about baby acne or little scratches. I will hand retouch your images to either eliminate or drastically minimize these imperfections. If your baby has extremely dry skin, try putting baby lotion on prior to coming to your session and bringing extra with you. This will help the retouching process.

Before your session be sure to loosen their diaper. This will reduce the diaper marks from their naked little bottoms. Also do not have tight socks on their feet, they tend to leave sock lines at their ankles.

I may ask for help with propping or holding the baby in certain positions. Please understand that not every pose you imagined may be possible- it all depends on baby. I want to make sure baby is comfortable and safe above all else.

One last thing....No matter what your baby does, please know that I am always relaxed. I do this all the time and have seen everything. This session is supposed to be a special experience for you and I don't want you stressed if the baby starts to cry. The baby can sense stress and it usually makes them cry more. We have plenty of time allowed for your session. If we need to take a break to feed, walk, rock, etc. we can do that. I want you to enjoy the experience of your session and this special bonding moment for your family.


All ANP clients have access to my vendors. I'm here with you every step of the way. If you have a question about what to wear or you just want to show me your outfits, lets talk about them together! Check out these resources for looking your best, and consider getting professional hair and makeup done for the day of.

Hair & Makeup: The Beauty Bar by Tori Crocker | 205-233-4124 | www.thebeautybar.org, Malorie Talley- 205-799-1139

Clothing: www.savedbythedress.com | www.freepeople.com | www.hazelandolive.com | www.shopthemint.com | www.861.ca | www.sophieandtrey.com | www.renttherunway.com

Newborn Clothing: Tiny Bean Baby

For more tips on what to wear, check out my Family Posing Guide

The Portrait Process

the day of

Plan for your session to last around 2-3 hours. On the day of the photo session, we will meet at the selected location, and the creative fun will begin. It’s important for you and your family to be yourselves so your photographs can communicate who you really are. A fun and relaxing photo session results in great portraits you can treasure.

2-3 weeks after

After the photographs have been taken and each image has been professionally retouched, you will experience the moment you have been eagerly awaiting. Sneak peek images may be posted to Facebook and/or the blog for your family and friends to view. Next, we will set up a viewing at your home or local coffee shop, to show you the full gallery. I will review each shot with you, answer all of your questions, and offer my professional advice as you choose from the prints, albums and other products available. The end result will be heirlooms that you will cherish forever.

4-6 weeks after printing

Your printed products and artwork are ready to be picked up!

And so the adventure begins...

I can't wait to spend time with your family! Each family I get the honor of working with is etched on my heart forever. Please know this process is very important to me and I value the true heartbeat of your family.

Have a question or need some help? Let's talk! I'm here and ready to help make your session come to life!

www.ashleynewmanphotography.com | info@ashleynewmanphotography.com

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Created By
Ashley Newman

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