You’ve done everything right so far! You booked your newborn photography shoot by your second trimester to ensure the newborn photographer is available 6 to 14 days after your baby is born. You took good care of yourself during your pregnancy and just delivered your beautiful, healthy baby—congratulations! You’re even getting this feeding, burping, changing, and (sometimes) sleeping thing down (or maybe you haven’t quite gotten it down yet, but you and Baby are working on it). You may have even found time for a (brief) hot shower—congratulations again!
Through the new mom haze, you remember—tomorrow is the DAY. It’s been penciled on the calendar for months, and finally, your baby’s newborn photo shoot is here!
What do you DO to prepare for a Newborn Photography Shoot?
DON’T PANIC! You’ve already done all the hard stuff. This part is going to be a breeze, I promise.
Here are a few tips to help you and your newborn get ready for those perfect first shots:
- Pamper Yourself and Baby—When you look good, you feel good. Even if you’re not planning to be in any of the shots, treat yourself to the luxury of a bubble bath, manicure, and pedicure on the day before the shoot, and gently sponge your newborn with a warm washcloth. You’ll both feel relaxed—and since Baby is only as relaxed as Mom (and vice versa), anything you can do to make yourself feel good will help Baby feel good, too.
- Avoid Spicy Foods–If you’re breastfeeding, this is very important the day before and after the shoot. Spicy foods can give breastfed babies colic and make them grumpy and frowny.
- Loosen that Diaper—We’ll be taking at least some photographs of Baby in her birthday suit, and we want her skin to be as blemish-free as possible. Avoid red pressure marks by fitting the diaper loosely around her waste in the half-hour or so before the photo shoot. Be sure to pack a few extras in your diaper bag, as well as hypoallergenic wipes or cloths and a changing pad for cleaning that cute baby bum during the shoot. Avoid tight clothing with snaps or zippers that might leave impressions on Baby’s delicate skin. Loose-fitting onesies or gowns are perfect. Even better – nada!
- Keep Baby Awake—This one might be tough, but it’s better to have a cranky, tired mom and baby before, than during the newborn photography shoot! Give Baby a bath, or remove his clothing to help keep him awake. I recommend scheduling the shoot early in the morning and feeding Baby just before you head to the studio. Keep him in his portable car seat carrier until it’s time to shoot the pictures. With any luck, he’ll drift into a happy, sated sleep and won’t be bothered by the lights and positioning while his portraits are being taken. When he wakes up, we’ll take some awake shots then feed him, burp him, change him, and rock him back to sleep again. Rinse, and repeat. 🙂
- Make Yourself (and Baby) Comfortable—You and Baby will be in the studio for a few hours, so wear whatever makes you feel good. I have an array of blankies, diaper covers, knit caps, and snuggly rugs Baby can wear or lounge on, so unless you have your heart set on a particular wardrobe item, you don’t need to worry about dressing Baby for the photos. Bring a pacifier, baby hairbrush, and bottled formula (if you aren’t breastfeeding) to keep your baby comfortable, fed, and groomed during the shoot. Newborns are most comfortable in a warm room, so expect the studio to be a bit balmy, and dress accordingly. Most importantly, wear something loose-fitting that you feel comfortable and pretty in—this may be Baby’s photo shoot, but it’s also a celebration of YOU!
Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished, Mom! Relax, and have fun on the day of your baby’s session. As a matter of fact, go ahead and take that NAP you’ve been planning. Baby and I have got this!
I know you will treasure your newborn photography images for many, many years to come.